Welcome to Sockets and Lightbulbs – a blog discussing ideas about process, leadership and management in fast-paced, high-change environments. I am currently a senior director in the video game development industry, which I like to compare to a big, gangling teenager after a major growth spurt: we have long arms and legs, but we are not entirely sure of what to do with them. Although the rough economy is having its affect on the industry, it is an exciting time to be in video game development. It is even younger and more dynamic than electronic manufacturing services and telecommunications was in the mid-90’s, which is where I started my career. As a result, every day I find myself coaching developing managers or advising executives on how we could work better, based on ideas I learned in other industries and applying them in a new context.
The goal of this blog, though, is to explore those ideas in a way that is agnostic of any industry. From time-to-time, I may draw comparisons between the video game industry and other experiences, but that is only to establish a common language and understanding. I truly believe that good ideas can apply in many areas and should be adapted to the current context. Scrum, a popular methodology being used in video game and software development, is a good example. The roots of Scrum are in manufacturing which have been adapted to the context of software development.
Why Sockets and Lightbulbs? Well, when I polled my creative friends for ideas on what to call my professional blog, I told them that I was starting it so I would have an outlet for for my ideas on leadership and management. One friend played off of the outlet idea and suggested variations on the socket theme. Another friend then played off of that and threw in light bulb. Since ideas are often associated with light bulbs, I knew we were on to something. In the spirit of true collaborative development, Sockets and Lightbulbs was born – outlets for great ideas, often from multiple sources.
I hope you enjoy it.