27 July 2023

Navigator: Speed of Innovation...

When the Netscape Navigator was finally launched here on our planet Earth, much of humanity was just on the verge of an era of massive organizational change.

Working in the IT industry and living through the transition of our communications era of data transfer across and through the digital Internet in the early days was full scale innovation. In more ways than one.

As the desktop devices were rapidly designed for digital storage and computing power and the software industry was now at the dawn of incorporating modems of mbps data exchange, data integrity, data security and data resilience; our global intelligence strategies were still naive.

Deficient in worldly wisdom and informed judgment, it would not be too long until DISA, DARPA and others expanded the processes for the protection and the exploitation of the Internet. Network Solutions, Inc. ICANN and so many others.

Ft. Meade, MD to McLean, VA to Arlington to Quantico to Mt. Weather, VA. This was only the beginning of the late night SCIF meetings in the late 90’s.

The next data wake up call was February 18, 2001 in Foxstone Park near Vienna, VA when Robert Hanssen was finally arrested. His Palm 3 PDA was logged into evidence.

So what!

The light speed of fiber-optic submarine cables communicating our “Zeros and Ones,” Quantum, Hypersonic missiles at Mach 5, is just an example.

Back in July of 2000, a few stories above 1555 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, a three year old startup company was already crawling the Internet 24/7, downloading Terabytes of open source information (OSINT). It was named Cyveillance then.

Many of these early Cyveillance founders can still remember what was discovered then, and what the value of international online monitoring services would soon become. The exponential growth of just the “Dark Web” was astonishing.

It was just causing a feeling of great wonder among leadership early mornings and late evenings across the National Capital Region (NCR).

The speed of defense and intelligence innovation and the pace of critical response in those days was truly epic.

On May 11, 2017 the President issued an Executive Order (EO) on strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure?

The question now is, why did it take us so long? In the mean time, 20+ years had passed.

In April of 2018, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework 1.1 was updated. Now 5+ years later, the journey to CSF 2.0 is in draft.

One of our U.S. greatest vulnerabilities still remains in so many places. The speed of change and our future technology innovation.

Our next few decades are so ready for acceleration, in so many places.
With so many more new young minds, working alongside our people with real leadership experience. 
With so many new inventions of mankind ready for launch…


21 July 2023

Office Automation: Time to Wonder...

It was located near the corner of Red Hill Avenue and Bell Avenue in Tustin, California and our ground floor offices were complete. We were the first tenant in this new modern business park.

You could never miss it driving down Red Hill, as our view across the road was the massive Tustin Blimp Hangar #1 in the near distance, today a historical landmark.

As a newly promoted Orange County District Manager, now after several years with a territory of high rise office buildings off Wilshire Blvd. in West Los Angeles, it was a great arena of new career opportunity in a growing business segment of the “Office Automation” industry.

Just inside the front door of the office we had our greeting desk and waiting area, our demo room was just to the left, and then straight ahead was a hallway door that led to the sales “Bull Pen” and to the rear of the building.

This is where our company service technicians area and our other tech support offices were located near a rear entrance.

It also included space for our growing high technology innovation business, to add dozens of new sales and support employees to serve the growing business areas in Orange County of Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Within the year, we would soon come to hear the merger news of our national company Lanier being acquired. Harris Corporation of Melbourne, FL was our new owner and we were now on a rapid strategy to compete with Wang and new competitors in the growing “Office Automation” industry. By the start of the 1990's, Lanier accounted for about 1/3 of Harris Corporation's revenues.

What is that? Office Automation?

You know, the beginning of the IBM PC LAN networking of Word Perfect Word Processing, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBASE.

The lawyers, insurance companies, defense industrial base juggernauts such as Northrop, McDonnell Douglas and the financial services business community had also discovered other tech innovation to eliminate the historical secretarial typing pools and even the fax machine.

It was named Novell NetWare.

"At its high point, NetWare had a 63 percent share of the market for network operating systems and by the early 1990s there were over half a million NetWare-based networks installed worldwide"…

Imagine what is was like for our Sales, Support and Tech personnel in those days. So busy and so incredible. Even our “Happy Hours” off PCH at the “Rusty Pelican” were epic!

So what!

Well, those were the days of true business innovation.

Our Monday Morning Sales Meetings were at 8:00AM sharp, and then at 8:30AM our 1-1, 15 min sessions followed behind closed doors with each Sales Rep, to discuss their next weeks priorities and last weeks activity. See you next Monday!

Our Sales Reps were working on a straight commission and for their first 60 days their compensation was a draw against any monthly commissions earned. If you were in the “Hole” after 30 days, you were put on a Performance-Improvement-Plan (PIP). If you were still not meeting your sales quota in 60 days, you were fired.

When you have experienced any dialogue with an employee to notify them that this Monday will be their last day, it is never comfortable and always emotional.

Even after 20 or 30 notice meetings over the forthcoming years as a District and Regional Manager, helping another tear filled sales rep carry their “Bankers Box” to the parking lot next to that active Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (ICAO), it was never routine. Helicopters and the roar of jets were always in the background.

So many of these same dedicated people, went forward in their work careers to other competitors and excelled in their jobs. Maybe it was just meant to be.

When one career door closes and then another one opens before you, take a minute to smile. And Wonder.

Within a few more years and some other career moves in the OC, our own family was packing up our San Clemente house. Mom had a wonderful opportunity back East and with our 6 year old Daughter and 5 year old Son, we told them we were leaving their friends in their Capistrano Unified School District and headed to the Langley School District along the Potomac River in Northern Virginia. We witnessed even more small tears that day.

Soon thereafter, walking through the thick woods and along the dirt horse trails near our home one sunny September Saturday, with the sound of the “Great Falls” in our ears, little did we all know what was soon to launch on the global technology horizon.


"Marc Andreessen, the leader of the team that developed Mosaic, left NCSA and, with James H. Clark, one of the founders of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), and four other former students and staff of the University of Illinois, started Mosaic Communications Corporation. Mosaic Communications eventually became Netscape Communications Corporation, producing Netscape Navigator."

Now it was time to truly Wonder…

16 July 2023

Aspiration: Life Achievements...

Your future will depend on how well you master innovation and certain disciplines in life.

How you alone decide to continuously learn and apply these effective rituals will make all the difference.

How many times have you repeated some of these same tasks, same rules, or same endeavors in order to achieve the goals that have been set for you or that you alone have set for yourself?

Many famous books have been written about finding your purpose, “Your Why”, yet what is it that drives your aspirations because you excel at some God given talent.

Having a talent that is discovered by your parents, a teacher or some other mentor or coach is only just the beginning.

Growing up in small town America or a little suburb outside a large U.S. metro city is the place you first learn about any potential talents you were born with.

It is not until you leave it and venture beyond your own locality to see the rest of the world outside your own neighborhood, that you will discover your ambitions, and what real talents you would like to pursue.

Who will you trust to be your instructors, coaches, your mentors, your colleagues and your institution, company, organization, agency or service for building and accelerating your disciplines as you grow older?

Will you choose a venture introduced by a parent, a coach or someone you want to be like some day? Will your choice to learn a particular skill or area of knowledge change your life trajectory forever?

Yes it will.

The focused skills and the area of knowledge you choose to pursue will become your path to the future.

One truth is, you must find yourself “Doing” far more time than just time “Thinking”. 

Getting out of your own local domain, doing more into the unknown with others, will gradually build new valuable skills and your growing knowledge.

Perhaps more important, it will build more real experiences. Experience is what you choose to do and you combine this with your life aspiration. The strong desire to achieve something great.

You will continuously make choices to create opportunities or challenges. How you learn from these truly creates your portfolio of life and career experiences.

Where have you traveled? Who have you trusted? What have you learned? Why did you decide to gain experience in _ _ _ _ _?

Always remember. How will your aspiration and experience achieve a positive good and greatness with others you care about?

Remember the day you look in the rear view mirror and see your Mother and/or Father shedding a tear while waving at you, as your life is accelerating into the future.

Will you make a positive difference…Godspeed!

08 July 2023

Mechanisms: For Continuous Risk Monitoring...

Years ago working in concert with fellow risk professionals within the ranks of an international organization off Route 123 in Tysons Corner, our “Team Leader” was briefing us in a small conference room on the 5th floor at 8:00am.

One of the systemic problems at large institutions including organizations like this one is keeping your finger on the pulse of all "Risk Indicators". Unfortunately for SVP's and other executives in the corporate hierarchy, the organizations middle managers are creating a potential layer that impedes the best "Early Warning System" you have at your disposal. 

She continued her dialogue with substantial hand gestures as she circled our long table in the middle of the room:

“When problems surface here on the front line or in the "Cube City" down in Information Systems, sales or operations, the normal agenda is for the employee to go to their direct supervisor to raise the "Red Flag" or disclose the incident. And the first behavioral response by the Middle Manager is to keep it quiet. Fix it before anyone else finds out. Keep it under wraps until damage control can be implemented.”

When you are the head of Enterprise Risk Management, you need truth mechanisms to bypass and eradicate the barriers filtering data, your intelligence, incidents and overall hunches.

There is no magic system or process that will solve it all. The only way to attempt at breaking through this layer of social and organizational dysfunction is to circumvent it.

Design a continuous risk monitoring system that shall be implemented and operating anonymously 24/7. Do this if you require the correct people in the upper echelons of executive management responders to “Feel, See and HEAR the Pulse" of any risk hotspots in the enterprise.

These hotspots translate into "Risk Indicators" from the sources themselves, people who know what's going wrong and know the truth.

A Continuous Risk Monitoring System (CRMS) is an automated human feedback and problem identification mechanism for detecting organizational risks.

It allows leaders of large enterprises to quickly identify problems and incidents of all kinds within their company. 

Call it a sophisticated whistle-blower system or suggestion box if you will, but that is exactly what it is, on steroids.

The ideal system would emulate communication patterns in small groups which is often a major ingredient in successful teams.

It would also run on the existing iPhones, computers and networks of the organization such as applications like Slack, Teams or Wickr.

Think about how long it takes today for data and information to percolate and bubble up from the places in your organization that are considered "Current Risk Hot Spots”.

The point our Team Leader was emphasizing is that for far too long we have been playing the old telephone game. You know, the one that you played as a kid sitting around the kitchen table or on the floor in a circle.

"One person starts and whispers into the ear of the person to their right. Just a sentence or two. By the time the message gets around to the 3rd or 4th person, now the data is dramatically different than the original. It's been interpreted, edited and even sanitized."

As the current CEO, walk down and visit the person who is in charge of your anonymous electronic suggestion box or the mandated legal “Whistle-Blower” program at your own organization.

Is it the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) or Chief Security Officer (CSO) in your own HQ or perhaps an HR Manager in another state or country?

Ask them to print out the “Activity Log” for the past 30 days. Ask yourself how you might work with your front line leaders to develop an encrypted innovative solution that can't be filtered, changed or deleted.

Now you might be on your way to detecting the real story, in real-time…