summing up 100

Wow. After sharing and discussing close to a thousand (964 to be precise) articles, talks, essays, videos and links, my summing up column turns 100.

I originally started this series a little over five years ago to keep track on what I was reading. Little did I know then how much this effort helped me build up a large part of my expertise, methods, strategies and way of thinking. I'm also quite relieved that in all that time, nobody asked me about the swedish conspiracy.

To celebrate this somewhat special occasion, I want to deviate a bit from the usual format and highlight some key figures and favourite articles which impress me to this day.

Doug Engelbart, one of the fathers of personal computing, is definitely one of my personal heroes. He dedicated his life to the pursuit of developing technology to augment human intellect. He didn't see this as a technological problem though, but as a human problem, with technology falling out as part of a solution. His methods and models are brilliant and I rely heavily on them when working with clients.

When thinking about the future, you can't do it better than Alan Kay. Perhaps he is one of the best known computing visionaries still around today and his reasoning is spot on when it comes to invention, innovation and strategies how to succeed in a digital world.

Neil Postman is one of my favourite media critics and funnily enough was never categorically against technology. But he warned us vigorously to not be suspicious of technology. His predictions, cautions and propositions on how we become used by technology rather than make use of technology have been spot on so far – unfortunately.

There's often a thin line between madness and genius and Ted Nelson walks that line confidently. The original inventor of hypertext, internet pioneer and visionary saw the need for interconnected documents decades before the World Wide Web was born. And even now his vision is far from being complete – luckily the size of his ambition hasn't changed.

Bret Victor is one of the thinkers I respect most in our industry. His talks and essay have been highly influential to me. In the spirit of Doug Engelbart, Bret thinks deeply about how to create a new dynamic medium that shapes computing for the 21st century and allows us to see, understand and solve complex problems.

It's rare that I don't fall in love with talks by Maciej Cegłowski, talking mostly on the excesses and impacts of technology on society. His style of storytelling along with ingenious insights is just amazing.

Audrey Watters is mostly known for her prolific work on education technology issues and tech in general. The witty way she interrogates the stories about technology we tell ourselves – or have been told to us – is full of deep insight.

Finally for those of you who can't get enough, I had a hard time leaving these tidbits out – you're welcome: When We Build by Wilson Miner, Stephen Fry's The future of humanity and technology, Memento Product Mori: Of ethics in digital product design by Sebastian Deterding, The Web's Grain by Frank Chimero and last but not least John Cleese on Creativity In Management.


Thanks a lot for your continued support and feedback over the last years, it is heavily appreciated. You're very welcome to subscribe to this series and get it directly in your inbox along with some cool stuff that you won't find anywhere else on the site.

Lastly, if you have any feedback, critique, tips, ideas, comments or free bags of money, I'd be very glad to hear from you. Thank you.


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