Liz asks: Do you have a Coach?

When I first started Single-Sourcing Solutions in 2005, I didn’t know anything. I thought I did, of course. When I look back from where I am today, I can honestly say I didn’t.

I was lucky, though. I got connected to a group of local entrepreneurs who would get together monthly to solve problems together. Each of us had our own business. Each of us were solving the same problems in different order. The group was led by an experienced Silicon Valley advisor who specialized in working with early stage startups. People who were at the top of their technical game and needed to learn things like how to fill a sales pipeline or how to find a good match in a co-founder. The critical skills necessary to launch, build, and sustain a new business.

Shortly after that, I found a partner who was also great coach. Continue reading “Liz asks: Do you have a Coach?”

Tell a good story (It’s the shape of the curve that matters)

Seems like everyone is talking about story telling. Last April, it was the theme at the STC Spectrum conference.  At STC Summit in 2015, Nancy Duarte gave the keynote (a version of her Ted talk) on the way great speechwriters use emotional trajectory to help messages resonate with listeners. For the last several years, marketers have been saying that storytelling is “one of the most powerful tools in your business communication toolkit.” Why? Because “customers connect with businesses when they identify with their stories.”

As it turns out, these are hardly new theories and, in fact, for a story to resonate with the reader (or listener), there’s a high probability that it fits one of six patterns. Continue reading “Tell a good story (It’s the shape of the curve that matters)”

High-Quality, Print-Ready DITA book in less than a day

My first book went live this morning: Arbortext 101. It is also the first book about Arbortext that was not published by PTC.* Arbortext is an extremely simple XML authoring and publishing suite of programs. It’s got an editor, a styling tool, a server-based publishing application, and a content management system. It’s 20 years old this year.

In my career, I’ve used nearly all of the XML/SGML tools out there. I like different tools for different purposes. I’m a big fan of the “right tool for the job” as it were. When I approached the project, I decided that I’d distill the 5000+ pages of technical documentation that gets published with the product into a short book that documents the best practices that we’ve developed over the 15 years as users and customers of Arbortext.

A couple of things happened close together…

Continue reading “High-Quality, Print-Ready DITA book in less than a day”