Stanford’s WTO

I’m starting a new project tomorrow at Stanford where I’ll be completing an organizational assessment of one of our groups in ITSS (Stanford’s IT department). So, as you can probably imagine, I’ve been thinking about organizations and how people work a lot lately.

…which is how I found this:

The Center for Work, Technology and Organization (WTO) is a research center committed to basic and applied research that will help us better understand how work is changing and, hence, design more effective organizations and technologies.

It looks pretty interesting. I think I’ll request a few of their papers. I love working at Stanford!

Steve Portigal’s IDSA02 Notes

Occasional brad lauster (dot com) reader Steve Portigal has put together a nice set of notes from IDSA02.

Particularly interesting to me were Steve’s notes (2/3 of the way down) about what Doug Field of Segway had to say about their development process and culture. Apparently they create design principles early in the process to guide their work.

I tried a similar thing at Intel when we began the “conference room scheduling project” and was very pleased with the results. Before we did anything we created principles to guide our design. Long story short: I think the princliples had a lot to do with my being really pleased with the end result of our design work.

brad lauster (dot com) readers may also be interested in Steve’s notes (5/6 of the way down) about a presentation that Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten gave about how brand plays out in three fictional places. The white paper from the presentation is available at

Personal Best Comments

Over past two days, I think I done some of the best “commenting” of my life.

Here are a couple examples:

“Personally, I’m waiting for an HP employee to write a book about what it’s been like to work there over the past year. I think it’ll be called, “When The Jerks Took Over.””

“Splenda – that is such a cheesy name! I have to try it, just because it sounds so ridiculous! In fact, it reminds of that wonderfully cheesy music they play during the Price is Right – the song is called “Splendido.”

Here’s a link to the mp3 file of the song:

Ahh…takes you back, doesn’t it? Anyway, I’m glad they came out with a sugar substitute substitue. That Aspartame crap tasted terrible!”

Piccolo, a lightweight library for building ZUIs, announced

Ben Bederson sent a message to the jazz-announce list today announcing Piccolo, a lightweight library for building interactive 2D graphical applications (with or without zooming). It’s based on Jazz and was written by Jesse Grosjean, with support from Ben.

Lately, I’ve been looking for a way to endulge the programming geek in me. I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding it these last few years (most of the people I work with at Stanford don’t even know I used to be a programmer). This toolkit looks like it might be a nice, digestable, way to start playing around in the oh-so-interesting world of ZUI’s.