I love Mark Twain, who broke the mold on stuffy Victorian writing and introduced an American vernacular voice to literature. There are lots of his quotes that I like, but a favorite is this one:
“Good judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment.”
I’m 58, with more than 33 years in the GIS profession, so I have plenty of experience. And based on that, I guess I can now claim to possess some measure of good judgment. There aren’t a whole lot of advantages to growing older, but at least you come to be viewed, sometimes, as having a bit of wisdom, which is another way of getting at Mark Twain’s quoted sentiment. I hope that none of my classmates from Marjorie A. Rice Elementary School in Holden, MA are reading this, as I am sure they would laugh out loud at the thought that little Billy Johnson; the skinny, fidgety, nail-biter who didn’t stand out in any way except for his goofy cowlick, is laying claim to wisdom.
I’ve become much more deliberate about the things that I choose to do. Particularly in my professional life, I find that in order to give my best effort, I have to be doing something that I believe is worth doing, something where whatever modest talents I have, combined with my accumulated experience, can be applied to do something positive, something that makes me feel like I am “moving the needle”. When talents and purpose are well aligned, good things happen. I feel energized. I find that my creative processes, where ideas are born and nurtured, naturally work better. I project a more positive attitude to others. I smile and laugh more easily. I am more productive. I just plain feel better. I can only speak for myself, but I assume that the same is true for nearly everyone.
That’s why I am so pleased to be joining AppGeo. I have known some of the principals since before AppGeo started. Peter Girard, VP of Software, began his career at the New York State Dept of Transportation shortly after I began my career there, and we worked together for six years. His wife, Yen, was also part of that mapping team at DOT. I look forward to her Christmas card every year with it’s tiny, neat, hand-printed message. Rich Grady was at Intergraph in Huntsville, AL in those days, where Peter and I dealt with him many times as a customer. I actually recall hearing about Rich before he went to Intergraph and was at Esselte Mapping in Boston. And because I have been an AppGeo customer many times over the years, I have come to know quite a few others on the AppGeo team. I know how AppGeo works and I know that the company is not just chasing dollars. They carefully choose the projects to pursue that align their pool of talented team members and a core belief in the power of GIS to do good things.
That aligns with what I believe. Count me in. All in.
That’s carpe geo.