By Bill Johnson, carpe geo Evangelist
I think we all crave comfort. It is reassuring. We can relax. Settle into a routine of the known and predictable. When we’re comfortable we feel safe. We can stop worrying and put our feet up for a while. These are wonderful attributes, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want comfort for myself. We all do. But comfort is not always a good thing. When we’re comfortable, we are not challenging ourselves, we’re less likely to try new things, explore, or take risks. We become complacent. In short, comfort is the opposite of carpe geo. Carpe geo is all about a willingness to seize opportunities, to experiment and explore with GIS, to make new connections, to trust yourself with something new. I hadn’t really thought about this previously, but carpe geo is about shedding inhibitions and moving beyond the safe and predictable. It’s about getting outside of your comfort zone.
I’ve been thinking about these notions as I tune the carpe geo message for upcoming keynote addresses at state GIS conferences. I have given my keynotes to several states already and they have been well received, but it seems to me that what I am telling audiences is the opposite of what a company representative would normally want to do. I think many companies want their customers to be content, to feel secure, to settle into the warm blanket of knowing what to expect, to stop looking at alternatives. What they want is for their customers to be comfortable. So why would I, as AppGeo’s Carpe Geo Evangelist, deliver a message centered on getting uncomfortable?
One of the things I really appreciate about AppGeo is our willingness to embrace a broad range of technologies including open source. This came into focus for me this month as our President, Rich Grady, was reflecting on what has changed at AppGeo in the five years since we retired from the Esri Business Partner program. I invite you to read his new blog post on this topic, which is actually an update on an AppGeo blog post from five years ago. What Rich describes is our company ethic, which he summarizes as “Keeping an open mind, seizing upon the moments of insight, solving problems in new ways with a variety of technologies, and sharing the results — that’s what we call carpe geo.” I couldn’t say it any better myself.
I’ve heard many positive comments about our new sunrise carpe geo logo. It conveys the sense of a new day, new opportunities, new adventures awaiting. It invites us to toss back that blanket of comfort and get out there and do great things with GIS. So go ahead, get uncomfortable.