As much as I think this is a cliché answer, I have to say the smart phone. As my job takes me out of the office to meet with clients, anything that links a calendar and contact list with a phone is wonderful. I did not get my first cell phone until late 2001, early 2002. I remember long stretches of time where I wasn’t reachable by phone. For example, I was in Tokyo on a business trip. My wife discovered she was pregnant soon after dropping me at the airport. I was out of reach for 24 hours. I remember the phone ringing in my hotel room, scared me to death. A cell phone would have changed the wait time to find learn of my new status as a Dad.
What’s a pet peeve you would correct if you could?
The amount of media attention paid to things with no possible value. We are bombarded with negative information about health, finances, politics, etc. None of that information is really intended to make you happier, smarter, or safer. It is intended to sell ad space. Nothing wrong with ad space, but our culture gets confused sometimes. We mistake the noise for the signal.
What is the most memorable gift you were ever given?
A ceramic mug from my uncle Ron. I was probably 14. We had a family gift exchange where you drew one person and got them a gift. I had started drinking tea the summer before, and Ron remembered. I still have that mug. It went to college, and has survived several moves.
What is a favorite college memory?