Posts tagged “golden retriever”

Dan Soltzberg joins Portigal Consulting


Today is Dan Soltzberg’s first day here and (at my request) he wrote a little reflective piece about his day, and his background.

Welcome, Dan!

So far, in all the ways I usually measure my days, this has been a great one. I’m at my new desk at Portigal Consulting eating my first lunch (a tasty roast beef sandwich from a little café down the street), Steve and I are preparing for a trip next week which will be our first time in the field together, and there are two Beagles and a Golden Retriever lounging around the office. (The dogs are wonderfully insightful when it comes to developing business strategies.) I’ve just joined Portigal Consulting as a Design Researcher, which is the perfect cap on a year which has been one of those wonderful periods of convergence where everything I’ve done so far in my life adds up to create something new.

I’m refocusing my Masters program at SJSU on a hybrid of Industrial Design, Applied Anthropology and Human Factors, which is to say that what I’m really interested in is the intersection of creative problem-solving, collaborative processes, things, and human beings. Four-and-a-half years living and working in Japan, as well as living in California married to a Midwesterner after growing up in Boston, have taught me to respect how deep culture runs, and how important understanding context is if one wants to understand people’s behavior and desires. I’m really looking forward to working with our clients and helping to decipher and communicate these contexts and the design opportunities they illuminate.

On the subject of me: Five Things

Troy Worman pings me for this new-ritual blogger effort (it’s called a meme, but is a chain letter a meme? The propagation is built-in, rather than being a side-effect of the compellingness of the content….) where you post “five things” about yourself. And then tag a bunch of other bloggers to do the same thing.

There’s no threat of deadly peril as in old-school chain letters, so that’s nice. But I’ve found it a bit exclusive. The “cool” folks got pinged months ago with this thing. In the interest of inclusiveness, I’m going to throw this open to anyone who wants to contribute their own five things. If you’ve got your own blog and want to participate, consider this your opportunity. Email me, or trackback, or comment, and I’ll add you to the body of this post. If you don’t have a blog (and let’s face it, most don’t) then leave your five things in the comments. If you want them anonymized more than the blog will let you, email me, and I’ll post it for you.

Five things about Steve

  1. In my public school (called elementary school in the US) the default assumption was that boys took shop and girls took home economics. I was the first boy to take home-ec. I simply asked. They weren’t trying to stop me, but they were very worried when they called my mother to verify this was acceptable. If it had been 10 years later, they would have drafted a release from liability, just in case. The next year, of course, all students took both. I was no Rosa Parks, but I did create a small change that was past due.
  2. Our dog Brody (Golden Retriever, 5 1/2, rescued) is my first pet (I’m not counting several goldfish named George).
  3. Back in the 90s, Tom Williams and I tapped into the latent storytelling need that would re-emerge as blogging when we created Turn Signals. A fax (originally) newsletter that took stories from the press and rewrote them in a dryly bemused tone. Indeed, we were always passing photocopied articles to each other in the office and so it was suggested that we productize it. You can see a few issues here (PDF).
  4. I really like cereal. I have my preferred cereal system, where boxes are stored in a cabinet from oldest to newest, so nothing goes stale. I like to have two boxes open at one time; where one is sweeter and the other is healthier (although they are all pretty damn sweet these days).
  5. In 1992 I started the first online community for Rolling Stones fans. It’s still going to this day.


About Steve