» work landonhowell.com

Just found my dream desk, you guys
posted on Jul 6 2012

The Focal Lotus Workstation, y’all.

Tim Kreider at The New York Times nails being “busy”
posted on Jul 2 2012

Two quotes the author highlights act as an executive summary of a solid article:

“It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we collectively force one another to do.”

“Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.”

Working Less = Being Productive (Unless You’re Just Being Lazy)
posted on Jun 19 2012

I want to take this article… print copies with big text on large, durable sheets… turn those sheets into a hot air balloon… and drift around the office building of my old company in Seattle because there are 4 manager in-particular who need to read it, again and again.

“…when managers judge their employees’ work by the time they spend at the office, they impede the development of productive habits. By focusing on hours worked instead of results produced, they let professionals avoid answering the most critical question: “Am I currently using my time in the best possible way?” As a result, professionals often use their time inefficiently.”

I feel sorry for people who have to put up with stuff like that. (I used to be one of those people.)

More computer monitors means more productivity. [Note: “More” is highly subjective and basically results in 15 minutes per day.]
posted on Feb 13 2012

How many monitors do you have at home of at work?

At work I have 3, technically.
– Laptop
– Monitor hooked to laptop
– iPhone

I mention my iPhone because I use it as a notification device for news and information that many dedicate a single monitor to. Seriously, it buzzes all day long and is ridiculously annoying, which I’m sure reverses any productivity it might otherwise provide.

Also, I should note that when the iPad 3 (or whatever the heck they’ll call it… “iPad HD”??) is released next month I’m slapping one of these suckers to my monitor for a more improved viewing experience.

Gizmodo wrote a short piece on a NYT article. The learnings?

Anderson has calculated that it can save about 10 seconds for every five minutes of work if you have a dual-monitor set-up. Over the course of an eight hour day, that’s a saving of, oooh, 15 minutes.

The 5 hardest jobs to fill in 2012, and why you need to call me if you fit #1
posted on Dec 27 2011

The new year is upon us, you guys and gals. For many folks, new jobs are in the near future, especially for those in the arena of software development.

FastCompany posted an article surrounding the 5 hardest jobs to fill in 2012… and #1 is undeniably true.

Software Engineers and Web Developers
The demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. This is a major, major pain point and problem that almost every company is facing, regardless of the technology “stack” their engineers are working on.

We (by “we” I mean Doozer) are hiring. A lot. Here’s the list. The overwhelming majority of jobs posted are for our customers throughout Birmingham and Alabama.

If you’re interested please reach out via the website and/or myself: lhowell at doozer dot com.

We held our office decorating competition this morning. Am I doing it right?
posted on Dec 20 2011

Two pictures from last week’s Tulane-UTEP game at the Superdome that are beyond depressing
posted on Oct 18 2011

Tulane student body: 13,000
UTEP student body: 21,000
New Orleans metropolitan area population: 1,235,650
Two FBS programs in a conference game.

Tulane should have thrown in the towel when they had the chance.

Can we make today – the last Friday of every January – International Linchpin Day?
posted on Jan 28 2011

The Donald thinks you’re doing a good job. You’re not fired.

I’ve been slowly working my way through Seth Godin’s Linchpin over the last four weeks. As will all of Seth’s books, it’s worth every penny. (Buy it with that Amazon coupon we all bought on Living Social last week.)

An excerpt:

A linchpin is an unassuming piece of hardware, something you can buy for 69 cents at your local hardware store. It’s not glamorous, but it’s essential. It holds the wheel onto the wagon, the thingy onto the widget.

Every single organization has at least one linchpin; some have dozens or even thousands. The linchpin is the essential element, the person who holds part of the operation together. Without the linchpin the thing falls apart.

Who’s your linchpin?

For me (a new guy at a company) a linchpin is anyone that will answer any question I have in a short, simple answer that is both easy to remember and easy to apply.

Yesterday I asked a colleague to review a document containing a request for a proposal from a potential customer. I wanted his thoughts regarding certain aspects, and to what extent we could meet the potential customer’s needs.

Later that afternoon I get an email. He’s reviewed the document and has suggested next steps.

Wait, what?

This was no two page, bullet-pointed, simpleton document. This was a monster PDF containing crucial bits of information about a long-term agreement.

My colleague had no problems tackling the monster doc because he’s well-versed in the language of proposal requests, he’s intelligent, and he’s hard working. He’s seen a hundred documents like this and knows exactly how to break it down in order to analyze it in a manner that is both efficient and thorough. He’s a linchpin.

Linchpins need to be thanked. Why? Because if you don’t thank them, another company will.

[photo via 30fps – love that man]

Posting on the Nation
posted on Jan 25 2011

My first post on the Daxko Nation blog went live yesterday: What If You Could Wear Anything You Wanted to Work? (Ok, maybe not anything.)

The Daxko blog is choc full of free content on job interviewing, technology, and of course, culture. I’m hoping to average 2-3 times per month and will link on my Twitter feed when a post goes up.

Study links warm offices to fewer typing errors and higher productivity
posted on Jul 16 2010

Via HBR and Cornell (ever heard of it) Chilly Offices Limit Productivity:

Raising the temperature of an insurance company’s offices from 68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 C) reduced typing errors by 44% and boosted typing output by 150%, according to a monthlong study by Alan Hedge of Cornell. The higher, more comfortable temperature resulted in a savings for the employer of about $2 per worker per hour, Hedge says.

And you thought you had a bad day at the office
posted on Apr 20 2010

By now you’ve heard about the Apple iPhone leak. Now, hear how it happened.

Apple would like it’s phone back, please.

posted on Mar 29 2010

Timely nugget from this article.

“That jacket needs to be on the back of the office chair at 8 at night because everyone is trying to prove that they’re indispensable.”

Dance Baby Dance
posted on Mar 13 2010

Referenced our workplace team outing last week. One additional bonus was the closing of business within a short time frame, which we did.

My product line manager is former break dancer (seriously… awesome, huh?) therefore he agreed to break dance in the office if the goal was hit. I grabbed my iPhone and started to record. We didn’t think he’d seriously break dance in his work clothes when we hit our goal just 70 minutes before our deadline… but he did.

That loud, annoying laugh in the background? That’s me. Nice to know that some thing never change, right?

posted on Jul 8 2009

I’m going to make a judgmental statement. Ready? How were so many people (aside from those on summer break, stay-at-home moms, and people in hospitals or old folks homes) able to watch Micheal Jackson’s memorial service yesterday. I was under the impression that people (except for vampires) worked from 9 to 5. Can’t really comprehend any employee (with a job worth having in the middle of a global recession) to have the bravery to sit in from of TMZ.com for 3 hours on a Tuesday afternoon.

Ok, I’m done.

posted on Jan 29 2009

Ever wonder why employees would ever leave Google? Here’s swiped internal discussions from former Googlers.

Do & Don’t
posted on Jan 6 2009

Article: Where Americans Do—and Don’t—Want to Work and Live

It’s interesting that New York City is #1 on both the do-want-to and don’t-want-to lists. Seattle came in at #6 on the do-want-to live (wut!wut!).

I’m surprised Chicago and Boston were both so low on the do-want-to list.

posted on Dec 27 2008

Heeeeeeeck no…

    According to travel website Expedia’s eighth annual Vacation Deprivation Survey, an estimated 47.5 million Americans — 31% of employed U.S. adults — will not use all their vacation days in 2008.

Average IQ By Occupation
posted on Dec 2 2008

posted on Nov 25 2008

Hear Me Now?
posted on Jul 8 2008

Deadliest job in America: Working on cell phone towers