Tom Ortega II

Archive for 2016|Yearly archive page

The Life Cycle of Commerce

In Business, Technology and Software on December 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

TL;DR

Commerce has a life cycle just like human life does. Our world is full of patterns that oft repeat, why should commerce be any different? We started with bazaars and villages, then shops and cities, then department stores and metropolises, then malls/big box stores and suburbs, and finally (I predict) a return to the bazaar and village lifestyle with a technology twist.

I see the traditional retail model ending. Recently, we saw enclosed malls die off in 2006. Next, it was big box stores (sans food retailers) in 2013. With the explosion of home based businesses in 2016, the future is very clear. The bazaars of old where vendors congregated to meet consumers will make a comeback with a spin: No longer will either party have to go anywhere because the bazaars will be rise from suburban neighborhoods via home based businesses. Much like Amazon is a software driven business, so too will these new bazaars be driven by modern software. The difference is that instead of one software platform to serve them all (as in Amazon’s case), these new bazaars will be driven by a hodgepodge of various mobile apps and complimentary platforms, mimicking the diverse makeup of the new industry they will serve. Read the rest of this entry »

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Farewell, Tupperware Cup, Thanks for the Memories

In Life on October 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

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‘Tis a sad day. One of my vintage Tupperware cup finally cracked. 😦

It may seem silly to pine over a cracked cup from the late 70s. Therefore, lemme give some background on why this is so sad to me: I used to use these cups all the time in my younger years.

I remember sneaking drinks of my grandma’s coffee, which was really just sugary milk with a hint of Folgers. (She shoulda made Grandmabucks, charged $6 per cup and made a killing, but alas I digress.)

I remember dunking Pan Dulce on Pan Tuesday at my Uncle Enrique’s house.

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Don’t be a political label, be a complex person

In Community, Life on October 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Read this good article first, then read this.

That linked article is a good read, even if the title is a bit sensationalist. I love the juxtaposition of how the writer makes your realize you both love and hate the exact same ideal presented in two different ways. John mentioned me in his link to the article and while this started out as a comment there, I figured I should just make my own post because it’s a topic very dear to my heart and mind.

My problem is with our country’s divide. From day one of this election year, my battle tune has been the same: I hope the 2 party system dies. To me, it is the 2 party system that is feeding, energizing and growing this great divide. With 2 sides, you can’t agree on anything because that means you’ve “joined the other side”. With more than 2 parties, you can compromise and still be seen as being true to yourself. Why am I so certain that we can kill the 2 party system and still be okay? Because I’ve never been a one party kinda guy.

I’m outside the divide. I’m a big city boy, have been most of my life (I LOVE New York and Hong Kong), but was also very spiritually minded for again my whole life. I grew up poor in an inner-city ghetto, but am now close to a 1%er living in farm country of a red state (and love the small town, family friendly vibe).

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True Genius

In Silicon Valley Living on September 16, 2016 at 10:54 am

Every once awhile, life will present you an opportunity to meet a true genius. You all have stories, I’m sure of when you met yours. Though, I’m willing to bet you would be hard pressed to match the experience that Doug Menuez has had. Here’s a brief excerpt from his bio on one (just one!) of his many projects, but the one that introduced me to him.

He gained exclusive, unprecedented access to record the rise of Silicon Valley from 1985-2000 and documented the private daily lives of its most brilliant innovators, including three years with Steve Jobs, as well as covering Bill Gates, John Warnock, Carol Bartz, Andy Grove, John Sculley, Bill Joy, and John Doerr during an era when more jobs and wealth were created than at any time in human history.

For 15 years, he covered tech when it went from quietly changing the world behind the scenes to becoming the in your face revolution that continues to this day. This man had unfettered access to a man that many claim is the single most important business person to ever walk this planet, Steve Jobs.
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On Being Special

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2016 at 9:55 am

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/unhappy

This describes me in high school & college. I used to be obsessively creative. I often wrote several poems a day or several short stories a week or labored over a drawing for hours on end for days and days. I would listen to people talk at school noting how many topics were covered and what the sentences were that switched the topics. I’d put headphones on with no music so I could get really close to strangers and listen to the cadence of their conversations, to note how the were blunt or dancing around a topic, and their word choice. I remember having this huge capacity to love and since no girl wanted me to love them, I directed all that emotion and energy into creative works.

Traveling soon replaced creative energy. Seeing how other people lived around the world became a past time for me. I still love to watch people when I travel. I love to pick out the tourists from the natives as I depart a plane and walk around a city.

I guess I’ve always felt connected to the world without actually being connected to it.

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How I’m Giving Back

In Community, Learning, Life on June 1, 2016 at 5:30 am

How I’m Giving Back – Biggest Dreams / Toughest Challenges Yet

I’m in my 40th year, about to turn 41 in September. As I look forward, I realize that I really only have one more super productive 20 year block in me. My 60 to 80 year will be a good block to offer advice to others, finally have my wife all to myself again, and enjoy grandkids. Therefore, if I have any more ambitious activities, they’ll have to take place in the 40 to 60 year block.

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Why I Can Give Back

In Community, Life, Silicon Valley Living on June 1, 2016 at 5:29 am

Why I Can Give Back – More Help Along the Way that Made Me Successful

For the second 20 years of my life, I paused the hope phase and began the execution phase. I realized coming into this block that I wanted to be married with kids, have a good programming job and start my foray into the business world. It wasn’t easy to execute on any of those three things. In fact, at 20 years old, I was a college drop out with no girlfriend (much less a person to marry and have kids with), no job at all (much less one dealing with programming software) and starting a business seemed like the furthest thing from my mind. I don’t remember feeling hopeless or helpless though. I knew that I was going to have to start at the bottom and work my way up. I just knew in my heart that there would be people along the way to help me. That just seemed logical to me since there were people the first 20 years, so I decided to get started as soon as possible.

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Where My Desire to Give Back Comes From

In Learning, Life on June 1, 2016 at 5:28 am

Where My Desire to Give Back Comes From – Being Poor but Loved and Lucky

For the first 20 years of my life, I was poor but happy with a heart full of hope and a head full of dreams. My family life was idyllic in the sense that I was surrounded by love from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and my lil brother. Not only that, but I had great friends in all stages of my education: from grammar school to high school to my 1 year stint at college. (Sidenote: all my schooling was private, no public school for me.) The fact that I never had money didn’t bother me. I was rich in love, the only true treasure in life.

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Giving Back with Time and Code

In Life on June 1, 2016 at 5:26 am

Note: If you’re religious, read my thoughts on this is at my spiritual blog.

As I constantly confess, I live a truly blessed life. So much so that I feel I have to start giving back. Since this giving back thing is going to occupy the next 20 years worth of my life, I figure I should give a bit of backstory. I’d like to talk a bit about where this desire comes from, why I feel like I can give back and how I’m planning to go about doing it. This is not about Open Source Software, but the beginning of something I’m going to sappily call Open Hope Software.

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