An Open Letter to The NFL

I'm an avid ice-hockey fan, and an occasional (bad) player. I also used to race motorcycles. I get what it is to do something that carries with it significant risk for life-changing head injuries. You do it either because you love it that much (which of course, few understand), or because it's become your livelihood. 

I also grew-up with a mother who was raised in an abusive home—physical and emotional. Her father regularly beat and cheated on his wife. Her mother turned to manipulation, denial, and drinking, as her way out. That was the 1940s & 50s.

The most heroic thing I think any person can do, is to do what my mom did: successfully break the cycle of abuse. It didn't come "naturally" or easy. It required a tremendous effort on her part—years of therapy, constant neurosis as a parent (that yes, did annoy her children), an intense struggle with depression, and by no means was she a perfect parent. As my brother and I (only recently) came to learn more of our mom's childhood, the intensity of her struggle—and for decades had been—became clear to us. How much we grew to admire and love her that much more for it, is beyond measure.

It's not natural to headbutt one's partner, because they don't want to have sex with you. Nor is it natural, to beat another individual with less than half the physical body-mass or strength that you do, into unconsciousness. Especially when that individual is the one you love the most in this world. I don't know why each individual person does it—but I do know, it's rarely because they're a decidedly "bad" or "immoral" person. 

Dropbox issues its first Transparency Report

This is an excellent and exciting step in the right direction, for a major business to establish within its corporate governance a regularly scheduled public report on an area of public accountability interest. For Dropbox, that issue is of course data privacy/security. The report itself has lots of folks on my Twitterstream up in arms with fury, over its released statistics. It's also generating some media buzz along the same lines. But, guess what? We're not guessing. We know the real numbers. That's a big risk for Dropbox to be taking. We need to support and applaud that effort. 

The commitment to hold itself accountable to its customers—regardless of probable press responses and/or customer retaliation—is un-orthodox, carries with it a lot of risk for Dropbox, but is also a risk the Tech community is ready for. Parallel to their Transparency Report, Dropbox also has posted a plain-English, short-read page that outlines its Government Data Request Principles. Upon doing further research, I also uncovered their Privacy Policy and was very surprised to find it formatted... not in all-caps, not packed with legalese, and not a gazillion pages long. Its sections are broken-up into tabs, and it's—like—usable! What can I say: warm fuzzies abound for this UX'er, upon seeing just that.

Reciprocity, participation, and building this thing. Together.

Watchdog websites are easy. They bore me, and that whole "making the world a better place, cuz we're out to get you if you're evil!" schtick tastes bitter. Life is short, why take the bitter path?

Seeding change through positive engagement among energized folks, just seems a whole lot funner. Looking at that critically, it also seems a more likely path to yield results that sustain. Sustainability is a good thing.

I also really appreciate the proactive distinction that a Code of Conduct has, from it's more restrictive and reactive counterpart The Policy. Rules via policies just... well, they just beg to be broken. By interesting people, at least. Policies by nature, establish that "Welcome to kindergarten, no running with scissors!" dynamic, whereas conduct codes set clear boundaries while also establishing a clear expectation of responsibility and accountability, on the part of the signor.

All of the above are values I'm bringing with me into this endeavor. They've all informed this early draft of the EqualTogether Pact, that I'm envisioning as a centerpoint in our evolving and unique business model.

Battle less, better more. Feedback: please, always!