I had an epiphany this week. It's about the dynamics that underlie my 8 years of consulting work, and my intellectual hobbies. This "ah ha!" moment came to me because of a certain client project that I started working on this week. It was further stimulated by the 1000-piece puzzle my kid and I are working on.
Here's the epiphany:
All of my work and intellectual pursuits start with opaque information, which I apply analytical clarity to, resulting with actionable outcomes. Ah Ha!
I suppose this is a rather strange-sounding dynamic. Let me explain it this way ...
The 1000-Piece Puzzle
I don't normally play my child's games, without my child. However, after she had gone to bed, I stayed up late in order to finish that darned puzzle. And I don't even like puzzles that much, especially ones covered with flowers. But there I was, late into the night, diligently working on the blasted thing.
It was several nights of this before I asked myself "Why? Why this obsession?"
I realized that it was because:
the unorganized puzzle pieces comprise opaque information.
figuring out the optimal approaches for building the puzzle in the shortest time requires analytical clarity.
- finishing the puzzle is an actionable outcome.
A New Strategic Initiative Plan Project
A new project involves helping my client figure out an optimal approach for a new company initiative. To do so, we're looking at analogous approaches taken by other companies. Prior to starting on this, another consultant had already prepared a report for my client. That report is interesting, but rather opaque. My job is to apply analytical clarity to that work, ideally resulting in an actionable outcome for the company — i.e. a recommended optimal approach for the new initiative.
Through Aqua, I help market and sell patent portfolios. My main role involves preparing claim charts and offering documents. The information I start from includes patent claims, product documentation, and market analyses. Collectively, this information is rather opaque. I apply analytical clarity to it, in order to help produce an actionable outcome — i.e. the sale of a portfolio
I start with opaque information — the market for a client and its core inventions — and then apply analytical clarity to produce actionable outcomes — i.e. broad patent applications filed on future ideas, forming a protective "fence" around my client's business.
Custom Data Mining
My clients provide me with opaque gigabytes of data, plus their questions concerning the data. I apply analytical clarity (including statistical techniques and coding) to produce actionable outcomes — i.e. measured answers to the questions, including suggestions for forward action.
In this work, I start with the opaque world of the USPTO database, and apply analytical clarity in the form of searching and ranking. This results in an actionable outcome for my clients — i.e. a ranked list of patents (including the owners) comprising a "shopping list" of assets to buy.
Enneagram and the Brain Research
A little over a decade ago, I self-published a web book called "Personality and the Brain: A hacker's journey through the Enneagram and the emerging brain research". The work of this book started with two thick Enneagram books, as well as numerous neuroscience studies and books. To this opaque body of knowledge I applied analytical clarity to boil each of the two domains down to two pairs of mind-state attributes (optimism vs. pessimism, aware fear vs. unaware fear).
Next week, I will be buying a 3D printer. The first thing I will print is an EEG headset designed by OpenBCI. I plan on using this headset to conduct EEG studies seeking to reject or affirm a key part of the hypothesis of my book. The first actionable outcome will be either a firm closure on my old ideas, or a bold new beginning, with follow-on research.
And there you have it. My consulting work, my chief, current, side-project, and my home play — all of it fits the same pattern.
Well, I guess that I am just an one-note player. :)
But if you, or someone you know, has an actionable outcome in mind, but only opaque info at hand, and you think analytical clarity might help ... I'm your guy!