Monday, December 12, 2011

Sharpening the Saw—HTML 5

The last of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Successful People” is Sharpen the Saw.

It’s something I advocate a lot when I teach marketing classes and something that I also struggle with working into my schedule.

Every now and then though, I wake up in the middle of the night having a mild innovation panic attack where I think to myself, “there’s a big wave of change coming and I feel like I am behind.”

In this case, the technology on which I didn’t feel like I have a good enough grip was HTML 5.

In hindsight, it was a combination of factors pushed me to set aside an entire morning to investigate and play around with it using the W3 tutorial.

First off, I read Fred Wilson’s post on “Program or Be Programmed.”

Coming on the heels of my trips to China and India, it really struck a chord with me.

It’s one thing to know how to use the technology (here are my guides on how I use software and hardware), but it’s another thing ENTIRELY to understand how it all works.

Fred’s link to Code Academy set me off and I spent a few hours improving my JavaScript. I’m far from an expert, but I did get a bit better. (here’s my profile)

Then, I saw a fantastic presentation by Roger McNamee from TEDxSantaCruz on “Disruption and Engagement.” He had 6 big trends…the last, and most important of which, was HTML 5.

So, am I an expert in HTML5?

Not by any stretch. You can take a look at my little, simplistic effort here. In fact, at the time of this post, the video wasn’t working, but that doesn’t matter. That page is nothing earth shattering, but that’s not the point. (note: not all browsers support HTML5 yet).

The point isn’t to become an expert in HTML5 (or any other technology).

The point is that at least a decent understanding of how it works and what it can do will (I hope) allow me to discover innovative solutions to business (and other) problems.

Remember, if the question is “How do you do…?” The answer is “Google” or “Bing” (hey, got to show the love to MS Smile).

All of us can do it…it’s just a question of making it a priority.

And with China and India raising the stakes in terms of the need for personal and national competitiveness, it must be.

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