A Digital Trail

A Digital Trail


Recently, the marvellous Seth Godin published a post entitled “Are you willing to build a trail?“, subtitled “Are you willing to work hard enough to get work?”

Well, I am, although I’ve been at it for over a year now, with precious little to show for it by way of income. I’ve been sharing with folks my belief that, realistically, I don’t ever expect to find paid work again. Not out of choice, you understand, but out of despair for finding any kind of work that I could in all conscience get behind, get into and enjoy.

Anyways, Seth’s post spurred my to writing this one – and setting out my “digital trail”. We’ll see if it has any result, other than offering an opportunity to vent.

Aside: I’ve yet to meet any prospective client, partner, employer, etc. that could even be bothered to visit my blog, let alone engage in conversation regarding one or more of my posts.

Digital Trail

Personal Website

My personal website is fallingblossom.com


Is it safe to assume as you’re reading this, that you know the URL for my blog?


I’m @FlowchainSensei on Twitter (and @HumaneSoltns, too).


If you’re really interested, you can find my career history on my LinkedIn profile.

Some Past Work

Although I hold that past work is little related to future potential, here’s just a few highlights:

  • Founded the first Agile software house and consultancy in Europe (Familiar Limited).
  • Founded the first ever secure web-based e-commerce business (The Object Warehouse).
  • Created the first commercial Modula-2 Compiler, on PDP11s (RSTS/E, RT11, RSX) and VAXes
  • Helped many, many people find more satisfaction in their chosen path.

Voluntary Work

In my spare time I’ve taught hundreds of people to ride safely, likely saving dozens of lives.


In my personal work, I’ve created Rightshifting, the Marshall Model, the Antimatter PrincipleFlowChainProd•gnosis, Emotioneering and other cutting-edge ideas. Unpublished works include Contextual Databases, various software tools, and a replacement for CRUD form-based interfaces in systems of record.

Best Lesson

The best lesson I’ve learned from Steve McConnell is Rightshifting.

Connecting With People

Here’s just one of many blog posts that have changed the way I think about connecting with people, online and in meat space.


I feature in some number of online videos – here’s just one, on Rightshifting and the Marshall Model:

Current Work

I’ve been working solidly on my own themes for the past year – and intermittently for many more years than that. This makes me happy because it meets my needs for making meaningful connections with many like-minded folks in the global software community. And for mutual exploration of key issues facing everyone involved in – or dependent on -software and product development.

It fails, however, to meet my needs for making a real difference – despite many kind folks reassuring me that I am. Hence my continued search for a place – or places – where that may happen.

– Bob

  1. Daniel Breston said:

    Interesting post from Seth and you, thank you for sharing. It caused me to think about my own audit trail. It also caused me to realise that like you when people ask for career history you hand them a CV or send them to LinkedIn. Wondering if there is a better way (has to be)?!

  2. For all it’s worth, your contribution throughout these years enriched and provided food for my own thoughts. For that, I thank you. We all get overwhelmed by tons of information 24×7, however, so don’t be too upset if people (including me) don’t engage as much as you’d wish with your blog or ideas 🙂
    Aside for the occasional laser-deep journey in particular areas of interest, I admit hardly “follow” anyone these days, I pick what I can from the endless flow of past and present ideas.

    I would suggest that your work of late seeks to fulfil your need for autonomy, mastery and, perhaps even more importantly, purpose. A digital trail may be useful to HR (which would barely glance at it), but most of that information may simply address some of the anxiety that employers may have (although, I feel, too indirectly). The risk I see is that the digital trail may still focus too much on the product (you and your past), rather than positioning you in a way that directly addresses the jobs and outcomes that your ideal employer would seek to accomplish by hiring you. I hope I’m making some sense.

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