January 9, 2013 61

Duff Johnson in a dry suit.After 17 years as a founder, CEO and then president of three companies, it’s time for me to hang out my own shingle. Finally – no payroll! The QuickBooks site tells me I’ll be able to run this business from my iPhone. I’m skeptical, but then, I’m always skeptical.

I’ve worked as a consultant on many occasions throughout my career in the electronic document space. I was just thinking about my first job involving a remote data connection; integrating a contact management system for the good folks at NDI, in Washington DC, back in 1995.

It was a simpler, more innocent time when Netscape ruled the web (or what passed for the web back then). I would login to the server in Washington DC from Madison, WI to upload changes. I could even screen-share, to see what it all looked like locally – that was magic!

As an end-user in those days, you really cared about whether your modem connected to a “new” 33.6 kbps unit at your ISP. You really noticed when you were pushed to one of the older 28.8 kbps modems. Even bandwidth obsessives wouldn’t dream of cursing a <5 kbps difference today! In 1994/1995 I remember pounding the desk in frustration and reconnecting over and over in the hopes of hearing exactly the right warble from the tinny little speaker on the modem card.

Ah, those were the days.

In addition to SCUBA diving, I’m back to consulting now, but I’ve been around the block a few times since. I’m here to help across a diverse range of issues. Electronic document technology? Accessibility? User experience? Strategic assessment? Message development? If I can’t help in a significant way, I’ll say so right away, and hopefully, have someone else to recommend. I’m won’t waste my time, or yours, on marginal returns.

Stay tuned! There’s more to come.