I’ve been inspired to write…by reading

Common sense right [the title]? Perhaps thats why they say “its not so common”.

2012 has been a tumultuous year, but not for the many reasons that often follow such a word. For starters, I’ve endured (or perhaps enjoyed, if we’re being honest) a great deal of change over the past 10 months. I’ve made new friends, met new people, started a new relationship, and in just about every aspect that means anything to me, I’ve entirely changed my life. Stepping out of poor eating habits, I stepped into the gym. Putting down the game controller, I picked up the guitar. And for my latest trick, I’ll be eliminating the excuses and finally turning my thoughts into words.

For anyone who’s read anything I’ve posted online before, this next bit should be no surprise. The difference however is the source my newfound motivation. For as the title implies, I’ve found new inspiration to get on with my writing…and once again, I did so by reading.

A Personal Diaspora” is the title of a little known web blog beautifully crafted and manicured by a friend of mine, Kevin Laughlin. Now Kevin may not posses the digital marketing skills necessary to get his blog featured on Digg, or Reddit, or any other online aggregator, but in short I’m not sure he’d be interested. For, in its simplest form, “A Personal Diaspora” is but a public storage unit that Kevin uses to offload his saddled mind. Through reflectional narratives of varying depths, and intriguing, if not controversial, argumentative essays, the contents of “A Personal Diaspora” is as diverse as the diction and syntax and that compose it.

So where am I going with all of this? Simple really. As of late I’ve started a dialogue with Kevin. One through wich I’d like to think both sides have found some inspiration. I however, more then he, have found the inspiration and, let us hope, the talent to write and to write often.  As should be evident by the revamped look and feel, I plan to re-begin-again (3rd times a charm) my writing.

So check back here, and check back often…I’m pretty much almost mostly completely serious this time.


Michele and I

Where oh where to begin? Let us try the beginning…

It had been well over two years since my last real relationship had ended and since then, I’d done little more then waste a good deal of money on a few good times and some fun memories (no offense ladies, all 3 of you). Then, on a sunny blue sky Saturday in mid-March, on a rooftop in downtown Chicago as I watched the river die green…it happened.

-St. Patrick’s Day, 2012.

Anyone who knows me also knows I’m a hopeless romantic. And I’d spent the past 24 months or so, proving it. But on this day, as I drank green beer and ogled at the view with my good friend Brian I had little idea how, by the end of the night, everything would change. I’d only recently begun “talking” (the new-age term for “chasing” or “courting”) with a young Whirlpool engineer named Michele. Michele and I were both committee leads for the Whirlpool Young Professional’s Network so we’d met earlier in the year. Brought together, in small part, by a mutual friend, we’d been carrying on a conversation based heavily on an agreed fandom of everything College Basketball (it was March after all, remember?). On this day however, the topic changed. By mid-day we’d spent a majority of the time casually drinking and joking between the 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5 to 10 of us all up on the Chicago rooftop. Just as the afternoon was peaking, and the daytime party was about to conclude, I suddenly felt my mouth saying things my mind had only recently come up with…3 minutes later, we had a date on the schedule for that following Wednesday.

It has been over 6-months since that fateful day on the roof in downtown Chicago. In July Michele moved down to Tulsa, OK for a 6-month work assignment at a Whirlpool Factory, she’ll be back in January. We talk every evening and facetime on our iPads/iPhones almost every night. I can honestly say, I’ve never found it so easy to spend time, share life, and fall in love, with another person.

As I tell myself every day, I’m a lucky guy. Hopefully, I’m on to something.

My email to Jason Calacanis…

I recently overhead on TWIT a few months ago that as an alternative to the blogging lifestyle he had been enjoying for quite some time, millionaire technology entrepreneur Jason Calacanis had begun an email list. A list to whom he composes roughly 1500 word emails simiar in content and context to the blog entrys he was previously known for. Well lets jus say I had no choice but to sign up, my internal geek had already filled out the sign-up form before had even had a chance to read it.

Well needless to say, I’ve been getting emails on a semi-regular basis (maybe monthly to semi-monthly) however none have hit home or been as rivetting as his most recent The 120% Solutions.

This email seemed so in-depth and yet personal that I had no choice but to indulge my desire to reply and the following was my effort to do just that. (Note: It may be prudent to read the email prior to reading my response to get good understanding of context.)

Mr. Calacanis

I know I’ve got to be one of only about 17,000 replies you’ve received regarding this astonishingly well thought-out and developed email. I myself, a (soon to be graduating) information technology college student am looking out at the big bad world of reality with a sense of sheer terror.

I’ve worked hard, taken plenty of classes and am looking to accomplish a feat that is growing all to uncommon in today’s college society, graduate in four years like you’re supposed to! But all has left me virtually jobless, completing maybe 10 hours of freelance web development work a month and getting paid net 45 (which btw is long enough to forget you even did the work and all of the sudden wonder where the money mysteriously came from), as well as literally broke and in debt up to my eyeballs (thank goodness I’m tall or I’d be in over my head). The question I would like to pose to you, is what sort of advice and or criticism might you have for a young guy like me. I see the economy is disarray, I see my bank account in deep red, I see my dreams of technology fortune slipping into the distance and I feel the weight of reality falling on my shoulders.

I’m a little unsure what the odds are I might ever receive a response to this reply, I simply wanted to share my thoughts in hopes that it might spur thought for a future email addressed to the stressing college student who once thought it couldn’t get worse that an all-nighter in the library during finals week and now realizes that they may be the best is EVER gets for a while to come. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared, I’m nervous and I’m completely un-financially capable of financing a graduate degree in engineering (yep, I took note of that) so I’m also in need of an alternative solution.

I sincerely thank you for your time in the event that you read this and would simply like to add that if you ever find yourself on TWIT(My favorite

podcast) and accidently say the words “Hi Vaughn, I just wanted to prove that I DID read your email” I wouldn’t mind one bit 🙂

-Vaughn Johnson-



The Big Switch could become The Big Paper [I hope] – my new book

So I’ve got to write a paper, needless to say I’m not sycked. Its not a short one, 10 to 15 pages, and its not a simple one, select an emerging technology and write about how it either is, or could be a competative advantage. I’ve chosen the cloud, cloud computing that is, on the premis that the ermerging technological innovations surrounding it will undoubedly affect the way many current companies do business as well as the business models of many current and future startups. More on the book I bought, Nicholas Carr’s new one, The Big Switch, to help me achive this miricle of paper, in a later post as I hope to being posting at a much higher rate. No joke! I’ve made it an Outlook Task, its so totally official, before long it will be as much a part of my weekly routine as sex, alcohol, TWIT, MacBreak Weekly, and Buzz Out Loud…I’m just kidding, alcohol isn’t ALWAYS weekly, only when I can afford it 😉