Serve Up Yourself - Connect to a Community
2009 edition of Meet shares practices

Enduring risks to survive viral times

NewsWire Editorial
By Ron Seybold

  We’ve been wrestling with risk at my house this month. The flu made its debut just as November started, and so a period of recovery and a return to health commenced, too. We’re not flu shot people, Abby and I, so we weather the risk of letting a virus have its way with our immune systems. Both beyond 50, we’re in the generation that drank from garden hoses, ate burgers that dropped to the dirt, and played for hours after we skinned our knees outside.

    That’s all risky behavior, but so is rolling the dice on a flu shot, or deciding that it’s time to cut over in a massive migration. The shots and the migrations flow from sound advice, but they are solutions that carry a potential downside, too. A flu shot can give you a dose of the flu, and every virus has powerful evolution properties that let it evade a vaccine after just a few months, maybe weeks. (I’ve researched viral behavior for my just-finished novel Viral Times, but years of study that doesn’t make me an expert, just an informed storyteller. You can read more at

    We all tell ourselves stories as a way of surviving and thriving. Our story this month has been something like, “Okay, it’s just the flu. Here’s how you outlast the symptoms, and here’s how you protect yourself while your sweetheart gets through her bout.” We’ve developed our natural immunity for reasonable risk in our lives since we started the NewsWire together more than 14 years ago. Thanks to you, we survived the risk and thrived.

    During more than half of that 14 years we have seen many of you managing the risk of 3000 transitions. Transition, as I’ve preached, describes the condition of nearly every member of the 3000 community: the homesteading customers who need new support providers and new DIY skills; the migrators, making a shift to a new environment and new apps; the solutions providers, shifting to new markets or shoring up their resolve to serve 3000 sites for another seven years.

    If you think of transition as a virus, then we’ve lived in viral times ever since events in this month changed our lives during 2001. You can reach for a vaccine if you feel the risk of homesteading is too great. Or you can rely on the immunity you’ve developed in your career and your company’s resolve to weather unproductive changes. Flu shot, or no shot, you manage risk and try to avoid a deadly illness.

    Everyone has a flu story by this time in the season, either something they’ve heard or read, something a healthcare pro has told them, or the firsthand experience of staving it off and dodging infection. There will be no completely effective, permanent vaccine for viruses. We’ve lived alongside them for tens of thousands of years. The risk hasn’t eliminated our species yet, even while these viral times have culled out people with underlying conditions.

    You can eliminate your underlying risks. Many people are taking risks now, during the months remaining until HP shuts off its 3000 interests, because they have no other choice. They pursue migrations that could fail and cost millions. They remain in lockstep with 3000s when they have nobody left on staff who knows the in-house accounting application. In both cases, the companies could get mortally ill. Perhaps they survive, like nearly everyone who gets the flu. In 1918 fewer than 2 percent died out of those who got the worst virus in human history.

    You don’t want to be among the 2 percent of your community, or even someone who’s survived the flu and lost fitness, your savings, or contact with your friends and loved ones. We risk becoming distant when exposure means danger, cutting ourselves off to stay out of the risk pool. You want to stay connected during a risky time, relying on the herd of your fellow 3000 owners and partners to share practices to help maintain your IT health.

    I could find no better example of this connection than this fall’s e3000 Community Meet outside San Francisco. The first day of Fall this year brought 40-plus IT pros, nearly all over age 50, into one room where they could exchange what was working and where they observed risky practices. Sharing our stories and contacts in that room was a booster shot of information and hope. We’re all old enough to recall booster shots, while many of us have parented enough to experience the gauntlet of immunizations our kids have endured. Precaution has always been good medicine.

    Vaccines have enabled extraordinary lifespans in our generation, even in the US. But there are some bouts of disease that we’ve got to bull through, letting our bodies spin the magic antibodies while we rest, hydrate and pray for recovery. Setting a transition in play looks like a bout of flu season to me, here in a house where we’ve sanitized, slept late and downed chicken soup and juice. You might not understand everything in the steps of a migration, or building a sustainability plan for homesteading. But you can avoid being in the two percent by staying connected and learning what’s working, gathering the latest advice on how to pass through the fever pitch of  “Change now.”

    There’s no avoiding change, either. There hasn’t been a year in human history without a flu virus, and somehow we’ve survived up to now. You wash your hands, cough into your elbow, amass your gurus and sanitize yourself from undocumented critical apps. Take one of two paths, migration or sustaining homesteading. Call us in the morning, or your darkest night. Meet these risks during viral times head-on, with connections.