So who is The Schwartz and why is he blogging?

This is the most I I I post you’ll ever see here – apologies in advance. Just trying to introduce myself – which I’ll only need to do once.

I’m Jon Schwartz, but not the CEO of Sun. There are a surprising number of Jon Schwartzes in the world. When I took a job at Microsoft, there was literally a Jon Schwartz down the hall and around the corner, on the same team. We did a lot of shuffling misdirected email, snailmail and office visitors. I’ve been doing my own thing (again) since leaving Microsoft in 2001.

I’m a software developer, user experience designer (not graphics designer) and an entrepreneur. I’ve been a user experience specialist since 1992, when a friend first showed me how and why to run a usability study, and when Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer introduced me to Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Design through their training program. I use a lighter process of my own now, but the organization and discipline of their process is extremely valuable training.

I’m co-founder of Morrison Schwartz, Inc., a software development and consulting company, and The Phrogram Company, a brand new startup this summer of 2006. Along with Jonah Stagner and Walt Morrison, I’m one of the inventors of Kid’s Programming Language, which released in July 2005 and has been a real grassroots success story. Much more about that in later blog posts, of course.

I’m an optimist who, when necessary, reminds self and others that reality isn’t optional.

I’m blogging for several reasons:

  1. I like to write, and this is a good way to make myself do it more
  2. I do a lot of browsing and filtering of news and information on topics that interest me – and I hope that the filtering and linking I do will help others with shared interests to do their own filtering
  3. Particularly in the fast moving tech world that I live and work in, blogging has passed the tipping point so that the interconnected web of bloggers is now the fastest, most credible, most thoughtful and most grassroots way that information spreads around the world (of course, that would not be true without the search engines, RSS, and the Internet itself – and the early adopters who got us past that tipping point)
  4. I’ve been working professionally in the software world for 20 years, from huge companies to startups, doing development, project management, design, usability testing, marketing, documentation, and entrepreneurial startups, on PCs, the Web and mobile devices – so I have a lot of valuable experience and perceptions that I am told I should be sharing
  5. I really like the idea that blogging in a principled, honest, useful, spin-free and non-PR way could turn out to be effective marketing and PR for myself, my companies and my products – while leaving me with a clear conscience
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