Author Archives: Michael Katz

Not So Risky Business

As you are no doubt unaware, my older brother – my much older brother – turned 70 this past week. And so, in celebration of this truly once in a lifetime event, assorted family members are gathering tonight in celebration at a restaurant in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Harvard Square can be a busy spot. Finding a place to park (we live too far to have any other option) is difficult. How difficult? Well, let’s just say that on a Friday night, you’d have an easier time getting admitted to Harvard […] Click to read more…

Too Small to Fail

A few years ago, my son Evan and a friend started a board game company. It’s grown quite nicely, allowing them both to quit their jobs and do this full time. At some point over the past year, they started outsourcing customer service to a wonderful, perpetually cheerful woman named Sarah. She works virtually and part-time, as needed. Most of her customer service role – all done over email – involves responding to customers whose games were either damaged in transit or never arrived at all. Everything is shipped through third parties (Amazon, […] Click to read more…

I *NOT* Robot

Maybe you’ve heard about the new artificial intelligence thingy called ChatGPT? According to Wikipedia – my go to source for quick explanations, music trivia, and unreliable medical facts – ChatGPT is, “a prototype artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI which specializes in dialogue.” You create an account (it’s free), log-in, and type in a question or request. However, unlike a traditional search engine (Google, Bing, etc.), it doesn’t point you to things out on the Internet. Instead, it responds, in dialogue form, based on the vast trove of “knowledge” it has at its robotic fingertips. […] Click to read more…

Reverse Healing

Alert readers may recall that I had shoulder surgery recently. In fact, as I write this, it has been exactly six weeks to the day since I went under the knife (not that you bothered to call). How has the recovery been? Well, as the old saying goes, there’s not a lot about it that reminds you of opening presents on Christmas morning. It’s a slow and painful process. And yet, despite all that, I have to say that the human body’s ability to heal is pretty remarkable. Think about it. Somebody […] Click to read more…

Off-Peak Performance

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, my immediate family decided to gather in Atlanta last weekend for an off-peak version of this annual event. Was it because we were hoping to save money on the cost of a bird? No, but you raise a good point. Rather, it was because with my three grown children spread out across the country like election night journalists – Atlanta, Denver, Portland Oregon – and my wife and me living in Massachusetts, the logistics of getting everyone together for a Zoom call, let alone a […] Click to read more…