Back to work… aims for 2018


As I said in my kickoff post on 1st Jan, most of my new posts will be blockchain related, but some won’t! Well this is one that isn’t, at least not in a big way. Given that it’s that time again, the last day of the Christmas break, before back to work tomorrow, I thought I would outline my aims for the upcoming year.

As you might expect I’ve a fairly varied set of aims for 2018, obviously work at Microsoft will keep me busy a fair bit! We’ve got a few projects to get going before the end of FY18 in June, and obviously the continuous drive for active usage on Office 365. My main aim for work outside of general projects is to see people, and ideally people on my team, more often! One of the challenges of working as part of a WW team is the lack of in person connection, so the aim will be very much to get together wherever possible.

In a sense, that aim to get together with people leads into my next major goal, to rebuild/refresh my network. Over the years both in and outside Microsoft I’ve worked with and met hundreds of people and connected with many of them on LinkedIn. Since moving on from my Exchange MVP and Technical Specialist days, I have lost touch with many people. Obviously much of that is due to diverging interests and activities, but some is just laziness. So one of my aims for 2018 is to reconnect with some of those people and then actively seek out new contacts in the blockchain space.



Learn more about trading… it’s been a massive frustration to me, that there seem to be loads of people making money trading crypto currencies and tokens. Frankly, being realistic, I suspect that there are a few people making loads of money and most people losing money! Anyhow, in many ways i’ve fitted into both categories in 2017. I got into crypto in June and was fortunate to buy 5.43 BTC. However, whilst my total holding has risen in value, I now only have 3.9 BTC. So all in all, not entirely successful. In 2018 I want to do something about that and intend to start building a more balanced portfolio. Most likely keeping around 75% in BTC and splitting 25% across various Alt coins that look promising. I’m also intending to study some of the multitude of courses out there on FX trading to learn a little more of the science, and perhaps art of trading.

Build a coin… I think it would be rather cool to have actually started a coin. A friend and I have a couple of ideas so that’s high on the list for 2018. I think the learning that comes from this activity could be really valuable in any future career direction in Blockchain. Realistically it’s going to require some coding skill… so i’m starting the fundamentals courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy and am going to check out PluralSight too.

Start Staking… more and more coins these days seem to be moving to the proof of stake model. I.e. if you buy into the community by holding coins then you benefit from the community by receiving a percentage of new coins and transaction fees generated through the running of the network (i.e. staking/mining), which ultimately is what keeps the network operating. At the moment i’m looking at CloakCoin and NAV as two options here, although likely I will get back into NEO at some point too.

Blockchain events / conferences… as mentioned above I want to start building a new network of contacts in a new space. To aid that goal I’m going to look out various events, mostly UK based to start with and perhaps further afield if they tie up with other work related travel.



I’m very excited that I’ve been asked to play the Finzi Clarinet Concerto with the Oare String Orchestra in September this year. It’s been a long time… i.e. over fifteen years since I last played a concerto with an orchestra, so this is a great opportunity to do something I love. As part of that it’s my intention to play every day in 2018.

I’m also hoping to find a pianist to start a Clarinet and Piano duo and in 2018 want to give a lunchtime recital. On top of that I will hopefully be part of at least a couple more Blackwater Valley Wind Quintet concerts.


Health and Wellbeing 

Be a better husband and dad. It’s been great being predominantly at home during Edward’s three years, but having said that it’s important to actually be fully present rather than distracted… phones away! Same goes for being a husband. After 16+ years of marriage it’s easy sometimes to take things for granted. This is a year to change that.

Of course none of the above will be possible without staying fit and healthy. To that end my major aim is to up my squash level. Right now I think my level is higher than represented by the matches i’ve played, but my aim is to prove that in tournaments this year. The start of that will be in Guildford on 14th Jan. Obviously a big part of upping my level will be improving my fitness and losing some weight. My aim is to lose just over a stone and work with a physic to build up my knees to keep them in working order for a little while longer!

Bedtime… sleep! With a youngster around the house sleep is never guaranteed, whilst we bounce between episodes of tonsillitis. Add that on top of managing a team in Asia and having a boss in Seattle and that makes for an interesting set of sleep patterns. Anyhow, my aim for 2018 is to switch off the technology no later than 10pm and be in bed by 10:30. Who knows if that will work regularly… we’ll see, but hopefully it will help with the 5am starts for Asia calls.


In summary the top three: 

  • Practice the clarinet every day
  • Do something fitness related… either walking, squash, or simply Core exercises on busy days!
  • Post to the blog every day, mostly on the topic of blockchain.

If I manage all that, it will be a miracle, buy hey, it’s good to have some concrete aims and even if half of it gets done then that will be a big achievement.