Two Brain Candy Profiles: Nilofer Merchant and Chris Dancy

The best kind of candy tastes good and gets your brain revving - that sugar high!

These two luminaries get my brain revving about what's important and what's possible. 

Every so often on the blog I hope to bring to your attention some folks that have been inspiring me lately - my brain candy - people who are inspiring me to think even BIGGER. I bet you'll find them fascinating as well.

First up? Nilofer Merchant


Solheim Photography, 2011

I'm hoping you already know her name and are well aware of her many accomplishments.

Not aware? Then you're in for a treat.

She is an entrepreneur (launching more than 100 products), author of The New How and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, visionary thinker, TEDster, and proponent of the walking meeting. She's also known as "The Jane Bond of innovation" - read more here for how that nickname came to be.

In this most social of era's Nilofer is savvy about the way the social world works (after all, she wrote a book on it) but is also refreshingly open and honest in her writing. For a great example, see her recent essay How Do You Take in Criticism?

You can find Nilofer all over the interwebs in all the usual social places. I suggest starting with her website and one of her TED talks (below), then if you're taken in by her mix of gusto and vulnerability, a Facebook follow may be in order.
  

Next up: Chris Dancy aka "The Most connected Human on Earth"


One of the figureheads of the Quantified Self movement, Chris has upwards of 700 sensors collecting data on his life, his house, and even his pets. 

I first became aware of Chris as a fellow Glass Explorer, and was delighted to find out about the amazing work he is doing with sensors and passive data collection of his life's data.

Yes, he has Glass, and a Pebble, and a Fitbit, and a Nest...but also sensors to measure posture, track his pets' activity, etc. All of this eventually feeds into one central system - imagine being able to essentially Google your own life? Fascinating to the extreme.

How did this all start?  "I started five years ago when I noticed my doctor was having a hard time keeping up with my health records...Around the same time, I worried that the work I did on the Internet could be lost if [there's] a service shutdown. In an effort to collect this information, I started looking for ways I could gather data when I didn't have time to write things down."

For a variety of news stories and videos about Chris, check out his site

For a great overview that shows the various sensors and the central system, here's a great video: 


Finally, here's my favorite: Christory 2014 - Rise of the Inner-Net


Hope you enjoy, and find these leading thinkers as inspiring as I do!