Author Archives: ckindel

I’ve Joined STOKE Space Technologies as an Advisor

In November 2020, I declared I was going to break into the space industry for my next professional chapter. My hypothesis was my experience rapidly scaling organizations that deliver results, coupled with my expertise in software would be helpful to space companies. The fact that I basically knew nothing about space wouldn’t matter. With the help of a lot of friends in my network, I was quickly connected with dozens of leaders in the booming …Continue reading

Posting Wrenching Videos

Every decade I try my hand at being a videographer. My foot surgery led me to giving Premiere Pro a try (I still hate Adobe UIs). A test project: Should I do more garage/wrenching videos?

Advising Rebel Space Technologies

I’m honored to announce that Rebel Space Technologies has asked me to join them as a Strategic and Technical Advisor. Satellites need to reliably and efficiently communicate with each other and ground stations in the face of severe spectrum congestion, celestial dynamics (these things and the Earth are always moving relative to each other), and changing mission profiles. Rebel’s first product is the Rebel Space Radio, which leverages software-defined radio (SDR) technology to allow RF …Continue reading

Virtuous Cycles, Platforms, Flywheels, Snowballs, and Tidal Waves

I’m working on writing down my thoughts on space. I’ve learned a ton since deciding space would be my next mission. Some pretty clear thoughts are forming, and whenever that happens, I’ve trained myself to write, write, and write to really solidify things. Space is big. In fact, it is, literally, the largest domain. Given the vastness of the domain, I need to formulate a Taxonomy and Lexicon that resonates to gain clarity. I’m a …Continue reading

I’m Advising Carv Because It Improves My Skiing

Last Christmas (2019) my daughter gifted me Carv. I fell so in love with the product that I stalked the CEO and begged him to talk to me to see if I could help. I’ve been working with the company since December and last week he asked me to join Carv as a Strategic Advisor. Initially, I assumed Carv was a gimmick. The abbreviated 2019/20 ski season meant I only got 6 days using Carv, …Continue reading

From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to Space…

Last week I joined my good friend  Den Delimarsky and his colleague Courtny Cotten hosted me on The Work Item podcast. “In this episode, we dive a bit deeper into Charlie’s approach to product ideation and design, discuss the importance of having a principled organization, and ask questions about his most recent adventure around space.” Czech it out here (I love that the transcript is available along with the audio): From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to …Continue reading

Find the Crux by Debating Excellence

No, don’t debate excellence; become excellent at debating. “It is better to debate a decision without settling it than settling a decision without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert Vigorous debate is critical to clear thinking in an organization. Debates garner the full intelligence of an organization. For decisions of great import, rigorous debate depersonalizes the decision. People are predisposed to focus on symptoms or minutia. Arguing over extraneous details is inefficient and is often the …Continue reading

How to be a Secret Agent (of Change)

This post documents some essential tools I’ve collected in my “change toolkit”. By sharing them, I hope more leaders will become even better change agents, or at least be better at dealing with change.Continue reading

I’m Breaking into Space

I exited my last role recently and have been drafting my next chapter. I have decided to make my new mission Space; specifically getting humanity off Earth. Over the past months, I’ve focused on learning about the space industry’s state and meeting people working on cool stuff. I’m convinced there must be initiatives where someone with my experience and expertise is needed. I now need to figure out how to ensure folks with such need …Continue reading

Do Your Job – Don’t Use Placeholder Text

If you are a UX designer, Software Developer, or Product Manager, and you use placeholder text anywhere but where it’s impossible to know what the content will be (user supplied) then you are doing it wrong. And you are not doing your job. I learned this from @joebelfiore: Using placeholder text defers decision making. It’s a cop-out by the person using it and gives reviewers an excuse to also not debate what’s right. It’s far …Continue reading

Open Office Hours with Charlie

Last month I offered “office hours” to anyone who wanted to chat with me. It was an experiment to see a) if interesting people would reach out, b) if I could be useful to these people, and c) if I’d be exposed to domains where I could spend more of my time in the future. All three hypotheses have turned out true. Thank you to all of you who utilized this so far! I still …Continue reading

Interview with Authority Mag: Homes Of The Future

Jason Hartman recently interviewed me for Authority Magazine. Check it out. Homes Of The Future: “The Future Of Smart Homes” With Charlie Kindel of SnapAV Some quotes: One of the things that really motivates and drives me professionally and personally, is the idea of how technology can improve people’s lives in their homes… I realized then that I was doing it all wrong and that everybody around me was doing it wrong and that they …Continue reading

kindel.com is no longer at home

kindel.com has been hosted on my home network since 1996. Today, I finally moved it to a modern web platform. This includes migrating an OG Active Server Pages (pre .NET) & SQL Server app I wrote in 1997 for decoding Porsche option codes By doing this I finally got to turn port 80/443 off on my home network. It’s been bugging me for a long time because it’s a really bad practice as it makes …Continue reading

Look Back Quotient (LBQ)

Look Back Quotient (LBQ) is a measure of how attractive a car is to the car’s owner. A car with a high LBQ will increase the car owner’s propensity to look back at their car after parking it. Examples of cars with high LBQ: Examples of cars with low LBQ:

Broken Windows – Right Idea, Bad Analogy

It is well understood that no product is perfect and small issues will always exist. Without an ongoing mechanism to fix those issues, not only do they not get fixed, they pile up. Having a clear Lexicon and Taxonomy is critical to getting large numbers of people moving forward towards a vision. Having the lexicon be composed of terms that make logical sense, disambiguate, and are memorable is important. Over the years of building many …Continue reading

Kindel’s 3rd Law

Kindel’s 3rd Law – Amazon will enter every existing business, channel, and market. If said business, channel, or market doesn’t already exist, Amazon will try to invent it. Charlie Kindel – 2019 See also: Kindel’s Law – Every payment system eventually becomes an anti-fraud system. Kindel’s 2nd Law – Companies with a subscriptions-based business model eventually behave in ways hostile to that company’s customers.

Smart Home + PC = Better Working from Home

Since the dawn of time I’ve considered the PC (and related devices like Macs, printers, etc…) to be part of my smart home. For some reason, most traditional smart home offerings have treated PCs et.al. as somehow disconnected. Sometime after the dawn of time (2004), I built MCE Controller (mcec) as a way of ensuring my home PCs could be as tightly integrated as my whole-home audio system or lights. MCE Controller is a little …Continue reading

Mechanisms

Mechanisms are complete processes built around a tool, owned by a leader that gets adopted broadly and regularly inspected and improved to ensure things get done, not because everyone has good intentions, but because the mechanism’s elements structurally force the desired behavior. “Good intentions never work, you need good mechanisms to make anything happen.” — Jeff Bezos I’ve written previously about how Good Intentions are Never Enough and why mechanisms are needed, but I didn’t go deep into how to make mechanisms actually work. …Continue reading

winprint 2.0

Ever since I started programming on an Apple ][+ in 1981, I’ve had a thing for printing. My earliest apps focused on printing and my first money-making endeavor was “Tapes”, which printed casette tape ‘J-cards’ for all the mix-tapes of great ’80s music we made for the girls. Whenever I learned a new programming language or OS, the first app I’d write was Spit, an app for printing my source code all pretty (it “spits” source …Continue reading

Path To Green

A Path To Green (PTG) is a clear, crisp, and complete statement describing a team’s plan for getting a project from red or yellow status to green. This post describes the concept and provides some tips on how to be excellent at articulating a PTG. Organizations that routinely deliver great results hold individuals and teams accountable for delivering those results. Ensuring everyone is clear on projects’ status is key to this (e.g., is a project red, …Continue reading