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Month: December 2015

Chicago learns to say, ‘I failed! And I feel great about it’

(This story was published October 16, 2013) By John Carpenter Blue Sky reporter Frank Muscarello felt like a failure. It was 2011, and he was in the crowd at the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center’s Momentum Awards dinner. The business he’d spent 16 years building was gone, vaporized after the 2008 economic collapse. “I’m sitting there thinking: ‘My business has failed,’” Muscarello said. “It was a scary time.” Then Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky got up to speak, accepting the CEC’s Entrepreneurial Champion award. What the Groupon co-founders wanted to talk about was failure. “They looked… Read more Chicago learns to say, ‘I failed! And I feel great about it’

Your refrigerator is watching you. Now comes the debate over that data

(This story was published in the Chicago Tribune November 12, 2013) By John Carpenter Blue Sky Reporter The “Internet of things” is here, with tiny devices talking to other tiny devices, and to not-so-tiny computers, and to the not-even-close-to-tiny corporations that own them, and maybe even to us. But the evolving landscape of constantly tracked and updated data brings with it a host of questions that were kicked around Tuesday at a conference sponsored by the Illinois Technology Association. “Exploring the Internet of Things” featured industry leaders including Peter Tapling,… Read more Your refrigerator is watching you. Now comes the debate over that data

Leadership lessons from Seahawks Super Bowl fail: Own it and Grow

(This story appeared in the Chicago Tribune February 3, 2015) By John Carpenter Blue Sky Reporter ‘The real lesson that Pete Carroll should share with his team,’ according to 1871 CEO Howard Tullman Entrepreneurs talk boldly about risk and about embracing the lessons of failure when things go wrong. But what if one’s failure is epic and instantaneous, with 100-million-plus people watching live and most of them agreeing the risk you took was really, really dumb? We asked a few entrepreneurs and leadership experts to put themselves in Seattle Seahawks… Read more Leadership lessons from Seahawks Super Bowl fail: Own it and Grow

Families seek protection for Edmund Fitzgerald wreck

(This story appeared in the New York Times on November 11, 2006) For a Shipwreck of Legend, the Spotlight Dims a Bit By JOHN CARPENTER Published: November 11, 2006 DETROIT, Nov. 10 — Thirty-one years after it occurred and almost as long since it was immortalized in a popular song, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald will finally recede into the ranks of other Great Lakes maritime disasters at an annual memorial service here. The rector of the Mariners’ Church of Detroit, as well as families of the 29 men… Read more Families seek protection for Edmund Fitzgerald wreck

Local guitar builders share passion for handmade music

(This story appeared in the Chicago Tribune Sunday, November 22, 2015) Bruce Roper in his Chicago workshop. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune) John CarpenterContact ReporterChicago Tribune Bruce Roper leaned over the dusty workbench and carefully placed two slender, hand-hewn lengths of spruce into the shape of an “X” on the flat, unfinished cutout of a guitar top. “You can buy these pre-made and pre-measured,” he said with a furrowed brow and a slight head-shake, the words held at arm’s length. He let that unpleasant thought trail off. Tom Kennedy… Read more Local guitar builders share passion for handmade music