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Kevin Matheny
Works at Binary Star Consulting
Attended Macalester College
Lives in Maplewood, MN
400 followers|56,646 views


Kevin Matheny

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+James Wright is making great points here. 
It always amuses me when a random denizen from the internet shows up to explain to me what I really meant. On March 12th I posted the following comment to Twitter: Calling universal healthcare and public education free stuf...
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Kevin Matheny

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And with that click, I have registered for Agile 2016. 
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I've been spending an inordinate amount of time the past couple of weeks working on superhero and villain characters for an upcoming game. I'm using a heavily adapted version of Champions - adapted to the point where it's really much more "inspired by"' than "adapted from" - that I first came up with more than 10 years ago. It's very light - the whole thing fits on one piece of 8.5x11 paper, although it does take up both sides. It's intended for convention play, where I want to be able to introduce the system to new players in a few minutes, and keep the rules out of the way of having fun. 

I call the system Threat or Menace, first because I think that's funny, and second because I'm trying to capture the feeling of superhero comics circa the 80s, when J. Jonah Jameson published the headline "Spider-Man: Threat or Menace?"

Emboldened by the example of +Rob Donoghue  and others, I may just go ahead and publish the system this time. It would be neat to get feedback on it. 
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Nice piece on the books that inspired 5th Edition D&D. I particularly like this, about +Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon:

“A lot of the stuff behind bonds, flaws, all the stuff that binds characters to the campaign, was inspired by reading Throne.”
A new generation of fantasy novelists are really changing the game.
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I have read them, and I agree - they're excellent. 

If you have not read Elizabeth Willey's A Well-Favored Man, I recommend it highly. :)
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+Fred Hicks , I was looking at your works list and noticed that the Hero Games store link is busted. I'm guessing they moved it. Correct link seems to be
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Sorry, Fred. Rule One of bug reporting is "include steps to reproduce" but my head wasn't on straight today. It's the link on this page:

Hero Games (Store Link) <-this one
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Found an excellent resource for 5e rules - thank +Stan Shinn !
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“There’s a mountain of data that we have at our disposal,” says Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product innovation. Netflix has a well-earned reputation for using the information it gleans about its customers to drive everything from the look of the service to the shows in which it invests. “That mountain is composed of two things. Garbage is 99 percent of that mountain. Gold is one percent… . Geography, age, and gender? We put that in the garbage heap. Where you live is not that important.”
"That mountain is composed of two things. Garbage is 99 percent of that mountain. Gold is one percent…" 📽📺
What happens when every part of an online entertainment empire is engineered to be everything to everyone, all of the time.
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Wisdom, which is pretty much par for the course for +Esther Derby . 
In response to a post advocating measuring "agility," I replied:

My aim with employing agile methods is to improve the effectiveness of the over all system. So I look aspects of the organization that agile methods can move:

value work vs. fixing work
release cycle time
through put

I may look at work satisfaction or retention, but these are often slow moving.

If the work is still coming into teams in a chaotic, half-baked manner, or there are deep technical issues, agile methods alone are probably not be enough to move these dials.

I see "agility assessments" that ask binary questions such as "Does your team have a ScrumMaster," or "Are teams doing retrospectives." Questions like these may measure (surface) compliance. But they aren't particularly helpful in understanding what the issues are, or whether agile methods are moving the trend line on those issues. (Or even if people are doing something that aligns with the core principles of agile.)

What other measures seem useful?
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This is amazingly geeky, and very very entertaining. A PhD candidate researcher in computer science is using a recurrent neural network to generate Magic: the Gathering cards. Many other people have joined in, and the networks are getting remarkably good at creating cards.
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Thanks for the positive sentiments. :D

Well, hopefully it won't be too long before we can start churning out whole sets for drafting, maybe even replete with coherent art and flavor text. But just having the cards without flavor or art will be a good enough start, haha.
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commented on a video on YouTube.
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Looking good!

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+Harry Connolly , is there a forum for spoilery discussion of The Great Way? 
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Planning to. We'll see.
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I think Steve nails the big problem with Microsoft's long-term vision. 
Wow! I got an article featured on Linked-In's technology section!
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Technology problem-solver. Dad. Tabletop & computer gamer. Terrible guitarist.
I love thinking about systems, solving problems at their real root causes and helping people understand how to build stable, scalable systems for the modern Web. 

I've been in ecommerce for 15 years, first with Best Buy, then with Digital River in and now on my own. My primary focus has been on content management and APIs, from initial implementation to ongoing production operations. While at Best Buy, I led development of the Remix API. 

My career prior to ecommerce was in advertising, as a copywriter, information architect and leader. I led my agency into digital media in the mid-90s, designing hypermedia interfaces for CD & Web, before leaving the agency world behind to work full-time in ecommerce. 

I've also worked as a barista before the term came to the US, a page for the Minnesota House and Senate, and a stage combat instructor. 
Bragging rights
Created the Best Buy Remix API.
  • Macalester College
Basic Information
Independent consultant
APIs, Ecommerce, Content Systems, Leadership
  • Binary Star Consulting
    Principal, 2014 - present
  • Digital River
    Group Vice President, Technology, 2013 - 2014
  • Best Buy
    E-business Architect, 2000 - 2013
  • Colle & McVoy
    Copywriter/Information Architect, 1999 - 2000
  • Conseco Finance
    Interactive Producer, 1998 - 1999
  • Concept Group
    Interactive Media Director, 1992 - 1999
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Maplewood, MN
Minneapolis, MN - Saint Paul, MN
Kevin Matheny's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Free Stuff

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Hunting quackers in the shallows with Montaigne, with sevens

--&gt; Sometime back there, maybe a decade ago, a reviewer grumbled about one of my books (it might have been Gaudeamus) in a fairly affectiona


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Uncle Hugo's is a national treasure. There's nothing else like it. The selection of books is unparallelled, and the expertise of the staff is second-to-none.
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I've been a patient and customer for years, and didn't realize how good I had it until last year, when insurance changes had me going to Lenscrafters. I'm so happy to be back at Mead EyeCare. All of the staff and Doctor Mead are both caring and careful, and the options for frames and lenses are excellent.
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I've been going to Parkway Barbers for years. The staff is friendly, the haircuts are good and the prices are right. It feels like a neighborhood barber shop, because it is one - and that's a very good thing,
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