Today, I start a new adventure. I am joining the LENA Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. LRF is a 501(c)3 with roots extending back to 2004. LENA stands for Language ENvironment Analysis. It is also the name of their "verbal pedometer" device that records speech and, most importantly, tracks the conversation turns of small children. 

LENA Research Foundation
LENA Research Foundation is focused on children aged 0 to 5.
The technology is being used to conduct ground-breaking language development research all over the world. It has also been used to detect, diagnose and support early treatment of language delays and disorders like autism. The deaf and hard of hearing community has embraced the little 'iPod" device and has achieved great results. And recently, the foundation has shifted focus toward using the LENA tools to do something about language deficits for disadvantaged youth.   

The critical, watershed project to begin making a difference is Providence Talks, the winner of this year's Bloomberg Philanthropies $5M grand prize. The focus is children aged 0-2 in low SES homes. It's an audacious project. 

I'm thoroughly excited because of our mission-focused team and the opportunity to make a difference. 

It is with no small amount of trepidation that I have included a blog on my website.  Two primary concerns (no surprise here):   
    - Do I have something interesting to say?
    - Will I consistently cordon off the necessary time?

I then ran across Brad Feld's blog and two things happened.  First, I was a bit intimidated.  Brad is a prolific and interesting blogger.  He covers a range of topics and carries a great edge in his 'voice.'  He's based just up the road in Boulder, and is emblematic of the very active startup community here in Colorado.  Second, and more importantly, I learned a lot.  In fact, I found myself immediately putting a couple things I found there into practice.  For example, my Shelfari bookshelf page is a new addition today that was inspired by Brad.  I'm digging through some of his books and will probably pick a couple out for my own learning.  Perhaps you'll find one on my shelf that catches your eye. 

My perspective on this blog has already changed.  Rather than viewing it as an onerous obligation with an expectation to say something profound, it is foremost an opportunity to crystallize my own thoughts and learnings.  If readers gain new insights or fresh inspiration, that is simply icing on the cake. 

So, Feeding the Beast has begun.