Hi, I’m Don Dingee, the voice behind Left2MyOwnDevices. When I’m not exploring the countryside on my mountain bike, taking in a baseball game somewhere, or chasing my dog, I’m here working on this vision. I founded Left2MyOwnDevices in 2011 to pursue B2B tech marketing strategy, research, and freelance writing. The name is borrowed from my former column which ran in Embedded Computing Design for a couple of years. It stuck with social media and clients, so I’ve run with it.
On a Twitter chat once, I was asked to describe what I do in five words: “I connect people with devices.” The Internet of Things (IoT) is the widest sweeping change in technology the world has ever experienced, blending the areas of embedded, mobile, sensing, wireless, and social technology into a single wave of innovation that touches every life on the planet. To tell these stories, I bring readers and clients experience from a combined perspective of engineering, marketing, web design, and print, online, and social media.
My first formal exposure to technology was through Cal Poly Pomona, where I obtained a BSEE emphasizing in analog signal interfacing. I landed my first actual job designing avionics for one of the first battlefield UAVs – the Developmental Sciences R4E SkyEye. From there, I continued on to General Dynamics, working on the Standard Missile, Phalanx, and Stinger programs as an engineer, achieving one patent. After a decade including a stop at the University of Southern California for an MSEE in digital communication theory, it was clear embedded computing was where I wanted to be, and a leap to a non-defense business was what I needed.
The board level computing industry was taking off, and I joined Motorola as an application engineer and sales representative. After four years and a hallmark competitive analysis paper I authored, I moved into product marketing where I oversaw 10 major product launches mostly on Power Architecture platforms. Along the way, I co-authored the EBX form factor specification, and was a charter member of what today is the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance. Things started to change again, and after a decade I made the next switch.
The Internet – what we now call Web 1.0 – was growing rapidly, and I built a team inside Motorola to create a web and e-business presence. The intersection of marketing and IT is still an exciting place, and it takes skills from both sides to succeed. After leaving Motorola, I leveraged that experience into building digital properties for clients including VITA and numerous others, and continued in embedded product marketing as a co-founder of Embedify using the Pragmatic Marketing framework in developing customer research, marketing strategy, and acquisition analysis.
I got the chance to grow in new directions as a writer when OpenSystems Media brought me on board. I edited Embedded Computing Design for a couple of years, taking the publication in a new direction representing silicon, software, and systems and broadening the reach with readers both in print and online, including a redesigned website, over 60 webcasts, and TechChannels. Those efforts brought recognition by Freescale as a Smart Mobile Device Pundit in 2010 and 2011.
Working with Daniel Nenni at SemiWiki presented the opportunity for a lifelong dream: authoring a book. “Mobile Unleashed” took 16 months of effort, and tested what people have described as my relentless research skills to the limit. I think it’s a unique piece of technology history storytelling, and for me it was a Six Degrees experience.
Change is where I live, and I often see it happening before it goes mainstream – such as the IoT. You can see many of my ideas in the blog here and in other outlets I’ve freelanced for. Much of the work on my Strategy page is confidential, but I can share more details privately. I’m intrigued by ideas around big data, real-time analytics, and distributed computing across all three IoT tiers, and am looking at new projects in those directions.
On a personal note, I’m also a voice-over talent and public speaker for non-technology subjects. For instance, I’m well-versed in dealing with concussions: a helmet saved my life when a car suddenly pulled out in front of me in June 2012. There is also my favorite story, “The Parable of the 17 Nuggets“.
We never know where the journey goes, or how long it will last. We just keep pedaling, and so far, it’s been a great ride. Thanks to all the readers, clients, and supporters who have made this dream possible so far. We’ll see where the IoT takes us next – contact me if you’d like to work on something together.