Mike Morris — Freelance Thinker For Hire

Welcome, and thank you for visiting. This site is about my work interests and things we might like to work on together.

10 Second Bio

Cape Town native, living in the Hills above Knysna, designing systems for a future filled with uncertain climate and certain systemic change. There is no “Going Back to Normal”. There will be no “New Normal”. Learn to surf.

Graduate of the University of Cape Town 1985, BSc (Hons) First Class, Computer Science (Supervisor: Prof. Ken McGregor).

Favourite planet: Earth

Favourite music: Prog, Folk & Epic Metal – Eluvetie, Crimfall, Brymir, The Hu, Tengger Cavalry, Eternal Tears of Sorrow; Prog Rock – Yes, Jethro Tull, Wakeman, ELP, Pink Floyd

Favourite book: Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion

Favourite aphorism: Tell me how you measure me and I’ll tell you how I behave

2 Minute Resumé

Software designer. Strategist and systems thinker. Perpetually engaged in the design of complex, adaptive systems. Strategy planning and systems’ design for the future in the place where I live.

Very Early Adopter of Object Oriented software design (mid 1980s), service-based systems’ architectures (1990s) and agile development methodologies (late 1990s), I find myself consistently about 8 years ahead of tech adoption curves. Still surfing.

First person in Africa authorised by Sun Microsystems to teach their Java courses (mid 1990s), Java evangelist during the late 90s and early oughts, and spent a decade or so teaching a range of tech topics (OO, Java, Analysis & Design, Architecture). Consultant, conference speaker and C-suite seeing-eye-dog for strategic tech and related conundrums.

I’ve worked to help banks, lawyers, healthcare funders, supermarkets, stealth startups and the military implement adaptable, change-resilient software systems and to define strategic pathways through business transformation.

My lifelong interests are in strategy development and strategic analysis, systems’ design, and the unanticipated Nth-order consequences of our design choices. The design and implementation of complex, adaptive systems – in technology, in business, in sustainable futures, and in life.

I have an abiding interest in the information systems of Money and State and the consequences that flow from the design of those systems, hence a very early (2009) interest in Bitcoin and (later) other cryptocurrencies, founded upon a much earlier (and still current) interest in cryptography.

Far more often than I’d have preferred, I’ve found that surface concerns pretty quickly lead me into issues around implementation process, organisation and team dynamics. I’ve done some good things in that space, but it’s not my preferred role. I am unimpressed by dogma or convention in organisational matters. Early adopter (1998) of agile (XP) for dev.

My goal in any single engagement — the place where I am satisfied with my work — is when I am able to deliver ten times value to my client. In other words when I can produce results that create an increase in valuation, revenue or savings of at least ten times my cost to the client. More is better.

I can’t guarantee this, of course — there are too many vagaries outside my control or sphere of influence — but it’s the internal benchmark I target.

If you’ve got this far (congratulations!) you’ll understand that I’m not likely to be interested (nor especially effective) in matters outside the Big Picture Items: Strategy, Systems and Design. If those interests intersect with your problems, then please get in touch and let’s explore how we might mutually profit by working together.