Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

29,, registered


If you're a web designer who wants to do some pro bono design (with lots of credit given), give me a shout at


Update List sign-up here.

Categories: Business

Launch Countdown



We are getting close to the end of January. DataButler is not quite ready to launch yet, but we do have a signup for people who want to be in on the beta. We will start admitting people to the beta based on (a) who signs up first, and (b) who invites the most friends to the party. Please help to get the word out!

The product vision is becoming clearer - the repository is the base product (what I called CXL). But integration within the repository will be a huge part of the value - just by giving a row a unique ID, you'll have the equivalent of a join in a database, with a merge feature that will collect all the rows that have the same ID.

ListMaker will also be a huge value add within DataButler - instant, one-touch web forms based on the columns in the spreadsheet that you need filled in. Lots of people have quick web forms - these will tie back into your spreadsheet immediately. And you can use a full spreadsheet as a base for a ListMaker form - just designate some columns and the new data will be added to the document as it comes in.

There are lots of places where you could use this - how many times have you texted someone with some detail questions? Now you can text them the hyperlink to a form. They fill out the form, hit submit, and the answers are in your document.

Screenshots and demos coming soon!

Sign up here!

Categories: Business , Software

Crowdfunding Launch

This is something new. Give North Creek a boost, we'll remember you!

Categories: Business



The lake in the picture sure doesn't look the same today, in January in northern Alberta. Water turns to ice. Grass is covered by snow. Liquid is immobilized, and the anything trying to move on the ice, well, it can get very mobile, in unexpected directions!

Yesterday, my day was interrupted by my daughter, who spun into the ditch on an icy road on the way to school. No one was hurt, there was a little bit of cracking of the front bumper, and thanks to a friendly school bus driver with a good tow cable, everyone was able to continue on their way.

Traction is the name of a business book that I should read. It applies to startups. It also applies to individuals trying to get through their workday.

In the course of doing our jobs, we accumulate the right tool. I have a hammer in the back seat of my truck just because of one valve on our water tank that gets stuck and needs a tap. If we are doing the same thing every day, eventually we come up with a set of processes and tools that let us just do our job.

When things change, we can end up needing a tool we don't have. Or finding that our tool almost works but doesn't quite. In an effort to make something work, we can waste quite a bit of time and energy. We can also end up with a toolset that is just not conducive to efficiency.

Are you spinning your wheels? Do things take longer now than they used to? Are there new elements to your job that you are trying to accomplish with an old toolset? Take a look at where you spend your time, and what tools you use. How easy is the work? How does it make you feel? Do things feel like they are "almost right" but you don't have time or energy to change your process?

It's still January. Call it a New Year's Resolution. Fix your toolset now before you waste more time.

Me, I'm buying my own tow cable and slowing down when the roads are icy.


If you work with spreadsheets as a part of your day, North Creek is developing a toolset that will help you merge your desktop analysis with the web-based, social, collaborative world of work we live in now. We want to create that tool that does just what you need - but we need your feedback. The Beta is starting soon - help guide North Creek's product vision. Email me, or contact me via Facebook or Twitter. My LinkedIn account also links back to this blog.

Categories: Business

Data Flows


Data Flows

Businesses exist as a series of data and material flows, human decisions, and relationships. North Creek is aiming to improve your data flows. That can give you better insight into your business, and help you make better decisions. It may even get you home earlier, improving your relationships!

Primary data needs to be gathered - from POS terminals, from workers in the field, from surveys. That data gains value as team members look at it, sort it, collate and conflate it, and make expert judgments based on it.

That data becomes the source for more judgment calls and more analysis. BI tools offer a way to drill down from charts all the way back to "primary" data. But that primary data is just what is available to the tool.

It makes sense that spreadsheets are used as the analysis and sorting tool most of the time. Whether online or on your desktop, putting data into rows and columns that can be shifted around and manipulated makes sense to knowledge workers.

The problem is that spreadsheets are a dead end - hard to import data in, hard to export knowledge out - unless they are in the hands of experts.

North Creek wants to make the flow in and out easier. Mobile data collection that goes straight into a master spreadsheet. Linking of related data across spreadsheets within a corporate repository. The ability to drill "back" to the primary data that led to the numbers you are seeing. This will be possible.

Help guide North Creek's product vision. Email me, or contact me via Facebook or Twitter. My LinkedIn account also links back to this blog.

In 2015, let your business data flow.

Categories: Business , Software