New Christmas Song: Silent Night

I love this time of year. I love all styles of holiday music, but my favorite station to listen to is "Jazz Holiday Radio" on Pandora. For the past few Christmases, I've recorded a cappella versions and medleys of Christmas songs.

But this year, inspired by some holiday jazz music, I decided to record an instrumental version of Silent Night. If you listen carefully, you'll hear the gospel organ sneaking in another Christmas song. I hope you enjoy it!

Christmas Songs by Tom Willner

Give Without Worry

A few years ago, I had a bit of an epiphany about panhandling that changed how I handled the situation. Before I tell you what it was, allow me to describe how I got there.

(Note: This post has been updated in May 2017 below.)

I always struggled with what to do. I've walked with someone to a restaurant and bought him soup. I've handed people money. And all too often, I would avoid the person's gaze, pretend not to hear, and keep walking. This always bothered me. I live in a city, and where there are a lot of people, you see more of every kind of person. I frequently encounter someone asking for money or food. Somehow, just ignoring another human being felt wrong.

I decided I had enough with trying to determine what to do on a case by case basis. One day, I decided to try something new. I would give something to anyone who asked. I could afford it. I am very fortunate. I am well off enough to do something, however small, for every single person I came across who asked me to…

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Every so often, I read something that really strikes a chord with me. Today it was an article in The Guardian about author and scientist Carlo Rovelli called "Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli review – physics versus certainty."

There is so much in the article worthy of further discussion:

How his book "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" has sold a million copies worldwide (even outselling "Fifty Shades Of Grey" in his native Italy!) placing it on par with Stephen Hawkins "A Brief History of Time" in terms of scientific book successes.How in his new book "Reality Is Not What It Seems" he seeks to bridge the divide between the two cultures of science and the arts: “Our culture is foolish to keep science and poetry separated,” adding: “they are two tools to open our eyes to the complexity and beauty of the world.”
What caught my attention in particular, however, were two quotes from Mr. Rovelli that I believe both reflect genuin…

Constellation's Connected Enterprise 2016 Recap

This was my first time at the Constellation Research annual conference - Connected Enterprise 2016. I originally met R "Ray" Wang earlier this year at an Adobe Symposium where we were both speaking, and was immediately taken by his energy and enthusiasm. When he reached out to me to speak at this event, I was happy to oblige. From the information online about the event, it looked like it would be a good experience.

Well that turned out to be quite an understatement. Connected Enterprise 2016 did everything right: incredible speakers and attendees, not just great thinkers but great doers; a terrific format; and plenty of networking with leaders from so many industries. Did I mention the location was spectacular?

To give you a flavor for the event, here are just some of the highlights:


I learned about Teamability from the Gabriel Institute. Based in physics and systems theory, you learn what roles you naturally play on a team. According to my results, I'm a Cu…