Thursday, May 10, 2012

What to Read?

Two recent publications are worth adding to your home or office library.

I Am A Pole (And So Can You!), by Stephen Colbert, is now available at your local book store or on This is the tale of a flagpole searching for his purpose in life. The much-acclaimed writer of children’s books, Maurice Sendak, who sadly passed away this week, had already given it high praise: “Terribly, supremely ordinary” and “Sad thing is, I like it!”

Also just released is A Legal Guide to Technology Transactions, a new book offering guidance on how to identify and minimize risks through technology contracts and license agreements. The Legal Guide is a collaborative effort of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (“DEED”) and Gray Plant Mooty. I am the principal author.

What book to read and for what purpose?

The story about the Pole is a quick read, unless either you ponder each illustration or uncontrollable laughter ensues.

The Legal Guide is 65 pages of succinct prose with compelling admonitions like, “Don’t treat the contract as an afterthought!” Not “laugh out loud” funny, but you might get some pleasure from learning how to speak with your lawyer about disaster recovery, progressive payment schedules, intellectual property rights, privacy, open source, indemnification, remedies, limitations of liability, and  security in the cloud. Pretty compelling stuff. Take your time and read it at your own pace. There are no illustrations.

Retail price for the Pole is $15.99, with an audio version read by Tom Hanks available for download from The audio CD will be released in a few weeks. All profits are going to charity.

The Legal Guide is free and available in hard copy or CD from DEED or Gray Plant Mooty. It is also available online at No audio version is planned at this time.

A free workshop on the topics covered in the Legal Guide is planned for Friday, June 22. For more information on the workshop please call (612) 632-3345 or email

I Am A Pole (And So Can You!) or A Legal Guide to Technology Transactions—Which to read? How to Choose?

Get both.

First, have a good laugh with the Pole and then read the Legal Guide. You will have a smile on your face knowing that your computer systems can meet your needs and requirements, and, if not, that you have the appropriate legal remedies at your disposal.

Full disclosure: Aaron Cohen, who produced the Pole with Stephen Colbert, is my son, of whom I am unabashedly proud. Also, while it may appear as one of the highest selling children books on Amazon, the Pole does pay homage to a stripper pole in his quest to find purpose in life.  You may want to read the book yourself before you let little Johnny or Sue turn the pages.

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