Goodbye FCG

FCG was one of the first “boutique” consulting firms in the healthcare IT (HIT) space. It was founded by the late Jim Reep and Zan Calhoun. Now, it is part of HIT history.

I believe I was at FCG during the golden age. There was not a lot of structure, but there were a lot of talented people figuring out this new industry. We were staying a few steps ahead of our clients. I remember working on a strategy project and we were arguing about the necessity for a PC network as part of the strategy. That’s how young the industry was.My FCG Business Card from 1988

Back in those days (1987 – 1990) Jim and Zan would shut down the entire company for one week and take us on a retreat in San Diego’s Pala Mesa resort. Somewhere I have have a picture of the staff at my first retreat – the first 50 FCG employees.

This was in important time in my life. I gained a lot of self-confidence and learned what it meant to love your work. I also had a lot of great mentors: Zan, Karen Reed, Julie Bonello and Steve Heck. I also loved my peers in the Chicago office: Pete and Andy Smith, Liz Krimendahl, John Hoben and many others. I still cherish my memories of Friday afternoons at Wrigley Field with this cast of characters. Work is great when you have a sense of camaraderie with your co-workers (which is why I am so happy now).

We were a small firm then. I remember our first $1M month. When FCG was sold to CSC they were a much different public company earning many times that. Good times, then. Good times, now.

Web 2.0 Favorites

I love some of the web 2.0 tools.  I use a lot in my personal life and some have even crept into the enterprise…


I have blogged in the past about QuickBase.  This web-based tool allows the average person to create a simple database application.  It has taken off like wildfire in our organizations.  You know something is meeting an untapped need when you see this kind of organic growth.  The other validation is the acceptance by our partners.  Consultants, vendors and others take to QuickBase quickly.  Because it is web based you can add an external person without going through IT.

We have over 3,000 applications in QuickBase.  The vast majority are created by non-IT users.  There are some common applications like team workspaces and contract issue tracking.  Some are more unique like the one we created to track schedule our interpreters and track their time.  I am aware of scores of niche applications that we have been able to eliminate or avoid because we were able to meet the need with a QuickBase application.  It is a great value and QuickBase has proven to be enterprise-class in its stability.


Gliffy is a web-based drawing program ala Visio.  It is much simpler than Visio and the missing functionality appears to be the kind of stuff that the average user does not miss.  I have been using Gliffy quite a bit lately and an considering using it as a less expensive Visio alternative.


My use of twitter seems to inconsistent.  at time I track my ever move.  Then I get out of the habit of updating it for a few days.  Because I record how I spend my time it helps me keep a history of what I do.  More importantly, it is a great way for my folks to keep tabs on my.  My 160 team members are spread across Wisconsin.  This is there way to see if I am reachable and how to best reach me.

Does anyone out there have other web 2.0 favorites?