Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content marketer, bestselling author

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Tagged Measuring History

Cool news: My second book is being giving out to new employees now

Last fall after publishing my second book, the company it’s largely written about (NI) placed a very large order “to give out to current and future employees.”

This week my friend, Ron Wolfe, who was an instrumental source, sent me the above photo. It looks as though Measuring History is now part of NI’s new employee welcome package.

I’m thrilled that even more people will be given the chance to read the book. Just this week I ran into a family friend who didn’t know it existed, even though she read my first. Hopefully things like this can get the word out further.

Selling books is hard!

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Recommended reading: Measuring History favorably reviewed by industry expert

Many thanks to Martin Rowe at EE World for reviewing my newest book, Measuring History. With exception to thinking my Austin and Measurement chapters were too much background, I thought he provided a fair and recommended review.

From the article: “Measuring History is neither a history of measurement nor a measurement of history, and yet it’s both. Blake Snow takes you through the early days of National Instruments through the 2019 induction of founders Dr. James Truchard and Jeff Kodosky into the Inventors Hall of Fame. Throughout the book, Snow focuses on LabVIEW and how engineers and scientists use the graphic programming language to test and control systems that make many products we use function better… I recommend the book if you’re looking for a quick and easy read.”

Thanks, Martin.

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The First Personal Computer Wasn’t a Phone

The following excerpt comes from my newest book, Measuring History: How One Unsung Company Quietly Changed the World.

If there’s one theme that runs deep within the founding DNA of National Instruments, it is this: “Nothing beats dumb luck.”

Long-time CEO Jim Truchard is credited with imparting the belief during his four decades at the helm, and the principle certainly caught on, especially with early-generation employees and executives. “It’s basically a pleasing and modest way of saying we’ll succeed with hard work and luck, but to be great, we also need good timing,” explains Steve Rogers, who was hired in 1984 and serves as one of LabVIEW’s chief architects. “We were lucky to grow when we did.”

Almost everyone I spoke to internally for this book repeated the refrain: “Nothing beats dumb luck. This would have never worked had computers not become affordable and accessible to everyone. We were in the right place at the right time.”

What was that place and time? For those who grew up with smartphones and touchscreens in their hands, it’s important to understand that the “personal computer” (or PC) revolution of the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s was a very different place and time. Society had no idea that bulky desktop and laptop computers would eventually merge with cellphones to become pocket-sized supercomputers, so at the time they called them “personal computers.”

Continue reading…

3 ways to save your life (motivational speech)

NOTE: You can alternatively watch this article on YouTube—it’s pretty cool and features some of my favorite movie scenes.

Hi, my name is Blake Snow. I am an author and practicing husband and father from Provo, Utah. I recently published my second book called Measuring History about an unknown Texas company that quietly changed the world. I hope you read it.

Many years ago, a hospice nurse from Australia named Bronnie Ware asked thousands of patients on their deathbeds to share their biggest regrets in life. This was number one: “I wish I lived a life that was true to myself instead of trying to satisfy others’ expectations of me.” This was number two: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

To avoid these common mistakes and prevent history from repeating, each of us must change our default, human behavior. The good news is there are three, science-backed daily habits we can adopt to accomplish this. I discovered these while writing my first book, Log Off, and have closely followed them to wonderful heights over the last decade.

These 3 life-saving strategies are as follows: Continue reading…

Busy in quarantine: My new book is publishing soon (cover here)

I finished writing my second book the day America shutdown on Friday the 13th. In the months since, it was edited, approved, and most recently cover art-ed.

Although it was suppose to publish in August, COVID slowed things down a little. But I’m still confident it will release in the coming weeks, depending on schedules.

Either way, I’m incredibly proud of the result and can’t wait to share it with the world soon. Thanks for considering it.