Micène Fontaine, May 23, 2023
Do you know what healthy materials are and why they are important in design?
Every architect and interior designer likely has a tale to share about that moment of revelation when they realized their potential to craft not only beautiful spaces but healthier living environments too. Maybe it was while standing amid an exquisitely designed project where the space was visually breathtaking, but the newly installed carpets were off-gassing harmful VOCs. It’s not hard to realize that the materials specified in projects can significantly influence people's health.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, August 10, 2022
Three times a week, you can find me on a beach in Hawaii, near the pyramids of Giza, or on Mars for a 30-minute virtual reality boxing session with a coach. Instead of gloves, I wear controllers and an Oculus Quest headset. The targets rush toward me often faster than I can dish out jabs, hooks, and uppercuts.
I have one job: Ignore the distractions to stay focused on the target in front of me and the one right behind it. It gives my body a chance to queue up the next two moves. That’s all I can handle. The moment I get distracted by the targets or the score flashing in the background, I start missing more and more targets until I regain my focus.
I love the physical activity as much as I like the mental exercise. It’s a reminder of the importance of the architecture of choice and of separating the noise (distractions) from the signal (where I need to place my attention). It’s a critical skill to master when running a small business. It’s also a reminder that as small business owners or practitioners, we must keep an eye on what is coming next. In a world where everything is interconnected, it’s a delicate balance between drowning in a sea of irrelevant information and ignoring critical signals of what’s to come.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, December 2, 2021
I wasn’t sure which button to click, “Go Back” or “Send Message.”
Micène Fontaine, March 24, 2021
Shortly after I wrote about abandoning cynicism for stubborn optimism, I landed on a book titled “Humankind: A Hopeful History." I clicked, grasping for hope. One of the blurbs printed on the cover, read “In a sea of cynicism, this book is the sturdy, unsinkable lifeboat the world needs.” Another read, “Humankind changes the conversation and lights the path to a brighter future.” Yet, the cynic in me (I know...) quipped, “Good luck with that!”. For one thing, as the author himself points out, “Cynicism is a theory of everything. The cynic is always right.” Try to beat that with stubborn optimism... Let alone try changing the conversation as the second blurb suggests. I could not resist the appeal of an “unsinkable lifeboat” and of “the path to a brighter future.” I bought the book. Now what?Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, March 2, 2021
There was nothing I could do. It was liberating.
About a decade ago, after years of testing and probing, doctors could not figure out exactly what was going on. Exploratory surgery was the only option. It did not matter how clinical they tried to make it sound; I knew it meant they would slice me open to see what they could find. I went back to France to spend time with my family, had "what if" conversations with a handful of people, and returned to the US for the scheduled procedure. I had done all I could do. I never felt more at peace with the world.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, January 1, 2021
December. It always feels very messy to me. It's my mental spring cleaning time. I take stock of what matters and of what does not. I create a shortlist of what I want to learn more about, do more about, and be more about. It's more art than science, but it serves as a north star in the upcoming year - personally and professionally. It's about having a destination but not the exact path - the freedom to experiment, make mistakes, and try again until I get there.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, November 26, 2020
November. I have been should-ing myself. I’ll explain shortly. For the past week, I’ve been waking up feeling nauseated. As a male, pregnancy is out of the question. So what’s going on?Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, October 31, 2020
October - is all a blur. I feel like I am emerging from 31 days spent in Las Vegas, having lost all sense of time (minus any of the entertainment). I wake up with my omnipresent sense of sarcasm set dangerously high and a nagging sense of urgency. The urgency of someone who can’t wait for 2021 to come around while realizing that they are not ready for it.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, September 1, 2020
September. For many of us, it's the unofficial start of the new year. Back to school or back to work or both. Businesses and individuals alike only have a few months left to achieve what we set out to do when 2020 came around. With COVID-19 complicating everything, making sure that we solve for the right problem is more critical than ever.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, August 1, 2020
August. The dog days of summer are upon us. The weight of sitting at my desk on a sultry Louisiana afternoon feels much heavier than usual. It’s not like me to have difficulty concentrating, yet here I am, busying around with emails, Slack, etc. While I am fooling myself into thinking I am being productive and doing meaningful work, it quickly dawned on me that I have not taken a break in hours and that I have not had a summer break - not really anyway (Courtesy of running a business amid a pandemic, travel bans, a move, life, etc. I know you know what I mean.)Continue Reading