Another Life

Lifepower W40

“I think the machines are going to fail, the political systems are going to fail, and a few men are going to take to the hills and start over.”

I looked at him. He lived in the suburbs, like the rest of us … I could not really believe that he came in from placating his tenants every evening and gave himself solemnly to the business of survival … What kind of fantasy led to this?
~ James Dickey -- Deliverance


Living in Northern Minnesota is different. Practices that might get you labeled as a Prepper in other parts of the country are just getting ready for Winter up here. To live a happy life in the North Woods you have to expect a) that things you count on every day might not work when the subzero blizzards come, and b) maybe you can’t count on things, but you can count on people. We get by — even more than that, we thrive.

We thrive. Even in a world that seems to be proceeding backwards in time.

With the worries in Gretchen Bakke’s The Grid and the recent election circus, we might be seeing the machines and political systems fail. But it is better to believe Jeff Goldblum — here “life” — people — find a way, and we can weave new technologies together to design the “art of the north woods” and solutions for an uncertain age.

Let’s put the pieces together and see where they lead:

  • Climate change is here, and think globally, act locally compels us all to lessen our “footprint.”

  • Environmental action through politics will probably come only after it’s obviously too late. Let’s follow Jim Collins’ words instead and fire bullets before cannon balls - let's start small and build relentlessly

  • As Wilhelm Steinitz said of chess - let’s focus on the accumulation of small advantages

  • As a chemical engineer, it seems clear that only thermodynamic solutions can help to solve the problem. We have to make use of only the energy that already comes to us. In my world that means solar-powered solutions. The sunlight is already here — let’s use it!

So here’s what we can mix for a better life:

  • Pare back — less really is more, and we can choose to live with less wasteful practices.

  • We’ll add solar incrementally, keeping that good life while shrinking our footprint as we go.

  • On the consumption side, lower power is better, so (for example) as our lightbulbs burn out we’ll replace them with LED bulbs at 1/10th the power draw. Poco a poco se va lejos!

  • We can also use technology to manage the power we use. Homes in the 2000s have less central control than the industrial plants I built in 30 years ago. We must choose to power only what we need.

Here’s where the path has taken my wife Kate and I so far:

Our solar-paneled south deck keeps my computers powered during the day, and is a lifesaver when the blizzards come and grid power fails. The panels here power portable batteries, and those batteries keep our world up even when “the grid” is down.

Lifepower is a Belgian company that has invented much of the world that I’m seeking. In the picture above, we’ve suspended from our south-facing deck a couple of SUN40s and a SUN20 solar collector, all daisy-chained together to recharge our Lifepower A2 and A2L batteries. Even this far north, a nice sunny afternoon will get me recharged, and I have two more SUN40s on the way. Once the setup is complete, a couple of good hours of sun will get us hours of runtime on our computers, (and our refrigerator, our freezer, and our water pump…!).

We’re evolving so that all of our electronic devices are low-power and rechargeable by USB -- Lifepower to the rescue! Our refrigerator and freezers are max-energy-efficient, so Lifepower works in power failures and might (with evolving battery technology) work more generally. As our light bulbs burn out we are replacing them with LED-bulbs. We have TP-LINK smart plugs on some of our outlets, so (for example) instead of heating the garage all night when it's 40-below (I like 40-below because C = F degrees at -40!), we turn on the block engine heaters on our cars when we wake up, and the engines will be warm in an hour when it's time to leave. Add in a great new Sedore wood burning stove , and while we’re not trying to be "off the grid", at least we can impact the grid minimally while we are still on it.

Again — this is just getting ready for Winter. Even now, our lives stay mostly up even if the grid goes down. Lifepower is at the core of our solutions, and with Lifepower we have power when we travel and power when we need it at home. The first European settlers of Minnesota thrived (enough to send word back to the Old Country), and we thrive similarly today — we can thrive better! We are just getting started — Much more to follow…


The Path to a More Independent Life -- Getting off Google

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ~ Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet

“Don’t Be Evil” ~ Google Employee Paul Buchheit

Why Even Try?

Yes, it’s Google’s world and we just live in it. As I’ve often noted, MIT professor Jack Dennis foretold and designed the architecture for all that Google is today — with the sole limitation (expressed in an advanced computer architectures course I took as a grad student) that nobody would ever spend enough money to create the mesh of computers necessary to achieve his vision. To Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s great credit they envisioned it, created it and got the funding to build it out. Add fellow MIT alum Robert Metcalfe (of Ethernet fame) and Metcalfe's Law and it’s clear why a Google should have a natural monopoly on Search, and how a such a firm could grow to great prominence and power.

Sadly that brings us to Lord Acton (quoted above). When your company name becomes a verb you have achieved absolute power, and the human condition can’t help but dictate the result. This week’s adventures involve accusations that Google has manipulated search results to help Hillary Clinton. CNN Claims Nonsense!, but somehow their commentary neglects to mention that CNN’s parent Time Warner is one of the top contributors to the Hillary campaign: both career and during the current presidential cycle.

No matter. I dream of Search as a public utility that offers insight without any bias introduced from anywhere. When you connect an object you change that object, and in this light it's time to disconnect from Google. My passage is now complete, and if you are curious, this note outlines a path that you might follow.

Choose a Path with Heart

My passage was probably easier than many will find. I had two Google Gmail accounts (one for me personally, and one for my Pikasoft company), one measly video (a snippet from ABC Sports “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat” - that I will miss), about 1,300 contact-records that I have copies of elsewhere, and maybe a half-dozen photographs. I also have used Chrome as a browser and Google Maps for road guidance, but Chrome has gotten buggy and ponderous with age, and the Apple Maps adventure awaits me post-Google.

The main task, then, is moving off of Google Gmail.

The Road Ahead — Completely Revised and Up to Date!

  • The first step to migrating off of Gmail is to cut down all your subscriptions to your Gmail account! In the course of years on Gmail I had subscribed to literally hundreds of services, and rather than have them all bounce on delete I decided to find them and unsubscribe to them manually. I spent about a week unsubscribing to services as they reappeared in my Gmil, and in this effortI found at least three positive benefits:
    • "Opt-out" and unsubscribe is generally quick-and-easy these days. Check the email footer for "unsubscribe" -- click the link and you're done.
    • I was forced to realize how much spam I was taking on myself. My subscriptions weren’t evil, but there’s only so much time in a day and I won’t miss most of the subscriptions.
    • Clearing out the subscription pile has already saved me all kinds of time. I saved the subscriptions I wanted to keep, but these were maybe a dozen out of hundreds of mail feeds.
  • The second step away from Google is to save the information you have on Google. Google (though a process called Google takeout) makes this possible. The steps are simple:
    • Log into your google account
    • Go to the Account information for your account (by selecting your icon on the top-right of the screen
    • Maneuver your way to Products
    • Select Delete

This is where the miraculous part of Google takeout steps in:

Google’s warning that you’re about to delete everyone in your account is not the “usual yada yada” because you really are about to delete EVERYTHING, but otherwise is the usual yada yada. What goes beyond the usual yada yada is the link at the bottom of the dialog: “You can download your data before deleting your account.”

By all means download your data. Google has been a rich and involving service, and even someone with as limited an access as I’ve had can still pile up a remarkable amount of data and history online. So when Google lets you create an archive, press the button to create an archive.

Creating an archive is (as Google freely admits) not fast. I’ve been in Gmail since the mid-2000s, thus I wasn’t that surprised that it took Google two and a half days to create my archive. Nevertheless, in the fullness of time Google created my archive: two compressed files with images and contacts, and the magnificently-named All mail including Spam and Trash.mbox file — in my case 12GB of various correspondences and goodies. All saved for posterity.

This leads to the final step in de-Googlization: Agree to legal terms and then press the Delete button.

With one button press, in the blink of an eye I was no longer in Google!

When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. ~ Nietzsche

Now that I’m no longer staring into the abyss, does the abyss no longer stare back into me? We’ll see, but in the meantime I need to replace the fallen Gmail accounts. I’m not the first to try, and fortunately a diverse cottage industry has sprung up for people who want an alternative to Google mail.

There were lots of choices and I looked at Kolab Now based on positive reviews, but I finally settled on Fastmail. Fastmail also has great reviews, and uses a neat form of 2-factor authentication called Yubikey to generate unique passwords every time it’s used. So Fastmail it is for email.

To avoid complications. She never kept the same address…

We’re almost there, but we need to make the linkages all work. Gmail is now turned off and Fastmail is turned on, but the following challenges still remained:

  • Run my email @ over Fastmail, but keep it looking like the old Pikasoft
  • Point my web address to, a hosted server independent from my pikasoft email

To accomplish these things we’ll need to dig in a bit to the hosting of — a challenge but not a showstopper that I accomplished with 3 quick changes. So into DNS we go:

  • Fastmail gives great instructions for setup with custom domains (my situation with pikasoft web and email), and the following reconfiguration worked to give me mail:
    • I can keep my nameservers pointing to my website, but need to make my MX records point to Fastmail. Mail exchanger records (MX records) are resource records in DNS that specifies the mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient's domain. I need to make Fastmail accept messages on behalf on to turn mail back on. This required a short step into and a quick update to point my MX records to Fastmail.
    • Check to ensure that my CNAME points to my hosted website. Canonical name records are aliases for web addresses, and I made the update here to assure that pointed to where the pikasoft site actually ran. I’ve used Squarespace and Wordpress in the past, and it was a simple matter to get my hosting address and set it as my CNAME record.
    • The final check is to ensure that the A record for my domain also pointed to the hosted website. This was accomplished in much the same manner by which I set the CNAME, and one quick edit and I was done.

Well, the Internet settings work was done, anyway. In the nature of Internet things, the proper settings for nameservers, MX records, A record and CNAME take a while to propagate across the Internet, but with the expectation of “a day or two,” in actual practice there were signs of progress in the first hour or so and my mail and website were fully migrated within a day.

So now I’m off Gmail, with a non-Google, secure mail service and my pikasoft website happy as always. I am now in the rare fold of former-Facebook, former-Google web users; seemingly moving backwards in web-time while I move forward in web-experience. I remember writing what a wonder “sharing networks” would be back when I was at HP in 1986 or 1987, and I think I’ve kept the connectivity and resumed the search for the magic and promise that that world held. Don’t be evil? Let’s see what wonders a connected, collaborative world still holds…


The Greatest … and the path to a more independent life

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
Muhammad Ali

King of the World

It’s hard to imagine a world without Muhammad Ali in it. I am not a black man and not a boxer, and before Ali I never would have thought that a such a man could have changed the world that we live in. The great wonder of Ali is that he was such a man, and if he called himself The Greatest he wasn’t praising himself enough. Yes, he became Heavyweight Champion of the World 3 times, but our world is full of great athletes who are marvelous on their stages but inconsequential everywhere else.

Ali was world champion and had won 29 straight fights when he was called up, and at 25 years of age he probably hadn’t even reached his athletic peak when Howard Cosell asked him “Why don’t you take the step?” Ali was and remained a conscientious objector, and he never took the step into military service but in doing so he took the step into something even greater.

Muhammad was Jonathan E, the protagonist in the 1975 movie Rollerball.

It’s OK if you don’t remember Rollerball. Despite having the greatest party scene ever shown in a movie (either proving (or disproving, depending on how you feel about it)) the notion that “open carry” at parties is/is not a good idea), the movie was a product of 1975 (Best Picture that year: Rocky). It was born into 1975 as the leisure suit era’s dystopic vision of the future, and for most people it’s stayed there. To bring it back a little you might check out the Rollerball trailer — this is the movie that seared Bach’s Toccata in D Minor into public consciousness:

“No player is greater than the game itself.”

No player is greater than the game itself… That is the wonder of Muhammad Ali, who was a champion in a sport that defies champions. In boxing the amount of time it takes to build the skill to become champion is perilously close to the amount of time that it takes to become too old and beaten to be able to compete. Boxing is a sport that eats its young.

What’s My Name?

Muhammad Ali was greater than the game itself, and the wonder of Ali was the causes that he engaged with that greatness. The former Cassius Clay adopted Islam and became Muhammad Ali. Because he wouldn’t “take the step” he lost three years of his career in his absolute prime — years even his greatness could never bring back. He was and remained a black man in a white culture — true to his own ideals, and an absolute internationalist who has probably been, for most of my lifetime, the most famous man in the world. Muhammad Ali’s life freed Lew Alcindor to become Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Ali showed how greatness could carve a path in the wilderness.

Carving a Path in the Wilderness

I am now a transplant — coming home to a place I’d never been before in Bemidji, Minnesota. My work is Internet-based, a world where on some level it’s possible to live almost anywhere, as long as I have an Internet connection and a good airport nearby. Kate’s work is also mobile, and life events led us to ask the question: How do we want to live?

Minnesota it is. People laugh when I tell them that we “discovered” Bemidji in a spreadsheet, but Bemidji rises up naturally if you’re looking for a college town with a northern climate, with a reasonable cost of living and lots of things to do. We found a home and up we came. There are loons out on the lake, frogs in the swamps (making nighttime MUCH louder than daytime!) and ticks in the forests. “How you we want to live…?” ...As harmoniously as possible.

Tuning Out the Noise

One of the wonders of Northern Minnesota is the quiet. We may have fiber-Internet out to the house, but there’s not a human-made sound to be heard if we turn everything off at night. Turning down the noise outside only made it seem natural to try to turn down the noise INSIDE — in the online world where Google lives.

Google was a superb search engine, but Google has evolved into (and maybe always was) something that at the fringes is just creepy. Just try entering the phrase “Google accused” in the alternative browser DuckDuckGo and read the “Don’t Be Evil” == FAIL wonders that appear:

  • Hiding news to swing elections
  • Wiretapping
  • Invading student’s privacy

And all that’s before we even get to inversion and tax evasion. Google was a great step forward, but it might be in the way of harmony so it’s time for Google to go. Google can remain a great company for many, but it’s time, as former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan used to say: “…to head in a different direction.”

How do you want to live?

It’s possible to live Google free. Next time I’ll lay out the details of how:

  • to get off corporate GMAIL
  • to start getting of regular GMAIL
  • see video without YouTube, and finally…
  • to search Googlelessly and browse outside the realm

It’s been an interesting adventure. To Google’s credit, so much of today’s web experience begins and ends with Google.

We can live independently — let’s create our own world…

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.” ~ Muhammad Ali


Beyond Scrum - Summary: The Cargo Cult of Scrum

During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he's the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land.  ~  Richard Feynman

Summing it Up

Scrum wasn't a bad thing when it started.  The Internet was a new medium, Java, ASP/.Net were new platforms, and we had a long way to go and a short time to get there.   I'd venture that nobody knew where software came from, and Agile arose in response to the death marches that so characterized "waterfall" development.

Well it's been 10 years and agile and Scrum have given us lots of software - all delivered but much of it staggeringly mediocre.  Scrum is clearly a cult -- with certified scrum masters and the enduring belief that the software would suck less if only you could somehow have been more agile!  The no true Scotsman rule applies: Scrum didn't fail you and your team -- your team failed Scrum...

Enough already.  We can take the lessons that Scrum taught and evolve to a better way to deliver / offer / present not only functional but exquisite software.  Let's wrap up the rest of the pieces.

The New Rules

The most basic rule of software development is that software projects are first-and-foremost projects, and the body of knowledge that we've gathered running all kinds of projects in all kinds of other disciplines needn't be left behind just because it's software.   The Project Management Institute is way ahead of the curve on this, and doesn't waste words (or letters) in calling the Project Management Body of Knowledge the PMBOK.  The principles here really are timeless, and while the PMI does love its own language the rest of the cult artifacts are kept at bay.

From that basis there are some other guidelines that we might follow to produce better software for this new millennium.  Rather than try to spin up a new cult, let's look at the science underlying software development:
  • Time -- really is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once.   If you try to give Time more meaning than that you are asking for trouble by bending the concrete to fit the abstract.    The more you bend the worse-off you are, so all development is trying to focus on the smallest increments possible.  The goal is then to come as nearly as possible to these ideals:
    • Builds (per Spolsky) should be instantaneous at the press of a button.
    • Deployment should be continuous (hello Jenkins!)
    • Availability should be continuous.  Stakeholders should be able to try and run "the latest" from a standard source at any point in the project.
    • Checkpoints should match external milestones, not periods on the calendar.   Once upon a time Sales Sonar was released by Innovadex at the American Coatings Show on a June 3.    Our audience was assembled -- no other dates on the calendar mattered.
  • Information -- should be universally available, subject to access and security constraints, and instantaneously available as it is needed.   So:
    • Software check-in happens when software passes tests and reviews -- not nightly or weekly, but continuously.
    • Status and project information is available everywhere (thank you Yammer/Campfire/Basecamp/JIRA/Skype...) and updated continuously.
    • Meetings take place virtually whenever they are needed -- for screen sharing, planning or status updates.   Pair programming is the rule here -- the old rule of "one office per developer" may have been fine for reducing interruptions, but it's terrible for collaborative software review. Team meetings are great for human bonding and comradeship; using the morning Scrum status meeting as an attendance-check is idiotic.
    • Product design updates happen continuously with requirements drafted and rolled into the project for specific checkpoints.   There's no reason to try to cram Design solely into Scrum Sprint Planning meetings, and (perhaps unlike in the Chrysler Payroll days) Product Management is an organizational activity that happens continuously, not just on Sprint Planning Meeting day.
As noted in the conclusion of my last post -- if you believe these in these ideals and you strive to follow them, then you are on another, better path and calling it "Scrum" doesn't make it so.  Scrum is a cargo cult spawned off of sound PMI principles.   Stick to the PMBOK.   Use technology to compress Time and distribute Information. Seek in all things to build great software.  It's hard, but beautiful software is one of the most exquisite and ennobling things of our time.
"The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed."   ~ Jacques Cousteau

Beyond Scrum - Tools and Techniques

We want to create create software, not only for business benefit but because great software is on of the artistic hallmarks of our age, and truly great software (Stephen Wolfram's Mathematica, and Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad (1963!) are two of my favorites) is the artwork of our time.

Scrum and the current vestiges of Agile will get you "deliverable" software, but they are not enough to get you GREAT software -- there's too great an emphasis on serviceable delivery, and not enough on the countless subtle enhancements that take you from d e l i v e r a b l e to insanely great!.   I'm sure that the two aren't mutually exclusive, so let's talk about how we make the quantum leap.

We've started with what's wrong, so let's gather it all up and set it to right.  If we peer a bit deeper into ideals behind Scrum, we can take it beyond that dreadful manifestations of those ideals:
  • We need great communication, so that every stakeholder has the latest information to make the best decisions. We also need team huddles so that everyone stays connected, heart and soul, to what the team is creating.
    • We do not need a morning attendance meeting where everyone recites a mantra
  • We need leadership to evolve our vision as we understand it better
    • We do not need consultation
  • We need wisdom that embraces not only the "what" and the "how" but the why
The Gossips


We start with communication because communication is both the yin and yang of great projects:
  • Metcalfe's Law says that the value of the customer base we reach grows on a power-law, and N*N is vastly better than N.
  • Amdahl's Law, though, says that we get diminishing returns as we add to the development team, and intra-team communications are the bottleneck
  • The formula for communications channels:  n(n-1)/2 also gives a second-order equation for why things get exponentially harder with larger development teams
Scrum has some fine ideas if your scope is limited enough that you can complete it with a team of 6-9 developers.  Its communications limitations doom it for larger projects, and it's not too hard to show that they fail in the 6-9 developer range as well. Given the power laws that both costs and benefits follow it should be pretty clear that "morning stand-up meetings" that leave no written record just don't make sense for anything much more profound than "Chrysler Payroll."   In the Two-thousand-teens, here's a better, broader approach to communications:
  • Chat -- Yammer,  Campfire or Hipchat provide asynchronous, logged communications -- the kind of essential but non-imperative chats that cooperating developers have every day.
  • Meetings -- Skype, Google Hangout or Apple Facetime are all good ways to electronically do screen-sharing and 1:1 or 1-many meetings.
  • Electronic "Standup" meetings -- Update software like Status Hero takes away the need to get everyone together in person at any time, and logs and archives the results
  • Screen Sharing -- Remote pair programming used to be a tough slog, but faster Internet and sharing tools make modern pair programming almost as good as being there. Skype is de-rigeur for sharing in the 2010s, and all Macintoshes come with a fantastic screen sharing application.
  • Source code control -- Subversion has fairly universally gone over to Git in the 20-teens
  • Source code socialization -- Github and Gitlab (for do-it-yourselfers) provide the social side of code management
  • Wikis -- Basecamp and Jira are widely used.   Basecamp is more social, Jira is tech-ier
  • Requirements -- JIRA and Rational rule the roost here.
  • Deployment -- GoCD and Jenkins are best in class here.
We want a heartbeat for the project, and these are examples of far better tools to achieve it.   We still want live and up-to-date developer status, and here Status Hero logs and tracks the latest. Jira and Rational keep our developer requirements, git holds the source code and Github/Gitlab track code reviews and social access to the code.  We deploy continuously with GoCD or Jenkins, and Jira or Basecamp track the social side of project management.

Our team and software are continuously integrated and routinely stay up to date.   As a leader you need to ensure everyone stays up on Status Hero, but in 2015 standup status meetings make about as much sense as "personal tape drives".   Better communication tools and continuous integration "are the new tape."


Scrum routinely (in both good and bad senses of "routinely") delivers mediocre software because it completely abdicates the leadership function in software development.  Scrum Masters are said to have "power but not authority" -- in truth they have neither.  They can guide a team but the developers don't report to the Scrum Master, and when the hard decisions that determine great software need to get made there is nobody tasked with making them.

Steve Jobs is the shining light in this field, and he was the Vince Lombardi of consumer device software.   He was Lombardi for good because he was absolutely tyrannical, and nobody ever had to wonder "where the buck stopped."   He also had the vision, will, skill and personal magnetism to hire remarkably talented people to work under his yoke.   He was also the Lombardi for evil, because if you try to manage like Steve Jobs and you want anything like Steve-Jobs-results, then you better have all the talents and gifts Steve Jobs had.

Lombardi was a curse when I was growing up, because his Super Bowl victories created a legend that glossed over his psychopathic coaching tactics.   That legend was embraced (and those tactics adopted) by scores of Lombardi-wannabes who 1) didn't have his skills, and 2) were coaching kids and not playing for professional stakes.   In that post-Lombardi era lots of kids were driven brutally in pads on hot summer days by sadistic wannabes who adopted his drive without gaining any of Lombardi's other skills.

One of the greatest flaws of Scrum in the Jobs-era is that the leadership gap left by the "Scrum Master" role is often filled by Product Owners who adopt Jobs' micromanagement obsession without having any of his remarkable vision.   It's a miracle if such misguided and misled teams ever ship anything.

Great software requires both management and leadership and creates a breathtakingly difficult position to fill:
  • Technical enough to keep up with insanely fast-paced technology advances
  • Managerial enough to take fingers off the keyboard and be "chairman of the bored" with occasionally-necessary paperwork
  • Visionary enough to see magical solutions and articulate enough to make the team see them too
Nobody teaches such wizardry; Gandalf, Yoda and Harry Potter may have grown into it but mostly such leaders are born into it.


Simon Sinek captures a really important message in his book (and accompanying TED talk) "Start With Why."
  • If you try to tell a development team "what" to do, you'll chase in circles because any sufficiently interesting software technology moves too fast for development managers to keep up with it -- if you're a manager and you understand it enough to recommend it, then it's already been surpassed by something better.
  • It's modestly better to try to tell your team "how" to do it, but this fails as well because just as "no battle plan survives contact with the enemy", no good implementation approach survives first contact with customers.
Let's let Sinek tell the story:

Starting with Why is the magical elixir so often missing in software development.  The great wonder of modern development tools and technologies -- the tools listed above, coupled with modern ecosystems like Java, Rails, Hadoop and the emerging Angular++ JavaScript world -- is that you can start with why and if you take what the tools and frameworks give you, you can evolve the "how" and "what" while keeping to schedule and budget.

I've done this before -- with Chris Russell (reporting to Larry Ellison) at Oracle, for Sandy Kemper at Perfect Software, and for Bruce Ianni at Innovadex.   Scrum isn't the answer, but it's a start.   If you take Scrum, replace the Scrum Master with a real leader, drop the silly Standup attendance check and add tools to manage the creation of different levels of advancement, integrated but all on their own timeline then you don't have Scrum any more. In 2015 the answer is so much better, richer and more evolved than just Scrum...
"Do business as if you were playing a game.  Have fun, know the rules, and when it's time make up your own..."  ~ Guy Laliberté - CEO Cirque du Soleil