Thursday, April 14, 2016


Tributes to Bill

Please enjoy these tributes to Bill, and feel free to add more in the comments section. 


“Only Connect: NextNow and Bill Daul are interwoven across the synapses with E. M. Forster's quiet exhortation "Only Connect". To connect the prose and the passion, the reflection and the action, the future and the present, the young and the old, the art and the science, the difference in the similarity and the similarity in the difference, to cultivate the emergence of something deeper and larger and mutually enabling. To live in fragments no more. And, of course, the clue has always been in the name: Bill Daul – Build All.”—David Price

 “Bill is a most stellar human being”—Brenda Dalal

“Sending sending Bill huge hugs of gratitude and love for all he has done for so many in the NN Network, and the garden of connections he has enabled to bloom, spreading the collaborative pollen to the world.”—Bojana Fazar

Bill: the embodiment of an understated gentleman who puts us all before himself and his needs. He tirelessly and selflessly has unknowingly created the intangible network of what truly matters the most and lasts the longest: people and their stories. He has created a plethora of interconnections in our knowledge life which in turn has built numerous growing and lasting friendships. Bill, thank you for truly enriching our lives immeasurably. --JOY Mountford
“Bill was a wonderful person to call up when I arrived in Palo Alto, where I lived for just over a year. We met for coffee and passionate conversation. From there I started coming to several NextNow events. I would also join Bill to take the train to San Francisco for Betsy’s Salon. Being the great networker he is, Bill always magnetizes cool, fascinating people and invites them to events where there will be more movers and shakers like themselves. So there would always be a group of us on the train chatting and laughing on our way to Betsy’s. Bill loves to connect people, he loves talking ideas and sniffs out visionaries and brilliantly inspired creative people like a dog with an inquisitive nose.”--Nicola Walker

Environment for Collaboration. The further I look into successful collaboration, the more I see it resonates around certain elements that create the necessary environment.  Research by Garvin, Edmondson, & Gino (GEG, 2008) identifies the critical elements of a learning culture, a culture that creates the environment for exploration of new ideas.  And the success of NextNow, I will suggest, is because it inherently draws up on those elements, via the special value of Bill’s contribution.Garvin, Edmondson, & Gino tout four things as the necessary environmental factors. One is not just tolerance of diversity, but actually valuing it. A second element is being open to new ideas. Also necessary is time for reflection.  Finally, it has to be safe to share.  Together, these elements provide a space where learning can flourish. In NextNow, every event is centered on people sharing.  The structures of the events necessarily induce individuals to participate.  And time for reflection, alone and together, is a natural outcome of the structure as well.  The people in NextNow have intrinsically created the structure of spaces that reflect these requirements.The other two elements draw naturally on Bill’s talents. He embodies connecting people of diverse interests but a shared interest in new ideas.  He listens thoughtfully and deeply, and finds those he intuitively knows will be able to contribute in productive ways to what is going on. NextNow is a model of an effective learning community, and fundamental to this are the people involved.  Bringing the right people together, to foster creative friction, is at core how Bill has allowed the NextNow community to flourish. And for that, we are all grateful. (Garvin, D. A., Edmondson, A. C, & Gino, F. (2008). Is Yours a Learning Organization?  Harvard Business Review. March, 2008). --Clark Quinn

“‘Humility and full consciousness are inseparable’.—-Bryant McGill. Humility and Consciousness: perhaps these strengths may best reflect the energy that Bill Daul blesses to those who have been fortunate to be in his orbit of friendship. I have benefitted greatly through Bill’s beneficence. He loves making human connections that blossom into great friendships. The many NN events Bill has enabled us to attend, either through getting us entrance to events or to NN sponsored happenings, gave us opportunity for deepening contact with fellow travelers who have high aspirations and purpose. Bill may not be aware of how much he has enriched our lives, but this celebration gives us the chance to say, ‘Thank you Bill’. You have been our human glue to connection and love we discover in the presence of like minded souls as well as the chance to know about wonderful activities of those you have brought into our lives.--Jeff Saperstein

“Bill Daul enlarged my life in late 2007 when he came to a presentation of my one woman musical in San Francisco and began importing me and my brand of improvisational workshops from Los Angeles to the area.
“We began in Berkeley, then migrated to a church recreation room in Palo Alto. What fantastic folks Bill brought to play--fun, fast learning, innovative, up for anything. Coming from a show biz universe, the fine minds I met through Bill’s outreach showed me how much I was missing.
“What a fantastic improv player is Bill, himself, which surprised me at first, as he tends to play himself down and others up to his own detriment. His training at BATS served him well, and his ability to adapt to scenes with anyone about anything was beyond impressive. His mental acuity and physical agility, his sense of the ironic, his range of characters, accents, funny walks --he proved the ideal utility player--able to be part of the ensemble or star, always in an unassuming way.
“His constancy in co creating the classes, booking and securing the lovely spaces, fetching me at San Jose Airport, also won my gratitude for his good heart, kindness, enthusiasm and support for new ideas and the people that grow them.  Our in car conversations to and fro always enlarged my perspective on technology, which became less intimidating with time and our talks.  I'll always carry fond memories of the Pear Avenue Theater in Mountain View which became home for our meet ups for a number of years.
“How I wished I could have partaken of the cross pollination of NextNow more often. I finally got to attend a Wed. night Serious Conversation in 2015 and loved every moment.  What a terrific community he and you hath wrought.  We're all so busy, but I hope it long continues in some form, and spawns new, like-minded groups.
“I know he's taken the loss of his brother very hard.  I so wish I could materialize to give him a hug of empathy and thanks and happy birthday wishes this year with you all. Hope he can be as good to himself as he is to the world!”—Melanie Chartoff

“I met Bill along in 1990 while I was working for Apple when I went to meet with Doug Engelbart the first time. I think Bill was working for Sun at that time. He was a gentle, friendly, knowledgeable and kind soul who was a right hand to Doug that particular day. We became friends and started supporting Doug in various ways. When I was doing some coaching for Doug, Bill was most helpful to see how I could adjust myself to Doug’s temperament to be effective. Though coaching had to be stopped because Doug was not responsive, Bill and I met regularly and we used to have Hobee Gatherings almost on a biweekly basis. During those gatherings, I met with Jim, Maren, Lente, Caryn and so many other people and we used to think of ways to spread Doug’s message and also share our learnings and wisdom with each other.
I believe in my 26 years of knowing Bill, I found him to be most helpful, knowledgeable and generous person that I know of. I love him like a brother and he is so well connected and respected that he should get some monthly allowance for the work that he has already done so that he does not have to worry for his future.
I wish Bill the best on his birthday and thank him for creating NextNow and for his friendship and gifts to me.” – Prasad Kaipa

Crossing paths with Bill was a fortunate coincidence but our relationship and memories together that have formed since we're filled with good spirit and intent. Bill is one of those rare individuals who see the best in people and then connect those "best" aspect with other similar people; in other words, he's the "human glue" that has connect Tammy and Jacqueline and Nicole with many other passionate folks in the area. Bill sees where our future is headed, but believes that we can do better if we work together and has a vision of a better alternative future. NextNow is a manifestation of Bill's vision and has been a strong community because of the relationships we have formed which can all be traced back to Bill. NextNow is filled is energy, passion, creativity, and hope and provides a great opportunity to give back in my community. Thanks to Bill, he has introduced us to so many great people who have impacted our lives in the past few years. - Jacqueline, Tammy, and Nicole Chan

Bill, as a writer 200 words won’t cut it, so I hereby bequeath you a monthly birthday blurb of appreciation beginning today, to remind you that you are in our hearts every day, all year long. As we celebrate your presence on this planet and your contributions to NextNow I’ll begin by going backwards to your days as a river raft guide:

You’ve helped NextNow navigate prickly personalities among some remarkably intelligent human beings, helping us all decide who should be on what boat, who should guide and mentor whom, who paddles way too fast and ends up spinning in circles and who sits back and enjoys the ride with minimal steerage. You remind us about balancing the boat of skill sets and placing the right weight and mix to flow forward through the rapids of innovation. Granted, we haven’t made full use of our collective knowledge, as we often haul out our own rigs, battered from solo sojourns, nodding ‘it’ll be smoother next time with more experience,’ but you often inspire us to turn toward each other, tie up the rafts and circle together as a fleet.

You’ve always been quick to toss your friendship out there as a life line to members who may have fallen overboard in troubled times, with a clarion call to others as a ‘heads up’ to keep eyes on sight, and an extended hand to haul back in the boat. We hope you know the NextNow tribe is trying hard to do the same for you as years progress with fiscal and physical whitewater ahead. We all love you, Bill. May your next year around the sun shine bright and bold. 
“Bill has been a loyal friend for many years...Over 35! And has helped me with support with my business. He deserves the best tribute!”—Soni Bergman

“Thanks to Bill for his participation in many SRI AI center seminars——he has recommended some of our best speakers. And he’s always a positive presence.”—Richard Waldinger

Ideas spreading like Wildflowers.  When Claudia Welss first started the NextNow, she came up with the meme "ideas spreading like wildflowers" and I think about the importance of soil for growth. Wildflowers grow randomly, not in neat rows or with ongoing cultivation. But still they need good soil. My metaphor for NextNow is as a global network of rich patches of life-giving soil. Bill Daul finds and nurtures those patches, and enables cross-pollination. I want to add to what Clark said about the conditions for growth of innovation and community—safety, diversity, reflection space, and openness to ideas.  Bill has a special personality/character that enables this and I believe his capabilities will be those most valued in the future, when organizations will be putting human systems first. Anyone who has ever had a new idea and shared it with Bill knows what I am talking about. He nurtures idea seedlings because he recognizes and values creativity. He creates a safe place for the shoots to grow into value-producing activities and successful offerings. Diversity is essential and Bill encourages this by not just introducing people, but helping them understand one another and sometimes to get over misunderstandings. Innovation is not an individual thing. Every great idea needs strategy, community, audience, and support of all kinds. Bill puts people together based on his intuitive understanding of people, then nurtures those connections. Many people in our community have created successful ventures due to Bill’s quiet, behind-the-scenes support.  Here’s hoping we can shine a light on the inner-workings of the kind innovation system that NextNow embodies. -- Eileen Clegg




  1. Beautiful man, beautiful heart. Sorry I have to miss this--I will be singing in Nashville. I'll dedicate a song to you.

  2. “We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone. Whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that create something.”

    Dearest Bill,

    Thank you for all the years you've spent weaving the threads of connection into a tapestry of community. You have indeed created something that has touched us all, and changed the world for Good.

    Happy Birthday with love,
    Kimberly King

  3. To Bill. the spirit and embodiment, of collaboration

    "every birthday
    is as splendid as the soul
    of its celebrant
    --Cathy Ncube

    best wishes,

    Ted Kahn

  4. Dearest Bill,
    Wishing you the best on your Birthday and onward. Sorry I couldn't be there to celebrate with you, but I hope we can have a Birthday lunch or dinner soon.
    Sending you love. Happy Birthday!

  5. Bill has always been a thoughtful intersection of new friendships, new networks and new flows of creativity. His gentle, unabashed love for keeping connections buzzing forward has always been quite a wonderful thing to experience throughout these many years. His influence rides quietly though circles within circles of collaborative, connective ideas and thought leaders, often the unsung catalyst for fresh innovative ventures in so many contexts. Thank you, Bill ~ we are all the better for your kind intelligence, your pure understanding of the heartbeat of collaboration.

    Love Bonnie and Tony

  6. Beautiful Bill: Across all the years I've done the work that I do, I don't think I've ever met anyone so committed to drawing everything possible toward my cause. You are a beautiful sun around which so many beings find their orbit and the love that you bring runs deep. Thank you for the thousand suns that you shine with your give. I can't wait to celebrate your beautiful heart tomorrow!!!

  7. Bill, you have been a friend, given me a coach to sleep and watched the movie I wasted to see, you're there for a hug when I needed one and many long phone calls. You've opened your heart and introduced me to many of your friends. Thank you for your kindness, wisdom, wonder and quirky sense of humor. You are truly a good human - being a good life. Along with so many wonderful caring, brilliant people, I am blessed to be able to call you my dear friend Thank you truly, with much love and appreciation, Namaste. and happy happy BIRTHDAY!, JacQuaeline