I was born, I’m now living, and one day I may die.
Rob Rickard is an entrepreneur, speaker, and mentor for tech start-ups.
As an independent businessman and tech consultant, the work has been exciting the past two decades during this significant time in tech history. For the past few years, he has invested the majority of his time mentoring tech start ups in Africa. Outside of this professional world, he has a close group of friends and family who are very dear to him. Throughout the years, he has been on many extraordinary adventures with these wonderful people - all of which have helped to complete the story of who he truly is.
Rob was born in Wisconsin. For the most part, he was raised in Wisconsin with just a brief stint of his youth in California. He has had the pleasure of spending time in all 50 US states and has traveled throughout a significant part of the world. After jumping around from college to college, Rob saw a need for Internet professionals and started a small tech consulting and professional services business. After a few years of success, he incorporated Common World Inc. in 1997 and had helped to define what it is to communicate and be productive on a eletronic device ever since.
Just when Rob had settled on being a happy bachelor, he met Jennifer. Three years later they took 32 friends and family members off to a destination wedding. Soon after he ended up residing in multiple locations; his business was and still is located in beautiful southwest Wisconsin. For five years he also lived downtown Chicago with his lovely wife, Jennifer, who was a resident surgeon there. After residency and some time at Harvard, Jen entered a Paul Farmer Global Surgery fellowship in Rwanda. Jen and Rob currently have a second home in Rwanda as Jen continues working as a Global Surgeon in the HRH program. Rob & Jen split their time traveling from current their home locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Africa.
When possible, Rob still explores distant locations around the world. It is entirely possible that this very moment he is at a hip cafe, happily typing away on his keyboard with a coffee and a tasty chocolate crossant.
“Rob Rickard, What do you do?”
Usually dodging the question, Rob answered, "I’m a boring consultant." Here, that answer will simply not do. Over a decade ago, over drinks in Madison, WI the amazing Merlin Mann told him that he should always answer, 'I work with computers' and leave it at that. Not one word more, he exclaimed. This sounded great - it's an answer that is simple, quick, and with a bit of humor. However, it often leads to a follow-up question which involves Rob fixing home computers. Lets be clear, Rob does not fix home computers. So, that quick answer, like any other, doesn't work. 'In the biz,' Rob Rickard was known as a 'Knowledge Worker.' This doesn't give clarity and Rob isn't sure that he wanted to address himself as such. In 2012, for this this web site, Rob sat down with some other professionals, some amazing scotch, and a lot of soul searching. He noted down, “I am a consultant who works with professionals to help them communicate better and be more productive.” That's not bad but, it does not cover all the aspects of why Rob’s clients hire him. So, the quest for the perfect answer to “What do you do?” continues...
Professionally for over two decades, Rob Rickard has been a consultant helping organizations communication and be more productive via technology. Rob has also been a speaker and presenter on technology topics and behavior. Rob is a software developer and for the past few years, has been mentoring tech start-ups in Rwanda, Africa. There, he has a series of popular Talks called, ‘Advice from a Tech Entrepreneur.' As a tech consultant, Rob truly believes that there is no 'one product' or 'one feature' which will satisfy the needs of everyone. Normally, there isn't a right or wrong decision, but there is a better choice. Rob explores various options by making sure to clarify all pros and cons in order to assist the organization in making a well-suited decision.
In 2017 Rob founded the Rwanda Build Program, a software software accelerator for tech start-ups in Kigali, Rwanda. He has had success mentoring teams and helping them reach their goals to build working solutions.
Rob takes immense pleasure in admitting that he is an independent businessman and has been for well over two decades. This allows him a flexible schedule to both fulfill clients' needs and also to travel with his wife and friends. His income and reputation is directly based on how well he performs in business. Succeeding independently, in an industry that has been rapidly changing year after year, is a source of pride for him.
There are honestly, no 'past lives' of Rob Rickard. He is and has been the same guy for quite some time. He often jokes about all the hobbies and activities he tries to keep up with. Fighting mediocrity in life seems to be his most active pastime. Rob loves the arts; he had a passion for stage performance. He once thought his life would be the stage, but found himself on a different path during his first year of college. He once ventured to Seattle for a few months, which led to him out on the Barren Sea (Fortunately, he missed out on The Deadliest Catch TV show). Rob is one of those guys who seems to know a little bit about everything, but he's only an expert on a handful of subjects. He can juggle and play the guitar, but couldn't sing a tune to save his life. Rob enjoys a quality scotch and good wine. He loves food, seeking out great restaurants as he travels. He loves independent cafés with free WIFI. Rob has a true appetite for live music and enjoys it in smaller venues. He enjoys creative writing. He has written short stories, stage plays, and movie shorts - of which many of you will probably never see. He also loves games; when he can, he invests some of his time creating complex RPG games. He leaves the country several times a year for both business and pleasure. Rob and his wife have amassed something like 80,000+ pictures from all around the world. He has a host of devoted friends and family and spends as much time as he can with them.
Rob believes he lives an extraordinarily full and blessed life. If you want to know anything else, please follow the links below or drop him an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Links and Projects
• Best way to follow can find Rob is on:
Twitter (most active on Twitter as @Rickard)
• You can find Rob on other social sites, but he is not as active
• Travel (site under redesign)
• Rickard’s Favorite photos (outdated, under redesign)
• CWRPG Site (Founder and Visonary of this RPG Game)
Rob is the founder of the Rwanda Build Program (RWBuild) an African Software Startup Accelerator.
• Rwanda Build Program (Official web site)
Professional Links and Projects
• Common World Inc. (Founder and Owner Rob Rickard)
• Professional videos (under redesign)
• Professional blog (under redesign)