Deane Barker is chief strategy officer and a founding partner at Blend Interactive. Basically, he’s in charge of helping determine where the industry (and the customer base) are heading, and how we need to change to meet them there.

It wasn’t always like this, though. Deane was studying pre-law when he joined The Microsoft Network back in the mid-90s, created the network’s James Bond forum, and taught himself the details of programming. When it came to taking the law school admissions test, he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

The internet simply wasn’t going to let him become a lawyer.

Since then, Deane has become a leading voice in content management — to the point that he wrote the book about it. From here, it’s on to the future: breaking ground in distributed content management; teaching the practice; reading — always reading.

Deane believes you can’t force-feed culture. If you have to, then you’ve already lost. Hire carefully, treat employees well, compensate fairly, and give them something to do that they’re passionate about. Culture will grow naturally from that.