I was born, I’m now living, and one day I may die.


Who is Rob Rickard
Professionally, Rob Rickard is an independent businessman, speaker, 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 a good portion 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 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.

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“Rob Rickard, What do you do?”

Usually dodging the question, Rob answers, "I’m a boring consultant." Here, that answer will simply not do. Once, 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 said. 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 is known as a 'Knowledge Worker.' This doesn't give clarity and Rob isn't sure that he wants to address himself as such. Many years ago, 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 people 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 also a software developer and has recently been mentoring tech start-ups in Rwanda. 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.

Rob takes immense pleasure in admitting that he is an independent businessman and has been for 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.

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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 70,000+ 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 mailforrob@robrickard.com

If you have found this site in hopes to join his African software startup accelerator, The Rwanda Build Program (RWBuild), please follow the links below.  

Professional Links and Projects
Common World inc. (Founder and Owner Rob Rickard)
Rwanda Build Program African Startup Accelerator (Founder Rob Rickard)
The Culture of Communication
FirstClass Communication Server
Common World on Twitter
Rob on Linkedin
•Professional videos (under redesign)
•Professional blog (under redesign)
Log in to the Common World Server

Personal Links and Projects
The best way to follow Rob on the internet is Twitter @Rickard or Facebook.
•You can find Rob on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Linkedin and other sites he visits for personal use
The World According to Rob (micro blog - outdated)
•Travel (site under redesign)
•Rickard’s Favorite photos (outdated, under redesign)
•Log in to Rickard’s CWOL Server