Oxford Languages defines the word “vague” as meaning uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning. For example, I may say, “Did you see her dress?” Am I asking if you saw her getting dressed, or am I commenting on her clothing? Vague can be confusing, but it can also be valuable. Providing a vague response birthed one of my careers.
After I sold my hardware manufacturing company, I decided to focus on programming. When I started looking for work, I had no clue about the business side of programming contracts. I started back in the 1990s, so information on this…
I awoke today with a dull pain in my right jaw. That surprised me. It was a left molar that had been pulled. The pain in my jaw from the ground war that took place in my mouth the day before had minutely subsided, like the discordance in Kashmir.
I had a tooth extracted two days ago, and I’m quite proud of the defense my decayed tooth displayed. Even so, my lateralization — the structural or functional differences between the right- and left-hand sides of our body — tricked me today. As I pondered this jaw pain, it transferred to…
It’s the bad news that moves a company forward
You’ve read, “Good is the enemy of great.” But did you know that success is its own enemy? Great leaders celebrate achievements with their staff, but success is history; what is celebrated already happened. Success does not move a company forward; bad news can.
Bad news is good when it prevents the bad from becoming an emergency! Bad news is good when it exposes problems that, when fixed, make life better for employees and clients and contributes to the company’s profitability.
Have you ever been told that an idea you have is worthless? Me, too. A VC guy once said to me that all ideas are worthless. Unless my vision had customers and a revenue stream, I couldn’t even meet with his company. I was not happy, but afterward, I spent quite a bit of time developing arguments in my head to rebut his supposition.
I would be driving to the grocery store, arguing with this guy all the way. I mentally rehashed my conversation with him over and over. …
What’s surprising is that no matter what we’re creating, making, or doing, we can achieve extraordinary results by adding these six Beatles’ tactics.
In 2019, Beatles’ fans celebrated the 50th birthday of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, and coming up, October 9th would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday.
According to Music;ally:
The band’s music has been streamed nearly 1.7bn times on Spotify in 2019 alone, with the company stressing that “18–24 is the top demographic for streaming Beatles music, accounting for more than 30% of all Beatles streams globally since January 1… this age group is about two generations…
I like quotations that educate. The following quote applies to the real-life events I’m about to reveal.
“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it’ll always get you the right ones.” — John Lennon
Alex was a good manager. He led the design team for our flagship product. His education was impeccable, his experience was expansive, but his people skills were negligible. He was a manager because he had earned the opportunity and had committed to improving his soft skills.
On more than one occasion, I called Alex into my office to discuss troubling feedback I…
Mudflap is a metaphor for products or services that ride the coattails of platforms sold by large corporations. A mudflap is not limited to formal partnership programs offered by companies like Microsoft®, though partnerships are mudflaps. However, there are many opportunities to ride the coattails of big corporations. I’ll tell you my store, but before we dive into this metaphor, we should consider razors and razor blades.
Many startups adopt the razor and blades business model. With this model, you offer your product or service at or near cost with the hope of making your profit by selling supplies or…
Terror mixed with hope makes a potent cocktail.
I’ve started a few companies, failed a few times, started and grew a manufacturing business for five years, and then sold it for a good profit while guaranteeing my employees’ jobs. A couple of times, I participated in mock interviews for the juniors and seniors of Illinois State University. So, I say this only to provide you with some context for what I’m about to say: “You have to be a special kind of person to mess with another person’s life based on your hopes or dreams.”
Regardless of what you are…
Rationalism won’t solve our society’s problems.
The malice that many masked individuals hurl towards each other, not to mention the death rays given to unmasked individuals as they meander outdoors, would kill most people faster than a diet of whole milk and Mars® bars.
John Steinbeck’s character, Slim, in “Of Mice and Men,” says, “Maybe ever’ body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.[i]” Just a brief walk through your grocery store will convince you that Slim was right. It seems that we are on the cusp of entering a dystopian world.
My wife accuses me of being a Libertarian. If you don’t know, the Libertarian Party is more culturally liberal than Democrats and more fiscally conservative than Republicans. I was a Libertarian back in the 1970s before that party became the last resort for failed Republican candidates. When it comes to politics, people usually have short memories. So, most people only think of the modern Libertarian party. In my humble opinion, that party is a hodge-podge of wacky political wannabes, some of whom you wouldn’t let past your front door even if they offered you a year’s supply of free, fresh-squeezed…
I build products and people.