Missed It By That Much

Thanks to Sheri Blaho from CS3 Technology for passing Three Ways Brush Factories Are Surviving In America from Planet Money on NPR on to me today. Audio here.

There is much with which to agree here.

However, the whole thing unravels for me with this sentence, “This allows Cheney to set prices based not on how much the bristle and block cost, but on how much time and effort went into it and how much it’s worth to the customer.”

So close!

It would have been perfect if they had said, “This allows Cheney to set prices based not on how much the bristle and block cost, and on how much time and effort went into it, but how much it’s worth to the customer.”

It never ceases to amaze me that we humans can make the same category mistake when the language involves labor as compared to materials.

There is no difference from a cost accounting perspective between the components and the labor and, therefore it effect on price, but for some reason, our brains just sometimes do not let us see that.

On Racism vs Bigotry

First, without question, I think Sergio Garcia’s comments about Tiger Woods and fried chicken were inappropriate, hurtful and bigoted. A bigot is some who treats other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of a person’s race, or other status.

That said, these comments along do not necessarily make him a racist. A racist is someone who believes in the natural superiority and, therefore, inferiority of all members a one race or another.

Now, Sergio Garcia may in fact be a racist, but that would mean I would know what is in his heart and unless he says outright that he believes that caucasians are superior to Africans then I can’t in good conscious call him a racist.

I mention this because I think it diminishes the word racist to use it incorrectly.

 

 

Lesson from the Salon

I have often spoken about the parallels between software implementation consultants and salon owners. For example, both revenue models have about 50 percent coming from the sale of product (including renewals for software) and about 50 percent coming from service provided.

This morning, this “Suggested post” was in my Facebook stream:

Screenshot_4_16_13_6_48_AM

Notice that it mentions that Julie is salon owner, but what is to stop individual stylists from creating their own App. This way if they leave the salon of their current employ, their clientele can easily track them down and bypass what I understand from my wife and other female colleagues as “the hunt” that takes place when this occurs now.

Of course, the jump to software implementation consulting is easy to see. Individual consultants can set up Apps and away they go.

This enforces the great idea from Peter Drucker that, “In a knowledge society, the most probable assumption for an organization to make is that they need the knowledge workers far more than the knowledge workers need them.”

What are you doing to make you organization a place where knowledge worker thrive and get their knowledge dividend?

A Story about My Grandfather

My grandfather had an expression he used to use on occasions such as a beautiful early Fall evening.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?”

Now this might strike you as odd, extraordinarily glib, or even downright insulting. It was not.

It was actually meant as a reminder to take pleasure in the wonder of life. His implication was that we, my family, were “the rich.” Financially, I can assure you, we were anything but.

We were, however, rich in health (mostly), in spirit, and, most importantly, in love!

“The poor people” in my grandfather’s heuristic expression, were those who lacked this richness in spirit and love.

On those evenings he felt blessed, and his expression and his attitude about life, live with me to this day.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?”

TGO Consulting Joins Ed’s List

Screenshot_2_6_13_1_34_PMI am thrilled to announce another addition to the tongue-in-cheek-eponymous Ed’s ListTGO Consulting.

I have had the honor of knowing the principals Tracy, George, and Orgad for almost 20 years. We were all Great Plains Software partners back in the day.

TGO Consulting is the largest organization in the information technology consulting business that has eliminated timesheets. In fact, other than the advertising agency of Ogilvy and Mather, they are the largest known professional firm to go timeless across the entire professional sector.

In celebration of this, I thought it would be beneficial to have them share their story, and they graciously agreed to record this podcast for me. (I apologize for the echo at the beginning. It self corrected and I hope you don’t find it too distracting.)

Enjoy!

On Imitation

Yesterday, my brother Rich and I had a Skype conversation during which were talking about imitating star performances. He then told me this great story.

“In 1998, Nathan Lane played the Cowardly Lion in a concert adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

“A women came up to him after the performance and snidely said, 'What if I told you that your performance was just an exact imitation of Burt Lahr's.'

“Lane replied, 'I'd say thank you, because Bert Lahr was pretty fucking great!'”

Sometimes imitation is not such a bad thing.

 

My “Why” – Latest Edition

Two years ago, I posted twice about my Why statement. (See those posted here and here for further explanation.)

Since I am convinced that one’s Why is a ever emerging concept, I thought it would be appropriate to share my latest Why, which is:

I believe that entrepreneurs continue the work of creation. I help entrepreneurs (mostly Sage partners and customers) understand how they create value for their customers  and better capture that value through the prices they set.

Please note that the first sentence is the key. I have been testing this at gatherings such as cocktail parties and even PTA meetings when I am asked the usual obligatory opening question, “So, what do you do?”

I have been replying with my Why. This is usually followed by a quizzical look, but after a brief moment, some variation of the phrase, “Tell me more,” is uttered. This leads to some great conversations. Conversations I never would have had, if I did not start with Why.

To Pre or Not to Pre

Fact #1 – I travel a lot for work. In the next five weeks it is unlikely that I will spend ten nights at home with my beautiful wife and kids. This is not meant as a plea, but only to emphasize the first sentence of this post.

Fact #2 – I am also a staunch Libertarian. I am running for Texas State Senate. This is not plea for money, but only to emphasize this second point.

It is these two facts which have caused me some personal conflict. Because most of my travel requires air transport, I am intimately familiar with the TSA. I am guessing that by now you see the challenge.

In any case, about three months ago I received an email from American Airlines asking me if I would like to sign up for the TSA’s Pre program. This program allows travelers to register with the TSA and undergo a background check. In exchange, travelers get to go through a lower security regimen at airport security.

If an airport has the Pre line (and my home airport of DFW does), you can cut right to the security gate where you do not have top take off your shoes or remove your computer or liquids from your travel cases. Instead, your bags are x-rayed and you walk through a metal detector only, no micro scanning (and therefore no naked pictures). Basically, this is the same security procedure as existed on September 10, 2001.

Now the dilemma:

To Pre, or not to Pre: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pokes and prods of outrageous agents,
Or to take arms against a sea of lawyers,
And by opposing end them? To Pre: to bypass;
No more; and by a bypass to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand unnatural scans
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.