Archives for posts with tag: Business

click picture for an important explanation of ‘faggot’ (luis ck)

The #1 way to be more creative instantly:

Switch ‘storm’ to ‘shit’.

That’s it.

Brainstorms sound so epic! If you’re in one then great, zap away! But every person I talk to that feels like they don’t have ideas often enough – I talk to myself every day about this – feels they have bad ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

very embarrassing to carry this around

This post seems like the opposite of everything else on this blog. But I think when I ‘get over mySelf’ it won’t look that way so much.

I just read Jeffrey Pfeffer’s Power and it was fascinating. I don’t know why I said fascinating. There’s interesting stuff in there. Those books frighten me. A book written specifically to learn how to control people! I assume it’s similar to Robert Cialdini’s Influence (summary). A business version of The Game. I haven’t read those but I assume it’s like that. Or any marketing book.

A lot of this is obvious, distasteful, Read the rest of this entry »

My 10 step program will free you from the tyranny of the burrito!

I am a Chipotle Expert. I was once interviewed by FOX News and in the corner of the screen it said, “Kyle Eschenroeder”. Then it said, “Chipotle Expert”. I swear to God. I’ve spent a good portion of my life mastering the Chipotle Order.

Joseph Campbell said that the hero’s journey must include bringing it all home. Without that it’s incomplete. So I stand before you as your Chipotle Hero. I have gone through the trenches and done my worst to get a big-ass bowl of food. The dragons have been confronted, the dark nights illuminated, the reflections reflected. I present to you, the Sacred Secrets of Ordering Chipotle.

The journey to the ultimate SALAD (!?)

  1. Smile. Don’t walk up to the Counter of Dreams pouting at the being who is going dish up your dish. If you have breasteses, display them graciously.
  2. Get a SALAD. Don’t let the fools make you feel like a pussy for saying the word ‘salad’. Science shows us that Chipotle Salads are the heaviest food items available. If you want a tortilla then ask – they’ll give you TWO. And get the dressing. It’s delicious.
  3. Brown rice. No trick, it’s just better for you than that nasty white shit. Read the rest of this entry »

This spring break I’m going to be riding the Miami Startup Bus. The more I find out about the competition the more surprised I am they let a sucker like me in. From the site, “StartupBus is a national competition. 6 buses of strangers travelling 60 miles per hour have 48 hours to conceive, build, and launch a startup.” When I tell people about this they say, “wow! what a great networking opportunity!” which it is, but when I hear it I cringe a little.

The word “networking” just sounds dirty to me. I picture a bunch of people in a room figuring out ways to best exploit those they bump into. Any time I’m at an event like that it’s difficult to trust the sincerity of those I meet. There’s no human connection when you know people are BSing BSers.

My naive idea is that you should just make friends. Connect with people you like and respect. Recognizing their talents and helping people leverage them is just part of that friendship.

[Edit: Not sure if this was clear – I’m planning on leaving the StartupBus with lots of new friends.]

My father wants me to give him a lesson in social networking online. He wants to use these magical platforms for business. So here’s my thinkings in brief:

Dear Father Dana,

There’s a lot of material out there on “harnessing the power of social media to drive business!” but most of it isn’t repeatable and frankly just common sense or dumb. I think the most important things are:

  • Be interesting
  • Be useful
  • Be consistent
  • Be authentic

Authenticity being the most important. If you don’t make a human connection with people then you lose. Read the rest of this entry »

Today I was required to go to a ‘career luncheon’, I tweeted that the attendees of a brothel brunch would have more self respect. The visitors were from PayLess shoes, who have been doing well. So I’m in a room with these PayLess representatives and about thirty peers. The experience couldn’t have been more painful. These kids spent almost the entire hour (a full sixty minutes, I was literally on the verge of tears) asking about their fucking resumes. The genius girl in the room dropped the ‘social media’ bomb (and used the words ‘integrate’ and ‘implement’!) and by the reactions in the room you’d think she had cured cancer. This sent the PayLess rep on a very long speech about making a Facebook page. A later answer triggered what I think might be the answer to why so many companies fail in their social media campaigns.

The PayLess rep had spent an amazing amount of time talking about how great the company culture is. “I just have so much fun!” “All the senior executives are so accessible!” “We are going to go on a ropes course!” Then, when talking about how he hired people, he told us all about how he didn’t hire someone because they were drinking in a picture. Then the other rep, a young woman, chimed in, “Yeah, it’s a really comfortable situation at work and I’m friends with everyone on my team. I just have to be very careful about what people see. Like, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party the other day and I had a blast but I can’t just put those pictures up. Like [and this chicita  said ‘like’ A LOT], I saw a co-workers Facebook partying and I just thought it was wrong. Like, we’re co-workers… I want to keep things professional.” REALLY!? If your job requires that you be sober and celibate (not saying putting nudez online is a good idea…) and that’s not who you are, you’re selling your soul. If keeping things professional means that you can’t enjoy yourself or actually make friends within the workplace, you’re done.

Tony Hsieh has built Zappos on the culture of real people . The only way social media can work for a company is if it feels real, not like a censored Facebook page.

I had a shitty experience the other day but got something worth talking about out of it.  A guy tried to dock me $100 on a job I did because he didn’t think it was up to par (after reading some of the other articles on the site I can tell you it was definitely better than a lot of the crap on the site.)  No discussion, no email, just a check for $650 instead of $750.

I emailed the guy telling him about the ‘misprint’.  Of course, he emails me back telling me my work was crap and he didn’t think I deserved full payment.  Usually, I’d just say, “Fuck it, it’s not even worth it.”  But I kept getting an uneasy feeling.  I delivered, there’s nothing wrong with collecting on what you’ve done.

Anyway, he’s sending the check for the remainder and I’ve learned a couple good lessons.  Doing good work gives you a proper feeling of entitlement to your payment.  And always get a contract…

I read ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals in thee sittings, which is extremely fast for me.  A lot of the book is common sense, but the kind that isn’t so common.  A lot of the book tests assumptions made by corporations.  An example is that profitability is more important than growth.  One of my favorite people, Tim Ferriss, featured them on his blog recently and provided some great excerpts.

These are my notes from the book:

19 – Don’t put too much emphasis on making plans.  You will uncover tons of information while working on your project that will alter your plans.  [Seth Godin, who endorses this book, said in Linchpin that you should have a total blueprint before beginning a project to reduce thrashing.  I think the point here is that when new information comes up that alters the plan, don’t feel bad about straying from the path.]

20 – Plan for the week, not the year. Circumstances are much easier to predict tomorrow than they are in a month.

23 – Profitability is the goal, not growth.

36 – “Scratch your own itch.” Or, solve your own problems.  This is a great way to come up with ideas.  Also, when you are solving your own problems then you know how well you are doing.

38 – Actions are the only things that matter – ideas and plans without actions are useless.

43 – “A strong stand attracts super fans.” If you (or your product) don’t have a strong belief in something then you are screwed.  If you aren’t pissing anyone off then it is unlikely that you are creating strong connections with those that would be your best fans.

56 – Start a business not a startup. The goal is profit.  Know how you will become profitable from the start.

72 – Make the most basic element of your product the best it can be. Read the rest of this entry »

I finished Linchpin by Seth Godin last week.  I wasn’t blown away and my life hasn’t changed.  It essentially was further confirmation that more and more companies care about what you can do more than the degree you hold.  Resumes are pretty much bullshit.  The new resume is your blog or portfolio (going along with his idea that we all must become artists.)

He makes the point that because things are so cheap now, ideas are worth more than they have ever been.  In this way, we must all be ‘artists’.  His idea of an artist is anyone who figures out something new.  A new way to do an activity or to create something that didn’t exist before.

Most of the ideas in the book can be found at his blog.

These are my notes from the book:

  • “There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you what to do.”
  • The Law of the Mechanical Turk: Any project broken into small, predictable parts can be achieved for free.  [He emphasizes crowdsourcing in Wikipedia.]
  • Attendance based compensation is over.  Jobs are quickly disappearing that anyone can do and pay well.
  • A good question to ask: “If my organization wanted to replace me with someone better, what would the look for?”
  • Management tip: Push decisions as far down the ladder as possible.
  • Nobody sets out to be a typical person.  Indoctrination sets in later…
  • School should only teach two things: 1.  How to solve interesting problems and 2. How to lead.
  • You don’t have to be always right, just always moving.
  • The more value you create in your job, the less time you have to spend on it.  [Genius only comes in short bursts.  Geniuses are only genius a very small portion of the time.  Most of their time is spent doing what most people could do.]
  • “Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone assumes is the truth.”
  • Emotional labor is very important.  It’s work you do to manage your feelings.  [ie don’t be a dick at work]
  • Linchpins solve unseen problems and connect people that don’t know they need to be connected.
  • Linchpins assume duties that cannot be assigned or measured. [This is why they’re missed when they’re gone.]
  • Never seek out critics. It’s like pleasing the heckler in the back while the rest of your audience wait.
  • Leverage emotional labor (charm) to help with your skill/craft.
  • Seek achievements that have no limit.  Innovative solutions to new problems never get old.
  • Linchpins don’t need a formal resume.
  • Emotional Labor is doing important work, even when it’s not easy.  [ie working on a report instead of banging out mindless homework]
  • ‘Artists’ don’t think FAR out of the box, just enough to be innovative and acceptable/salable.
  • The purpose of starting is to finish.  Shipping is the goal.
  • Thrashing= apparently productive brainstorming/tweaking to a project as it develops. If you thrash in late stages of a product you will never ship.  So always thrash early, before the project is underway.
  • Don’t just be productive with other people’s task lists.  [If you get tons of emails done at work and tons of homework done you still haven’t done shit towards your aspirations.]
  • Having a backup plan makes us more likely to fall back on it.
  • Lots of bad ideas leads to good ideas.
  • We often don’t allow ourselves to be our best.
  • Fear is involved in any conflict.
  • “Sprinting” is a good way to keep inner dialog out.  [Give yourself shorter timelines than you could possibly finish in.]
  • Building a platform to launch from makes launching much easier. This means build an audience.  This could be through a blog, online videos, twitter, whatever.
  • Have a due date and a blueprint before you start work on a project.
  • Don’t set up a judge and jury for your work.  Set your own definition of success.
  • Deliver a product that can never be adequately paid for. A musical performance or a movie or a product that changes your life for the better can not be paid for in full.  The goal is to make something like that…
  • Humans are difficult to change, try to embrace their uniqueness.
  • You can fit in or stand out – not both.
  • Bring passion to what you do, don’t try to ‘find’ it. People spend their whole life searching for their ‘passion’ when they should have just gotten excited about what they were doing their whole lives.
  • Five key personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability.
  • Sincerity is very important in changing minds (placebo effect).
  • In the customers’ eyes you need to be the best.

A great quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on page 208:

If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart. If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined.  If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his frieds and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life. A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.  He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not “studying a profession,” for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.  He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.

In Pages 127+128 Godin provides some examples of  “resistances”.

  • Don’t ship on time.  LAte is the first step to never.
  • Provrastinate, claiming that you need to be perfect.
  • Ship early, sending out defective ideas, hoping they will be rejected.
  • Suffer anxiety about what to wear to an event.
  • Excuses involving lack of money.
  • Excessive networking with the goal of having everyone like and support you.
  • Engage in deliberate provocotive behavior designed to ostracize you so you’ll have no standing in the community.
  • Demonstrate lack of desire to obtain a new skill.
  • Spend hours on obsessive data collection.
  • Be snarky.
  • Start committees instead of taking action.
  • Joining committees instead of leading
  • Ship deliberately average work that will fit in and be ignored.
  • Don’t ask question. OR Ask too many questions.
  • Start a never-ending search for the next big thing, abandoning yesterday’s things as old.
  • Be boring.
  • Focus on revenge instead of doing new work.
  • Slow down as the deadline for completion approaches.
  • Wait until tomorrow.
  • Manufacture anxiety about people stealing your ideas.
  • Believe it’s about gifts and talents, not skill.  And announce you have neither.

Godin actually took this from Bre Pettis’ blog.  It’s a manifesto of “done”:

  1. There are three states of being.  Not knowing, action, and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination.  If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection.  It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong.  Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  • Done is the engine of more.
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