A site of endless curiosity

Posts Tagged ‘careers

Lost your job? How to Kickstart(er) your new entrepreneurial career

leave a comment »


Liberty in traditional conservative thought also depends on maintaining the underlying institutions of free-market capitalism-above all the independence, culture, and energy of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur once did play a central role in the system-but this was more than a hundred years ago. Today roughly 90 percent of working Americans are employees-a very different kind of individual.    –America Beyond Capitalism: reclaiming our wealth, our liberty, ans our democracy

Breaking old Paradigms

I know there are a lot of people out of work.
So, what are you going to do?  Stand there and wait for someone to give you a job?
Waiting around for someone to tell you what to do was an excellent fit for the 20th century “industrial age” factory worker.
“Why, when I ask for a pair of hands, does a brain come attached“, says Henry Ford.
Show up on time, respect authority, don’t ask questions, head’s down, do your work.
We will tell you when you can leave – maybe at the end of the day.
Do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.
Until we tell you to stop and do something else.
If you do that for this (same) company, at the end of 30 years, we will give you a pension (maybe) and a boot out the door.

Got an idea?  Get funded!

Well, that’s not the way it works, and will work, in the 21st century.
It may be hard to break out of an old paradigm of “waiting for someone to give you a job”
It’s about leaving your comfort zone and exploiting your talents.
It’s about taking initiative and being responsible for your own outcomes- no excuses,
“No one will give me a job”

Back in the days of the “irrational exuberance” of the dot com bubble and burst it was a challenge to get funding.
You needed to convince angel investors or a venture capital firm to give you seed capital.
And then there was the business plan, term sheet, equity, issues of control, governance, legal issues, and all the rest.
Not something for the small guy to take on.

Today for the entrepreneurial individual or the small team it’s a lot easier to get funding for a project.


It’s been around for a while and it’s available to anyone who has an idea and a good pitch

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

Since our launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects.

Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.

Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

Read more here  –

Check out this quick video from Seth Godin on his project

Or search the Kickstarter web site for sample projects.  Then think of what project YOU could do – if you had financial backers.

Ham Radio Projects

Technology (Arduino) Projects

The Take

There has been a lot written about reforming the educational system away from its traditional role of generating a supply of “workers” in the true industrial-age sense.  What we need now are people who have ideas, the entrepreneurial spirit and those who can leverage networks of people for collaboration, knowledge, and effort.

Kickstarter is a platform and a resource, made possible by the internet and global communication – new in the 21st century – that can provide the individual and small team access to millions of potential financial backers to fund projects.  If you have a good idea and a pitch then there are people waiting to help you along your way.

The Millennial generation has given the out-of-work Baby Boomers a gift.
Leave your comfort zone and use it.
What are you waiting for?


The  Deliberate Dumbing Down of America – A Chronological Paper Trail by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Read the reviews here
Get the book for free here –

What is school for?

Do we want management consultants messing with higher education?

Written by frrl

December 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Can your CIO write code as well as the Harley Davidson CEO can ride a motorcycle?

leave a comment »


VP’s at Motorola that aren’t technology people?

A while ago I listened to a couple of Motorola engineers lament the fact that several of the Motorola Vice Presidents had college degrees in other than a technology field.  The presupposition, in their mind, being that to run a technology company one needs to be an expert in technology – VP’s with MBA’s and degrees in economics and marketing need not apply.

An Apple CEO that is expert at selling Soft Drinks?

Back in 1983 when Steve Jobs tried to lure John Sculley to Apple as CEO he said to him, ““Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”  Why would Steve Jobs try to hire the President of PepsiCo as CEO of Apple?  What does selling “sugar water” have to do with computers and technology?  (“Pepsi, no Coke”)

CIO’s that are not good coders?

I cam across a teaser on the Internet to sign-up for an article, “Should the CIO Know How to Code?”  I suppose that technology people would hope the CIO can wite some code.  How else could someone who is not a coder run a giant corporation?

A Harley-Davidson CEO that can’t tell a horse from a HOG?

A couple of weeks ago I bought a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.  Being as diligent as I am, I took a look at who is running this great (and last) american motorcycle company.  Sure enough, when CEO Keith Wandell came on board in 2009 he probably couldn’t tell a Hog (motorcycle) from a horse.

Shocking fact…  Keith Wandell walks into the CEO office at Harley Davidson and he doesn’t own or ride a motorcycle.  How can this be?  Harley riders would probably hope that the CEO of their cherished company would at least have dirty fingernails and own a couple of tools to work on a bike.

But is it so shocking that non-technology people can run a technology company or that a guy that does not own, ride, or wrench a motorcycle can run a company like Harley Davidson?

The Take – It’s about the business…

Many people forget that a company is not so much about radios, computers, or motorcycles as it is about running a business.  Radios, computers, and motorcycles are just the products at any point in time.  A company is about consumers, markets, demand, economics, and a whole ecosystems of trends, emerging technology, innovation, and competition.  Survival is also much about repositioning.  When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone he also changed the name of the company from Apple Computer to just “Apple” – dropping “Computer” from the company name.  This, to signal a repositioning of Apple to take advantage new opportunities that had noting to do with an Apple computer on your desk.   ( Read related about PESTLE analysis )  ( Read about missing opportunities here )

To be laser focused on a particular technology, or to have a narrow focus only on technology is most times a liability.  Suppose Steve Wozniak was Apple CEO.  How different would it be if a true-blue single-minded engineer set the vision for Apple?  Would Apple have ever transformed the music industry, or created a smartphone?  What goes this have to do with computers?  In some cases, those with a single-minded focus on technology setting a corporate vision can be a liability.  While Steve Jobs, the product and marketing rock star built the most valuable company to date, Steve Wozniak fell into relative obscurity.  What makes companies successful?

Career Paths

For those in their 20’s who want to climb the corporate ladder in a technology company it will be a test to see how long it takes them to figure out that corporate advancement will only be delayed by learning more and more about technology.  Entry to the executive floors is only granted to those with business skills.  The earlier you realize this, the faster you’ll get on track to reach your goal.  Never figure this out and you will  most likely be a techie at the bottom of an organization until the day you retire. 

So, if you are one of those people who really does think that Motorola VP’s should be required to have technology degrees, that CIO’s should know how to write code, and that a better Harley-Davidson CEO would come from the ranks of experienced road-hardended bikers AND you expect to get ahead in corporate america then you should reconsider what it takes to be a successful executive in a FORTUNE 500 corporation.

Off to ride my new HOG. 


The Skinny on the Harley-Davidson CEO that’s “learning to ride” that HOG.
Read the full article here –

Ned Douthat doesn’t care whether Harley-Davidson Inc.’s new CEO rides a Hog or a horse.

Running a company boils down to boosting sales and profits, said Douthat, a financial analyst with Ockham Research Inc.

“It’s really that simple,” he said. “Harley is struggling now. They just need the best leader for the business.”

Starting May 1, Keith Wandell of Johnson Controls Inc. will be that leader.

He replaces James Ziemer, who has been Harley’s president and chief executive since 2005 and is retiring after 40 years with the motorcycle company.

Wandell, president and chief operating officer at Johnson Controls, takes over at a challenging time. Bike sales have slumped as the recession keeps buyers out of dealerships, and the credit crisis makes it difficult for some customers to get financing.

Wandell doesn’t own a Harley yet, a fact that startled some bikers when his appointment was announced last week. They’re used to seeing the company’s top executives clad in leather, riding the shiniest Fat Boy and Ultra Glide Classic machines.

But that doesn’t matter much to Wall Street analysts who follow the company’s fortunes.

“It’s nice to promote from within. But every now and then it doesn’t hurt to bring in an outsider who looks at things from a different point of view,” Hirsch said.

More companies are searching outside of their industries for chief executives.

They’re seeking leadership qualities, regardless of the person’s background, said John Phillips, a labor attorney and columnist with The Employment Law Post.

Gettin’ with the program…

Read about Malcolm Forbes and motorcycling – here

Is there a HOG (investment) in your future?

Written by frrl

June 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm

In Corporate America Powerlessness Corrupts

with 4 comments

They say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

But what about powerlessness?   According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in an article in the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review, powerlessness can corrupt as well – but in a different sort of way.

In some large corporations, strategic plans are done by a few people at the top and then cascaded down to the rest of the organization.   These neat tidy plans, generated by a few, are passed on to the masses who get stuck with the not so tidy, not so pleasant, and messy job of execution.

Those who get hit hardest are those in the middle – middle managers.  Squeezed by scarcity of resources, hemmed in by bureaucracy, and treated as unimportant (“in the middle” – not executives), Kanter observes that, under some circumstances, these folks –  “get even”. 

They “get even” because, caught in the middle, they are powerless.

How Managers “get even” in the face of powerlessness

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

August 2, 2010 at 6:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: