Tag Archives: article

Hire based on Talent, then take care of your employees

It amazes me how companies have no problem mistreating their employees, the very thing they need to run their companies. Why would you mistreat someone who can make or break your company’s image. If you pay your front line employees poorly it will show in how they act towards your customers. Ever been to a place where you can just tell the person working there isn’t happy? Kinda makes you not want to be there right? You end up feeling sorry for the person and wish the company would do something about it. Yea the company will do something about it, fire or reprimand them for acting that way in front of customers.

Companies who pay on the line (market value only or in most cases minimum wage, not a penny more) end up with a higher turnover rate. It costs a lot of money to hire and train new employees (on average its about $500 bucks and that’s on the cheap side). I would hire based on talent and then make sure my employees are happy. If they have to worry about making ends meet, their work performance will suffer and that affects how they do their job and treat customers.

So why do thousands of people flock to Google, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS, Facebook, Tumblr, and lots of other Silion Valley companies that majority will never get into? They want the recognition and respect they deserve as an employee. Those companies provide it on a ten fold scale. Unfortunately more than 90% who apply don’t get in, just because they don’t come close to what these companies want or they don’t match the skill set they are looking for.

One company that talks about their company culture is one that wallstreet has been begging for them to go public for a long time. If you come from a business background then you know that once you go public with your company, it is no longer is yours, it’s about investor profit and market value, something this private company isn’t interested in. They make money and are very good at it but they don’t need anyone else telling them how to run their company and because of that the employees there are treated very well. In an interview with 60 minutes the founder of SAS talks about why he created the kind of work environment he did for his employees and what that makes down the road for the company. Infact, they made it on the list of the best places to work. Full Article Here

Inside SAS Company
Part 1 Interview

Part 2 Interview

If you are interested in learning how companies like SAS and Google and Microsoft and Facebook hire, read these books. This information is just good to know regardless because you can understand how to hire for quality talent.

How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft’s Cult of the Puzzle — How the World’s Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers
The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company
Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?: Trick Questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You … Know to Get a Job Anywhere in the New Economy

Company Cultures

Here are some videos on the life at Google and what it’s like to work there and how to land a job.
The Google Life
Life at Google
National Geographic “Inside Google”
How to Get a Job at Google

When it comes to hiring another person who depends on you for their livelihood of paying the bills, you want to make sure they are well taken care of. If you do not, you will struggle in maintaining employees, regardless of what field you work in. Wal-Mart could do a better job of how they treat their employees. They have a long history of terrible work conditions that the company continues to ignore using PR speech. Don’t believe me? Read the book, Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, where she talks about her horrible experience working for the company. Economically it might be smart to pay on the line so your company can turn a higher profit with each quarter but in the long run your company will suffer for it in human capital, which is most important resource a company can invest in.

In some cities, public payphones will soon be turned into free Wi-Fi spots

The city of New York has decided that for it’s thousands of public payphones that have sat dormant for a long time the time has some to do something with them. The Department of Information and Technology is seeking a contract or partnership for someone to take over the whole operation. These wi-fi spots would also act as advertising spots, some video and some static. This program would allow many people who can not afford broadband service access to the internet. Many of these stations would increase in size and height. The Mayor Bill de Blasio says that this would be a huge benefit to both consumers and businesses.

The idea and plan seem like a great idea but it’s the legal hurdles that always slow down progress. If you are interested in finding out more click on the link below.

Payphones turn into Free Wi-Fi spots

Social Capital is all around, you just have to invest in it

It’s not surprising how so few people ever take the time to talk to a stranger during the day. What if that person in the grocery store was the one you needed to know because they know someone who works in at a company that you’ve been applying to? What about that person you sat next to on the bus this morning? They might have been looking for a fun conversation to have but instead just sat there quietly.

This should not come as a surprise but there are opportunities out there everyday and they all come in the form of a little social conversation. Just saying hi or smiling at someone can brighten their day in ways you will never know.

In an experiment done to find out what kind of experience people would have if they talked to someone on the subway or train or bus, most of what the researchers found was that everyone was interested in talking to everyone. You just have to get over the fear of being rejected. If you say hi, that could start a whole new relationship with someone. It doesn’t have to be a life long relationship but just one that brought some joy to another person’s life. Business from a capitalist perspective is all about how much capital they can grow in a short period of time. The social entrepreneur knows that the best capital you can gain comes, not from money, but from people. It’s your relationships with others that help you to grow your business. Someone you know might know someone who is in need of your services and from there it grows. Money is nice to have, but in the end, it’s your relationships that showed what kind of impact you made on this world. Or a better way of looking at it, which one is more likely to show up for your funeral?

Read more about the social experiment conducted on public transportation

This developer worked with Steve Jobs, now he works for himself

Many tech companies hire students before they even graduate, but this one computer science major wanted to finish his degree to make sure he had something to show for his time. When he finally graduated he had to wait for Mr. Jobs to come back and approve the hire because he was on vacation.

He went on to work on creating the safari web browser app on the iPhone. The experience of working with Mr. Jobs right away was something that surprised the new hire. He didn’t think he would be asked to create something that millions of consumers would be using right away on a product that no one had ever seen before. The experience that Mr. Jobs taught him about work ethics is something he has carried with him since his time at Apple. Now he creates his own apps and works for himself after selling his first company to Motorola.

The key thing that to take away from the article is this. In college he worked on a special webkit on his own time that made Apple recruiters notice his work. It was his ambition to create his own projects while still going to school that helped get him noticed. If your in school, college, or university and all you do is the work your professors ask of you, then you are not doing enough. You are not understanding the point of going to school.

Read more about iPhone engineer and his latest app

Tech Startups struggle in the city that never sleeps

Silicon Valley is home to some of the most famous startups in the world. Why? Because that is where all the major investors and resources are to building up major ideas into corporations. A city that has been trying to cash in on the same opportunities has found that it is not as easy as it looks, even if you try to mimic the same model the west coast is using.

In an effort to rival Stanford’s hotbed of innovators, city officials approved Cornell University of turning Roosevelt island into a technology campus. The idea is that it will bring in major investors, the next generation of innovators, and with all that money to the city and fame. The turn out so far has not be great. New York has a different vibe that each city carries with it. The adage that “if you build it, they will come,” seems to be what the city of New York is hoping for. Just because you build a large scale site for building new companies, the major investors are still in silicon valley. They will still have to fly to California to pitch to the VCs of their industries if they are looking for any kind of footing. It’s a tricky investment so when the campus is complete and up and running for a few years, the numbers will show whether it was a wise decision or not. For the major companies that looked promising in the beginning, like Foursquare and Tumblr, the outcomes have not been what everyone hoped for.

Will New York become the next Silicon Valley?

Have you made any of these mistakes in your startup?

When starting a new business, especially a technology company, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the fun, but there are a few things you need to take care of before going full steam ahead. If you don’t manage these affairs first, you will only encounter problems later on.

Don’t commit these top 10 Legal Mistakes made by early stage entrepreneurs

What would it take to fix a situation as bad as McDowell County, W.Va?

The conditions in McDowell County of West Virginia are so bad that majority of the people there live on government support. In a place once supported by the coal industry, most people get by on disability insurance, social security, and food stamps. Infact, this county was one of the first recipients of the federal food stamp program created by President John F. Kennedy because of his promise on his campaign trail to help them. Teen pregnancy rates are high, but drug use is even higher. The conditions for most are appalling because no major industries operate there anymore.

After reading the full article the first thing that came to my mind was, how would I fix this situation as an entrepreneur? The first thing that came to mind was Jared Diamond’s famous book, Collapse, on how societies fail or survive. He studied the way in which societies, based on environmental or industrial influences, were affected. In many cases some flourished to the point of creating a vibrant community that afforded jobs and support for its people. Of course there is the opposite case, one too many unfortunately, in which many cities or towns or whole regions fell apart because of unfavorable conditions. He marks some of the contributing factors that play a role in the decline of societies and how that has a negative economic impact on its surrounding neighbors.

After considering his work, the next thing I thought was, if enough entrepreneurs got together and viewed the condition here as a failing business model, what would it take to bring it back from the dead? From a business perspective, one has to be of reasonable mind to know that if a business model doesn’t work or a company is operating in the red it’s best to fold the company and move on (i.e., file for bankruptcy) unless unlimited funds are available. In this case, aside from looking at it like a business model, the option to fold is not available because the one thing that is present here, and not present in the first, are the lives of the people here. Regardless of what option you pick, their lives will continue to be here so using the Vanishing Option Test, that Chip and Dan Heath discussed in their book Decisive, you understand that the only option you have is to help them because you got rid of all your other options (vanishing option) such as more government assistance (which has shown to have negative effects). When no other option is available then you understand there has to be major changes made in order to bring them around.

After considering these two books I imagined how entrepreneurs would bring about change to this place. In an ideal situation you would bring in funding to build new schools, new homes, new apartments, a new main street with operating businesses with parks nearby and places for entertainment (movie theaters, bowling alleys and skate parks). The idea would be to use crowdfunding to bring in money instead of through banks, who wouldn’t lend a penny because they see no return value in it (what does that say about their own support?) But after all is said and done and people have jobs, is that enough? Would the town be able to support itself after it has conditioned itself to live off of government support all these decades?

As an entrepreneur, what questions would you ask yourself about this situation? This is important to know because there might be times you are asked to come into a sinking ship of a company and fix everything, the question is, will you know what to do?

Here are some questions I asked myself
Would building new facilities throughout the small town fix anything or just make it worse? Remember this is a place that has a long history of prescription drug abuse and high drop out rates.
Would bringing in high quality instructors to teach free education programs be enough to get people working again?
Would offering good paying jobs help bring back the community?
What would be the first step in fixing such a problem?

This is just one community that happened to be showcased in the newspaper. Remember that are hundreds, if not thousands, of little communities throughout the US that suffer the same condition of being abandoned by an industry.

Leave a comment if you have an idea about how to tackle such a problem or would just like to share your thoughts in general.

Read the Full Story of McDowell County Here

Learn more about McDowell with the Documentary – “Hollow, an Interactive Documentary”