First steps in the Hi-Tech sales world

March 3, 2008

Elevator madness

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — . @ 12:50 pm

Like most office buildings, ours has quite a few floors. Coming from the parking lot, at floor -3, to our offices at the 6th floor, is quite a climb. So, if you will excuse my laziness, I choose to go up those 9 floors by elevator. A smooth ride is always more preferable.
Most other people are also legitimate riders. 0 to 4, -1 to 5…
However, there is a certain species of people. They seem just like you and me. But, they insist on taking the lift, from floor 0 to 1. Or from 1 to 0. One floor.
For this, they stop you twice on the way. Once to get on, once to get off. Now I know this sounds like it’s not a big deal. But this is really annoying. The entrance to the stairs is right there, next to the elevator. it is one floor.
Use your legs! Especially when I am in a hurry, this double stop really makes me want to shoot these people.
Dwellers of floor 1 beware. I am on to you!

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January 24, 2008

My private jungle

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , — . @ 12:15 pm

For years, it has been a known fact. I am a serial killer. Any plant that came near me, very quickly became another skeleton. not in the closet as in the trash can (for you brits – in the bin).
Lately, I have managed to create a small miracle. Four, I repeat – four plants have stayed alive and well on my desktop. Real plants. For over half a year they have flourished and grown. They make you feel good. They bring oxygen to the room. They improve the environment. They are pure good.
However, as of today, it seems like I have returned to my evil ways. Any idea what I have done wrong?

plant.jpg

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January 16, 2008

A new job?

Filed under: Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — . @ 6:13 am

I was talking with a friend of mine. He has never worked in the same place for over 1 year. I have been in the same place for over 3. Eternity in our business. In many ways, I am sick and tired of my place of employment. Stupid people, annoying regulations, political decisions that make no sense. You name it.
He told me – just find another job.
However, what I figure is this. My company is made of people. And this is how people behave. That will be true in every company I will go to. There will always be annoying people. There will always be struggles of power, and irrational behavior.
On the other hand, the most common way to increase your salary, is to get a new job. Or, as the song by Chava Alberstein goes, in another place, the despair becomes more comfortable.

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January 13, 2008

Someone elses stuff.

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, travel, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — . @ 11:25 am

so, I have a laptop from work. We have a real love-hate relationship. On the one side, it’s a computer for free. It allows me now to sit in a lobby, drinking a drink and writing my stuff. All good. However, it’s also a part of work that is always there. While typing these words, my bottom right corner is reminding me of new emails from co-workers that need attention. It is work going with you wherever you go.

But my big dilemma is how to treat this little black box. If I had a laptop that belonged to me, I’m not sure I’d be able to consider taking it with me abroad, and I’d be very careful about leaving it in the room when I leave.
It is mine, but it’s not. On the one hand, you want to treat something that is not really yours better than you would your own suff, as it belongs to someone else. And you need to respect that. On the other hand, it’s company property, and just a tool, and it’s insured. And hell, it’s not like it’s mine…

So. Walking around town all day, do I have to carry this heavy load or can i just leave it in the room and to hell with it? Only problem is that without it, the meeting tomorrow will be a problem.
Ah, what dilemmas we have.

here is another man’s dilemma:

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January 2, 2008

Doing someone elses work

Here is a dilemma for you.
A co worker has something to do. It is, without a doubt their job. However, it is quite clear they have no idea how to do it. Now, teaching them how to do it will take half a day. Correcting their mistakes afterwards, another half day. Doing it yourself, will take 3 hours. And you have a sneaking suspicion that even if you take the effort, they will come to you again for help next time.
Some will try to tech, some will not bother and just do it themselves. Some of the latter will even take some hidden joy in feeling how important and needed they are, that they know all, and everyone depends on them.
In my heart, I know that the first solution is the right one. We all know the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” (apparently by Lao Tzu) But we are all stressed, and working hard, and are lacking in spare time. What the hell am I supposed to do?

December 31, 2007

Another year ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

Another year has passed. It’s fun to look back.
To think of where I was a year ago. Blogless (I now have 2!), starting my way in the new job, that now feels like an old glove (It stinks, but feels quite comfortable after long use) and fumbling my way in a relationship (We are getting married next year).
I guess one of the interesting things that I have discovered in the past year can be summed up regarding my 30th birthday. I feared that day so much. The reason was how I felt in my 20th. I thought my life was over. I was entering the terrible decade, where you get your bald spot, your beer belly, you get imprisoned (married) and get a mortgage, a dog, and a pension plan. Your soul dies.

Then I reached 30. Thank god, still no beer belly, and I have all my hair. But more Importantly, I have grown. Being with someone for the rest of my life seems like an adventure. Having kids seems like a dream, and owning a home, something to be proud of. And I have never in my life felt so content with who I am, and where I am in my life. I love my life, I love the people I have chosen to surround myself with, and feel like I am in a good period of my life.
What can one ask for at the end of a year, other than being with the people that you love, and love you back, and feeling content with the year gone bye. Knowing it was time well spent.

In the trip that is your life, it is much more important to enjoy the path, then reaching the final destination. It took me 30 years to figure this out.

Soon to be 31, I wish you all a wonderful new year, and may you look back at the year that has past, and have no regrets.

Let me end this year in an optimistic cartoon of my favorite characters:
19951231.gif

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December 30, 2007

Clocking out

Filed under: Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — . @ 12:13 pm

Once upon a time, I worked for a large company. A well established place with over 500 employees. As it also belonged to a company with 4000 employees, the culture was that of a large company. Amongst other things, the clock. Coming in to work, and leaving, you had to “Punch in/out”. Not with a real paper card like in the old days, but still.
I remember vividly, that the clock worked in increments of 6 minutes. Most people in that company were around the age of 40, and when leaving, I’d ask someone if they were coming with me, and I’d hear people say that they are staying another 2 minutes, to get another increment on the clock and not waste 3 minutes that have passed.
It was so sad.
Where I work now also has a clock. The door opens only with a card, and they count your time from the 1st entrance to the last exit of the day. I know a large company is hard to manage, but why do we stick to this mechanism? If I can do all my work and then some in 3 hours, why do I count less than the guy next to me, that stays here 11 hours a day, most of them browsing for porn, and eating lunch?
We need a better system.

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December 25, 2007

Logan’s Run

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — . @ 1:34 pm

We have a new employee in R&D. The guy walked into the room to introduce himself. He’s about the same age as my dad. White hair, wrinkled skin, heavy glasses. This definitely stood out in a company that has an average age of about 30. All of a sudden I felt very strange. What is this guy doing here? I really felt that he doesn’t belong.
But why?
Why does this industry treat older people this badly? I am sure that if 2 equal people compete over the same job in this business, the younger one gets the job. It seems like we have entered our own version of Logan’s run (Check out the movie if you never saw it). What will happen to us once this glorious youth has passed? Do we get tossed into the volcano?
We have become a society that worships youth. We have forgotten to appreciate the wisdom and experience that older people bring. And we are the ones that will pay for this when we are a bit older, and find that we are no longer the hot stuff we thought we are. This is the only reason our generation fears growing old so much.

This is what the world is going to look like in 20 years:
20yearsfromnow.gif

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December 20, 2007

The difference between men and boys.

Filed under: funny, gadgets, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — . @ 1:31 pm

I am reaching my 31st birthday in an alarming rate. Today, I went eating with the guy that sits in the room with me today. We went to an Italian restaurant. Sitting there having our lunch, talking about important things. The stock market that is very much painful, yessir. Globalization, open markets, venture capitalists.
Finishing our lunch, we wandered out of the restaurant, and naturally, without even discussing it, walked into the toy shop across the street. There, on the floor, was a bargain. A small remote controlled car, on sale. we grabbed 2, and took them to work.
After charging them, we took them for a ride. It takes 42 seconds to cross the entire company from side to side.
It has been a busy day. Being a championship holder is tiresome.
It took exactly one day for two guys in R&D to go out and buy 2 bigger cars. Now there is the Product gang, against the R&D gang. Our cars are faster, theirs are bigger and can apparently ride over ours. Tomorrow we set up a challenge course with tables and stuff and see who makes it through first.

An old saying goes – The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys…

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December 16, 2007

People that leave the company.

Long ago philosophers commented on the fact that things are always changing. One example (by Heraclitus) was that you can never cross the same river twice. The next time you step in it, you will be crossing different waters, the rocks and sand have moved. It is no longer the same as it was. Another good example told of a boat. Say you own a boat. Once in a while, the boat needs some fixing, and you take out some of the boards, and replace the with new ones. Say you have replaces 2 boards. Is it still the same boat? Then you replace the mast. How about now? Eventually you will have replaced every single part. (My experience has taught me the same applied to my old car.) Will it then still be the same boat, even if none of the parts are still the original ones?
Our bodies are the same. Cells die and are born, and we are constantly replacing parts and materials. Nothing is constant.

The same applies to companies. since I have started working here, almost every single one of the people that were here has left, and others have come. of the 40 something people that were here, 5 remain. we now number over 70. We are like homeopathic medicine.
Am I still working at the same company?

Something must be true if disney made a song out of it (2nd or 3rd line of this immortal classic)

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December 9, 2007

Working hours

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — . @ 7:08 am

Hi-Tech people seem to live the stereotype. Arriving late, usually way after 9am, and leaving work somewhere around 7-8pm. This I believe can be explained from the old days of the startup. People used to work really hard, and stay late. However, as work became a bit more sane, people started to want their hours back, but cannot be the first to leave as that makes a bad impression.
So now everyone leaves late, but arrives late as well, to not get screwed.
I have become very tired of this tradition.
I am payed to work about 9 hours. I am expected to give more. This has created a very nasty tradition that makes me get home very late every evening. During the day, however, there is time for a lunch hour of over 1 hour, a walk to the nearest store for some M&M’s, and anything you can imagine. Not a very effective workday.
So I decided on a revolution. I get up with my girlfriend at 7, and am at work by 8. Those 9 hours mean I can work, and leave by 5, 5:30. Now that is a treat. I have my life back, I can actually do something else that day.

This is what I aim for… (Anyone even remember this?)

Only trouble is, most people here give me the bad eye when I want to leave that “early”, and ask me stuff just as I am going home. So I end up leaving about the same time…

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December 6, 2007

The sales man dilemma

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — . @ 9:18 am

When working in R&D I felt like I was doing the real work. I was developing the system and the rest of the company were real leeches, living on my work.
Moving to a more Sales oriented job (Pre-Sale), your outlook on life slowly changes. The way a feature was implemented is so unimportant, and even whether we have it at all is no more than a line on a sales pitch. Those RD people are slow, lazy kids that know nothing on how the real world works, and we are really doing the hard, important work, selling the product, covering for all the defects that the programmers put in it, and getting the money that pays our salaries.
However, there are the sales people. They schmooze their way in life. They come to the company with a big contact list. They barely have an idea what we do. They set up meetings, as hi, and let me as the technical guy do all the talking and explaining. I then answer the questions, write all the paperwork, and fix their mistakes in the part they have to write.
And they get the commission on the deal.
The bastards.

Tho I get the feeling that the day I become a sales person, I will feel differently again…

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