First steps in the Hi-Tech sales world

October 30, 2007

Business 101

Filed under: humor, Personal, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — . @ 8:04 am

My brother, god bless him, is a DJ. (Wait, does that mean he can bless himself, according to faithless?)
For years he has struggled with his job, as the DJ market has been very hard in the last few years. Every 12 year old kid wants to be one, and will work for free, and many of the clubs have closed since the last intifada. However, lately he has been doing better. He has more work, and has even been asked to take responsibility on clubs, setting up the line up of DJ’s for those places. It sounded funny to me at first, but it’s working. For all my years of education, and work in the big world, that kid has discovered before me, the simple truth –
Truth number 1: You do not make real money by working. You make money by telling other people to work.

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October 28, 2007

WordPress Convention 2007

This was my first convention about blogging and such. Better to sit in a lecture hall, eat fun food, drink and hear lectures than WORK.
(Fellow bloggers, Please read all the way through before you lynch me.)
Coming in was a bit of a shock. I felt like I landed in a National Geographic TV Special. “The mating rituals of the common Geek.” people were definitely talking another language. Names were almost irrelevant, people introducing themselves by their blogs.
While waiting for the 1st lecture to start, people were already debating on what forum to open so they can chat online while the conference is still running. In other words: “Let’s all come together to a place and chat online with people that are in the same room as we are.” Perhaps they feel better talking online than face to face?
God knows.
I definitely enjoyed being a nobody for a day, watching this close circle of friends, speaking a language that I sometimes understood. And in many ways that is what it was. It seemed like these 200 people or so all know each other intimately, all read each other, comment on each other, and I felt that I would not be surprised if most of their traffic is the same 200 people.
One interesting example is this 1st speaker, an interesting lady called Lorelle that little me never heard of before. She was obviously a guru of sorts, and I knew that before the weekend would be over, tons of posts would be talking about her, referencing to her, hoping to be referenced back. Everyone wants a link from one of the top blogs around, right? Indeed, as I saw online, many posts of people that were there talked about the event, specifically about her, and surprise – got mentioned in her blog. See here. (go to the news section). I think my favorite, that really gives a good example of the point I want to make is this one. People, be careful with this recursion!

However, as time passed, and I pondered if I would ever post this piece, for which I will surely earn many haters (“Not only is he a snob, but he doesn’t even dare identify himself! didn’t he listen to Lorelle that said you must identify yourself to earn responsibility??”) I grew to appreciate them. A small but dedicated community, that really puts a lot of time and effort into this thing, that for me is just a small time hobby. They boldly face the world of “doing anything in computers in Hebrew” and have translated whole parts of the platform to fit them. They support each other, and help the ones in need. These are the people that in general, simply produce stuff that lots of us read and enjoy. So what is the harm if some of them are a bit geeky? They are the ones that made WordPress the interesting place that I enjoy blogging in, and made WordPress in Hebrew a 5 minute installation. Give or take an hour.

(BTW – Sadly, I have my reasons for which I cannot tell you who I am, but I do appear shortly in the video you can see here, at Niv Calderon’s blog post.) 🙂

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Technorati tags: wordcamp2007israel

October 24, 2007

Multiple Choice

An interesting question has risen today during lunch.
A colleague of mine told me that his friends company has just re-located. The reason for this was that apparently, the employees would start the debate on which restaurant to eat in at 11, argue till 12, and then go for lunch. This loss of hours was too costly, and management moved them to a place with less restaurants.
Connect this with what my parents called “toys are us syndrome” – When I was a little boy, they would, as a treat, take me once in a while to the Toys are us shop, and tell me I can choose one toy. These visits would always end in tears, as there was no way that I, a 5 year old kid, could possibly choose just one of those thousands of lovely toys.
So, the million question is, do we really need, do we really want, that much selection in life? It seems like whenever we have too much to choose from, we get lost, confused, and cannot make a selection. Do we want the company to offer 30 kinds of cars for us, or just a big one and a small one, making selection so much simpler? Should there really be 40 types of laundry soap in the supermarket???
feeling lost?

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October 17, 2007

Being linked to

Filed under: Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — . @ 4:18 pm

What do you know. There are many a page in this grand Internet of ours. Some are linked to from every computer on the planet, and some lost in the infinite space of the cyber-world, not known to the anyone, no road leading to their door.
Some sites, like Google, are in the bookmark of every person on the planet. Some, famous entertainment sites, like http://www.uniquepeek.com are linked to, from every other site like them in an endless web of links that would probably look amazing if it was ever drawn.
Another big web is the infinite linking of evil spam blogs and sites to each other, to increase rating on Google.
Until not long ago, my blog was hanging in a void. nothing but a few random keywords pointing to it’s existence. But as of today, it currently hold 2 spots in the vast cyber-universe. 2 places in the web point to this blog. Both recommendations of other bloggers, that did this without my asking. They decided that they like this blog, and wanted to recommend it.
Finally my blog is not a black hole in space, with no entrances or exits. There are 2 roads (dirt roads, true, but on the map) that lead here.
I am as proud of those 2 links as a 6 year old kid is of his first hard earned dollar, in a way that Bill Gates will never be of his 45th billion dollars (or Google of their gazillion links leading to them). This moment I will cherish, My first step into the web, for real 🙂

Thank you:
http://ilanas.blogspot.com/2007/10/defining-startup-company.html

http://pravdam.com/2007/09/01/my-5-blogday-choices/

My place in space :
universe.JPG

Breaking the internet

If I link to a page that links to me, will I bring down the whole thing?
Today I found out via my powerful magic cauldron (and the WordPress Statistics tools) that someone out there linked to my Blog. Aside from mentioning how great it is (Listen to the nice stranger!) he gives an intelligent and good definition to what is a startup. Just to give more insight, to this question. At least check the end of the post at least, if you are stressed for time.
http://ilanas.blogspot.com/2007/10/defining-startup-company.html
While I didn’t have a chance to read the entire blog, he seems like a smart guy, that does some programming issues, some soup recipes and some personal insight on life. Worth checking out. 🙂

October 14, 2007

Defining a Startup company

Filed under: Personal, Startup — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — . @ 9:12 am

Well, if you noticed the comment to the question I raised, you will see that despite the best efforts of the Economist, for most of us the definition is still an emotional one.
we started working in a small company. Feeling like we are about to conquer the world, our select, elite team was about to give our souls and sleeping hours to get this baby of ours on it’s feet, and take the hi tech world by a storm. Success would mean a substantial bonus for all, and everyone is working together. A small place, good atmosphere, people working all to one goal.
Sometimes, the added bonuses – a pool table, cool offices, or some other crap.
We were trying to also avoid working in a large company. So many employees you no longer know anyone. Feeling like a small bolt in a large machine where you can no longer influence anything. Lots of paperwork, for no real reason (Try filling 6 separate pages for one line of code changed), of just imagine any Dilbert comic ever written.
Somewhere in the middle is the transition from the startup to the company.
On the day you drown in endless email messages, all of them endless “Reply-All” and people covering their asses by adding the whole company on every email they send, you know you have crossed over to the dark side.
When you feel like you are working for the Man, working your ass for some idiot that has a reserved parking space that is never occupied before 9:30 am or after 5:30 pm, who is earning 5 times your pay and who’s only donation to the company is when he keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t generate any trouble by releasing another stupid decision…

No bitterness here. None at all.

October 4, 2007

What is a Startup company?

Filed under: Personal, Startup — Tags: , , , , , , — . @ 1:31 pm

Meeting people on my trip, I have been telling them that I work in a startup company. And someone corrected me that it’s not a startup.
Over 50 employees, alive for 7 years and several clients, I guess it is not really your stereotype startup anymore.
But where do you draw the line? At what point does the startup emerge from it’s cocoon, spread it’s fragile wings and tell the word “I’m a company” and fly free?
Any Ideas?

September 9, 2007

What is a startup?

Filed under: Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , — . @ 8:48 am

Recently I found myself pondering this question quite often. True, you can look at number of employees, income, blah blah blah blah.
That is not what is interesting. So what really makes a company worthy of being called a start up?
I say it’s all about the mood. That is why everyone has such a hard time explaining it.
A real company is well organized, has a long term plan, and procedures. Lots of procedures. You are a small function, working for someone else, filling in forms and reports, punching a clock, doing your part and going home at 6.
A start up is a bunch of people with an idea. A concept, not even a product sometimes. Getting together, and with team spirit, working hard to make it happen. Passion, excitement, brotherhood.
It’s working there with sleeping bags, together, everyone knows everyone, and hoping to make it big. to hit the jackpot and everyone can buy a house…
Once the place you work in no longer has that vibe, and there is “management” and “employees”, once you wake up in the morning and feel you “have” to go to work, it’s a company. Once you want to stick it to “the man”, you are in a company. You can work in a place for 5 years and still be a start-up if you keep that group feeling and togetherness, aimed at success. Or you can be 5 months into the process, and your company still not making a penny, but already find you are working for a miserable company.
newcubicles.jpg
This is from a person that just realized his place of work is no longer a start-up…
I apologize, this may not be the definition you were looking for, but it’s the one that matters to me…

August 2, 2007

Exaustion

Filed under: funny, humor, Personal, Startup, Uncategorized — Tags: , — . @ 6:09 am

Imagine this as the equivalent of a hi-tech person shining a flashlight at his face and talking with a scared voice. We can drop the hat though.
It’s been 10 days. 10 very long days. Every project, every deadline, every problem and every launch have converged like, like, like many big things that are converging.
Coming in at 8am, working like a nut, and the usual ceremony with the cleaners at 9pm. They come in, remark on my late hours, clean the whole office, lifting my feet from the floor to sweep, and leaving, joking that tomorrow they hope not to see me.
Locking the door behind me at around 10pm, and getting up for another shiny day.
Me thinks this is definitely the blessed easy life that you all imagine in the hi-tech industry eh?
My girlfriend has disowned me, in favor of a large pillow. She claims it is more trustworthy, there when she needs it, and snores less.
I have quit shaving, as nothing but my screen sees my face, and almost came in to work in pajamas today.
But all is good as long as i keep my high spirits, and have my beloved laptop with me.
No one will take it away from me. It’s mine! My precioussssss.

smeagol.jpg

July 12, 2007

The paperless Office, or how computers help us save time.

Yesterday I went back to the doctor’s office.
I was there a while ago, to get something checked. The visit cost me a pretty penny. When trying to get the money back from my Health Insurance company, I realized the genius of a secretary wrote someone else’s name on my receipt.
Heading back, I thought that writing another receipt should take 2 minutes, perhaps 5 if there’s a line, and I’ll have time to get to a movie. Then I entered the doctor’s office.
cluttered_desk.jpg

Despite the computer on her desk, EVERYTHING had a hard copy. She was very busy finding some specific paper, and took a while to even notice me. So much for the paperless office, huh? Being old-school, she printed everything that happened, and was probably in charge of single handedly clearing a small valley in the Amazon forest.
I really do believe that as of now, computers have made no positive change on offices. For every 4 people that use the computer for their documents, there is one person that now prints a small forest for each revision of a document they write.
Well, At least we still thank computers for saving us time.

stupidthings.gif

It took her 25 minutes to give up. She simply could not manage to find a way to change the name on the receipt. I was ready to scream, tear out my hair, or just go postal on everyone in the area. For god’s sake, this should have taken, and would have taken, a minute and a half if she just used paper.
So, let’s count. Her pay for 25 minutes. My time and money for waiting that long, and for having to go back there tomorrow to pick it up (If she actually managed to do it by now), the 6-8 patients waiting angrily behind me because we were holding everyone up. and the money it costs that doctor to own, fix and operate that computer. how much time and money did we just save, class?

Why did we ever bother with this infernal invention???

Oh, I know :

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