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20May/080

Entrepreneurship Social-Media and Skeptics Oh My! (Prt. 1)

Before I get ahead of myself, I should say that I just updated my about page. There isn't much there, but you'll notice I'm in school for an MBA (about half way through at this point). You'll also notice that I've got quite a few different interests across a fairly wide spectrum (i.e. engineering and photography & DJing aren't exactly 2 peas in a pod). So as I continue to explore various career paths and try to align my experience (and dare I say, expertise) up to this point with my relatively diverse interests to create a career where I don't feel like shooting myself in the face with a shotgun every time I show up for work, the more I realize I'm pigeonholed into the kind of jobs that my academic background would suggest I take. On paper, I'm a one-dimensional number cruncher, deployed as a specialized cog in a large convoluted and disorganized system of industrial inputs and outputs.

The above lays the groundwork for the following post. I might have to break this up into several sections to keep things organized and on point.

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development

For the sake of maintaining my beautiful face (what with all the shotgun blasts), I'm finding that I'm most likely going to have to start my own venture, or at least highly consider this option in lieu of the mythical perfect job where everyone has an oversized beanbag of an office chair, lunch is catered daily, and there's a whole arsenal of nurf paraphernalia in the board room. And cold beer on tap in the cafeteria. Oh, and your to-do list has cure world hunger. And... well, you get the point. Basically a place like IDO, not that they have beer on tap, but it's basically the kind of place I'd like to work if I could work anywhere I wanted.
Last semester I had probably the best class that I'll have in the entire program. As much as I like Porter's 5-forces and to use terms such as paradigm shift and functional frameworks in my daily vernacular of BS MBA mumbo jumbo, a lot of the shit thrown at MBA programs and MBA candidates is pretty fair: Great business leaders business school does not make. But last semester, I took a class on business formation and new venture development. My professor was a seasoned venture capital manager and financier as well as an accomplished entrepreneur; this class was almost more about life than it was about business. The key take home message, at least for me, was that you can't be taught entrepreneurship as much as you can learn from other peoples entrepreneurial exploits. Basically, you get to learn about all the myriad of ways a financier/partner/your own mother will screw you when it comes to starting a venture - I'm being dramatic, but you can really get the idea of how wisdom comes with age when you've got old timers telling how many times and ways they've been duped (or even how they did it on sending end).

We had a speaker every week who shared all their war stories. I'm not going to get into too many details about the stereotypes associated with the personalities of entrepreneurs and the details debunking those stereotypes - like everything else, they come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. I'm also not going to cover how they they were all pretty smart, creative, and so on. However, I will note that, in almost every case, these entrepreneurs all made their mints through impeccable timing. One rode the telecom deregulation wave of 70's the, another got great deals on some real estate in the 80's. The point? Timing is everything.

I think I'll continue on this topic sometime in the future, but for now, this is a good segue into the next part of this three part series. Social-media, Web 2.0, whatever you want to call it, the timing is right for this whole thing to make a mint for some people.

Stay tuned and leave a comment with your thoughts.

19May/083

Lessons From History

I was thinking to myself on my way home from work about what the hell I’d write about next in my blog. One of the things that came to mind (and that I perpetually think about) is the fact that, seemingly, every single topic has been collectively written about a thousand times over throughout time. Love, religion, relationships, respect, philosophy, and so on has been done to death and, more over, most of those topics seem so goddamned cliché, what’s the freaking point in ever brining them up again?

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately, and that’s something relatively new for me. I’ve been reading a lot about career searching and advice because that’s becoming a higher priority of mine, but I’ve also been reading a lot of random design blogs peppered with blogs about starting new ventures and what they call "life hacking" which seems to be basically centered around Getting Things Done. The more I read a lot of these blogs, the more I notice a lot of the same thing being said but just in a slightly different way. It’s almost as if all of these blogs and authors could be combined into one summarized website that condenses and consolidates a lot of the redundancy of the myriad of information getting whipped around all over the place.

So one of my insecurities about writing a blog is centered on whether or not anything I have to say is: A) relevant and B) cliché/worn out/re-stating the obvious/preaching to the choir/etc. This post by Penelope Trunk is what kind of inspired me to write a blog because it seems like a practical reason. I came across her site when I was at a relatively desperate point at my job and was really looking for a way out; she offers some pretty radical thoughts on not only your career, but also life. But at the same time, a lot of what she writes about is basic common sense.

I had to go right to the radio after getting home after a quick bite to eat and I popped on the history channel as I ate and caught the tail end of a program about Galen. Galen was a physician during Roman times who meticulously studied and wrote about medicine. Apparently, he wrote thousands of pages of text about his studies and became, basically, the authority on all things medicine. He even performed brain surgery and cataract eye surgery 2000 years before they became common place in western medicine. The moral of the story? Well, doctors for the next two millennia relied on his works as the only truth and never progressed medicine beyond anything he discovered, basically halting all innovations in medicine for a couple of thousand years.

It turns out, no one person knows all things about all things. Duh? So, basically, we all need to hash and re-hash any and all topics to death because, hopefully, someone will come across a breakthrough and restate something in a way that is completely new in such a profound way as to more accurately get the idea across an ever wider audience. So sometimes it takes a lesson from history to move forward to do great (or even decent?) work.

15May/081

bummpy 2.0

Well, this is my second go at enacting a blog. The first time was a bit of a bore and snore, I think it ended up being a whiney bitch fest of me moping about being a recent college graduate and without a job. Coincidentally, I find myself back in school and back on the job search horse. But I think I've got a few more interesting things to say this time around.

I'm not sure what kind of outlet this will evolve into, but I do know that I'm currently in a transformative phase of my life and that this venue might help sharpen my efforts. I'll keep it brief for now, but I'll wrap things up and keep in theme by noting my recent epiphany about "web 2.0": that is, I've found that the new socially connected web has presented me with the most relevant information I think I may have witnessed thus far on the internet. It seems like almost every page I read lately has exactly the information I was looking for, or exactly the kind of information I didn't know I was looking for until I came across it. So with that, you probably found yourself reading this very post because of the aforementioned phenomenon.

Kind of neat huh?