Saturday, May 24, 2008

Taking Risks In Life

Ask most people why they cling to jobs they hate and they cite the desire for a regular paycheck and company-subsidized benefits. There's just too much risk involved in starting their own business or becoming a free agent, they argue.

Ask the same people why they invest in mutual funds rather than individual company stocks and they say they don't want to bet their economic future on the success of just one or two companies.

The contradiction inherent in those two statements explains why so many people limit their potential, both personal and financial.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Why I'm The Perfect Corporate Director

Yahoo's board sheepishly followed CEO Jerry Yang's lead and voted to reject Microsoft's takeover offer. I am sure part of the directors' decision process was based on what they might lose in compensation. Fees, options, that kind of stuff.

While understandable, such personal considerations are all too prominent among so-called independent directors of publicly held companies. And they are wrong. So, I offer myself as the perfect corporate director.

What makes me perfect is my personal philosophy, best expressed by Neil McCauley, a lifetime criminal portrayed by Robert De Niro in the movie Heat.

"A guy once told me: do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Who Should Take The 3 a.m. Call?

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Mrs. Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

Mr. Obama said: "It's not the language we need right now, and I think it's language reflective of George Bush. We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber rattling and tough talk and in the meantime have made a series strategic decisions that have actually strengthened Iran."

- The New York Times

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

Business Book Creates Chopstick Shortage
Author Daniel Pink, expert, blame engineering subculture

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Plastic forks are rapidly replacing traditional wooden chopsticks at Chinese restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and a career advice book apparently is the reason.

The Chinese Fast Food Coalition, which represents 140,000 restaurants in the nine-county area, says customers are stealing thousands of disposable chopsticks to summon a sexy, Gen-Y genie in the book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko.

Forced to work through the night, disgruntled office worker Johnny Bunko drops into a Chinese takeout restaurant and is given six pairs of chopsticks. When he rubs a pair together, the genie appears to teach Bunko and his friends the keys to career success.

“It seems a lot of people think the genie is real and want to meet her,” says Ken Wong, EVP of the association. “She’s kind of hot, but, jeez, stealing chopsticks?”

Pink, a best-selling author (Free Agent Nation, A Whole New Mind), lecturer and business consultant says the phenomenon likely erupted in the Bay area because of the high concentration of engineers.

“A lot of engineers spend 20 hours a day focused on left-brain activities like linear logic,” Pink says. “When confronted with a right-brain challenge, such as relating what they take in to experience, they're completely lost.”

Bill Bucy, a writer and 20-year Silicon Valley resident, agrees with Pink but adds another factor.

“I’ve met hundreds of gearheads incapable of expressing ideas in a language other than code,” he says. “Bunko was created in the Japanese manga (comic book) style, which makes it more widely understandable within their subculture.”