Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr.

It's a long video. If you have the time watch it. If you've never read King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, please take an hour and read it. It demonstrates a compassion and understanding for humanity that have rarely been seen in this world. This passage moves me every time.

"Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."

I encourage my loyal few to embrace that understanding of collective responsibility and let it live on through your hearts and actions.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why do many people fail?

I got a call from a recruiter last week who wanted to engage me in a contingency contract to fill open positions I might be recruiting at my current company. I, at the moment, do not have any open positions and even if I did, this particular recruiter does not specialize in representing the kind of candidates I would be evaluating for hire. However, I gave her the go ahead to send me her contact information and invited her to send me an invite on LinkedIN, a business networking site I am involved with.

Did she follow up?


Will she get referred to the person I know hiring exactly the kind of people she reps?


Is this a major failure for her and her company?

You better believe it.

Lack of follow up is a leading cause of failure in business. The worst part about this for me personally is I am as guilty as the next person. There are so many things I really want to be doing, but I am working so hard right now it is very hard to spend the extra energy to follow up and follow through on the things I want for myself. I don't really have it to spend. Of course that is excuse making, no need to point it out to me.

If there is one thing I want to do in 2008, it is to be better, in all things. Now I just need to follow through.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary - A hero for the ages

Sir Edmund Hillary passed away yesterday at the age of 88 years old. In my opinion Hillary's greatness did not come from being the first to reach the top of Mt Everest. His greatness wasn't defined by being the first man to lead a mechanized expedition to the South Pole. His greatness is defined by his willingness to try. He stood up and said "I will strive for the untouchable." The attempt to do the impossible is great all by itself.

In addition to being perhaps the greatest adventurer of the 20th century Hillary was supremely generous. His founding of the Sherpa Trust in the 1960's changed Himalayan life. Hillary worked tirelessly for the Sherpa community, building schools and hospitals. His will to give back to the world was as great as his desire to experience what few men have.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Sir Edmund Hillary personified the man in the arena. He knew the triumph of high achievement and in the attempt as much as the achievement inspired the world for generations.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Further evidence Georgia, well, sucks

The Georgia Supreme Court is currently discussing the constitutionality of banishment. This is far more important of course than discussing the in effectual, illegal, and un-Constitutional teaching of abstinence only curriculums in the schools. Apparently crossing into Georgia immediately transports you back to the time of Napoleon I. I always wanted to visit Elba.

No 1 of Consequence

Monday, January 07, 2008

Twitter will figure it out

Fred Wilson a venture capitalist from New York, is an early stage investor in a an upstart social media company called Twitter.

For the blissfully unaware Twitter has been the subject of much debate in the tech community as of late because no one can really figure out how they will make money long term. They are a company that launched without a business model and are hoping that somewhere along the way they will figure out how to make money. I think they will.

Twitter is a service that allows users to deliver quick messages (tweets) to the community of people who follow that particular user. The tweets can be delivered in various ways. It is catchy because in addition to it being incredibly easy to use it is kind of fun. It is stream of consciousness micro blogging. It is also a lot more.

How do you monetize it?

Well the first thing they can do is make it a "freemium" service like Yahoo or countless others. It is free for the basic service, but if you want more complicated features, it costs X dollars a month/year.

Advertising. Web ad spending is expected to double between now and 2011. If this is true it means a LOT of new potential revenue for a company like Twitter to capture and they have interesting ways they can do it. Basic text ads attached to tweets and contextual advertising (Google-ish) based on tweet content are two very simple and possible ways that Twitter could start generating some significant advertising revenue.

Here is something I consider more interesting. They could partner with communities that already exist and brand their service to those communities. ESPN tweeting customized score updates through the twitter engine with the ESPN branding and Twitter collecting revenue from ESPN each time. ESPN pays the freight, they give an interesting service to their fans, and the brands expand. I know there are similar sports services out there already, but you can apply to any business, especially some that DON'T already have services like that. I know there is interest, because at my company we have already talked about trying to do something with Twitter. I also made a suggestion to a friend who works for a daytime talk show and he was intrigued about some possible ways to put Twitter to use.

None of these ideas even touch on the potential monetization of Twitter's open API which allow other applications to be developed on the Twitter engine. Twitter is a relatively young company and look at all these different applications that have been built!! Pretty impressive stuff.

Good social media tools become good marketing tools and end up being profitable marketing tools as long as they have good management, technology and support backing them up. I believe there are some smart people working on the monetization of Twitter and they will figure it out. I spent 20 minutes working on it and look what I came up with.

No 1 of Consequence

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The bell rings... or maybe tolls for America.

The Iowa Caucus takes place soon and the starting bell for the next presidential election will ring loudly across the land. Does the election matter? Is it possible for anything to change for the better? Daunting questions, to be sure, but hope springs eternal in my mind that we can achieve something as a united American people.

Meanwhile the disenfranchisement of the American voter continues. (I apologize for the USA Today link) Here is an article about how the caucuses actually prevent participation from interested Iowans because of the stringent voting restrictions.

This is a great piece of writing from Michael Moore. It sounds like Moore will endorse John Edwards if Gore doesn't get into the race. In my opinion if Gore doesn't get into the race soon it will be too late. The former VP recently accepting a partnership at Kleiner Perkins (a leading investment bank)makes me think he isn't running.

I am currently reading a book that was written to scare the living daylights out of Americans. Maybe that wasn't the intent of the book, but it is scaring me pretty badly. I will be delving into it in greater detail as I get further into it. The book is call The End of America, A Letter to a Young Patriot, by Naomi Wolf. I am about 25% through it. I recommend it highly.

No 1 of Consequence