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Big vs Small: Difference of Vision and Mentality

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (3)

Yesterday, I wasted some time on a rabbit trail of research - the MBA degree.

Since I cater to small businesses, I wondered if it would be worthwhile for an SMB to pursue an MBA. Based on a number of different Google hits, I tried to answer these questions: 

  • Is an MBA still relevant? 
  • Is an MBA useful in today's marketplace?
  • How much does it cost (time and money)?
Most of the answers went something like this:
  • (a) Cautionary - it's still relevant because of networking and capital increase (i.e. business plan = bank funding)
  • (b) An MBA is an outdated useless piece of paper - go get a degree from the School of Hard Knocks.
  • (a) Big businesses still like their CEO's and upper management to have MBAs, so it's useful for raises and salaries.
  • (b) Most companies don't really care if you have an MBA as long as you can do your work well.
  • (a) Cost: Much less than learning your way through mistakes and bankruptcy (5-10 years). The raises will help you pay off the 3 years and $35,000+ price package.
  • (b) Cost: A complete waste of time and necessary capital, learning outdated theories from unrelated businesses.
Then I started wondering....if you don't care about becoming the head of a large company, why bother doing an MBA? When I typed in phrases asking questions about relevancy from an SMB standpoint, I got....2 pages on Google.

Nobody has the answer to that question, apparently. The closest I got to a real answer came from a new book called "The Roadside MBA", developed by students asking that same question. Three men escaping from a conference (showing their true entrepreneurial colors), former students at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, went on a road trip. (For the really fun, Old English version of this, I'm guessing Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome would do well.) 

This may be a flop, or the greatest insightful book since https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others-ebook/dp/B0058DRUV6" target="_blank">Good to Great, which gets reference ad nauseum because business writers don't want to do actual research in the field. The conference escapees had the right idea - get away from more talks about theory, get your elbows into why some businesses work and some don't. 

Summary: There's great value in established modes of accomplishment, and great insight from the past, but you don't have to endlessly quote and do what everyone else quotes and does.

The Joys of Working Online

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

This week, I discovered that there are some real drawbacks to working online.

Step One: Banking Mistake

Just hit the wrong button, frantically try to 'undo', send emails to reverse charges, and watch what the world of online banking can and cannot do.

They can refund or reverse charges, but what they CAN'T do (apparently) is cancel a transfer that you've asked them to make. So, you have to make sure that (a) enough money is in your account so that (b) the money can get taken out of your account so that (c) eventually, you can get paid instead of robbing yourself (Saul) to pay yourself later (Paul). 

Step Two: Educate the Experts

Sometimes, Experts don't really know how Normal People work. They think they do. They go to symposiums and sit around with other clever people, build websites, draft color schemes, and of course....get analysis reports. The thing they don't do is get a non-techie grandmother to critically look at their website and poke around, and yell at engineers (or hit them with a cane) when they do something so obvious as to make problems for Normal People. 

See, if you place your Deposit button right next to your Withdraw button, and then you highlight the Deposit button in green, what will a Normal Person think? That's the "Deposit into my bank" button. Withdraw? Who knows. It's showing up in gray. Probably doesn't work. 

I've gotten back some very nice replies from my emails designed to educate the experts, and they say things like "we're getting some bigger experts to look at this." I'm assuming the Experts will guffaw at the silliness of Normal People, and go back to what they were doing, which is for Clever People. Eventually, someone will sue them, and then a lot of Managers will get very very intrigued as to what on earth the Clever People were thinking by designing stupid programs that don't work for Normal People.

Step Three: When in Doubt....Email

The one thing that Normal People have going for them is stubbornness and persistence. Just plow on. Send floods of emails, and annoy people until they do something they don't want to do - Work. 

The joy of email is that it's trackable. If you save all your emails in folders, you can really make some progress when you get carefully worded messages essentially saying, "You might be lying, so....prove that what you said is true." Fine. I have 12 emails that all say the same thing, and I can forward them to you! At any time! And you have to do something about it!

More such wisdom is shared on my Wordpress bloghttp://edityourscribbles.com. Feel free to check it out, comment, or go skim another editor's work. Such is the freedom and joy of working online!