Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meet Randall Blaum, for Marketing Results

I was wondering about Twitter & LinkedIn So I posted a Q&A on linkedIn:
Does the 80/20 rule hold for Twitter? Would I expect that 20% of my linkedIn contacts are on twitter? Or 80%? Or, should I expect 20% of my twitter contacts are on linkedIn? Or 80%?
But I was more interested in the perception that others have about Twitter. Of course, it should be easy to measure. Simply apply the time necessary to research the facts. For many, Twitter seems like a waste of time. For others, they are making connections that prove valuable. Probably both are true!
I see Twitter as a top-of-the-funnel communications system that is like the proverbial "lick of the ice cream." I have found that if someone follows me on Twitter and likes what they see, read, etc. they tend to follow me me to my blog, on LinkedIn, and then to other product or service sites. Twitter is not a hard sell, but more informational in nature, whereas LinkedIn is all about who does what and how we can work with each other to better our businesses. I can plot a direct path from a newcomer on Twitter to LinkedIn to a sale, but I cannot track many people traveling the other direction. —Randall
Thanks for the best answer Randall Blaum. Looking at your profile, should we connect concerning my Rhino Island Media efforts? You can follow Randall on LinkedIn or Twitter. I do. -ski P.S. It pays to have smart friends. ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The New Labor Pool

The New Labor Pool Now that's Funny! The Law of Supply and Demand knows no ethnic stereotypes ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Classic: 1min $ales Person

Classic: The One Minute $ales Person How do you prepare for the New Year?
"Whenever I am successful I know I have chosen, consciously or unconsciously, to use the positive thoughts that created my success." —page 34
Remember the One Minute Rehearsal? I have used this technique to sell projects as well as to implement the plan. Most every field of study talks of painting a picture of expected results before charging into the heat of battle. One of my favorite questions: "What will success look like?" Better know ahead of time! How do I prepare? Review the classics over my morning cup of coffee. One simple reason that I use and recommend the "One Minute" series of texts, is for the picture that they paint:
A world without Stress
Especially important this time of year... Given the economic challenges. Results are as close as your email. Write me. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 26, 2008

getReady for 2009

Get Ready for New Year 2009 The Sun is about to Rise on 2009 Yes, there are some loose ends for wrapping up 2008... but please take the time to ensure a great launch for your New Year. And yes, like every year before it, 2009 holds promise to be your best year ever. You decide! So decide to make it a great year. Need help? Drop me a note. -ski ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Wish

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." —Galatians 5:1

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do you Brand your PR?

Urbanspoon iPhone app

Do You Brand Your PR?

How influential are the words and images we use in our communications? According to Professors Gavan Fitzsimons and Tanya Chartrand of Duke Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and Grainne Fitzsimons of Canada's University of Waterloo, most influential.

"Apple's logo can make people think more creatively than IBM's logo."

"What we found is that people who were subliminally primed to the Apple logo were more creative than people who had been subliminally primed to the IBM logo."
Seems that flashing the Apple logo for just 30-milliseconds was enough to send a group of 341 students into a more "creative" state than sharing IBM's logo according to a recent Science Daily report.

What message is your press release sending?

We all know the power of branding, but few may appreciate the hidden powers that accompany strong brands like Apple®, Coca-Cola and Nike. Or household names like Kleenex® or Tide®. What does all this suggest for your next release? Paint a picture! Tell a story as Dan and Chip Heath suggest in Made to Stick. Why produce "dry, boring" material that most people (other than family and friends) would rather simply avoid? Suggestions? I thought you would never ask!

  • Does your company/brand/product augment another company's offerings?
How powerful is the imagery of Urbanspoon's app? Notice the mention of the word "iPhone" in the short and pointed headline? As well as the URL? Not one or two high-gloss photos of the iPhone, but three!
  • Does your message lend itself to Social Media exploitation?
Notice the YouTube® video promoting the app? Is your message viral? Can those in love with your brand quickly share the love?
  • Does your "news worthiness" leverage the seasons of the year?
Once again, Urbanspoon has tied this brief message to America's most popular (or seemly the most advertised) high tech Christmas gift item 2008: GPS. In other words, more than enough branding to make a splash.

Now, take a look at your web site.

How do you measure up?

-ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Doc Searls meet Boone Pickens

"A friend close to What’s Happening in several industries, plus the Obama Transition Team, tells me all the action is around Energy."Doc Searls
That is good news. But are they going to attempt to reinvent the wheel? Would they consider some outside expertise on the subject? Doc, have you looked at the Pickens Plan? A search on your blog reported:
Your search for boone pickens returned no results.
Allow me to introduce you and my readers to Boone:

From the desk of T. Boone Pickens

Hey Army,

I’ve told you this all along — our addiction to foreign oil could bring us to our knees, and there wouldn’t be a damn thing we could do about it. Now take a look at today’s headlines. OPEC just announced it’s cutting production by 2.2 million barrels. Remember – this is on top of the 2 million barrels in cuts they’ve already made since this summer! These guys are serious about getting the price of oil back up right where they like it: $75 a barrel, $100 a barrel, $150 a barrel.

This is exactly why now is the time to pull together and Push the Pickens Plan. Every time the price of oil drops, America falls asleep. The Saudis don’t. The Iranians don’t. The Venezuelans don’t. But we do.

President-elect Obama said it best a few weeks ago on 60 Minutes. “Oil prices go up, gas prices at the pump go up, everybody goes into a flurry of activity. And then the prices go back down and suddenly we act like it’s not important, and we start, you know, filling up our SUVs again. And, as a consequence, we never make any progress. It’s part of the addiction, all right. That has to be broken. Now is the time to break it.”

I couldn’t agree more. We’ve got to break that addiction now. Before it breaks us.

Click here to join your Pickens Plan District Group. Better yet, sign up to be the leader if there isn't one already so you can help bring in 500 more members to the New Energy Army in your Congressional District before Inauguration Day. Those first 100 days are right around the corner, and the way OPEC is playing we’re going to have to move fast.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

StockTwits and $JAVA

Sun Micro (JAVA) view from new twitter app StockTwits Kinda depressing, isn't it? I do not understand why more companies do not go private. Sun Micro ($JAVA) has a market cap around $3B and over $2B in cash on hand. Note to Jonathan Schwartz:
Ask your yourself the tough question... What business is Sun Micro in?
I sure can't tell. Remember when Sun made great SPARC hardware and ran UNIX? I was there in the trenches when Solaris was taking over from SunOS v4.x ... working help desk issues at Lexis-Nexis during the transition. Our helpdesk app was running Sybase on a Sun SPARC server. That is where I learned TCL (another Sun product of sorts)... but I digress. StockTwits dot com received $800K in funding, so I went over to take a look. Amazing. I have been trying to figure out twitter monetization models with little success. Not sure where StockTwits is headed, but I love this simple (as in not complex) app. It knows EXACTLY what is does! Well, while playing around with it, I jump over to look at Sun's ticker (JAVA) and was amazed. Shocked actually. So I fired off a note to "MrSun" (Schwartz' twitter account) suggesting that he get a StockTwits account and take a look at his chart (monthly mode) from this new vantage point. I went on to suggest that he should take it private. Rumors are flying that he should be axed. I do not follow Sun close enough to know. However, as the saying goes, "If a fish stinks, it stinks from the head first." But again, to me, no one seems to be asking the right questions. Like, why buy MySQL? Like, why push everything except your hardware? Sun Micro was a great company with the best products in the UNIX world, IMNSHO. Today, I just don't know what (or who) they are. Do you? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV Disclaimer: I do not own Sun stock at this moment in time. However, that could change at any moment. ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crowd Sourcing 6 Degrees

SKI promotes Crowd Sourcing solution Over on LinkedIn... A conversation sparked this concept: why not use Crowd Sourcing with the Six Degrees of Separation to reach key decision makers? And thus was born a group on LinkedIn:
Crowd Sourcing 6 Degrees
Now what? Get some folks to join and begin applying the techniques! Simply follow the link and join us. Not on LinkedIn yet? No worries, sign up is free. Just follow the link and look for directions on how to get your own account. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chainsaw Al Dunlap redux

Al Dunlap still interesting I know why I was looking... for Al Dunlap But I cannot explain why my post on Dunlap is the most popular page on my blog. Can you? For me, it was a simple search for wisdom concerning our present economic times. Al Dunlap understood hardships, at least up until his Sunbeam years. He understands focus and the value of having the right team on the field. Few people understand the number of jobs he saved at Scott Paper. Yes, Dunlap saved jobs! I have blogged at great length how wrong lay offs are for the most part, but at Scott, cutting the deadwood QUICKLY saved the company. Did some great people get let go? Sure. But the blame must be placed on the shoulders of those that created the situation. Doctor Dunlap had little time to analyze every aspect of operations at Scott in great detail before starting surgery to save the patient. Think ER (as in Emergency Room). Remember the wrong members of the management team? It happens. If you turn your personnel function over to HR and then storm off to attack the next bottleneck without conveying the mission and culture of your business, there will be mistakes. Wrong people get hired. Some wrong people will be promoted. Good people will leave. But I digress... Guess I figured it out: people are searching for insight on how Chainsaw Al Dunlap saved companies to fight another day. Please tell me that you recall mentoring is learning how to gleen valuable lessons from (flawed) humans. Yes, his "four simple rules" are just as valuable today as when he shared them in his book, Mean Business:
  1. Get the right management team
  2. Pinch Pennies
  3. Know what business you are in
  4. Get a real strategy
-ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah Strategy, Tactics & Execution Dover, OH | Hilton Head Island, SC | Las Vegas, NV ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nuts on Bailouts

Cavuto on Nut jobs in the Congress Cavuto of Fox News on Auto Bailout
"People going nutty for money, though not everyone is flying over the cuckoo's nest."
Great two minute (2:09) clip on Hulu dot com from Friday's broadcast. -ski

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Apple Wish List

Did I forget anything? Where else can you spend $22K this Christmas season on stuff you really need? On a new car? Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Xeon "Harpertown" Intel processors, 32gig of memory, 4TB of disk space and dual 20" monitors... now that is what I call a workstation! And to think, the base price was only $2795. The Apple Mac line keeps getting better and better. What is on your list this year? -ski

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Give Toms Shoes

Give Toms shoes this Christmas What could be easier? Want to make a difference in the world? Give the gift of hope this year... buy TOMS shoes. -ski

Friday, December 05, 2008

More Music = Less Violence

Matchbox Twenty :: Hand Me Down What if we spent more time with Music? Would that make the world a less violent place? Methinks so. I am willing to give it a try... -ski

Thursday, December 04, 2008

LinkedIn Biz Plan Q & A

Shawn Brazo offers best answer on LinkedIn question Meet Shawn Brazo This time, I was looking for wisdom on business plans:
What is the most important aspect of the business plan for a manufacturing startup with $100K to bootstrap? Requirements suggest startup biz will need to raise $2 million (or more) to "go live" with manufacturing in 12 to 18 months. Prototype(s) need built. Facility acquired, key employees hired, marketing materials created, etc. What is the key component of the biz plan that MUST be exceptional and without flaw?
I have probably written five or six business plans. Some more formal than others, but wanted to see the current mood among my colleagues on this query. There are some good responses, but the one that makes the most sense given the few details that I did provide (and few details that I did not provide), was from Shawn:
Sales! If you don't have a pipeline of sales and revenue generation, all of the planning discussed is academic. Sell it, then build the infrastructure to deliver what you have sold.
Shows experience. That, "Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt!" kind of confidence that is rare. Honorable mention for most thorough response (paraphrased here) goes to Brian Vinson:
"Right now it is very important also to show how you will stay on the positive side of cash flows - with credit more difficult to obtain you will need to show a good cash flow that allows you to cover all expenses until you're able to cover expenses..."
To see all the answers, and the complete response from Brian, view the LinkedIn query. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Twitter increases unique page views

SKI on Throughput shares his Unique Page Views for 2008 What is the single largest factor? I would suggest that twitter is responsible for a majority of the increased traffic to this blog. I started using twitter in May 2008. Like most, feeling my way around the twitosphere, connecting slowly at first. Yes, I have increased my blogging some months and launched some new sites, but look at quantity of posts in the "blog archive" at the right. Nothing there to explain the steady increase. Look at October 2008, only 32 posts! With bloglines and twitter, I have more access to the world around me than ever before... and using the RSS feeds from twitter inside bloglines it is the best of both worlds. Will I eliminate emails and blogging? No. But in over three years of blogging, nothing has increased the visibility of my thoughts like twitter. Your mileage may vary. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What happened to Monday?

What happened to Monday? I think I lost a day What happened to Monday? Once again I seem to be living that expression, "The faster I go, the behinder I get!" There are still a host of activities for which I expect to complete on Monday. The Monday that seems to have elapsed yesterday at midnight... before I could complete them. -ski

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dream Big or stay home

Hemi Orange Dodge Challenger

2009 Hemi® Orange Dodge Challenger

Sundays are for dreaming big dreams... as Les Brown says, don't waste time on the "how" but spend that time on the "what" that will inspire you to take action.

He goes on to say that few folks aim high enough for fear of missing; most aim too low and hit their targets! How to break out of the Status Quo?

Dream big dreams.

The local Dodge dealer has a new 2009 Hemi® Challenger on the showroom floor. Wow! This is a great looking car to those of us that grew up in the heyday of the American muscle car. I recall my 1967 GTO falling to at least one 'Cuda back in the day. One 340ci Red 'Cuda in particular comes to mind... we left the line together (both stick shifts with some tire spin) as the light turned green. When the other guy hit second gear, it was as if his 'Cuda jumped straight up into the air and ran off into the night, never to be seen again. But I digress...

Back then, I was raised on the Chevy brand. Loved my small blocks like the 327ci with "hump back" heads in my 1965 Chevelle. Or the 350ci in my 1972 Camaro. And yet both my '67 and '68 GTOs (both had the 400ci engine) hold a sweet spot in my heart. Plus there was the 396ci 1968 Chevelle 4-speed to which I added the Mr. Gasket V-Gate shifter.

Why buy a retro and restore it when you can buy a brand new Hemi® 'Cuda?

Sorry, I meant Challenger.


Rules for Start ups

Dan Hanlon, author of Riding the American Dream Best Business Start Up book I get a number of calls (mostly emails, but some are old fashion teleco calls) from would be entrepreneurs. Which I encourage. I am happy to share the little bit of the puzzle that I have discovered over the years. One of those recent calls got me to recommend Dan Hanlon's book, Riding the American Dream. As a result, I started re-reading the text myself. It is even better than I remembered! If you don't own a copy of this book and you are serious about "changing the world" through your own business venture (and the timing could not be better, given the economic turmoil), you simply will waste a lot of time and money. Time and money you do not have to spare! This book is a not a short cut. It is the road map. If you write a business plan today without consulting Dan Hanlon's book, you just don't understand throughput. How sad. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Career suicide

Career Suicide by way of the Counter Offer by way of the "Counter Offer" I bumped into this great article addressing the "counter offer" when a valued employee decides to move on. I have had this happen on at least two occasions. Once, I recall jumping through a number of hoops for a great consulting role with a consulting firm. One of those deals where they did not want to talk wages until they knew I was the right person for the job. When I passed all tests, they offered me a low ball figure. I was insulted. One of the reasons that I have never, and would never, consider applying for another job where the employer is embarrassed to reveal the wage and benefit package early in the dance. Your mileage may vary. But in this case, I so wanted to leave my old position that I agreed to work for that low wage. They said if they had made a mistake, they would make adjustments at my annual review. And they did. I got a 20% increase a year later. Largest in company history. I felt vindicated. They admitted that they were wrong. Now that I was in demand, time to look for an employer worthy of my talents. Within three months, I found one and left. They made the counter offer, but I explained that it was "too late" for them to impress me. Yes, they honored the commitment to "make it up to me", but even a 20% increase a year later would take years to actually repay those lost wages. But I also knew "career suicide" was more common than most would like to admit. Don't fall prey... -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Stroke Warning Signs

Know the Signs
"A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough."
RECOGNIZING A STROKE Remember the "3" steps, S..T..R Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
  • S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T - Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today)
  • R - Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Source: ClassBrain dot com Download Poster: Aging-No-More dot com

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008 Some rights reserved. no-bake chocolate pumpkin pie Our First Thanksgiving:
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
Did they have no-bake chocolate pumpkin pie? Probably not. However, I cannot imagine a Thanksgiving Day celebration without pumpkin pie. In fact, I had a couple of pieces last night in order to be ready for big day! Please join me, as I give thanks for this great country. For the freedoms we enjoy... -ski

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

YART :: Yet Another Road Trip

SKI on Road Trips Into the heartland For a number of years (too many I would suggest), I made a lot of trips across Ohio's mid-section. But as the Prophet said, "Do not despise small beginnings." Today, I am happy. Happy that I made those treks. A few in a great road machine (once or twice serving as a great snow machine!) known as the Merkur XR4Ti. Black on black. Turbo charged. Sunroof. H rated Yokohomas (and at redline, every inch of the rating was necessary). Today, I make the trek in a car rated at 38mpg highway. My best trip to date brought "only" 36mpg. But I will not complain. Even at $1.69/gallon, less fuel consumption is better. Although the XRAT (as my friend Luke Short first tagged the XR4Ti, followed by Ohio's official plates) did get in the low 20s for miles per gallon. The "fun index" was off the chart when measured by the gallon of fuel consumed. I recall my brother suggesting one late night that I did not need to break the rear tires loose cornering on the back roads... (I disagree) but I digress. As I have mentioned before, I love road trips for the wealth building venue they provide. I will consume a number of podcasts and audio books as well as the best of Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Dylan (to name a few). With my trusty digital recorder at the ready, let the adventure begin! Need focus? Take your own road trip. -ski P.S. Your mileage WILL vary! ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New feature: Say What?

SKI asks: Say What? That can't be right Listening to talk radio this morning, the crew shares a story from somewhere (or, maybe they made it up!) that I am hoping that I heard wrong. You know the kind of thing you hear out of one ear, and strain to catch with the other... something that if you were talking in person, you might request a little more clarity. As in: "Say what?"
PE man (President Elect) may need a second term to fix the economy. Seems it might be "too big a mess" for our super hero to correct in his first term. So we should be prepared to grant him a second term to continue his efforts?
What efforts? Did I miss the part where PE man has already done some great work on the economy? The only headline I noticed was the obligatory conclusion of a smoke filled room promise to make The Hilary our next Secretary of State. Is it possible that PE man is not aware the true costs of honoring that decision? Here is a great video on YouTube (at least until The Hilary gets it removed) fore telling her approach and ability to deal with challenges: -ski

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kawasaki Nomad 1500

Kawasaki 1500 Nomad :: The Perfect Bagger Merry Christmas to us In 1976 (as I recall), we bought a Kawasaki 500 "triple" for two up riding. Do I need to mention that we were much younger then? But we had a blast. And no, we never went further than 100 miles from home. Well, I get this call from a guy that bought this Black 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad new, and starts the conversation: "Remember when you said you wanted first chance at the Nomad if I ever wanted to sell?" Yes. Very much so! "Today is your lucky day. If you are still interested." We had a bagger in 2006, but had to sell the Excelsior-Henderson Super X (against my better judgment). I refuse to ride "two up" on the vRod. It is not a bagger, IMNSHO, even though I see a fair amount of them with bags. This ultimate bagger now helps to round out my collection. Where is Al Gore and his global warming when you need it? Regardless, this should be perfect for the run to Daytona Beach Bike Week this spring. Now, I just need to find that perfect Buell. -ski

Gambler P. J. Kepplinger

Luke Short on Kepplinger Holdout device Kepplinger's "Holdout" for Card Cheating Interesting claim to fame: Creating a device for cheating. Old PJ could have worked for Enron. But I digress... My friend Luke Short has this device for sale on his Old West Antiques dot biz web site and blogged about Kepplinger on his Frontier Gambler site. I get the sense that these babies are rare. Get it while it lasts... just in time for those holiday card games! -ski Disclaimer: Luke Short and Old West Antiques dot biz are clients of vBuzz dot org. tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Endeavour Shuttle Launch

Great photos of latest launch by hyku Browsing through some twitter conversations, I ran across hyku and his camera work. Most impressive. I have always wanted to witness a launch live, but have yet to do so...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

HowTo kill cable TV

Philips Stereo RF Modulator The missing link was this handy device from the "sense and simplicity" folks at Philips. For years, I have watched the evolving marketplace for consumer TV services. I have investigated DirectTV (et al) and have not been impressed enough to pull the plug. Until last week. When the good folks at Time Warner sent us "over the edge" of reasonableness: the latest price increase. Almost a 10% increase for the same crappy service (less than 70 channels, no digital or high def). I had discovered hulu dot com some months ago. In the back of my mind, this thought kept popping to the foreground: could hulu replace our cable service? But not just hulu, I also have used Apple's iTunes for four years now, and it keeps getting better and better. Ever wonder how Steve Jobs (and company) continues to make money? Good enough is never good enough! Anyhow, when we received the notice of the price increase, we immediately called and canceled our cable TV service. I had been experimenting with displaying YouTube and iTunes on the TV from my Apple Mac mini for several weeks. I had also priced the DirectTVs of the world (talk about bait and switch!), and just was not impressed. I did consider the Apple TV, but it still lacked (as far as I could tell), the ability to surf the net and therefore get hulu to display. Then it happened: I discovered the Philips RF modulator. The final ingredient! SKI's Cable TV Killer Bundle:
  • Apple Mac Mini
  • Apple DVI to Video Adapter
  • 1 each S-Video cable
  • 1 each 3.5mm Male Audio Stereo Plug to Dual RCA Female Jack Y cable
  • Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse
  • Coaxial Cable 2-way splitter
  • Multiple coaxial patch cables
  • Philips Stereo RF Modulator
  • Optional: Multimedia Amplifier
Again, the only piece that I did not already own was the RF modulator. I was dragging the Mac down to the TV in the living room when ever we wanted to watch old episodes of the TV series "The Pretender" or the latest on the Homes & Garden network. Or a movie on hulu. No more. Now, I switch out the DVI to VGA converter on the back of the Mac mini for the DVI to Video, and grab the wireless mouse. That is it! The mouse works in every room of our two story house. We use it to navigate hulu or to launch iTunes (or even check email!). I probably will add a wireless keyboard with the money I am saving by not having a cable TV service fee each month. But right now, I am using those funds to pay for my new big screen TV. Just in time for the holidays! Talk about throughput? This will free up $65 per month for our home budget. Plus, more and more services will come online to complete with hulu. A true "win-win" scenario. Merry Christmas -ski P.S. We use the coaxial splitter to connect the Mac to the TV in the living room plus the TV in the master bedroom. As I already had the Multimedia Amplifier, I plugged it in between the RF modulator and the wall jack in my office. It really helped to strengthen the signal. It was not necessary for driving just one TV. Again, as I already had it, I used it. Your mileage may vary. P.P.S. Questions or concerns? Write me:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Frank Feather on LinkedIn

Meet Frank Feather 100+ "Best Answers" on LinkedIn I use twitter a couple times a day, still trying to make sense of its value for professionals. But I use LinkedIn a lot. And the reasons continue to grow and evolve. Might I suggest too few of us are getting our money's worth? [FYI: Basic functionality is free!] Well, in my travels the other day, I bump into an old friend. He mentions a company we both know that is laying folks off. Wrong-headed thinking for sure, but most American executives really do not understand the ramifications (and most still complain about employee loyalty, but I digress) of such short sighted actions. So, I offer, "Sales must be off. It's the economy." No. He heard that sales are brisk as ever (even as the Dow sheds points like a drunken Marine out on the town burns through greenbacks), and the backlog is significant. We talk further, but I am stuck in the moment: Sales are increasing and they are laying people off. Enter LinkedIn. I post this question in the Q&A section:
Why do manufacturing companies lay people off? I thought I knew the answer to this question. I was surprised last night by a friend who provided an answer that I would not have guessed! Please give me your ONE and ONLY answer as to the most common reason. To add clarity, both hourly and salaried people have been laid off. In a somewhat likely ratio to the overall mix of the plant.
Within twelve hours, I get 12 responses. More than a few of course match my thoughts (declining sales). A few suggest other possibilities that I have yet to encounter. That is one of the great things about the pool of talent on LinkedIn. Here is the "best of the best" in my not so humble opinion, from Frank Feather:
It is a swift cost-cutting measure which immediately saves cash flow, which thus helps the company weather the storm, which thus helps preserve the remaining jobs, and which thus helps the company recover and start re-hiring again.
This explanation fits the other (limited) details that I have from the conversation with my friend. Anyone reading my blog for more than a couple of days will groan a small "Oh yea" under their breathe at the mention of cashflow. But the core problem goes unresolved. Eli Goldratt said that companies cannot be doing too many things wrong, or they would cease to exist. True enough. Normally. However, the economic climate is anything but normal! The Dow just staged its worst two-day sell-off in 21 years. So, Frank is probably right, this company is watching cashflow and Wall Street. When a fire alarm sounds in your hotel room, it is best to grab your Apple MacBook Air, and then if time permits, throw on some clothes and your shoes, then head down to the parking lot. Yet bigger problems remain for this company. Now, add the fact that maybe, just maybe (actually, I would almost guarantee it) a few extremely talented folks were just released into the wilds of unemployment. Few understand the true costs of replacing talented contributors. Sounds a little like saying my hand hurts, so I will shoot myself in the foot. That will take my mind off my pain. Wrong. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reality Check by Kawasaki

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki One of my favorite business gurus has a new book out. Another "must own" from the master of entrepreneurial savvy. On a recent podcast I heard Guy say this effort was his "Management like" book, a reference to Peter Drucker's 600+ page Management book that was:
"The essential book on management from the man who invented the discipline"
Guy was careful to not suggest his work was as important as Drucker's. Allow me:
"Reality Check is the essential book on entrepreneurialism from the man that sets the bar on its current state: Guy Kawasaki" —Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
Get your copy. Do it today. -ski P.S. One of my favorite quotes from Guy (paraphrased) says, "Of course it is impossible [what ever the challenge], right up to the minute the entrepreneur accomplishes it. That is what an entrepreneur does, he or she accomplishes the impossible." ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Les Brown on Robert Roots

Les Brown opens my eyes to Robert Roots Three Little Pigs book Robert Roots, Prepare for the Wolf Ever hear something new on an old recording? Yesterday, taking with a good friend, I mentioned Les Brown. Les is my favorite motivation speaker. Period. He will get me to do things that others cannot. For me, it does not get any better than Les Brown. But I digress... Well, as I listened to a session by Les this morning over coffee, I heard him make mention of Robert Roots. I must have heard this recording 50 times. Maybe more. But this passage hit me like never before. One of those, "When the student is ready..." moments.
"Your success is not based on what you need, but what you have!" —Robert Roots (paraphrased)
Does that get your attention? It did mine this morning. Ever explain away great opportunities because you felt that you lacked the resources to make it happen? I have. Too often. This morning, I made a decision to allow it to happen a lot less! Who gets your attention? Who drives you to achieve more than you thought was possible? Mentoring is not about physical proximity, it is about nurturing that flame of passion within each of us that needs just a little bit of direction and yet, a lot of pouring gasoline on that small flame in order to ignite the bonfire within. If my book has done that for you, please add your review to amazon dot com. -ski P.S. Did I mention the PDF of Purple Curve Effect is free? Now what is your excuse? ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More bad news

Paulson and Pelosi sittin in a Tree Paulson and Bernanke on the Hill... Defending the $700B bailout... while Pelosi gets ready to honor her contributors by pushing through a bailout for the automakers. Just as Paulson's efforts have protected his buddies on Wall Street (and done very little else), Pelosi now must return the favor. Never mind the fact that with the overhead of pensions and health care costs none of the automaker bailout billions will save even one job. A politician bought and paid for is as good as gold in times of great need. -ski

Bogus headline

Cashflow, cashflow, cashflow! Bogus Headline misses the target Normally the group at Small Business Trends does a great job. However, this headline is wrong on several fronts. First, I would suggest that for 80% of the small businesses out, this advice will kill their business for sure! Given the economic climate. Automation is rarely the cure. Most often, in the short term, it makes matters worse. Orders of magnitude worse. Spending limited time and resources on links of your business chain that are not the weakest link, waste valuable time. Plus, they steal your resources from the true (and only one) weakest link. This headline also misses because the article makes the case (early in the body of the article) for proper focus for most small business: cashflow:
"And to increase cash flow you have to sell. Anything that takes you away from selling is a threat to your cash flow."
So, hold off on that automation effort. In the short term. Get out there and sell something! -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Results not always throughput

SKI explains Results do not always equal throughput Over at Quality Magazine I was reading the "Last Word" column from June 2008's issue, and was struck by the mental image that Thomas Sloma-Williams painted. He thought he was pointing out "True Partnerships Endure." What I heard was different. Recall that in my mind, the definition of throughput is simply more money in my pockets. Now, and even more in the future. It is that "purple curve" thing all over, each and every day. Plus, it is non-linear. Boyd's OODA Loop tells of the jerkiness of the activities required to achieve success. But I digress... We all have been in those meetings: a group of professionals around the conference table hammering out an action plan. Or mission statement; or refining the deliverables for the next phase of a major project. In this crazy matrixed world of out sourcing and distributed workforces, Peter Drucker and Buck Rogers (et al) have preached partnerships. I have heard about partnerships from every business pundit at every magazine imaginable my whole career. This article in Quality Magazine ends with this question:
"Do you have genuine partnerships or relationships of convenience with your suppliers?"
Wrong question. Both relationships are necessary. Furthermore, it is not necessarily a matter of choice. The better question is a two part query aimed at the heart of business. Your business; my business; businesses everywhere:
"Is your organization producing positive results? If so, are those results producing throughput?"
That is the $64,000 question. It might even be the 64 billion dollar question! In my 20+ years in business management and leadership roles, I have purchased millions of dollars worth of goods and services around our globe. Partnered with worthy organizations as well as fly-by-night companies that served a very necessary and finite role. How was I measured? Wrongly in most cases! If your organization still measures your performance based solely on reducing costs, they probably won't be around much longer. But I digress... Why did I give up computer consulting to pursue business consulting? I rarely (if ever!) was addressing the core constraint facing my clients. Let me repeat that basic truth:
"Few organizations address the real problem!"
As I have repeatedly remarked (from the podiums of events across this great country as well as this and other blog posts), most business owners have explained away the real breakthroughs possible. Results that would generate untold throughput. Real and lasting wealth. How sad. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Certain to Win podcast

SKI shares the Agile definition via iTunes As documented in Chet Richards' book, Certain to Win. A tribute to the strategy of Colonel John Boyd. SKI's podcast: CertainToWin.mp3

Wikipedia cash crunch

Wikipedia cash crunch Wikipedia’s Desperate Plea for Donation! Sorry, not interested. America works for a lot of reasons, among them our republic form of government. We are not 100% democratic. That would result in chaos... kinda like Wikipedia. I was angered when one of my entries was deleted by a supposed "do gooder" but then, when other idiots do gooders tried to remove Doc Searls, I somehow felt better. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Apple Genius Bar

Apple Genius Bar Anyone used it yet? The Apple Genius Bar. Looks like one of those services that makes more sense in theory than practice. But I said that about XML before I started using RSS feeds. There is a great "guided tour" on the link...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Speaker for Hire

Have SKI speak at your next event 2009: The Year of Focus Need a speaker to build a fire under your staff? Einstein said it best, "Small plans have no ability to move man to action." Yes, that is a bit of a paraphrase. But the fact remains, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will only get more of the same. Time for a fresh approach.
"SKI's carefully audience-tailored talks are centered on business methodologies; choosing the right one or ones and then harnessing them to work equally as well for companies, service organizations or institutions. By drawing comparisons to the attendees’ own familiar business realms, SKI teaches through the example of his own real-life implementations... Audiences will benefit from his sharp and honest appraisal of not only what went right, but what to avoid."
What obstacles does your organization need to stare down? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wrong-headed worries

Another issue of IndustryWeek More insight for the taking... This time, one of the articles talks about a survey of the concerns facing those in manufacturing. 70% said "raw materials" costs. How sad. Wrong-headed thinking to the max! The second concern should have been the clear winner: finding (and retaining) qualified talent. Yet this issue only rated a 47% concern. This might come as a shock, but the fact of the matter is simple: good people solve problems. If hiring, training, promoting and retaining the right mix of talent is not at the top of your radar screen, I would give you odds of only 66% that you will be in business this time next year. Yes, a third of you will not make it. Ouch. Do you understand that the rules are changing? Focus on "low cost" providers has given us lead contaminated children's toys. Dead pets. Ineffective prescription drugs. The list goes on (and on and on!) but I digress... When will the light go on that people and the efforts of people are the only real solution to whatever might ail our economy. And our factories. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.

Where are the Leaders?

Ted Turner 1991 Time magazine's Man of the Year Several weeks ago, Carl Icahn was on CNBC and was disrespected by the crew of "financial" pundits (or so called). I was so mad I could hardly see straight. Last week or so, T. Boone Pickens was on 60 Minutes. Last night, Ted Turner was on Letterman. I know of no one with more respect than I for these icons of American Free Enterprise. But they cannot live forever. Our nation's greatest President did his time, but those eight years came and went so fast... Ronald Reagan, we miss you. The news is really more like propaganda today. Mainstream media now believes for the most part that it is their duty to tell Americans how and what to think. There is proof to suggest that our president elect raised tens of millions of dollars illegally in order to buy the office, and to my knowledge, only Fox News covered the story. What a mess. I could scream. What good would that do? Little. Very little indeed. How does Ted Turner do it? Or Boone Pickens? Or Carl Icahn? Get up every day and fight the good fight. As with all life, one day theirs will end. Who will pick up the mantle? -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

Monday, November 10, 2008

Car Key Leadership

It's Monday Do you know where your car keys are? I use to have a terrible time finding my keys. I was speaking at an event once upon a time, and almost missed the whole show because I could not locate my car keys! My wife says, "Why don't you put your keys in that corner of the counter top? Always?" D'oh I hate not being the smartest person in the room. For all my accomplishments, my spouse has more organizational ability in her little finger than I have in my whole body. Just not my strong suit. Does that make it a big deal? No. Leadership is taking direction from those around you. When they have the better answer. When the subject is not your strong suit. When you are focused on more pressing issues. 99.999% of the time my car keys are in the same exact spot every morning. Brilliant? Yes. Beyond all reasonable thought. How so? I continue to preach the elimination of bad multitasking. My former days of searching for my keys wasted a lot of time and energy. Time better spent solving real problems. When one is searching for the mundane, flashes of insight might just get away. One of the reasons that eight years later, I still use my Sony® digital recorder. Leadership cannot be reduced to a set of habits. However, routines can remove obstacles that could be preventing more throughput in your personal and professional life. The race goes to the swift. Why jump hurdles when there is an obstruction-free path ahead? Focus requires time to think. Anything that limits one's time to think is therefore, bad. Today is a great day to apply some "Car Key Leadership"... and do let me know what breakthroughs you create with this simple tip. I really would like to know. -ski ---- Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah P.S. No, I am not suggesting everyone buy the recorder. I used a simple pad and pen for years. However, the results with the application of technology has been profound for me. Your mileage may vary. tag: ©2008 LLC. All rights reserved.