Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thinking about Change

Moore's Law as it applies to the gap between government and the private sector is the topic of this video from Clay Johnson, Director of Engagement at Expert Labs.

As some of you know, I had the honor of serving as a federal, state and local member of government during my career [to date]. In that order, serving last, as the first DBA for the Town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. What a great place to vacation, the island is a better place to live... or at least it was in the late 1990s when I moved my family to the Low Country. Today, it seems that Bluffton is getting all the growth. But I digress...

This presentation by Johnson points out a couple of obvious issues with regard to most government entities [special thanks to Bryce Roberts for the link to this video] but of course the actual gap varies significantly from organization to organization. How else can you explain spending more than $250K on a Payroll and HR software package for administering the needs of less than 250 local government employees on an island getaway? Way not my decision. But again, I digress...

What did occur to me as I watched the video [twice] was this: Rate of Change is really a function of the Rate of Trust. I preach that lasting change cannot and will not occur without trust. But as a linear thinker [most days], my mental image of the transformation was very much a straight line. How absurd, right?

Just as we earn money at a rate, 
hopefully ever increasing, 
so too is trust earned!

That is profound.

Consider that with the apparent exception of Senator Harry Reid [D-NV] most Americans believe that government spending on personnel is out of balance with the rest of our economy. From the Senator's recent remarks:
“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today—of course they’re rooted in the last administration—and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about.”
This suggests the rate of trust corresponds almost directly to change. 

Do you trust your government [local, state and/or federal] to do the right thing?

This might actually explain the gap more so than Moore's Law.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Want more thruput?

Want more throughput?

Hire better people!

I preach this at least once a week... but why? Because so few people understand this concept. So, here is yet more proof. This time from a startup that most of the tech community has heard of, maybe even non-techies, and one that just raised an additional $250MM in funding.


So, if you need help staffing, let's talk.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
(330) 737-1490

Monday, October 17, 2011

A VC Musings

Occupying My Mind

by Fred Wilson. Fred is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures.

Fred's musings on Occupy Wall Street gave me a fresh insight into this movement and others like it [in one or more ways] around the country and the world. [See link above]

People are "mad as hell" and not going to take it much longer!

Attempting to put a "one size fits all" label on even this one "event" on Wall Street is simply wrong. There are probably as many reasons for a protestor to do so, as there are protestors! I do think Fred missed the fact that a number of funding sources are formally at work—informally, even trying to hide their involvement. But the fact remains at least 51% of this nation's voting age population is not happy with the economy.

Many of us are quick to suggest that the free enterprise machine that is America created more freedoms and more wealth than any other econometric model applied to date. Reminder: There is a reason we have a republic form of government. 

Yes Fred, systems are failing us everywhere... but to me, it is more the lack of leadership than any other single cause. I named this issue some months ago: 
"Change without Vision equals Chaos."
That explains what I see when I see the coverage of the various occupy events.

My biggest fear: somehow the USA will become a true democracy. That will be the end of a great nation. True, this is not working. Maybe it is time for us all to again watch Bullworth and pay extra attention to the press interview when Senator Bullworth explains the problem with selling air time to politicians... maybe when there is fair access to airwaves, the best leaders will surface. Rather than the ones that can raise the most money.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buying or Selling a Business

Want to sell?

Why does the thought keep popping into your head: "Maybe this is a great time to sell out and move south." The last three years have been tough for most business owners. Little hope of recovery until after the next major election cycle. Why wait to see if it gets any worse?

Give me a call.

(330) 737-1490

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Bad Girl Ventures

Bad Girl Ventures - Cleveland

Yet another outreach of Main Street Startups is gaining traction as SKI connects them to BGV. Here is the short version:

I meet Dar Caldwell at LaunchHouse, he invites me to present at 6ixth City Tech Fest at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. At the event, colleague Ron Finklestein points a vendor booth at the event featuring a nonprofit incubator for women launched businesses called "Bad Girl Ventures." Seems they are branching out into Northeast Ohio.

Waiting to do my presentation, I hear Candace Klein pitch her business. Bad Girl Ventures. Amazing. And, they have partnered with LaunchHouse. So, I send out a few tweets during the event. Later, I forward the web site to all my female colleagues in the startup space. 

A week or so ago I heard that one of my colleagues shared BGV with a relative, and they had applied.

Yesterday, I hear that startup is advancing in the competition towards funding.

That's what we do up on Main Street: we help advance the dreams of our colleagues.

True, there are no guarantees in life. Somewhere I have a book titled, "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster." But I would suggest that those giving back to the community are making a difference. 

Got an idea for a better mouse trap? Let's talk.