Category Archives: Work

Good career advice

Interesting NY Times interview of Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, and co-founder of  Alltop.com. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc.

Q. And what would you say to business school graduates?

A. It’s a more general lesson, but in the end, success in business comes from the willingness to grind it out. It’s not because of the brilliant idea. It’s because you are willing to work hard. That’s the key to my success.

Q. Tell me about the best bosses you worked for.

A. My boss in the jewelry business was great because he taught me how to sell and how a business reputation was built on trust.

My boss at Apple was a guy named Mike Murray, who was the director of marketing of the Macintosh division. He gave me so much rope that I could hang myself and sometimes I did. After a while, your neck gets stronger and you also learn not to hang yourself.

A few levels above me, I learned from Steve Jobs that people can change the world. Maybe we didn’t get 95 percent market share, but we did make the world a better place. I learned from Steve that some things need to be believed to be seen. These are powerful lessons — very different from saying we just want to eke out an existence and keep our heads down.

Read the entire interview here.

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Everyone gets paid on commission

Just read this post on Seth Godin’s blog and thought it was worth putting here in its entirety:

The Washington Post recently laid off a columnist because his blog posts didn’t get enough web traffic.

Of course, in the old days, the newspaper had no real way to tell which columns got read and which ones didn’t. So journalists were lulled into the sense that it didn’t really matter. The Times quotes Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU,  “It’s an unusual public rationale for serious newspaper people, that’s for sure.”

Wrong tense. It’s not going to be unusual for long.

In fact, in a digital world where everything can be measured, we all work on commission. And why not? If you do great work and it works, you should get rewarded. And if you don’t, it’s hard to see why a rational organization would keep you on.

You don’t have to like the coming era of hyper-measurement, but that doesn’t mean it’s not here.

Off to Seattle

One-day trip for an off-site meeting. Flying Virgin America for the first time — their check in area at LAX was really cool, and all the employees looked calm and relaxed, unlike the stressed out, overworked staff you typically see at most airlines. Price was right too: $48 each way.

Back to my Starbucks coffee…it’s 6:30am and still trying to wake up.

Back online

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The last few months of 2008 were extremely busy at work — maybe the busiest I ever was — as we tried to buy a business unit of a major European media company. Which meant lots of writing, number-crunching, document preparation, urgent deadlines, weekend work, travel and meetings…and I got engaged to be married during the middle of all that, which added even more stress, but in the end was wonderful. I suppose it was fortunate timing (or fate) that my business trip last November included New York, and a free Saturday morning to walk over to the Tiffany store on 5th Avenue. It wasn’t easy to keep a straight face when Harumi asked me at the airport if I bought her a gift in NYC.

And now we are already two months into 2009 and I’m another year older, and hopefully a bit wiser.

Overnighter

Took an overnight business trip and returned today…I may have caught someone’s cold on the plane..didn’t take my Airborne, darn.

By the way, Dr. Mike and Janet are visiting Yellowstone National Park this week. Today’s weather was clear and 52F…but snow is forecast for the weekend.

Congratulations!

Warren Lieberfarb was one of twelve inductees to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) 2008 hall of fame. Others included Ken Kutaragi, inventor of the PlayStation and former Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, and Eddy Hartenstein, former Chairman and CEO of DirecTV.

We’ll be attending the official induction at an awards dinner later this month in Las Vegas.

Read more here.

Disney org chart

The Walt Disney Company org chart — emphasis on Walt. (click to enlarge)

From The Big Picture.