Tag: TechCrunch

I think one thing people often struggle with in Corporate America is balancing the need for transparency with the need for keeping certain things outside of the public (and internal public, i.e. front line worker bees) domain. I error on the side of more transparency – and perhaps that’s one of my flaws. But I have found in my career that this is a great way to build trust and make yourself honorable to those with whom you work on a daily basis.

Anyways, I am really impressed with how the new Cisco CEO has approached this. Cheers to you, Chuck Robbins. Take a look:

cisco-leadership-team

Til Next Time,

Michael

Right on the heels of my quasi-op-ed piece on our president and how a lot of perspective can sure paint a very good (or very bad picture), I found it timely to land on this recent article from TechCrunch.

The article speaks to Obama’s commitment to investment in technology as a means to drive wage increase. You all clearly know my opinions on driving more technology education – so on the surface I’m all for it!

In short:

The White House sees this as an opportunity to boost overall wages, particularly in underserved populations. Obama has announced a plan to fast-track American earnings with a $100 million federal grant-funded technology jobs training initiative called TechHire. This initiative will work with community colleges, universities as well as developer bootcamps and other non-traditional skills training organizations to place Americans in 120,000 open software development, network administration, and cyber security jobs.

The only real issue I see is that the funding seems low. Far be it from me to advocate for more government spending, but $100M is spent as quickly as it is allocated when the government is involved (whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat at the helm in the Oval Office and in Congress). If you want to make this kind of investment, let’s go more directly to the private sector and get some real industry experts (i.e. not the Department of Education) involved. If you took that cash and bankrolled tens if not hundreds of technical skills programs in major metropolitan areas at both corporate leaders (e.g. Cerners of the world) as well as trade programs (e.g. DeVry), you would surely see more immediate lift.

Til Next Time,

Michael

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As many of you know, I’m from Kansas City. Born and raised. I lived there my whole life up until the time I left for college. It’s a wonderful town with so much to offer.

So when I see it starting to get a lot of press as being the “Silicon Prairie”, naturally I am excited. But also cautiously optimistic because of what I hear from my friends who still live there and are active in the technology and venture capital space. I have a friend who is prominent in the startup scene, and it’s great to hear stories about how Kansas City is on the rapid incline. I have heard both good and bad things about KC becoming a major player in the space, and I firmly believe that (as with anything) there are certainly pros and cons to a relatively new player trying to race on to the scene and grow up in a hurry.

It is tough to argue that the cost of living and the quality of human capital available aren’t extremely competitive in the overall landscape of technology and corporate America, though. And, with continued advancements and investments from major companies (e.g. Google Fiber) – it may very well continue to rapidly expand into a major player on the technology/startup/venture scene. It will be fun to watch!

Take a look at this TechCrunch article describing the scene in Kansas City before you consider it just another “flyover state”. You might be surprised.

Til Next Time,

Michael

The idea that pricing should follow traditional rules that have persisted since the early retail ages (or at least “retail” as we know it since big department/box stores started to pop up) is quickly becoming antiquated. I think we are past the days where specific industries should price goods as a strict percentage markup against cost. An article I read today on TechCrunch agrees. Although, what I will say is that the themes it brings up does almost take pricing back to its most basic roots, which I think is great.

Think about the days when items were bartered (the most early form of ‘pricing’ as far as I’m concerned). Cows weren’t empirically worth 10 chickens, or vice versa. Cows were worth exactly what a peer or separate member of your “society” (I will use this term loosely – as I am trying to indicate a member of any group of people, be it a city, a town, a dwelling, or what have you) valued that cow. And, if they had an abundance of chickens, it probably meant that your cow was worth a lot more chickens to that individual than it may be to any other individual. Not a strict cost based on some pricing table that some dude in the village “pricing department” set.

In short, I love the article and think it raises great points about the real pricing dilemma in an Amazon/e-commerce economy. With the prevalence of mass amounts of venture funding, crowdsourcing of financing for new ideas/projects, and a general movement back towards consumerism, I think we will see a great evolution of pricing of all goods in the near term. And I’m very excited for that!

Til Next Time,

Michael

I caught a great article on TechCrunch today on the concept of developaralysis – a term coined for the rising concern about the necessity to remain relevant in more developing languages that are changing faster than ever in today’s technology landscape.  It brings up some great questions and is a thought-provoking referendum on the ecosystem of development as a whole.  While, perhaps, some of the innovation and continued rate of change is not ultimately sustainable, I do think that we are in a great place historically where the ability to differentiate yourself and find a relevant niche is very real.  So, on that end, it makes me extremely happy to know that the American Dream, while it has changed substantially from the dreams of our forefathers, is still alive and well.

Til Next Time,

Michael

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