by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Business Development, Human Condition, Tools
I’m blessed and burdened with an active and creative imagination. I regularly have new exciting thoughts penetrating into my concentration becoming a distraction from the task I’m on. The burden I experience is how to handle these thoughts. I can’t stop them from arriving and I dismissing them undermines my creativity. I’ve learned that these thoughts are important and have provided solutions to longstanding problems. I needed a method to store these thoughts so that they’re shown respect but don’t seriously interrupt my flow of concentration. I took to writing them down in paper journals and eventually moved on to writing them in emails sent to myself. It was not long before this method became quite cumbersome and limited in usefulness. Writing down thoughts in a linear note-taking method makes it hugely difficult to retrieve the information. Even using an electronic record in email or a word-processing document, there is no efficient method to find thoughts. Transferring these thoughts to a task-management tool was another new process. Thoughts written down in a string of entries does not lend itself to prioritization or sorting. When I came across an online Kaban system I was intrigued about what it could offer but […]
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller, Mental Mischief0 commentstags: Business Development, Comprehensive Analysis, Human Condition, Summarizing a Business Organization
Paul Graham is not only a successful entrepreneur he is a analytical master who has written extensively on business, economics, and culture. I greatly appreciate how he deconstructs complex topics and makes it accessible. Below is some of my favorite articles by him: Nerd Culture http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html Hacker Culture http://www.paulgraham.com/gba.html Wealth and Inequality http://www.paulgraham.com/gap.html Wealth, Technology, and Startups http://www.paulgraham.com/wealth.html American Culture, Craftsmanship, and Design http://www.paulgraham.com/usa.html Graduating from High School http://www.paulgraham.com/hs.html Finding What You Love To Do http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html Building a Startup http://www.paulgraham.com/start.html Startup Lessons http://www.paulgraham.com/startuplessons.html Startup Mistakes http://www.paulgraham.com/startupmistakes.html About What Good Art Is http://www.paulgraham.com/goodart.html Intelligence vs Wisdom http://www.paulgraham.com/wisdom.html Thinking about Equity Valuations http://www.paulgraham.com/equity.html About Philosophy http://www.paulgraham.com/philosophy.html Principles to a New Product Launch http://www.paulgraham.com/newthings.html Types of Disagreement http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html 5 Regrets to Avoid http://www.paulgraham.com/todo.html The Counter Intuition of Startup Investing http://www.paulgraham.com/swan.html How Startups are Different from other Businesses http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html How to Find Ideas for Startups http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html Convincing Investors http://www.paulgraham.com/convince.html
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller2 commentstags: Contrarian, Free Enterprise, Human Condition
One of the biggest criticisms I have heard from the anti-capitalist crowd (which I was once a part of in my younger years) against capitalism is that it is all about competition. Capitalism has no room for cooperation, or so we are told in the countless business and marketing books and courses (The Art of War) which focus primarily about how to beat the competition. Yet, this is a gross misunderstanding made by both anti-capitalists and pro-capitalists. Capitalism is not about valuing competition over cooperation. It is about having freedom to decide how to engage in the marketplace, either employing competition or cooperation or typically some fluid combination of both. Capitalism is the only system where voluntary economic cooperation can exist. Collectivist societies will place extensive social pressures on its members to “play nice”. This will determine what you are allowed to produce, who you are allowed to buy from, and who you are allowed to sell to. In a collectivist society you might not be allowed to sell your product to a particular region because they are not part of your social or ethnic group. The essence of being collectivist and having a common identity also means that there […]
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Corporate Corruption, Foolishness, Human Condition
I was reading about Bernie Madoff’s investment scandal and it suddenly struck me that defined-benefit pension plans (public and private) operate on the same principal as Madoff’s Ponzi plan. Bernie Madoff defrauded his investors of $65 billion dollars with a massive ponzi scheme. Madoff was smart by never offering suspicious high returns to everyone, but did guarantee a steady and modest return regardless of the state of the stock market. This latter point should be suspicious to any intelligent investor. Yet that is exactly what our public and private defined benefit plans are doing. They guarantee a return or benefit rate. Yet how can they do this? Just like Madoff did, by using new money brought in from new investors (or pension contributors) to help meet the payout obligations. As long as new citizens grow up and are forced to contribute to the pension plans, the plan remains viable. But, perhaps we would all be better served by a defined-contribution plan, where the return is based on how well one’s money is managed, instead of compelling citizens to make pension contributions to maintain unsustainable payouts.
by Chris Billowsin Business Beller0 commentstags: Customer Service, Defining Life, Human Condition
I just dealt with a situation where my financial institution originally said no to me when I tried open up a new business savings account. I expressed my frustration, then went ahead and asked another branch manager to do the same thing – he said yes. It just proves to me that people are more important than institutions. One person interprets rules one way, the other a different way. The thing to remember is not to ask for something that is unreasonable or illegal. In my case it was about the interpretation about a specific banking package. I explained to both how both the documentation and the staff below them interpreted the account the same way I did. That reasoning did not work with the person who said no, but thankfully worked with the person who said yes. Of course, I am more interested in bringing my personal business to the reasonable branch manager. Giving the answer the customer expects is easily the simplest way to retain them.