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Showing posts from 2006

Hook This

Got a book you want to sell? Thinking about writing one? Maybe you just want to know how to get someone's attention in 250 words or less? Well then, check out Miss Snark's Crapometer, the occasional contest where would-be writers get to test their best hooks against the short attention span of a real literary agent.

I'm #435, by the way. We'll see whether I make the cut.

If you can't dazzle 'em...

I saw a sign this morning on the door to a training room in our building, and it just amused me:


Dazzling Your Customers CANCELED


Yeahhhhhh, we're not doing that anymore....

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Another Best Buddies Ride Report

Here's a ride report from Jim, our honorary Patriot Pedaler. As you can see, he didn't have nearly as much fun as I did. Apparently, the ride was too easy for him and he got bored. Thanks for the ride to the ride, though, Jim!

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Gartner Research: A little help here?

Today, as research for an article I'm writing, I read a Gartner research report on offshore deals:

Management Update: Five Reasons Why Offshore Deals Fail

You'd have to pay to read the whole article, but here are some highlights (I don't think I'm giving away the store here):

The five key failure points that Gartner identified:
Unrealized cost savings
Loss of productivity
Poor commitment and communications
Cultural differences
Lack of offshore expertise and organizational readinessPretty good so far, and at least they confirmed my own thoughts. And really, isn’t that why we buy research: to reinforce our own thinking? Here are some of Gartner’s suggestions for addressing these issues:
Make sure that your business case takes into account all of the costs, rather than just looking at wage disparities
Be realistic about productivity assumptions
Have a communication plan that focuses on having the right people say the right things at the right time
Identify the cultural nuances and tr…

Best Buddies Hyannisport Challenge 2006 - Ride Report

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Those who remember my report from last year’s Best Buddies ride will remember two words: wet, and cold. Sure, you could use other words to describe the experience – fun, inspiring, exhausting, a noteworthy accomplishment – but these impressions all came wrapped in a cold, wet wrapper, courtesy of the New England spring. So you can imagine that, this year, through all of the training, fundraising, and preparation for the ride, one element was foremost in my mind: the weather. I was committed to doing the ride no matter what, but it sure would be nice if I could do it without risking hypothermia again.

As mid-May drew near, I started watching the weather forecasts with a little bit more urgency, hoping for a sign: some sort of warming trend, a high-pressure front that would camp over the Northeast for a week or so, above-average temperatures in Indianapolis, anything. One week to go. What do we get? The heaviest rains that New England has seen in over 50 years. Flooding in Danvers, road …

Fool.com: The Way of the Wolf

Fool.com: Netflix Fights Like a Wolf [Hot Topics] April 12, 2006

How cool is this? My recent post on Netflix business practices was selected as the Motley Fool Hot Topic of the week! A snippet:

Does anyone think that Netflix really wants or expects an injunction out of this? This is really about widening the moat, isn't it? Well, widening the moat and then putting pointy stakes in the water just in case someone wants to jump in. Sure: if they win, then everyone else who wants to play in their market has to not only differentiate their brand, but also prove that their business model is substantially different than Netflix's patented process. Obviously, that would be tough to do now that Netflix and Blockbuster have established the all-you-can-watch, order-by-queue model as the standard. A new player would have to be as disruptive as Netflix was when it started. Oh, and Blockbuster Online would be either shut down or become, essentially, a Netflix franchisee.So, a win would be gre…

It's done!!!

For years, I said that I was going to write a book about the, um, "interesting" people and situations that I'd seen in my career as a software project manager. Then, for another year, I said that I was seriously thinking about that book and working on characters and an outline. For the last two years (plus a month), I was writing it. Now, I can finally say that I have written a book, all 128,352 words of it.

What a difference that change in tense makes: it's the difference between dreamer and doer, between hobby and accomplishment. I've never worked this hard for this long on anything, and I proudly include my entire college career in that statement (though Mom and Dad, your money was well spent, I swear). This has been an act of faith from beginning to end, so even if this book never sees a Barnes & Noble shelf, I am proud to have completed it.

My book doesn't have an agent yet, and it doesn't have a publisher, but it has one very proud (and tired) pap…

CNN.com - West Virginia passes mine-safety bill - Jan 23, 2006

CNN.com - West Virginia passes mine-safety bill - Jan 23, 2006

CHARLESTON, West Virginia -- Following the deaths of 14 West Virginia miners in less than three weeks, state lawmakers on Monday approved legislation aimed at improving the chances of survival for miners trapped underground. Legislators also announced the passage of a bill requiring all barn doors in the state to automatically close as soon as the horses have escaped.

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It's not like you could outrun him

Police Seeking Clarett After Armed Robbery - Los Angeles Times

Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who sued to be allowed to enter the NFL draft without first completing three years of college play, was arrested Monday on armed robbery charges. The confused Clarett proclaimed his innocence, stating, “They told me it was part of the tryouts for the Minnesota Vikings.”

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