Entreprenuer - Java Software Development

Hiring the Best Developers

"Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds." - Colin Powell
As one of the great leaders of our time, Colin Powell has provided a provocative insight into what it really takes to get things done. You need to surround yourself the best and the brightest. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors.
In a brain-based economy, your best assets are people. We've heard this expression so often that it's become trite. But how many leaders really "walk the talk" with this stuff? Too often, people are assumed to be empty chess pieces to be moved around by grand viziers, which may explain why so many top managers immerse their calendar time in deal-making, restructuring and the latest management fad. How many immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, the most creative are attracted, retained and-most importantly-unleashed?

Face Time at the Office

To me the most demoralizing aspect of the traditional office is that you're supposed to be there at certain times. There are usually a few people in a company who really have to, but the reason most employees work fixed hours is that the company can't measure their productivity.
Never has there been a more resounding truth than this. It's tough to measure productivity and it doesn't require the same amount of time for every individual. Some individuals require 40 hours of work for what takes other just an hour of work, but management cannot truly differentiate. Face time dictates the office life.
The basic idea behind office hours is that if you can't make people work, you can at least prevent them from having fun. If employees have to be in the building a certain number of hours a day, and are forbidden to do non-work things while there, then they must be working. In theory. In practice they spend a lot of their time in a no-man's land, where they're neither working nor having fun.
[link=http://www.paulgraham.com/opensource.html]Business learns from Open Source[/link]
The problem with the facetime model is not just that it's demoralizing, but that the people pretending to work interrupt the ones actually working. I'm convinced the facetime model is the main reason large organizations have so many meetings. Per capita, large organizations accomplish very little. And yet all those people have to be on site at least eight hours a day. When so much time goes in one end and so little achievement comes out the other, something has to give. And meetings are the main mechanism for taking up the slack.

Presentation and Design

With all the focus on programming, developers often lose focus of presentation and design. The two most important factors when considering the marketability of your applicaiton is graphic design and usability. Ultimately your applications need to have a nice look to them and this often starts with a simple design and elegant graphics to enhance your design. Too many graphics or large graphics can easily distract from the presentation goals of your application. It's best to start simple and build from there. This also helps greatly with usablity as well. The simpler the better.
One of the best places to start with creating a very well presented application or web site is with a logo and color scheme. It's usually best to start with the logo because this will define your product branding. Once you have your logo it will dictate your colors. Try to incorporate your logo colors into your application color scheme. It will look more seamless and present very well. Nonetheless, for programmers and developers, graphic design is not a strong suit. Programming and other complex tasks are most well suited for the expensive time demanded by a programmer. Thus, it is best to outsource this and luckily it is quite cheap. Here is a list of vendors who will be happy to design logos and color schemes for your application. A small investment in your application can pay off big from a marketing standpoint. After all, you just invested a massive amount of time and expense developing the application, you should try to present it well.

Logo Maid (starting from $19)
Sure Logos (starting from $29)
Pixel Logo (starting from $29)
Sky Logos (starting from $49)
Logo Loft (starting from $69)
The Logo Company (starting at $75)
Biz Logo (starting from $95)

Worst Boss to work For

There's nothing worse than having to go to work for a boss that you don't get along with, but it can't be worse than this. Bosses can be a real pain in the ass and sometimes you wonder how you can continue to work with a boss you can't get along with. Here are some extreme examples:

John D. Rockefeller

So self-righteous that he claimed, "God gave me my money." The most corrupt mogul of the most corrupt era, he masterminded a grand, cruel conspiracy in 1871 with the railroads to double the price of transporting oil for all producers except his cartel.

Henry Clay Frick

On July 6, 1892, Frick's private militia of 300 Pinkertons fired on a crowd of striking steelworkers and their families. Then he had them evicted from company-owned houses, blacklisted, and tried for murder.

Henry Ford

Ford used shadowy henchmen to run "secret police" who spied on employees. He had machine guns, tear gas, and a private army at the ready to deter union organizers. He cheated on his wife with his teenage personal assistant and then had the younger woman marry his chauffeur as a cover.

Walt Disney

The man behind the Mouse was a suspicious control freak -- a dictatorial boss who underpaid his workers, clashed with labor organizing efforts, made anti-Semitic smears about the other Hollywood studio heads, and wouldn't give due recognition to Mickey's real creator, animator Ub Iwerks, who was supposedly his oldest friend.

He also spied prodigiously for J. Edgar Hoover and cooperated with Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1960s.

Armand Hammer

Bribed his way through the oil business. Laundered money for Soviet spies. Forced his mistress to alter the way she looked to throw off his wife. Reneged on promises to support his illegitimate daughter. Forced his board members to give him signed resignation letters that he could accept if they ever dared to oppose him. Then promoted himself for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Harold Geneen

Perhaps history's most dictatorial accountant, Geneen ran the huge ITT in the 1960s and 1970s. His method: publicly humiliating his top 120 executives every month at grueling, four-day, 14-hour-long meetings that made some of them physically ill. Geneen liked to see the pained expressions on their faces as he tore into them.

Martin Davis

People thought Gulf & Western was predatory and acquisitive under Charles Bluhdorn, who earned it the nickname "Engulf & Devour." But when his tough-as-nails protege Davis ascended to the top position, a visitor asked why half of the offices were empty on the top floor of the company's Manhattan skyscraper. "Those were my enemies," Davis said. "I got rid of them."

Richard Snyder

Scorching and short-tempered, Dick "Nice Guys Finish Last" Snyder ran Simon & Schuster beginning in the 1970s, when the office joke was: What's the difference between the Ayatollah Khomeini and Dick Snyder? Answer: the Iranian mullah took only 52 hostages, while Snyder had 700 -- the number of employees at the book publisher.

Ivan Boesky

Scroogelike employer who routinely screamed at his staffers and made them all work the Friday after Thanksgiving, when he called many times to make sure they were still at the office. Proclaimed "Greed is healthy" in a 1986 commencement address at UC Berkeley, the inspiration for the Gordon Gekko speech in Wall Street. Served prison time for securities fraud but reemerged as a tanned La Jolla beach dude -- and never said he was sorry.

Leona Helmsley

Her most brilliant business move was having an affair with elderly real-estate baron Harry Helmsley, whom she conned into leaving his wife of 33 years by buying herself an engagement ring -- then telling him it was from a rival. Running his hotel empire, she became the "Queen of Mean" to the hundreds of employees she berated and fired on the spot, allegedly for things like a misaligned lampshade. Convinced that taxes were for the "little people," she wound up in prison for evasion.

Al Dunlap

As CEO of Sunbeam during the late 1990s, Dunlap charged a bulletproof vest and a handgun to his expense account -- understandable given the delight he took in laying off thousands of workers and subjecting his executives to profane, abusive tirades. He threw a chair across the room at his head of human resources, allegedly threatened his first wife with guns and knives, and failed to attend the funerals of either of his parents.

Andrew Fastow

Fastow could be so hot-headed that he once got into a punch-out with a taxi driver over 70 cents. Pocket change indeed compared to the $24 million of illicit gains the Enron CFO agreed to give back when he pleaded guilty to securities fraud -- or the billions of dollars lost by shareholders when his secret schemes ultimately triggered the company's collapse.

Chinese to buy Sun Microsystems

For a country whose GDP is climbing faster than the United States and a cash horde that seems to be growing out of control, Chinese companies are on the prowl for American businesses. They will soon beat out Canada as the largest trading partner for the United States. Chinese companies are looking at several American businesses to acquire and it may only be a matter of time before they are buying up several major American companies such as MayTag, Home Depot and even Sun Microsystems. The article from Business 2.0 illuminates the situation that the Chinese are currently in and it's looking good for them. They get to cut out the middle man and gain American brands and sales know-how. The name recognition would provide a major strategic advantage.

Often, it's name recognition that Chinese companies crave, since a history of communism has left them relatively clueless about building brands. Shandong-based appliance maker Haier may be eyeing Maytag or GE's (GE) white-goods division.

Blogging goes Mainstream

It can't be ignored any longer as blogging is takes off. Almost every business is embracing some form of blogging to reach oout to customers and build brand loyalty. It's even on the cover story for Business Week with the title, Blogs Will Change Your Business, and right they are. Blogs will change your business as they open up new channels of communication to your customers.

There are lots of blogging software and services available and you can even write your own. Perhaps you want to utilize some special processing to target specific audiences and markets, you should incorporate these into your blog as you write it.

An interesting quote from this article provides some insight on how blogs are taking off.

Blogs are the online tool powerful enough to bring down U.S. politicians and TV anchors and make 20-year-olds international superstars. While they are just beginning their rise as a method for internal or community communications. RSS – essentially a syndication technology – will become as important to a Web site as metatags. A primary branding driver is the recognition of the power that blogs and wikis have in fueling word word-of-mouth, which accounts for 30-50% of all brand switching.

Fast-forward to the future: Keep an eye on podcasting, mososo and immersive communications. These won’t have much of an impact in 2005, but could drive branding in 2006 and beyond. Podcasting involves using the iPod as a personal or group “radio station;” Mososo stands for mobile social software that connects people through mobile phones using location-based services; and immersive communications will leverage 64-bit processing, high-definition displays and such emerging technologies as Blu-ray that will make virtual reality less virtual and more real.

Getting a Promotion

Here is an interesting article that illustrates why some of us never get promotions.

In contrast to other large firms, Wal-Mart hires for attitude and then teaches the necessary skills. To overcome the natural human tendency not to hire someone who might outshine us, Wal-Mart requires managers two levels above the open position to interview and approve all new hires. Finally, managers spend more time in the field than they do at headquarters to both communicate corporate messages and obtain firsthand market intelligence.

Most of us are hired and promoted by a direct supervisor and this often conflicts with the personal agendas of those supervisors. Walmart has enacted a policy to make sure this doesn't happen. Perhaps this is a good example to follow for other companies including smaller companies as well.

  1 - 7 of 7 articles  

On This Site

  • About this site
  • Main Page
  • Most Recent Comments
  • Complete Article List
  • Sponsors

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting