*From the New York Times, May 26, 2018: “Last year the University of Wisconsin at Superior announced that it was suspending nine majors, including sociology and political science, and warned that there might be additional cuts. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point recently proposed dropping 13 majors, including philosophy and English, to make room for programs with “clear career pathways.”
*Some years ago, there was a comedy show that had as a part of its weekly bits, the “Flying fickle Finger of Fate” award, which went to people in the news who accomplished “dubious achievements.” From The Wall Street Journal, Friday July 27, 2018: “Facebook shares fell 19% to $176.26, erasing about $119.1 billion in market value, after the Menlo Park Calif., company warned late Wednesday about slowing growth. Facebook’s loss in market value Thursday is larger than 457 of the 500 companies in the S&P 500. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg alone lost almost $16 billion in the value of his stock holdings.”
But Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.
Perhaps Zuckerberg will have to skip the Wadyu steak Friday night, and just have the regular filet mignon. Keep Reading
*For those of us who have taken marketing coursework, we know that one of the most important aspects of any marketing plan is to identify your target market. If you aim at the wrong target, you will surely fail to achieve your goal. In my career, I have sold, excuse me marketed, over a million dollars’ worth of merchandise, to various target markets. One of my hard-learned fundamental precepts of marketing is that you should never try to market something that you wouldn’t purchase yourself. I have done marketing research as well, and it was so good that students in the next class copied my research design, almost to the letter. You will always know the value of your work by who copies it, steals it, or clams that it is their own. While I wasn’t necessarily offended by their behavior, I resented that the professor approved and encouraged it. He probably didn’t even use my name when describing the design.
When recruiting potential employees, you are essentially selling the company to a postulant. But if no one was aware that a company or organization was looking for employees, the number of candidates would be limited. Selling is marketing, and marketing is selling.
My favorite marketing joke is:
Do you know what they call a salesman who can’t sell anything?
The director of marketing.”
He did make some solid points, namely about the importance of finding someone independent and trustworthy with an investment style you’re comfortable with. These characteristics are crucial to your peace of mind— your future is everything, and you need someone with your goals in mind managing your money.
The author made finding your dream advisor seem as easy as asking a friend or someone you respect for a recommendation. I hate to break it to you, but he or she doesn’t exist— unless you consider yourself an option. Who knows your needs, risk-tolerance, and plans for the future better than you?
*I recently read on a website a hiring manager who discarded the application of any applicant who had less than a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). This manager was quite proud of this fact. So let’s take a look at some of the critical qualifications of hiring and compare some of the good points and bad points. Included are some other characteristics that might on the surface demonstrate great qualities, but there might be some other considerations.
This reminds me of a person that I spoke with once who had a particular motorcycle that had a great reputation as a race bike. The person who had owned this motorcycle said that it was a great bike, but if you weren’t a very experienced rider, it was a nightmare, because it only performed well at very high speeds, and if you weren’t capable of holding the throttle wide open and slamming it around, it would torture you. The bike was essentially a production model of the bike that had won the world championship the year before. If you were world champion class rider, it was good for you; if you weren’t a world champion rider, it would punish you.
*Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was the president and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of a company named Theranos for seven years. The founder of Theranos was Elizabeth Holmes, whose life goal was to be a Silicon Valley billionaire. The unfolding of the story is rather sad, a story whose path was not unlike the fictional character Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” theme. Theranos’s business concept was a great idea, and should a company such as one like Theranos actually work, it would change a lot of how we view medicine, but the concept and reality never actualized.
*As it was once said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Bitcoin has been joined by 1,450 digital coin offerings. I have never been happy with the term “coin” since we associate coins with metal objects we can hold in our hands, except for maybe the island of Yap that has stone coins.
I think they attempt to assuage people by using the term “coin” so that the chumps who invest in them really think that there is, somewhere, something that they can put in their pocket and stroll down to the local drug store and by a soda.
Bitcoin closed Friday May 18, 2018 at $8,487.61, in case you’re interested. Tulips were once very valuable, too (look that up in your history books).
Let me say I have no animosity for those who invest in Bitcoin. If you make a fortune, good for you, and make sure and thank the Winklevoss twins, who dreamed up Facebook and any other moneymaking investment that might have a sketchy, hard to nail down origin.
I think they slept through their ethics classes at Harvard; the only thing they learned was “once you have it, no one really cares how you got it” which was certainly true of I.G. Farben along with the International Bank of Settlements during the 1940s, or Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
*One of my favorite questions is what is the largest machine on earth, and one of the best answers is the North American power grid. Spanning thousands of miles and connected to millions of people, the North American power grid is not only a gigantic machine, it has enormous influence on all of our lives, save for those of you who are receiving your internet over an independent satellite and using wind power to generate the electricity needed to power your computer, so that means less than 1% of you aren’t dependent in some way.
If you think that isn’t important, Google “Russians hacking the U.S. power grid” and read the articles just this year (2018) on how many times and how many ways the Russians are seeking to destroy our infrastructure. Of course, to the Democrats and mainstream media, trying to remove the current president from office supersedes any efforts to protect our critical infrastructure such as our power supply or information systems; after all, one has to have their priorities.
*First things first, I am not here to neither reprimand nor endorse monopolistic or competitive capitalism, but rather to use first principles thinking as a systematic approach on how some relentless monopolistic markets use decentralized tactics to inevitably excel past expectations compared to markets in perfect competition. This type of thinking is highly encouraged by Aristotle (philosophical works), Descartes (Cartesian Doubt), and Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla, Solar City, The Boring Company).
We’ll analyze the mammoths, Microsoft and Google, and use reasoning to find out which of these companies are going to survive and which will fail due to lacking any type of decentralized organizational structure.
“With first principles, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there.”
*Mark Zuckerberg addressing the Y Combinator Startup School at Stanford University: “I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” he stated, adding that successful start-ups should only employ young people with technical expertise.
(Zuckerberg also apparently missed the class on employment and discrimination law.) “Young people are just smarter,” he said, with a straight face, according to VentureBeat. “Why are most chess masters under 30?” he asked. “I don’t know…Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family.” (Margret Kane March 28, 2007 www.cnet.com)