Before I share some seemingly pessimistic and insensitive commentary, that is written in a hope of helping motivate you, let me say that I understand and I relate:
I too am pissed off about not getting stuff I don’t deserve. I don’t like many aspects of what I have to do in order to obtain the kind of life I want for my family.
But I have no other options. I’m just not pretty enough for porn.
Now that we have the Vladville tone firmly established, let me share a post from Facebook that I thing highlights the challenge of compromise in corporate America – and how it transcends the plight of minimum wage and is even present in every day mental handicap of many people you may have working with you across all levels of income.
Mixed feelings on this one… Yes, it’s sad. Yes, that is what happens on minimum wage and it’s sad. But if that is not the incentive NOT to stay at the bottom and show 0 effort then I don’t know what is. No, not everyone can be a CEO and not everyone is going to get to waste 4 years in college, but “I do my job, give me more than you agreed to pay me for it” is not going to end well. That IMHO is the true “entitlement” in USA, expecting more for not doing more — not the food stamps that help people that get stuck in minimum wage temporarily.
Now every time you post something about doing the bare minimum the defense points from the more compassionate people are always the same: 1. Minimum wage is not livable wage 2. Many people cannot afford to move to a place where there is more demand and thus higher pay for unskilled labor 3. Employers should just pay people more. Fair points but unrealistic in the economy and legal system we have – income disparity is in place to reward people who can maximize profits. End of conversation, you can disagree with it and bitch and moan about it’s unfairness but it’s all about the highest score at the end of the game and nothing else matters.
Now, I shared the above in the typical Vlad compassionate way and was told the following:
“This store is 5 minutes from our house, and it says a lot more to me about opportunities here, than Walmart’s wage structure. We are a community engulfed in brain drain, it’s not that people don’t strive to provide for themselves, but far too many of them have to leave here to accomplish it. I’m sure you are not often accused of being an optimist Vlad, but incentive and hard work don’t seem to be worth as much here.”
The key word is “here”: If your work is not being rewarded then you need to get the fuck out of “here” and move elsewhere.
The Solution To Economic Class Warfare
Walmart is not an inherently evil corporation, it is an American corporation that behaves in the same soulless way that they all do: their job is to maximize corporate profits that are reinvested in further growth or dispersed as dividends to it’s shareholders who spend it, donate it, reinvest it or otherwise. In order for Walmart to continue to grow it needs more demand and more people.
Raising pay would be a suicidal move for Walmart because it would impact it’s margins or raise the cost of goods sold which would make it less competitive with Target/etc. So don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
The only way Walmart, McDonalds and other minimum wage sweatshops will raise their wages is if there is less available labor that is willing to work for minimum wage. And how do people stop working for Walmart? Education, moving to an area with more opportunities, starting up a business, etc – it starts with people not willing to put up with shit deciding to make a change.
But most people don’t want to be inconvenienced: I like where I live. My family is nearby. I don’t have the time to get a degree or enroll in a vocational program. I don’t want to move. I don’t like those hours that pay more because I want to spend time with family. Insert $WHINING $BITCHING $MOANING, it’s someone else’s fault.
And you see, fellow Walmart Associate and everyone else unhappy with their pay, it is not someone else’s fault that you are making excuses instead of doing something. That is not injustice, that’s your inability to accept inconvenience and sacrifice. If you look around a little and see a whole bunch of people doing better than you.. unless you are surrounded by Kardashians, those people had to go through a lot to get where they are and they feel very little sympathy for you.
Wishing and hoping and praying may make you feel better but that temporary comfort will not change things or make them any better. As much as it may appear that some folks have it easy, barring something illegal, in this country we work for rewards. Yes, the more you work the more disproportionately you get compensated eventually compared to those who show no effort at all, but knowing that fact.. right now.. you have the opportunity to do absolutely nothing or do something.
An optimistic person would tell you the truth and implore you to work harder towards what you want. A pessimist would blame something instead of doing anything.
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In the past I’ve written about my many mobility adventures and with the new wave of devices from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Samsung and so on I figured I’d offer an update on what’s in my bag.
First of all, I got rid of my iPad 2 3G – ever since I got the Surface RT I barely used the thing and it’s only redeeming quality is that it had an Internet connection. Except it was 3G Verizon and it sucked. Then I eventually got rid of my Surface RT as well. Much like an iPad, it was a toy, except without apps. So if it wasn’t on the web, it wasn’t really happening on the Surface and eventually it made less and less sense. My office Android tablet (I think it’s the 7” Google Nexus) got taken by developers for some testing and I haven’t had a reason to go ask for it back.
First off, why the iPad at all: For the same reason I still rock Windows – familiarity. I have an iPhone and I love it and we’ve spent a lot of time developing iOS apps for Shockey Monkey and now ExchangeDefender so I can actually do something work related with it – making a Windows-powered device unnecessary.
Why the iPad Mini?
We have a few iPad Air tablets floating around the office that we’ll be giving away at trade shows and frankly it just seems to bulky: Lot’s of people who don’t really need a laptop or a desktop would say that it’s a “desktop replacement” but for me it’s really just an extension when I’m not taking my laptop with me. I own a Macbook Air which is as light as it gets with a ton of battery so I rarely go far with out it.
Which brings me to the reason for iPad mini: the size.
It fits in the back pocket of my jeans. It fits in my agenda cover and is barely noticeable weight-wise. It runs all the same apps as my iPhone and with more screen real estate I can do the basic stuff like reading, writing, chat and so on.
The ergonomics of this are so big that I really do not want to understate them: When you’re talking about mobility you’re not just talking about throwing a device in a bag. You have to think about the charger too. With the phone and the tablet using the same charger, this is no longer an issue. Ditto on applications – same stuff runs on both so all the data is always accessible. And with it connected to the cloud, so is everything else.
When I look at my Macbook Air and the iPad Air, they seem a bit redundant in a sense of size. Yet the Air comes so much shorter in terms of functionality compared to the laptop.
To each his own and everyone has an opinion but here are the questions:
When will I use this?
Will I be away from wifi and need Internet access?
What is the purpose of it? To get rid of a laptop?
Do I need apps (avoid Microsoft) or is it all on the web?
Does the size matter? (ha!)
Does the battery matter?
Do I have to lug other stuff with it (chargers, cases, keyboards)
To me, the iPad Mini with Retina and 4G was small and friendly enough to take around as an afterthought but capable enough to be an actually productive companion to my iPhone. With them sharing apps, chargers and having Internet access, it was hard to make a case for anything else.
Well done Apple.
P.S. Not paid or sponsored by Apple in any way; and one of the biggest unmentionable criteria is that the Air and Mini have the same display and CPU so there is nothing “mini” about the thing, it’s actually a plus – the physical device size is the plus not a diminutive.
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Diet mountain dew and obsessive attention to detail can be a blessing and a wonderful combination. I recall chatting with someone a few years ago about plans and goals on MSN Messenger a few years ago and talking about how I wanted to get married and start a family and a whole bunch of other stuff. Some came true, some not so much, other stuff way above what I could have expected.
Which brings me to todays topic: You gotta have a plan.
Not too long ago this was one of the most hectic weeks in my life. I had to coordinate and micromanage every little minute of it and often ended up with 20+ hour days. No, I didn’t have to – someone else designed and produced the collateral, managed the schedule, lined things up – but I was involved in every little tiny detail of it all. Not because I didn’t trust my staff, but because I had a plan and I wanted to make sure we did exactly what I wanted to. I rewrote the marketing copy (a few times), I tried to track people down for meetings to get feedback on what we were doing, I for some dumb reason even worried about the booth..
In 2013, this week is just another week. I’ll be doing my actual job as a CEO with an hour or two of showing my face during the ConnectWise reception and the party on the last day. The rest of it will be handled by my team, much like it is done every other day of the year.
I’m not gloating here, nor will I be sitting on a beach sipping a mojito out of a watermellon, all I’m trying to say is that all this didn’t happen by accident. This was planned, took tons of excruciatingly long workdays and unwillingness to give up through a lot of failure. I didn’t find any magic products, I had no amazing epiphanies along the way, I didn’t invent anything. It was just hard work and not drifting too far away from the plan.
And I’ll highlight this because I think it’s important:
One of the most disappointing things about this industry is the lack of respect for hard work.
I love this industry. I think we’re among the smartest folks out there. My criticism towards it’s less than reputable (or outright criminal members) makes some people think I’m a dick – and fuck them, they are entitled to their opinion. But I have not and never will have any respect for people expecting a shortcut or a handout.
If you’re stupid enough to think peering up, copying bad ideas from people who are no longer in business, attending events that are only designed to sell you junk you don’t need, are always on the lookout for the next big thing while refusing to grind it out for the opportunity that is right in front of you… then you deserve nothing but to be robbed by the people telling you that you don’t need to work.
Everyone in the IT chain knows what needs to be done, they know what the clients ask for and are both smart and creative enough to make it happen. Few of them make millions of dollars while the remainder of the crowd makes millions of excuses for why certain things don’t fit their model, don’t have enough margins, don’t have enough time and make no sense. So they troll through life, barely making a single digit percent worth of success year over year, still “working on it” while fawning over the bullshit mill and the few successful people that say the same thing – it’s all about effort.
To those of you that are in Orlando this week – welcome. I hope I bump into you. Carpe Diem – you won’t find anything new today that will drastically change your fortunes, the good thing is you already have everything you need all you need to do is stick with the plan. Good things happen.
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Sort of a followup on the last post, sort of a general truth about life and work: Things that bother you don’t change just because you wish or hope or pray or dream. You actually need to do something for things to change. If not at best they will continue to bother you or will in fact just get worse.
Otherwise reasonable people, in business, seem not to be capable of dealing with this. Not that they are willfully ignorant by any means, it’s just that the concept of managing a business involves lots of variables and it’s easy to try to ignore the things that you don’t like. No matter how painful the change for the better may be, the peace of not disrupting the current flow is something easier even with the full knowledge that the difficulties that keep on making one day after another suck more and more. For some dumb reason, we’d rather stick with the pain we are familiar with even with the threat of it getting much worse than embrace a change that while painful might lead to a much better place.*
This is not a fallacy of business owners and managers alone, it exists at all levels of an organization. Except it’s worse. If you think it’s tough to make a change (that you know you need) then imagine the horror of having change enforced on you by someone that you likely already blame for other things that are wrong in your life.
The biggest problem with embracing change is that you likely need a big change (whether in action or how you see the world around you) and not a small tweak. In order for it to work you need to take a long hard look at everything that bothers you and create a very long plan of going from point A to point B. Except then you realize that even small changes suck.
Fat people don’t like being fat. So instead of switching from Coke to Diet Coke they go on the Internet and find studies about how diet soda is bad for you. Well no shit sherlock, all soda is bad for you. So do they quit Coke outright? Oh god no, they already overexerted themselves Googling and reading, heck may as well open another can as a reward for taking steps towards… <SLAP>
The Cold Ugly Truth
People who hate change are the people who were not beaten enough by their parents to associate actual pain with bad decisions. When you’re raised by people who make it OK for you to be a faultless idiot, things get really hard when you grow up and have no adult supervision. Even worse, you can find dumbasses that are just like you and can help you perpetuate your inability to do what you really need to do. There is the exact opposite of this as well – people who make wild, uncalculated reckless moves just because they cannot tolerate an ounce of discomfort. They tend to die and win a Darwin Award.
Listen, there is a middle between the Westboro Baptist Church and motorcycle stunt driver. You need not lead life in ignorance or impulsive miscalculated steps.
The only thing you need to embrace is that you have a problem and that the problem you have is going to take a long time to solve. Months, years. Set a goal to plan (longer than you think) and figure out how to solve the problem – then get to working (shorter than you think) to address that problem over time. Baby steps, small changes over long period of time. Get a journal, get a goal, get a reward system, get a support system, get a buddy that’s equally fucked up in whatever your problem happens to be and go for it.
It’s not easy. It’s not quick. People will judge you and say mean and discouraging things. You will lose some friends, you will lose some employees, you will lose some hair, happiness, <insert whatever you value here>. It will be bad.
But nothing in the world is worse than being right where you are with the same problem a year from now.
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One of the more annoying themes in IT is the lack of understanding that anything valuable and complex takes time. We recently launched a new service at work and I’ve spent the past month on the phone talking to people and discussing some common problems and issues we have with the business / people and the fallacy of impatience.
I need huge margins and immediate results. I understand, I need to lose 50lb in one day but the only way for that to happen is if I chainsaw myself in half. Nobody wants to clean that up – and I’m pretty sure it would be less of a legal challenge than if you took that chainsaw to your clients Exchange server. Yet many people want to do just that. Ain’t nobody got time moment.
Since this is likely to only be valuable to people that don’t have a long attention span I’ll make it quick: Nothing good happens fast. If you have no experience and you think you can fix a problem in a split second because everyone around you is an idiot, grab a buddy – use them as a human shield when you earn your “experience” and something blows up.
When it comes to complex issues, particularly the ones involving the cloud and infrastructure / process shift, it takes time. You won’t be a millionaire by the end of the week. Or month. Or a year. But that doesn’t mean you just turn your back to it and wait for it to errode you out of business – ask all the Geeksquad MSPs how well they are doing next time you visit them at Target, Car Max or another IT vendor job – ignorance is not a business model. It takes time to build, promote, sell, implement and sustain a new business line or a new product and if you’re just hoping to find that next “set it and forget it” piece of IT then it’s going to be a rough winter.
I have (a lot of) projects that fail. I don’t want to give you an impression that I have any magic solution to failing, just my process for handling failure.
1. It starts with planning. All new ideas come with plans, tracks, stages, estimates, priorities, outcomes, scenarios and so forth. Most crackheaded ideas don’t even see the light of day.
2. It’s sustained through monitoring. You have to stay on top of your plans and you have to keep on checking how things are going. Everyone at every level of management will tell you that their reports are task avoidance ninjas, trained in the art of avoiding any hard prolonged work. Quick bursts of output, no problem. Repetitive mindless droning, got it. Six week project with deliverables, unknowns, research, etc – it’s due in six weeks, right? We’ll worry about it in 5, I’m stalking something on eBay. If you aren’t paying attention to your business nobody else is.
3. It lives and dies through evaluation and persistence. How is the plan progressing? Has anything changed? Do we make changes or push forward?
Ineffective people fall on the opposite parts of the spectrum: They either get consumed in their projects and never get anything done and don’t know how to quit… or they quit at the first problem they encounter and don’t give their projects enough time to develop.
I want it all and I want it now. But I don’t want to take the time to get there and I don’t want it to require hard work. Who am I to say you can’t dream?
But waking up in the IT services landscape we have today paints a picture of ridiculously complex and overpriced infrastructure that never lived up to it’s billing, competing with a cloud infrastructure that is seemingly free and easy but it’s really neither. The challenge of bridging the two for a business is a difficult, painstaking and process oriented task that will be neither easy nor quick. And that’s your job. Embrace it, take it and build a business around it.
Or look at the alternative: It is quick and easy and nobody needs you. Your call.
, IT Business
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As you may have heard or read here, we recently launched the ExchangeDefender Migration & Support services for our hosted Exchange, Lync and SharePoint 2013 cloud platform. These services line us up with our most successful and fastest growing partners by giving them the power of scale – through executing their clients email migration to the cloud on their behalf for free. What it’s basically doing is saying “Sell the cloud, mark it up, charge for migration – get paid and we’ll do all the technical, coordination and management legwork behind the scenes so you don’t have to work on the weekends or dedicate a ton of time on it”. To say it’s going well would be a huge understatement. I’ve actually personally dedicated all of my Q4 time to it.
This project is something we really cannot afford to fuck up. The demand for it is off the charts and it’s something I frankly misjudged – I always figured that the pride of doing the technical work would be something that MSPs and VARs would never delegate. But as I keep on hearing, money over technical pride all day and night. So live and learn – I’ve been working from home for the past week or so and will continue till mid December. That said, my time for pretty much everything else is shot.
My appearance at the ConnectWise conference and associated events will be minimal.
There is no conspiracy theory here – I still have my vendor pass and my entire team will be there throughout the show. Virtually all the VPs will be there at one point or another and I’ll do my best to hop in for a few hours of meetings but beyond that I hope you can understand how important the task we have ahead of us is and how important it is that we get this right. Nobody is mad at me, I am not mad at anyone, there are no issues with Shockey Monkey, I do not feel that ConnectWise is irrelevant, I do not lack respect for their partners, I do not <insert any negative impression you have for me not being out there the next 2 months>
I typically go all out for large IT events in Orlando when Microsoft, VMWare and so on bring in tens of thousands of people and lots of our international partners get a single chance to see me and visit us. In the past I’ve pulled the crazy hours and done every party and every meeting but this year the schedule is just shot.
Anyhow, wanted to explain myself because I don’t want this conversation to take place a 100 times and people typically assume the worst or try to find some hidden meaning out of pure business. The trust and faith our partners are putting in ExchangeDefender to work with your clients directly is something I don’t take lightly and we are learning more and more each day. These projects are being designed and managed from the top of the organization as we probably have only one shot at making this a flawless experience for our partners. This is our chance to repay our partners for making us so successful over the years and frankly, we can’t bugfix this later, it has to be done now. Hence a blog post at 5AM because this is the only time nobody will pick up the phone
Thanks for understanding. I’d rather be partying, but those of you that have met with me about this project so far know just how significant it is. If we haven’t talked about it, we need to, email me. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you and feeling bad about missing out on stuff.
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I’ve made somewhat of a lucrative career making fun of self proclaimed experts in our industry who only seem to excel at not going to work and not being able to keep a job.
Perhaps the two are connected somehow? It’s my perception and I can back it up with various factoids that are among a wide array of general characteristics to the extent that many people seem to recognize themselves in.. somewhat. So yes, if you read Vladville posts and it strikes close to home then I am not just addressing generalizations, I am writing about you. You and nobody else but you.
The trouble with a relatively small and highly connected community is that we see the connections among people and, right or wrong, tend to base our opinions based on brief glimpses of what we see scroll by on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Getting to know someone truly takes time because most social encounters are in a business framing – conferences, mixers, barcamps, sponsored parties and so on.
Everyone is there to work. And like it or not, you have a public image that is built by what people perceive of you with a limited set of images, Facebook updates, tweets and quick interactions.
Consequently, my attitude towards what people thought of me seemed irrelevant. I don’t care because this isn’t me, this is my work image. I even have a work Facebook account with random amount of filth just to keep it entertaining.
Truth is, whether you respect the people who are forming an impression of you or not, if that impression is negative you have to make an attempt to turn it into a positive one.
Sucks, right? Well, it’s tough being popular. Even if it’s a matter of popularity in a small industry or in a small subset of it.
The point of reference doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who thinks you are stupid, fat, drunk, useless, unemployable, womanizer, whore, idiot – it matters that people look at the content you put up on the Internet and they form an impression of you based on that content. If that is the wrong impression, or the one you don’t like, you change it. Again, the reference doesn’t matter because these aren’t opinions being formed on a thorough research and personality quizes – people see one or two things about you and assume that it’s you. Even if people you don’t care about are forming this opinion of you without knowing you it stands to reason that the people that you do care about might form a similar opinion.
If you are one dimensional it’s easy to stereotype you into something negative.
So go ahead, flood your social media with tons of irrelevant stuff. Because the only thing better than inadvertently offending someone is ridiculously offending everyone to the point that it’s seen as a joke and keeps them guessing. Then before they judge you they at least have to take a moment to get to know you.
It’s that simple.
P.S. Terrible, terrible, horrific advice given by a guy who will never have to go look for a job. If you think you’ll be seeking employment some day make sure your name either doesn’t exist in a Google/image search or you change your name to John Smith so your future employer will never be able to illegally profile and disqualify you for employment. Or specifically qualify you based on some horrible thing you do in your spare time which would be even more concerning.
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If there is one thing that I absolutely suck at it’s being the judge of talent. Sometimes I allow the potential someone may have to be productive at a given role overshadow their many shortcomings. To the extent that some of my ex employees used most of their talent to actively avoid doing their job.
I try to remind myself of my ineptitude as the talent judge when I’m on a sales call with someone I know will lead nowhere.
You know the type – multimillion dollar company with a clipart web page on a pwn3d Joomla site. Service questions from someone that apparently started doing IT in 2003. Business issues of scale and business case scenarios that wouldn’t even impact the lemonade stand 6 year old on a verge of an epic temper tantrum. Every other word makes me want to hang up – or at least send them to competitors web site for more info – but I stay on and go through the process..
Because money is money and if I was that great of a salesman I sure as hell wouldn’t be selling junk mail lockers for pennies. Perspective.
This is the concept that is lost on many: It’s not your job to judge and score leads. It’s your job to get them to sign on the line which is dotted. Furthermore: The type of the person making an IT decision is changing. It used to be an IT guy. Then the CIO, business owner, manager. These days the research is done even lower in the org. If you let yourself get caught up in the preconceptions on how IT used to be you’ll miss out where IT is heading.
I’ll be spending the bulk of the next 3 months on the phone with ExchangeDefender Migrations & Support trying to help our partners grow faster. If I ever lose sight as to why I’m on the call, feel free to kick me through the phone, k?
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Now before you get mad at me, and you will, I urge you to accept that this is not just my opinion: but an opinion that I am putting my money behind. How I choose to build our business based on our strategy and research may not be fitting for everyone else.
We have been hard at work with Unicorn v2. Here is a bit about the infrastructure changes:
The old version of Unicorn used http replays between the client machines to relay information to the Shockey Monkey server.
The new version is a 3 part system: Server component, Client component, Viewer component.
The server runs on an independent machine in the cloud, accepting TCP/IP connections.
Each client, will authenticate with Shockey Monkey credentials and establish an open connection to the server machine. No information will be sent through the pipes until data is requested from a connected viewer.
Viewers also connect through TCP/IP and retrieve information from the selected machine. The client machine then packs up all relevant information and transmits It to the server, which relays the information to the view for real time data viewing and access.
Basically to be able to reach our global client base, we’ll spin up cloud virtual instances as needed and you’re welcome to roll out as many agents as you can against them as you wish. Here is what the latest beta looks like:
It will be released when it’s ready, we’re currently using it to support our existing ExchangeDefender Migrations & Support clients and are obviously adding more and more features to this new agent while creating a more scalable system.
You can see the commercial version that’s currently used by our partners here.
Unicorn: Is it dead? Is it ready? Can I replace XYZ with it?
Obviously, the existing version is used by a ton of people so it’s far from dead. The second release is in beta, as you can see above, so far from dead there too. Whether you can replace something else with it, that’s where things get a little tough.
When we originally built the Unicorn our agenda was to give that solution away because we firmly believe that the world of a pure play MSP is past the critical extinction level.
We build the Unicorn not to sustain or scale the pure play MSP – we built it to eradicate it. The business model behind the Unicorn is not to sustain the operations of the company that doesn’t want to go to our cloud – it’s to arm the companies in our cloud to be able to mass market the MSP bare bones as a valueless service that anyone can take to expose the holes in their in-house IT and let someone else handle it at a huge discount when you subscribe to other services. Other services are key here.
Mad at me yet? Don’t just take it from me, take it from all the other pure play MSP companies that are folding, selling for pennies on the dollar, laying people off and otherwise being marginalized with the reality that the commodity on premise IT business is an opportunity in the sunset.
Does that invalidate the business? Far from it – it shakes out weak and strong players alike – and empowers the more nimble and flexible IT Solution Providers to approach the customer and say: “You want to buy solution XYZ from me, listen – I can take this fee you’re paying to this other IT company right off your expense sheet and provide it for a fraction. So we’ll just fire them and look how much cheaper this makes going with us?”
So.. yeah. If you’re in IT selling servers and computers as your primary business.. sorry? But if you have a specialty, a vertical focus or a solution focus, if you’re diversifying and focusing on service instead of geeky stuff nobody cares about – you’re loving this. And you want to retire that Popular Mechanic Geek Squad guy too.
I’ve been saying this for at least 4 years now and it’s not a matter of bullshit on a blog or an expert panel of soon to be unemployed: We put a lot of resources into this. We’re not seeking to make the point-solution guy find full time employment – we’re looking to help our diversified partners cut costs and leverage their solution stack for greater profits simply by reducing expenses and creating a solution stack that makes them valuable and relevant.
Trusted advisor? Technology expert? Hit the bricks pal, nobody cares about your junk. We’re growing business by millions $ by aligning what the clients are willing to pay for with what they perceive to be valuable.
“Vlad doesn’t care about his partners..”
As far as I can tell, “Vlad” is the guy putting money, resources and solutions to help the partners move forward.
And doing so with a smile ear to ear baby! Thank you for your continued support and thank you for helping us design the solutions that make you more competitive in the marketplace. We’re simply moving our partners forward based on the advice you give us on what is going to make you successful. ExchangeDefender would still be a Gateway Pentium 60MHz box under my desk at DialISDN if it wasn’t for the 15+ years of partners constantly helping us make the right decisions.
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This is a technology blog and I typically only deviate from that topic to cover management of a technology business. Given the ongoing government shutdown and the persistent snaking about it from our foreign partners, I wanted to offer you at least my perspective on what is going on here. I probably shouldn’t say anything but to be honest it hurts to see what is going on with my country so I’ll try to make it quick and spare you the usual Vladville shenanigans and profanities.
The (only real) problem with United States is that we have a culture which has rapidly made it more acceptable to lie.
That’s it in a nutshell. We have entire news networks who do nothing but lie to the stupid and afraid masses. On both sides of the polar political spectrum.
But why, you may ask, why does this go unchecked? Because everyone lies. Our political parties and their leadership openly lie to the people with no recourse. They rely on the public spectacle (the shutdown) to continue a very divisive, uncompromising, righteous and loud opposition to the compromise which keeps the money pouring in to the political machine, keeps people tuned in to the news networks to track a manufactured crisis that they don’t want the general population tuned out from. If you stop getting prodded about things you view differently from your neighbor, you just might see how much you have in common with them and you’d tune out. And none of them want that so they continue to leverage the complexity to lie and continue to gain attention (and by proxy, money and support)
This is not just a spectacle of our leadership, it is something that is rapidly becoming the norm. While we’ve sort of come to terms with our politicians lying to us, the entire culture of lying in marketing to get a sale, lying about income to get a house you cannot afford (you’re welcome for that 08’ financial collapse btw), lying about experience to get a job, lying about anything and everything.
As much as some of you like to laugh about United States (having traveled the world) this really is the best country on the face of the planet. By far. We have it good here – and that leads to complacency, boredom and general dumbing down of the public. So we have “reality television” which champions the culture of cheating, deceit, lying and doing anything by any means necessary to win. Things like Survivor, Apprentice, Bachelor, My fake fiance (in which a fake bride lies to her family about an obnoxious fiancé that she is fake marrying just for the $) and the list goes on.
Example of stupidity
So is America just full of idiots? Yes. But that is not something exclusive to United States. The question you should be asking is: Why do rational people give into irrational, lying and divisive political debates?
Like I said: Because everyone lies and they make a show of it. They all start with a grain of truth, which isn’t disputable, and surround it with a mountain of deceptive and wildly flamable conent. It’s pretty much the recipe for the success of this blog. But here, let me offer you an example:
Last Friday, Bill Maher, a comedian, made fun of World War 2 veterans, on a premium cable show. To any normal, rational, even deeply opinionated person about veterans affairs that would have been the end of it – comedians tell jokes and sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. No news there, everyone moves along right?
Well, not in United States where news networks behave like sharks during the mating season for any bit of polarizing material they could turn into outrage. Think about it, when was the last time a comedian said something stupid that made you even give it a second thought? So let me walk you through this one step at a time:
BILL MAHER: The other thing that apparently was so important for the Republicans to keep open was the World War II Memorial in Washington. That was closed, so a bunch of the World War II vets knocked down the barriers and stormed it. [Laughter]
And then I loved this, they posed for pictures with Michele Bachmann who showed up. Michele Bachmann, one of the people most responsible for shutting the fucking thing down. They’re the greatest generation – nobody said they were the brightest generation. [Laughter]
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/10/05/maher-mocks-wwii-vets-nobody-said-they-were-brightest-generation#ixzz2h0qsuBEd
For a moment, forget that this is a comedian. Forget that it’s a joke. Forget that it’s a premium cable channel show airing at 10PM on a Friday night that very few people will see. Forget all that. Here is how it’s served:
So in Maher’s world, even the last remaining survivors of those that defeated Hitler and Japan are to be ridiculed.
How can the folks at HBO abide this?”
Here are some annoying facts for you before I help you understand how this works:
1. The government is shut down because majority of republicans in The House of Representatives refuses to send a bill without major cuts to Affordable Care Act to the Senate. This is a fact.
2. Michele Bachmann, Republican, is a representative whose tea party movement wants to repeal major sections of the Affordable Care Act and was instrumental in continuous votes and bills to limit ACA. This is a fact as well. But this is where the show begins.
3. President Obama campaigned on the ACA, won the majority of the vote and feels that the USA ratified the ACA that should proceed unaltered. Republicans in the House of Representatives were also elected and they feel that it’s their duty to limit it. Both of these are also matters of fact. There is no dispute between the two parties on this.
So we’re at an impasse. Normal people compromise, move on and live to fight another day, right? Well, not here. Here they lie, cheat, sensationalize garbage to upset people enough to take out their wallet and donate to have their cause heard. Because they care so much about their cause? Not really – just because they are pissed off that the other side is going to win! Really? Yes, really. Here, let me walk you through this:
1. Bill Maher makes fun of WW2 veterans calling them “the greatest generation – nobody said they were the brightest generation”; Now even though this is a comedian, you can be easily offended by this.
2. Michele Bachmann, instrumental in the government shutdown, is posing with the WW2 veterans to show outrage that the government shut down access to the memorial – the very shut down she orchestrated! You could be offended that she shut the government down, you could be offended by the insinuation that she was instrumental in shutting it down (after all, in your eyes she may be right), you may be offended that the WW2 memorial is closed.
3. Liberal comedian is making a joke about WW2 veteran, this by proxy (according to the article) means that the HBO supports, endorses and promotes disrespecting the people that fought Japan and Nazi in WW2. You could be offended that someone would reach so much to say a joke is equivalent to a promotion of mocking of our veterans. You could be offended that someone is picking on a liberal comedian that is pointing out a fact that a conservative republican is shamelessly lying for publicity.
There you have it
This is how they sucker people into getting upset over things that for the most part they wouldn’t even pay attention to at all. They give a teaser fact to get you involved. Then they pour on a flammable mixture of disgust, outrage and sensationalism to associate any given topic with things that are very near and dear to you. Repeatedly. Frequently. Violently.
It makes for a great show. It also makes for drawing incredible amounts of money into the political system and a discourse that focuses on the negative and divisive. It helps the corrupt government politicians from being able to say: “We are fighting for you.” while they are really just fighting for more funding to keep their jobs. Unless they can continue to piss people off the population might tune out and the money would stop flowing – so they lie to continue the manufactured fight.
While it works in the short term.. and yes, sadly there are more stupid people than there are educated ones.. it doesn’t work in the long term. This country, however much ridiculed for it’s policies and it’s freedoms, is full of people who like and trust their neighbors far more than they have ever trusted their government. We happen to be pretty proud of that and pay for it dearly.
Our politicians of course don’t want us to remember that. Love thy neighbor.
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