Monday Motivations for MacStartups 8

Here is my next installment of Monday Motivations for MacStartups. Through email I interview a number of startup companies in various forms of their experience, both in business and using a Mac. Here is Caroline McClure of ScoutRock.com, they provide consulting and networking services to other corporate executive recruiting professionals.

1. What was/is your background toward business before you started your own (family of entrepreneurs, paper route, raising bunnies, school, classes, etc.)? I come from a non business-minded family and studied Sociology in school.  After college and a few years in non-profits, education institutions and waiting tables, I fell in to the business community and my profession by pure chance: a friend of mine indicated that she was going to graduate school and asked me if I wanted the job she would vacate.  I interviewed for it and received the offer.

That was almost 20 years ago.  Since then, I’ve worked in a visa and passport processing company, the largest global retained executive search firm, a boutique retained search firm, and as the executive recruiting department director of a Fortune 50 company (it’s F53 now).

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Government, Business, and Consumer Interaction

When it comes to starting and building a business, there are certain factors that stoke the economy of entrepreneurship, but there is an equally dampening affect to an economy and that is government taxation. But before we can look at today’s economy, let’s take a look our US history and see if there is anything which can help lead us down the right economic path.

The Pilgrims in the 1620s had a “government” policy that affected their economy. The article How Private Property Saved the Pilgrims is our first stop. It’s a short read, but you’ll get the idea. You can also read more about Governor William Bradford and Thanksgiving as our national holiday and about the Harsh Capitalism and Harsh Government in my previous posts that give some more background. Continue reading

FREE Apple Business Expos in 2011

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Did you know that there is a Loop Business Expo National Road Tour that is in a city near you? Per their web site:

The Only FREE Apple-Based Exposition for Business Users. This event is for all business end users that use Apple Mac’s, iPhones, & iPads for their day to day business. Admission for the expo is FREE. We will have over 50 manufacturers & developers from all over the world showcasing their business solutions for the Mac.

Check the web site for more and updated info.

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Apple abandons their Xserve, what’s up with that?

Apple has recently announced that they’re discontinuing their XServe hardware for businesses on Jan 31st, 2011 and letting them move to either a Mac Pro or a Mac Mini running Snow Leopard Server. Some people in the tech industry just cannot connect the dots.

Apple is probably moving toward a Amazon S3 server approach with their own version in their new server farm in NC. Why? Because there are a number of reasons for businesses to move toward this.

  • Businesses don’t have to worry about hardware issues, i.e. where to host the server.
  • Offsite location so the server is protected from most natural disasters (tornados are the largest issue, but not likely).
  • Scalable as needs come up.
  • Location not an issue for sys admins, developers, etc.

And if you’re looking for a server for your business, you can figure a lot more reason why.

So let’s see if my connecting the dots shows up correctly by next year.

Your thoughts?

Making money: economy, industry, business, and customers – selling pencils

Entrepreneurs have a tough job, but it’s really not a job, it takes work, and if you don’t love what you’re doing it IS work. But if you love what you do, then it is never work, it’s a joy to do it even though you have to put in effort to accomplish the task or endeavor before you.

Take the simple pencil. A simple tool. A tool that most of us don’t even notice any more these days with pens and computers.

It does not seem like much, but there’s a whole economy surrounding the pencil. It involves vendors, suppliers, and ultimately customers who buy them.

So who buys pencils? Writers (drafts of novels, stories, plays), News reporters and newscasters (interview notes), Engineers (plans and drawings), Carpenters (plans and drawings, estimating), Composers (creating music), Scientists (experiments), Teachers (lesson books), Business people (meeting notes and memos), High school and college students (class notes and homework), Golfers (scores), Parents (grocery shopping lists).

If you want to know about the economy and how it works, read the free article I, Pencil by Leonard Reed.

If you want to know more facts about pencils, see 5 Interesting Facts about Pencils: Did you know? and see some interesting facts, like “more than 14 billion pencils are produced in the world every year, enough to circle the earth 62 times.”

To learn more about pencils themselves, read The Story of Pencils: The amazing pencil, technology and tradition and see how far we have come. From the web site, “One pencil has the potential to draw a line 35 miles long, write an average of 45,000 words, absorb 17 sharpenings, delete its own errors and beat out an infinite number of drum solos.”

During a presentation I attended years ago given by a missionary to Mexico they discussed spending time with those that have less then we do and how taking the simple pencil to hard economic areas affected their view of resources. The missionaries gave out pencils to kids and since there were more kids than pencils, there were not enough pencils to go around. The missionaries did not know what to do.

But the kids knew what to do. These enterprising kids solved their own problem. They broke the pencils in half to give to those that had none so that everyone had something to use and share.

Notice the issue? The kids made the decision. Once they were given the pencil (the resource), the pencil became their property, they chose what to do with it and solved their own problems without much help from anyone else. No “pencil dictator” or “pencil czar” told them what to do.

Now that a resource was in the kids hands, they could now become writers, artists, teachers, and maybe even a scientist. A simple resource can launch someone’s life in a new direction.

Read a Zig Ziglar short story about “Recognizing Potential” about the person selling pencils, you’ll get a different perspective of this simple story.

Selling pencils can launch a sales career. But using the pencil can launch a hundred careers.

So what’s the Mac connection? How about Pencil animation software or a “Handful of Pencils, Four Rubber Bands = iPhone stand.”

(Smile)

The History of Nikola Tesla – a Short Story

We all know of Thomas Edison, but most are not aware of Nikola Tesla. Here’s a short video about who he was.

The History of Nikola Tesla – a Short Story

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Thomas Edison

If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor. Nikola Tesla, assistant to Thomas Edison

Big Corporate America is losing, small business is gaining

According to this article by Harvard Business, Big Business is losing, it is creating a “Brain Drain” on it’s intellectual capital, it’s business continuity, and small business is the recipient of this brain drain. Why?

Because people want more fulfillment in their lives than big business is able to give them. Much like big government, big business is costly in human capital. That’s why I recommend “Small Giants” as the way to go for nearly all businesses today.

So, if you want a family like environment and to contribute more, find a small business to work for.

Or better yet, start your own. Whereas a large business you’ll be really be narrowly specialized, a small business you’ll wear lots of hats.