Successful Traits

I read a blog that caters to entrepreneurs. It has a software development theme to it. But the main topic is how to start a small company on your own and become successful. People often discuss what it takes to thrive in this world. The same themes keep being discussed. The result is surprising. Technical abilities play a small role in excelling. Go figure. Programming skills do not make a greater software sales business.

You need to stick to your goal of running a business. You need passion and persistence. It is essential to stay in a good mood. You must have extreme dedication. 90% of the work is advertising, marketing, selling, processing payments, and finding supplies. The other 10% is writing good code.

Ouch. This almost seems like an endeavor for an MBA, not an MSCS. This got solidified when somebody commented that you need to be willing to put on a suit. This is the world of business after all. And as usual, you need to be “smart and get things done”. Ha ha. I guess that gives away where I read up on this stuff. Stayed focused and you might have a chance at doing will in the software sales business.

Esquire Hits Some Home Runs

I normally try to scan the linker in Hacker News for interesting stories. Today I found a few cool titles from Esquire online. So I decided to bite on all of them. Usually I make a decision in the first 10 seconds on whether to read the web page that Hacker news links to. For each of the Esquire articles, I ended up staying and reading the whole long page.

The first story was a simple technique to take command of interactions with almost everyone. You can get service folks to notice you. You can also do better in most negotiations. That alone is worth the time to read about The Invisible Grip.

Next I read about an experiment which tracked what a $20 tip could get you across America. Strangely enough, there are other factors at play in Los Angeles. Often times $20 can get you almost everything. However there is an even more powerful trick to get people to do your bidding. You will have to read to the end of The 20-Dollar Millionaire to figure it out though.

Finally there was an article about how to deliver the answer No in the best way possible. This was an uncomfortable article to read. I wonder whether I will try some of the techniques it documents. Regardless I highly recommend When To Say No along with the article Esquire articles I linked to. Whatever you are doing online Esquire magazine, you got my attention and my link juice. Keep up the great work.

Comcast Spam

Today I got a spam email from my Internet Service Provider Comcast. They tried to get me to buy some concert tickets. I don't like spam. So I decided to click the link at the bottom of the email to opt out of this nonsense.

I want it to be easy to opt out. I should be able to reply, or check a box on a web page. Comcast did not make it easy. I guess they want to keep spamming the majority of their customers. When I clicked the link in the email to opt out, I got a page that said I needed to log in.

Ok. I decided to bite. I logged in. However that just brought my to some general Comcast main page. I had to hunt for the place to opt out of spam by email. When I tried to get to that place, Comcast made me agree to some long list of terms and conditions. I declined. Then I got logged off. WTF?

After having been strong armed into agreeing to the terms in conditions, I get asked to set up a "secret question". Again WTF? I just want you to stop spamming me Comcast. I am already your customer. Don't piss me off. Yeah I get that you are trying to earn a couple more bucks out of me. Make it easy for me to tell you to stop that nonsense. I tell you. Some companies make it hard for me to be their customer.

Bundle Marketing

Recently I messed up my Windows installation. I could no longer log onto my system. Luckily I had recently backed up my important files. My system is from Dell. They offer an option where you can restore the hard disk to the state it arrived in. This is done by them saving the restore state in a small portion of the hard drive. This helped me get past the Windows issue. But it also exposed me to an aggressive Dell bundle marketing program.

The PC I received from Dell a while ago was a good deal. The price was right. It had a lot of extras I wanted. It also came loaded with a bunch of junk pre-installed. All I wanted was a copy of Microsoft Office. Instead I got all these trial programs which clogged my system. I had to spend a lot of time uninstalling this junk. When I restored my system to the factory settings, all these programs came back to haunt me.

The list of junk that comes installed from Dell is crazy. It slows down the loading of Windows. And I have to deal with ads popping up from time to time. These are not ads from browsing the web. They are from marketing programs running in the background. To make matters worse, some of the crapware could not be uninstalled. Yes I know Dell makes money including these programs on my laptop. Why can't they just charge me an extra 50 bucks, and keep all this garbage off my machine? I am a bit hesitant to buy from Dell again because of this. It is a real pain I tell you. Rant off.