Monday, February 27, 2006

Presentation Zen

There were a few confused giggles in this morning's company-wide meeting about an anonymous "Zen Presentation" comment. Well, here's the backstory: Gates, Jobs, & the Zen aesthetic.

The whole Presentation Zen website is fantastic and well worth the read.

UPDATE: I couldn't help myself - had to start poking around on the site, and found a link to this - Apple Keynote Bloopers.

Hoping for Sanity

Irate White Sox G.M. calls Big Hurt ‘idiot’ - Baseball -

Angry and disgusted with the latest comments from former slugger Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams fired back Sunday, calling the two-time MVP “an idiot.”

This is old news to the fans by now, and I hope Frank is over it too. The Oakland A's need a relaxed, focused Frank Thomas, not a brooding headcase. So, I hope we've gotten this all out of our system and we're ready for a good, clean, healthy year of A's baseball. (And Frank, don't get Milton Bradley riled up - we need him to stay calm too.)

NFL Wonderlic

One of my first posts on this site was about Akili Smith's wonderlic prowess, so it warmed my heart to see more buzz this weekend around Vince Young's alleged 6(!) on the test.

Setting The Vince Young Record Straight - Deadspin

All the buzz yesterday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis... involved a supposed score of “6” by Texas quarterback Vince Young on his Wonderlic test.

Makes me wonder, though, if this Wonderlic test is really all it's cracked up to be. If it's so easily scored incorrectly and an individual's scores can vary so wildly (Akili allegedly scored 13, 37 and 27 in his three attempts), I just don't think I can trust it. If someone took the SAT's three times, I'd expect their scores to at least be in the same ballpark - so why is the NFL using a test that's so imprecise? And why aren't they using an automated scoring machine like a scantron?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Entrepreneurial Vision

OnlyOnce: Memory Lane or Dark Alley?

At the same time, it was pretty painful to look at some of our original projections for market size and of course business size -- not to mention some of the marketing efforts, Powerpoint templates, logos, and names that fell by the wayside.

That's Matt Blumberg, CEO of ReturnPath, talking about the unpredictable evolution of a start-up. As I approach my two-year anniversary as a full-timer here at TheLadders, Matt's post is particularly interesting, in part because our experience at TheLadders, the definitive source for executive jobs, has been different. We've had our fair share of silly ideas and bad designs, but we've gotten the big stuff right. Marc's original powerpoint from July of 2003 is shockingly similar to our current business.

(Thanks to fellow upper-westsider Fred for the link to Matt)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Good Tidings

Please stop by and offer a hearty welcome to blogging newcomer, friend and coworker mrshafrir. Here's his first post.

And reminiscing, my first post from November 2003. "Is this thing on?" is a strangely popular first post in these parts.

Anyway, I look forward to many mrshafrir postings popping up in my bloglines feeds. Happy internetting!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nothing says "HR" like "Get Laid, Stay Paid"

As I understand it, the business model over at SimplyHired is to attract job seekers to the site (mostly by scraping jobs off the internet and surrounding them with "web 2.0" tools) and then essentially re-sell that traffic to corporate HR types. Today, most of the ads are from Google, but the long term play is to get recruiters bidding on keywords like "software engineer" directly on SimplyHired's own system.

So, if your plan is to reach out to corporate HR people, wouldn't it make sense to have a site that shows you understand them?

Then why in the world are you promoting "GET LAID, STAY PAID" on the
Simply Fired blog? I just visited the site and was greeted with the following: "FIRED for eating out with the boss' daughter" and "I walked in on my boss while he was having sex with one of my co-workers. He fired me..."

This kind of stuff might entertain the job seeker, but I suspect corporate HR folks are not going to identify with this. This disconnect between business model and brand smells like trouble for SimplyHired.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Office Romance Anyone?

Workplace romance no longer gets the kiss-off - Yahoo! News

Forty percent of employees reported being involved in [an office] romance at some point in their careers, says a poll conducted jointly by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and, TheWall Street Journal's online career site.

Nothing perks up a Friday morning like the whiff of an office romance. Thanks to Yahoo, USA Today, SHRM and CareerJournal for brightening my morning.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Gammons Thanks Bloggers - Gammons: Clubs looking for bullpen stability (Insiders Only?)

There cannot be a better, more thoughtful Internet journal than "Baseball Prospectus," which has the invaluable and unique resource of Will Carroll's "Under the Knife," bookmarked by every front office and media member. "Hardball Times" is daily must-reading, as well as "Baseball Analysts" and the "Baseball Think Factory." Now there are countless blogs, none better than David Pinto's "Baseball Musings," which also provide several significant tools.

To Joe Sheehan, Lee Sinins, David Pinto, Ron Shandler, Rob Neyer, all those tireless bloggers, thanks. You make my job far easier, and far more interesting. And changed the way we look at the game.

Great of Gammons to give some credit to the crowd, but odd that ESPN didn't link to any of the sites...

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Pixar - A Model Business

How Pixar Adds a New School of Thought to Disney - New York Times (registration required)

We've made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business. Instead of developing ideas, we develop people. Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people. We're trying to create a culture of learning, filled with lifelong learners. It's no trick for talented people to be interesting, but it's a gift to be interested. We want an organization filled with interested people. -Randy Nelson, Pixar

That's a great way to look at building a successful business. Thanks to Sheila for forwarding the article along. I hope we can eventually look back on our time here at TheLadders as time well spent with interested people, not just time spent building the job search for executives.