Monthly Archives: January 2011

How CEOs Speak

In (of all things) a discussion of last night’s SOTU address, Megan McArdle describes listening to CEOs talk to financial analysts on earnings calls. I never used to do that; all the times I’ve heard CEOs talk to me it was because I was one of their underlings. But one thing certainly seems to be the same, no matter whom the CEO is talking to:

The absolute favorite tactic, however, is the management reorganization. You may be in a saturated market where your second-rate franchisees are slowly destroying your brand, making it impossible to attract higher-quality franchisees . . . but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed by creating a new Chief Strategy Officer under the CEO, and giving that officer oversight of marketing, research, and HR. Perhaps a much larger competitor whose cost structure allows them to undercut your prices by 32% has entered your niche, but can they really withstand the fearsome might of your ISO 9000 certification and your new cross-functional product teams? The government regulators who just outlawed your three top-selling products and made two-thirds of your capital plant obsolete may be powerful–but not as powerful as your revolutionary sales force compensation scheme!

I Totally Want One of These

Ion Audio is coming out (“Soon!”) with a gadget to let you photograph your books quickly and easily. Take a look at it here.

I’ve been thinking about building something like that myself for most of last year. (See this video for some ideas about how you’d do it yourself.) But the DIY project that guy outlines involves finding two cameras that can run CHDK, and a computer that can run some kind of interleaving software, etc., etc. The appeal of a turnkey solution is pretty significant.

(The pricing isn’t set yet, but if they can hold it to something like the estimated $150, that would be another draw. The DIY project would cost that much, plus a lot of time.)

Kudus: Engadget (which isn’t impressed) via CNET.


I haven’t blogged lately. (No duh.) Christmas is a busy time for a preacher-man, and January’s busy for a Presbyterian. Plus, I had a vacation in there, too.

But I’m back now, and I thought I’d mention my latest TV show. As you know, I watch TV while I do my cardio workout every night.

Back in September, as you may recall, I decided to try this show with Firefly alum Adam Baldwin called Chuck. That was pretty good. But there’s only three seasons of Chuck available at Netflix, so I finished it awhile back.

After that, I watched some movies, but in mid-December I decided to follow up Chuck with Firefly alum Nathan Fillion‘s show Castle. Which I really liked.

It’s another romantic comedy like Chuck, but the setting is different. Instead of Nerds and Spies, it’s Cops and Murderers. You can go read about it at Wikipedia and elsewhere, but I just finished the second season and now I’ve got to wait until summer to find out what happens next. (The big question: when it hits Netflix, which will I catch up on first: Chuck season 4, or Castle season 3?)