2013-06-08

Jack of All Trades?

The point is not "to be a master of some," rather, that...
trades are overrated.

The Hunters

Scour the world, and search for years. And if you haven't found true love, it probably wasn't what you were looking for.

Talent Managment as Game Design

Sex, after all, is about keeping genes alive. At least that's what they said...
In biz-speak, "talent management," roughly refers to ensuring the supply of live meat that's available to keep an operation alive. Usually, this operation is an organisation, like a company. I was speculating that it would take 3-6 months from launch for us to stabilise the talent pipeline at a new coffee shop, and subsequently got laughed at by one of my pastry friends.
It's not rocket baking...
We joked about common deficiencies of both employers and employers in this town and industry. This is one of those subjects that I've studied for so long that I figure... if they say it can't be done, I'm going to try and do it in 2-4 months.

Let's say you design a video game. All other things, like distribution, being equal... if it's a good game, maybe 10,000 people will play it; if it's a great game, maybe 100,000 people will play it, and someone will finish it in month; if the same number of people play it, and the bosses are equally hard, but the game-play is stickier, then someone will finish it in a week.

Just saying.

(Disclaimer: no promises, claims to absolute truth, or other stretches of the ego were implied by the writing of this post.)

2013-06-07

Philosophy: a Go-to-market Plan!

My comments on this article.
I talk about this a lot, sometimes, and it tickles me to jump back into it. Haha. This is really a meta-philosophy problem. In terms of metaphysics... we are indeed concerned with communicating the "what it is," of philosophy to a consumer market. As to how we communicate it, therein we have a simple question of choosing the right language.

Anyone seeking to market philosophy to the masses must therefore understand both the language of the masses, and the ontology of the discipline which we currently refer to as philosophy (or Philosophy if you must fuss).

Personally, I think the simplest approach to determining the ontology of Philosophy from a pragmatic point of view is to consider the practice of Philosophy, and its domains. We can (practically) articulate at which points in history some subset of Philosophy's domain got hewn off and chucked under another discipline (or department) whose scope was narrower than that of Philosophy. For example, Law, Physics, and Psychology are among the simplest examples of this. What we then find is that by subtracting all the domains of more specific disciplines, we are then left with particular methods which are SPECIFIC to the discipline of Philosophy, as it stands today. (Again, this is a practical approach, not one intended to be a MECE thesis.) This roughly leaves Philosophy to be defined as: the study of logic, and the application of the dialectic method. (Feel free to add in whatever you feel may be missing from your home brew - I'm just espousing my home brew meta-philosophy.)

Since graduating with a major in Philosophy in 2005, I've worked in the business sector, and found that the practice of Philosophy seems most similar to the business disciplines of risk management (applied skepticism), and management consulting (hard questions, analytical methods, creative responses).

In general, Philosophy as a discipline may sometimes be structured as "ethics", "metaphysics", and "epistemology" - corresponding to the questions of "what should we do," "what are we talking about," and "how sure are we". These of course, once translated, place Philosophy as just a boffin's name for practices that are applied by managers of modern commerce everywhere.

2013-06-06

Why Commerce?

So 7.5 years in the business sector, and I find that for myself personally, making a real accounting profit is still optional; it's more important to do good work. Someone suggested that I'm investing in a brand. Nothing is a brand until it is communicated. Otherwise, ops are just ops. Posts like this, are me investing in my brand.
But a lot of the time I'm happy even if no one knows I'm doing good work. Whomever ultimately gets an accounting profit from it, often enough I'm happy to know that I made the call, that I manipulated the software (read: spreadsheet), that I introduced the compatible parties - that I ultimately changed the world (yes I did, and you did too when you woke up this morning and reached for the toothbrush, you startup types stuck looking for moonshots...). I'm selfish that way - mine is the only opinion that I really care about. I honestly find that commercial work is only bearable as an artistic pursuit, i.e. as an ends in itself.

Reluctant I-bankers might find it strange... but I'll openly admit to enjoying spreadsheets and structuring... just spare me the dishonest numeracy.
Good work can, of course, be defined to include a real accounting profit. For example, if one is in the business of trading, then in the absence of information about whom else each trade affects, and in the absence of any learning, it seems that therein "good work," can only imply an accounting profit - since there's no other dimension to it, right?

If I view commerce as a means to get something, then it eventually fails to interest me enough to even do it. (This has received plenty of study by labour economists.) In my case, it's probably the case that I've never been paid very much in the first place. I don't think I've ever actually been offered enough money to make it worth doing something I saw no inherent value in - for very long at all.

Do Managers Really Need Live-meat?

So many CEOs. So little time. I need to create Weapon X.
Setting expectations:

1) I definitely can't commit much over the next few months (totally determines on when we get this cafe up and cruising).

2) I'm interested in working with you at some point in the future.

3) Until we actually formalise a working relationship, I'm happy to give opinions (I know you don't need this much) and perhaps do executive coaching for your existing partners/employees (let me know if you do need this) on a for-fun-for-free basis.
Perhaps the key is a program that helps managers to analyse what exactly they want from warm bodies, so that various components can be outsourced effectively.
I know you don't need proposals and plans.

But do you need someone on standby 24-7? Do you need a creative decision-maker? A subject-matter expert? A face to look at? A hand to hold during the 40-hour week? Personal affirmation from staff? What is it exactly?
Jerng & Company has a nice ring to it, but the time is not yet, as I am not yet ready.

#artOfLOL

Be honest. Be brave.
Possibly a good idea for a picture book.

Little Boys do not...

So I was having a chat with my friend in a coffee shop (it's always a particular coffee shop, these days) when another friend strolled by with his party, and introduced us all to each other. The introducer was asking if I was still "dating so-and-so," and snapping his fingers while trying to remember who it was, when I waved an arm and said that it probably wouldn't be appropriate for him to blurt out a random name.

Two others present (A & B) were quite tickled, and so to bring a proper conclusion to the discussion, I explain the case as such:
I think it's basically the case that... while I am quite transparent about my dealings with just about everyone... it's not the case that all other people whom I deal with enjoy being discussed outside their presence, particularly with reference to myself. So erm... yeah, I can't really encourage anyone to randomly drop "oh are you still with so-and-so," comments at random. I think the adage is gentlemen don't kiss and tell or something like that. Haha. With regards to whether I believe it or simply perform that role with ulterior motives... I figure it doesn't matter. Back to discussion of whether it's art or not, I'd go with what ms B said, and admit that I treat most of life as an intentional performance these days. Lol. More chatter next time.

Democracy

Not sure how to check in 20 seconds if your party has enough presence to win a parliamentary vote? God damn it... there are apps for that!!
Education reform: you want to make small systematic changes that increase the probability of the emergence of democratic thinking. Scientific literacy, internet literacy, statistical literacy, theatre and speech, creative writing, etc. just my two sen. Good luck.
These are not the fruit of democracy, but the seeds thereof.

Smiley

Does being happy make you smile, or does smiling make you happy?
The more accurate answer is that there are different types of happiness, and that some of them are at one end or the other of a possible causal relationship.

Since studying the question many years ago, I've found that smiling makes me happy, in the physical sense. (Serotonin blasts - whoah. Almost like sex on demand.) This however, never seems to be self-sustaining. So I regard it as a drug, which raises my state of happiness to a high, and which terminates in an inevitable depression. Your muscles can't smile forever... they will cramp. Try it.

I find it harder to think when I'm smiling, and easier when my face is in a neutral position. I'm also happier in the long-run, i.e. in a literally more sustainable fashion, when I'm thinking fastest, and so for me, being happy means keeping my face mostly in a neutral position.

However, whenever I socialise, for example in sales meetings, on dates, or when serving customers, I have to purposefully allow myself to be dumber, to think in a less sustainable fashion, to empathise with the short-term fancies of others, otherwise I can't smile naturally.

I always wonder what it would be like to forget how to turn off my dumb-mode. Then I'd just be smiley.
LOL
Yup. One day maybe they'll Ludovico me. Looking forward to it.

2013-06-05

Professionals

So, I started using the word "professional," more after reading Managing the Professional Services Firm several years ago.

The narrow definition of "professional," is limited in application to those fields such as law, medicine, and accounting, where there is a national / international exam or code of ethics that is recognised within that geography.

The broad definition, however... seems pretty much inclusive of anyone who wishes to profess something.

Losing Business

Every so often, I allocate resources to relationships, only to find that the supply of news runs dry. Success mustn't depend on this, whether it's defined as personal happiness, or corporate survival. I must further study the exclusion of others' feedback from my definitions of happiness or other operational targets. But I like information, so between getting information from other people, and getting it from personal study... the only alternative is clear.

And that seems to be the story of my life. :)

2013-06-04

Bucida

Bucida molineti seems like what some friends of ours are calling the "DBKL tree." The smooth branch "joints," are a visual match, and so are the leaf shapes.


However, this does not seem to match a particular tree that we are talking about. Aha. A different species, in the same genus... perhaps, from the knobbly branches, Bucida spinosa.

So there you have it. Boring job. I am entertaining myself while waiting for traffic to clear, by stalking trees at a park in TTDI. This job is turning me into a tree nerd.

Update: the architects say that the DBKL tree is Bucida buceras

Weekly

Monday

Spotify recommending me bands to follow based on my Twitter feed. Good job. No thanks.

Need recommendations for women who are motivated by boredom, and not by passion. #upNextOkCupid

Enforced bed time. Got a 10:30am meeting, and a 10pm meeting. See you all somewhere in between them... zzz #pretending

--

Tuesday

Up. Time to beat the jam. Can catch some shuteye on the other side of KL. lulz

Driving before 0630 in this town is a dream. A sweaty, fucking, dream. It's toytown.

Wake up kl. entertain me.

Napping in car. Feeling all grown up. At the same time, can't wait to grow richer and sell this polluting piece of metal. #urbane

Up with the mozzies. Dinner of sorts, then coffee. (It ended up being chicken and juice.)

Dwelling on the core of my personality. Curiousity and boredom. Reminding myself that to serve consumers, I must become a consumer.

Got team to start pricing security installations for the project; also observed as they identified botanical and furniture construction resources.

--

Wednesday

"InfideliTea" - bahkuteh brand name for Malaysian market - todo number 79. #copywriting #fnb

There's a deli somewhere in all of that.

--

Thursday

Perhaps I am ideally suited to the function of disgusting common folk with the disparity between my common talent and common ambition.

--

Friday

Last imprinted female seems happy. Current co-workers seem happy. No other emotional commitments. A good day. So far.

Brunched. What havoc to wreck today? Much waiting in the wings.

I'm no expert on government intelligence - but it's surprising how many people find PRISM to be a surprise.

Laundry. Watching warily as new friends fall to pieces on social media. Not exactly the ideal way to spend Friday night. Morning meeting.

--

Saturday

Fight economic recession. Give free hugs.

Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. No KPIs and ad hoc mandates.

The hos on BB lookin a lot better these days. Must be the influx of new voters.

When I hear stakeholders talk about marketing comms these days, I pat the lead guy on the back, cause WE FUCKING CRACKED IT. #redalert

Sleepy. Fed. Long drive home. Gonna take it slow and easy. Not much else to be gained otherwise.

--

Sunday

"we'll be all good by new year's day"
;P
Financial discipline is still !@#$%^&* though.
LOL. This is what I get for working with self-managed artists.
At least I've beaten the need for a marketing pipeline (specifically, a broad funnel-top) into their heads well and good. And figured out a process to deal with coffee+food pairing.
Spent a few hours watching people draw a bar. Great fun. 48 covers. Woo hoo. Amazing what can do in a living room full of 20" tables.

She's hotter than I thought she'd be. Impressive. At this hour, there ain't much else on my mind. Slow days.

2013-06-03

Rock'n'roll

A surprisingly stimulating day.

Old clients featured in the news next to recent acquaintances. Economics all around... decisions, decisions, decisions...
I have in recently years been rarely miscible at non-professional gatherings. In the past few months, I've been working in a consumer-facing business, and have therefore made special efforts to attend more non-professional meetings. As the conversation that I make around non-professional subjects is of a much higher variance than the conversation that I make within professional domains, I am tickled to find folks wrinkling their brows, shrugging their shoulders, and shaking their heads in confusion at the things that I have to say. The thirty-year-old me laughs a little, and somewhere inside perhaps, the four-year-old me bursts into tears. Such is life. Perhaps. You live and learn...

:)
Booze? Juice is for the weak of heart, as class is for the weak of art.

2013-06-02

de Sade not Sadism

Apparently: Sade, Nietzsche, Rand, porn... basically you add more milk and lose more flavour as you move from left to right...