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Top Jobs of 2005

Filed under: — 12:53 pm

FastCompany has posted a list of the top jobs based on BLS data and expert opinion.

Personal finance adviser, Medical scientist, Computer software engineer, Chiropractor, Environmental engineer, Biochemist and biophysicist, Sales manager, Epidemiologist, Computer system analyst, Athlete, Agent and business manager for artists, performers, and athletes, Marketing manager, Producer and director, Actor, Lawyer, Advertising and promotions manager, Management analyst, Postsecondary education administrator, Financial manager, Actuary, Airline pilot, copilot, and flight engineer, Geoscientist, Market research analyst, Securities sales agent, Medical and health services manager

Read the article here. It also includes profiles of a number of the aforementioned occupations.


Will Devin Get An MBA? Nope.

Filed under: — 12:58 am

Does anyone care? I decided I’d explain why I most likely won’t on my personal blog (Devin but here’s the meat of my rant:

[Some] individuals have their graduate degree, or more specifically, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Some that spring to mind are people like Tom Peters, Seth Godin, and even Fred Wilson. These men are a few examples of highly motivated and very intelligent individuals. Get this: they also agree with what I’ve thought for almost a year now…

Simply stated: getting one’s MBA is NOT a necessity. In fact, it may be far from it. In many cases, it could be a hinderance or even a waste of money. The blogosphere seems to have come to this consensus. Josh Kaufman has simplified the majority decision to a few simple bullet points.

It’s GOOD for networking, changing careers and having that “stamp of approval”.

It’s BAD if you’re looking to get an education.

I apologize, but I don’t believe I’d be motivated to attend an institution of “higher education” to not get an education…

If you’re like me, you enjoy reading good books. Josh just so happens to have an extensive collection of books (and blogs, some of which I added tonight) that are recommended reads. One commenter notes the inability to read over 115 sources. Have no fear, Heather addressed this problem just the other day: getAstract Book Summaries. Thanks to both Josh and Heather.


Updated Blogroll

Filed under: — 11:53 pm

Tonight I’m going through and noting a number of new blogs that I really enjoy. In addition, I’m not longer using Bloglines as my aggregator (Newsgator Outlook Edition - highly recommended). Thus, I’ve gone ahead and published my entire (uncategorized) blogroll. I hope you find the sites as good as I do. Know of any good sites (including your own)? Please feel free to contact me (or leave a comment) and I’ll be happy to check it out.

The Student Success Manifesto by Michael Simmons

Filed under: — 4:16 pm

Admittedly, I was given a copy of Michael Simmons’ book The Student Success Manifesto quite a while ago. Now that I’ve finally had some free time (Spring Break) I sat down and read it (in one sitting, it was that good). Michael’s book has honestly changed the way I look at my life… even the way I eat! He introduces a number of concepts such as tangible assets, intangible assets and liabilities. For instance, your brand, growth, network are all examples of assets. These concepts had a profound meaning for me becuase I see my peers around me investing more in “liabilities” than “assets”. In addition, Michael distinguishes between extreme vs. conventional, and entrepreneur vs. employee. These concepts forced me to re-evaluate myself and I’ve determined that I’m an extreme employee. Now what? Michael gives some ideas on where to go from there and become an entrepreneur (determine your own activities, establish systems that work for you, etc).

Not only does Michael’s book present some unique ways of identifying and classifying oneself, the manifesto also acts as a how-to guide for student success. Granted, not everything works for everyone. Michael personally took some time off during college, spent thousands on seminars and conferences, etc. His desires and long-term goals have brought him where he is today (a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, teacher, and recepient of three entrepreneur of the year awards). The same can be true for anyone else, even if you don’t follow the “norm”.

I truly enjoyed the book. It helped reinforce some of the values and beliefs I’ve had for the last few years. It was surprising to see how many “extreme endeavors” I had actually taken part in. If you believe that every decision you make affects those that will be made in the future, the extreme entrepreneur philosophy is for you. In short, I highly recommended this book (find it at Amazon).

…with all this discussion of “assets” and “liabilities”, I think I’m due for an audit on my personal “balance sheet”.

PS: Michael has his own blog here.

The Wealthy Blogger(s) Talk Money

Filed under: — 2:34 pm

Fellow blogger, Jeremy Wright and mySQL expert Mike Hillyer have launched a new blog entitled The Wealthy Blogger. I’ve been reading it for nearly a week now and am largely impressed with the quality, frequency and quantity of content the site has already produced. Between Jeremy and Mike there’s a number of interesting articles. Couple that with comments from readers and guest writers and you’ve got a pretty formidable money management source. Be sure to check out their financial blog aggregator, too.

PS: Jeremy must be one of the most open individuals online, let’s all go criticise him and his finances.

NBC’s ‘The Office’

Filed under: — 2:13 pm

For those of you who missed The Office the other night, I must admit, it was pretty humerous. The blogosphere is somewhat torn on the issue, but I found it to be great entertainment. First, don’t take my word for it, check out the clip available at MySpace. Most people said “skip it” or “it’ll crash and burn” or something to the tune of “it’ll never be anything like the British version”. I went in without the bias and came out pretty impressed. Maybe that’s because I’m partial to Steve Carell (Anchorman, Bruce Almighty), in which case I didn’t go in without bias… hmmm.

…just go see what other’s have said and check out the comprehensive review at FC: Now.

WSJ Says Advertisers Leery of Blogs

Filed under: — 1:58 pm

Yesterday I noticed ‘blogs’ in a WSJ headline and thought that I certainly had to have a read. The article, Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild, talks about the big players (Gawker’s Nick Denton, Weblogs, Inc.’s Jason Calacanis) and, despite hesitation from advertisers, they’re making some excellent money. Jason commented on an article I wrote a while back on Blogosphere News:

Right now we’re just 100% focused on finding great bloggers and getting them paid as much as possible. Last year people blogged for spare change, this year it’s paying the rent/part of the rent, and next year (2006) it will be 3/4 to fulltime. 2007? the blogging talent wars??! :-)

You may think to yourself “with 70-something blogs you’d have to be making a ton of money to support that many bloggers’ rent”. Well, you’d be right. According to the article, Calacanis’ network brought in $925,000 in only four months. The article also talks about the corporate sponsorship Mr. Denton’s blogs have recieved. If one were to look through Calacanis’ archives it’d be obvious that the two blog-lords dispute (among many things) their values with regard to money. The Wall Street Journal doesn’t talk about the competition and opposing values, but, it does mention the ability for the smaller bloggers to make some cash, too (Adwords). I, for one, have chosen not to include any of my own advertising becuase a) I don’t have many readers and b) I can’t make a site layout as nice as Jason’s to incorporate them. ;-)

I think the main point here is: there is money to be made, no question. Still, some companies don’t want to be actively associated with “the conversation”.

PS: Jason, if you’re looking for a business news blog… err…

Buffett To Buy Into Wal-Mart?

Filed under: — 1:39 pm

Here’s one of the more interesting rumors I’ve seen: Warren Buffet wants to invest billions in a company, namely, Wal-Mart. Dreyfus Neenan from Morningstar is credited with originally putting two and two together. A glimpse at AnumatiNews gives a quick summary of the analysis: he’s currently investing billions in stock, he praises WalMart, he admits he was wrong for not originally buying WalMart and that he recommended buying a product at WalMart.


Quiksilver to Purchase Rossignol

Filed under: — 7:14 pm

Today Quiksilver announced its plans to purchase the number one ski manufacturer, Groupe Rossignol. I had the good fortune of attending a presentation by Mr. Bob McKnight (talk about the most boring guy speaking on behalf of the most interesting company). This purchase is surely big ($600 million in Rossignol sales) and only slightly surprising. Since January it’s been evident that Quiksilver was interested in the ski-maker’s earning power. Then again, the young and dynamic surfer culture is about to meet the established brand that’s been around for over a century…. wait, isn’t that their logo? In any case, it should be an interesting (and profitable) venture. I didn’t get the memo though, we’re okay with France now?

…I swear, the only news lately is about execs on trial and companies being bought.

Spring Cleaning

Filed under: — 5:59 pm

I had the fortunate experience of doing spring cleaning around the house today. I think I liked Tom Peter’s version better. Mom would be proud: cleaning as a means of success.

Self-Check-In for Hotels

Filed under: — 5:41 pm

I forgot where I had seen the article but the other day there was a quick blurb about self-service in hotels. Since we’re all capable of obtaining our ticket at the airport, why can’t we do the same at a hotel? I’m convinced that you don’t need to hire someone to type in my name, addresses, ask which room I want, etc. It’d be much easier for me to type my own name and address (I think I can master both in under 3 seconds without a mouse) and take a look at an actual floor plan of a hotel to choose my room. Naturally, you do need someone at a desk but a room-key dispenser could be as simple as an ATM machine.

It appears as if some Las Vegas hotels, Hyatt Hotels, and Embassy Suites (among many) have adopted the idea…

Snapfish to be Acquired by HP

Filed under: — 5:31 pm

Today Hewlett-Packard announced plans to purchase Snapfish, the online photo service company. This logically makes sense since many companies that have a hand in anything photo-related end up linking to third-parties for digital prints. Snapfish already has 12 million customers and optimally HP will expand that with it’s printer-scanner-copier client base.




Filed under: — 2:18 pm

School always comes first… well, that and Spring Break. Recommendation: check out the newly customizable Google News. You can add any search result as a news category and re-organize your current news settings. Needless to say, its my new homepage…

…I’ll be back shortly.


Colorado Finance Forum

Filed under: — 4:33 pm

The other night I attended the Finance Forum. Professor Wobbekind from the University of Colorado presented a 15 minute outlook on the economy of Colorado and the nation. In short, there’s some good and some bad. For starters, things like employement are going up. Growth such as GDP won’t be ashigh as last year… so it’ll be slower; not slow. Whats interesting with all the macroeonomics here is the fact that confidence is up. After the election, despite the results, consumer confidence rose. Basically because the public has a grasp on what’s to come. But, on the flip side of this all there are issues. Can anyone say social security?

Anyway, it was pretty insightful and not to mention concise. I recieved a copy of the 2005 Colorado Business Economic Outlook. Interesting stuff…

Also, David Hoover, CEO/President and Chairman of Ball Corporation spoke. Theres a company that just sits in the background. Almost every plastic bottle is from Ball (think Pepsi, think beer, etc). Its also very interesting how 12% of the company is dedicated to aerospace. Why? Because here in Boulder there was an electronic need (for the glass making) and one thing lead to another. Now Ball is helping NASA launch Deep Impact.


Gladwell Book Signing in Denver

Filed under: — 12:21 am

This evening was a night to remember at the Tattered Cover (in Cherry Creek). I arrived at about 6:00pm, went downstairs and there was already a line formed (for 6:30 ticket hand-out, for a 7:30 discussion). I was number 23. Got my ticket and went upstairs. At this point I realized I a) forgot to bring The Tipping Point (had blink though!) and b) forgot to bring my parking ticket (for validation). So, since I had my number and wasn’t concerned about my seat, I went back and bought a copy of Tipping Point and got my parking validated. Looked at some interesting books. I found a book called Wiley’s GAAP. It was bigger than two phone books. (I’m getting a Master’s in Accounting!?!)

Malcolm was introduced by (Denver) Mayor Hickenlooper. He talked about his first date with his current wife. They actually spent the time discussing the book. (He tried to impress her with it, she had actually met him at a poker game for writers from The New Yorker). Gladwell introduced his book not by giving a synopsis but using one of the last examples in the book (classical music auditions). He then tied in a few main concepts from the book. I must admit, it really made it easier for me to make the book flow. His example made it much easier to tie together a few fundamental ideas regarding the decisions made in the blink of an eye.

Gladwell is a pretty witty guy… or he’s just had a bunch of practice. I think he charmed the majority of the female audience right out of their seats. He was asked a number of interesting questions. For example, how would he tie The Tipping Point and Blink together? He jokingly stated it was just another book with ‘the same publisher’ and ‘the same font’ and the same author. He later said that he didn’t want to go down as ‘the guy who wrote Tipping Point’. Another gentleman asked if the classical music screens could be applied to the justice system? Put simply: yes, there is no reason the jury ever would need to see the defendant. A real estate agent asked that since he was black (and people make unconscious decisions) should he refrain from putting his picture in an ad? Again: yes, you can’t change what people may think, but you can allow them to make a better judgement of you by not including your picture. One last interesting thought: uniforms should be in all schools. It significantly helps the teacher. How? The answer should be clear by now…

Ever since college, Malcolm Gladwell wanted his epitatph to read something along the lines of “When everyone else told him ‘no way’, he said ‘way’.” He still thinks its pretty hilarious. I must agree.

Plus, I have two autographed books. I’m thrilled.

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