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Blog Posts for November 2010

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The Great American Math Test

 

Today's the day that Americans get to show their ability with math.

Q: Should government endlessly spend other people's money and bankrupt the country?

A) Democrat
B) Republican

The answer should safely be either A or B, but lately, A = KEEP SPENDING, and lately B = keep spending. So we're left with a choice of the lesser spending, which is still bankruptcy, just more slowly - unless the Republicans miraculously become champions of smaller government and fiscal restraint.

And that's the math test. We wake up to the results tomorrow.

It was satisfying, by the way, to take three of my adult children to the polls this morning. Another, Nick, is in Minnesota voting for Michelle Bachmann and Tom Emmer.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/2/2010 9:10:07 AM
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Sweetness

 

Much of Obama's super geniusness was rejected by America tonight, and yayy for that. America passes the math test, with a few tolerable exceptions.

Here's where I find great solace in the election results of tonight:

  • Nancy Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House. Can I get an "Amen?" This alone was worth everything.
  • Marco Rubio wins Florida, which means that I win a $20 bet I made with local ultra-liberal Bruce Stone back in March. Suh-weet-ness. Watch Rubio - he'll be president one day.
  • Kent Sorenson, running for the Iowa State Senator District 37 against leftist Staci Appel, appears to have won. Kent is a friend of mine and a hell of a good man. She used a lot of money to try and destroy him. Goodnight, Staci. Kent, if he retains an appetite for politics, has proven capable of winning against incumbent Iowa Democrats. I would match him in 2014 against whomever runs for Harkin's seat.
  • Rand Paul wins. Mike Lee wins. Nikki Haley wins. Allen West wins. A bunch of Tea Party-backed candidates won, further legitimizing the movement. Take that, John Cornyn.
  • California Democrats have to own their own disaster. House Republicans won't vote to bail them out. Eat it.
  • Carl Paladino, gay-hater, lost in New York. Stupid. And New York, like California, gets to eat its own mess. Enjoy that dish, Gov. Cuomo.
  • Mike Castle lost. He voted for Cap n Trade, and he lost. Christine O'Donnell did not win, but I suspect that while some of her positions were right, her instinct for litigious action was wrong. So enjoy Chris Coons, Delaware.
  • Mark Kirk, who also voted for Cap n Trade, appears to be winning Barack Obama's old seat. Kirk regrets his vote, and winning the Obama seat is a delicious irony.
  • Alan Grayson is gone. Phil Hare is gone. Russ Feingold is gone. But most importantly, Hopenchange is gone.
  • A great wave of Republican governors have come into office, and on the heels of the census, a lot of redistricting will take place.
  • Iowa may have a new secretary of state, Matt Schultz. He will work hard to ID voters. Love that. He needs to win.
Great, great night.

ETC: Not only in Iowa, but in other states across the nation, statehouse legislatures flipped red as well. Coupled with the gubernatorial wins, I expect that ObamaCare will encounter stiff resistance as a nationalized program.

So, now it's time for the GOP to step up and protect our economic freedom. If they do, I'm sure that they'll be trusted with more political seats in 2012. John Boehner's speech certainly indicated a respect for economic freedom and capitalism.

Or, maybe the chastened Dems will begin to step up and protect our economic freedom.

Either way, it bodes well for our economy, and for what we pass on to our children.

A few videos:

 

6 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/3/2010 12:00:21 AM
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Just in Case You Missed the Memo

 

Three great examples of why hating on gays is stupid politics:

It's a loser every time. It's dumb.

Now, you might wonder why the three Iowa Supreme Court Justices were thrown out, when Vander Plaats was not the victor in Iowa's Republican primary. Easy - it's about self-determination. People want to choose their own direction, not have it decided for them. Iowans didn't want their definition of marriage thrown out by three judges, and they didn't want their governor to legislate his personal morality.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/3/2010 10:54:55 AM
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Business Update

 

Quick note while I'm running from project to project.

Interest in 247Toolset has picked up considerably... to the point where in the last month, I've worked pretty hard to make it easier to onboard new clients. Which is why I'm now releasing a new pricing model, which starts at the very affordable $19.95 per month. That's a crazy-low price, but it works for me, and I expect it will work for others.

I revised the web site and created a demo portal. Better explanation and examples.

Des Moines Amplified is going through a transition as we play with some options in the business model. I expect decisions to be made in the next two weeks.

Looking forward to next week as Tamara's entire family will be here for Thanksgiving. How cool is that? I love my in-laws :)

Now, off to Codeville, which is thankfully frequented by my beautiful wife.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/14/2010 10:32:08 PM
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Movie Review

 

At long last, I finally watched Avatar.

James Cameron writes movies pretty much like Meatloaf writes songs. The only difference I can find is that the plotline of a Meatloaf song is markedly less predictable than James Cameron's operatic use of cliches.

 

3 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/20/2010 2:06:10 AM
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$19.95

 

On Friday, I got my first purchase of 247Toolset at the $19.95 per month price tag. I meet with my new customer Monday at 10 AM, and it's a state legislator.

Earlier today, I created the mail pieces that will be sent to 1,000 non-profits and 1,000 politicians. Those will begin to be sent out by December 6th. I'll be interested to see what kind of response I get from the mailing. I've never tried postcards before, which is what this is.

In Des Moines alone, there are over 2,000 non-profit corporations, and 10 times that number throughout Iowa. I bought a very specific domain for marketing to non-profits.

In the US, there are 50 governors, 535 Congress critters, and 7,382 state legislators. I bought a very specific domain for marketing to politicians.

Because enough people call it 247Toolkit, I bought the domain today.

Domains are funny, because they're incredibly cheap, and if you know what to do, they're easy to setup. What you want is something memorable and meaningful to your purpose. I happen to own or manage 360 domains, so now I've got an executive account rep through GoDaddy. I like the personal service. It's helpful.

I have a couple of other potential sales at the new price point. If I can snare a few more sales in the next two weeks, I'll call that traction :)

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/22/2010 12:12:39 AM
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Chatting with the Market

 

So as my new clients for 247Toolset come on (got another one), the requests for tweaking comes in. Can it do this? Can it do that?

Some businesspeople resent that. Some businesspeople stiffarm that. But it's not much different than wearing a great sweater to a soirée and having the cute girl come talk to you. Something you did had enough appeal to attract conversation. Should that just be thrown away? That would be kinda dumb - to ignore such a conversation with the market. If the pretty girl starts talking about herself and her likes and dislikes, that kind of flow is a very good and lucrative thing. The smart businessperson encourages that discussion with a seductive, "Tell me more..."

That conversation is a form of brainstorming. If my response to the market is, "What if I did this? What if I did that?" then I am able to test the market's response to it. But if I don't engage in the conversation, I'll have no idea what I can do to help my product / service become more attractive.

How stupid would that be?

ETC: Question of the hour: how does a searching for someone to fill a contract position resemble searching for a volunteer to staff an event?

Answer: why, they're almost the same. At least from the data that's captured.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/22/2010 6:45:19 PM
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Dog Faced

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/24/2010 4:47:11 PM
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Project and Capacity Management

 

Back in the summer of 2005, I worked as a consultant to Wells Fargo and did a barn burner project called OSOT. I received the request to build a project management web site from scratch in mid-June and ten 80-hour weeks later, I released it in August. To this day, it's still used in Wells Fargo Financial and Home Mortgage.

One of my 247Toolset clients has requested the ability to use 247Toolset as a CRM tool. They want to use it to log all correspondence and from that correspondence, to create tracked action items.

There are three types of people in 247Toolset:

  • Those who come to it of their own volition to create an engagement profile
  • Those who are invited to create an engagement profile
  • Those who will never create an engagement profile
Any one of those groups could call/write into the organization and prompt an action item that could be handed off to a resource.

Further, that action item might be a simple task, or it might be a complete project, with milestones and multiple resources to manage through it.

I'm actually not that far from completing that capability. It only took me about 800 hours to create OSOT from the ground up. I think I could probably finish this enhancement of 247Toolset from my running start position within a couple of weeks.

My job, no matter what it is that I do, is to create such a compelling offering to the market that I instill the burning desire to purchase what I offer. The more valuable it appears to the market, the more in demand I am.

That's the true essence of capitalism... to work my product or service into such a state of appeal that I earn a reward for my efforts. I invest my time into it all, with no certainty of reward. That's risk. So these enhancements will be my Christmas presents to myself - to strengthen the tool I've created to make it more appealing to the market.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2010 11:44:44 AM
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Remembrance

 

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy working from home. I haven't been down to the DMA studios for about 9 days. I'm kinda spoiled now. I'm much more productive from home.

Love the people down at the studio, but there's something of great comfort to me about sitting at my desk with the dogs at my feet and the fire going in front of me while wearing sweat pants and a henley, with nothing on my feet.

Yummy.

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2010 5:38:47 PM
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