Monday, July 18, 2016


I didn't do a thing about my software today other than contemplation, but that's not such a bad thing. I did do a search for some royalty free artwork, but I don't count that.

One day when I was a kid I was sitting at my computer , fingers on the keyboard, motionless, not moving a muscle for quite a while when one of my bosses came out of his office... looked at me and said, "stop thinking and start working." I was a computer programmer. Thinking WAS my work.

Anyway I continued to think with the added consideration of how I might include this boss in my process which lead me to some question I thought he might be helpful to me in answering. So I got up and went to his office. What work was he doing? A crossword puzzle! You should have seen my self control in not laughing in his face.

The guy was one of four partners in the publishing business. He really didn't know anything about the circulation fulfillment business or data processing. He and his partners proved that when they fired essential people (like the black, third shift computer operator.) I only mention he was black because his firing clearly was racially motivated. He was the most productive of our three operators and it turned out the only one maintaining backups which stopped when he was terminated. That was a bad decision that bit them within a few short months when it became critical.

I can't say he knew much about publishing either. Penny stock news was one of their publications which was just made up blather but it provided them some income. The thing I learned during that time was that paid subscriptions wasn't about income from subscribers, it was about income from advertisers with two national auditing associations determining a publication value (not in quality of writing but in quantity of eyeballs.)

I used that education later in life when I doubled my young millionaire friend's income with just one afternoon's work by better putting our customers together with the right distributors. He later rewrote my work to include it in his support software (it didn't do the job any better, but like many programmers, they really don't trust code they haven't played with themselves.) We had about 300 distributors but only about ten of them were really productive and only one of those had the most business by a good margin (and us the least margin in the way it was structured. He even branded the product in such a way that customers were trying to decide between our product and our product by another distributor!) I tried to point out to my young boss (early twenties) that most of our potential income would come from our middle tier distributors if we gave them more support which we could have and they were begging for. At least my ex-wife got a nice luxury car out of it.

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