Category: Business

Another startup nightmare: by Penny Kim

By , September 6, 2016

An excellent “experience story” about a nightmare startup:

“I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup” (Penny Kim):  Read more »

Moving a Convention from North Carolina, because of a discriminatory, hateful law

By , August 19, 2016

September 8, 2016: I was pleased to receive this announcement from Informa today: “Informa and Channel Partners value and celebrate diversity in all its forms within our workforce and among sponsors and attendees.  With that in mind, Channel Partners finds North Carolina’s recently passed law, known as HB2,  incompatible with its values and cannot therefore move forward with plans to hold the Channel Partners Evolution event in Charlotte in September 2017.” Read more »

Commissions: Apples, Oranges, Potatoes & Spam

By , July 12, 2016

Today, a master agency complained that our commission percentages don’t match the high rates offered by some other vendors. My response:

Yes, our commission percentages don’t look impressive when compared to other vendors who sell different services, and others whose channel programs are designed quite differently. Read more »

Fake USB Flash Drives (eBay)

By , June 19, 2016

There are Bad People out there, who sell USB flash drives designed to show fake capacity values.

Over the past year, I’ve purchased a few dozen USB flash drives, with capacities ranging from 8GB to 256GB.  Some were genuine; most were fakes. Read more »

Interesting LinkedIn Profile Skills (funny)

By , May 26, 2016

LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to list up to 50 “Skills” in our profiles, and until today I thought the most interesting and creative list of skills was in technology journalist Dan Tynan’s profile, which includes these:

Pole Dancing, Kitten Wrangling, snarkitude, Breathing, Sleep Deprivation, Prescience, Waffle Making, Navel Gazing, Confabulation, Sarcasm, Eating, and Sleep.

But today, I found Googler Todd Underwood’s profile, which includes:

Read more »

Seeking Custom-Imprinted Sliding Webcam Covers

By , May 23, 2016

I’m trying to find a source for custom imprinted “sliding webcam covers,” quantity 1,000. Read more »

Unicorn Startups: The Rules Don’t Apply to Us

By , May 9, 2016

Excellent article about a “unicorn” startup: “Zenefits Was the Perfect Startup. Then It Self-DisruptedWhat happened when an HR firm had some epic HR problems” ( in Bloomberg, by Claire Suddath and Eric Newcomer.

Like some other “unicorns” in recent years, Zenefits decided that the rules didn’t apply to its company: in this case, state-by-state licensing requirements when selling insurance, and the training and compliance requirements for such sales. Read more »

Free Peering vs. Paid IP Transit: A Quick Explanation

By , April 1, 2016

A prospective customer asked one of our agents,

Why can’t I just connect to the internet using free peering? …  I see that Hurricane Electric peers on [a particular Internet Exchange Point] and it is ‘Open BGP,’ meaning they take all peers…  Theoretically that implies we can get to the internet via that path… right?  Something seems wrong here… right?”

Correct: something is wrong with this theory.

Peering is for traffic directed to another peer’s own network and that peer’s paid customers.   Read more »

Trade Show Checklist – What to Bring to an Exhibit Booth

By , December 31, 2015

Taking advantage of a slow work day, I’m updating my “Trade Show Checklist” as I plan for some upcoming events.  These are all items that I want on hand for any event.  (This list does not include “exhibit-specific” items, such as hex wrenches or spare parts for display booths, nor “equipment-specific” items like Cat5 network cable, computer disks, or spare bulbs.)

I have not included “camera” as a separate line item because we all have smart phones with cameras built in.

Your suggestions are welcome!

Note that items marked with * are not appropriate for carry-on luggage.

Read more »

Doing Business, Profits, and Startups

By , November 6, 2015

The goal of most businesses, I believe, should be to earn a profit from the sale of goods or services.

Over the past 20+ years, we’ve seen a succession of bizarre business models, in which little thought was given to “profit,” but instead to intermediate metrics (our web site needs visitors, eyeballs, clicks, engagement, etc.).  Many dot-com companies succumbed to ‘perverse incentives.’Read more »

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