one of the great…

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…mysteries of life in these United States is the domination of an industry by one or two giants that are providing each other “competition” without innovation for their customers. My general guideline is if the company is getting all of its customers to sign non-negotiable contracts one can be sure competition has more or less evaporated in that industry. We see this in rental properties, cell-phone contracts, power company services, national water companies, credit card offers–even your doctor is locked by global contracts that are non-negotiable. A post by Derek Powazek (details below) sums this up beautifully. I think of it as the short version of Atlas Shrugged. It is the third key to business relationships.

Derek Powazek – Don’t Work for Assholes
It can be very intimidating to turn down work, especially in these uncertain economic times. But the months I spent suffering that fool 12 years ago would have been better spent building my portfolio and hustling to find better clients. All the time you spend working for an asshole is time you’re not spending to find a gig that will, in the long run, pay you better, teach you more, and make you happier.

Nowadays, the only asshole I work for is me.

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…or how to understand the value of financial advice. For those of you who prefer pictures to text, this will provide a slightly more difficult avenue of access (you do have to click and read) but it is still much more useful than 24 hours of ***insert name of your favorite news/finance media outlet***.

The Subprime Mortgage Primer

crop circles and corn starch…

courtesy of:

Linux Users Group – Oregon State University

learning 2.0

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the things we choose to do-create-be-become often depend on using our tools effectively. Each human experiences an identical number of hours in a day, but some of us complete more stuff, in less time, and with greater ease than others. Some of that speed and ease comes from acquiring 2.0 tool-sets. It may come from acquiring the 2.0 mindset as well.

Don’t get hung up on the term 2.0. Now that corporate giants are slapping a 2.0 on anything that is a little newer than last month, the term is less descriptive than ever. Focus on discovering that mental process or tool set which provides new vision, perspective or opportunity from the present set of raw materials.

Following is one of the first sites I saw that helped people leap into new perspectives without wasting more than a few hours….

Learning 2.0 – The Things

Another (more recent and infinitely more useful IMHO) is described in the Effective Procrastination with Hiveminder presentation which can be opened here…’Effective Procrastination with HiveMinder’ on SlideShare

too many systems…

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…and too many lists. It occurs to me that all the lists and folders I have been experimenting with since reading Getting Things Done have only a few things in common. Most contain actions, that completed on time, provide me the feelings that I enjoy—productive, creative, vibrant, healthy, flexible, effective—get the picture? Most have a common starting point—I|doing|Atlanta—go!

Looking at my lists, and looking at the growth of this blog, is like observing the growth of my papaya tree. It seems steady, beautiful, lush, but pretty soon the one tree is actually nine trees all trying to get to 3 meters tall while sharing a half-meter-round clay pot in my living room. Looking at my actions lists and blog posts, I have noticed an enormous opportunity for changing my routines to create more of the feelings I enjoy.

I am reconciled to the idea this blog is more of a shotgun than a rifle, and expresses a kaleidescope my work and interests. It has been very useful but now I am in need of a new publication that will be more focused on the nineowls brand and what I am doing with it.

Look for more information about that here in an update to this post by next weekend.

perhaps there is…

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…something great about anything–even PowerPoint?

See you at Octane?

I heard about Pecha Kucha via Communispond’s Echo:

“…how to raise your PowerPoint presentation to the level of an art form, check out Pecha Kucha, which originated in Japan as a discipline to keep architects’ presentations from turning into “death by PowerPoint.” The format is simple:

*    No more than 20 slides
*    No more than 20 seconds per slide

“Therefore, a PowerPoint presentation-no matter how complex-will never last more than six minutes, 40 seconds. People are now using it as almost an art form, creating elaborate presentations that fit in the constraints of the format.

“What’s more, there are now Pecha Kucha meetings and competitions held around the world. Even if you’re not a competitive person, use this discipline to make your presentations leaner and shorter.”

otet.jp

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this lovely little piece of engineering will be turning current models of staffing on their ears…

Joi Itos Web: Otetsudai Networks

What you don’t get in the news is a vision of the Internet that big corporations (telecoms) would create if they succeed in stifling net neutrality. Imagine an Internet where the available content is as limited as the evening news is limited in fully describing all that is occurring in the universe. The stifling of net neutrality is the stifling of innovation and freedom. Write your state and federal representatives; You can bet telecoms and cable are expending all means to support the stifling of “net neutrality” legislation.

Senate Chair Takes on FTC in Net Neutrality Fight – News and Analysis by PC Magazine
At issue is the topic of net neutrality, which essentially guarantees equal online access so that every Web site on the Internet, whether it is a major companys portal or a homemade storefront, has the same right to speed and access. Some major Internet service providers, however, have called for a system that would allow for tiered, rate-based access.