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The Lifestyles Of The Not So Poors

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The regular New York Times feature "lifestyles of the not quite rich enough" is amusing because usually the people in question are, even by New York rich white people standards, far from poor. I mean, you don't actually have to be able to afford private kindergarten for Adelaide and Chad along with your 3 vacations per year. Still there is a very real issue for the great masses of people in places like New York and San Francisco who didn't inherit real estate in that even if you are pretty damn high income by any measure, the prospect of having enough money to have a family-sized place (by NYC standards, I don't mean a 2500 sq. ft. detached home) in Manhattan or Brooklyn so that you can plot a life that involves maybe settling down and having kids, is aspirational at best.

Ok in your 20s, but after that? Those places are expensive.
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willgraham
56 days ago
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Millennials Are Killing

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It's a joke genre at this point, but while shitting on the youngs is not new, the idea framing of business models dying because of the The Kids Today, instead of them failing because they failed to adapt to the killer competition of capitalism, is new. Pretty sure Sears is dying because their CEO is a Randian lunatic, and pretty sure Applebees is dying because Applebees always sucked, but, hey, MILLENNIALS AND THEIR WEIRD DESIRE TO NOT SPEND MONEY THEY DON'T HAVE ON SHITTY THINGS.
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willgraham
109 days ago
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The World's Worst Humans

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Nigel Farage.
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willgraham
122 days ago
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To paraphrase a famous quote:

You don't even go here.
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Everybody Get Woke

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One bad thing about the Bush era - because of 9/11 and war, I think - was that most people with platforms were a bit shy about talking about how our president was a bad human. It's a distant memory now, but the Bushies were good at equating criticism of Bush with criticism of Amurka. There were a few years when it was "controversial." Hi Dixie Chicks! Anyway, years ago I doubt I would've chosen Seth Meyers as "wokest white guy on late night television" in my fantasy talk show host league, but he's doing pretty well..

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willgraham
122 days ago
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why won’t anyone hire me as their visionary?

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I’m having a hectic week, with preparing for a move, so some posts this week will be reprints from years ago. This is one of my favorite posts from November 2010.

A reader writes:

I am very talented in my creativity and thinking ability. I have a lot of ideas I would like to pass around a marketing firm or ideally to direct companies. I have no idea where to start. I also have started a small business and it’s profitable within the first year, but it is not what I want to do. I would rather be somewhat of a consultant or an ideas man. I truly believe I have great potential in this area, but I am in my final year of college and I do not know where to start or even where to look. I have applied to many positions on Craigslist, Monster, and various other job sites, but I feel as if no one is understanding what I am capable of.

I know if a company or a few people were to see my vision they will agree that they are multimillion dollar ideas. So again, how do I go about finding a position and how do I tell them my ideas without having them run off with them?

Oh.

Hmmmm.

I’m pausing because I’m contemplating how to say this.

It is very, very unlikely that someone is going to hire you right out school to be their ideas man. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. And it’s definitely not going to happen from Craigslist or Monster. There are very few entry-level jobs for “ideas guy.” Hell, there are very few senior level jobs for “ideas guy.”

Generally getting that kind of work requires getting more experience first — experience in how to implement and execute and make things happen.

It also requires highly unusual talent. And while it’s possible that your ideas are great, there’s also a very good chance that your ideas are kind of terrible. Or that they’re mediocre, or that there’s some reason they wouldn’t work, or that they’ve been thought of and rejected in favor of something else. It is very, very hard to judge this accurately yourself.

I can tell you this though, even though it’s making me wince to have to say it:  In my experience, people who really have this kind of exceptional talent are talented enough that they’re finding a pathway to make it happen. It’s fairly rare that they’re looking to Craigslist and Monster to make it happen for them. And because of that, I’d put money on you needing more seasoning time, and on the likelihood that you’re coming across as naive to these companies.

why won’t anyone hire me as their visionary? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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willgraham
135 days ago
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This post is everything.
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Tech

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One of my ever-growing number of pet peeves (yes I am getting old and cranky) is that every newish thing is referred to as "tech." I mean, come on, unless you are inventing a new microchip or a time machine, it isn't really "tech." A new online store isn't tech any more than this blog is tech. A new "food delivery app" isn't tech, it's a trivial piece of software that any smart 14-year-old could write which will be (or not be) a successful business plan based on a bunch of things which have little to do with "tech" (marketing, sales, business partnerships, etc). A new dating app (Tinder, but slightly different!) isn't "tech." A new coffee maker probably isn't "tech" unless it, I dunno, uses quantum lasers or some shit like that. Linking your toaster to the internet isn't "tech" at this point any more than sticking a digital display in a car 25 years ago was "tech." This is all just "design" with commodity components and trivial software development skills at this point.

Nothing against new ideas. Some of them might even be good ones! But just because a company is based in the Bay Area and does something on your smartphone doesn't really make it "tech" at this point any more than something which uses that new-fangled electricity is tech.
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willgraham
165 days ago
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