Bristol monument in Yellowknife Canada

June 2, 2013:  Today’s post is in response to recent conversations in person and on social media about recruiting technology talent.  The big hurdle for any employer is that qualified engineers have plenty of income alternatives in the current market climate, whether in Austin, Atlanta, Orlando, NY, or the Valley.  What does this look like from the job seeker’s perspective?

Porsche GT3 wallpaper

Today’s educational topic results from a mentoring session with an early-stage services oriented business.  In California and New York there are successful business models where you charge nothing, get millions of customers, and then exit before anybody has to worry about pricing and its cousin known as revenue.  For most of the rest of us, that is not the case.

President Obama wreath laying at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

May 23, 2013:  As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, I can sense that people are catching their breath in our tech community.  The month of May has seen many signal events in both Austin and Atlanta.  It’s time for a well-deserved long weekend break; even my spam has slowed to a trickle.  If you’re a motorsports fan like I am, you’re looking forward to the High Holy Day of racing – Sunday’s trifecta of F1 at Monaco, the Indy 500, and NASCAR’s 600-miler at Charlotte.  Whatever is on your recreational agenda, this is a great weekend to enjoy your family and friends without even having to d

Capital Factory RISE office hours

May 20, 2013:  Last week during Austin’s RISE week of entrepreneurial activities I had the privilege of participating in an “office hours” event hosted by Capital Factory.  As you can see in the photo above this had a pretty sizable turnout, with a matching of some of the city’s technology leaders, both past and present, with what appeared to be a relatively fresh crop of startups. 

Metropolitan Breakfast Club coffee mug

May 15, 2013:  This morning I had the pleasure of speaking at the UT Club to the Metropolitan Breakfast Club, a diverse weekly networking group with maybe 80+ people on hand on this particular day.  Everyone in attendance introduced herself or himself with a very brief elevator pitch, and they were all crisp and upbeat.  The members had even memorized some of their colleagues’ pitches and occasionally provided the punch lines in unison.  I was impressed.  There were several tech entrepreneurs in the crowd, but only one from the usual tech startup regulars here in Austin. 

Mike Clifford

Those of you who read my post on President Obama’s visit to Austin last week know that I focused on the importance of that trip in terms of creating in the broader community a better awareness of the tech sector and its impetus toward educating and training a workforce that matches the long-term needs of that sector.  One of the responses to that post was the following email from Michael Clifford (photo above), for twelve years the CIO of Whole Foods until last September.  I thought it well worth passing along.

President Obama, Todd Park, Josh Baer

May 10, 2013:  Congratulations to Josh Baer and the partners, mentors, and numerous co-workers at Austin’s Capital Factory for graciously hosting President Obama yesterday on the first of his economic issues day trips.  The President and the United States CTO Todd Park saw presentations by some of our finest local ventures, were introduced to a group of angel investors, and interacted with personnel from the many startups who operate from the Capital Factory.  He was even invited to apply to Capital Factory when he needs a job in 2017. 

Naval Academy Graduation Hat Toss

May 7, 2013: Today I’m claiming editorial privilege and inviting myself to give my first annual commencement talk to anyone who cares to read it. 

A recent Tweet by Bob Metcalfe about the sheer joy of graduation ceremonies echoes my own sentiments.  This is the season when my Facebook updates are filled with photos of graduations at all levels of education, with all the proud parents and their progeny.  Nothing to me is quite as special as a college graduation, when students are truly reaching the milestone of going out on their own (we hope). 

Regiment Suisse from Creative Commons by Charny

We live in a time when there is a growing bifurcation of tech entrepreneurial endeavors, which I will label Platoons vs. Regiments for the purpose of this discussion.

Window 8 computer

My MacBook Pro became possessed over the weekend; the cursor began roaming around the screen and opening and closing things at random, and I lost all control of it from the track pad.  (Reminds me of that old joke:  “What happens when you don’t pay you exorcist? You get re-possessed.”)  That gave me the opportunity to use a new Windows 8 all-in-one Sony with touch screen and keyboard to keep the presses humming at TechDrawl.


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