Monday, January 31, 2011

Real Life Business Education: Too Many Internets

Last Year, author Ray Bradbury famously said that there are "too many internets". This was part of a crazy rant that he recorded on this blog. I'm not exactly sure what Bradbury meant by too many internets, but it turns out he was right... sort of. We actually have too many registered internet addresses.

This is a strange concept. We often hear about the capacity limiting constraints of legacy hardware or fiber, but addresses? It seems like they should just be able to add a digit or something. Unfortunately the current IP naming conventions were developed over thirty years ago when the internet was still just a closed experiment accessible only to US government agencies and a few Universities. And now... in 2010, we experiencing a famine of IP addresses.

According a Wall Street Journal article, help is on the way. Apparently help, is a new naming system call IPv6, which will allow a "near infinite" number of internet addresses. The catch is that most of the hardware out there that is more than just a few years old isn't compatible. So begins the long upgrade. I guess the one positive thing is that internet hardware and devices are typically upgraded often.

So, will we run out of IP addresses? The techie folks say that it's unlikely, however, that is only because companies began to prepare for the end of addresses a few years ago. Thanks companies- your making us all realize that Ray Bradbury's comments were just as dumb as they originally sounded after all.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Real Life Business Education: The State of the Union

Unlike most people, I actually enjoy watching politicians give speeches. But, it' not for the speech itself. I think what I enjoy is thinking about all of the work that went into a speech behind the scene. Let me explain...

In President Barack Obama's latest State of the Union address, he talked a lot about things that democrats would normally shy away from- things like tort reform, lowering the corporate tax rate, and spending cuts. You see, Obama and his staff know that they cannot continue to push a democratic agenda when they don't have a majority in the house and senate as well as the presidency. So, instead they are shifting the administration's stance to a much more moderate one. In doing so, they are offering to go after some traditionally conservative ideas to send a message to the republicans. That is- if you don't play nice, the public is going to see you as the bad guys. Why? Because we have already brought up several ideas that are catered to the right. So, if we can compromise, you can too- right?

It's the messaging. Messaging is a core business principle. Companies message customers with their pricing and customer service message. Companies even message each other with their sales. You know the "low cost guarantee"? It's just a message to the competition that lowering their price won't win them any business- it's just a way to avoid a price war.

So, from the president of the US to Wal-Mart, the speeches and actions all contain hidden meanings. Now that you know, maybe you will enjoy listening to politicians talk as well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Real Life Business Education: Healthcare

Now that I am finished with my Business Education I have begun to seriously think about what kind of career I would like to pursue. It seems strange to still be talking about "what I want to do when I grow up" at age 30, but here I am. Getting your MBA makes you feel like the possibilities are endless, like you could join any company or industry and add value- that they would be lucky to have you. Not because your something special, but because you have taken the time to learn and understand the core principles of what makes a business tick.

While contemplating my future, the thought of working in healthcare has often crossed my mind. You can actually get an MBA in Healthcare management, but the Business Education I received is enough to consider joining this industry as well.

So why is it attractive?

Two reasons:

1) Healthcare is growing - with the passing of Obama's Healthcare Bill, there are certainly going to be many jobs being created in the coming years. These new employees will need leaders and managers to... well lead and manage them.

2) The greater good. One of the hardest thing about my current job is that it has no real moral value. At the end of the day I am helping a company increase it's profits so people holding it's stock can be a little richer. I don't think there any shame in that, but there isn't an extreme amount of pride either- don't get me wrong... I love my job and the company I am employed with. But to know the work that I did enabled the healing of the sick would be pretty cool.

So, we'll see. I have a lot of thinking to do and with today's norms in employment, I have a few more careers ahead of me :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

MBA Degree - Check!

First, let me apologize. My entries have been fewer than I normally like-hopefully that will change soon.

You see, I have been given a gift of time. About 15-20 hours a week to be exact. I have this time because just a few weeks ago I attended the last class required to obtain my MBA degree. Yes, that's right! I have graduated! It seems like just yesterday I was writing my description for this blog "applying, attending, and one day graduating from Business School". Well, I'm happy to say that day has come. I am done.

It's funny though, it still hasn't sunk in. I'm still extremely protective over my free time and I have that eerie feeling that I am forgetting to do something. But I'm not. Now I can spend my time doing home improvement projects, catching up on the mail, and hanging out with my dog... and wife.

People keep asking me what I am doing that I have all of this free time. The truth is that I now play 5-10 hours of video games a week and get 1-1.5 hours more sleep per night- I think both of these are very positive things.

...meanwhile on the job front, I was promoted just days after graduating. I don't think it had a whole lot to do with finishing school, but I'm certain that school allowed me to get to a position to be promoted. Yes, I am definitely enjoying the fruits of a very laborious 2.5 years. And soon I will begin paying for that fruit (tuition) at a very reasonable interest rate.

But, it has been worth it. Along with my latest promotion came an increase in salary equal to my monthly student loan payment. What an amazing thing in the current economy- I am truly blessed.