business (63)

We love the system when it loves us

The mock surprise and indignation from people, who had long shut their ears to what I call the bleedin’ obvious. That there are others poking around in our data, analysing with tools to pump out results, for variety of objectives. Whether analysis for marketing demographics, sales targeting, or terrorist spotting – we provide enough data publicly, let alone privately, to benefit those with business or national security. One person’s warbling’s on Facebook, may not mean that much, but times it by millions of people, with even more millions of individual pieces of data and with the right algorithms, it can yield useful results.

You win some, you lose some …

For a partnership to work, all parties must place a higher value on the advantages of shared work and risk than on the efficiency of making unilateral decisions and keeping all the loot.
Perils of Partnership

It’s always a gamble working on new venture with business partner, and I have always struggled to meet my match (so to speak). I know my weaknesses. In website design, I lack visual flair. I lack salesman, but very competent in managing client expectations. The problem I have found is that what I do naturally, other find hard – which is to learn, and accept learning is a contant progress. This resistance to learning can prominently manifest itself in a “I just want to manage/coordinate” attitude, as if that ability doesn’t have same requirements. Stand still long enough, eventually you will get run over. This attitude leads to a strange imbalance where the partner who is struggling to be a partner, attempts to manage the other. Doomed to fail, as that goes against the very nature of partnership, or indeed any relationship.

My lesson was to ignore the “sell”, and wait for proven ability. And it usually doesn’t take long. Whereas I will naturally cross boundaries, to fill natural gaps left by start-up hierarchy and responsibilities, the partner may quickly resist moving out of their perfuntory assigned title. As any self-employed person will know, most people like the idea of taking a gamble on an interesting start-up idea, but most will quickly lose interest once they realise it is way out of their comfort zones. It’s not for everyone, as most are used to a “Mortgage-driven” mentality, which is naturally self-oriented. Think of those armies of perm staff out there plodding in careers, or making a career out of responsibility avoidance. Not all of them, but those are the ones that keep companies moving and exploring.

Starting a business with a business partner can usually cause more problems than it solves. This is usually the case when the partners are unable to agree on the same thing, the amount of responsibility for each is different, and the direction of the business is different as well. These differences can cause a business to fail quicker than anything.
Problems with Having a Business Partner

So my search continues. I operate very well as a one-man band, and have a wealth of expertise, experience under my belt. In addition to a wide network in development and testing, to provide support is more specialist areas. Maybe my search is futile, as it seems the way I have always worked and operated, appears to be more in tune. Consultancies can quickly muddy the picture of what a client requires, as financial rewards is measured in terms of scope of work that the client can be convinced they need. And as I have never agreed with the weak “all’s fair in love and business” (a phrase adopted by the winner, naturally), I cannot agree with this model in any event.


¹Perils of Being In Business with Women
²Perils of Partnership
³Problems with Having a Business Partner

Scrum & Testing

In fact, a Scrum team need not have a manager at all. In Scrum, the team is ‘self-organizing’. To as large a degree as possible, they manage themselves.

Something for Nothing

Business services for consultants  contractors and small companies are popular, as most of us only need an address for Companies House or odd bits of mail.  Generally had no problem until these guys at WestOne . I realised after a year that they had not even forwarded one bit of mail.  I get mail very rarely so didn’t think too much of it, until I got proof that indeed letters were sent and never forwarded.  My wife sent a test one, which again never arrived.  WestOne approach to my queries was to repeatedly send invoice reminders instead of answering my two simple questions:-

1. What address do you have on file to forward mail to.

2. What was the last mail I received.

They can’t provide the answer but are still trying the lazy bullying tactic of repeatedly submitting invoice reminders.  Manually, I might add.

Has anyone else had experience of this at WestOne or any other similar business service?

Throwing out more proverbial babies

I knew it wouldn’t be long before Scrum came under scrutiny , and hence, in the firing line.  Scrum is far from perfect, but provided some kind of transition form palatable to both business and development.