Category Archives: Job

Stuff about my day job(s)

Business Progresses

When I first started my latest attempt to take over the world — aka, start my own business — I did so with three main concepts. One of them was to start an electronic voting company, with a new and refreshed look at the subject.

Unfortunately, it turned out that my new and novel approach had already been patented. I contacted the patent holder, and unfortunately he was not willing to part with it or even participate for anywhere near a reasonable arrangement. Further research into this market will tell you that there are some big players involved — going up against them would take a pretty serious commitment from people with deep pockets. Since electronic voting is not my area of most expertise, and because I don’t have those sorts of pockets, I’ve decided to side-line the electronic voting market, in lieu of my other 2 business ideas. Coincidentally, I have managed to make notable progress in both those other areas, although one more than the other. I’ll post more about those in a bit.

Official Notice

I was out sick the past two days with a horrible cold/flu. I’m came back to work today (although I still don’t have my voice back), to find a bunch of emails asking about me leaving. There are a bunch of reasons why I feel that now is the right time to take this step. I’ll outline them, more so I can remind myself later when my resolve isn’t as strong than for anyone else. These aren’t in any particular order.

1. There isn’t enough time in the day to work full-time and run a side business. I tried that for the past two years. It sounds good in theory, but your home life suffers, and it wears you out to the point where if you don’t take a sizable vacation from everything every two months or so, you start to go a little crazy.

2. I am spending about 3-3.5 hours a day traveling back and forth from Long Island to Brooklyn. This is clearly a large and unproductive (and non-entertaining) chunk of the day. From the time I wake up (to go to work) to the time I get home is about 12 hours. This is not an ideal lifestyle when I have an option otherwise.

3. The freedom to make large and unilateral decisions in my private business stressed the lack of that ability in my day job. That’s not anything that wouldn’t be the case at any large company — there are policies and procedures, and they are there for a reason. However, a small company has the ability to turn on a dime in either its procedures, infrastructure, or business strategy, and a larger company can’t. As time went on, the difference between the two was getting more frustrating.

4. If not now, then when? I’ve been talking about starting businesses — with viable plans — among my friends for quite a while. I am about to get married. If I don’t take this opportunity now, then when will I have a better chance to do so? I refuse to be forced to tell stories about what I “could have done, but was too afraid.” After all, there is nothing to be afraid of, other than some serious effort.

5. I think I can succeed. I’ve been reading up on some of the myths of start-up businesses. For example, the proverbial “9 out of 10 fail.” It turns out, that this counts all small businesses — the bulk of which is restaurants, deli’s, dry cleaners, etc. And, of the 9 that fail, most are closed voluntarily, not because they bankrupt. I don’t think the chances are so poor as that. Also, my company already has existing sales. These sales have dropped lately because I haven’t had the time to devote to it.

Of course there are all the other reasons one might imagine: “be your own boss,” “work from home,” etc. I think the ones above are the biggest, for me.

I hope this has answered at least some people’s questions. I think it answers mine.

New Beginnings

Well, that’s it. I found out yesterday the the seller will not come to an agreement on the house I wanted to buy, so I will be staying at my apartment. I don’t see us being interested in looking for a different house any time in the near future.

Instead, I’m ready to take the big plunge. I’ve had some side business or another cooking for almost as long as I can remember working. It’s come to the point now where I think I have learned as much as I am going to learn without making a bigger commitment to it. So, I turned in my resignation at work today, and in 2 weeks I will be working for myself full time.

This is totally stressful, of course, more so because my career is really on a roller coaster ride upward. But it is also a sort of a relief. It took a huge effort not to smile as I was informing my boss of my intentions. Despite everything else, this just feels right. I expect that there are some hard financial times ahead — but no more so than I have dealt with in the past, and in fact much better because my fiancee is an accomplished and distinguished worker at her company.

I will be concentrating on two core businesses. Now that I will no longer have to worry about co-workers reading my blog, I can write much more about those here. Not today though. Today I get to rest.

In conjunction with my wedding in 2 months, this is the beginning of a new phase in my life, and I recognize that as being significant. I was looking for a change, and I think that this will be a good one. I look forward to a new beginning :)

Corporate America

Patti has a good post today. I don’t really want to talk more about it, so read her page for the details. We work at the same place.

Corporate America is an interesting place. For me, there’s a wild ride between high highs and low lows. Getting a good review is better than acing a report card — its the same thing, but in an environment where your skills can make a difference to the company’s bottom line — ie, the “real world.” Bonuses are nice too, but the review is really what makes my day.

But then people get layed off, budgets get cut, and usually for all the wrong reasons. Of course companies need to save money, and reduce their costs from time to time. But when there doesn’t appear to be any clear corporate direction, and “upper management” doesn’t feel the need to keep their employees even informed, it puts the whole company in a depressed molasis. Of course productivity is going to be reduced when the employees don’t even know what the company direction is. If I weren’t a devout capitalist, things like this would make me turn to communism.

I’ve had a bad week.

Computer Job Titles

Your new job title could be:
Advanced Research Theorist
Gimme another one!



Upon starting my first job out of college, I learned that my first responsibility was to determine a job title for myself. I already had a good idea of what my responsibilities would be, and any title which the management didn’t particularly object to was okay.

I found that this was one of the most difficult things I have had to do in a long while. Of course, working in the computer industry, I decided that the best solution would be to write a program to do it for me. Here you go. Every time you load up this page, it will generate a new, completely random job title. Some time in the future, I may add support for different types of jobs, like cooks, investment bankers, and elevator repairmen. If you’d like to see that, drop me a line.