John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Arches National Park
  • Managing Passionate Employees - One of the things that great managers do is to understand the value of passion and make the extra effort to cultivate and support those passionate employees. Even if occasionally they just want that person to just do their job and stop being so different.
  • How Private Equity Strangled Mervyns - People buyout a company, strip off huge amounts of cash for themselves, leave the company in extremely precarious position by piling on all sorts of debt which kills cash flow. This is not how companies should be run.
  • Nearly 10% of Mortgages Delinquent or in Foreclosure - the total percentage of mortgages not being paid by the homeowner is 2.97% (in foreclosure) + 6.99% (delinquent) = 9.96%. That is amazingly bad.
  • Families Shouldn't Finance Everyday Purchases on Credit - Another credit card can allow you to continue to live beyond your mean but it also puts you into even worse financial shape than you have already gotten yourself into. It is not a solution
  • Google Should Stay True to Their Management Practices - Google is in a position where they are not forced to abandon long term plans due to cash flow problems. Their decisions should be based on whether something makes long term sense or not (not short term economic conditions).
  • Companies Beg (and pay) Congress to Allow Them to Avoid Paying Into Pension Funds - If companies choose to minimally fund their pensions then they will have to pay up as required by law (when inevitable violitility in financial markets pushes thei plans below the minimin limits). Or, at least they do unless they don't convince those they give large "donantions" to, to let them ignore the law.
  • Compounding is the Most Powerful Force in the Universe - The concept of growth and mathematical compounding is an important idea to understand as you think and learn about the world. It also is helpful so you understand that statistics don't lie but ignorant people can draw false conclusions from limited data.
  • Let the Good Times Roll (using Credit) - right now they seem to be acting like so many consumers on their 7th credit card that get the 8th card and say once again - let the good time roll.
  • Information Technology and Business Process Support - Many organizations would benefit from increasing the resources to IT and shifting the focus from passive supplier to active participant in using information technology to meet business needs.
  • Feds Rethink Rules on Retirement Savings - They Shouldn't - Anyone that must withdraw, knew the exact amount on January 1st 2008. Nothing about that has changed in almost a year. The transparent attempts for those rich enough not to need funds to be able to avoid paying taxes and the governments allowing it is a sad commentary on our system. It shows why we continue to saddle the future with huge economic burdens to provide special benefits to a few today.
  • Financial Thanksgiving - Frew Wube, an entrepreneur in Ethiopia, received a grant from Trickle Pp and used the funds to invest in their business and use all the income they are able to generate to increase their standard of living and re-invest in the business. Trickle Up provides grants to entrepreneur, similar to micro loans, except the entrepreneur does not have to pay back the grant.
  • Manners - "I have grown to appreciate the wisdom of good manners. Within that acceptance there is still room for me to quibble with some of the rules of good manners, but the concept I now appreciate."
  • Eric Schmidt on Management at Google - "What is the number 1 goal of the company? It is end user happiness with search. What is the number 2 goal? It's end user happiness with advertising. What is the number 3 goal?...
  • 6 Leadership Competencies - The ability to think in terms of systems, and knowing how to lead systems; The ability to understand the variability of work in planning an problem solving...
  • The Economy is in Serious Trouble - There is little doubt the economy is in for serious trouble. What investment moves are wise now is less obvious. I have been buying during the decline and continue to do so. I bought some Google yesterday at the same price I first bought Google for several years ago.
  • Tilting at Ludicrous CEO Pay 2008 - Countrywide went out of business. Does anyone believe they made a profit of $2.7 billion as they claimed in 2006 (the accounting gains they claimed in 2006 were not an accurate reflection of the condition of the company).
  • Cordless Lawn Mower Review - Electric lawn mowers are definitely preferable for cost, ease of maintenance and environmental reasons to gas mowers. So I will keep using this mower, but it worse than the previous model (the bag seems to be the only improvement), which I find extremely lame.
  • Righter Incentivization - "What is the righter way to dangle incentives in front of our employees to get them to do what we want? Well aiming at that is a bad strategy. Using extrinsic motivation less badly is possible but the correct answer is just don’t do it."
  • Friday Fun: Octopus Juggling Fellow Aquarium Occupants - "Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants."
  • Personal Finance Basics: Long-term Care Insurance - "About 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. Over 40 percent will need care in a nursing home for some period of time"
  • Webcast: Engineering Education in the 21st Century - National Academy of Engineering President, William A. Wulf: "the practices of engineering has changed enormously in the last 20 years and engineering education has changed hardly at all."
  • Greenspan Says He Was Wrong On Regulation - "I made a mistake," Greenspan said, "in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."
  • CEOs Plundering Corporate Coffers - "far too few people that see the obscene behavior of CEOs and their brooks brother bureaucrats as unacceptable. The behavior of many of them has been similar to that of dictators looting the coffers of their country as the country sinks into despair."
  • Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel - Now that is some cool engineering: a bridge that becomes a tunnel. It is a four-lane bridge-tunnel composed of bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under a portion of the Hampton Roads harbor (see photos by following the link)
  • Six Sigma v. Common Sense - many things are sensible, but are not sensible when looked at in isolation (sub-optimization). Six sigma can assist those in the organization to evaluate from a larger context than they normally do.
  • 401(k)s are a Great Way to Save for Retirement - "401(k)s are a great way to save. Yes, today those that have been saving money have the disappointment of bad recent results. But that is a minor factor compared to the major problem: Americans not saving what they need to for retirement"
  • Crisis May Push USA Federal Deficit to Above $1 Trillion for 2009 - "Just as someone that lived far beyond their means, with excessive debt, debt on multiple credit cards… we have continually elected politicians that had our government live beyond our means"
  • Financial Market Meltdown - "On personal finance I still believe the same smart personal financial decisions last year, or five years ago are wise today: avoid credit card debt, have an emergency fund of 6 months of expenses, save for retirement, have proper health insurance, don't buy what you don't need and can't afford..."
  • Why is it Colder at Higher Elevations? - "at higher elevations the air pressure is lower (molecules and atoms under less pressure move more slowly which means the temperature is less)."
  • Motivate or Eliminate De-Motivation - "Parties can set the groundwork that can then be used to tie people together and make it easier to build a sense of community that can lead to people being motivated to help their colleagues. The danger is not in calling such things motivation. The danger is so many managers think in a theory x way. That is the attitude that needs to change."
  • Warren Buffett Webcast on the Credit Crisis, quotes: "The major institutions in the world are all wanting to de-leverage", "I don't like what is going on with executive compensation", "AIG would be doing fine today if they never heard of derivatives"...
  • Leverage, Complex Deals and Mania - "It is not a shock that financial markets do irrational things. They do so very frequently. Anyone who has not read, Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, should do so."

   

 

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