09/17/18

Diversity in Tech

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny, mild Texas day. Ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas.

So, the tech world loves the word “diversity.” Diversity is the inclusion in a community of individuals representing multiple viewpoints based on gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, politics, and philosophy. Whew! [There may be more. I didn’t mention pets. There is a world of tension between cat people and dog people. I will ignore that for now.]

The tech world has done a good job of “talking the talk” as it relates to gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity/national origin. This is the self-congratulatory view of tech when they get to hold the mirror up to themselves.

Much of what tech applauds itself for is very much a work in progress. On the issue of gender, as an example, there are still VC firms which have a single female partner who has been there for half an hour. One of my pet peeves is the VC firm who preaches diversity, virtue signals its wholesale support, and who has not a single woman in its partners pic. Come on. Stop being such hypocrites.

Some would say that tech has failed miserably embracing diversity amongst age, religion, politics, and philosophy. God, they are like a gulag when it comes to age discrimination. The old folks are sent to Siberia.

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09/14/18

UBER

Big Red Car here – I don’t qualify for Uber because I’m too damn cute. Sorry, Uber. Doesn’t mean I can’t love Uber from afar. [Been cheating on my Uber-affaire with Lyft. Don’t tell anybody.]

The Bevo loves Uber and the Big Red Car. Big Red Car poses for a selfie with the Bevo on the occasion of beating the crap out of Tulsa. OK, squeaking past Tulsa, thanks, place kicker.

So, what’s going on over at Uber?

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09/13/18

First Draft

Big Red Car here on an early Thursday. Hope you are well. God help the Carolinas.

Much of life is about getting beyond its first draft. A writer develops a first draft subject to a lot of self-editing and then sends it to a professional editor.

That editor will undertake the following Stations of the Cross:

 1. Three developmental edits focused on ensuring the story is really a story and that it contains a theme, a plot, a story arc, interesting characters good and bad, tons of conflict, a conflict resolution and a denouement.

Each time the editor finishes their edit, the writer will revise the piece. It looks like this: “BRC REV after DE 1” meaning this is the BRC’s revision of the editor’s first developmental edit.

 2. When the developmental edits are finished, then the editor will go through a copy edit looking for grammar changes. This is going from a rake to a comb.

 3. When the CE is finished, the editor will make a final proofread.

 4. Happy with the final story, the writer will mark it “FINAL” and send it out to be considered by publishers.

 5. The publisher will likely repeat the entire process — publishers’ editors can be extraordinarily good.

In this manner, the story goes from a lump of wet, unformed clay to a bit of fine, elegant china by iterative edits.

Business planning and running a business can benefit from this mindset.

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09/12/18

Attitude = Altitude

How high you go in life sometimes is created by your attitude, your confidence. Economies have similar linkages.

How confident, how optimistic is American small business – the engine of new job creation in the US – today?

Turns out they’re very confident, very optimistic.

The National Federation of Independent Business has been tracking the optimism of its members for a long time, seventy-five years. They are the voice of small business.

Monthly, they survey their owners to gauge business sentiment.

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09/12/18

Jobs USA

Big Red Car here with a prayer on my lips for the Carolinas and the impending Florence hurricane. Evacuate if y’all are along that coast. Do not risk your life to ride it out.

So, one of the most interesting elements of the current economy is the status of jobs and job openings. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient data to track this back through prior business cycles because the data was simply not collected back in the day.

There are four data points of interest:

 1. Job openings – positions for which a company is seeking an immediate hire

 2. Hires – former job openings for which a company made a hire

 3. Quits – current employees who voluntarily left a job with a company

 4. Layoffs and discharges – company terminated jobs and firings

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09/7/18

Tesla Talk – Elon Musk

The Big Red Car is a fan of Tesla, the idea of a new kind of electric car is exciting. It has been a “thing” for a decade. The BRC is, however, skeptical of the leadership of Tesla, specifically Elon Musk.

Image result for images elon musk smoking weed

Tesla CEO Elon Musk smoking a perfectly legal joint while being interviewed by Joe Rogan for a podcast. Rogan offered the joint to Musk after saying he had rolled the weed in tobacco leaves. Asked how often he partakes, Musk said, “Almost never.” Prior to this, Musk and Rogan had been chatting while enjoying some Old Camp on the rocks. They discussed expensive cars, watches, the dangers of artificial intelligence, space travel, terra-farming on Mars, and weed. The interview started at 9:30 PM and lasted until 12:15 AM.

Is it possible to be a fan of a product and a skeptic of a company? Concerned about the stability of a CEO? Apparently.

Several odd things have caught my Big Red eye.

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09/6/18

RH – Restoration Hardware, Swimming Upstream

I am always interested in turnaround stories and in companies who are swimming upstream. Such a company is Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware has been public since November 2012 and had been owned by PE firms in the past. I love them for their enormous couches because I am an enormous Chevy Impala and like to lounge on a big couch.

This is a damn big couch. You can get any of their leather couches in a 10 foot length.

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