Month: March 2010

Thinking Aloud… Episode 2 “Apples iPad”

Thinking Aloud is a new addition that features spontaneous insights (or rants) hosted by Mark on current events. They’ll be posted here once or twice a week. Maybe more…maybe less, but for those who’ve asked, “I wonder what Mark thinks?” well..here’s the place to find out. These are short, poignant off the cuff podcasts, or vidcasts that are delivered in typical Mark fashion. No holds barred, no retakes, just … “Mr. Engineer….Please Hit Record!”

https://markstcyr.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/thinking-aloud-3292010mp3.mp3

 

The coming “Revolution”

It’s coming, and it’s coming fast. No…not of the political, but of the electronic.

Apple’s new iPad will be hitting the shelves soon. They are already in the hands of the test market so any kinks can be vetted before major release. I think this product is a game changer, but I’m not sure if the media that needs it most will adopt or exploit it like they should. My reasoning for this? The iPod.

In a perfect world (business that is)  a breakthrough product or service will be implemented by the company that benefits the most from its creation. Most think there is some type of Skunk Works area residing in the bowels of all corporate companies with people huffing, and fussing. All just trying to implement better products, better service, and so on. Well sorry to say, there isn’t, but deep down you knew that anyway, didn’t you?

The ones that should have been the early adopters, and exploiters of the iPod was of course the music industry. However that was not the case. They did have many secret areas for huffing and puffing, but it was primarily for  complaining and nothing more. Last time I looked, I think they were still arguing about Napster. Go figure.

iPad in my estimation could be the biggest breakthrough for magazines, and newspapers. Yes you read correctly, that’s who I think can benefit the most. I believe the iPad if utilized correctly can be the driving force in reinventing that media, and delivering a better product that’s profitable for the industry as a whole. However, if history is any guide, the industry who could benefit the most will likely be the ones complaining the loudest about how unfair the fight is, and why they need to protect their turf and stand pat.

To sign up and volunteer for this fight…..Just log into iTunes!

Mark

***Look for the podcast edition of “Thinking Aloud” coming soon for more thoughts on this subject.

Will a Historic Vote clarify…or cloud more issues?

Last night was a historic night indeed. No matter what side you’re on, the passing of the Health Care Reform Act changes the game in ways that most think they understand. I firmly believe most don’t.

If you’re an employer, I know you’re nervous about the implications, and your seeking advice before you make a move (as so you should). If you’re an employee, you’re hoping this helps you, but you really can’t tell as of yet. (and that creates more anxiety than you had before its passage). So what is one to do? Right now, the answer might be the worst of all possible outcomes,…nothing! That’s correct, nothing, and here’s why…

If I employ people, I have no idea what that employee will cost me today or in the future. No matter what’s in the press…No One knows! If you’re looking for work and need a job that’s not good news because even if someone needs your services, they are not going to hire quickly, nor hire by chance, period! To make this point clearer think of it this way. If a building was on fire and you needed a fireman, logic dictates you’ll hire the first one who applies so that the fire can be subdued as quickly as possible. Save the building first, worry about the rest second. That’s not what you’ll find as of today. It will be more to the effect of, Do we really need that building after all? Does it make sense to pay for all that equipment to save it, or the man power to contain it? What are our liabilities for letting it burn in comparison to paying personnel that expands the payroll to fight it? All the while, the building continues to burn, maybe to the point where any decision no longer matters. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? However…Is it really that far off from reality? Think about it.

Mark

Thinking Aloud… Episode 1 “Stock Market Highs?”

Thinking Aloud is a new addition that features spontaneous insights (or rants) hosted by Mark on current events. They’ll be posted here once or twice a week. Maybe more…maybe less, but for those who’ve asked, “I wonder what Mark thinks?” well..here’s the place to find out. These are short, poignant off the cuff podcasts, or vidcasts that are delivered in typical Mark fashion. No holds barred, no retakes, just … “Mr. Engineer….Please Hit Record!”

https://markstcyr.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/thinking-aloud-3162010mp3.mp3


Forget about “This Time it’s Different”………..

This time is not only different, but it will be unlike anything anyone has seen never mind remember.

Many have argued that the recovery is now on firm ground. Others are tripping over themselves to point at so-called leading indicators. However what I truly find fascinating is that when I speak to someone about their own circumstances on spending, vacations, investment, or work just to name a few, they seem nervous to down right scared. That is…. if they are over the age of 40. If they’re under the age of let’s say 35…maybe even 30…they have no understanding or frame of reference with economic hard times.

I watched on television the other day where a young woman who had recently graduated from college and was job searching decided after 6 months she was “quitting the job search routine” because in her words … she was worth far more than anyone was offering, and spent much to long acquiring her degree to just get a job. (I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.) She is currently living in her parent’s basement apartment, and she plans taking the summer off to see what happens in the fall. I was speechless! And that’s saying something for me.

We have come to a juncture where not one, but possibly two generations of young adults have no understanding of economic uncertainty. They only have a reference in which parents always have extra money to loan or give them. Parents always have a home they can move back into. Jobs are plentiful, and they don’t have to apply themselves, just show up and you’ll be paid great wages, and get great perks. That is not today’s environment, and it will catch many of these younger adults off guard to say the least.

I believe more than ever, it’s time to sit the kids down and explain what is really going on. If the young adults have no frame of reference, or no true understanding of economic uncertainties, than it’s all of our responsibility to try and explain without sounding like the proverbial adult who shouts “ When I was younger, I walked to work 10 miles barefoot in a blizzard, and uphill both ways, and enjoyed it.”

Mark

Manners?…We don’t need no stinkin’ manners!

My apologies to the characters in the movie “The Three Amigos” for a little word play on their classic spoken line, but it just seemed to put everything into context.

Is it me, or has anyone over the age of let’s say 45 noticed that no one, and I mean no one displays anything that resembles simple manners? Hold the door open for you as your entering a store just 3 feet behind them? Nope, the door just about cracks you in the nose. Someone walks into you while they are texting or fumbling with today’s newest electronic gadget? Nope! They look up at you as if to say ” Why weren’t you watching where I was walking?” I could go on and on, but you get the point. It really has become a forgotten aspect of common decency. It also demonstrates to everyone except the perpetrator, they’re just classless.

Whether your rich or poor, simple manners are a prerequisite in demonstrating to others that your parents might have tried to bring you up properly. My Mother never “hit” me as a child, but the crack across the back of the head to show I was being ignorant doesn’t qualify as “hitting” in my book. It was called “Mind your manners!”….and I’m grateful she did. Having manners are not only a reflection on me, but more important on my Mother.

Thanks for reading,

Mark

10 Billion Downloads…..and they still don’t get it!

Last week iTunes announced it’s 10 Billionth ( yes that’s a B!) music download. The funny thing is, iTunes charges for every single one. That little fact seemingly falls on deaf ears, and those ears belong to the music industry itself. The so-called “Industry” no longer exists as it once did, but listening to them you would think otherwise.

Yes, I understand piracy, I understand protection from thievery, I get all that , and I’m a proponent of artist rights and compensation, again I get it! Whats been the downfall for the “Industry” is while they’ve spent their time complaining, a company unaffiliated with the industry turned it on its head, and found a way to not only charge, but to get customers to pay.

There’s a great lesson there for anyone who will listen.

Mark

(P.S. I thought it was fantastic the download was for a Johnny Cash song!)