MS responding to iPad as only they know how to

The PowerPoint does, however, show how the Softies are encouraging partners to position slates and tablets running Windows 7 vs. the iPad. There are suggestions in the deck for how to sell to business users who already have committed to the iPad, as well as to ones who haven’t yet done so.

I wonder when we’ll see Apple trying to sell the iPad to business users who have committed to “slates and tablets” running Windows 7?

(h/t Engadget)

“if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly”

Great quote from Teddy R. from the Bootstrappers Breakfast list today:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt “Citizenship in a Republic”

Access to the Bootstrappers Breakfast mailing list is restricted to attendees. Come out to a breakfast if you’re interested.

How Not To Negotiate Your Salary

Most people hate to negotiate, especially when it involves money. That’s a shame, because it’s such a critical part of life, especially business. At a minimum, everyone will be involved in at least one very important, money related, negotiation in their life: their salary. That’s why it pains me when I hear this old adage brought out:

Your first salary is also the basis for your salary history. When you change jobs, that salary history becomes part of negotiations with your new employer. If you talk your first employer into a 5% during the initial negotiation, that increased salary will stay with you throughout your life.

This is crap, pure and simple, for two reasons:

  • How much an employer is willing to pay to fill a position and how much you’ve made in the past are different things that have no bearing on each other.
  • We live in a capitalist economy, with a free market. Free markets have no memories with it comes to pricing. Pricing is determined by supply & demand.

So why is this such a bad thing? It limits your future earnings. If relegate yourself to incremental increases in your earnings throughout your life, you’ll never be motivated to grow your skills. That makes it difficult to negotiate a market wage for a job that’s a lateral move or even a promotion. If you’re a teacher, but learning to program on the side, you’re not going to walk into your first programming interview and settle for your old teaching salary.

So, the next time you negotiate your salary, keep two things in mind:

Never just randomly throw out numbers. If you throw out a number during an interview, you could be artificially capping what the employer would pay to fill the position. If an employer expects to pay a market wage of $80k and you say that you won’t take a penny under $60k, you’ve just cost yourself $20k. This is a form of something economists call ‘information arbitrage‘. As a side note, this is exactly how sites like make their money. You toss out a price and they find you a hotel at a lower price and pocket the difference.

“Wait, what should I put on the application where it asks for ‘Previous Salary’?”

Nothing, leave it blank. When they ask you about it, tell them what salary you’re expecting and move on from there. Don’t be afraid if they say they’ll just call your old position. These are little tricks that companies use to try and get the upper hand on employees. Previous employers can’t legally disclose your salary ( as well as other information ) to anyone. They can only confirm your employment status. This means your previous salary becomes a part of the negotiations only if you make it.

It also means that you should ask for something that’s credible and be able to back it up. Don’t ask for $200,000/yr if you’re right out of college and other people with your level of experience are making $50k. However, if you know that Sr. XYZ specialists are making $100,000/yr, ask for that. If your qualified enough for the job, your qualified enough for the market wage.

Never let anyone else negotiate your salary for you. No one cares about your money as much as you. This is common when you’re being placed at a company through a recruiter. They’ll try and tell you that it is SOP for the recruiter to handle all negotiations and you’re just supposed to let them know what you want. This is bad for two reasons:

  • The recruiters goals & incentives don’t match yours. They want to create a lasting relationship with the client first and place you second. That can lead them to be less than firm with your salary requirements. Also, because they’re probably being payed as a % of your salary, getting that “last $5000” you’re asking for has very little impact on them. They could push you to agree as quickly as possible or advise you they can’t get what you want. They want to close the deal as quick as they can. As long as the position is unfilled, the greater the chance of someone else besides them placing someone.
  • The relationship between you and your new employer is going to be lasting. It could forever be seen through the eyes of your initial interactions & communications. Don’t leave that in the hands of someone else, especially someone you don’t even know. You don’t want to let someone else sour that because of a miscommunication. You and your employer could also end up on different pages. It’s better remove as many middle men as possible to make sure there’s no confusion.

Tell them you’d prefer to handle all negotiations. They’ll still get their money & nothing would change for them. If they push you, threaten to walk. Always remember, you’re the commodity here. The recruiter needs you way more than you need them at this point. Make sure they know that and you don’t get screwed.

This may all seem like a hard stance to take and it is. However, it’s worthwhile in the long run. You’ll be happier and more content with your salary & offers in the future without having to look back and regret taking a sub-standard offer. You’ll also spend less time with employers that are looking to take advantage of new hires.

Always remember:

“You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate”

Don King ( ok, ok, originally Dr. Chester Karrass, but I liked when Don King said it better )

2 years later, this blog is changing again

A little more than 2 years after changing this blog to cover my company, 1530 Technologies, Inc., I’ve decided to pull it back to a more personal blog. Why?

  1. It was getting tougher to remain completely business focused without disclosing too much about clients and other interactions. There’s also a wide range of topics I want to write about that don’t fall under the 1530 Technologies, Inc. umbrella.
  2. I missed the cathartic release that writing for the blog provided. Once something is business focused, much like when money changes hands, it changes the relationship you have. In this case, the every post on the blog came with a constant, internal struggle over whether the post was appropriate or not.

So there it is. If you’re seeing this post through a Feedburner feed, no need to change. These are still the main feeds to use:

All Posts
Technology Posts
Business Posts

Alternatively, if you’re seeing this post through the old Memoirs feed, I’ll be retiring it in 30 days, so please change over to one of the feeds listed above.

Cultured Code has lost their minds

Update 01/20/2011: Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Cultured Code tops themselves.

From ‘State of the Sync, Part II‘:

Neither Dropbox nor iDisk – or any similar service for that matter – were conceived as a sync solution for apps like Things.

This approach works to some extent, but it is slow and error prone to begin with, and advanced options like push or anything involving user-to-user data exchange is impossible.

These paragraphs would have more of an impact if I weren’t already using ~6 apps that sync between Mac & iOS using Dropbox / iDisk without any issues.

Then they get chesty:

In 2009 we switched our source code management system from Subversion to Git.

We were so intrigued that we decided to develop a sync solution based on Git’s core ideas

We ended up with detailed plans to create a JavaScript-based cross-platform data model framework with Git-inspired sync built in

Hey, if you can’t pin the future of your company on an architecture that you yourself JUST started using then….wait, maybe don’t do that.

BTW, wouldn’t that have some large ramifications to Things itself?

This strategy required substantial portions of all versions of Things to be rewritten. It was clearly the most ambitious project we ever took on. Dissatisfied with our previous attempts, we didn’t want to settle with anything short of perfection.


We have tried many things, from underpowered technologies to over-engineered solutions. The approach we finally settled on is one that strikes the right balance, and in our next article we’ll be sharing more information about what that means.

I wished one of the solutions they tried was shipping something in the past 2+ years. But hey, with 3 weeks going by between Part I and Part II of this article, maybe they’ll be in a good position to hint at something by spring. I’m half expecting them to announce they’ve reconciled religion and science at this point.

Perfectionist and failure have more in common than people like to admit.