Posted on the July 23rd, 2013 under Uncategorized by
According to a new study released by Simply Measured, 98% of top brands now have a Facebook fan page, with 60% posting at least one time per day. Yet the frequency of posts is not that effective in engaging fans than a brand’s content strategy. What the study found is that visual content is the primary driver for engagement on Facebook, with photos accounting for 95% of total engagement. Overall, photos posted by top brands average more than 9,400 engagements per post, while video posts average more than 2,500 engagements.
Facebook has made significant changes recently to benefit brands and users, like improving how visual content is displayed, and introducing clickable hashtags that allow brands to provide additional context with their posts. While 20% of Facebook posts now include hashtags, Simply Measured saw no measurable change in how hashtags influence engagement. These posts perform as well as posts without hashtags, suggesting that Facebook users are not yet discovering brand posts by their tags.
The Simply Measured Facebook study evaluates brands and verticals in the Interbrand 100, identifying key trends and strategies shaping the way companies engage with consumers through social media. Key findings include:
Length of Posts Matter
Analysis of more than 500 status updates from the top brands shows that the longer a status update is, the less engagement it typically receives. However, if a status update is too short (less than 50 characters) it may not be long enough to capture viewers’ attention or provide the necessary context to drive engagement.
Not Allowing Fans to Post on Walls Hinders Engagement
29% of top brands do not allow users to post on their wall. For these brands, engagement on their page is limited to likes, comments and shares on brand posts, resulting in 15 percent less engagement than brands that do allow user posts. This is despite the fact that brands that don’t allow user posts have 71 percent more fans.
Automotive Brands Dominate the Top 10
Automotive brands are taking advantage of their fans passion for high quality car photos, posting more frequently than other brands and receiving nearly twice the Interbrand average per post engagement. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Harley-Davidson and Audi USA all rank among the top 10 in engagement.
Top Brands Take Different Approaches
The top 10 most engaging brands average 19.8 million fans (more than twice the 7.9 million brand average) and average 2.5 posts per day. A large variance exists in the number of times brands post, demonstrating the different approaches brands take to serving content.
Facebook, MTV and Coca-Cola Top the List
Facebook claims the top spot with 93 million fans, followed by Coca-Cola and MTV with 68.6 million and 45.8 million fans, respectively. When it comes to overall engagement, only MTV made the leader list, following behind Disney, Ferrari and Intel.
[Photo credit: Flickr / laughingsquid]
Study: Instagram More Effective Than Pinterest for Top Brands
Over Half of Top Brands Are Now On Instagram
When Do Americans Tweet? Depends on What They’re Watching
Posted on the July 23rd, 2013 under Uncategorized by
I’d welcome comments from anyone involved in the ‘Sun desktop world’, so read to the end!
The product set that is responsible for much of this branch of the Saul family’s fortunes was cancelled by Oracle on Friday 12 July.
Thank goodness I left well before this.
Because of my personal association with Sun Ray – I attended the first ever UK training course in 1999 and became the Sun Ray architect for Sun’s SEE region in 2004 – it’s easy for me to describe this as a tragedy. Other more choice phrases might be used by the sales and development teams who were abruptly fired with no notice after a quick conference call that Friday morning.
This is the way these mega corps do things – one minute you’re on a training course in Germany with the rest of the pre-sales team, learning about the new release, the next the powers that be have decided that you are surplus to requirements and you are out, along with the entire product set and to hell with the existing customer base, partner commitments and staff. No attempt to fit you into another role elsewhere, no warning. Even customers only found out via an obscure support statement – no direct contact, explanation or time to plan. Odd.
That’s not to say the writing wasn’t on the wall. But it needn’t have been, in my opinion – and this isn’t 20/20 hindsight, this is observation based on spending a long time in the frontline, actually selling to real customers. I and my then colleagues were all saying this stuff ages ago.
I learnt a lot from my time selling Sun Rays across the large region we covered in Sun. I say we, because it wasn’t all down to me, honest, though I can safely claim I played a role.
We were successful – my region was the number 2 region for Sun Rays after the US, with a fraction of the sales staff.
So where did things go wrong? There are some basics that were never addressed during the Sun years, some technical aspects that affected sales momentum and a major strategic sales error on Oracle’s part.
Let’s address these one by one.
The basics were often missing -
Sun never got around to creating some of the basic documentation and sales material that were fundamentally required when it came to selling this sort of stuff. The type of content about which an engineer familiar with the product would say ‘but this is basic stuff and not needed as it’s all obvious’.
The point is that it wasn’t obvious – not to customers and not to partners, even the more capable ones.
When you launch a product like this, you need basic sales material – a sizing guide, an FAQ, material that covers not just your solution but the third party stuff involved as well. The field created a lot of content, but this was often duplicated effort and was not shared properly. There was ‘traditional’ documentation, but that didn’t provide the answers people often needed.
During the early days, when people would ask for a sizing guide, the response from engineering would be ‘there is no sizing guide, you need to pilot this in your customer’s environment for a few months and then you’ll know what you need’.
This is plainly nonsense. When you walk into a car showroom and explain your requirements, the car salesman doesn’t make you rent five cars to drive around in for six months so you can work out what you like, only then to tell you what they cost.
From the first customer meeting you need to be able to stand confidently in front of the customer and give realistic estimates of what deploying your product will involve. If you can’t do that, the message you are giving your customer is simply this – ‘we don’t really know how our own solution works, but spend your money and time with us and let us know what you discover, then tell us what you’d like to buy’. This is not a sales strategy that works.
The principal thing that I learnt is that even in a developing market, it is possible to sell solutions that are, on paper at least, more expensive, complicated and confusing than similar solutions on the market. My mantra was always to ‘own’ the total solution – don’t go into a customer and tell them how your product functions but then say ‘you need to talk to Microsoft, VMware, for this bit, the storage guys for that part and work out the sizing on your own’. I was paid on Sun Rays that shipped, but made sure that I and the partners I worked with presented, explained and understood the complete solution. I wrote clear proposals that answered every question that would always get asked and I put together myself several of the documents that HQ never got around to writing – fundamental things such as sizing guides, answers to the usual things that come up, example RFPs, Statements of Work for PoCs, etc, etc, sometimes alone, sometimes with the help of key colleagues.
(To be fair this situation had got better by the time I left in 2011, but the product was released in 1999…)
In addition there was very little sharing of information amongst the team and very little team spirit in the later years.
But enough about me!
Technical aspects -
The Sun Ray was way ahead of its time but, towards the end of its life, had been overtaken by other devices on the market. Sun were particularly late in the game when it came to functioning multimedia features. It still remained a good solution for many customers.
Sun should have moved more quickly to making the Sun Ray a way of accessing a Windows desktop. During the early years, the feedback from the field was always that customers were not interested in moving to a Solaris desktop with Sun Rays – the only way we’d make this a success was if we could deliver Windows desktops in a supported fashion. When this move did occur, things got a lot better a lot more quickly, but it’s a shame this didn’t happen earlier.
Later down the line, the VDI architecture became unnecessarily complicated. I don’t know if this changed in the last two years, but during my time, to have a redundant solution three servers were required. The engineering logic behind this was that we were aiming for larger enterprise customer with larger installations and those large installations would easily need three servers, probably more. This was fair enough, but ignored the sales logic that even largest customers started off with a smaller number of users and the investment required to purchase three servers that would mostly sit idle whilst running a smaller number of users was prohibitively high an entry point. It also ignored the average size of the majority of the deals that I was aware of. Make it easy!
The Sun Ray architecture was always, at first glance, ‘more complicated’ than competing solutions, but in my experience, when pitched properly, it was easy to overcome the objections – providing you had the right supporting info to hand, namely the sizing info, answers to common questions, etc.
Sun Ray didn’t have the full complement of surrounding products that a company like Citrix had, even back in the mid-2000s, but again, this is something that could easily be explained away to new customers. You wouldn’t kick Citrix out of an account, but if you were first through the door you could easily position Citrix as being overkill – there is truth in both sides of the story, as in every sales situation! Sadly, after the acquisition of Tarantella, the Citrix relationship cooled considerably, so we were always competing. Had co-operation continued with an up to date Citrix client for Solaris Sparc and x86, Citrix could have been a key ally and enabler.
The major error -
We were affected by some of the same malaise that affected Sun as a whole.
It’s easy to hide behind technical failings when a product is canned, but in my limited experience, blaming the product is very often the case of a workman blaming his tools. The industry is full of mediocre products that become big successes. Microsoft are an obvious example. It’s how you sell them.
For example, Sun was never very sophisticated at incentivising their channel with rebates and other tricks of the trade (to the best of my knowledge, at least. I am happy to be corrected). This sort of thing was a real eye opener during my brief tenure at HP, who incentivise their channel in all sorts of ways.
There was a culture at Sun that seemed to say to partners ‘this is obviously the best technical solution for you and your customer and if you sell it you will make money’. Perhaps having a mediocre solution encourages people to be more inventive? ‘This is obviously not the best solution on the market, but the price to customer is similar and if you sell it I will pay you a rebate so your margins are better than with anyone else’s offering’. As a partner, which solution would you push?
The Sun Ray focused channel I had available were typically very good, however – usually smaller, capable partners looking to differentiate themselves from everyone else out there, with good skills in house and the right attitude to using me and my colleagues’ time and effort. I never flew to Tunisia or Beirut and had a wasted minute, for example. When we were in competitive situations with HP and Citrix, our partner was usually streets ahead of their competition, who were simply forwarding quotes rather than putting together a total solution.
The channel could always have been better, but this isn’t where the main blame lies. The blame lies with a lack of sales management during the final days of my time at Oracle and, I am assuming, during the past two years after I left, coupled with one major mistake.
The most successful period of Sun Ray sales was when we all reported to the software sales team – there were software sales reps, ‘desktop’ product sales like me and pre-sales, all in one team, working alongside the ‘normal’ Sun account managers or regional sales managers who got paid on anything that was sold in that account or territory. There was also some kind of desktop overlay overlay team, whose role I never really understood. If a Sun Ray was sold, multiple people got paid commission. Too many people? Definitely, but the whole point of Sun Ray was that it was a growth product intended to drive new revenue in new accounts or expand business in account who had bought pretty much everything else Sun had to sell. There may have been too much overlay, but there was no fundamental problem with having a product focused sales teams to assist everyone else. The software sales team had clear targets and regular forecast calls. We were also incentivised to overachieve – doing more than 100% was well worth your while.
Sales were good.
Towards the end of Sun the software sales division was changed and Desktop split out into its own management structure – people like me now reported into the overlay overlay team mentioned above. Again, there was nothing wrong with this in principle, as the primary route to market for us – the hardware account reps on the ground – still existed.
The problem was that this overlay team either lacked direction and appeared hamstrung by internal politics as opposed to playing the role of a sales driven organisation. I will admit, it’s easy for an infantryman like me to blame the generals – I truly don’t know what was going on upstairs and I can’t attribute blame to those in charge at the time, as I don’t know what they were going through with their management. However, the fact remains that despite a dedicated field sales team, all of whom had long experience with the product set, we still didn’t see the changes the field was asking for and there was little sales direction and drive coming from above. No one seemed to own the number and drive that number. Where people did nominally own the number, it was all a bit waffly.
During my time with this team I never once had a forecast call – not once, in several months. A call where my manager grilled me on very opportunity in my pipeline, asked for my commit for the quarter and held me to it. I still can’t quite believe this state of affairs. If I missed a forecast call or report two weeks in a row at Citrix, I would be fired.
So, no one was driving the number in a ruthless, sales focused way. Even the most disciplined field sales rep needs a second set of eyes and ‘encouragement’ to ensure they are doing things right and are focusing properly. Plus, during this time, what numbers were being reported to the new Oracle overlords and how were those figures and forecasts arrived at?
Secondly, the amount of admin was ludicrous.
To manage my pipeline I had to use Siebel. Every Sun Ray opportunity I added to Siebel required 15 fields to be filled in using a very old version of Internet Explorer. Changing a field led to a screen refresh. It took ages.
To add insult to injury, about 14 of these 15 fields always had the same info as every other opportunity – region, sub-region, product set, etc. I once asked if it were possible to have these sections pre-filled in with the default entries every time I created a new opportunity. This was apparently not possible.
So you had sales guys, who are not the most disciplined people when it comes to admin, being forced through hours of tedium to add an opportunity, with no forecast calls to review the sales situation. Presumably you then had people looking at Siebel and making business decisions from numbers that were pretty shaky.
But enough reliving the agony of Siebel, it’s time to summarise the key sales mistake that I believe eventually led to Oracle canning the product. The issues described above are present in every organisation to some extent. Sun Ray failed because of something very specific.
After the Oracle takeover, Oracle decided that ‘no overlay sales teams’ would be allowed. No ‘double bubble’ commission. What this meant for us was that the account reps across my huge region with whom I worked to sell Sun Rays were no longer goaled on Sun Rays. This was the major error that stopped sales growing as they could have.
For example, a deal with $400K of Sun Rays and $80K of servers had previously represented $480K of revenue for an Oracle hardware sales rep. Well worth pursuing with Chris’s help – longish sales cycle, complex sell, but rewarding at the end.
Now, overnight, that deal was only worth $80K of revenue to that account rep.
‘Chris, you’re a nice guy, we’ve worked well together in the past, I’ll hand over my contacts at the Ugandan Water Authority to you and you’ll have to take it from there…’
All of us ‘Desktop Sales’ people were in the same boat. I had a target that was larger than the previous year’s, but overnight my entire salesforce – the Oracle hardware sales team – had gone. It was now me, a pre-sales engineer and most of the Middle East and Africa to cover, with a channel still in disarray following the Oracle takeover.
There was some good news – I now got revenue recognition for keyboards and monitors…
With this situation it was clear I would never come close to doing my numbers, even if the other problems had all been solved. This is when I realised there was no future for me and I had to leave. Either I stayed and bumped along with no commission coming in for as long as I could, or I got out. As I couldn’t see the pain of the Oracle transition fading for the foreseeable future, I chose to leave the company. At that time I also learnt a lesson, which was not to be too loyal to a company or product – it’s arguable I should have left that role a couple of years earlier. With hindsight, I should have done my best to join VMware at the time, but that is a different story.
What was particularly odd about the supposed ‘no double bubble’ mantra is that Oracle did form overlay sales teams – there were x86 and Sparc overlay product sales teams, for example. There was no reason I can see why the desktop sales team could not have continued as it had previously, with double bubble for the desktop guys and hardware field sales reps. Had we done so, I firmly believe the product would have lived on successfully.
Oracle is a powerful brand whose name gets you direct access to senior people. If the hardware account reps had continued to be goaled on the desktop products, there would have been revenue growth coming in from the dedicated and passionate desktop sales community who had backed the product for years and made a career out of it. Fix the management layers above and you’d have had a real success story. (I hate to use the words ‘passionate’ and ‘community’, but they do fit in this case).
As it was, you had a few lonely reps trying to flog Sun Rays and compete with the noise in the top accounts against all the other Oracle sales guys in there. The targets remained the same but our extended salesforce had gone. How can the Middle East and Africa rep do direct sales across that huge region? It would be a challenge even for a rep with one country to handle. (To his credit, I believe the UK sales guy did very well, as he had been able to grow his business via a more direct model during his time in a previous role before transferring to the desktop team).
That ‘no overlay’ decision, I believe, is the main reason why revenues never grew to the level Oracle would have wanted them to be. I’m surprised things latest as long as they did, but now it’s all over.
Posted on the July 23rd, 2013 under Uncategorized by
|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Kindle has turned me – a lapsed bookworm – once again into a voracious reader and it’s touch and go whether I’ve made more money from Amazon than I’ve spent on there. I’m constantly on the lookout for new reads, but it’s hard – there is so much dross out there, it’s not true and I’m not just talking self-published dross, either.
It’s hard to get to the good stuff sometimes. I need a literary Hillary Briss…
I’ve just finished re-reading Frank Herbert’s Dune, a book I read back when I first starting working in the Middle East. It’s just as amazing now as it was then, although the ‘writer’ in me did unearth no fewer than three lazy instances when a sandstorm was described as being the colour of ‘curry’. Jalfrezi or bhuna?
In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have approached an unknown from such a high, but that’s the breaks.
One of the things that makes Kindles so brilliant is whim. At a whim, I can have pretty much any book I want. So I downloaded George RR Martin’s Game Of Thrones. Not because I’ve seen even one minute of the HBO series, but because I’d seen such intense praise for Martin’s original books. The Kindle has made me considerably more catholic in my reading, I’m more up for an experiment than I would have been at £9.99 and 2 Kg of paper. I had Game Of Thrones in my hands within the minute.
Three days later I’ve finished reading it. I haven’t finished the book, just finished reading. I got bored. Terribly, dreadfully, terminally, mind-numbingly bored. It’s like The Bold and the Beautiful on horseback wearing leathers, a sort of two-dimensional fantasy version of a slightly dumbed-down version of English history with obvious situation played out over obvious situation in a sort of millefeuille of obviousness. The baddies are clearly bad, the goodies are clearly going to get into trouble. It’s Punch and Judy on a lavish budget with some legendary dragons.
I can’t finish it. The world’s raving about it, glued to its TV sets with purple drooling faces, slack-jawed and wide-eyed as each trite event plays out on that flat backdrop painted by a four year old with wax crayons, a sort of medieval history lite with one-cal fantasy trimmings.
I am obviously alone in this, the only person still alive in a planet of shuffling, brain-eating zombies. Either that, or I’m simply unbalanced.
Game of Thrones is a Dorothy Parker book – not to be tossed aside lightly, it should be thrown with great force…
Posted on the July 22nd, 2013 under Uncategorized by
Riz, my brother-in-law, took this snap of Zara while we visited Milton Keynes’ famous concrete cows yesterday.
Here’s the original and a couple of crops – you can see me and Riz reflected in Zara’s eye, Riz with his camera and me pushing the buggy.
Mum, Dad and Zara at Milton Keynes’ most iconic location. Dad needs haircut and a shave.
Posted on the July 22nd, 2013 under Uncategorized by
Image Credit: Poster Fake Criterions and Hulsbosch
The Batman and Superman logo copyrighted of DC Comics and Warner Bros
Posted on the July 20th, 2013 under Uncategorized by
On our last week of vacation in Scotland, Scotch’s family rented a house in Kincraig in the Scottish Highlands – a holiday spot that is near and dear to their hearts. Since Scotch’s mom was a little girl, she would spend her summer holidays up there. Then when she had children, she would bring Scotch and his sisters. And now the grandchildren. This year, Wee Scotch and I were inaugurated into this magical place.
The weather cooperated for the most part except for one day when it was so windy I refused to leave the rented cottage.
A part of the inauguration for the children was to possess an ”Adventure Stick” which Scotch whittled away at for Wee Scotch until he accidentally sliced his finger as well (just a small cut, nothing to worry about).
Wee Scotch took an instant liking to his Adventure / Walking Stick and insisted that we take it out on all our hikes. It might have been summer in Scotland, but with a high of 65ºF (18ºC) that week, we thin-blooded visitors from Dubai were dressed for Autumn.
We had some lovely hikes that always ended with a picnic spot by a river. Wee Scotch and I hiked at a snail’s pace which allowed me to take in and enjoy the natural beauty of the Scottish Caledonian forests full of old pine and birch trees.
At one of our picnic stops, I watched fascinated as my brother-in-law made tea for all of us by boiling river water boy scout style with help from his daughters who seemed to be old hands at using a flint and steel to start the fire and gathering kindling and tinder.
Along the River Feshie, Scotch’s family went swimming (including Wee Scotch!) while I managed to dip only my toes into the icy cold water.
I was more than happy to play the role of family photographer and towel girl.
It was cute (and frustrating at times) to Wee Scotch interact with his three girl cousins – getting along one moment and fighting the next as most children do.
On one of our outings, we all went fishing at a pond stocked with rainbow trout. All the kids and adults caught a fish except me. But I was happy that we were allowed to keep two rainbow trout for our supper which Scotch’s dad baked in a lemon herb sauce – simple and so delish!
The children were very proud of their catch and one of Wee Scotch’s cousins couldn’t stop petting the nearly 2-pound trout.
By the end of the week, Wee Scotch was an accomplished little fisherman thwarted only by his short attention span.
Here he is fishing by Loch Morlich as we picnicked along the shore:
Feeling far away from family and friends in the U.S., I was happy that we were able to spend July 4th (Independence day) with a BBQ – albeit under a tarp to avoid the rain.
Even dessert was made on the grill – a bread pudding concocted by Scotch’s brother-in-law:
Kincraig was truly a special place and I was happy to have experienced it with the Scotch family.
I left with many beautiful memories of nature walks, river picnics, and shared family meals.
Posted on the July 20th, 2013 under Uncategorized by
This is a guest post by Araceli.
Fashion has so many tools, for iPhone, for Android, for PC, uff! and endless list.. I decided to share with you all my 5 fave fashion apps. Some I use them extensively for my own blog, some I use them on my day to day to keep myself informed and always on the loop. My heart is divided between iPhone and Blackberry, but because of the big screen I prefer the iPhone for these apps. So these are my five faves:
True that it is not a fashion app per se, but I love the pictures, the filters, the spontaneity.. you can filter by hashtags like #fashion, #chanel or #shoes, and see all the pics the people are tagging. It gives you a fresh look of what is on the street, what the people are wearing. It is not only just an app, it is a social network, you can follow and be followed, you can comment, redirect messages to your friends, there is a panel with the most viewed pics, etc.
In my case, when I use Instagram for the blog I also use another app that is called Moldiv (for iPhone). This free app gives you the option to do collages, divide the screen or stitch together pics. You can also add text and stamps. Once you have the pic to your liking, I normally save it on the camera roll and open it with Instagram for final touches. There are many other apps with filters, the most comprehensive I have found is PicsArt (iPhone, Android). It is so full of options, that at the end it might get a bit complicated to use but if you have the time, try it. It is free and amazing things can be done with it.
A community to share and discover fashion. So they say and so it is! It is an iPhone app, very similar to what Instagram is, but for fashionistas only. When you create a profile, it gives you the option to follow trendsetters and important brands, which is a very good beginning. Bit by bit you can create your own list of people you like how they dress or the proposals they put together and also be followed. One thing I love about this app is that is very organised and allows you to have “drawers”. Yes, like in your own closet, you can create as many drawers as you want and keep the images you like well stored and easily to come back to. Recently they add the possibility to shop from the app some of the clothes that are featured.
Well, the name very well explains it all!. You can post your looks there and get feedback. It is a great platform to find other fashion bloggers and like minded fashion stylers to follow. The app allows you to tag every item of the look and even connects it to the online shop. So if you like a particular look, you could buy everything from the same app (as long as the person uploading the look shared the details of it, of course!).
You have seen a zillion times in all the magazines these collages with shoes, bags, skirts, tops, pics of a celeb etc.. well, this app makes your life sooo easy to create your own and share them with your friends through Facebook and Twitter. Every item you choose has a link to the shop, so it also facilitates the shopping part if your friends like your proposals.
This is one example for an office look you might like and I put it together literally in 2 minutes. It is that easy!
And the last but not the least.. the one and only Vogue app. You receive the news, gorgeous pictures and all the info in your own mobile. As Vogue has different editions in different countries you can choose which one you prefer to receive. I keep my Spanish Vogue alive, so I know what is being done back home.
These are my fave fives, but sure you have others. Please share with us, so that we can try them and review them.
Araceli Gallego (Lil or Leli) is passionate about fashion and travelling. Not long ago and after the enthusiasm of friends and family, she decided to start writing about it all in her blog WhatIJustLove.com, a kind of blogotherapy of things she likes and enjoys. Please check it out and follow her on the Facebook page or subscribe by email.
Originally posted at Best Fashion Related Apps
Posted on the July 20th, 2013 under Uncategorized by
Up and coming Arabic/Berber neo-soul singer Ahmed Soultan has been riding a wave of success this year with his unique brand of RnB called Afro-Arabian. Following his triumph at this year’s MTV EMA awards where he won Best Middle East North Africa Act and the release of his first single from his upcoming album, Ahmed Soultan has now inked a deal with Virgin Megastore as it’s official brand ambassador. This is the first time Virgin Megastore in Morocco has inked such a deal.
In a recent press release, Virgin Megastore stated that they will be supporting the artist in all aspects of his career. Youness Bennani, General manager of Virgin Megastore said “Ahmed came up with original ideas, what he wishes to accomplish with us is new and highly innovative. Knowing his work and what he accomplished, we were immediately captivated by the idea of supporting him.”
Posted on the July 19th, 2013 under Uncategorized by
Tim has an excellent blog post here – it’s long, but I encourage you to read all of it. Insightful stuff.
I remember being surprised when I first joined Sun and learnt that the guy who managed a team of highly technical security geeks earnt less than any of the people who reported to him. My naive assumption was that whoever is ‘the manager’ would naturally earn more than his team members. Of course, there is no way why this has to be the case, with situations like the security consultant team neatly highlighting the situation.
The manager’s set of skills was completely different to the security geeks’. The security geeks would all have made awful managers. Their skills were rarer than their manager’s.
I found Tim’s example of companies only hiring ‘the best’ very interesting. Ending up with highly intelligent people who all get bored and hate their jobs but get paid a fortune.
At the time I was leaving university, I was surprised to see some people being hired by some of the top management consultancies and being paid an absolute fortune to perform a role that was basically equivalent to that of a junior programmer. You had top Oxford graduates who had not studied computer science and who had no previous programming experience doing a crash course in C++ and then spending six months straight living in a Premier Inn on the outskirts of Huddersfield programming ERP systems for corporate customers. As time went on some of them had more interesting roles, but it involved a huge amount of work – and I wonder how much brain power. You don’t spend 18 hours a day at work, six days a week, for a year, with every minute filled making intelligent decisions or insightful comments.
This might sound like sour grapes, as I didn’t make it that far through the interview process, but I am still glad I didn’t end up going down that route.
Posted on the July 19th, 2013 under Uncategorized by
|(Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)|
It’s an odd place to be in. Having finished Shemlan – A Deadly Tragedy, I’m having the odd potter with the manuscript, tidying a sentence here, clearing up a point there and adding little dashes of colour where that seems the right thing to do.
But if I tell the truth, I’m sort of marking time. It needs to go off for editing now, but I’m still waiting for one agent’s feedback before I give up – again – on ‘traditional’ publishing. I’m reconciled to the fact that Middle Eastern spy thrillers are not going to sell to a UK publisher.
Which begs the question, what to write next? It’s probably not going to be a Middle East spy thriller, given events so far. It’s been great that loads of people have enjoyed Olives and Beirut, but ‘loads’ is relative and it hasn’t added up to more than break-even with the project so far – and certainly isn’t going to pay to have Shemlan printed. I’m still down a few thousand dollars on the deal. In fact, the only people who’ve made money so far have been the editors, printers and distributors.
Which makes one of us pretty dumb. And there are no prizes for guessing who’s wearing donkey ears around here.
So what to write next? I know I will write a new book – it’s already killing me that I haven’t started. I’ve got a number of projects jostling for attention. A retired IRA bomber who’s blackmailed out of his rest by modern day terrorists. A psychological thriller based around a damaged woman with amnesia, a whistleblower and a battlefield drug trial that’s gone horribly wrong. And, oddly, an allegorical comedy based around a logical man’s battle with authority are among the candidates that are banging around in my head like dodgems in a power surge.
The result of which is I’m stuck. I literally don’t know what to do next. I’ve never had writers’ block, but now I’ve got something worse – book block.
The answer might be to start on a romantic comedy or a vampire fantasy or something more ‘commercial’. Trouble is, of course, neither I nor the publishing industry really knows what’s ‘commercial’…
In the meantime, I guess I’ll just carry on tinkering.
UAEBlogging.com is a social media directory and blog aggregator built especially for United Arab Emirate’s netizens who publish and consume content on the Internet.
- Study: Visual Content Drives Engagement On Facebook
- Goodbye Sun Ray
- Game Of Thrones. I Am Clearly Unbalanced.
- Eye of the beholder
- Superman vs Batman: Warner Bros failing Superhero business model.
- Kincraig in the Scottish Highlands
- Best Fashion Related Apps
- Virgin Megastore signs agreement with Arabic R&B star.
- Who to hire
- Book Post – Stuck
- The Emirati Indian Road Rage Assault Video
- I’m melllting, mellltiiing!
- Back home soon
- Jewish media continues to be offended by Ramadan drama
- Listing Your Business on Search Maps