Create Better Jobs So You Can Demand More (and Fire Faster)

Companies that grow people, grow profits. Companies that shrink people, shrink profits… Look at the investment in human assets to make sure it’s enough – Tom Connellan, Inside the Magic Kingdom

Make all your important jobs better jobs. Make every position that involves any contact with your customers at all a really, really good job. Pay better than average wages; pay to have employees’ uniforms cleaned for them; provide a good working environment; offer significant spontaneous, unexpected, varied rewards and recognition. Create jobs people really want and that good people won’t want to lose.

Why should you do all this?

Not to be a generous soul. Not to be liked. Not to win some award. So that your bloody axe is feared and you can be fearless in swinging it. 

-Dan Kennedy, NO BS to Ruthless Management of People and Profits

The Age of Unicorns

Fortune

Stewart Butterfield had one objective when he set out to raise money for his startup last fall: a billion dollars or nothing. If he couldn’t reach a $1 billion valuation for Slack, his San Francisco business software company, he wouldn’t bother. Slack was hardly starving for cash. It was a rocket ship, with thousands of people signing up for its workplace collaboration tools each week. What Slack needed, Butterfield believed, was the cachet of the billion-dollar mark.

“Yes, it’s arbitrary because it’s a big round number,” says Butterfield, 41. “It does make a difference psychologically. One billion is better than $800 million because it’s the psychological threshold for potential customers, employees, and the press.”

Unicorn cover horizontalIllustration by Jeremy Enecio for Fortune

Sure enough, in October—less than a year after the company released its namesake product—Slack announced the close of a $120 million round of financing. Its valuation? One billion dollars. Butterfield’s…

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Online Video

Andreessen Horowitz

YouTube does a fantastic job of generating zillions of video views for its community. Yet it does a relatively poor job of helping their users earn money. This is likely to due to a couple of reasons. Advertisers have been reluctant to pay premium rates for ads against user-generated content that they haven’t vetted.

And YouTube can be stingy about sharing video revenue because there hasn’t been any serious competition that can deliver viewers at such scale… Until now. Just like scores of entrepreneurs have hollowed out or unbundled Craigslist by building specialized marketplaces, entrepreneurs and companies are setting their sites on hollowing out YouTube:

…Many entrepreneurs are working to build businesses that target some of the larger YouTube categories, specializing the user experience within that category and/or sharing a higher portion of proceeds with their users. Some early examples focus on short-form videos and video ads, online video lessons, or…

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16 Things

Andreessen Horowitz

We don’t invest in themes; we invest in special founders with breakthrough ideas. Which means we don’t make investments based on a pre-existing thesis about a category. That said, here are a few of the things we’ve been observing or thinking about; we’re especially grateful to our founders/companies, and the entrepreneurs we meet with everyday, for their insights here…

[For other trends we’ve covered already elsewhere, please see our series on mobile eating the world (with lots of charts!), you bet your SaaS, and government x tech.]

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$10 an Hour Job vs $10,000 an Hour Job

Time is more precious than Money.

Time is Value!

Major Tip: How’s your New Year Resolution going? I’m sure layoffs were not expected. This tip will hopefully empower you to improve on your independence. Most people don’t know the value of their time. Let alone entrepreneurs. Slave owners understood this to oppress. Your current manager may not even know the value of his/her time. Here is a goal that will steer your decisions in a better direction to impress. Step 1: Work out how much you want to make (projected sales/revenue/earnings,etc) Step 2: Multiply working days by how many hours you work (220 x 8) = 1760. Step 3: Projected Earnings / 1760 working hours = Your Base Earnings Target. Step 4: Base Earnings Target x Non Productive Factor which is up to you… (x3, x4,x5) Ex: 1,000,000 / 1760 = $568.36. 568.36 x 3 = $1704.55 an HOUR!!! Your decisions and delegation will be dramatically impacted after doing this exercise. Click below for the spreadsheet on how to actually create this type of value. $10 an hour jobs vs $10,000 an hour jobs #worldclass #timemanagement #yycbusiness

Click below to unlock your freedom and creativity spreadsheet.

Just modify the activities for your industry and your set!

Spreadsheet for Time Management and Delegation

*You should be doing this if you value your time at $30 Dollars or more.

Shout out to Dan Kennedy and Perry Marshall for all their hard work on these ideas and truths

The Case for Slow Programming

Nature -> Brain -> Technology

My dad used to say, “Slow down, son. You’ll get the job done faster.”

I’ve worked in many high-tech startup companies in the San Francisco Bay area. I am now 52, and I program slowly and thoughtfully. I’m kind of like a designer who writes code; this may become apparent as you read on 🙂

Programming slowly was a problem for me when I recently worked on a project with some young coders who believe in making really fast, small iterative changes to the code. At the job, we were encouraged to work in the same codebase, as if it were a big cauldron of soup, and if we all just kept stirring it continuously and vigorously, a fully-formed thing of wonder would emerge.

It didn’t.

Many of these coders believed in thefallacy that all engineers are fungible, and that no one should be responsible for any particular…

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