Doing What You Love Part 1

I got curious one day about Halo 4, one of the most popular first person shooter games of 2012. After enjoying video games for certain periods in my life, it seemed like a fun idea to try a modern one. It was fun at first, but long, really long. Did I really want to sit for a couple months of weekends in front of a game, blowing up one thing after another, hour after hour? Not really, I have much more interesting projects at this stage in life, but the scifi art in Halo was incredible and the story was intriguing. So after a quick search on YouTube, I found “TheRadBrad.” Here was the solution: have an expert play the game for me so I could enjoy the parts I loved without the time commitment and all that messy killing. TheRadBrad is Bradley Colburn of Kennesaw, GA and he has turned what he loves into a career. His YouTube channel has anywhere from 50K to 1.5M views per video, 862K subscribers, and 355M total video views, so Brad is certainly popular. He plays through major game titles in a couple of weeks and narrates the gameplay in a stream of consciousness style that is interesting and amusing. You can find his YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/theRadBrad

So how much does the 25 year old make? He is probably generating about $70K per year in advertising revenue which is not bad for playing video games all day. If you are still interested in more information about Brad, there is a good interview of him here http://www.fmvmagazine.com/?p=5156 and take a moment to read the comments, his fans just LOVE him. How’s that for brand loyalty?

The Diploma’s Vanishing Value

The Diploma’s Vanishing Value – WSJ.com. This headline hooked me immediately, especially the fact that it is from the Wall Street Journal. However, getting past the shock value (BSEE / MBA talking here), it is very advanced journalism.

First, the headline “The Diploma’s Vanishing Value” made me think “really? with all the attention on the poor science and math scores, really?” (CNN Science and Math article).

Then, the subheadline “Bachelor’s degrees may not be worth it, but community college can bring a strong return.” Ok, maybe getting better, not everybody is suited to being a rocket scientist, why spend $80K – $200K if your passion involves creating custom flowers with 3D printers.

Then, for the webheads reading this, the page title (see graphic below) reads, “Are Bachelor’s Degrees Worth it? – WSJ.com.” As a result, google returns this article as the first result for the searches like “bachelor degree worth,” “bachelor degree value,” and so on. Obviously, the WSJ knows how to stay on top of Google, literally.

WSJ Bachelors Degree

Finally, the article itself gives a interesting, balanced approach to a very controversial question. As for the science and math crowd, you probably wouldn’t be reading this to begin with: that piece of paper is the price of admission to your field. For many others, the creatives, undecideds, entrepreneurs, and trades, the issue is worth exploring. Many companies, for better or worse, hire for specific skills and experience, a degree might be required, but any degree would check the box. For smaller companies, people without degrees might be the best fit, especially if they enter the workforce without the burden of student loans and can start their careers at lower salary levels. So the next time you are searching for that perfect “technical” sales or marketing person, it might be interesting to include the “alternatively educated” with a degree from the school of life.

Sales Excellence Studies

I come across many, many articles about “sales excellence,” have read dozens of books, attended many trainings, and coached salespeople as their manager for over 15 years, but this article caught my interest because Chip Doyle, an expert in sales excellence, commented on it. Worth a quick read, including his comment at the bottom.

http://www.omghub.com/salesdevelopmentblog/tabid/5809/bid/95695/Sales-Excellence-Studies-Propagate-Mediocrity.aspx

Visiting the Very Large Array

It is well named and very impressive, but maybe the most interesting aspect of the VLA besides the science are the videos of scientists trying to explain it to the general public:

http://www.nrao.edu/explorer/vla/

Scientists are typically not good at the presentation, but are unbeatable at conveying the excitement. You can take an hour and watch all the videos, but these will get the point across:

  1. The Correlator – Such a complex topic, well explained by the scientists themselves
  2. Orthomode Transducers – Another great example
  3. Software Correlator – Finally, the software correlator

The last video is expecially interesting since the scientist is so uncomfortable in front of the camera. Thinking of the products I have been involved with for decades, the most powerful sales presentations have involved the technology creators. The next most powerful, a great sales engineer with a great application engineer. Using resources effectively is one key to successful sales. To be continued.

In The Beginning

After 20 years of taking from the Internet, it is time to give back. Yes, this site is tied to a company, but a company whose goal it is to make a complex world more understandable and hopefully a little more interesting.