Some Expensive On The Job Training

I came across the following business quote from Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM.

Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him.
– Thomas J. Watson/IBM founder

A similar mistake happened at a previous high tech company I was with, a series of mistakes cost the company nearly $70,000. No one was fired, no heads were rolled, but it was one of the most expensive learning experiences one can ever learn.

In some ways, I would say ‘hell ya, fire that sucker.’ But the changes of you bringing on someone new and having that new person make the mistake is probably higher than from existing team members that have learned the costly lesson.

What Capitalists and Founders Never Say

I ran into two presentations that follow the inspiration poster pattern about things Venture Capitalist and Startup Founders never say via TechCrunch. I was surprised, if Venture Capitalist and Startup Founder feel like this about each other how is there going to be trust to build a sustainable business, I guess sustainable is not a liquidity event. I thought they were very good and I posted the text below.

Things a Venture Capitalist Will Never Say

  • Humility: Quite frankly, I’m not the smartest person in the room.
  • Availability: Mondays and Fridays are not good for me because they impinge on my long weekends in Tahoe.
  • Competence: I’ve never run a real business and I’m not going to tell you how to run yours now.
  • Confidence: I will not let my absence of direct experience reduce the intensity of my opinion.
  • Self-Awareness: I’m stepping off the board so you can fill the seat with someone who knows something about anything.
  • Honesty: In hindsight, management was right after all.
  • Acceptance: The only value we bring to the deal is money.
  • Attentiveness: It was rude of me to check my blackberry during the meeting.
  • Gratitude: Management’s strategic decisions two years ago were excellent. Here’s 5% more of the company as a reward.
  • Preparation: I didn’t review the board package and am not ready to be constructive voice i the meeting.
  • Patience: We have no timelines for forced liquidity. You’ll know when the time is right to exit.
  • Experience: I know nothing about your product or market, but my firm thinks we need to be investing in this space.
  • I > U: Just one board meeting ought to prove it.

Things a Startup Founder Will Never Say

  • Uniqueness: We have no competition aside from the 5 other companies in our building.
  • Harmony: My co-founders are like family… the Menendez family.
  • Commitment: We’re in it for the long haul, unless we can get rich quick without having to build a real business.
  • Realism: Our financial projections are carefully calculated to be exactly 700% too high.
  • Humility: I’ll be happy to step down as CEO once you convince Steve Jobs to quit Apple and take the job.
  • Experience: I know nothing about sales, but I read a great post about it on Hacker News yesterday.
  • Consistency: We’re all about real-time, just like we were all about the iPhone las quarter, and Facebook apps before that.
  • Recruiting: My team is pretty weak, but all my friends who are any good already started their own companies.
  • Selectivity: I reached out to you because your portfolio shows that you are about as selective as Paris Hilton.
  • Preparedness: Our marketing plan is to pray for TechCrunch coverage.

The Television Show Name

It seems like their is one guy currently naming all the new mid-season television shows. Maybe it is a trend, started by The Office, but many of the names of recent television shows have the following patter The Noun. To see what I mean, here are a few names of new and upcoming television shows.

  • The Hills
  • The City
  • The Office
  • The Beast
  • The Closer
  • The Listener
  • The Mentalist
  • The Philanthropist
  • The Law and Order
  • The Male Chauvinist Pig

LOLprez Retweet May 2009

Here I am reblogging some retweets for the past month that broken down by subject matter. Some of these tweets also cover events that occurred in May 2009. If you like to follow along, befriend me and I’ll be sure to follow back.


  • I’m the punchdrunk president.
  • Don’t call me unpatriotic, watching American Idol!
  • I’m a red coat living in a blue state hustling for some green backs.
  • In the morning I like breakfast, and at noon a quickie.
  • Forming a shadow government.
  • Out for a smoke, to get some fresh air.
  • This morning I am the Commander and Sous Chef!
  • Who needs an alarm clock when you got kids!
  • Everything in Spanish sounds like a sexual innuendo.
  • First get it going, then get it popping, and finally you got something…
  • Get yours, defend yours, represent yours!
  • If you start taking self-help advice from a comedian, you need a drinking problem.
  • Some people are comedians and others are self proclaimed self help guru, either way it is the same material.
  • Opportunity is the best freedom of all.
  • It is easier to change peoples behavior than their beliefs, once you change the behavior then you can start to change their beliefs…
  • Life does not buffer like a bad youtube stream.
  • Life is both the instrument and melody.
  • First The Man tried to keep you down, then he made you work for him, and now you got to pay The Man.
  • Learn it and earn it!
  • Where water flows, food grows!
  • Breaking News: the real news have been interrupted for a live update on the Miss California controversy.
  • Any monkey can wage war with laser guided weaponry, but a civilized man wages war with discourse, dialog, and debate.
  • The curriculum in our education system is at least ten years behind the skills new graduates require entering the workforce.
  • The educational system is designed to make you work for the man!
  • The news network are nothing more than FUD factories.
  • It seems to me that the Associated Press (AP) is nothing more than a PR agency for dates and stuff that happens on said dates.


  • Obama considering charging CIA official fir torture, Cheney must be rolling in his secret underground lair…
  • Obama is making rookie mistakes, he went from junior senator to junior president.
  • Why is it that Obama reaching out, almost pandering, hand shaking, and hob-nobbing with members of the Axis of Evil?
  • Obama’s half brother had been living in the UK illegally for seven years, his aunt had been living illegally in the US since 2000.
  • Did Obama bow to Suadi Suga Daddy:
  • Did Obama bow to Saudi king? Obama didn’t just bow, he almost went down on him. It almost seems that Obama kissed the King’s pimp hand.
  • Some pundits thought Obama was a Manchurian Candidate, I would say he is a Meccan Candidate.
  • Obama broke the ultimate glass ceiling only to live behind a teleprompter.
  • Obama’s Kenyan aunt stated in the US illegally, even received public housing, in Boston area.
  • Obama is such a back seat driver in regards to the auto industry but for the bank sector he is a sugar daddy!
  • Obama just forced me into bankruptcy!
  • Is Obama on the campaign trail? He sounds like a candidate, not the president.
  • Obama parties like a rock star, I party like a libertarian.
  • Obama’s approval rating drop 5 points to 59%.
  • Party like it’s 1999 or better yet, like you at the Obama White House.
  • Obama needs to reform his vetting process, even after three tries his Sec. of Treasury had tax issues, his CIO pick had an ongoing FBI case.
  • Obama’s CIO was asked to take a leave just days after being appointed due to FBI raid and fraud investigation.
  • With Obama, the White House has become one big block party. It went from the people’s business to the people’s party. BYOB!
  • I am more interested in the last 100 days than the first 100 days.
  • Hope is the currency of the poor.


  • The Republican Party needs to understand that it is not a party if you don’t invite folks in and/or are not welcoming to all…
  • It seems that the Republican Party needs a bailout.
  • There should be as many memorial days as there are wars, that is four days for war on drugs, terrorism, Iraq, and Afghanistan…
  • Politician’s golden hammers are laws, for every issue they want to hammer it down with a new regulation.
  • Who knew what when and how? The truth is that in politics, no one knows anything anyways.
  • Senators, congressmen, and other elect officials pledged allegiance to the people, not to political parties and not a political apparatus.
  • Political Science is not really a science. It is not art. It is more akin to alchemy.
  • Why is there so many sexual innuendo in politics, i.e. ‘stimulus package’ and ‘teabagging’
  • You don’t count votes the way you count pages in a book, products in a store shelf, and goals in the soccer field.
  • In politics your friends are your enemies are your friends.
  • The geo-political situation in a person’s place of origin does not define them as a person.
  • One politicians pork barrel is another politicians other white meat.


  • There is a circle of life, but there is also a vicious circle of tyranny.
  • The less control a person has the more importance they give to trivial control mechanism, rules, and regulations.
  • No foreign aid policy is better than a bad foreign aid policy…
  • When capitalism grows to large to fail and it actually does fail then it instantly becomes socialism.
  • Transparency kills apathy.
  • More government, less filling!
  • Handing out some random statistics is not transparency.
  • Just by saying that you are transparent alone does not make governments transparent.
  • Geithner said we are not in the same economic boat, but in same storm. His boat has snipers and your boat has been attacked by pirates.
  • VP Joe Biden stood up in front of a bunch of Hollywood execs and promised to appoint a copyright czar, and then a copyright gulag.
  • Just like sovereign individuals do not have certain rights but privileges, sovereign nations also do not have certain rights but privileges.
  • If at first you have secret laws, what follows are secret courts and secret prisons.
  • In true democracy laws can not be drafted, agreed, and passed in secret.
  • The government can create and save millions of dollars by adopting Ubuntu and green open source technologies.
  • Some shadow governments are using 1984 not as a cautionary tale of fascism and totalitarianism but as a practical how to guide or tutorial.
  • The US does not want to fight the war on drugs in its own streets, so it funds both sides of that war in the developing world!
  • In case of total state failure, which would you prefer? Biker gang ala Mad Max, religious fanatics ala Afghanistan, …
  • … drug carter ala Mexico, genocide ala Yugoslavia, paramilitary ala Columbia, revolutionaries ala Congo, cultural revolution ala China?


  • Marijuana is America’s #1 cash crop at $36 billion a year.
  • 35 million people in the US use narcotics or abuse prescription drugs, spending more than $64 billion annually. – Forbes March 09
  • Heard of NPR this morning that Mafia Inc. brings in 6% of the GDP in Italy.
  • If prison inmates have access to cellphones even though they are not allowed in prison, why don’t they just have cellphone jammers in place?
  • Use the enemies white flag of surrender as the target.
  • The only thing to fear is level threat orange.
  • Getting jiggy with wigidy wigidy wack!
  • The reason justice is blind is not to attain equality, it is so that lawyers can rob you blind and get away with it.
  • Vegetarianism is a form of discrimination, discrimination against meat, flavor, and protein!!
  • You know you hit a new bottom when you are doing crack off a hooker’s crack.
  • I want to eat your cookie to get to my fortune…
  • Citizens don’t want no stinking speeches, they want stinking money to pay the stinking bills.
  • Today is Earth Day, the other 364 days in the year are Fossil Fuel Days.


  • Citi: What’s in your wallet? Me: My hard earn money byatch, get your bailout from some one else’s wallet.
  • too big to fail + fail + bailout + government ownership = socialism
  • What? I don’t get today off but most of wall street, which handed them a bailout and a bonus, do? Now I am mad!
  • Is bailout the new profit.
  • My New Business Plan: Start a company, grow to ‘to big to fail’ proportions, fail, government bailout, big bonus, ???, profit!


  • Investment bankers are capitalist terrorist, they’ll bomb your 401K and make their getaway with a golden parachute.
  • Investment bankers are monkeys with three piece suits, but instead of throwing feces at each other they throw your money.
  • Don’t push us cause we are close to the edge, we trying not to loose our hedge fund.
  • We are going to print so much money that forgeries are going to be worth than the real deal.
  • We are going to print so much money that we are going to run out of ink.
  • Don’t let the dow get you down.
  • How about having an insurance that covers you if you become uninsured.
  • There is nothing free in a free market. There is no such thing as free lunch in a free market.
  • Know your enemy, know yourself, know your economy.
  • Let’s rebuild the American economy on the foundation on Web 2.0 social network widgets and badges.
  • The biggest threat to national security is our insecurity, is this economy making my butt look big?
  • Hope alone does not improve the economy.
  • From 2000-2008 islamo-fascist terrorism was a perceived threat when we should have just focused on the fundamentals of the economy.
  • I got a big stimulus package. Baby, I’m to big to fail!
  • Economists are modern day alchemists.
  • Why are there economists? To make weather men look good.
  • The good economic news is that we are not falling off a cliff, bad news is we are stuck in unemployment quick sand.


  • You betray the principles that Che lived and died for when you buy shirts with his likeness, even if the are made out of hemp.
  • GM: General Motors = Government Motors?
  • Figured out what AIG stands for: Arrogance Incompetence Greed
  • IBM should renamed itself to Indian Business Machines.
  • Capitalism has no scruples.
  • A fair deal does not make for good capitalism.


  • Why even go to work, at the end of the day the IRS takes the half and the wife takes the other half!
  • IRS Agent: accountants with guns!
  • It is said that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, similarly good incentives are the loop holes for big corporate tax breaks.
  • Political speeches does not replace thoughtful policy, does not create and save jobs, it does not reduce taxes, or end violence!
  • If you believe politicians will not raise new taxes, you are as naive as a 15 year old that still believes in Santa Claus.
  • Stop the violence or government will tax it!
  • If there us a G20, I think it’s time for C20. The group of the top 20 corporations.

Swine Flu

  • Which came first, the flu or the flu vaccine?
  • I am not afraid of the avian flu or swine flu. I am afraid of the killer whale killer flu!
  • Only Mexicans and indigenous have died from the #swineflu. I suspect Cortes and his conquistadores are responsible this biological germ fare attack.
  • In the War of Terror you torture and kill insurgents. In the War of Influenza, you grow new cultures and strands of the contagious virus.
  • It is expected that the genetically engineered swine flu breakout in Mexico will strategically take out the drug cartels there.
  • We now interrupt previously scheduled program with a previously scheduled and recorded news on swine flu outbreak.
  • Terrorism, financial crisis, swine flu… Sounds like 3 out of 4 horsemen… What is next?
  • If you like pork ribs are you more susceptible to the #swineflu?
  • If you think the #swineflu is bad, wait until the #lolcat flu, or worst yet the #failwhale flu!
  • Even if you eat a truck load of pork chops, there is a higher probability that you will die of the cholesterol than from #swineflu!
  • Retweets don’t save lives from #swineflu!
  • #swineflu + twitter = oink oink tweet tweet
  • Eating pork rinds!
  • People got the saying all wrong, it is not when pigs fly, it is when swine flu!
  • Pandemics moves product!
  • The #swineflu has caused a hysteria outbreak!
  • The #swineflu has affected Twitter.
  • First it was mad cow, then bird flu, and now pork chop flu. What is next killer fish fungus?
  • If you don’t bailout the pork barrel industry they will release an outbreak of swine flu!
  • The 12 Monkeys outbreak of swine flu has struck Mexico. The swine flu has spliced genes from birds, people, and male chauvinist pigs.


  • You cannot negotiate with terrorists and toddlers!
  • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and if you are the CIA today’s freedom fighter is tomorrows terrorist.
  • One man’s mujahideen is another man’s taliban!
  • To fight an enemy that does not exist, you must first give it a name, then you can claim victory over fictitious enemy.
  • It may be true that one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, but a civilian caught in the crossfire is usually dead for both men.
  • Just two wrongs don’t make a right, two holocaust don’t redeem a people.
  • Is opposing the wanton destruction caused by the Israeli government and military forces anti-semitic?
  • Those involved in the Middle East conflict are clearly not adherents of the Middle Way.
  • The UK practices terrorism by absurdity.
  • Global War on Terror is now known as Overseas Contingency Operations.
  • Enemies: It is better to debate them and educate them than bait them and annihilate them.
  • The worst part of censorship is [REDACTED].
  • Censorship is another form of terrorism by omission.
  • Revolutionaries are usually reactionaries!
  • Refuge camps are the new concentration camps.


  • Why is tax day on pay day?
  • Do you think they have Taliban Idol?
  • Dust Bowl refugees used to have signs that read ‘California or Bust’. But where will they go if California itself goes bust?
  • Did bull market bully consumers into unsustainable borrowing and fiscal deficit?


  • The Republican party is ideological on a religious basis very much like the Taliban – @THErealDVORAK
  • It is not a two party system, it is a one party system. – @THErealDVORAK
  • Some people go commando, I go command line. – @adamcurry
  • Facebook is coke, Twitter is crack. – @adamcurry
  • Change and hope are no longer tax deductible – @adamcurry
  • If we can’t make money, we’ll make music. – Huckabee