• What and who you know

    When I was first starting out as an organizational development consultant, I went to various career seminars given by experienced professionals. One thing that kept coming up was, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s cynical advice, but it’s largely true. You can set up shop and be the very best in the world at what you do, but unless you can “schmooze,” or network, it doesn’t matter. What’s often not mentioned is that this includes keeping track of the people you work with. Volunteers working together and getting to know each other at an event unrelated to consulting… because I needed a photo for the story. Whether you work with other people as part of a consulting firm, or…

  • Behind every car show…

    On Saturday, Allpar will have its annual car show at Teterboro Chrysler, in Little Ferry. By most standards, it’s a relatively easy event; the field has been chosen, the owners take care of clearing the space, there’s power on-site, and there are volunteers to help.  In advance, there are many decisions and preparations to make. We are fortunate to have a volunteer DJ, but he’s not a professional, and so we have to gather up and test his equipment first. Trophies have to be ordered in the right numbers, with the right plaques. Gifts have to be found or purchased and readied, packing lists made. Oh, and food is a whole ’nother thing. The last two shows were good for over 50 cars…

  • How can smaller publishers compete?
    allpar facebook page

    When the Internet started up, it was fairly easy to find a following, which is probably why you can read Allpar today; we started in 1994 and got our domain name in 1998. The Web was a smaller community, with few spammers and scammers, and corporations were generally oblivious. The first major threats to independent publishers were, in my opinion: Pay per click “search engines” (GoTo.com was the leader before Google) which meant that if you had deep pockets, you could “outbid” better sites. Fortunately, Google came and wiped them out. When the Open Directory became a “must do.” Fortunately, though it went from being useful to being impossibly hard to deal with, today it’s largely forgotten because new sites just…

  • The “early senility” phase
    dave with another Valiant

    I don’t know about everyone, but for me, chemotherapy was like getting senile far ahead of my time. The effects seem to be sticking with me, too. Early on I started to lose focus. In the past I’d been fairly high-strung, but could dive into something and stay there, which is handy if you’re coding or writing. I’ve had two jobs where I replaced (or was replaced by) two or three full-time people. At Allpar, I do a good deal of writing, all the editing, a bunch of photography, the occasional video, all the business-end work (including tax returns and my own pension), and nearly all the tech work — which, in a world of ever-changing Web technologies, is nothing to sneeze at….

  • How not to save money at work

    Early in my working life, I saw that “traditional” approaches to cutting costs usually didn’t work. My micro-level experiences may be valid at a macro level. One cost-cutting story comes from my time as a temp, at a cheap (and I don’t mean frugal) outfit that made huge sums in investment banking. The bankers usually got high salaries, with bonuses in seven digits, but they were ill-tempered and always conscious of the costs of their temps. The going rate for skilled Manhattan computer jockeys was around $16-$22 per hour, if you could type at least 80 words per minute with minimal errors, and be skilled at Word for DOS, which everyone seemed to use though Windows had been out for a long time and our printers were…

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