28 January 2011

EPNW: Patents make the world go round

In this episode Jim Haugen explains that patents are the lifeblood of any tech company and that it is always better to think about what might be patentable (or not) before the first piece of code is written. A little expert advice before a startup begins developing their product can save a lot of potential grief in the future. No one wants to be in a situation where they discover they have built a product which infringes on someone else’s intellectual property or that they are unable to protect their own ideas with patents. Jim also elaborates on why patents are not something you undertake with a do-it-yourself kit. A huge percentage of patents are rejected and It takes experience to know how to create filings that sail through the process.

You can check out more about Jim’s patent firm at:
http://www.seattlepatentgroup.com/
Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

NOTE: Check out the complete podcast directory of discussions with entrepreneurs. If you would like to be a guest on Entrepreneurs Northwest, to talk about your business venture, contact Michael Surkan.

26 January 2011

This Week on Bear radio: Cycles and Pre-destination

In this episode we discuss the idea that societies, and economies, are governed by both short and very long cycles of social mood and sentiment. If this theory of cycles (like those proposed by Kondratiev) are correct, then there is very little policy makers can do one way or the other to change economic outcomes. The grandiose visions laid out by the US President’s state of the union address are irrelevant to the economic and psychological prosperity of the nation. The ideas offered by the President’s political opponents are likewise irrelevant for improving the economy. These generational cycles also imply that the cause of the recession and “financial crisis” is deeper than a lack of regulations or risky investment behavior. It was the general bullish attitude of society which inevitably led to lax regulation and excessive risk taking. The next time there is broad bullish sentiment throughout society (80 or 90 years hence) then regulation will inevitably become lax and risk taking will again reach excesses.

We talk about how NO political leaders are championing the idea of state or municipal bankruptcies as a method to cure long-term budget problems. There are NO political leaders suggesting that the major financial institutions like CityGroup should just go bust and that bond-holders and depositors should lose their money. Instead, policy makers whine about deficits, stimulus, education and social safety nets.

Lastly, we explore the fact the Bitcoin is now reaching a new high, in alignment with other markets, with bearish implications.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

24 January 2011

Linked:Seattle members on YouTube - in their own words

NOTE: Don't forget to register for the February 16th Linked:Seattle meetup. You can find details and register here: http://bit.ly/lsmeetup

Tables are available for anyone wishing to promote their company with brochures or a small display. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a meetup sponsor please you can find more details at http://bit.ly/lssponsor. Early sponsors will be mentioned in a group announcement.

Listen to Linked:Seattle members are share their experiences, and tips, of working with the community to help their businesses and careers.

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Corinne Cavanaugh of http://www.freeseattlesocially.com/linked.html is coming to the February 16th meetup.



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Carol Mason Mortarotti of http://carolmortarotti.com - helping businesses with mobile and social media marketing.



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Kelly Clay from www.lockergnome.com interviewed Linked:Seattle meetup attendees on January 20th, 2011.



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Michael Surkan and Susan J. Moore discuss how a little preparation can turn the large Linked:Seattle meetups into successful social networking events. You can find details and register to upcoming meetups here: http://bit.ly/lsmeetup



NOTE: Click here for a list of all the Linked:Seattle radio show recordings. You can also check out my own "Entrepreneurs Northwest" podcast shows (http://bit.ly/epnwfeed).

SEP: Does code review automation really improve quality?

In this episode we discuss automated code reviews. Have code review automation tools grown up, and matured, to the point where they lead to REAL quality improvements? Should all software teams be using automated code review tools?

You can check out more information of our show guests here:

St├ęphane Vaucher
http://ca.linkedin.com/in/vaucher

Chris Mefford
http://www.linkedin.com/in/csmefford

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Software

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

20 January 2011

Job Search Tales: Help yourself to a job by helping recruiters

In this episode Jay Kraker, Lesa Keller and Olivier Taupin explain how the Star Performer initiative offers job candidates a tremendous opportunity to build relationships with recruiters by helping them. The Star Performer group on LinkedIn helps match recruiters with job seeking volunteers who make it their job to help them fill their openings. It doesn’t matter if the best candidate is someone else. Building relationships with recruiters is invaluable for helping job seekers ultimately find the role they want. This is a win-win program. The recruiters get a dedicated assistant who plugs their openings on LinkedIn and candidates get to build the relationships they need.

You can learn more about the Star Performer program by watching this video:
http://bit.ly/staradviser

You can sign-up for the Star Performer program here:
http://bit.ly/startrain1

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

NOTE: Please contact Michael if you are interested in being a guest on "Tales from the job search trenches" podcasts. Michael would like to discuss your job search strategy, and brainstorm ways to improve it with you.

19 January 2011

This Week on Bear radio: A moment of Minsky

In this episode Steve Keen shares his knowledge of economics to not only debunk the reverence paid to economists by policy makers but to explain that the titans of the economic theory are misunderstood. Keynes wasn’t the advocate for stimulus spending as many assume and Karl Marx actually had a lot of great insights that are conveniently swept under the carpet. Steve goes on to provide a tutorial on the life and ideas of his hero Hyman Minsky, explaining how this was one of the few who understood the sheer unpredictability that underlies all economics. We also discuss the how there is nothing special about the Australian, Canadian, or Chinese economies other than the fact that they have been able to breathe new life into their economies by blowing bigger bubbles. The end result is inevitable: global deflation.

You can read about Steve’s book “Debunking Economics” here:
http://debunkingeconomics.com/

You can read Steve’s blog posts on economics here:
http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/


Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear
You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

If you are interested in deflation, check out the Deflation Study Group on LinkedIn (open to all LinkedIn members):
http://linkd.in/deflationsg

You can also listen to my in-depth Deflation 101 podcast.
http://bit.ly/deflation101

NOTE: Remember to tune into the Optimistic Bear weekly financial round-up every Tuesday at 9:00pm, Pacific Time. You can also listen to previous shows.

12 January 2011

This Week on Bear radio: Iceland as the model for economic recovery

In this episode we discuss how Iceland’s decision to simply allow its banks to go bust may have been the wiser choice. Iceland’s economy is now growing again and the economy is re-setting itself. By contrast, nations like Ireland and Greece are taking on even MORE debt (in the form of bail-outs) to prop up their economies yet there is no end in sight to their economic demise. Sometimes it is better to just let the dead wood die and get started with a clean slate. We also discuss how currencies would function in a truly free market and what role, if any, central banks should have in such an environment.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

When facing insolvency banks will always choose to delay and pray

Not that any more proof were needed, but here is ANOTHER article which points out how US banks are still playing tricks with their financial statements by delaying foreclosures and delaying the need to write down losses.

The commentator in this article (the estimable Messr Mish Shedlock) rightly points out that "Delays cost banks money and they know it". However, it is ALWAYS preferable to defer a loss until later if the alternative is to go bust today. The fact that a loss delayed may be greater later down the road than if it were addressed today is beside the point. When your only choice is to delay and pray or go bust immediately, the choice is clear.

If I were the executive at a bank that was facing insolvency if I took the write downs from all delinquent loans, I would ABSOLUTELY decide to delay forcelosure as long as possible, even if I knew the ultimate cost of delay was "higher". At least I can keep collecting a paycheque and bonuses until the bank finally collapses. And who knows, perhaps a miracle will happen and housing will recover making everything peachy again.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/01/us-banks-report-phantom-income-on-14.htm

NOTE: Remember to tune into the Optimistic Bear weekly financial round-up every Tuesday at 9:00pm, Pacific Time. You can also listen to previous shows.

10 January 2011

Michael's in the Times again! This time talking about podcasting for jobs.

Randy Woods has posted an article about my strategies for using podcasts as part of a job search tool in his blog on the The Seattle Times. He does a great job of explaining why podcasting is so useful as well as outlines the easy to follow-tips for making them.

http://blog.nwjobs.com/hireground/2011/01/podcasting-your-way-to-a-new-j.html

Don't forget to check out my video on how to use podcasting for jobs and business.

http://bit.ly/podintro1

NOTE: Please contact Michael if you are interested in being a guest on "Tales from the job search trenches" podcasts. Michael would like to discuss your job search strategy, and brainstorm ways to improve it with you.

05 January 2011

The Message Matters: Internet Marketing 101

Here are a series of short podcasts I recorded that outline how to create EFFECTIVE internet marketing programs through LinkedIn and podcasting.

In episode 1 I explain what social networking is and how companies can use it for marketing. While companies should definitely use Facebook and Twitter, the real focus should be on podcasting and direct marketing.



In episode 2 I outline how every internet marketing program begins with on the “soft” side by generating content, which can be blog articles, white papers or (and most especially) podcasts.



In episode 3 I talk about “hard” internet marketing. This is all about how LinkedIn can be used for highly targeted (and effective) direct mail campaigns.


NOTE: Check out the complete podcast directory of discussions with entrepreneurs. If you would like to be a guest on Entrepreneurs Northwest, to talk about your business venture, contact Michael Surkan.

This Week on Bear radio: Being rich is a state of mind

In this episode Robert Gignac offers advice on financial planning. Be careful to choose financial advisors who don’t have an vested interest in selling particular products. It is also important to find advice from people who really explain the various products and options without assuming that consumers understand the different between annuities, dividends or tax-free retirement funds. Robert explores how your goals and state of mind are the key to real happiness. Just having a lot of cash doesn’t inevitably make one happier. We also discuss the differences in health care systems and investment options for Canada and the US, sharing our own experiences with each system.

You can check out more of Robert’s ideas (and his book) here:
http://www.richisastateofmind.com/

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

04 January 2011

EPNW: Kick start your path to entrepreneurship with a franchise

In this episode Thomas Wolter explains that starting a franchise can be a simpler and more reliable path to successful to entrepreneurship than starting your own firm from scratch. Franchises come with a proven business model and a turn-key operation (not to mention guidance) to get started. Franchises aren’t just about retail food. Thomas shares his suggestions of some great franchise options which are both inexpensive, and tailored to different expertise and personalities. There is a wide assortment of franchise opportunities, with options right for almost everyone.

You can check out Thomas' information on franchising options here:
http://buyafranchiseunlimited.com/

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

NOTE: Check out the complete podcast directory of discussions with entrepreneurs. If you would like to be a guest on Entrepreneurs Northwest, to talk about your business venture, contact Michael Surkan.