Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 2

This is part 2 of my article titled ‘Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome!’ If you would like to read Part 1, click here.

While sitting with Matt and racking our brains out for a resolution, I shared with him that I really feel our programmers were suffering from the same bias my daughter had but possibly in a different way. A term came to mind that I heard before from my MBA studies: ‘systemic bias’. Here is what a quick Internet search showed us about ‘systemic bias’:

Systemic Bias is inherent in the experiences, loyalties, and relationships of people in their daily lives, it cannot be eliminated by education or training, but awareness of biases can be enhanced, allowing for the adoption of compensating correction mechanisms. Soure: Wikipedia.com

continue reading “Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 2”

Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 2

Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 1

Several months ago, I started an official review my company’s, Post.Bid.Ship., Inc., software development processes. We utilize extremely advanced processes to develop technology designed to help automate the $700 billion commercial shipping industry. The reason for the official review was that our development team was not able to explain nor resolve why bugs in our application previously resolved were reappearing just a few weeks later.

The programmers on our team have been on our development project for 3 years and one of the programmers has worked with me for almost 8 years on other large technology projects. Each programmer works directly for an contracting firm where I consider the founder and CEO a friend of mine. So to say I am loyal to the firm would be an understatement; they rock!

continue reading “Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 1”

Got ‘Bias’ in Your Organization? Outsiders Welcome! – Part 1

When I Knew The ‘Cloud’ Was Going To Be Big

I ran across some notes the other day I had prepared for an Entrepreneur Magazine interview I was doing with regards to launching Post.Bid.Ship. and using the cloud. Because the interview was going to include how I came to embrace the cloud, I decided to write about the moment I knew the ‘Cloud’ was going to be big.

The reality of the ‘Cloud’ came to me well before the word “Cloud” was yet being used. That moment occurred in 2006 when one of my clients at my company Think Outsource named TheHopeLine, a non-profit Christian ministry, was looking to invest in a more robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system as well as expand their current Avaya phone system (both were sold as on-site installations at the time and there were no reliable cloud offerings then). After evaluating the choices of potential vendors including Oracle, IBM, Avaya and Cisco, I honestly felt my client who had done well would to that point was not yet able to properly meet the financial and staffing requirements needed to manage such powerful and robust systems.

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When I Knew The ‘Cloud’ Was Going To Be Big

When You Know Your Business Has Began To Scale

Often when asked by young entrepreneurs what business book I recommend they read, I say ‘The E-Myth Revisited‘. The book basically argues that for a business to be truly successful, the business must scale beyond any one specific person, especially the founder.

Per the E-Myth, a business does this by the founder of the business dividing their day-to-day work into 3 unique roles: 1 as the Entrepreneur focused on inventing and perfecting the processes of the business, 1 as the technician doing the work laid out in those processes and the last as the manager who will hold new team members accountable in adhering to these processes as they join the growing firm.

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When You Know Your Business Has Began To Scale

Obituary: George Howard Thompson of Spring Hill, TN

George Howard Thompson, 75, retired from General Electric Corporation and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, life-long farmer and resident of the Spring Hill Community for many years, died Friday, February 14, 2014 at Williamson Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Oakes &Nichols with Rev. Phillip Wright and Rev. Keith Sherwood officiating. Burial will follow in Neapolis Cemetery with military honors at graveside provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post #19. The family will visit with friends Monday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Notes of sympathy may be extended at www.oakesandnichols.com. The family suggests memorials to Spring Hill United Methodist Church, 5286 Main Street, Spring Hill, TN 37174.

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Obituary: George Howard Thompson of Spring Hill, TN

What Your Business Could Learn from Nick Saban

My favorite college sports team is The University of Alabama Crimson Tide (tweet your ‘Roll Tide’ or disdain on Twitter to @mickythompson). While I love my alma maters Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Arizona, my football passion since a small child has led me to be a lifelong ‘Bama fan. My passion was cultivated by both my father’s admiration for Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant, legendary coach at Alabama in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and my Spring Hill High Raider’s football head coach’s loyalty to running Alabama’s defensive formations which led our school to win a State Championship and made many of our opponents fear our offense choking defense.

I was a fan of Alabama even threw all the sanctions plus winning drought of the 1990’s and 2000’s. For 18 years after 1992, Alabama went without an appearance in the NCAA College Football National Championship game leaving many to wonder if Alabama’s football glory was mostly behind us. That all changed in 2007 when Alabama hired Miami Dolphin’s head coach Nick Saban. This shocked many SEC followers and your’s truly given Saban had already one a NCAA National Championship at arch rival Louisiana State University just a few years earlier (I turned down a full scholarship to LSU to attend Arizona partly because of my disdain for LSU).

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What Your Business Could Learn from Nick Saban

Microsoft Office 365 Laps Google Mail on Apple iPhone/iPad

I recently moved my personal email to Google Mail, the premium version of Gmail designed for business users like myself. Why did I move? My email for the past 15 years has been hosted on Microsoft Exchange either on my own server or in the cloud. For the last 5 years, I have hosted my personal email on the cloud version of Microsoft Exchange provided directly by Microsoft called Office 365. I was actually a beta user for Microsoft when Microsoft used to call the service Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. We can all probably agree Microsoft Office 365 is a much better name than Microsoft BPOS:)

Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud initiative designed to compete head-to-head against Google Apps, Google’s premium office suite that also includes email, calendar and contacts. The primary reason I chose to switch to Google Mail was because I felt to be a well rounded technologist, I need to fully experience Google’s premium mail service to know if Microsoft Office 365 was keeping up or falling behind the competition. I am a huge fan of both companies and love that they are slugging it out over users. Competition is a good thing for innovation and the users I support through my technology work win making the industry as a whole better.

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Microsoft Office 365 Laps Google Mail on Apple iPhone/iPad

CNBC Interviews Post.Bid.Ship. New CEO

Recently, I stepped down as CEO of Post.Bid.Ship. to spend more time with my wife, Layla, and daughter, Amelia, and welcome to our family our new twins Olivia and Crockett (to read more about that decision, click here.) Post.Bid.Ship.’s Board of Directors (in which I remain a member) didn’t take long in identifying my replacement. We felt my co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Jarret Hamstreet was the right person to take the reigns and lead the company to the next level.

So what is a good sign we made the right decision in selecting Jarret? When he was invited to appear on CNBC just a few weeks into his new role! Jarret was recently interviewed as part of CNBC’s Global Entrepreneurship Week where Post.Bid.Ship. was named one of the Top 100 MBA Start-ups.

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CNBC Interviews Post.Bid.Ship. New CEO

Leadership Is Key To Building The Right Sales Team

Recently, one of my favorite business shows ‘Your Business’ on CNBC covered how to hire the right sales people for your business. My start-up, Post.Bid.Ship., is right now in the process of hiring new salespeople to grow our premium user-base for our online commercial freight marketplace.

For the past 3 years, I have proudly served as CEO for Post.Bid.Ship. while our team worked to build our now award-winning suite of Internet products. After great thought, I recently made the decision to step down as CEO and nominate to our corporate board that my co-founder Jarret Hamstreet succeed me as the next CEO.

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Leadership Is Key To Building The Right Sales Team

Q: How Many Startups Fail? A: Eventually, All of Them!

A few months ago, I was invited to judge a business presentation competition by a former professor of mine for her 1st year MBA students at my alma mater, The University of Arizona. During the introduction, my former professor warmly introduced me as a professional entrepreneur and asked me to share with the audience how many companies I had successfully launched. I replied 6 and the audience generously responded with “oohs and aahs.”

I was proud of my accomplishments to have successfully launched 6 profitable companies. The key to this was ‘launch’, the 2nd key was ‘successfully’ and the third key here is ‘profitable’. My pride was short-lived because a fellow judge who I had not yet met interrupted the students’ applause and addressed the audience with “but the real question isn’t how many businesses a person has started because anyone can start a business. The question we need to be asking is how many of his companies are still in business?”

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Q: How Many Startups Fail? A: Eventually, All of Them!

Stepping Down as CEO of Post.Bid.Ship. for Growing Family

Last week, my fellow Post.Bid.Ship. co-founder Jarret Hamstreet shared with several of our investors and supporters the exciting update regarding my family’s newest additions, twins Olivia Belle and Crockett Lee Thompson. Olivia and Crockett arrived last Monday, August 19th at 10:11am. Layla (aka Mommy), Olivia, Crockett, their big sister Amelia and I are all doing great and enjoying this special time together.

Having twins is indeed a big adjustment for our family but an exciting and welcomed change. To allow me to spend more time with my growing family while also allowing Post.Bid.Ship. and our subsidiary TruckItNow to maintain their growth momentum, I proposed to our board during our July meeting that we begin the process of making a change at the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position, the role I have held since the company’s launch just over 3 years ago.

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Stepping Down as CEO of Post.Bid.Ship. for Growing Family

Need Nice But Technical Business Website? Divide and Conquer! (Part 2)

This blog article is a the 2nd part of a 2 part article on building nice but technical business websites. If you wish to read the first part, click here.

At Post.Bid.Ship., my current startup I have led for the past 3 years, we give our marketing team responsibility to design and layout our website. Graphics are designed using Adobe Photoshop and saved in the Photoshop native files. After those files are ready, our technology team, outsourced and offshored, begin working to convert and optimize those design files incorporating them into our website and technology platform. This divide and conquer between marketing and IT approach allows…

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Need Nice But Technical Business Website? Divide and Conquer! (Part 2)

Need Nice But Technical Business Website? Divide and Conquer! (Part 1)

A former client of mine from when I did technology consulting with my prior company, Think Outsource, recently reached out to me for advice regarding a web project her company was considering. In the past, this consumer-based product company which sold their product through retail outlets allowed their marketing department to oversee all aspects of their website including the technology. The in-house marketing department oversaw the content while they outsourced the technology to an outside marketing firm (very common practice).

Today, my former client is wanting to provide their customers secure access to their sales information including pricing, inventory, previous orders and marketing information. This information is currently accessible only by her staff and secured within the companies private corporate network, hence no public access. The public relations firm they were using to manage their website tried to provide the ability for the company to unlock this sensitive data in a secure manner through their website but the firm had failed in several attempts to grant her customers access to data in a meaningful way.

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Need Nice But Technical Business Website? Divide and Conquer! (Part 1)

The Making of a Commercial: Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise

Over the past few months, our team at Post.Bid.Ship. have been working to bring to the market our newest product: Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise. With only 7 days away from the official launch of Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise, we felt this the ideal time to share our behind the scenes look at the filming of our Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise commercial. In debuting Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise, we felt the best way to communicate the true power and value of Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise was in producing a commercial that highlights Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise’s many features.

In January, Jarret Hamstreet, Post.Bid.Ship.’s COO, started writing the commercial’s script and in February he had scheduled a film crew plus hired a professional actress to help us tell the story. By March, Jarret had turned our Tucson, Arizona offices into an official film studio full of lights, cameras and action. During the video shoot, I grabbed my handy mini-HD video camera and started shooting the ‘behind the scenes’ video to capture a glimpse into what it is like to shoot a professional commercial.

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The Making of a Commercial: Post.Bid.Ship. Enterprise

Mexican Pots For Our Arizona Home

Last month, I ventured my personal blog into highlighting a recent project I undertook which was to upgrade my irrigation system. This month, I continue with the landscaping theme by sharing with you our newest addition to our landscaping, Mexican planting pots. Living in Arizona, a popular landscaping item used to add color and depth to our desert views is Mexican planting pots. After several trips with my daughter, Amelia, looking for the perfect pots, we eventually found several at a local store that would accent our new landscaping well.

My mother, who has two of the greenest thumbs I know, would be proud that her son and grand-daughter are carrying out her landscaping tradition. Below, I highlight the plant choices for our new Mexican pots as well as photos of each pot.

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Mexican Pots For Our Arizona Home

That’s It! I’m Overhauling Our Irrigation System!

This month and next, I am departing from my regular technology, business and entrepreneurship topics and going personal. We’re going to talk plumbing. Yep, plumbing!

My wife a few weeks ago texted me a photo of our water bill for February. To my surprise and my wife’s, our water bill which usually runs about $130 was a whopping $378! Something was definitely wrong. After I came home, I checked the water meter and it confirmed my fears. The dial was spinning full speed and the meter was quickly racking up the gallons. The first step was to cut off the water to the irrigation system which I suspected to be the culprit. Instantly, the water meter stopped. So we knew the problem was there (I wondered why our flowers and bushes looked so good compared to our neighbors).

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That’s It! I’m Overhauling Our Irrigation System!

Carnival Cruise Lines Defines Service

I often receive comments and messages from family and friends requesting I share more about my family and personal life in my blog. For those of you that are regular readers, you already know I tend to write more about my professional life as opposed to my personal life. So this post is dedicated to those wanting to see more of my personal side. For those of you that follow me professionally, don’t worry because I have successfully mixed business with pleasure.

My family and I took a Carnival Cruise in 2009 to the Bahama’s and Virgin Islands to celebrate my mother-in-law Mimi Priest’s birthday. During the trip, I happen to be reading a textbook from my MBA studies (this was the summer between my 1st and 2nd year of my MBA program at The University of Arizona).

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Carnival Cruise Lines Defines Service

Post.Bid.Ship Launching Innovative New Product

Below is an article I wrote for the Arizona Commerce Authority and it appeared on the ACA’s blog. You can read the article below or click here to visit the original post.

Post.Bid.Ship., Inc., launched in Tucson, Arizona by two 2010 MBA graduates from The University of Arizona, has spent the last 20 months building its online platform designed to help commercial shippers across North America buy empty trailer space on tractor trailers. Think of Post.Bid.Ship. as the Priceline.com of the commercial freight industry. Just as Priceline.com sells empty hotel rooms and airline seats, Post.Bid.Ship. helps the more than 1 million trucking firms operating across North America sell empty trailer space.

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Post.Bid.Ship Launching Innovative New Product

Post.Bid.Ship. Finalizes U.S. Patent Application

Often Jarret Hamstreet, my co-founder at Post.Bid.Ship. and I are complimented for being quick to implement necessary changes at our start-up. These changes by Jarret and me are done in our effort to put Post.Bid.Ship. on stable footing as well as to take advantage of the opportunities we see ahead for the company. In actuality, these often mild but sometimes dizzying changes are done out of necessity because Jarret and I have 2 clocks we watch closely.

The first clock is the amount of “cash on hand” provided by Post.Bid.Ship.’s investors that allow Jarret and me to build and commercialize our offerings. Our current and prospective Post.Bid.Ship. investors know this clock all too well because they can count on a call from Jarret and me when this clock begins to slow.

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Post.Bid.Ship. Finalizes U.S. Patent Application

Pitching Post.Bid.Ship. in San Francisco

Over the last 2 years, Jarret Hamstreet and I have worked to build Post.Bid.Ship., an online marketplace helping make the $740 billion commercial freight industry more efficient by eliminating the millions of empty trailer miles operated by trucking companies each year. While Jarret and I have raised over $1.5 million thus far to bring our service to the market, we are still in need of additional capital to bring our vision for Post.Bid.Ship. to reality.

Silicon Valley Bank, a bank that represents many large venture capital funds, has been a partner of ours helping introduce us to several VC’s to consider investing in Post.Bid.Ship. Silicon Valley Bank invited me to San Francisco to share our vision for Post.Bid.Ship. and to help start the process of us locating a VC that could help us take Post.Bid.Ship. to the next level.

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Pitching Post.Bid.Ship. in San Francisco

Why I Enjoy Reality TV

As a little boy and as a young man, I have always been excited about watching other people work. My wife and even one of my best friends Scott Smith get embarrassed by my staring at other people at work. My mother defends this obsession by describing my eyeballing as being ‘in deep thought.’

I remember saying when I was younger “If I could get paid to watch other’s work, I would have found my true calling.” One observer of this quote tease me saying “people do get paid to watch others work, their called ‘managers.’”

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Why I Enjoy Reality TV

Crossing The Chasm Is Hard

In last month’s article, I thanked several stakeholders who helped me and my co-founder Jarret Hamstreet start Post.Bid.Ship. What is Post.Bid.Ship.? Like Priceline.com sells empty hotel rooms and airline seats, Post.Bid.Ship. helps trucking firms sell empty trailer space. Click here to read last month’s article.

Last week, Post.Bid.Ship. reached 2 monumental milestones as a company: 1) our innovative online service now has over 1,000 trucking firms as users representing over 180,000 trucks and 2) Post.Bid.Ship. was featured in Transport Topics, one of nation’s largest transportation news sources, for being an innovator in the commercial trucking industry. Click here to read the Transport Topics article.

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Crossing The Chasm Is Hard

Did I or Government Build My Business?

Thursday night, the Republican National Committee nominated Mitt Romney to be their 2012 candidate for President of the United States. Being an entrepreneur myself and having worked with investors from within the private equity community, Mitt Romney’s professional life in starting and building companies is a world I have been fortunate to experience.

At this time in our great society, a debate is brewing over whether an individual’s or business’s success should be attributed to society or the individuals who founded and built the business.

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Did I or Government Build My Business?

Founders Are Not Heroes, Get Back To Work

Today, I read one of my favorite articles regarding start-up founders and the sometimes often false image of entrepreneurs as heroes. As a founder who often thinks of myself as having hero-like qualities but often gets brought back to earth by my wife, this article caught my attention.

The article features Ann Miura-Ko which Forbes in 2010 called “the most powerful woman in startups.” I love her candidness about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur and that life as an entrepreneur isn’t always as idealistic or romatic as portrayed.

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Founders Are Not Heroes, Get Back To Work

Own, Lease or Share? That is the Question!

I received a great question from Post.Bid.Ship., Inc. board member Base Horner the other day. I decided it was such a good question, I’m publishing my response to him here!

His question was “As Post.Bid.Ship. grows, will we eventually buy our own servers or do you feel we can continue to outsource our hosting?” His question came during a time when our hosting partner for Post.Bid.Ship. was unable to keep our site up because it had grown in popularity (having a popular website can sometimes be a double-edged sword.)

And as timing would have it, Entrepreneur Magazine was featuring my commentary on this very subject in an article on technology so this was something I had given recent thought to (click here to read the Entrepreneur Magazine article). 

continue reading “Own, Lease or Share? That is the Question!”

Own, Lease or Share? That is the Question!