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Saturday, April 19, 2008

One Dress, One Computer at a Time

There are workers in several industries hit hard, one at a time, in America by the corporate practice of overseas outsourcing, incompetence and other factors. Among these is the apparel industry. Right along with apparel is the computer and IT industry, in general. Apparel holds the longer track record of the two and what transpires once these jobs leave our communities. There's one thing the computer industry and IT can learn from the apparel industry: Those jobs are not coming back.

There is opportunity, here.

Workers in the apparel and computer fields, respectively, have acquired, and in some instances, amassed a great deal of Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE). What many do not realize is they can utilize these KSE resources as entrepreneurs generating an income for their families. Furthermore, many mistakingly believe being self-employed or having a business of their own requires sums of money they do not have to open a shop. I would not advise either of them to leave their new jobs whether at McDonald's, Walmart or other place of employment. I will urge both to consider the potential dynamic of Independent Contractor-Networks. (IC-Networks)

The IC-Network model enables indviduals and retailers to build their businesses mutually, successfully, locally, regionally, statewide and nationwide. Apparel boutique and VAR (Value-Added Resellers) owners continue to struggle to increase sales and service revenues. The reason: If they are not sole individuals trying to do it all themselves they are small business employers who cannot afford to hire the additional workers to boost their revenues. Their business model can only carry them so far. Where major corporations will outsource; boutique and VAR owners shutdown.

The outsourcing of apparel and computer jobs overseas has left in its wake an enormous talent pool; people with the KSE to meet the needs of local boutique and VAR owners.

What is the difference between an upscale dress at Neiman-Marcus and one at a local boutique? Other then price and location: None. My point is the employee whose KSE produced the Neiman-Marcus dress on the production floor is the same person capable of producing the same for the boutique owner. Boutique owners can provide and build relationships with customers for whom corporate conventional mass production has given one option as consumers: One size fits none.

What is the difference between a name-brand computer and a whitebox / whitebook? Other than price and localtion: None. When Dell sized the whitebox market at 3 billion dollars it pretty much remained unchanged when Dell got out of it a couple years later. Who makes up that 3 billion dollar market as yet unpenetrated by the Acers, Dells, HPs and Lenovos? They are the low-income, Blacks and Hispanics who do not own a computer. They industry has moved on to pursue the current hot item: Laptops. I do not expect those who could not afford a desktop to race to their local retailer for their laptop.

No single boutique or VAR owner can rival the mega corporation's local chainstore. However, a local IC-Network can greatly increase the efficiency and productivity of their business with one dress, one computer at a time.

The IC-Network model targets other industries which lend themselves to independent contracting. The model will launch locally (in Round Rock, Texas) and expand regionally, statewide and nationwide. It represents promise and hope for our families, comuunities and country.

We welcome your comments.

Hope you will join us at that time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The debacling effects of debt

Americans, particularly those who have experienced the burden of debt, hear much about their lack of discipline and restraint and the consequences of debt. I do not think most people in debt have much to offer by way of an argument to justify their financial straits, meager wages and cost of living, notwithstanding.

We Americans hear of our government's debt and Washington's lack of discipline and restraint. Although there are abundant indicators of the seriousness of our problem, the bottom line is the course remains the same. Both political parties spend like there's no tomorrow whether for a war or social programs. Basicly, spending with promise of progress, but little or no profit, that is, there is no substantive change. Whatever "savings" are made on one side are spent multiple times over on the other side.

American business has, for years, been touted, even in the Sunday morning Bible class, for its discipline, exactness and efficiency. Alas, the steady stream of American business debacles in recent years and weeks, whether through greed or incompetence, shows no signs of letting up. Whether the debacle resulted in loss of financial investment or jobs there are real people who suffer the consequences.

I am neither the son of an economist nor an economist. I am heartend by E.F. Schumacher, the late world-renown British economist who had no kind words for his brethren in, Small is Beautiful. I do not profess a quantifiable understanding of the discipline. Yet, when the devastating effects of debt are all around us we begin to see the many faces of debt.

Remember Michael Milken the junk bond dealer of the seventies? The short story of what Milken did was he made access to big money, easy. Ted Turner was quick to seize the opportunity. He had some crazy notion about cable and was willing (and there were those who were willing to front the capital) to take on an unprecendented, history-making billion dollar debt to start up his company; a first in America. Then came IPOs and everyone who was looking for the fastest way to make a lot of money fast, found their heart's delight in many a corporation eager for their money.

Corporations do not call this debt. They call it, "shareholders". However, if you are using other people's money to finance your business in the form of stock, isn't that a loan of sorts? And, if it is a loan does it not make sense to pay it back as soon as possible once your family is financially comfortable, that is, pay back those shareholders? It is this "shareholders-as-creditors" that effectively shackle companies as to what and when they will do anything. As long as those shares are outstanding they are a loan to be serviced. The longer it goes without being cleared off the books it remains a liability to the company even as the company continues to earn profits which enable it to clear the debt.

This ought not be construed as anti-capitalism or some form of socialism. The problem is not with leveraging shareholders' money in a business startup. The problem is in sustaining that business with shareholder money. The effects of corporate sustaining this debt becomes evident sooner or later. Coincidentally, along with the effects comes the latent greed or incompetence, also. There's no mistaking, between shareholders and employees, who makes money for the company and who makes money from the company. Similarly, there's no mistaking which one, greed or incompetence, has played out on a man, a woman's, a family's financial investments or jobs in the aftermath of the debacling effects of debt in corporate America.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

XO laptop scientist resigns

Intel's successful drive to put cheap laptops in the hands of poor children for under $300 is coming to America and Europe. Although the second-generation version for America and Europe has yet to be introduced it's expected to hit the market with a price range between $250 and $350.

The whole low-price movement in laptops was initiated by the One Laptop Per Child Foundation founded by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte.

The foundation has been able to produce its XO laptops running Linux for $188 and selling them for $400 in Canada and the US. So, we can include professors, along with technicians, engineers and other savy individuals among those who can build computers and servers. Add to
this mix the introduction by Intel of its "Jackson Bay" whitebook motherboard in October 2007.

If professors can do it, why not scientists, too? Mary Lou did.

The inventor, developer of the XO laptop at the foundation, Mary Lou Jepsen, scientist, resigned from the foundation in 2007 to head up her own company, Pixel Qi. Her goal is to produce $75 laptops by 2010. Whatever her reasons for building her own laptops, whether for financial need or the opportunity to create a social impact, she is getting it done.

What are your reasons for building your own whitebooks? Is it to make a social difference by making affordable laptops in your community? Is it for the fun of it while making a little money as well? Is it to generate a little extra income with a view to creating a considerable source of revenue such as would impact you and your family? Perhaps it's none of these and maybe you just want to be able to say "yes" when you get the call for assistance and not have to wrestle
anxiously about your own economic stretch when you would like to help if only you had the means.

Whether you are an individual (independent contractor, IC) or a reseller you can go it alone. You can also look into the dynamic of building your business for yourself, but not by yourself through the alliance of IE-Networks, that is, Independent Enterprise Networks. What would your sales revenues look like if an IC turned to you for a whitebook component system, that is, an unassembled whitebook? What do you suppose sales revenues would look like if an ever expanding IE-Network of these ICs turned to you as their supplier?

I welcome your comments to this or any post on this blog, or you may send an email.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Round Rock Prom Dress Style

Round Rock Moms & Daughters!


Job security in IT

I encourage you to hear what some of your peers in IT have to say in this article.
This is my reply to the post and thread: The vision of IC-Networks