A Rare Venture into Business Commentary

From the Post-Gazette:

Mylan Inc. said today Chief Operating Officer Heather Bresch has been promoted to president of the Cecil generic drug maker.

Quiz for aspiring business people:

Which of the following steps should you take if you want to be named president of a Fortune 500 company?

  1. Claim to have earned a master’s degree that you did not actually earn
  2. Oversee a drug manufacturing operation in which computer warnings about problems with the drugs are pervasively ignored.
  3. All of the above.

Something Completely Different

Sometimes people are curious about what I do when I’m not performing comedy, watching TV, or reading the internet.

This article does a pretty good job of describing my day job. An excerpt:

1. Design [software User Interfaces]
2. Write functional specs
3. Coordinate teams
4. Serve as the customer advocate, and
5. Wear Banana Republic chinos

In reality, I wear Old Navy khakis. With five kids, there’s no way I could afford clothes from Banana Republic.

Great. This is just what I needed. More competition.

“With Wall Street hemorrhaging jobs, bonuses disappearing and the financial sector going through a seismic shift, some bankers and lawyers are switching lanes to more creative career paths. They are putting down their Wall Street Journals and picking up Variety as they try their hands at comedy, filmmaking and writing.” (link)

Of course, if they’re as good at comedy as they were at banking, it should be no problem.

A Business Parable

Mr. Wellington, the CEO, was having an interview lunch with Mr. Jones, the leading candidate for the company’s number-two position. When the main course was served, Mr. Jones immediately sprinkled salt and pepper on his meal.

“I’m sorry,” said Mr. Wellington, “but you’re not right for the job. You seasoned your meal without tasting it first. That tells me that you make hasty decisions without first examining the situation.”

Not long thereafter, Mr. Jones was a multi-millionaire running a successful startup. Part of his success was his ability to make quick decisions when faced with a situation that he’d already encountered hundreds of times. Meanwhile, Wellington’s company had tanked, due mainly to his habit of making spurious conclusions based on data unrelated to the problem at hand.