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Eff You. Pay Me!

Last month, reading John Gruber’s Daring Fireball blog (which I do daily), I came across video of a talk by Mike Monteiro, who co-founded Mule Design Studio. The presentation has a shocking name, and some shocking language, and I was hesitant to post it. (For those who are wondering, I ran this by Dr. Evans first.)

The title of his talk is approximately the same as the title of this blog post. Only his is a wee bit more profane.  I’m pretty sure you can figure it out. (The title was apparently inspired by some dialog from Goodfellas.)

The subject of the talk is the difficulty businesses sometimes have getting paid by a client. If you can overlook the profanity, there’s a lot of tremendously useful content here. His audience was mostly ad-agency creative staff, and so the content is somewhat tailored to them, but I think most of us in the class can benefit.

I’ve transcribed the beginning because it gives you a taste for the topic, which is the problem of not getting paid for work performed for a client.  He mentions some of the excuses he’s heard:

“We ended up not using the work.”

“It’s really not what we wanted after all.”

“We got somebody internal to do it instead.”

“We cancelled the project.”

“We actually didn’t get the funding that we thought we were gonna get.”

“We think we’ve already paid you enough.”

“It’s really not what we were hoping for.”

If you’ve been paying attention, I think you can guess what his answer is to each of these excuses. His solution involves getting lawyers involved early on to help with contracts, so you don’t need to rely on lawyers later on to fight your battles.

Those of you who have taken Dr. Evans’ Business Law class will probably recognize this problem from one of the contract disputes she assigns.

Anyway, enough with introduction.  Here’s the video.

May 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm 1 comment

How to Get a Real Education at College

That we go to college to learn is axiomatic. But many—perhaps most—if the most important things we learn aren’t actually the subjects of our classes. In almost every class at Lawrence Tech students are expected to learn how to be better writers, better presenters—better communicators in general.

Scott Adams, creater of the Dilbert comic strip, suggests that much of the emphasis on  traditional studies is misplaced. In his essay How to Get a Real Education (published in the Wall Street Journal), he wastes no time in getting to what he things should be the focus of college studies:

I understand why the top students in America study physics, chemistry, calculus and classic literature. The kids in this brainy group are the future professors, scientists, thinkers and engineers who will propel civilization forward. But why do we make B students sit through these same classes? That’s like trying to train your cat to do your taxes—a waste of time and money. Wouldn’t it make more sense to teach B students something useful, like entrepreneurship?
[empahsis mine – SJK]

Before I read this essay, I assumed Mr. Adams had struck it lucky by combining his great sense of humor and mediocre artistic skills into a sort of anti-corporate comic. But after reading it, I’ve concluded that he probably would have been successful no matter what, because he spent his entire college career practicing the art of entrepreneurship.

Scott Adams cartoon

May 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm Leave a comment


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