Don’t be the jerk who ignores call requests… or the wimp who can’t make a call request.

In two recent cases (one with a business partner, another with a client), in email after email, I could not impress upon the other party how important getting on the phone was to getting an issue resolved. Even though each message I sent implored them to call me, or tell me when I could call them, they ignored the request and continued to try to go back and forth on quite complicated topics. No matter how carefully I responded, this repeatedly caused misunderstandings. In the end, both conversations were resolved with a short phone call but only after hours of typing. This was a massive waste of time and more importantly, in both cases, entailed possibly damaging confusion.

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Two Burger Trucks

So Seattle just passed a $15/hr minimum wage and my question is, are people really that stupid?

I’m not talking about understanding the economics of price floors, or shortages, dis-equilibria, or any complicated theory on the voter side. I’m saying that aside from all of that, you have to be working with the assumption that employers and employees are GARGANTUAN IDIOTS to think that a minimum wage is anything but nonsense.

Maybe a little parable would help… This isn’t about detailed economics, it’s about extremely simple small business finance.

A STORY OF TWO BURGER TRUCKS:

Bob and I used to own two comparable burger food trucks. Both of our burgers were really good, and we found over time that at $5/burger we had solid lines from 11am to 11pm everyday. The only restraint on our total income was how many burgers we could make during those 12 hours, and what determined our “profit” was that total minus the cost of ingredients and the wage we paid to the cook. Continue reading

Low-Hanging Entrepreneurial Fruit

I pay thousands each semester to go back to school (ugh!) but I would likely pay hundreds more to not have to deal with the University of Arizona’s registrar office anymore. The consistency of the dour service (I’m clearly always bothering them by coming to them regarding THEIR JOB) and the inexplicably arcane system leave me thinking there is a lucrative service opportunity for an enterprising young person.

An example of my most recent exchange with registrar staff:

Her: “You have to fill this form out again and have the professor re-sign because to switch discussion groups you have to switch lectures”

Me: “But there’s only one lecture.”

Her: “No, my system says there are two.”

Me: “Ma’am that may be, but there is literally only one lecture.”

(This ACTUALLY went back and forth a couple times before I got the following response) Continue reading

Do Entrepreneurs Intentionally Harm Us?

Sitting in Micro and just had to turn on my “Shut Up” Mode while my teacher recites that we wouldn’t be able to enter a restaurant without the FDA because we would all almost certainly end up with food poisoning. That we wouldn’t possibly trust a restaurant without FDA and other regulatory certification.

First off, the FDA didn’t exist until 1930 and there have always been trusted and widely patronized eateries in this country.

Second, and FAR more importantly, for all of my friends who are restaurateurs or other restaurant professionals, does it offend you as it does me, that someone would say that a regulatory agency is what keeps you serving safe food? That your personal moral and monetary interests wouldn’t keep you from making people sick?

Is it true that it happens? Sure! Both by mistake and negligence. It happens TODAY, with all our regulation.

But I just had a professor say we couldn’t, as a GENERAL RULE, trust restaurants without a bureaucrat holding them accountable.

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