Posts Tagged ‘Mercenaries’

Mercenaries For Hire

Posted: July 20, 2010 in Out In The Fringe
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Most People Like Them When They Are Finished

In my last post I discussed talent.  Most companies buy companies either for a defensive move or for talent.  Few and far between are the exemplar purchases for intellectual property.  Although it is mandatory you have those ideas at least patent pending with some form of provisional application – yet i digress.

It has become very apparent to me we are heading into a talent shortage.  Specifically in the areas of Data Science.  It reminds me of the glory days of signal processing in the early to mid 90’s.  We couldnt find people who knew how to code a (fast) Fast Fourier Transform let alone think about distributing that processing.  I see Data Science related careers in that same situation.  I also see the physical and soft sciences merging with the two as it pertains to gaining knowledge from the data.  Need to find a lot of people and do not want to outsource it?  Do not have the cash to make a company aquisition?  Call in a team.

The above picture is of the good folks at Blackwater.  Most people or companies do not like mercenaries.  Why? Mercenaries are usually not very fun.  Most people enjoy pithy campy fun.  Mercenary teams are not the type of consultants you found in Office Space.  On the contrary these guys and gals know what they are doing – get in – get out and move on.  They are expensive but will usually overhaul any type of situation.  They have a huge amount of experience and are very calm under chaotic conditions.  I am reminded that those who do a dangerous thing with style is a professional.  I see a day when teams of Mad Max Mercenaries are plying their trade on Craig’s List or eBay.  eBay is probably a better venue as then they can have a cover LLC and incorporate subdivisions as needed based upon speciality.  Sound crazy?  Maybe.  Sounds like a possible Idea2Bank to me.

Until Then,

Go Big Or Go Home!

@jaxsoncreole

Hey Ma' Look At Me!

I usually don’t track “the news” or “chatter” but the recent Facebook acquisition of NextStop is about talent.  Possibly geolocation and hyper-local data but more about who is there and why they are there.  I was having this discussion with several persons the other day.  Companies buy other companies for talent, data aggregation and possibly technology.  The reason I say possibly technology is that most companies do not care about the tech – mostly talent.  I have a term for the companies that move our tech world:  The Folks Inside The Firewall.  The Folks Inside The FireWall (TFITF) already have a long term strategic view of where they want to go 5,10,20,50 years.  Take this to bank.  In a blog a couple of years go I discussed the Three T’s of a Startup.  I listed talent as number one.  Why?  I prefer quality over quantity.  I prefer the elite performers.  I’d rather have two A game coders than 10 posers.  I located a recent plot of distributed and related coding jobs.  While the plot focuses on Casandra rest assured that the areas of machine learning, data mining, natural language processing and semantics are going to skyrocket.  10 years ago we were worried about connections, storage and compute resources.  This is no longer the case.  We are revisiting this world – yet again – same algorithms – more data.  It reminds me of the hey day of digital signal processing engineers.

As I discussed in my previous blog Three T’s of a Startup many times the companies do not even use the acquired technology.  So please do not take it personal when your great code base is destroyed.  Philosophically Art is meant to be created and destroyed.  The money and vesting schedule will make the destruction worthwhile – trust me.  If you want to go be idealistic go right ahead.  The smart ones wait and vest.  Colloquially called resting and vesting (RnV).  It is a great way to past the time.   That said this brings up the question of is it really about the software now?  Clearly GOOG does not need a geo-loc technology nor are they going to be a travel agency.  Patents?  Possibly.  In that same blog I discussed how many executives at these companies just say put together a team, write some code, create some provisional patents.  If the stuff halfway does what your roadmap says we will probably buy you.   Look for my next blog on this subject called Mercenaries For Hire – Have compilers – will not travel.

Until Then,

Go Big Or Go Home!

@jaxsoncreole