Two Out of Three is Fine


First the link: Neil Gaiman 2012 Commencement 14:18

“But people keep working in a freelance work, and more and more of today’s world is freelance because their work is good and because they’re easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time… and you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine.”

Isn’t this INTERESTING?
Let’s run the metric here:

  • Your work doesn’t need to be that good if you deliver on time, and you are easy to get along with.
  • Your work doesn’t need to be on time if it’s good and you are easy to get along with.
  • You can be a bit of a jerk if your work is good, and you deliver on time.

Apparently there are plenty of jerks in the world (I don’t know any), and people are just happy to be working with the nice ones.

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work better!
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com

Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates

email: charles
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

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Attend ALL Social Events


OKAY, here it is: Go to every social event you can reasonably attend, for several reasons:

1. Networking (meeting people, not networking computer systems together).
You won’t meet people that you can help without getting out there. Trust is built on lots and lots of giving. Who do you want to do business with: the person that has no time for you, or the person that has been helpful, that you trust? Being helpful is what makes us valuable to each other. By attending social events, you make yourself available to help others!

2. Staying in touch with people.
Social networking (Facebook, Twitter, et al), good for staying in touch, but better is actual touch, shaking someone’s hand or giving a big hug, and saying “How are you? Is there anything can I help you with?” Lets face it, human contact is what it’s about. It’s what it all is about. The secret of the universe isn’t that big of a secret, or even that complicated: We are here to love and be loved. 

3. Have some fun.
Get out and have a good time. If you don’t go, you deprive other people of the joy of your presence, and yourself of theirs.

4. Get some new experiences for a broader topic base.
By attending social functions, you have experiences that are unique to you. You now have other things to talk about. Without new experiences, you’ll stagnate, tell the same old stories and jokes to the same old people.

5. Your circle of friends will get smaller if you don’t.
As we go through time (age), we lose friends and family along the way as we (or they) move away, die, or we lose touch. Our circles of friends, family and acquaintances gets smaller. Don’t let that happen. Most people just think “That’s the way it goes, she’s busy, I’m busy.” Yes, we’re all busy but don’t let that be an excuse.

Force yourself to attend every social event that you can reasonably go to. Your friends (old and new) will be glad you did!

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

Semi-Automatic vs Fully-Automatic: Part 2


Today I’m going to write some more about Office Automation, but specifically Microsoft Excel native capabilities and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications [recorded macros,
and hand-written code]) vs. the fully automatic Excel application. The differences are HUGE and can be life-altering (especially if something goes wrong)!

First of all, Microsoft Excel is INCREDIBLY POWERFUL using native capability, without using a single macro. I am a BIG believer in using Excel to it’s fullest for whatever task you need BEFORE even using your first macro (or other VBA code). In my opinion, VBA should ONLY be applied when you have no other option. You should always, Always, ALWAYS put in copious notes, describing what you are having EACH CHUNK OF CODE do, semi-auto model AND fully automatic.

First, what’s wrong? (I’ll put the comments in GREEN, same as in the VBA project explorer)

Sheets(“MAIN”).Activate

‘PLA PD Dollars
Cells(12, 4) = PD_Dollars(1, 1)
Cells(12, 5) = PD_Dollars(1, 2)
‘ Cells(12, 7) = PD_Dollars(1, 0)
‘PLA PD Lines
Cells(13, 4) = PD_lines(1, 1)
Cells(13, 5) = PD_lines(1, 2)
‘ Cells(13, 7) = PD_lines(1, 0)
‘PLA Dollars Missed
Cells(14, 4) = PD_Dollars(1, 4)
Cells(14, 5) = PD_Dollars(1, 5)
‘ Cells(14, 7) = PD_Dollars(1, 3)
‘PLA Lines Missed
Cells(15, 4) = PD_lines(1, 4)
Cells(15, 5) = PD_lines(1, 5)
‘ Cells(15, 7) = PD_lines(1, 3)
‘PLA BUDCO Lines Missed
Cells(16, 4) = PD_lines(2, 4)
Cells(16, 5) = PD_lines(2, 5)
‘ Cells(16, 7) = PD_lines(2, 3)

‘CUC PD Dollars
Cells(18, 4) = PD_Dollars(3, 1)
Cells(18, 5) = PD_Dollars(3, 2)
‘ Cells(18, 7) = PD_Dollars(3, 0)
‘CUC PD Lines
Cells(19, 4) = PD_lines(3, 1)
Cells(19, 5) = PD_lines(3, 2)
‘ Cells(19, 7) = PD_lines(3, 0)
‘CUC Lines Missed
Cells(20, 4) = PD_Dollars(3, 4)
Cells(20, 5) = PD_Dollars(3, 5)
‘ Cells(20, 7) = PD_Dollars(3, 3)
‘CUC Lines Missed
Cells(21, 4) = PD_lines(3, 4)
Cells(21, 5) = PD_lines(3, 5)
‘ Cells(21, 7) = PD_lines(3, 3)
‘CUC BUDCO Lines Missed
Cells(22, 4) = PD_lines(4, 4)
Cells(22, 5) = PD_lines(4, 5)
‘ Cells(22, 7) = PD_lines(4, 3)

So, did anyone figure out what is wrong with this piece of code? Yes, of course, NO NOTES (or at least pretty useless notes to someone that doesn’t know what CUC and PD is)!

The piece of VBA that this is from is actually VERY elegantly written, and all actions happen in memory, making it very fast. However, you have no idea what cells are being populated. A segment of this code further down shows calculations again, all happening in memory. A nightmare for the inexperienced, and a big tangled ball of string for the experienced coder. I would have preferred that the calculations be visible on a sheet, and make the trade-off of a little bit of speed for the assurance of the calculations and the  transparency of a sheet that you can check. Either way, (Full or Semi-Auto) PUT IN LOTS OF NOTES (preceding each with the accent mark ‘ )!

Another example:

Sub DateSortRoutine()

‘ VB coded by:
‘ Charles A. McCrumb 02/25/2004
‘ActiveWindow.WindowState = xlMinimized
Dim CUM As Currency
‘ Set Cumulative to zero

CUM = 0

‘ Select and sort the Looseners Sheet
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Selection.Sort Key1:=Range(“P2”), Order1:=xlAscending, Key2:=Range(“B2”) _
, Order2:=xlAscending, Header:=xlGuess, OrderCustom:=1, MatchCase:= _
False, Orientation:=xlTopToBottom
Range(“A1”).Select
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Selection.Subtotal GroupBy:=16, Function:=xlSum, TotalList:=Array(8, 11), _
Replace:=True, PageBreaks:=False, SummaryBelowData:=True

‘ Select and sort the Assemblies Sheet
Sheets(“assemblies”).Select
Selection.Sort Key1:=Range(“P2”), Order1:=xlAscending, Key2:=Range(“B2”) _
, Order2:=xlAscending, Header:=xlGuess, OrderCustom:=1, MatchCase:= _
False, Orientation:=xlTopToBottom
Range(“A1”).Select
Sheets(“assemblies”).Select
Selection.Subtotal GroupBy:=16, Function:=xlSum, TotalList:=Array(8, 11), _
Replace:=True, PageBreaks:=False, SummaryBelowData:=True

‘ Select Looseners Sheet and check for the text string “Total” and make it bold
Sheets(“looseners”).Select
Range(“P1”).Select
Chekker1:
‘Check for blanks, if none keep going, else stop.
While ActiveCell.Range(“A1”) <> “”
GoDown1
While Right(ActiveCell.Range(“A1”), 5) = “Total”
ActiveCell.Offset(0, -5).Select
Selection.Font.Bold = True
ActiveCell.Offset(0, -3).Select
Selection.Font.Bold = True
ActiveCell.Offset(0, 8).Select
GoTo Chekker1
Wend
Wend

See what happened? Notes, showing just what is going on!

Even in the fully automatic model, notes will keep you and everyone else from going crazy. They will also help you establish trust between me and you, and yourself and others.

Cheers!

Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work better!
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

How Niche Businesses Are Sometimes Formed


Someone sees a need and exploits it.

What?

Did you need more?

Okay, here’s the long version as I see it:

Corporations, as they get larger (either from internal growth or from acquisitions) start to become less efficient. They become more legalistic and segmented. “That is not in my job description” is a well-worn, catch-all phrase that describes the segmentation and extreme control in this kind of work culture. Also when corporations purchase a niche business to gain .05% market share, they invariably ruin that niche business and turn it into a clone / adjunct of their big-business model.

Some people in this corporate environment eventually get tired of the inefficiencies of either small tasks falling between the cracks, the waiting for people in other segments of the business that you cannot have communication and/or collaboration with, or from the extreme micro-managing that tends to happen there. The person starts thinking “I’ve been doing this kind of job for X years. I can do my job and several others better (more effectively) than these people.

At least in a tiny sliver of the marketplace, a niche, a tiny business can make a killing. Corporations are literally spinning off niche businesses as a side effect of their internal business activities!

Niche businesses generally don’t need to, or can’t compete with multi-million / multi-billion dollar industries in the big spaces. The corporations aren’t particularly interested in them either (except for possible acquisitions), and can’t / won’t compete in the small spaces. I equate it to the large corporations reaching into a big bucket of coins and pulling out a fist filled with quarters, while nickels and dimes are slipping from their fingers and falling to the floor (that the niche players pick up).

Not really an Office Automation post, but it’s been percolating in my brain for the last few months.

Reply or send me an email, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it!

Cheers!

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Charles McCrumb, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work better!
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates
email: charles
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700

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