Buy low and sell high is one of those obvious sayings in the investment field. And then there is the law of supply and demand for price setting. So, right now I have a supply of time and not a lot of demand. So my time in theory is a little cheaper and I am investing it in three fronts. First, I am trying to get the word out that I am available for contract, in other words marketing to increase demand. This post is just such a contribution. I am also working with a past client that has some ideas but is not ready to pull the funding trigger so I am doing a little pro bono in another effort to increase demand. And thirdly, I am working on an open source based project that might turn into an entrepreneurial product if I can ever get out of the quagmire that is open source (more on that later).
So, which of these investments will provide future income? If future performance matches past experience then none of these will. To date, the only means for my gaining a new client engagement has come from someone I have worked with in the past, knowing of an opportunity, and strongly suggesting me for the effort. Even though I have and continue to search job sites, cold call managers and companies, presented at a conference and talked at length with agency recruiters, none of these efforts have ever produced a new client engagement. One of my most fruitful engagements for both me and my client came when a past neighbor who knew me because my kids babysat his kids and he suggested I might know something about FPGA to a client he worked with in the RF field.
I am somewhat reminded of what Mona Lisa Vito said at the end of one of my favorite movies: “ You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else’s help. Right? You win case, after case, – and then afterwards, you have to go up to somebody and you have to say- “thank you“! Oh my God, what a nightmare!”. It may not be a nightmare but while you are waiting for your next win, and the help that you depend on to get that win, it can be a bit scary when you feel that it is not totally in your control. So, to all of you who have recommended me and continue to recommend me, Thank You again. And to you and everyone else, please send me a new wake-up call soon before my dream job gets to the nightmare stage.
If it is not obvious from my greatly increased blog activity, let this post make it clear that I my most recent contracted engagement expired about a month ago. Yes, I don’t seem to do much blog wise or otherwise when I am fully contracted. My most recent contract started last May and was originally for 6 months to assist an ASIC company with the emulation of their next generation network adaptor product. They asked me to take the lead on the emulation process and after that was established and they had hired a team to support the effort, they extended my contract to maintain the process until they delivered the emulation product to its first internal firmware development customer. Of course, just as we reached that milestone the company’s management purchased a competitor’s effort for a similar ASIC product and canceled their own. So although the emulation effort was successfully on track the product it was supporting no longer existed and a lot of good work was abandoned. Worse than that a lot of good people were released and of course the purchased competitor division is offshore and so on. That’s the bad news. The good news is I have recent experience with Xilinx Vivado and Virtex 7, experience with state of the art ASIC partitioning to FPGA and exposure to extensive use of System Verilog code. If you are reading this you have probably already been contacted by me and directed to this blog site, which along with my LinkedIn profile, is my primary web presence. If you haven’t then call me and tell me you saw this first and I will give you a 50% discount on your first 20 hours of contracted service.
1. (of a product, idea, etc.) Featuring new methods; advanced and original.
2. (of a person) Introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking: “an innovative thinker”.
Search the mission and values statements of many companies, the cover
letters and resumes of job seekers, or the position descriptions of
job boards and “innovative” is a common word. Companies strive to be
innovative and they want innovative employees. Career seekers promote
that they are the innovative people companies want.
But how innovative are company managers and employment policies? Are
they really using new methods for compensation? Are their staffing
methods advanced and original? Is the workplace environment creative
For the past 8 years I have worked with some companies that I found to
be truly innovative in securing staffing resources by contracting those
resources and compensating them through a 1099 instead of employing
them and sending a W2.
What made these companies innovative is that they partitioned the
development of technology critical to their companies core competancy
between contracted and employed staffing. They identified and
contracted the development of technology that was core, but generalized
across their product and client market. They employed staffing to validate,
maintain, customize and support the manufacture and marketing of their
The advantage is that they could specialize and optimize their
staffing in both the contracted and employed areas instead of under
hiring or over hiring in either area. This avoided undesirable and
costly staffing reductions and improves time-to-market by avoiding
training and false starts caused by inexperienced or generalized
There are a number of companies looking for innovative staffing to
work on innovative products right now. I am currently looking for the
ones that are also interested in innovative methods for staffing. If I
have reached one in this blog, please give me a call.