If you hear a manager at your place of employment claim to be a big shot deciderer, start looking for different employment

Such claims always have an unspoken corollary: “… and you lot are my serfs/soldiers.”

It’s time to face up to the reality that business schools do little other than defraud society, students and non-students alike. As with members of any guild (e.g. attorneys), business school graduates take to heart the nonsense they hear from professors about becoming more special somehow than others, after which they too start insisting that those outside the guild have all the obligations toward guild members.

Such self-styled heroes don’t enjoy looking weak. Indeed, perceiving themselves as weak is the very reason why most of them seek the artificial gang-banger protection of a guild (the worse conceivable assortment of insecure gang-bangers being any government ever). When the weak-minded gang up, each of the individual members starts demonstrating a likewise artificiality of assuredness, which obligates them from a psychological standpoint to rearrange an otherwise functional enterprise into a morass of do-as-I-say hierarchical bureaucracy … also artificial.

Bureaucracies tend to feature quick decisions that all too often are the wrong decisions (the everything-stuck-forever-in-committee lamentation representing just the most visible aspect of an otherwise fraudulent imperative to shove things down throats before anyone suspects that incompetence or corruption is inspiring all the bureaucratic dictates). Bureaucrats pretending to be business managers tend to make those kinds of quick decisions because they are insecure about their qualifications and therefore remain anxious at all times to issue commands before anyone else can present thoughtful counterpoints. Then it becomes all about the do-as-I-say. Then it becomes all about the insolvency.

Perhaps an example would help. Have you heard of The Cloud? Have you heard the common sense explanation that The Cloud is a mere marketing campaign from companies hoping to sexy up the boring old market for servers and their complementary support services? Have you, then, heard of self-styled deciderers insisting that their supply chain must include adequate budgeting for The Cloud because the manager in question has heard all the buzz surrounding the marketing campaign? Due diligence goes out the figurative window, all because a bureaucrat disguising themselves as a business manager tries to appear quick-minded by way of pointing toward a fabricated fad.

Be more thoughtful.


When it comes to developing software with a goal of maximized CX (Customer eXperience), leave economic specialization to the actual coders

Business management is never a specialized vocation, although peddlers of business school tickets to careers of artificial exclusivity centered around guild membership comradery tend to claim that entrepreneurship is somehow teachable.

Entrepreneurship is one of the Fine Arts. None of the Fine Arts is teachable because creative talent is itself unteachable. The best that art schools can do is provide a consistent environment of self-exploration as well as feedback from faculty who have been around the figurative block a few times. Such an environment is more cost-effective for painters or writers than it is for entrepreneurs (whose typical creative process necessitates greater amounts of capital and labor for each finished work of art called an innovative business).

If you want to help your employer remain agile and responsive amid ever-changing consumer demand, take exclusive heed of neither the dialecticians nor the grammarians among your coworkers. Instead of looking toward only the Vocational Arts (e.g. a developer) or the Fine Arts (e.g. a company founder), consider paying more attention to Liberal Arts graduates who bring to the workplace a better mixture of instruction-following dialectics and analogy-comprehending grammar.

Remember: as a competent manager of a slice of your employer’s slice of the eternal infotinuum, you are required to resist bureaucratic urges. That means you must never expect anyone to mindlessly follow orders as though they are divine commandments handed down from on high, and you must also never rely on everyone else’s suggestions as a way to simultaneously guard against criticism of your own ideas (e.g. “That was all them”) and set up an opportunity to claim credit for successful outcomes (e.g. “My team really came through for me”).

Consumers are at all times in charge of any healthy economy. Producers wish that such a fundamental economic principle was not true (even though they along with everyone else spend the vast majority of their life — even while at work producing goods & services for market — consuming things that are already available from the market). Where some producers end up sabotaging their employer is at that crossroad of personal insecurity known as the impulse to bark out bureaucratic orders toward both colleagues (e.g. “You’re beneath me, so just do as I say”) and customers (e.g. “There’s nothing wrong with the smartphone, you’re just holding it wrong”).

Producers hoping to supplant consumers as the ones in the economic driver’s seat often turn toward socialism of a corporatist variety, such as the toxic environment under which Mussolini purported to be reclaiming Roman glory by way of guild-based State production goals. Strive to be more liberal than bureaucrats pretending to be business managers.

Alephnote: Aleph Infotinuum Services avoids the mistaken definition of the term liberal, which FDR deliberately tricked Americans into adopting (aside: during the 1930s both Mussolini and Hitler praised FDR for his efforts to centralize economic control). AIS prefers instead to help sustain the term’s accurate, classical definition — indeed PC stands not for Politically Correct but rather for Programmed Conservatism.


Apparently, the hippest CIOs are balancing opportunity with risk

There is, of course, no such thing as a competent employee who does anything else.

Bureaucrats demand obsequious obedience while kowtowing before those whom they consider to be bigger, badder bureaucrats. Business managers who behave like bureaucrats are unqualified for positions within free enterprise. As the latter (i.e. the bureaucrats) become more indistinguishable from the former amid this supposed modern age, consumer freedom perishes just as economist Friedrich von Hayek explained will always happen under such coerced circumstances: “We have progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past.”

That might seem like a fair tradeoff for those who either are bureaucrats or are falling into the fake-it-until-you-make-it habit of behaving like bureaucrats, but focusing on the demands of producers instead of the demands of consumers represents the major factor leading toward chronic bankruptcies & recessions & depressions & totalitarian regimes & genocide. Even while at work producing things for market, each person spends the vast majority of their time consuming things which others produced earlier (e.g. electricity, vehicles, furniture, lunches, uniforms, etc.). As opposed to Keynesian duplicity regarding consumers being some kind of engine of economic production, any healthy economy features consumers at all times in the economic driver’s seat.

Still, those business managers whose fake-it-until-you-make-it insecurity compels them to take on more bureaucratic characteristics end up more often than not establishing a kind of vassal fiefdom within their place of employment, whereby they pretend to be large-and-in-charge deciderers while merely making snap decisions based on whether or not they heard about a particular stratagem while watching a TED Talk or a potential supply-chain vendor by keeping in close contact with one of their fraternity buddies who happens to work there. What suffers is the employer’s ability to meet its ultimate goal: making the business development decisions which maximize consumer satisfaction (while demanding maximized satisfaction as a consumer of other goods & services).

Go ahead and blame so-called business schools, whose instructors are utterly incapable — as are all people — of teaching others how to be entrepreneurial, choosing instead to emphasize bureaucratic administration. MBAs are actually MBBs (Masters of Business Bureaucracy), who learn little other than glad-handing tactics to exclude those who have not paid for membership into the guild.

So what’s a genuine entrepreneur to do? Simple: make sure to hire CIOs (and other top management) from the field of candidates who do not list “MBA” as one of their on-paper qualifications. Since it is no longer possible to escape to a relatively newer continent of freer markets (as Europeans did during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries), it’s time once and for all to starting killing off guilds by way of deciderer boycott.


Has gamification in learning lived up to the hype?

Like other much-discussed trends touted to revolutionize learning, the answer is No.

The term “gamification” was born out of the ashes of attempts to develop serious games and use virtual environments like Second Life for learning. Funding agencies dolled out millions of dollars to academics to research and develop learning environments based on then-popular games like World of Warcraft. It produced a lot of research, speculation, and hype. And not much else.

Most gamification proponents define it as taking game-like elements like scoring, badges, and rewards, and applying them to non-game contexts. The fun and challenge of achieving higher levels and status will make learning content — anything from corporate HR principles, web development, or molecular biology — more engaging.

But gamification is just extrinsic motivation and behaviorism wrapped up in marketing spin. It’s based on dangling rewards (badges, gold stars, prizes, recognition) in front of users for following dialectical instruction like good little gamers soldiers. And the problem with learning design based on extrinsic motivation is that the learning content itself becomes secondary to the reward. Rewarding users able to click the fastest and navigate the system fastest doesn’t lead to better learning, and actually inhibits users’ motivation and engagement with the learning content.


“Who are you and how are you going to help my employer maintain the ability to pay my salary?”

When evaluating technology vendors for possible B2B supply chain relationships, don’t shy away from directing questions toward those who create the product that is under procurement consideration.

Perhaps, during the course of your day-to-day nine-to-five, you’ve created or helped to create some of the RFI (Request For Information) or RFP (Request For Proposal) communications that enterprises need for comparing & contrasting the sources of potential production inputs. Such documented requests are important elements of maximizing employer value and, consequently, profits and, consequently-consequently, your sustained income from whichever role you occupy within the organization.

The product itself, though, represents only a part of the relationship that your employer has with its supply-side stakeholders. The people who make the product are just as important to both their employer’s success and yours, so suss out information like the vendor’s HR turnover rate (churn) as well as how closely its various departments work together (e.g. do they have a workforce that is geographically distributed and do they do much outsourcing of their own production needs?).

Such questions need not be of a personal nature. Instead of asking someone where they went to school, try asking them what their process is for resolving bugs or similar product defects. Instead of listening to a sales pitch as a captured audience, find out whether a potential supplier’s engineering staff — or whoever creates their employer’s product — would be willing to sit in on one of your employer’s sales meetings (assuming your employer approves).

The key is to build a trustful and mutually beneficial relationship based not on the product alone or the first impression you get regarding specific personalities, but rather on the way that potential vendors work together to add value to your employer’s roadmap achievements. It’s the business management equivalent of “Measure twice, cut once.”


A metadata tag too far: comprehending deep semantics to help your employer focus

If you plant too many trees you’ll lose sight of the forest, or something like that.

As a general enterprise rule, Aleph Infotinuum Services declines to dumb down anything for its clients or its web site readership. AIS prefers to offer opportunities for self-improvement and growth.

Indeed, dumbing down things for clients represents professional negligence. All too often, bureaucrats disguising themselves as competent business managers will — amid their desperation to appear like big shot deciderers — seek to blow with the “I’ve heard of <insert product or company here> so that’s what we’re going with” wind. All too mimicked often, sycophants cuing on such bureaucratic pretense of business management gravitas will kowtow like automatons and thereby endanger the very solvency of their employer.

So it is with content, and marketing, and the consumption of marketing content from third parties for purposes of business management decidering (which is not about manufacturing apple juice by way of separating alcohol from cider). Many CMOs, and even some CIOs depending on a particular individual’s level of bureaucratic behavior, make deliberate efforts to disseminate information which is vague at best and duplicitous at worst. Bureaucrats are willing to throw colleagues under the proverbial bus and set them up for failure (e.g. Stalin-esque political purges or equivalent nights of long knives) … so what do you think such weakness of character brings to the prospect of CX (Customer eXperience)?

As a qualified manager of a slice of your employer’s slice of the eternal infotinuum, you know better than to obfuscate and dazzle with public-facing wordiness. You also know better than to condescend toward consumers by dumbing down everything. Stick with the rhetorical basics of a foundational semantic makeup, and your markup will become as honey is to flies (or to pooh bears — or to just about anything with taste buds).


A verbatim headline: “The 5 Ds of Creating Software”

Aleph Infotinuum Services gives this article a non-binding grade of D for failing to include Documentation.

AIS is also sorry to report that not one of those Ds is Dance. Perhaps the intended developer-android audience spends its days dreaming of electric sheep within one or another enterprise’s Dilbert department.

On a more serious note, what’s up with skimping on documentation? Such corner cutting guarantees a diminished user experience. As the article explains, creating software is about more than just hacking code.

After adding Documentation to the hexa-D recipe for software development (which itself is a document), consider prefixing the D with a C for Continuous Delivery. Establish a feasible workflow process (e.g. dev-ops, XP, Scrum, etc.) as another wise component of product pre-planning.


Read the fine print before using online surveys in elearning

They can be a cheap and easy-to-implement solution for gathering information and conducting evaluations, but here are some considerations before launching your next online survey.

  • Security – Where is the database that stores user responses? Don’t keep your critical business information on another company’s servers. Be a cloudbuster like AIS and keep your business data private.
  • Accessibility – Can all of your intended users access the online survey? Don’t assume that your users have the necessary computer and internet access. If you are gathering data for research, will an online survey affect your sample population or create biased responses? Also consider your plan to publicize or entice users to respond, especially if you require a certain number of responses.
  • Time – How much time will users need to complete the questionnaire? And how long will you make it available to them? Give your users estimated times in advance. If it’s a long questionnaire, give them the option to complete it over multiple sessions. Don’t forget your time to create the questionnaire and review the responses. While survey software programs often have templated questionnaires and question types from which to select, more complex branching questionnaires require more data analysis time.


To paraphrase Padmé Amidala: “This is how freedom dies … with empty promises of convenience”

Whether it’s business or personal, centralization represents the road to serfdom.

Friedrich Hayek, like other classical liberal economists, knew the score (The Road To Serfdom being one of his pamphleteer works). He knew the score so well, in fact, that his detractors have been trying for decades to trick the unsuspecting into confusing classical liberalism with neoliberalism — the “neo” prefix representing a notable divergence from that which existed earlier. Superman, for example, typified classical gnostic nonsense, whereas Neo of The Matrix was able to become The One Who Is Truly Beyond Good And Evil.

If such a 20th Century comparison doesn’t seem to you to be all that divergent, consider instead the modern Superwoman-styled character named Tris (is that perhaps short for Trismegistus?). Better still, allow Aleph Infotinuum Services to retreat from the film-based analogies by exposing a more relevant neognostic swindle: The Cloud.

The infotinuum is, of course, all about the information. AIS helps forward-thinking enterprises to avoid gnostic traps whereby insecure employees try to protect the information that they know — try to occult it, if you will — for purposes of artificial job security. Such personal insecurity can and does lead to business insecurity of the insolvent variety.

Indeed, all too often protectionism runs roughshod over entire societies. At the time of this blog post, the United States of America finds itself headed into just such a make-it-great economic spiral. In classical wax-and-wane fashion, the Chinese bureaucracy appears to be picking up a standard of neoinflationary socialist fraud, much as America’s own inflationary faux rise coincided with the decline of the British Empire (which succeeded the Spanish Empire … and so on back through history to Nimrod and beyond). The 19th Century Political Economy essayist Frederic Bastiat also knew the score when he penned the following: “The State is that great fiction by which everyone strives to live at the expense of everyone else.”

Such folly has everything to do with a bureaucratic pretense of centralized wisdom — with a philosopher king canard shared among a group of self-styled juris doctor aristocrats (i.e. those who pretend to be in a position to create rules which everyone must follow even though no one signed any particular contract). As socialist fraud encroaches upon a society, that pretense of centralized wisdom impacts markets in ways which manifest as slippery slopes toward totalitarianism of either the Soviet-style command variety or the Nazi-style zwangswirtschaft variety. Businesses, meanwhile, get caught in the authoritarian vice, while consumers get crushed underfoot since more and more people start considering their time spent as a producer (desperate to “keep up” with the rising prices which inflation causes but which bureaucrats blame on markets) to be more important than their time spent as a consumer (which still represents the vast majority of everyone’s day-to-day activities — even while at work trying to produce something for income).

Speaking of being at work, your employer consumes the information that stakeholders are willing to share, and devises important infotinuum strategies to liberate as much as possible from those employees who would prefer to silo their self-important enterprise gnosis. Government insists, though, upon liberating all information for its exclusive use, which typically amounts to sealing it away and posting gatekeepers everywhere (recall Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s closing “Top men” scene and its seemingly endless warehouse facility). Secreting away information is the lynchpin of all schemes for suppressing freedom.

In today’s hyperconnected world, information is increasingly hyperavailable. Information sets with the greatest secreting potential include profiles that Big Data number crunchers can compile from the hyperavailable information. A key goal for Neoatlantians seeking absolute global dominance is to centralize all information, and to that end they and their secret societies are turning toward the businesses which they have caught in their authoritarian vice.

Fellow secret society members are, obviously, exempt from any bureaucratic vice treatment that is not an element of their fraternal/sororal blood vows. Their enterprises and NGOs receive carrots instead, in the form of insider access to fabian developments. One such development has been the thin client long con, an effort to convince profane computer users that they can trust their private data and their processing requirements to one or more third parties.

Back in the days of PCs and BBSs, people logging on understood better than to relinquish control, so in recent decades the grifter pitch has been revolving more around the refined concept of mobile devices as so-called primary screens. Since the consumer masses have started going online, their relative lack of technological savvy as compared with the BBS users of 30 years ago has presented a chance for those lurking third parties to claim that they created something new called The Cloud and that anyone who doesn’t have their face buried in their mobile device is uncool and that everyone who knows anything at all will trust the convenience of thisbox or thatdocs or facetheother for handling the boring bits.

What’s more, these mobile-first users include entrepreneurs and business managers who tend to jump aboard the newbie train regarding most IT-related decisions. Delegation of responsibility is the name of the fake-it-until-you-make-it game within any bureaucracy, with thoughtless and shortsighted strategies playing right into the hands of those who peddle not-so-convenient-in-the-end solutions which cost a freedom sacrifice to the vice of secret societies and Total Information Awareness.

That is why AIS chooses to be a cloudbuster. That is why AIS will help your employer keep its private data on-base.


Enterprise Anatomy 101: Connective Tissues

When it comes to designing and implementing a comprehensive infotinuum strategy (which both requires and enhances a thoughtful IT security strategy), consider first the anticipated praxes of your employer’s business development before ever starting to slap those tendons & ligaments of content-related software & services onto the company’s muscular IT infrastructure.

To continue with the analogy, go ahead and consider your employer’s IT muscles to be everyone who holds a stake in the success of the enterprise. That includes board members, staff, vendors and consumers. Note that Aleph Infotinuum Services chose to not include bureaucracy in the list of stakeholders, for reasons that have everything to do with the locomotive difference between forward and backward.

As managing the part of infotinuum expressed by mankind has become easier and its content more retrievable, its volume has exploded. Navigation of this infinitely thin slice of the eternal infotinuum now requires several coexisting layers of data and business logic interoperability. There is a sea of protocols and namespaces ready to drown any business that fails to prepare before dipping a toe.

On the positive side, increased interoperability among EIM (Enterprise Infotinuum Management) systems is helping to decrease the cost of swapping out one vendor’s solution for another. IT consumers are gaining more natural economic control with each platform-neutralizing innovation. Go ahead and breathe a little easier as you help your employer map out that connective tissue value stream, because strategy sessions to determine future procurements are becoming less risky.

Just be sure to strategize first.