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GeekMBA360

Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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This Southwest Flight was scheduled to depart and arrive within 15 minutes

January 10th, 2014 by GeekMBA360

My travel from Oakland, CA to Seattle, WA on Monday January 6th was a nightmare.

My flight, Southwest flight 231, was scheduled to depart around 4PM and arrive in Seattle at 6PM.

Around noon on Monday, I checked the flight status on southwest.com. It showed that the flight was delayed by 4+ hours. It wouldn’t leave until 8:40PM.

When I checked again at 3:45PM in the afternoon, the web site showed the flight would depart at 8:30PM, and arrive in Seattle around 8:45PM.

Obviously, this didn’t look right. Initially, I thought someone probably forgot to update the arrival time.

But, just to be cautious, I called the airline’s 1800 number.

The customer service agent told me that the flight would leave at 6:20PM. The website was wrong. If I didn’t call and relied on the web site, I would have missed the flight.

I got to the airport by 5PM. After I cleared security and arrived at the gate, the departure time had changed again to 7:15PM.

I took a screenshot of the website page that showed incorrect time to the agent. She gave me a dismissive look, and said “oh our computer system probably crashed for a few hours”. No apology whatsoever.

I have been flying Southwest Airline for a very long time. Their service is getting worse and worse every year for the past few years. I’m going to start using other airlines more often.

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CommentsTags: Company Analysis

Build a 4 Hour Work Week (4HWW) Muse business: The Hot Niche Firesale

July 17th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

If you have read The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich) , you’re probably familiar with Tim Ferris’ recommendation of building a Muse business.

A Muse is a low maintenance business that  generate significant income. My favorite Muse business model is online, location independent business that allows me to work anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in building a Muse business, you might want to check out The Hot Niche Firesale. It offers you 48 top-of-the-line, original software products that you can resell for 100% profits.

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CommentsTags: Start-up Success

Are you climbing the right mountain?

July 17th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

I have to admit that I’m a driven individual. I’m ambitious and competitive. However, I also consider myself highly ethical. The result is internal conflict – I tend to fight against myself – I want to move up the ladder but I also don’t want to play the politics.

I struggled. I had my moments of frustration, doubt and anger. But, I also persevered. In the past six months, I found myself getting promoted twice. Today I’m in charge of a half billion dollar business with a large team.

I can handle the job. But, here is an interesting lesson I want to share with you. I’m not sure I want to continue to do this job for a long time no matter how successful I am. In a large organization, I spend a lot of time to deal with politics and “play the game” in order to get things done. A lot of people at VP level or above are all about themselves – they are egotistic, clueless, and malicious. It’s not fun to be around these people.

My sweet spot is medium sized, high growth organization, or late stage start-up. A big realization I had recently is that I need to make sure I’m climbing the right mountain. My goal, value, strength, and passion need to be aligned in order for me to be happy.

If you are a driven individual who is trying to “get somewhere” in your career, I strongly encourage you to ask yourself the question “am I climbing the right mountain?”

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CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Free tool to sync up Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar?

July 17th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

My work calendar is on Microsoft Outlook. I use Google Calendar for personal use.

I want to have one combined calendars to have visibility into both my work and personal schedule. In other words, I want to do one-way sync between Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook (the data will always be synced from Outlook to Google.)

It’s excruciatingly painful to find a FREE tool to allow me to do this.

1) Google used to have a Calendar sync tool but it recently discontinued it. Mind boggling decision.

2) I started looking into sync Outlook calendar with other calendars.

3) Yahoo had a calendar sync tool but it’s no where to find. I actually find a page for “beta version” of the sync tool but the software didn’t seem to work.

4) I opened a new Outlook.com account – I want to give Microsoft a shot. If their web calendar can easily sync with their desktop Outlook calendar, I will happily to switch to Outlook.com. Well, as you could imagine, Microsoft is great at upsetting consumers! Their free sync tool can only sync from Outlook.com to Outlook desktop but not the other way around.

5) I’m back to square one. Fortunately, I found a version of the old Google Calendar tool saved on a server somewhere in Australia. For the time being, the software still works.

I still don’t understand why Google, Yahoo and particularly Microsoft make it so hard to sync calendars? There is a golden opportunity for Yahoo or Microsoft to steal some market share if they do this right.

Is anyone at Yahoo or Microsoft listening? Hello!

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CommentsTags: Tools & Tips

Microsoft gives me every reason not to switch to Window 8

July 17th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

I studied computer science. I have worked in software & e-commerce for 15 years now. I consider myself a computer power user. Computer is the primary tool I use at work.

I desperately want to upgrade to a better and more modern operating system. Unfortunately, Microsoft is doing a great job to discourage me from upgrading to Windows 8 and buy a Microsoft Surface.

Every time I’m at Costco or Best Buy, I visit the computer section. I like to play with the products they have on shelf. The Windows 8 interface is so confusing – the most basic tasks I want to do are 1) switch from IE browser to Microsoft Excel 2) run two Excel spreadsheet at the same time 3) connect to my office computer via VPN and remote desktop. These are very simple tasks on my laptop that is running Windows. Unfortunately, the Windows 8 user interface is extremely confusing. I really don’t want to bother to figure it out.

The more I play with Windows 8, the most I dislike it. I might never want to purchase a Windows machine again. I can live with Mac or Chromebook.

Microsoft: you suck!

A frustrated user.

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CommentsTags: Tools & Tips

Work from Home, VPN access and your job security

June 7th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

A lot of companies have flexible work hour policy. They allow employees to work from home for some days.

To work from home, the employee will need to log into his/her employer’s Virtual Private Network (VPN.)

Once you logged into VPN, you are being watched, tracked and analyzed.

When a company wants to lay off people or get rid of you for whatever reason, it can easily use your VPN access data against you.

If you work from home, please make sure you are really working. You log into VPN in the morning, and log out in late afternoon or early morning. Please really do your work. Otherwise, you might get yourself into trouble.

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CommentsTags: Uncategorized

I love to learn! Do you?

June 7th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

The number of online learning opportunities has been grown exponentially. It’s very exciting time for anyone who love to learn.

Here is a list of learning sites & resources I use regularly:

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CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Exciting update on How to Get a Job at Amazon.com

June 7th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

I published How To Get a Job At Amazon.com ebook  four years ago.

I’m happy to report that this book has helped many people to get full time job offers from Amazon.com. Some of them even contacted me and had lunch with me after they relocated to the greater Seattle area to work for amazon.com.

I’m humbled and excited by the responses I have been getting. I will continue to update the eBook to provide the most helpful information on how to interview and get a job at Amazon.com.

My team will also start to offer 1-on-1 coaching on a limited basis – each session will take an hour. Our team of interview coaches will spend 45 minutes to conduct a mock interview – it’s very similar to the actual interview you will have at amazon. We will then spend the last 15 minutes to de-brief, providing you feedback and tips on how to interview with Amazon.com. All of the interview coaches have worked at amazon.com before – so you will be “coached” by someone who “has been there and done that at amazon.com”.

Please email regularguy@geekmba360.com for pricing and appointment information.

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CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Will there be more layoffs in second half of 2013?

June 7th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

I only have qualitative information but I predict unemployment rate will go up as there will be more layoffs in second half of 2013.

The Obama Care changes will take effect in January 2014. I’m not against health care reform. But I think companies will start to cut staff to help offset the increasing health care costs as result of Obama Care.

This past week I have heard about multiple layoffs. Also, some blue chip companies are trying to get ahead of this and are starting to plan layoffs.

The second half of 2013 could be quite ugly.

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CommentsTags: Uncategorized

My not-to-hire list

June 7th, 2013 by GeekMBA360

Over the years I had my share of success and failure to hire people.

Here is a list of job candidate I try to stay away from.

  1. Candidate who is late for job interview. No exception. If a candidate is late for interview, he demonstrates one of two shortcomings: 1) he doesn’t’ respect others’ time or 2) he didn’t plan enough time to beat the traffic (or other unforeseen circumstances.)
  2. Candidate who is over qualified: the job market is tough. Some candidates are willing to accept job offers that the candidate is over qualified. However, this type of candidate is taking the job for the money. Unless they can keep their egos in check (which is very hard to do), they will soon start to resent their jobs. I stay away from candidate who is over qualified.
  3. Spoiled rich kids: I have nothing against candidates from wealthy families. In fact a few of my friends are from very affluent family but they are also some of the hardest works I have ever known. However, some rich kids are so spoiled that they feel they are entitled to everything in the world. The worst part is that they’re extremely self centered. It’s all about them. If something is not going his or her way, he or she will throw a tantrum. Stay away from these people.
  4. Never hire a management consultant with no operational experience. The worst type of employee I had is HBS graduate + McKinsey/Bain/BCG Consulting Experience + undergraduate business major. Most of them are completely useless – they’re corporate ladder climbers with no idea of how to run a business. They focus on the wrong thing!
  5. People who are very verbose. This type of job candidate is overly detail oriented, and they will waste everyone’s time because they will make very 5-minute conversation into an half an hour meeting!
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CommentsTags: Corporate Ladder · Leadership