Computer Guy

Computer Guy
Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

CEO School: Accoutrements

The number one job of the CEO is to communicate: the dream, vision, goals, values, etc. The effective CEO will do this in writing, and in meetings, but consider that we are all communicating all the time, whether we know it or not.

The CEO will be watched for clues as to his priorities. People will adopt the CEO's persona unconsciously. The CEO's character determines the corporate culture.

Here are 10 thoughts about the CEO's basic accoutrements and the messages they send:

Smile, a lot more than you do now!
Your Smile - the only Free thing on this list, yet it is the most powerful. It's easy to forget this because CEOs are always thinking serious thoughts, solving problems, doing analysis, critical thinking. Your team sees that serious look on your face and they easily think you are angry, unhappy, and getting ready to unleash some negative statement. They hold back. Cultivate an easy smile and your team will do the same. Smiles are contagious. Enthusiasm ensues. Great work follows. "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other free super-powers: eye contact, handshake, remembering names.

Your Business Card - this is the first thing you give to everyone you meet. It's also your lasting impression. Spend a little extra to show the world you value Quality. Most people leave the back blank, but you'll be surprised how many people turn the card over when they receive it. Reward them with a personal statement of your philosophy, or a great quote that communicates your character. Remember that the number one job of the CEO is to communicate the dream. Do it here!

Your Pen - Do you even carry a pen? Do you find yourself embarrassed to have to borrow one and show how unprepared you are? A 29 cent Bic will do the job just as well as a $100 Mont Blanc, but what is the message you send when you pull out that chewed on disposable that skips and deposits globs of ink on important documents? A serious pen demonstrates seriousness of purpose. A professional writing instrument says to all that you are a professional.

Your Notebook - of course you can take short notes on your phone, or your tablet, but consider the lowly notebook's advantages, in a professional leather binder that also holds your business cards, and your great pen. Taking notes in a meeting is one of the most powerful signals you can send that you are respect the speaker, you are paying attention, and you value what is being communicated.

Pilots wear these to
show the world
they're pilots! 
Your Watch - Time is of the Essence, as always! Of course your phone can tell you what time it is, but there is an extraordinary advantage to wearing a watch, because it can be checked much more subtly and easily than using your phone, especially while driving. Your watch is a necessity to be on time for meetings. You are always on time, right? To be late is an insult, and shows your team and your clients that you are unprepared, or worse, uncaring/disrepectful. An Apple watch is very productive, and I favor it over no watch. But it's commonplace, and you are extraordinary, right? Tip: in a meeting, take your watch off and put it on the table in front of you to signal to everyone that you have a serious respect for staying on schedule. You don't need to spend a fortune to wear a quality timepiece. It's a lifetime investment that will start many interesting conversations.

Your Car - you are what you drive! Above all it must be clean and uncluttered inside and out. Imagine what message you send when your ride is loaded with junk and Burger King wrappers. You will be judged by our car, whether you like it or not. It's the second most expensive purchase you'll make and one of the most visible expressions of your priorities in life. What does your car communicate about you?

Your Clothes - Dress for Success! You may be surprised by the effect this has on the quality of your work, and the work of your team. If you look like you just fell out of bed, or like you just don't care what you look like, that will filter down throughout your organization. Show your team, your clients, and your suppliers that you are a first class company and they will up their game to your expectations. Women are a great judge of character based on first impressions and one of the first things they notice is your shoes! The strongest suggestion for the way to dress is to mirror the way your customers dress. Even more importantly, dress the way your VCs look when doing your presentation. This is a variant of "mirroring" described in NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming, an advanced communication technique. Overall, NLP has some seriously questionable claims, but mirroring is a technique that works if done properly.

Don't do this!

Your Face Piercings - just seeing if you're paying attention! Do you know any successful CEOs or VCs with piercings? Maybe if you're doing a rap startup, and looking for money from Dennis Rodman, then ok, but for the other 99.99% it's probably not the best way to communicate your intelligence and priorities. Same thing with face/neck/hand tats.

Don't be this guy!
Your Office - Set the tone. You're a leader. Create the example you want your team to follow. Above all, your office must be clean, uncluttered, organized. You will get more done and improve your mental health. Read this.

Your Home - Your home says everything about you. Make sure it sends the right message. Consider these words from "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho: "See the wonders of my world," said the wise man. "You can't trust a man if you don't know his house." We all start out in humble surroundings, but even the most inexpensive abode can still reflect your priorities of cleanliness, organization, minimalism. Your books send a very strong message. Is your bed made? Is the sink loaded with dirty dishes? 

In Summary - The bottom line with all this is that you are sending messages at all times by your posture, what you wear, how you talk, and your "bling". Many people are completely unaware of the negative effect they are creating. Don't be this guy! 


If you value quotations that inspire, motivate, and educate, 
especially for entrepreneurs
you will want to download ToBeWise
the extraordinary FREE app for iOS and android devices.
Two versions: Free and Pro

Energy and Persistence conquer all things.
Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

CEO School: Fundamentals

First time CEOs, and many seasoned CEOs, will benefit from a review of these Fundamentals. Knowing is not Doing; it takes consistent practice to create bulletproof Habits. Corporate culture starts with the CEO.


Sales Solves All Problems. The number one job of the CEO is to communicate. The CEO must communicate The Vision, the Dream, the Goals, the Plan, the rewards for achieving the Goal. This is Selling 101. The CEO needs to be the top salesman in the company. Fundraising and Recruiting are key aspects of selling the dream.

Know Your North Star and Follow it absolutely. There are only a few basic principles of success in business and they have been known for a long time, but most CEOs either don't know them, or have forgotten them, or they violate them in pursuit of opportunistic gains. There are thousands of new books every year that purport to reveal some all-powerful new technique that will make you an instant billionaire. Beware the shiny object of the solution du jour. It's all the same stuff: repackaged common sense.  For the last 35 years, DoubleM business principles have been written down as the Ten Commandments for Managing a Young, Growing Business. This poster is suitable for framing and free for the asking.

Talk less, learn more. You can't learn anything with your mouth open. Avoid these topics: politics, religion, sex, gambling, etc. The more you listen, the more people will think you're a genius. “Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

Breathe before speaking. Take your time before spewing forth. Know what you are going to say before you say it. If you take a slight pause before you speak, you will have your audience's attention.

Ask questions, and pay attention to the answers.  When you do speak, ask, don't tell. Ask a lot of questions to learn and draw others out.

Smile, a lot. People like people who smile. People follow, and buy from, people they like. You would be amazed at how long it took me to learn this. Most of us are so inside our heads that we forget this most important and powerful gesture. My smile story.


Delegate, but don't abdicate. Or, to be more clear: Do it; Document it; Delegate it. You can't and shouldn't do everything yourself. Build faster by delegating. Clearly written processes/checklists make delegating effective, especially if the person's job description is to continuously improve the documentation. Delegation is not Abdication. Know the difference. Delegate everything possible; only do the things that only you can do: Communicate the Dream. If you don't have someone you can delegate something to, then Always Be Recruiting.

Always Be Recruiting. You will never have enough great people. This concept of "Always Be Recruiting" is one of the more overlooked basics, until all of a sudden you lose a key team member, then it becomes a fire drill to fill that seat, and because it's a rush job, it's usually done sub-optimally. Read this.

Kaizen: Continuous Improvement.  (Link) The law of entropy is universal and omnipotent. Everything always changes, and almost never for the better. Build a culture whereby everyone's job is Continuous Improvement. This list is under continuous improvement! Are you?

Write it down

Take copious notes. It demonstrates that you are paying attention and value what you learn.

Follow up in writing. Almost nobody gets this right, and yet it is the hallmark of a true professional. See Commandment #4.

Keep a Journal. There's a lot of scientific evidence to support the fact that keeping a journal is a good thing for people to do. The benefits include reduced stress, faster recovery, feeling of peace, greater focus... do you need more?  Keep a journal. You'll be amazed at how good it is...

Know the Score. Business is a game. You must know the score. Focus on selected daily/weekly KPIs. Have professionally prepared monthly financial reports including Balance Sheet and Profit/Loss statements, at a minimum. Delegate bookkeeping as soon as possible in the life of your business.  Life is a game. Money is how we keep score. Ted Turner

Have an agenda. Send it in advance, and follow it. Be organized and respectful of your team members' time.

Good Habits

Sleep and Let Sleep. Consistent sleep is the best thing you can do for your health, energy, focus, concentration, and the quantity and quality of your work. The madness of Silicon Valley startup culture whereby CEOs demand workaholism is counterproductive. Read this for the sane point of view.  And, now here's the ugly argument, from a top VC.  VC greed can drive the CEO to demand insane behavior from his team. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Ben Franklin.

Be On Time. Never be early, never be late.  Get there ahead of time and wait until the appointment time before you walk through the door. Being early is an inconvenience to the person you are visiting. Being late is an insult, and demonstrates your lack of preparation. Make it a game to appear at exactly the right time. You know they will look at their watch and be impressed with your punctuality and dependability. Make it a habit, a point of personal pride, and an shining example to your team.

Exercise consistently. Even a little exercise, done consistently, is far better than sporadic strong workouts. Get away from your computer frequently throughout the day. Walk around, drink water, do a few pushups, do something, but do it consistently!

Eat right.  Make nutrition an intellectual decision, not an emotional reaction. My food story.

Dress appropriately. Quietly communicate the highest level of professionalism.

Optimism breeds success. Become this person. People will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Practice Gratitude. Read this.


If you value quotations that inspire, motivate, and educate, 
especially for entrepreneurs
you will want to download ToBeWise
the extraordinary FREE app for iOS and android devices.
Two versions: Free and Pro

Be wiser than other people if you can: but do not tell them so.
Dale Carnegie

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CEO School: Rich or Happy?

Interesting question! How would you answer it?

Many people would say Both, but the question is asked as though the choices are mutually exclusive, forcing you to select just one.

People who answer Rich might think they will be Happy when they are Rich. That's a big mistake, because Rich always seems to be Not Now, and only maybe in the future, if everything works out.

That's the typical entrepreneur mindset. You've probably heard it before:

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, 
so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't."

The fallacy in this plan is that the overwhelming percentage of startup entrepreneurs will either fail absolutely, or spend their days running a business that barely clings to life. They will not be Rich, and therefore will not be Happy. Lose/Lose.

Wise Words!

How much is Rich? What is your number? Ask the guy who is flipping burgers and he will tell you his number is 100 grand, or a million. Ask someone with 10 million and he will tell you it's 100 million. Ask the guy with 100 million and he might tell you he wants a billion. And it depends on other factors, such as the country you live in.

To me, Rich is a factor of Net Worth (Assets minus Debts), and disposable income. My mantra is "No toys on credit." In fact, I have avoided all debt for the last 30 years. That brings me big peace of mind, which for me is an essential part of being Happy.

Bill Gates says being a billionaire is overrated: 'Once you get beyond a million dollars, it's still the same hamburger'.

Rich always seems to be just out of reach, sometime in the future, but Happy is a state of mind that can be achieved right now, regardless of the bank account. 

Most people are about as happy as 
they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln

Happy starts with Gratitude for who we are and what we have right now. Focus on the positive in life and be one with that. 

If you focus on being Happy, right now, as you continue to work to become Rich, the odds are greatly improved that you will become Rich, and truly enjoy the journey.

Another key ingredient in being Happy is being Healthy. To me that means low stress, excellent nutrition, exercise, and having good relationships with excellent people. I focus daily on being Healthy, mentally and physically, and Happy seems to follow as night follows day.

Men find happiness neither by means of the body nor through possessions, 
but through uprightness and wisdom. 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. 
Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. 
Who is rich? He that is content. 
Who is that? Nobody. 
Benjamin Franklin


If you like quotations that will inspire, motivate, and educate, 
especially for entrepreneurs
you'll want to download ToBeWise
the extraordinary app for iOS and android devices.
Two versions: Free and Pro

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


There's been a lot of talk about Gratitude over the last decade or so. Initially, it seemed like a lot of new age hocus-pocus without anything real to back it up. Anybody can make claims; show me the numbers. I'm a pragmatist. I've got better things to do with my time...

But over time, the idea started working its way into my reality. The benefits seemed to make sense, (see below) and the practice sure seemed easy enough, and free, so decided to give it a try.

Before sleep

One of the best ways for me is to think of some people and things I'm grateful for right before I go to sleep. I've found that I go to sleep faster.

Morning routine

Another thing I do is to include Gratitude in my morning routine (includes yoga, stretching, breathing, exercise, meditation, affirmations...). For about a year I had a list that I read to myself, but after a while my attention wandered while reading the list, so I recorded my voice reading the list, then added some of my favorite music for background. It's still a work in progress (everything is!), but it works for me. Check it out.

Bottom line: I highly recommend the practice of Gratitude, at least once a day, and to do it until it becomes a Habit, and a strong foundation for a happy and healthy life.


Here's a summary of some health benefits of Gratitude as recently published in Time.

Gratitude can help you sleep
“Count blessings, not sheep.” Research in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research has found that feeling grateful helps people sleep better and longer.

Gratitude can make you more patient
Research from Northeastern University has found that people who felt grateful for little, everyday things were more patient and better able to make sensible decisions, compared to those who didn’t feel very gracious on a day-to-day basis. When 105 undergraduate students were asked to choose between receiving a small amount of money immediately or a larger sum at some point in the future, for example, the students who had shown more gratitude in earlier experiments were able to hold out for more cash.

Gratitude may stop you from overeating
“Gratitude replenishes willpower,” says Susan Peirce Thompson, a cognitive scientist who specializes in the psychology of eating. The concept is similar to the Northeastern research that found a connection between gratitude and patience: Thompson says cultivating feelings of gratitude can boost your impulse control, helping you slow down and make better decisions.

Gratitude can help ease depression
Thompson, the cognitive scientist, says experiments have shown that people whole partake in the “three good things” exercise — which, as the name suggests, prompts people to think of three good moments or things that happened that day — see considerable improvements in depression and overall happiness, sometimes in as little as a couple weeks. “If there were a drug that did that, whoever patented that drug would be rich,” Thompson says. “Gratitude is very powerful.”

Gratitude improves self-care
In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health and psychological health, as well as how likely they were to do wellbeing-boosting behaviors like exercise, healthy eating and going to the doctor. They found positive correlations between gratitude and each of these behaviors, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.

Gratitude might improve your relationship
According to a study in the Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, feeling grateful toward your partner — and vice versa — can improve numerous aspects of your relationship, including feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction as a couple. This just seems to be common sense.

Gratitude gives you happiness that lasts
Lots of things, from a compliment to a sugary treat, can bring little bursts of happiness. But instant gratification also goes away quickly, which leaves you craving more. Gratitude is something that leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness, because it’s not based in that immediate gratification; it’s a frame of mind. If you regularly take time to express gratitude and thankfulness, you’re likely to see results.

Friday, January 5, 2018

KPI Page

What and Why KPI?

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

You are either in control, or out of control.

Your KPIs tell the story.

Here are a few important KPIs for you to measure:

Cash Runway Length in months, current and graph
Net Promoter Score,  current and graph

Sales Creation Activities
     Outbound Calls, Proposals, Closing Ratio,
     New Sales by week and month, graphs past and future

   Receivables over 60 days
   Current ratio
   Cash requirements report link

Monday, January 1, 2018


TheChecklist™ Sales Resources:

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes - inspirational quotations, android and iOS





Introduction, User Guide and other links

Business Opportunities for inspirational quotations via notifications, android/iOS - the simplest system for success

Schedule a Call or Meeting

How much time will you need? 

Click one of the time slots above, 
and you will be taken to my calendar 
to reserve a day and time convenient for you.

Looking back 50 years.

Image may contain: car and outdoor
Fifty years ago: It was 1968... 
I was a young lad, only 26, recently left IBM, and starting on my first CEO/founder position. Also, that year I took my first and only bride, on my birthday, so as not to forget the date. I was driving a Jag XK-E roadster, radically customized to tow a racing BMW 700 in which I competed successfully at east coast tracks like Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, Marlboro, Hershey, etc. It was a good year... Just four years prior I had graduated from college at the bottom 10% of my class. Success is the best revenge! 
It was a very good year...
The Jag, the race car, and the bride are all ex now, and yet life is better than ever, and I'm enthusiastically looking forward to joining you, and helping you, create an Epic Year ahead.