Coffee Perks

Shocking, I know, but free coffee is a disproportionate perk. So are other, similar things…

The sarcasm comes from firsthand experience. When I worked at the original incarnation of Corporate Software, initially there was not only free coffee – good free coffee, if nothing gourmet like the article mentions – but also hot chocolate, tea, and even Crystal Lite. It was one of those places to work. They also had extremely low cost soda.

The primary business there was software sales, and they pioneered what would become common ways of selling software licensing packages. I was in their secondary business of tech support, which they’d gotten into with great success and massive hiring, if not high margins.

One thing led to another. Corporate Software became Strean International became three companies, of which Stream was the one that sold tech support only, without the higher margin elements.

Fewer things were free. The good coffee became awful, but lower maintenance and more likely to be available on demand, coffee. Then there was no more cocoa…

Not the same as free coffee, but there was near mutiny when the free hot chocolate went away. That for people there at the time was the dividing line between the cool company and the company that just didn’t care about its people anymore. Such a little thing. Yet I’d swear it was the beginning of the end of the business. Not that it ever 100% ended, but it changed hands and eventually emerged as a company that doesn’t seem to have any connection with the past, at least from a long since outsider’s perspective.

Clearly the linked article is touting results promulgated by a company with a vested interest in self-promotion and sales of coffee. Certainly there are company cultures that aren’t as tied to expectations of certain kinds of perks as, for instance, ones employing tech workers may be. The basic point remains: Surprisingly minor ways in which you treat employees can mean a lot, all out of proportion to the cost.

We’re All Business Bloggers Now

I’ve been wanting to kick of my return to blogging here – but with posts of substance rather than the CotC stuff now elsewhere – with a post observing/opining that business blogging is not only not unusual or niche anymore, but that it’s rampant in this economy or lack thereof.

The boundaries between political and business/economics blogging has also blurred further. Again, the circumstances we are in make it inevitable. Government always affects the business and economic climate and activities, if seldom so negatively, and whether it ought to or not. That’s shown up in my selections for what now passes for CotC.

At any rate, it sometimes feels as if anything I can add or opine here would be superfluous, and perhaps there won’t be much or often, but the itch is getting more intense. Time to scratch it.

Felicia Meets Business

I’ve become a Felicia Day fan after seeing her in Dr. Horrible, which you should watch on Hulu if you’ve not seen it, and then in her own web series, The Guild.

How is this relevant to a business blog? She recently posted about her crash course in business, dealing with the nuts and bolts of DVD production and order fulfillment. In writing, producing and starring in her own series, she gets to wear the business hats as well. You could say it’s a brand new day. As Deb and I have been known to discuss, these days the Internet is TV. Her experience are and will hardly be isolated.

What Economic Type Are You?

Via Rob Sama, who came out as Rubinomics (I was torn and might have had I gone with my other response), this is a fun economic profile test.

I came out as moderate supply side economics, which means:

Supply Side Economics holds that capital accumulation drives growth, and that the most important role for government is to remove disincentives to capital formation, especially by reducing taxes on capital and earnings. It holds that markets generally get it right, and that government intervention should be limited, including through a simple tax code with low rates and few deductions. But markets only get it right if they get the right price signals, so supply-side economics focuses on making sure that there are as few distortions to the market as possible. Finally, the overriding goal of supply-side economics growth; equity issues are best left to the market.

I’m not sure I liked the way the answers boxed me in, but its point was to match you with one of a small set of types, so what the heck.

Terminating a Great Performer?

This post on terminating a great performer is good and all, but it made me think “what about great performers who are not recognized as such and are terminated.” Of course, that doesn’t need advice to managers on how to handle it, because to them it’s just a termination. It still struck me funny.

I’ve never looked at an employer or even a client the same way since the job I had where I was exceptional, poured my heart into it, and wound up terminated because the only people who mattered were seemingly oblivious. Going on 20 years later, I have never put the same kind of effort in for and extended time, and never regained my trust in employers or that hard work and dedication would be rewarded. The closest I’ve come to forgetting that is in my absurd degree of loyalty to my former large client, which might explain why I feel so jaded currently.