Monthly Archives: March 2008

Back to basics, going door to door.

Back to basics, going door to door.


We have decided that we need a few more customers.  One of the most effective way we have found to get customers is very old fashioned, low tech but it works.  Tomorrow we are going to visit some nice office buildings, ones that contain businesses that match our target market, ones with 10-20 users.  We are going to start out by going to a mixer for our local chamber of commerce.  These businesses are large enough to generate volume for our company but small enough that they don’t have their own IT departments.  Tomorrow will be a long day, last time we did this we got one large customer that accounted for half of our sales last month. 


Sometimes you just gotta get back to basics sometimes in this modern age.  We are used to our websites, our blogs, our IM’s, our text messaging and all out other high tech stuff but sometimes the best thing to do is get out and see people face to face.  Need to boost sales, try getting back to basics, and meet someone in person.

Emerald Computers, a short history from a business POV

I started a computer company in 1998, and thought I knew it all but I quickly learned so much more. I moved that store a few doors down and this time designed in the way I wanted all future stores to be like. I created systems for doing everything. Then I set out on opening more stores. By then it was 2004 and the market for computers was crashing, the wars by the big companies erased all the profits in the industry. By 2005 we were back to one store. By the end of 2007 we decided that the retail storefront was not the way to go. We moved to a much lower rent area, and just serve corporate and online customers, the ones with the best profits. The wars are over and the profits are back in the computer industry, and with our reduced cost, decade of experience we are ready to explode. All we need now is a capital infusion to get us to the next level. Even if we only get .5% of the US market that is still huge.

Now we are looking for investors.  People who can see the vision and are willing to go there with us.  They will, of course, share in our success.

Freedom in the modern age.

Well I have never talked on here about entertainment before but here is one that is good.  If you do or do not know there was a show called Jericho.  Last night was the last episode of it.  It was a really great, well written show.  It lost some people because for a while it went a bit slow, and most shows with arc don’t last once you miss a episode or too and the network changed it’s time slot at a very critical time in the development of the show.  (Arc is when a show is a story from one episode to the next so you have to watch them in order to understand fully what is going on.)  Basically they did not give it the chance they should have and it failed.   It was canceled after the first season, but the largest fan outcry in TV history made them bring it back.  They did so with little advertising and fanfare, and had a second season of only 7 episodes that mostly concluded the entire story.

The reason this show was special is because it touched on subject that are almost never talked about on TV in this way.  Maybe it made some of the corporate people unhappy with the direction it was going.


Basically the story goes like this.  There are bombs that go off and destroy the 23 largest cities in the US except New York.  Communication and power stop.  Food runs out and people in rural Kansas start fighting to survive.  Well equipped mercenaries raid towns and take all the resources and kill many people.  At some point a goverment is put in place.  The old US has the east, TX is independent and the west forms a new nation.  The nation formed in the west is totally controled and financed by a huge mega corporation, the same one that ran the war in Iraq for the US and hired all the mercanires that the US used worldwide before the attack.  The corporation quickly takes part of everything.  They take away freedom, they surround each town with checkpoints so that only products that say can get in or out.  They rush a new constitution that takes away all the power of the people and gives it to the corporation.  Everything is unfair but they have all the resources and power.  Soon the people start to revolt, and by the end of the show all the viewers are calling for revolution.  The last episode is the start of this revolution with Texas shooting down airplanes from this new western nation.

Much of the show focused on the trap of giving corporations too much control of the government, which in turn takes rights away from the people.  This is something that is happening right now in the United States.  There are so many ways that our freedom has been taken.  The government is fairly corrupt.  They spend way too much, and take way too much.  They also spend so much more than they take in.   Who said the federal goverment should secure travel?  Who said they should put so much control on what we eat?  Who said that the government should run the school system in such a poor way?  We tax people so unevenly but yet the government mails out billions of dollars in checks.  The show Jericho showed how this line of thinking will only result in loss of freedom, and at some point the people will revolt.

If you told anyone 20 years ago the things that are going on in this nation right now they would have said you are crazy, that could never happen.  That is way overstepping the role of government.  I guess they are doing it just slow enough that most people don’t notice.   The education system has failed the public by creating the dumbest population this nation has ever had.

People in our nation now expect to carry ID everywhere, go through government checkpoints to travel.  It took me over a year to have our federal government allow my wife to enter the nation, they have no right to say who I can and can’t marry.  People expect to give a personal ID number every time they talk business on the phone.  People expect their information, privacy, and rights to be disrespected.   Most of them are so miseducated that they simply believe what they are told by the media, they have no idea how to think for themselves.

If it goes much farther down this path I will really start to fear for the future success of my country, the United States of America.  Most of the nation and the decisions are totally out of the control of the people, and most of the people disagree with many of the decisions.  Most people think we are not to be the world police, they think we spend way too much and should not carry debt.  Everyone I know thinks the tax system is crazy and needs to be replaced, but yet every year it gets more complex.  When will the craziness end.   Maybe only with revolution.

Cheer up, the nation depends on it.

We are not really in a recession or a depression…  What we are in is a crisis of consumer confidence.   Let me explain, when people think that things may be bad they stop spending and that thinking CAUSES things to be bad.  It is funny, over 70% of the people think the economy is in trouble but also over 70% of people said that they personally were doing as good or better than 2 years ago.

The reason they think this way is because they hear the stories from the media, the hear what is going on with their unlucky friends, and the belive the hype.  In reality most every measure of corporate profits is UP, and many other measures are also up.  The GDP will be up this year, exports are way up.  Things are looking up in many ways, so stop being so down, tune out the negative media and cheer up.  When you do this everything will get better, spending will go up, sales will go up and, yes, even housing prices will go up again.

Start today, go buy something.  If you are one of the 70% that are doing fine, then do your civic duty and shop, shop like you did two years ago.  If you want a computer go to Emerald Computers this month and get $50 off by using coupon code march50.

Anyway cheer up.  It will make you feel better, and help our economy grow.

The key to commercial success for Linux

You use a computer, and read blogs so you probably know a bit about computer and you probably know about Linux. Linux is great, robust and free OS. It runs almost all web servers and websites. Including google, wordpress and billions of others. Linux is very secure, robust, fast and hack proof. It makes great servers because servers are ran by experts. Without Linux the web would not exist as we know it.

Well for over a decade now they have been trying to make it popular for your desktop computer that you use every day as well. One of the best parts about Linux is that anyone with knowledge is free to change and customize it exactly how they see fit, and they have. Almost everything in Linux has at least 3 different programs that do the same thing, but they do it in different ways. People then pick and choose the different parts of Linux and combine them into a complete Operating System. They call this a distribution or distro. There are now 100’s of up to date distros, all with different ways of doing things and different followings. This has helped Linux in the past but in the world of mass merchandising it also has hurt Linux.

The problem is that when a company writes software to work on Linux they must assume things about how the computer is set up. Because there are 100’s of different ways to do this, and only a few million Linux users, they simply don’t bother. Companies that make drivers and hardware also don’t bother. The Linux people thus have to do all of it themselves. And, if they do it for one distro of Linux it probably will not work on many others. So the game makers, and the people who make the huge programs we need to function usually don’t bother making a Linux version. There is no Photoshop, QuickBooks, MSN or Yahoo chat with webcam, or robust video editing software in Linux because these are very complex and would usually be distro specific, and the userbase does not justify the cost.

The strength of Microsoft Windows was the fact that it was closed and controlled. People could not change the OS, all the rules from computer to computer were exactly the same. Because of this people could code for just ONE OS, that they knew would be supported and work for at least a decade. This is exactly what they did, 1000’s of companies started writing. Hardware makers could design one driver to work with the OS and everything was easy, because it was a standard platform, that was predictable. Windows was not the coolest, and it sure was not the most secure or robust, and they charged a huge price for it, but all of this was worth it because it was STANDARD. Nothing is more important than something being standard when it comes to business, and all the geeks need to learn this. McDonalds does not made the best burgers, but I have ate them in 5 different nations and they are all the same. When it is the same it is predictable, and you need that to get investors and make money flow. This is the main reason the Linux world still has less than 1% of desktop computers.

So now what? Well in a dream world someone with great power and clout would take all the best parts of Linux, get a ton of people behind him and release the ultimate distro of Linux. He would promise to not change it for at least 6 months and also promise that anything written for it will work for years on the newer versions. By creating a standard and unifying the Linux world programmers would start making software work on Linux and soon it would gain marketshare. It will be better and be free than windows, and soon takeover the world from the grasp of Microsoft.

Someone else, a tech billionaire named Mark Shuttleworth thought EXACTLY the same way, and he used his power and clout to do it. He calls it Ubuntu. He only release every 6 months, and he has static versions that are supported for two years or more. He then went much farther, he made a community around it. They have great free tech support with forums and chat. As well has many other great features and designs.  My good friend Matthew Helmke is one of the leading Ubuntu experts and forum leaders and inspired me to try it out.

This OS has the chance to become huge. For over a year now Linux has been the top distro, and it growing faster than the rest of the Linux world put together. The standard it presents has already encouraged many companies to start writing software for Linux. Many large games are not tested on Ubuntu. If you use Linux, switch to Ubuntu, for the sake of the Linux world. Raising a unified standard is the only hope that Linux has at commercial success.

I hope this explanation of a very tech thing from a business perspective educated both the techs and the business people who usually don’t understand each other.

I will offer much more of this sort of knowledge in the future so be sure to subscribe to this blog!.

Jason Dragon.

The world is changing forever. It is getting flat, feel the pressure yet?

The world is changing forever.  Well this has been a true statement for as long as history has been recorded.  The pace of this change is much faster now than it has ever been.  The problem is that many people are stuck in their way of thinking.  The learn things one way and most people, at some point stop keeping up with the changes and start to fall behind, way behind.

So how is the world changing right now?  Well we are in the middle of a few major changes.  The key to most of these changes it the spread of technology.  Because the United States was first in most everything we had to go slow, create standards and design from scratch.   Other nations have had the gift of just being able to copy our progress.  Think about advances in computers, medicine or cars.  The high tech developed nations have designed the improvements but everyone; even those in the poorest nations get the benefit.

Now having the same, standardized protocols methods for doing things all over the world, along with an instant, worldwide communication system things REALLY have changed.  Now people from anywhere can communicate instantly, they can chat, they can talk.  And now it is everywhere and so cheap that people with almost nothing can still go to a public computer lab and join the global work force.  With just a small investment an office can be opened anywhere to do most things.  This allows the work to be done in the location where the labor is the cheapest.  This premise is called the Flattening of the World.

When I was in Asia for much of last year I still had an Arizona phone number, I was able to control computers in Arizona just as if I was sitting at the keyboard.  I was able to send email, create web pages, move money from account to account, write checks online, order parts and have them shipped to our production area, as well as sell products to customers.  I could do 90% of what was required to manage a company.  For the other 10% I delegated it, and was available on the phone to help the person out.  This is happening all over the world.

No longer do the super smart people from all over the world want to move to the US or western Europe so that they could be apart of the global high tech work force, they now can do it from home, in their native country.

This change is HUGE, and it will never be reversed.  It will FOREVER deeply impact the way the world works.  Most jobs are now at risk and the jobs will be given to the person who will do the best job for the best price.  If you keep your job the price pressure of the rest of the world will make the wages you are paid go down.  This is great for the people who see it coming and create a system to take advantage of this new shift.  It will be the worst thing for those that don’t keep up, and those that expect things not to change.

People who are in lesser developed nations will also gain, they will be the target of huge amounts of education, and capital.

There will be a new definition of the middle class, the definition will be MUCH lower than what is currently considered the middle class now, maybe a family income of $15,000 per year.  world is flatBasically what we see as the middle class in the United States will be much smaller than it currently is.  And millions of people all over the developing world will be moved out of poverty and into their definition of a middle class.

If you want to learn much more about this there is a really smart guy named Thomas L Friedman, he invented the term and latterly wrote the book on this subject.  This book is one of the most important books of our current time, and those that understand it will be much more successful in life.

No matter what happens it is huge and will affect you.  So it if your choice get educated about it and take advantage of the change, or just wait and be sideswiped by it.

Try Try and Try Again until you get success.

I am always reminded of people who failed many times in their life, they lost money, houses and much more so that they could follow their passion. They would come up with new ideas and each seemed good but people were just not ready, or the implementation would not be correct and idea after idea would fail.  But they would keep trying, and one day an idea would hit and overnight they would become millionaires.

Nemo SpinnerI heard the story of one such inventor/ entrepreneur last night. He did everything from crazy submarines, to hovercraft to kids toys.  Then all of a sudden one of his toys hit, and made him millions overnight, and the money still comes in.  He invented the toy that has strings with lights on the and it spins.

I know that it does not happen to everyone, but almost every person that I have talked to who never gave up finally hit success at some point.  They would learn from their mistakes, improve on their ideas and keep going.  Each time it would get better until they hit the breakthrough and are successful.  Most of the successful people I talk to have that same story.  The only people who REALLY fail are the ones who give up and stop trying.

Launching the Bear Market by killing a Bear

Chase (JPM) is getting the deal of the century.  Buying bears stern for just 1% of the value it had just three weeks ago.  It is totally CRAZY.

The Fed is just printing money like crazy (Well creating it on a computer).  It does this first by lowering the interest rate which will make banks borrow more money.  Second they changed the rules and they are now allowing investment banks to borrow from the fed.

The dollar is just crashing.  I have talked about this over and over, be long in the dollar (See the other blogs for what I mean on this).  Silver and gold are spiking, and the dollar fell a few % vs almost every other currency.

This is going to cost the stock market today.  I would say that if the market only falls by 1% then they are lucky.  Check back in a 10 hours and we will see what happens.   Too bad I did not get to buy those options in BSC…would have made a ton.

The dollar is so weak, and we are paying for it, GREAT!

For years now we have been borrowers.  We spend way more than we make.  I am not just talking about the government but also the people.  You can see this in our balance of trade.  Because of this the dollar is falling like a rock.  People don’t want to lend money because it will probably devalue more than the interest gained.

Imagine that I would lend you $1 million dollars and you need to pay me $1.1 million a year from now, well if the dollar goes down 20% I am only getting paid back (In present dollars) $880,000.  So why on earth would I lend you the money.  This is the problem that we are having now.  Up until recently most of the money being lent to Americans was coming for foreign investment.  These foreign investors as a whole are hesitant to lend us money.

So what is the solution that the government thought up.  Well they offered to lend money, billions of it, to the banks so that they can lend it back out.  But where did the fed get this money to do this, they simply typed it into a computer and created it.  This makes more dollars in existence, and will further sink the dollar down.  This cycle will keep repeating and soon our dollar will be worth very little.

What will this do for us.  Well it will make the dollar cost of most things go up.  Even real estate will soon start to go up with all of this.  Gold is now over 1000, silver is over $20 and oil is at record highs over $110.  This has been coming for YEARS now, I have been talking about it for about 3 years.  This just that start, until we start exporting much more than we import, and we stop spending so much this will keep happening.

So what is the best position to be in?  Well you want to have as little dollars as you can, you even would want to be short on dollars.  This means to borrow them.  I have debt for my house, and for other things, and when I saw this coming I took out as much as I could and invested it in things overseas, and in physical things such as real estate, and I think that in a few months, the value of these assets will be much larger than the debt.  The banks have figured this out and stopped lending to most people.

So what will happen to people who were not ready?  Well it will not be good.  If you have a job, and save money and have no debt you are in the worst position. The money you have saved will be worth less than it should be.  The

What can you do not?  Well as I said before the people who see it first are the ones that are in the best shape, they can prepare for the change.  Now it is too late, there is very little that can be done.  Right now I think it would be good to move money overseas, invest in companies with a large amount of foreign exposure.  Pay off only the minimum on debt.  Don’t keep cash, go turn it into silver.  But MOST important, if you can afford it GO BUY REAL ESTATE.  The prices will never be this low again, you can still usually borrow money to buy real estate and pay back later with money that is worth less.  Prices will go UP much faster than your pay will go up, so be ready for that.  Food cost will go up, and fuel costs will go way up.  Your pay will probably stay flat.  Consider a side business if you need more money.

What should the government do?  Well they were the ones that created this, they were lending money out so cheaply, and printing money like crazy to keep us afloat.  You got to remember that the government is over 9 trillion in DEBT.  They also have over 30 TRILLION in obligations to people in the form of social security and government retirements.  This is a huge debt.  So what they did is they tied this to CPI, the fake, government created index of inflation.  Today it was released and it was 0%.  The people on CNBC just laughed at how fake it is.  But because it is 0% that means that the social security debt does not go up this month.  Now, by any measure dollar is worth MUCH less now than 5 years ago, I would say it is worth half as much or so.  So basically the government just CUT their debt in half because of the weak dollar, and this is very smart.  But they can’t let people know this is going on, they have to spin this so that foreign investors and the general population don’t know what is going on.  For all the people who are not watching are going to be hurt, but for the government, the big investors and all the people who see the signs and act on it, this will be a great time of huge wealth creation.

Jason Dragon

Find someone who can connect the dots for you to shortcut to success.

So the connecting the dots blog seemed to be popular. (Read that first if you have not done so) As I said in the article, I like to help people become successful. The other day I was chatting online to a 20 year old guy, located in the Philippines. He wanted to become a successful business person, but had no education about business and was working a low level, normal job. He had a web site that he started but there was nothing on it really. His goal was to become an online business phone book for his city, a city where no such thing existed. He then would charge people for premium listings. This is a sound idea but after 5 months doing it he had only 8 listing, all of them free listings.

To me it was obvious what was needed for him to be successful. I told him to get a paper phone book and call business people and verify that their company exists. Tell them about the website, and ask them if they want a premium listing. Give every verified company a free listing. He could probably add over 100 new listings per day. In a few short weeks he would have the largest listing site in the city, and once he has that he can start to advertise it. Maybe even do a customer review page for each customer. He had everything in place on the tech side, just lacked the business side. I hope that I helped him.

This is an example how, finding someone who has more dots can you can rock your company in just a few minutes. Having these dots is a huge asset. I think that I would be a great small business consultant. Maybe I can do that on the side. I basically have been doing that for businesses in the world of computers.

Jason Dragon