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Out of the Blue

Happy 7/11! As always, those with access to a participating 7-Eleven location can help them celebrate the occasion by picking up a free Slurpee. The forecast calls for it to hit 93 °F today in these parts, so I have a feeling a lot of locals will be availing themselves of this offer.

Slurpee Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: FiM: Story of the Blanks. Thanks Boing Boing.
River Wars.
Cuboy Quest 2.
Links: The Official Random Chicken. Thanks reddit.
How to Regrow the US Economy: Fire All the MBAs.
Even Worse Superhero Redesigns. Thanks Neatorama.
What It Was Like Working At Taco Bell In The '80s.
Images: Bear Caught Napping with Fish.
Fake Science - Determine Your Blood Type.
Name Spacing FAIL.
Media: Best 2 Second Video Ever.
Marines and Physics.
Dog Learns About Gravity.
The Funnies: Foxtrot.
Brevity.
Follow-up: No Adam West Cameo In The Dark Knight Rises After All?

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42 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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42. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 10:34 Verno
 
I'll agree with that, but what I'll say instead is that the corporate greed and stupidity you speak of manifests itself in the form of the proliferation of MBA's in corporate America to the detriment of people who do actual work.

At my old company most of the MBAs basically were on permanent lunch or "business meetings" which were of course with like minded colleagues except when they were on their blackberries or playing online poker. This didn't stop them from bitching while things went down the tubes because the company stopped firing on almost every cylinder - everything from sales to HR to retail suffered from it. All the while collecting ridiculous compensation and benefits packages. This wasn't a unique experience sadly, I've been through it before.
 
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41. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 10:18 Beamer
 
I'll agree with that, but what I'll say instead is that the corporate greed and stupidity you speak of manifests itself in the form of the proliferation of MBA's in corporate America to the detriment of people who do actual work.

My current company has a huge problem with hiring tons of management over people that do actual work. However, extremely few of those are MBAs (which I say is a fault, as there's far less efficiency.)


Incidentally, my boss is not an MBA but may as well be with 4 MIT degrees and 8 years at McKinsey. He's instituting MBA ideas, like 3 year planning, to a company that always flew by the seat of its pants. It's insanely hard work, but insanely useful. And insane that this company never once did this stuff. Fuck, marketing never spoke to manufacturing to give volume estimates so manufacturing was constantly in danger of exceeding capacity with no idea of how much to build out or what exactly it needed to build. Manufacturing was constantly inefficient and fumbling, marketing was constantly experiencing shortfalls of some product and overstocks of others.
Blows my mind.
 
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40. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 10:05 Prez
 
Corporate greed and corporate stupidity (which are sides of the same coin) didn't start with MBAs

I'll agree with that, but what I'll say instead is that the corporate greed and stupidity you speak of manifests itself in the form of the proliferation of MBA's in corporate America to the detriment of people who do actual work.
 
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39. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 09:47 Verno
 
The problem isn't the MBA's - it is the corporate greed waste mentality. Saying that comes from MBA's is like accusing holes in the ozone on masturbation.

I can't really agree with that, I think the stigma emerges from the lazy wastrels that seem to compromise the vast majority of MBAs in the work force these days. Whether that's a generational problems, an indictment of the educational programs themselves or a shift in economic "thinking" is a different story. No rambling about finance or excel has anything to do with that either. I do agree that the corporate greed waste mentality permeates many north american corporations these days and while I think Lutz misses a few points, he makes some very salient ones about building better consumer products and focusing on anything other than short term gains and self-flagellation. We can't really afford to continue with the existing disparity and our massive debts to other countries and recent financial collapses are a partial testament to that.
 
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38. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 09:32 Beamer
 
No offense, but that's never a good question to ask.

And it's ignoring a whole lot and focusing on 3 letters.

What led to MBAs being so powerful? What was the main thing they knew that wowed people?

Spreadsheets!


And let's not damn spreadsheets, a good model is invaluable to making a business decision. Let's instead damn people that are too stupid to think about what a spreadsheet actually means rather than looking at that final number.
Corporate greed and corporate stupidity (which are sides of the same coin) didn't start with MBAs, and considering how few CEOs have MBAs it isn't run by them, either. The MBA ability to use Excel just helps fuel it.
 
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37. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 09:22 xXBatmanXx
 
Meh. Worked at lots of failed companies and lots of very successful companies. One of which was Carlson Companies, based in Minneapolis and is the largest business travel organization in the world. The problem isn't the MBA's - it is the corporate greed waste mentality. Saying that comes from MBA's is like accusing holes in the ozone on masturbation.

Corporate greed has always been there, just not as open and in your face. Now everyone has a watchdog and whistle-blowers. Just easier to see the waste as the world can openly communicate with the internet and other means.

An MBA is no more important than a 4 year degree specializing in whatever area you want. It is just a hoop to jump through. The MBA is the "NEW" 4 year degree....
 
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36. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 12, 2011, 08:30 kanniballl
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 11, 2011, 16:39:
Well, most of the masses are fiddling while Rome is burning. Just ask yourself if the country was better off pre-MBA or post?


No offense, but that's never a good question to ask. I would sometimes hear something said like that from racists and such as well. NOT that I'm comparing Cutter's comments to that... just that I HATE it when someone says "was the country better off before or after X"

Technically you could say that about anything if the timing works even a little.

The US was in better financial shape before?
  • George Steinbrenner stepped down from control of the Yankees... darn you George

  • The iPhone became popular... darn you Apple

  • Lenovo bought the Thinkpad brand from IBM... darn you China

  • Bill Clinton messed up a blue dress... darn you Bill/Monica/etc

  • The Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2002... darn you Vinatieri

  • etc


  • This comment was edited on Jul 12, 2011, 08:47.
     
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    35. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 22:51 Beamer
     
    Those type of people have no business in positions of authority in a company.

    1) It's a weird generalization. Just call them finance guys. Plenty of MBAs despise finance.
    2) And they do have a place in a company. Any company without a good financial mind is going to get run into the ground. Like I said, though, finance guys should never be #1, they should always be #2 or #3, with the exception of a company in a steep fall that needs to severely cut costs to get out.

    Again, it's why Tim Cook will never run Apple without Steve Jobs creating the gameplan he executes, and why HP was destroyed by letting Mark Hurd run the joint. These guys are Operational and/or Finance, great with numbers and fantastic at executing someone else's plan. But plenty of people coming up with the great plan have MBAs.

    It's not hard, boards just tend to be really stupid and really swayed by numbers.
     
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    34. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 22:36 Cutter
     
    Beamer wrote on Jul 11, 2011, 22:11:
    In college my friends and I always joked about the business majors because they were invariably the morons who would moan the loudest when we'd get assigned a project, have to take a test that consisted of more then 10 questions, or god forbid had to read something.

    Undeniably. And most of them will never move anywhere in their career.


    Really I think the problem is this focus on short term investor profit.

    Again, undeniably. It's the obsession with Wall Street and Reaganomics. Blaming this on a degree is moronic.

    It's not blaming the degree but the type of people it attracts. Those type of people have no business in positions of authority in a company.

     
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    33. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 22:11 Beamer
     
    In college my friends and I always joked about the business majors because they were invariably the morons who would moan the loudest when we'd get assigned a project, have to take a test that consisted of more then 10 questions, or god forbid had to read something.

    Undeniably. And most of them will never move anywhere in their career.


    Really I think the problem is this focus on short term investor profit.

    Again, undeniably. It's the obsession with Wall Street and Reaganomics. Blaming this on a degree is moronic.
     
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    32. slurpee feature.. not a bug Jul 11, 2011, 20:51 space captain
     
    thats beastly hot  
    Go forth, and kill!
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    31. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 19:09 Hyatus
     
    White Cherry Icees are da bomb.

    My brain realizes it's the same flavor as a wild cherry icee, but somehow it tastes better white...yes...that's what she said.
     
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    30. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 16:39 Cutter
     
    Well, most of the masses are fiddling while Rome is burning. Just ask yourself if the country was better off pre-MBA or post? Just like when unions got too bloated and lazy - and many still are - it swung back to the other extreme for business which has even been worse for working stiffs everywhere. So yes, the happy medium as always is generally somewhere around the middle. Question is if we can find it in time before the next depression which could be on the way.

     
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    29. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 16:20 Killer Kane
     
    Cue the obligatory Enahs comment:

    "Don't drink Slurpies, put some nice fresh avocado in a blender with some honey"
     
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    28. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 16:12 Pigeon
     
    Part of the problem might be the 'sort' of person attracted to each job. I don't think there are many people who go into engineering for the money or power, they're problem solvers and people who like to design and create.

    Business majors on the other hand do go in for power and money, its ambition without talent. I'm not saying all business majors do, I'm sure there are many that actually have a passion for the work they do rather than the potential rewards they can reap. In college my friends and I always joked about the business majors because they were invariably the morons who would moan the loudest when we'd get assigned a project, have to take a test that consisted of more then 10 questions, or god forbid had to read something. The prevailing theme from them was trying to get away doing the minimal amount of effort on their part. I was so happy when I got into the jr. and senior level classes cause I didn't have to hear their proclaim 'this is bullshit' because they had to do 'work' or 'learn' something.

    Really I think the problem is this focus on short term investor profit. You've got a few people soaking up money being made purely on speculation, and when reality happens, company X made awful products or bank Y bought terrible loan packages, the people who made those decisions to create those problems have already cashed in, while everyone else is left to wallow in it. And now they're busy blaming the consumers for being to tight with their 30k a year salaries, saying they can't create new jobs until they see another billion or so in profit. /rant
     
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    27. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 15:36 Verno
     
    Even if I did believe you, your experiences run counter to mine and that's all you've offered me. Years of running into this crap at different companies has given me a pretty rounded experience in dealing with a wide variety of people and their qualifications so that's what I will choose to operate on, fairly or unfairly.  
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    26. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 15:29 Beamer
     
    You genuinely think "vision" is intangible?
    Really?
    Regardless, I feel you guys seem defensive with your "we can do everything!" stance. I've been on both sides. Among my billion degrees is Computer Science and the MBA. I can tell you the value of thinking from both.


    And yes, your second point is a worm for a different hook. Obviously our country needs more people graduating in hard sciences. My father used to take the Fox News line of "we're bringing in all of these foreigners, training them in engineering, math and physics instead of Americans, then they leave the country!" until I pointed out to him that the problem isn't that foreigners are taking seats from Americans but rather that Americans don't want these seats.

     
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    25. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 15:18 Verno
     
    Not sure how you want us to respond. You're either going to get very defensive or we're going to look very accusatory but either way no one is going to agree about it. My experience with most is almost entirely negative to the point that there is nothing you could say to justify your position to me. I'm sure there are hard working MBA types the same way I'm sure there are lazy engineers but we're not talking about individuals here. I will say that leading off with the equivalent of "sometimes those meetings help" isn't a good start. Pretending this has anything to do with an intangible like "vision" is a pointless straw man. There is no balance right now so yes, we need more engineers and I believe our economy needs a stronger focus on engineering in general but that's a worm for a different hook.

    This comment was edited on Jul 11, 2011, 15:28.
     
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    24. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 15:04 Beamer
     
    You guys realize there are MBAs in fields other than finance, right? And most of us hate goddamn forms?

    I do find it amusing, though, that the sentiment is "wasting our time in meetings." I had a reputation for loving to call meetings in my past company, but hell, we had decisions that would bounce around via email for 2 or 3 weeks without resolution. One 15 minute face-to-face in the same room would get resolution.




    Verno, I disagree that it needs to swing the other way. We'd be in every bit as much of a problem. As I've said before, most gaming companies that have failed were run by engineers. It's not about swinging one way, it's about balance. Period. And it's about vision. Pretending all MBAs lack vision is as dumb as pretending all engineers have it.
     
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    23. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 11, 2011, 14:56 Verno
     
    I can't speak for elsewhere, but the company where I work dumped virtually all of its engineers and hired a cubic fuckton of MBA's and the place has been on a horrible downward slide in terms of efficiency, cost, project management, leadership, morale, and decision-making ever since. Where common sense, logic, and a common desire to see the company do better once ruled the day, now we have focus-group tested text book-weened college grads who think they know everything the day they step foot in the place making some of the most pitifully stupid decisions in order to advance their own personal agendas (good of the company be damned) I have ever seen on a depressingly routine basis. The only thing keeping me here is that the benefits, particularly medical, far outstrip those I could get anywhere else. (Though when Obamacare** kicks into high gear I doubt that will remain the case for very long).

    It's an all too common story Prez, I went through the same thing at UUNet which eventually got bought out by a very MBA driven WorldCom and we all know how that one turned out. We should have a meeting about it, perhaps over lunch on the company dime.

    I'm not going to get totally ridiculous and blame the death of north american industrialization on it but I will say that despite China's burgeoning bubble economy we're still in deep shit if MBAs continue to rule the roost for the next twenty years. We need to get back to actual work and making things. We can't sell our ideas forever, particularly when they are so easy to rip off.
     
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