When Clouds Touch the Ground - Scale Faster

I've put a new spin on our managed I.T. services and cloud computing business and that's Scale Faster.  Scale Faster is a retail experience built from the ground up with our customers and future customers in mind. 

Let's face it...most people don't want to (and shouldn't) deal with I.T. but most feel they are treated to a ho hum experience driven by "nerds" who have been "let out into the field." 

Our goal is to deliver an amazing experience that starts the moment a future customer walks into our store.  Stop by and see for yourself.

Scale Faster - Managed I.T. & Cloud Computing for Small to Medium Sized Businesses innovates at 2035 100th St., Suite F, in Clive, IA 50325.

 

My head is firmly in the clouds with PC Central

I stepped into the leadership role in a great small business on December 1.  The company is called PC Central and it does small business cloud computing here in Des Moines.  As I started integrating into the company and culture, I found that people I've known for years, companies I use, and friends are all using PC Central Managed IT Services.  

That was pretty cool and immediately helped me understand the market and what kind of customer experience we're delivering.

As I continue to build up and build out, I plan on making a bold statement with things like startup development stack bundles so nascent companies can have the computing power they need on demand without the burden of hardware costs, long contracts, or support.  Just ask Des Moines WordPress Developer Andy Brudtkuhl about the Dev Stack option.   He's rockin' out the Visual Studio in the cloud and grabbed 2 "seats" so he could power his awesome IT recruiting disrupter raygun staffninja.

Updates as we go buy I'm very pleased with our progress so far.  Look out world.

Secret School Countdown

It's only a few more days until Secret School of Business launches here in Des Moines.  If you're in town, you don't want to miss this.

 

We've opened a total of 75 spots after the first 47 went in a few days.

 

Join us!

There Is No Secret School of Business

Whatever anyone tells you, there is no Secret School of Business or New World Order

My Strategic Marketing Plan

Cropped-edited-bustshot I'm pleased to announce that I've joined BirdDog (a part of the 14 year old Industry People Group, Inc.) as its Vice President of Marketing here in Urbandale, IA. BirdDog is a Candidate Acquisition & Management System for the Construction, Infrastructure, Engineering, and Facilities sectors. Watch the video below and check out the awesome animation work of Adam Beecher.

Many of you know that I've been spending most of my time there since June of this year in a full-time contract engagement. The early July announcement of my partnership with Andrew Clark (@thebrandchef) was the first phase of my transition to this new role.

The completion of BirdDog's round of funding from Dewaay Investment Partners I, LLLP announced a few weeks ago meant that I could execute the next part of the plan which was fully handing over all operations and client relationships, and taking a more public role at BirdDog. That process is complete. I cannot express enough gratitude to all the passionate clients and freelancers who propped me up and helped me build a success story. Thank you.

Some of you may ask, why? Small business in multimedia and web strategy...growing client base and revenues...low overhead and a recovering economy...etc. Well the decision didn't come lightly...but I had a nagging voice in the back of my skull that kept craving "focus". My body and brain were craving a nexus around which my efforts could orbit. After 3 years of cranking, a long term contract was the initial desire but the team here at BirdDog was such a great fit, the business plan was aggressive and well funded, that I couldn't pass this up.  I am truly getting to execute everything I did for 15 companies...inside one organization and toward one goal with a great team. This team is aggressive like a 14 year old start-up and anyone who knows me knows that I thrive in that environment.

I'd be lying if I said spending more time with my busier than ever family wasn't on my mind too. The timing was right for me to simplify things and reacquaint myself with being there and not just "being there". We're moving into a great new office at 2900 100th St. just up from Hickman this weekend and by Monday, my office will transform into a full blown multimedia studio as we ramp content production of all kinds. I welcome you to stop by and see what we're up to on this new adventure. Thank you so much for your support and know that you're in good hands with Andrew at createWOWmarketing. He's absolutely the perfect partner to keep creating WOW in Central Iowa.  

What about OperationRedState.com Doug? OperationRedState has always been a passionate pursuit and will continue to be so. It has always co-existed with our other work and projects and it will continue to do so. I still have an excellent team of content ninjas and strategists that develop winning online campaign strategies. ___________ I'm still speaking and would love to do more and I'm about 11,000 words into my new book "The Multi-Thread Marketer" and I anticipate its release in December/January time frame. This is my first full length business book and I find myself rising at ungodly early hours with chapters burning across my synapses. I can't wait to get this into the market and see how it does. I will print a few copies for hand outs at engagements...but this will primarily be ebook driven on iBook/Amazon/etc. Until we meet again in person or virtually, thank you.

 

Official Release Text:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Kelly Moore (for BirdDog)
515-720-9670
[email protected]

BirdDog Adds VPs as Part of Re-branding Effort

DES MOINES, Iowa (October 26, 2010) – Niche talent acquisition and management company BirdDog has added two vice presidents to its team of associates. The hires are part of a strategic re-branding the company has launched to expand its employer client base in the construction, infrastructure, engineering and facilities markets.

Doug Mitchell has joined BirdDog as vice president of marketing. In 2007, Mitchell founded interactive marketing firm createWOWmedia, which delivered marketing strategy and execution services to Iowa companies. The company, now createWOWmarketing, continues under the ownership of Des Moines marketing professional Andrew Clark, a.k.a. The Brand Chef.

Hailing from California where he spent five years as vice president of marketing for a technology company, Mitchell authored the ebook, “Confessions of an Ex-Enterprise Salesperson:  What I Really Meant When I Said _____,” and is currently writing “The Multi-Thread Marketer: How to Identify and Hire Marketing Leaders in the Hyper-Economy,” which is scheduled for a December 2010 release.

“Doug’s experience in driving demand and customer engagement through online media is precisely what this company needs,” said Marc Sampson, BirdDog’s founder and CEO, “Thanks to Doug’s expertise, BirdDog has already made a quantum leap forward in its marketing efforts.”

Now BirdDog’s vice president of business development, Scott Prohaska has worked closely with engineering, oil and gas, refining, petro-chemical and power plant customers throughout his career. A mechanical engineer, Prohaska spent more than 11 years with Emerson Electric where he held various positions, including hiring manager. In this position, Prohaska sourced, recruited, hired and managed engineers, sales specialists, mechanics and service technicians. As such, he is uniquely qualified to understand what is important to BirdDog employer clients.

Like Mitchell, Prohaska is a former business owner. Prior to joining BirdDog, he owned and operated L.R.S., a high performance parts and race chassis manufacturing company, as well as Magnum Fabrication, a manufacturing and service-based business.

Mitchell and Prohaska will work toward several goals that come as a result of BirdDog’s recent influx of funding, led by DeWaay Investment Partners I, LLLP. The pair will drive market and customer development, as well as execute an extensive interactive marketing campaign for BirdDog’s candidate acquisition and management system.

About BirdDog
Founded in Des Moines in 1997 as Industry People Group, BirdDog hunts and retrieves specialized candidates then tracks and manages them through to the hire in the construction, infrastructure, facilities and engineering industries. The company powers niche job boards BirdDogJobs.com, MEPjobs.com, ASHRAEjobs.com, and AGCiajobs.com, connecting employers with jobseekers online. In addition, BirdDog offers a robust Web-based tool providing employers with simplified cross-posting and paperless management tools, reducing the time and investment required to bring top talent on board. For more information, visit birddogjobs.com or follow on Twitter @birddog_jobs.

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Transition to new site douglasEmitchell.com

I'm likely going to transition this blog over to my new destination at http://douglasemitchell.com 

It's been a good run on typepad but I'm going to transition everything over to the land of WordPress and have been hanging onto this site as it has great traffic, rank, etc.

Let's hope I can build the same over at the new site.  If compelled, I'd love for you to grab the new RSS feed or get some email updates. 

This site won't disappear for a while....but I'd love the linkage to the new one.  Thanks so much all and welcome to douglasEmitchell.com

My Wife Is Not Google

I've had a lot of ponderous moments lately after listening to the audio version of "The Shallows" by Carr and starting into "Cognitive Surplus" by Shirky, I've been asking myself, "What has the Internet...and more specifically Google..done to MY brain?"

  1. The Internet has made me a great party favor among my less digerati friends, "Hey iphone boy...what year did Diver Down come out?" (seconds later...the answer via google)
  2. The Internet has enabled the thought stream pouring from my mind to outpace the ability of my fingers to to keep up when typing.
  3. The Internet has given me awareness of just how fast things are moving and how difficult it is for businesses to keep up.  If you aren't immersed...how COULD you keep up?
  4. The Internet has taught me that more information is not what makes one more valuable.  What makes one valuable is the ability to filter the vast yet growing torrent of available attention grabbers (data/media/information) into meaningful trends, analyses, and decisions.
There are more items too numerous to list that I can attribute to the web.

But I think what's most important is that I've learned that my wife is not Google.  I have over the last few years increasingly applied the same "Google Modalities" to interactions with my wife. 

  1. Give me instant answers.
  2. Be efficient.
  3. Be always on.
  4. I Always find what I'm looking because I'm a good searcher.
  5. I rarely pay attention to page 2.
  6. The answers to any question about me, my schedule, and my thoughts are out there in the cloud for you to see.
What I'm learning is that the more I treat my wife like Google...the more like the Google Algorithm I become.  The cold mechanized assimilation of bits to create a self-aware consciousness is no way to cultivate wonder with your mate.

I'm making some changes to be less connected and more "available and engaged" vs. just "being there"...not because I've been asked to...but because I'm certain it's the right thing to do. 

Posted via email from Doug's posterous

The Shallows Drives Execution - The Depths Drive Strategy

So I'm driving this morning and listening to "The Shallows" by Nick Carr and something hits me so hard I had to pause the audio book and contemplate what I'd discovered about myself.

I use my web skimming, hyper-active, totally immersed, always-on, matrix like connectivity to execute in business.   and...
I use my slow down, book reading, long term, ponderous, simplified thinking to be strategic in business.

These items may seem trivial and obvious but I'd challenge you to look at your own situation and ask, "Am I applying true strategic thinking and perspective to a challenge?  Or am I just using my web skills to rapidly and blindly apply quick fixes to the challenge because they're in my comfort zone?"

The web has absolutely rewired my psyche, as Carr discusses in The Shallows, to manage vast volumes of snippet based information with constant interruption.  However I'm taking cognitive steps to maintain the deep thinking "slow twitch" process of immersion into longer texts, books, and strategic thinking to balance my skills and my life.

There's a distinct lack of strategic thinking out there (maybe look at Government as an example) so perhaps the ability to simply read a 200 page book and to think critically applying lessons learned will become a high value skill set and job description line item.  I can see it now:

  • Must be able to read a 200 page paper book without checking email on blackberry or sending a text message.
What other skills do you see on the job description of the future strategic thinker role?

Posted via email from Doug's posterous

Calling all Holistic Medicine Practitioners and Natural Foodists

I will admit I'm homeopathic skeptic (honed in part by the smarts of Brian Dunning).  I agree that your practices have value, make people feel better, and can improve quality of life dramatically.  I just don't agree with wild eyed medical claims of miracle pain relief, longer life, and less disease per capita among followers of your practices.  But I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Background
I have what amounts to massive arthritis and a seriously degenerated meniscus in my left knee. (Caused by a small missing bone chunk on the knuckle of my left femur removed in late 90's after osteochondritis dissecans caused the piece to eventually separate and it was removed.)  Back then, there were no real options to "fill in the missing spot with some nice smooth material" to avoid the constant grinding away of cartilage over the years.  I remember asking the Doctor "What does the future hold for my knee" and he said, "Just don't choose a career where you go up and down ladders for a living."  Allrightythen.  There probably were options then but what can you do...you listen to your Doctor and move on.

Fast forward 20+ years to about 6 months ago.  The usual cracking, grinding, and occasional "give out" in my knee turned into constant pain and swelling.  MRI's and 2 great Orthopedists later and the diagnosis is the same:  There are no options that will provide real relief.  You can try braces, daily anti-inflammatories , injections (cortisone or orthvisc) but those are questionable at best, can be pricey, and won't work forever.  Your only real option is knee replacement but DON'T do that until you are older and/or really not able to function because although very safe...SOMEONE WILL BECOME the outlier who has infection, a failed replacement requiring multiple tries, amputation (above the knee), and of course...the ultimate complication--death. 

I agree with the docs and appreciate their tactics.  Suffer and deal because if you can still function and work around it, no sense in hacking off your parts plus technology does improve so longer waits could mean Steve Austin like bionics.  So I'm in a position where I'd prefer not to take the drugs daily and I'm limping full-time which I know is causing "gait modification" which is causing muscle tension/strain/atrophy, etc. and my mind is subconsciously using this as a crutch to avoid exercise. (Yes cycling and swimming are great alternatives but I'm suggesting that my brain is giving me an out. Psychology yes.  Easy to overcome...not right now.  Additionally, I've let my weight creep to gastronomic proportions and I realize that 60lbs less down force on said knee must be a good thing.

Offer
I am willing to submit to the wishes of a holistic-natural regimen to improve my knee and overall wellness stemming from my situation if a local Des Monies based person (or team) would care to do a case study on the results.  I'm making assumptions of course that this is valuable to you and your industry...but I may be WAY off here so excuse my ignorance.  Maybe you'd like me to lose 60lbs before we start so that element of variability is resolved...ok...let's do that.  I will become an advocate for you and share my story far and wide. 

I'd need you to provide me the supplements or treatments so I don't have to invest gobs of cash into this.  I will be honest and will follow your instructions explicitly.  CAVEAT: I do hope that your plan does not involve impossible requests like "never have a steak or a glass of wine" ever again.  If it does...I just don't see that happening and it's quite abnormal to advocate for complete elimination of things that can be consumed in moderation.  Fat doesn't kill.  Animal flesh doesn't kill.  Wine doesn't kill unless abused, etc.

Maybe I'm being silly and natural medicinal practices are so widely accepted that I need to just visit a health food store and pony up.  So be it.  But, if skeptical me can restore range of motion, reduce pain and edema, and get never have to get a knee replacement...I think we'll both win. 

You will find me 100 ways to Sunday if you're interested but the fastest method is doug AT mitchgroup DOT com. 

Please if you know someone, forward this on and let's see if this pathway holds promise.  Otherwise, I'm still hunting down clinical trials and such around the Interwebs. 

Thanks team.

Posted via email from Doug's posterous

Strategy vs. Execution

I execute.  We all know the "perpetual idea machines" out there...but through start-up life and regular life I'm sure you've noticed too that there are plenty of ideas and few who act.  Those who execute are typically viewed as being "successful" and "go-getters".  But when it comes to STRATEGY vs. EXECUTION, I like many struggle with wanting to dive and execute when times call for strategy development.  Recognizing this internal battle is key.  I see solutions through the prism of my own experience and execution filters.  Yes, they've served me well...but they are NOT universal.

So, here's a quote I just noticed from Obama's campaign mastermind David Plouffe, "The importance of creating a strategy.  He said “The most fundamental part of organizational success is creating a strategy and then running every decision through the prism of that plan.”

It's too easy to throw tactics (today most often the "social media kitchen sink") at any marketing opportunity.  Development of the strategy is the filter through which tactical tools can be deemed appropriate and supportive.

Posted via email from Doug's posterous