SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Start-over: Technology Innovation in 435 Congressional Districts

Before the end of the year, Karl Palachuk and I intend to do our quarterly analyst briefing webinar that typically enjoys a receptive audience. On deck on the agenda for our to-be-announced 4Q Analyst Report webinar is a non-partisan review of the election. We’ll stick to the facts and discuss how it results impact MSPs. Trust us!
 
I want to leak one topic right here, right now. At a high-level it concerns each part of America having the ability to innovate technology. For example, my hometown Anchorage Alaska could be an Arctic engineering powerhouse (it’s the same altitude as Finland which is very technologically oriented).
 
This amazing study here was published by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and written by John Wu, Adams Nager and Jospeh Chuzhin. It’s pitch is simple: “Contrary to perceptions, America’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy is not concentrated around hubs like Silicon Valley; it is widely diffused—and every state and congressional district has a stake in its success.”
 
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For years, policy discussions about America’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy have focused on just a few iconic places, such as the Route 128 tech corridor around Boston, Massachusetts; Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and, of course, California’s white-hot Silicon Valley. This has always been too myopic a view of how innovation is distributed across the country, because many other metropolitan areas and regions—from Phoenix to Salt Lake City to Philadelphia—are innovative hot spots, too, and many more areas are developing tech capabilities. An unfortunate result of this myopia has been that policy debates about how to bolster the country’s innovative capacity have often been seen as the province of only the few members of Congress who represent districts or states that are recognizably tech-heavy, while many members from other districts focus on other issues. This needs to change, not only because the premise is incorrect, but also because the country’s competitive position in the global economy hinges on developing a broad-based, bipartisan, bicameral understanding and support for federal policies to spur innovation and growth.
A defining trend of the last decade is the degree to which technology—information technology, in particular—has become a critical driver of productivity and competitiveness for the whole economy, not just the tech sector itself. This is abundantly clear throughout the United States, as revealed in both traditional economic data, such as high-tech export activity, and in newer metrics, such as broadband deployment. Indeed, all districts have some kind of technology and innovation-driven activity occurring locally, either because long-established industries such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and professional services are rapidly evolving into tech-enabled industries, or because new developments such as cloud computing and ubiquitous access to broadband Internet service allow innovators to create new, IT-enabled enterprises in any small town or rural area they may choose, not just in Silicon Valley or Boston.
 
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This is a great study. You’ll need to get your smarts on to read the 56+ pages but, trust me, it’s worth it! Download here. 
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Back to School - Karl's Books!

With Fall arriving quickly, it’s time to sharpen the saw as a life learner. In the spirit of “back to school,” Karl Palachuk has just released a four (4) volume “Managed Services Operations Manual” audio book set.

This is important to know for several reasons, the least of which is many of you are trying to “start over” in the new-new world of cloud.

Firstly, many SMB Nation fans have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) whether you want to admit it or not. How do I know this?

Because you are a high tech entrepreneur running your own MSP consulting reseller practice. And having ADHD is actually a success factor (even your secret weapon) despite what the Catholic nuns told you in grammar school. What I’ve personally found and studies now confirm is audio books are a way for ADHD afflicted people to “read books” and absorb the content. (Success secret: You can also have other documents read aloud in Windows 10 with the [Windows] [Enter] keystroke sequence to launch Narrator).

 

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Buy Karl's Books! Keep your eyes open for a future webcast featuring Karl (Superman) and me (Batman) as we debate learning methods between ADHD and non-ADHD entrepreneurs. For example, I’m huge on using Slack and OneNote as a way to put everything back together again in my mind. Karl promotes the single screen experience and avoiding email pop-ups. We intend to host debate this before the end of 2016.

Second, I can honestly say, if I were starting-over, I’d start with Karl’s operations books. Why? Because for many years I resisted bing operationally oriented and then I finally hired Jenny Hallmark to run things. The point is that I learned to honor the importance of operations the hard way. And while I’m streetwise today about this matter, I’d be a better entrepreneur if I had the likes of Karl’s knowledge nuggets earlier in my career. This is something you can attend to right here, right now.

Third, Karl is a long-time friend of the SMB Nation family and has offered a 10 percent savings coupon for you. Here is how you enjoy the savings. Read the blog about what the Managed Services Operations Manual offering is and decide if this is right for you. Then when you purchase, enter the code smbnation2016 for the additional 15 percent savings.

Think of it this way. The entire Karl bundle is cheaper than one (1) undergraduate textbook in Aerospace Engineering. Trust me.

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Start-Over: I’m Not Worthy!

This past week, ChannelPro issued it’s 2016 20/20 Visionaries. It’s a time-tested formula bordering on gamification where awardees can add yet another logo to their website. Every industry does this and I appreciate ChannelPro’s on-going effort to highlight the leaders in the SMB channel. In particular, I appreciate its efforts to highlight the new members with an art callout and by featuring the newbies with a photo in print.

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In the past, I’ve observed this type of list in both the SMB segment and other industries and pondered what the criteria is for selection. To ChannelPro’s credit, it appears to be a relatively unbiased and independent selection of leaders, not a vendorfest. However I think all of these industry lists suffer from not applying the four-way Rotary ethical test as there are individuals listed who have engaged in situational ethics on the way up. I used to naively think it was unique to our beloved SBS/SMB community but then I got involved in the VC-backed start-up community and it’s even worse LOL!

I can appreciate that these lists are a challenge to compile in that you inevitably leave some great people off the list. And I like how it has divided itself to be 20-visionaries and 20-do’ers. I think the Do-er list (aka “Channel Pros”) is spot on.

So how does this relate to start-over? First this is not a list of newly arrived “start-ups” but rather long-term established players (as it should be). And as I delve deeper into this list, I know about 75% of these 20/20 on a personal level (in fact I know too much about ten of them LOL). But I’d offer nearly each and every one of the 20/20 have had to start-over or reinvent themselves. For example, Jay McBain has gone from a corporate suit box pusher to an entrepreneurial analytical start-up nerd all while siring a couple off-spring along the way. Susan Bradley has remained relevant morphing from the SBS Diva to something of the Security Diva.

When I look at these lists, I always like to ask who’s not on the list. At first blush I didn’t see Vlad, Robin Russ or some of the IAMCP leaders (Steve Hall is one of them who made it). What these exclusions suggest is that (a) it’s hard to make a short list and (b) it’s a bigger community out there than we appreciate. More on the fact size matters in a future missive.

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Karl Palachuk Launches “Odd Tuesdays” Series

Karl HeadshotKarl Palachuk, President at Great Little Book Publishing Company, and well-known author, presenter and publisher, today announced the “Odd Tuesday” series. This series, which will air via webcast on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, will feature tips, best practices and community interviews for IT Professionals.

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Help Karl Palachuk Write his Book Set on Standard Op Procedures for Tech Consultants

Karl PalachukWe heard this week from our good friend and community member Karl Palachuk that he has embarked on a journey to complete his newest writing project. This time he is working to complete a four-volume book set on Standard Operating Procedures for Technology Consultants. Topics in the four-book set will include:

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Register for Karl Palachuk’s SMB Online Conference, Win a FREE Micro Machine Star Trek

Trekkies on alert! Click here to view this cool video from our friend Karl Palachuk of Great Little Book Publishing Co., discussing his SMB Online Conference. In the video, Karl discusses this fantastic promotion that you must take advantage of (whether you are a Trekkie or not)…simply refer one of your friends to the SMB Online Conference and tell them to be sure to put your name in the "How did you hear about us" box.

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Karl Palachuk Offers SMB Nation Members a Special Discount

Karl HeadshotKarl Palachuk, President of Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc. and well-respected SMB IT community author, will be hosting an online-only conference for IT Pros June 25-27. As a nod to his long-time friendship with SMB Nation, he is offering a discount code for $150.00 off the full event price.

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Karl and Manuel Palachuk to Speak at Online Conference in June

SMB Online Conference 2013Small Biz Thoughts recently announced that Founder, Karl Palachuk and his brother, Manuel Palachuk, both of whom are well-respected voices in the IT industry, will be presenting sessions for the company’s IT Business Reboot 2013 online conference between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm PDT June 25-27. The two brothers each have over 25 years of experience in the SMB field, and in 2009, they co-authored a how-to guide for zero-downtime network migrations.

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Intel Gives the Axe to Hybrid Cloud, AppUp Small Business Software Service

Many of us remember when Intel launched its Intel Hybrid Cloud device and the Intel AppUp Small Business Software Service with much fanfare just about two years ago, with tons of promise. It was ahead of its time pioneering the “devices and services” paradigm so popular today. It was the “third-way” in the polarizing argument(s) asserted by on-premises extremists and Cloudies. Many MSPs that I know had signed up for the service, and had high hopes for what it could do for both themselves and their SMB end users. Intel even went ahead and put together a launch platform held at SMB Nation’s Fall Conference in 2011 to target its sweet spot of SMB MSPs who largely attend our events…from what I understand, they came in droves to check out this new game-changing cloud product.

(Pictured at right): Karl Palachuk, Founder and CEO, Small Biz Thoughts / Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc., said he doesn't feel there is a correlation between the end of SBS and the end of the Intel server.

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Creative Strategist John Armato to Speak at Karl Palachuk’s SMB Online Conference

Technology author Karl Palachuk encourages Managed Service Providers to reboot their business for the current economy – and his guest keynote speaker Creative Strategist John Armato challenges the IT community to think INSIDE the box to do it. With that being said, Palachuk has invited Armato to address the community during his SMB Onlinie Conference that will run 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific on June 25-27, 2013.

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