Conversations (258)

I agree with Zach. While women are pregnant, they're changing physiologically and psychologically. Their pregnancy is preparing their body and mind so that, when the child is born, they'll be primed for nurturing. She's not just getting a bigger belly and producing milk, a lot more changes than those are happening (ehm, oxytocin, anyone?). A father, no matter how good his intentions may be, will always be an inferior replacement. He's more primed to provide and protect, as he is bigger and stronger. I didn't define it that way, mother nature did, so take it up with her.

I hear what you're saying, and in many ways I agree with you on a personal level. But, I'm not convinced it's a nature thing.

First of all, there's probably a spectrum. I certainly know stay at home dads who are made for it. And no, that's not really me - The fact that I can barely make a peanut butter sandwich puts me in a bind every night when dinner time approaches and I anxiously await my wife's return home - but it does exist.

And reading your thoughts actually makes me lean more towards a "nurture" approach, that it's only a matter of time before the roles at home/work become more balanced. These things are mimetic and just like women can adapt and be join the workforce and be every bit as effective as men, the same will be true the other way.

The process can vary a lot. What I never liked doing was what gets referred to as a “bake-off,” where they solicit 4 or 5 pitches from writers and pick the best one. I can understand why they do it — it speeds up the process — but if you’ve, say, worked out a story for a DOC SAMSON mini-series, and it gets rejected not because it’s bad, but because they got multiple good pitches and they can only buy one, then you’re likely left with a pitch that you can’t exactly use anywhere else. Sometimes they pay for them, to ameliorate that, but I’d rather have the freedom to do my story than to have a few bucks but the ideas are then owned by a company that doesn’t want to use them.

[And as it happens, I do have a pitch for a DOC SAMSON mini that didn’t get bought, and it’s not a story for the ages or anything, but there was a secondary character in it that I may retool and use in ASTRO CITY, because I like that guy’s story and think it’d be fun to tell, even if it doesn’t involve Doc Samson any more. That’s the benefit of retaining ownership if they don’t buy it.]

When I did UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, in fact, that was nearly a bake-off. They’d asked a couple of other writers, who turned them down, and they asked me to take part in a bake-off. I didn’t want to, so I said I’d come up with a pitch quickly if they’d let me pitch solo, but if it was a bake-off, I didn’t want to play. That worked out pretty well. I’d hate to have come up with a dozen stories for teen Spider-Man and have nowhere to use them.

Anyway, I don’t think there are rejected pitches that eat at me, particularly. They probably annoyed me back in the 1980s, when I needed the money, but still it’s part of the process. What really annoyed me was when an editor asked me for a pitch, I sent it in, and he never responded. Wouldn’t return phone calls or e-mails, just complete silence. I’d rather be told “no” than that.

But these days, I don’t really pitch stuff that can’t be used elsewhere — I have a project I’m working on now that I pitched to a couple of different editors and they dismissed it out of hand. When I ran it by Eric Stephenson at Image, though, his reaction was “Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier?! Let’s do this!” 

So better it find a home somewhere someone’s enthusiastic about it rather than one where they don’t much care for it.
My pleasure, Ari. It was fun.
In general, I think we're going to see accountants spend less time behind their desks and more time being active in the business. The value add will come from spending more time working with core operating functions. Since most CFOs are operationally oriented, the change in responsibilities will make good sense in the long term as well.
So what will a first year responsibility's look like for someone coming out of college, without the data entry. Where can they add value?

Also, as much as I despised data entry, I believe it actually laid down a lot of the foundation to better understanding what I'm looking at and working with.

I had the opportunity to see Coach Jim Harbaugh in action as he took over the Michigan program and made it his own. There were a lot of moving elements those first months and it was incredible to see him put it all together. 

I remember distinctly  when I was doing my draft/ pro day training seeing Coach Harbaugh for the first time on the field and he was showing the players how to run drills, as in he had cleats on and was running around the field demonstrating for the guys. A couple weeks later during Spring practice I saw him catching balls with gloves for the quarterbacks and also giving snaps to the quarterbacks on his knees. That passion and intensity is something else, he's in a ball park of his own, but I LOVE that. I was always an intense guy at practice - I get really into in and try and have fun with it. Coach Harbaugh has a great fire and he will make Michigan great again!

Hey, Alex, you probably didn't overlap very much, but what's your best Jim Harbaugh story.

That's awesome and a really great approach. At ReplyAll we've also found that it's a great balance to finance based on need, and working within constraints improves the decision making process.

Alright, thanks so much for joining me this week! I really enjoyed learning more about you & inDinero.

What can I say, no one expects you to have a crystal ball?  (Where’s the smiley face emoji?)  Well, one of the things I did not do was shut down the original business completely and start all over.  Even though that could have been a bit more tidy or simpler, that’s just not who I am.  So really, I scaled down to the point of laying everyone off and moving in with my folks.  Bootstrapping for me was to gather up Whole Foods points so I could save on food funding.  Simply put, I think that my original investors believed in me and my leadership skills and decision making abilities.  However, I did some very fast, tactical maneuvers to right the ship.  I immediately learned everything there was to know about accounting and taxes and began surveying past and future clients like there was no tomorrow.  I found out that across the board, small business owners detested dealing with accounting and wanted all of these related services of tax and payroll done for them as well.  So we did them one better; we said we’ll do it all for them and we’ll charge them based on where they are as a company, based on their revenue.

So the solution was there, but it took scrounging up money in my couch cushions, borrowed from family so that we could launch again and start solving bigger problems for clients.  By proving the new model, we were able to start making some money and now we started getting the attention of new investors.  This time around I was a savvy old veteran at this game, so I applied what I call pseudo-bootstrapping.  This meant raising multiple channels of funding; angel, credit debt and crowdsourcing via, and being stingy with it.  I won’t ever grow faster than 12 months of cash reserves and I keep the P&L; and revenue numbers duct taped to my wrist – those numbers never lie!