What is an Entrepreneur?

I like to think of an entrepreneur as someone who creates opportunity for themselves. They are adept at creating something out of nothing and aren’t afraid of taking risks. I feel that the founder of a lifestyle business should be considered an entrepreneur just as well as the owner of multiple franchises and just as well as the founder of an innovative tech startup. They are all entrepreneurs because they are creating value for themselves.

What is Eurocurrency?

It’s a common misconception that Eurocurrency has to be the deposit of foreign currency in a European bank. In fact, Eurocurrency is considered a deposit any currency in an international bank located in a different country from the deposited money.

Eurocurrency got it’s start back in the Soviet communist days. Back then, Communist countries were afraid to deposit their US dollars in US banks for fear their assets would be frozen our stripped (due to anti-Communist) sentiment. They chose to deposit their US dollars in a French bank whose telex address happen to be EURO-BANK. That’s why we call it Eurocurrency!

Since the advent of the European Union and the euro, however, we have started to call Eurocurrency simply international currency. Also, instead of the term Eurobank, we now use the term prime bank. I think this makes more sense.

When a Eurobank, or prime bank, makes a short to medium-term loan, we call this appropriately a Eurocredit. These loans would be loans in currencies other than the currency of the home country of the lending bank.

A Kind Message from Software Developers to Recruiters

Dear Recruiters,

I write this message to you on behalf of all software developers as I know that most us feel the same way.

Let me start off by saying that I appreciate what recruiters do. I don’t appreciate what they do for the corporate world, or for technology, as I could argue either way for those benefits. I appreciate what recruiters have done for me personally. If it wasn’t for recruiters, I’d probably be making about half the income I make I right now. Also, if it wasn’t for recruiters, I probably never would have moved from San Francisco to Seattle and then from Seattle to Los Angeles. It’s not that I couldn’t have figured out how to make more money on my own or that I couldn’t have moved around the country on my own. It’s just that the motivation to leave companies for more money or to move to a different city to go work for a different company isn’t really an inherent motivation for me. Recruiters have supplied much of this motivation, and for that I’m thankful.

Now to what I don’t appreciate:

  • Not reading my resume / LinkedIn profile:
    I don’t appreciate you pitching jobs to me for which I’m obviously not qualified or interested in. Take a minute and read the entire thing. At the bottom of my LinkedIn profile, there’s even a section where I spell out for you which types of jobs I’d be interested in interviewing for.
  • Calling me while I’m at work:
    You know I have a job, right? You know I get paid to write code, not talk on the phone, right? Do I call you while you’re at your job and try to get you to take a job somewhere else? No, I don’t. It’s called respect. If you give us respect, we’ll give you ┬árespect.
  • Scheduling a phone interview during the middle of my day:
    This goes back to my previous point. Why would I want to interview for a different position during the middle of my work day? Who does that? Only unemployed people. Get a clue please.

Sorry if this sounds harsh. I realize you are just trying to make a living the best way you can. Think about this though. Maybe if you stopped treating developers like your next paycheck, they would actually have some semblance of loyalty to you or your recruiting firm and not treat you like a commodity.

Happy head hunting,

Software Engineers, Don’t Waste Your Time Any Longer, Build Your Future

Today, I came to the full realization of something that’s always been an itch in the back of my mind. If you’re a software engineer and you’re not utilizing your talents to help build a company or gain a stake in a company, you are wasting your time.

You may say, “Oh Karim, that’s mighty hypocritical for you to say. After all, you work for Fandango as a consultant and have no stake in NBC Universal, the parent company of Fandango. You get no benefit and no share of Fandango’s immense success.” If you said this, you are right, and don’t get me wrong, Fandango is an awesome place to work. From our catered lunches and company movie outings and an incredible location just three miles from my apartment, it’s difficult to imagine a better place to work right now.

I’m not resting on my laurels, however; I’m actively doing things to build my future. For instance, I’m about half way through with business school at the University of Florida. I’m also attending the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon – Los Angeles in a few weeks. There, I plan to build my first commercial mobile app.

As software engineers, we have the unique ability to not only think something up, but to go out and build it. We have the power to create software that millions of people will use. We have the power to create this with nothing more than our brains, our fingers, and a computer. Even with a world economy in the midst of a deep recession, the demand for software engineers has been increasing faster than the supply. Don’t waste your talent; go build your future. If you have a good idea, and are interested in working with me, hit me up. Let’s chat!

How to Enter Current Date/Time in Google Spreadsheet

I’ve been using Google Docs more and more since it’s an easy place for me to keep docs that I update from multiple machines. Google Docs is obviously not as robust as Microsoft Excel, but they are adding features rapidly.

One function I just discovered is the now() function. It will give you the current date and time and you can use it spreadsheet calculations. Quite handy if you ask me!

5 Tips For Being a Satisfied Negotiator

In my organizational behavior class, I’m currently studying how to get a favorable outcome while negotiating. Here are some tips.

1. Know What You Want
In order to be prepared, you should know what your target value is and either your lower or upper limit.

2. Know What You Can Get
In order to make an informed decision, you must know what you can get if go elsewhere. Once you know what you can get elsewhere, then you are prepared to walk away if necessary.

3. Be Aware of Time
You can use time to your favor. For example, if time is running out, you have a good chance of your opponent making concessions. Also, the longer you’ve been negotiating, the more the other party has “invested” in the negotiation, and may make concessions in this way as well.

4. Tread Carefully With Your First Offer
If your first offer is too high, your opponent may swing wildly in the low direction. If your first offer is too low, your opponent may refuse to continue negotiations.

5. Make Concessions
Concessions are seen as an act of good faith in a negotiation. The more you make, the more good faith you will build. So make small concessions, but make them often.