Monday, October 04, 2004

My Company, Redux

A couple of people are wondering what I do at my company, and I wouldn't mind writing about it anyhow. Plus, we made the papers again, but this time it was... the Times of India!

Over at the University of Louisville, Elango Meenakshisundaram, a grad student who worked on a business plan for a virtual personal trainer while doing his MBA, launched MobileFit, an MP3-based program that will, to borrow a popular campus expression, ''kick ass.''

Yes, you read that right. This ass-kicking MP3 program simulates a personal trainer, directing you through a workout at a health club. I'm attracted to this kind of company because it is a start-up, despite me not being much of a health club type of guy. Everyday I get to do something new and important, as they don't have time to waste with non-ass-kicking busy work and beaurocracy. So, I've gotten to mess with financial statements, try to get some music liscensing, filled out some grant applications, and even filed our trademark. Now I'm working on some data-mining, wanting to look at workouts from the past and seeing how people felt about them. Basically, I work six hours a day doing whatever is needed.

And right now a lot is needed. We're working to beat a deadline, and I think it will be a good month for us. We will have to get a lot of processes in order. This leads me to a point. You know how we've all worked at jobs where the organization was horrible, and you felt that it could easily be done better if you could change a couple of things? Well, it's increadily hard once you get to the other side! You have to think hard about how to change it. I increasingly believe that the ONLY way you can learn how to run an organization is to step into the system from time to time and see first-hand how it is working, and how it is failing. But most managers won't "lower" themselves to actually doing the job of their underlings, so they don't see what is obvious to everyone else. It's a reason why so many jobs stink when they could be rewarding with just a little work.


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