« November 2005 | Main | January 2006 »

December 14, 2005

Help Wanted

Gold Systems is looking for a few great people.  In particular we're looking for a Regional Sales Manager for our Northwest territory.  We need someone who either already lives in the Pacific Northwest or is willing to relocate at their own expense.  The details are here.  We're also looking for an experienced Support Engineer, and we're not going to trust our customers to just anybody, so we need somebody really, really good with the right ideas about customer service.

Some of the best people at Gold Systems have come from referrals, either from people who work here or people in the community who know something about our culture.  I'd love to hear from you if you have the qualifications or know someone who does.

We're not for everybody.  We're customer focused to a fault sometimes.  We work in a niche that is exciting (Speech Recognition) but everyone is surprised at how different it is from other areas of technology.  If you already are in the business, or you really like a steep learning curve with a cool technology, then it might be the right place for you.

If you like the high-energy excitement of a cube farm where you know all about your neighbor's medical problems and their troubles finding a good baby-sitter, because you can hear everything going on in a five-cube radius, then Gold Systems isn't for you because everyone here gets their own office.  (Except for Lori, and she has her own skylight.)  Of course, remote people usually work out of their homes, so in a way they still get their own office and no one cares how they dress.  Not that we care very much anyway.  Ties are only worn under duress when we visit customers who are also forced to wear ties, so we wear them to show our support for their plight.  Otherwise shorts and t-shirts are just fine.

We hire nice people who get their jobs done.  When we screw up and hire someone who just pretends to be nice in the interview, they don't tend to last long.  We have a lot of people who have been here five years and even ten years, so we don't expect people to work 80 hours a week until they burn out and quit.  People do work hard, and sometimes late nights and weekends are required, because our customers tend to pick strange hours to try out new software.  But we give a generous amount of vacation and we do our best to maintain some balance in our lives.

We have an amazing customer list, and with a few exceptions, they love us.  If this sounds interesting, check out the link above or our general help wanted page.  And I don't know who's photo that is on the "Letter from the CEO" page.  I interviewed for the part, but I guess they decided I didn't look enough like the typical CEO.  That's fine, I never aspired to that anyway.

December 14, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 03, 2005

Video iPod

It seems to me that there are more than the usual number of new technologies coming to market that could make the next few years really interesting.  I'm writing this on my way back from visiting customers in New Jersey and I'm listing to my newest toy, a video iPod.  Apple isn't the first to make it possible to watch video on a handheld device, but they've made it easy.  First some stats. 
  • My iPod has a 60 GB hard drive in it. That's the same size as the hard drive in my fairly-new Dell laptop.
  • Right now my iPod has 3238 songs on it.  I buy more CDs than ever and I purchase music from artists that will never have a real recording contract.  I enjoy my music more too because of how I can easily create playlists that capture exactly what I want to listen to at the moment.
  • 13 videos (I said I just got it!)
  • 12,540 photos.  That is every single digital photo I've ever taken and my first digital camera was a Sony that wrote to floppy disks.  My niece Lisa looked at every single one of the photos the day after Thanksgiving.  It took her about an hour, so she was speeding through, but it was fun to see photos I had forgot about when one would catch her eye and she would ask about it. I did the math, that's about 4 a second.  I just tried it myself and it is easy to go that fast and still get some idea of the photos.
  • 38 unabridged audio books from Audible (two are Stephen King books so these are not small books)
  • 4 podcast subscriptions - I'm not really into podcasts.  One of these is really a video podcast.
With all of that, there is still 29 GB of space left, which is quite a bit more than is available on my laptop.  If I need more space on the laptop, I could always mount the iPod as a second hard disk.  (No, my laptop is not an Apple.  Windows XP and the iTunes synchronization software works great together.)
You can already buy a few TV episodes and music videos from iTunes, but in a very short time much if not most of what is available on the TV will be available as easy-to-sync content for the iPod and other players.  Trust me on this, the introduction of the video iPod is going to be a big part of the move to make it possible to watch whatever you want, whenever you want it and not just on little screens but also on your regular internet-connected TV.  USA Today had at least 3 or 4 stories today about the changes that are sweeping the entertainment industry and what it means for the studios and networks.
Speaking of the little screen, I haven't tried to watch a movie on it yet, but everyone who has played with it has commented on how great the screen looks.  For about $20 I bought a cable that makes connecting to a TV as easy as plugging in a DVD player.  The image scales nicely but again I haven't tried to watch a movie this way.
Someday this device will end up in my Museum of Cool but Obsolete Technology, but for now it is making me think a lot about how the world is changing, and I'm getting to listen to some great Bluegrass in the process.

December 3, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Air Skyping

Like most people who travel a lot, I read USA Today on return flights.  The November 30th edition had an article by Kevin Maney about Air Skyping.  That's where you connect to the internet from 30,000 feet and then talk to people on the ground via Skype or some other VoIP soft phone.  He says El Al, SAS and Lufthansa will sell you a broadband connection for about $30 a flight, but they probably didn't foresee how they were enabling free phone calls to the ground when they set it up.  I agree with Kevin that there is great potential for air rage as passengers beat the guy who will not shut up the entire flight across the Atlantic.
In the Newark Airport today I heard a guy in the bathroom complaining loudly on a cell phone about his boss and how he is NEVER rewarded for doing anything right.  He's under constant pressure and is not appreciated AT ALL.  He sounded like he was about to blow a gasket and I wondered if he realized that everyone in the restroom couldn't help but hear his complaints.  Surely the person on the other end could hear the toilets flushing all around but he didn't seem to care.  I assumed that the guy was probably a sales person in a slump, or an IT guy who didn't get noticed unless something wasn't working.  Sad to say, he was wearing a TSA uniform.  I'd hate to be trapped next to him on a flight as he vented.
Kevin believes the cell phone ban on airliners has saved lives, not because of the potential to interfere with navigation equipment, but for the anger that it could provoke amongst the fellow passengers.  Kevin's blog is here.  He's a funny guy who really gets technology, despite the mean things he once said about speech recognition.  He's also the brother of Dave Maney, a successful Colorado entrepreneur, song writer and a good friend of mine who, as far as I know, has never said anything mean about speech recognition.

December 1, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack