When The Process is The Product

One of the brightest person’s I ever knew, once said that chess was a five hour problem, but bridge–which he was a master in–‘was a series of five minute problems’. Therein is the hint of our subject today.

Before the era of PC’s, massive parallel computing, or even the Cloud, designing a car then rolling it into production, used to take FIVE years. Think clay, and balsa and mock ups. Then it was speed up to three years, then two.

When Gillette decides to do a razor, they might design, prototype, mock up, trial produce, and manufacture in a series of months for some steps, days for others. Then if they like the product, they can roll it out, and replicate it in the millions. Tens of millions even, if it is proven.

Architects have no such luxury. You cannot stand in your prototype, so that for US architects, the process is the product. We cannot mass produce. There is if ever or but rarely, a trial run. So our product IS the process. We refine our methodological process, not the product. Architecture, by the way, is probably more like a three year problem, from feasibility, conceptualization, design, design development, production, bidding, construction, close out, then occupancy.

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Posted in Methodology, Process, Product

Life Events

I could make my life sound far, far better than it has been. And at the same time, I could make it sound far worse than it has been. Life–for me–has been one BIG shock. It still is. Life has been harsh and endlessly challenging. And it has been incredibly rich and rewarding. At certain times, things happened, persons met, opportunities given or lost of shunned or embraced, that have shaped my life more than anything. From the top down:

  • Being born from a mother and father who were BOTH school teachers.
  • Being born in a family, where my father made a huge mistake, right when I was born, resulting in my parents being deeply focused on honesty.
  • Deciding to be an architect at age ten. Imagine looking up, at age thirty, and finding yourself living what a young boy decided. This is at once good and bad.
  • Starting 49 years of running, at age 11.8.
  • Learning of a tuition free, private school, and despite being told my odds of admission was nearly impossible, being accepted on merrit, not highest grades.
  • Being enrolled in the Dean of The Cooper Union’s freshman design class, while still just 17 years old.
  • Being told by a student, ‘You must have a process’.
  • Working for a Japanese company, right out of school, where serendipitously a man fluent in Japanese met with me, telling me I could learn the entire Toyo Kanji, one bit a time.
  • Through that meeting, providentially meeting the very great Korean Zen Master, Dae Soen Sa Nim THEN being invited to travel with him, and living in a Zen Temple in Seoul.
  • My first mentor, who was such an accomplished gamesman, that he not only was a bridge master, chess expert, but even played Rod Laver in the Italian open and was at Wimbledon, invited me, to house sit in the deep south.
  • Get hired by a small boutique architectural firm, and learning to manage architecture projects correctly, right next door to a holistic health store that started me on the right road.
  • Learning about mutual funds, then starting to trade stocks.
  • Getting into Mountaineering, and ultimately trained in snow and ice school.
  • Providentially meeting a young man, who was reputed to manage 10% of the stock money of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, which ultimately got me hired as a developing stock broker.
  • Meeting my guru Joy, who lived for eight years in India, with Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
  • After buying and selling some two-hundred million in stocks, nearly making senior VP at Morgan Stanley, took a job at a big box building materials retailer, meeting at least three-hundred thousand persons, in a neighborhood where 76% of the population were black or Asian. Intense.
  • Going into a very severe depression, seeking help, then ultimately working my way out of it, without pharmacology, all with natural food, food supplements, meditation, cleansing emotionally and physically.
  • Taking a basic rock class, then deciding after, it was far more efficient to hire a private guide, to take me to remarkable places, going one on one.
  • Resuming tournament chess. Doing tens of thousands of online tactical problems at a marked degree of accuracy.
  • Learning to do html on WordPress AFTER figuring out, Google blogger was a dead end.
  • Moving back to New Jersey, beginning independent consulting, and cutting my teeth in enterprise, across a very wide range of clientele.
  • Running my own after-school chess programs, as a volunteer.

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Posted in Biographic, Biography, Events, Inspiration, Major Roles, Roles, Summary, Wellness


Classical homeopathy is about the tendencies of humans, according to both the personality, self, and body. I often say, ‘systems will behave according to the properties of their systems.

If there is a lottery of six numbers, one through forty-nine, then the delta between the 2nd and the 5th number, will over long periods of time, average out, to 21.1. Similarly, over time, the sum of all six numbers, some 75% of the time, will be between 135 and 165.

If the odds of parents having seven girls in a row are roughly 50% each time, then one in every roughly 130 parents, will produce this result.

If fifty rock climbers or wingsuit jumpers free climb or soar off of cliffs, no matter how carefully done or lucky, sooner or later, someone of truly exceptional skill will make a misstep or miscalculation. We can in that case, call it the law of hazard.

A think Venusian atmosphere of earth, in vast space, with so much carbon and hydrogen, will lead at the right distance, to the emergence of organic life. And if those higher being, aka as humans, pollute and destroy their habitat, they will go extinct of be recycled, and other life will take their place.

Rare as it is, imagine how a person would feel, who as 94, and tapped on the shoulder by an angel, and told: “Be ready to live another 30 years. THIRTY. Imagine a two million dollar meteorite, crashing through your roof, and some breathless collector, wires you, and says, hold that rock. I am jumping on a plane, and will pay cash for it. This happened a few years back.

You can also die of perfect health. Systems accumulate and dissipate according the properties of their systems. They can be expected, to regress to their means, and also produce, a certain degree of deviance, above or below their volume weighted moving average.

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The Best Interview, You Will Ever Hear

Marco Pierre White attained top Michelin stars, yet when he got to the top, decided that he could not HOLD those stars, since he either was not in the kitchen or did not want to be, and eschewed pretense. This is the amazing story of his life. Stunner. A man’s man. syncronisticity writ large. Fate is shown in Chinese, as a moving wheel.

The serendipity of life writ large. How he was knocking on doors as a lad, seeking a dishwasher or humble prep job, any job he could get, to later running the top French restaurant in the United Kingdom

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World as Machine

In the next town or two from me, not fed by any major highways or well near a interstate highway exit, a truly massive building was being built. Much as I looked at it, and I am a licensed architect, I could not begin to figure out what it was for or why it was being built. Silent and imposing yet totally non-descript, it was citadel like.

When I was finally able to look up the name of the development, I was not surprised to see that it was a Distribution center for Amazon. This is NOT the story.

Even then, once I knew this major fact, I could not make sense of it. In Arlington, WA, what is called Smoky Point, is easily seen as a horrible, one lane road that backs up. It is hard to get through in the afternoon, and WITHOUT hordes of Amazon workers coming to work nor tractor trailer trucks coming through, it is already an impossibly difficult area. Excess capacity is totally lacking, and is sure to get much worse. Repeat. This is a ONE lane commercial road.

Yet when it comes to Walmart, Wholefoods, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, and the likes of McDonalds, you know, they make few mistakes if any, about location and site selection. They have all the data, car counts, miles per hour, car per traffic light per minute, dollars per minute, satellite photos counting french fries and Starbucks or Chick-fil-A wait times, and ties to well motivated city council seeking growth. Wink, just take us all to a nice dinner, or more. Pricetag, just $355 million.

‘The City of Arlington had been under a strict confidentiality agreement during the development permitting process. The development had been known as “Project Roxy”’ … ‘It will eventually house a five-story building for an Amazon Robotic Sortation/Fulfillment Center, where robotics will move products to workstations for workers to place customers’ orders items in containers. Workers will then package and process orders for shipment and delivery.’

It gets better: ‘NorthPoint Development is a privately held, Kansas City based industrial developer that has developed more industrial space than any other single developer in the U.S. over the last five years. The company is currently investing more than a billion private dollars to develop Cascade Business Park – a new 4.1 million square foot light industrial facility for distribution and manufacturing on its 426-acre site situated within the CIC, half of which falls within the City of Arlington and the other half in the City of Marysville’.

Anyone think Koch brothers?? Kansas City, large …


Then it hit me. This nondescript behemoth is across from an under used regional airport. Clearly, as the world is filled with just in time delivery and intricate and fast, responsive supply chains, just as Amazon is morphing not just from an online market, to grocer, but a transportation company, competing with Federal Express and UPS, studying electric trucks and airplanes, but moving into Airfreight and of, small drones to bring, whatever you need by the hour or afternoon, bypassing horrific Seattle traffic, in this case, from warehouses in Monroe or Mount Vernon, or Bellingham, Kent, Puyallup, Renton, and of course Seattle. I could elaborate more. But you get the idea.

When you want, just that book, The Joy of Cooking, this of course is in most locations. But what if you want, a book, that only has two copies, one in Portland, the other in Kent, WA? They can put it on a truck. But when you GOT to have it, by gosh, they can get it to you. Now instead of small vans or large trucks, we have the aerospace option. I must remind the reader, Boeing is in the next town of Everett, the most dominant aerospace company, on earth.

Amazon has begun readiness, to amp up its conquest of the ground to the skies. Networking the skies.

We go from ground, to sky. Hyper mobility, in the name of squelching endless appetite for consumer products. Not for the next week or day, but in three hours from warehouse, to drone or small plane, to conveyor laden processing centers, like bee or ant colony’s’, swarms, timed bathroom breaks, chipped employees earning survival wages, marginalized like cattle in a vast meat packing facility. Think of it.

As you notice, metropolitan areas in the United States, are swarmed in tall, white vans, scurrying just what you want. A wise man once said, but of ‘the construction world, as we know it, is made up of a bunch of men driving around in small trucks’. The earth will suffocate, from this very total availability, which despite its charms, will crush nature.

The world is being turned into a circuit board, until no life is hardly left. It is stunning to see. But as Victor Hugo said of the printing press in Notre Dame, ‘this will kill that’.

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Posted in Logistics

Overpowering, Delaying, and Subservience

Human interactions and communications tend to be one of these three: delaying, overpowering, and subservience. We can elaborate, other primary emotions around these three major categories. For example, insincerity, can be related to delay–delaying others finding out, what is real, to attain an end. This relates to deviousness.

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Speed, Quality, Cost

Speed, quality, cost: pick two! You cannot have it all. Many think that they can. I suppose there are the rarest exceptions, where folks do.

Take for example Bill Gates–he had genius, ruthlessness, and he had good stars–intelect, meanness, and luck if you will. But marital fidelity, he did not have. I know it for a fact, not by hearsay, but highly credible local sources.

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Mad, Glad, Sad, Afraid

Mad, glad, sad, afraid: pick one!

Loving another is easy, as my guru Joy Gilbert used to say. But loving oneself is hard. And by loving oneself, I do not mean strawberry sundays sort of self pampering. But by self love, I mean being honest with oneself.

There are few things so hard, as to be honest with oneself. If you are not sure what your emotions are–start here. For example, anger and sadness are quite different. And sad and afraid as well. They are rarely mixed.

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Posted in Macros

Adams: Maybe One of the Best Biography’s Even Written

John Adams, by David McCullough–2002 paperback. Maybe one of the best biographies ever written. Profound, vast, far reaching, well researched, and most engaging. Five stars.

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Post-Modern Notes: Forty+ Years of Contact


Pick up the phone. Return phone calls. If you cannot pick up the phone when it rings, you are doing wrong. It is true that some persons will try to reach you. Well then, just efficiently and politely end the call. Avoidance is the addiction of our time. My god–just stand in your own shoes. Old school. ‘Its time not to be afraid of any man (or woman), not carrying a gun’. What you gain in being accessible and responsive, will more than make up for, in time not lost avoiding decisions, playing phone tag. Plan it, do it–just get it done.

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The more definite with other people you are, the more definite they will be with you“.
Silver Raven

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My Life Story, Part One

I have hesitated to tell this story, NOT because it is hard to tell or lack of feeling or reluctance, but rather, because there are so many chapters to my life story, that I waited and waited for the right time, perhaps stuck in a sense that it had to be if not perfectly told, gosh, that cannot be true, but at least cover it. And now, rather than delay yet more, I chose to tell it, in short order. What is the apt phrase? ” Just do it”.

I see the benefits of my attempting to share quickly, albeit far reduced in scope or craft, but gaining by being finally shared instead of stored away for a better day:


Both my parents were public school teachers. My father, while not highly gifted, worked at it, and over many years improved so much, that he became highly respected. He had all his lesson plans mapped out, all the tests, and knew his subject, Chemistry. He later became highly regarded, and this shows the benefit of long term application.

At the same time, we lived thirty minutes from West Caldwell, which my father was darn near forced to teach at, as he committed a very serious white collar crime, out of some mix of panic about money and probably mental illness, and had to leave his path as chemical engineer. The judge put him on parole and told him, he had to keep his nose clean or go to prison, mostly out of sympathy for my mother, who had three kids, and all 85 pound of her. I could just see her with a six year old, a two, and a two month old in court, as was suggested by his attorney. I am not ashamed, for my father learned to be a markedly honest man.


I was raised to be honest. Some are raised to be fighters, or lawyers or doctors of financers, but me, I was raised singularly to be honest. Lying was the worse thing. “Always speak the truth. Even if it hurts”. And with that, “if you ever have the chance to help another person, you do it”. That would be first my mother speaking, then my father.

My mother almost died when she had me. All 85 pounds of her, and a third C-section, she was told, unlikely to survive. I was a quiet baby. Not sure what happened after–vocal to this day.

She was so upset, when my father was arrested for a serious felon, that she did not want to show her face, outside our house for, for the first year that I was born. She was a third grade teacher, then a stay at home mom. Her father was a concert pianist. An expert in Bach finger technique. He was a creative genius in two areas.

You know about, ‘generational switching’ in DNA. Grandkids FAR more like grandparents than parents. My life is a gift, hard and easy. Learn how not to be all like him. Erratic. Excitable. Unstable. Manic. Driven. But very creative for sure. He also did electronics, as an early adopter.


I often say, that “I am the most insecure, highly confident person, that you will ever meet. It stems from these events. I entered the world in, if not severe trauma, then assuredly, deep upset. So all the study, martial arts, intellectual investigation, and even meditation, could never make me feel safe. Sorry, but it is true.


We finally moved from this working class town, in 1969, when riots were swelling around Newark. This was a good move, by my parents. There were excellent schools, more middle and upper middle class, safety, nearby farm land even, nested between miles of forest, in otherwise gentele suburbia.

My parents by all accounts loved each other. Their physical life, as told by both sides in modest hints, was intact, but my father could not reason with my mother, and left her, twenty years to the day, on New Years Eave, that they were married. My mother nearly lost her mind, or did. She kept a clean house and gave me three page, numbered work lists, and so when at age 12 or so, I began working, work I could do, and correctly.

When my father left, he left his drawing instruments behind, and I was, viola, nearly all but an architect in a matter of weeks and months. I just knew. I started designing houses, cities, cars, ships, roadways. Cartoons. So that when I took drafting in tenth grade, I did the entire three year curriculum in two months was it. The teacher, Mr. Lacik, told my mother: “I cannot teach him. He can do whatever he wants”.

I also started running, at age twelve, till recently just missing fifty years of effort–heart disease now, remarkably.

I signed a lease, renting an apartment at age seventeen. Although I was attracted to the opposite sex, in a normal way, I just did my work in school, did not drink or party, and was deeply focused. First love, took long to find, but of course did as it had to, nature taking it course.

I studied with John Hejduk, one of THE top theoretical architects in the world, at that time.

I got deep into Japanology, martial arts, and took on the beginnings of formal meditation, no matter how much I pretended to be a good student, at that time.

The South:
I lived in Southern Pines, then High Point, then finally Winston-Salem, getting an architects license finally, and getting a foothold into nutrition and holistic health.

I HAD to get out of the south. I was not only a Yankee and never would not be, I was ONE pushy one, and the more polite southerners told me, I had to change my ways, and change I did. And got out, nearly holding my breath.

At the same time, Seattle was a mean and hard and cold grinder. I am not bitter, but for twenty years, I tried and never found love and little friendship, save some wonderful exceptions.

I got hooked on stocks in 1990, and now, in 2022, the fascination has not left me still.

DRAFT, Thur 13-Jan-2022, 12:34 pm. To be continued. Unrevised, substantially unchecked.

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Books, The Great

For those too old, it is perhaps too late. And for those too young, maybe too soon to appreciate. Yet in that ‘efficient frontier between age 24 or 25, and 39, there is some measure of time within which to figure out not just what to do, that is to say, but develop a compass as to what is worthwhile and WHY, based on some of the best expressions of mind and soul, in the last thousand or two-thousand years.

———- ———-

Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji. The first true novel. Why this was so, is easy to find out. Of course, writing by a woman, not a man, unencumbered by Kanji or sophisticated Chinese Characters in Japan, not unlike in Quattrocento Italy in the early Renaissance, unencumbered by Latin and Greek but unfettered Italian, Shikibut wrote in Katakana (alternate, Hiragana et al). My god. Read the epic Edwin Seidensticker translation. If you read this thick book in under six months, you very likely are doing it wrong. Trust me on this. Go slow.

C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The core of what it is, to inquire as to the journey of the true self. A true education, at a soul level.

Thoreau, Walden. Sometimes you like the person but not the work (mythographer and sinologist Marcia Eliade), but far more rare, when you assuredly would not like the person, but love the work. Read chapters one and two, slowly and carefully).

Kenneth Boulding, The Meaning of the Twentieth Century. Reality, as it is. Clear explication of mankind’s transition from Neolithic, to Paleolithic, to energy accumulators and extractors, that is to say, surplus food turned into productive assets and structures, aka technology, industrialization, and urbanization.

Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. What can I say? The best of the best. Of course, the Dudley Fitts translation. Epic. Read it slowly. Do not gorge.

Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life. Explication of the cross between society, agriculture, monetization, and the transition from animal husbandry and the division of labor. I much prefer the earlier renditions of his work, by Miriam Kocham, well before he became big time.

Homer, Odyssey (recommendation, is very conditional on single, specific recommendation. Rieu. This is the one.



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Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams. Henry Adams, besides obvious erudition and relation to President John Quincy Adams, stood between two worlds, energized and awake. This is a report and a snapshot between the horse and mule and the railway, forcing its way into the night, just before nature was annihilated. We are now living, what was just seen as emergent then.



———- ———-

Johann Peter Eckermann, Goethe Conversations with Eckermann

Harris, Cannibals and Kings. Any Harris book!

PD Ouspensky, A Guide to Man’s Possible Evolutions

Gustafson, Dr. James, Self Delight in a Harsh World

The Writings of Chuang Tzu, translated by Burt Watson (of Columbia).

Ezra Pound, The ABC’s of Reading

Gary Snyder, Earth, House, Hold

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Bhagavad-Gita, Commentaries on books One to Six

Irving Chernev, The Greatest Chess Games Every Played.

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Right now, things are getting worse, year by year. You can see it. Besides the obvious juggernaut of public health and mutations on Covid, we have major world power, Central Banks (Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, and The People’s Bank of China) endlessly printing money to conceal severe economic decline, forestalling any possible recognition of loss or costs.

Just think of it–all the random shootings, bad behavior, feed by a addictive process of massive consumption of social medial and persuasion, and the general level of morals and conduct is as low, as its ever been.

My wife and I, for example, on no less than three separate occasions have had cars cross the road, as we walked our dogs on the side, and materialy try to hit us. No mix up on this. Trust me on this. One person tried it four times over a month or so. Hatred and evil are real and they exist and are active.

And as I often say, IF IT IS THIS BAD NOW, when food, fuel, and finance exist relatively adequately, WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING to be like, when those same dark, immoral persons are hungry and want to take your food, your wife, your daughter, your home? Consider it.


Watch for an ice-free arctic, by September 23, 2023, then the proverbial s_it will hit the fan. The earth will go into sepsis. Live while you can.

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Pareto, More On

It is darn near impossible to grasp a complex whole, without breaking it into discrete parts. Pareto’s Law in its original form, suggested that usually, a business will do 80% of it’s business with 20% of it’s customers: the “Pareto principle states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes”.

This goes well beyond business or markets. For example, in world GDP, the top ten countries, as shown here:

comprise well over sixty-trillions dollars. The next ten, but 13.6 trillion. In the stock market, the top forty S&P companies are worth the market value of the next 460 companies. In world population, the largest ten countries, amount to 57% of all world population, as shown here:

1:20 pm PST, more to follow, but duly published now. Keep it all moving, this year.

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Customer Service and Follow Up

There is nothing so hard to obtain in the third decade of the 21st Century as follow up.

Before explicating this statement, we need to define what exactly are ‘communication channels‘. Communications are how transactions occur. Transactions occur in social and business interactions–and while there are many sorts of these, events can be reduced down to several major types of occurances.

Forgive me, but after decades of sophisticated reading and writing, its darn near impossible for me to explicate major philosophic concerns, without touching their edges and pretending that either they do exist, or if they DO exist, then you might not be completely puzzled as to the import of what they mean.

You can stand in front of someone, either they you or they can travel to visit with one another, you can talk with someone on the phone, you can text, you can video, you can email, you can exchange mail, physical products can be delivered or sent or received, and money can be sent or received (mail, or ACH or EFT funds transfer, PayPal, cash or check can be handed to someone or curriured or mailed, overnighted. Mail can be USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL).

Finances can be to buy, sell, or use. Relationships can be to help, encourage, learn, exchange, sustain. Emotions can be mad, glad, sad, or afraid. Interpersonal relationships can be about delaying, subservience, or overpowering.

There two principal types of interactions involving communication channels. Interactions can be followed up or ignored. Persons or businesses come in all sorts, and mainly, things tend to be truly dealt with or they tend to be ignored. Avoidance is actually the addiction of our time–avoidance of other persons, responsibility, payment, delivery, timeliness, resolution, completion, service, attention, so on. I could go all day on this.

Let’s be more positive now. Did you ever notice, that there are companies and or friends who ALWAYS answer the phone, always read email, always call back? Notice those who when they say that they will show up, do so, if they are going to be 45 minutes late, will let you know.

Second chances are OK. But know who you are dealing with. There are those, who if they say that they will call back or show up or mail a check, can be nearly definitely expected to NOT call back, not show up, not mail a check, or not read an email. Whatever. Know your customer, know your provider, know your friends, know your community! Plan accordingly and do not kid yourself.

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Friendship, Notes On

Besides love, which is primary to me and always has been FIRST, friendship to me is sacred. I don’t call fifteen or twenty persons my friend. I could have more friends or less, but IF I am a friend, then I stay a friend. No half measures. Be in or be out, but whatever it is, be there and be present. I am sixty -three and do not waste energy. Time is not the issue. No way. But energy! Emotional energy is precious.

At the same time, when you have eight or ten or twelve relationships which are both major and sustained, you can notice what you tell certain persons, and not tell others. You can also notice not only what you are not only told and but not told.

Even the best of us, tend to be a bit partitioned. We are not, sui generis, one person with everyone, but slices and glimpses. With Robert, I feel safe to tell him nearly anything. With Shawn, I can enter into the most layered set of concepts and find a mirror of understanding in whole systems. I can count on my brother Steven to be very impartial.

Some things I cannot forebear, bear mentioning, no pun intended: folks glued to their cellphone while we are together. People who do not return calls. I will not cold call my friends! I refuse. Already make my 140,000 phone calls.

You feel uplifted and affirmed after you talk with you friends. You feel like you can confide in them and tell you what you feel. You support them to be their best, and are not competitive, that is to say, no ‘one-upmanship’. You feel safe, to be yourself.

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Investing, Intermediate Notes

I’d like to be writing more here again and begin here thus. I’d like to say, that this is what I know best, but that would imply that it was exclusive or singular, which it assuredly is not.

I also know knowledge management and how to curate wide and diverse data, know about running, chess, and climbing, know about spirituality or inner work–subtle energy; know about sales and sales management, know about healing and fine cooking, and know a lot about recovery and I do not mean drinking, but depression or disorder or conflict, so on. Know about disciplined activity and structured processes, and how to structurize seemed chaos into patterns. Know about social media and how to build a quality audience. I better stop this list of might never get started.

As it is, my resolve is to pour out what I know, so lets start with something REALLY useful. Not to everyone, but some of you. And if not useful, then perchance just look in, just as I do not watch football or basketball but see a short clip or read about some incredible streaks of passes, catches, or in-baskets. Let us begin:
———- ———-

First off, if you are new to investing, do not leave here quite yet, but just know, the part below leading by ‘Secondly‘ will apply far more to you. New investors will not understand, and for sure sophisticated investors (a legal term, in Blue Sky Law) will not be reading blogs by “architect, project, sales, and administrative managers” for clues how to improve or calibrate in on a process. That just is not you.

Now for the rest of you: suggestions and clues, in fast order:

Carefully observe the S&P 500, preferably the SPY ETF. For those new, like I told you. You will ask, what is an ETF, or why an ETF instead and this is not the time and place. We dive in. This is ‘calculus III’. If you missed ‘I’ or ‘II’, go back and contact me or visit here later–please. Thank you!

Track it in excel. Yahoo despite not being half as good as it used to be, is still very good in finance (excellent in sports, but not relevant here but FYI). You can copy historic data then cut and paste. Suggest you ideally calculate, the exponential moving average of ‘the S&P’ and if you cannot do that, take todays value and subtract it from six days ago, and do a ten day moving average of overbought/oversold conditions. Excellent historic data, is shown here.

What this will do, not perfectly, but quite well, is give you an intermediate sense of just how far up or down in relative terms we are. This will help predict direction, amplitude, momentum, in addition to just raw price.

Those ambitious can adumbrate this, by doing similar on the Advancers and Decliners, and or, New Highs or New Lows on the NYSE Think of this as a reality check.

Clue. While there are five-hundred stocks here, about forty of them make up half or more of the market cap of the S&P. Track em down. Sleep with em, stare at em, and know them. AMT is not a big company, nor is UNP but for Properties or REITS or Transportation, both of these are huge!

An alternative, is just to trade the DOW or OEX and master those thirty, knowing ten of em rule the roost, or hundred only, exclusively.

OEX is similar:

Accounts: god forbid, do not use Charles Schwab or E-Trade, but run and get a TD Ameritrade account. You do not go to McDonalds for a premium meal. Yes, yes–I know. SCHB is buying TDA, but again, a discussion left for a better time. This is not the half of it. Download the Think Or Swim app for you PC and learn how to use it. A diabolically steep learning curve. But worth the great trouble.

Watch every video you can, but Mr Yen at YouTube. Brian Watt is the smartest person I have ever had the privilege to know. There were three or four, in my entire life and he is it. A National Living Treasure.

Once you are on TOS–per above, learn how to create custom quotes, and begin to develop a sense of intermarket analytic correlations. Examples are up Dow-down bonds, Down $USD and up Gold, or up Dow yet up VIX. I could talk about this for hours. I am telling you where to fish, not how. You need to do that.

REALLY work on, being able if not comparing the futures such as ES, ZN, GC, CL, VX, BTC, $USD, then do intermarket analysis on major ETF’s by macro-category: SPY, TLT, GLD, USO, VXX, GBTC, and UUP. Track XLI, XLF, XLP especially. XLI is highly indicative of overall market direction.

Study Forex, and focus on Euro-Yen. Stanley Druckenmiller once said: ‘I have been trading and observing the US Dollar for over twenty years and it correlates to nothing”. Hard to take and a real clue. Also, Aussy-dollars and Aussy-Yen is a real special beast. Put $100,000 of fake, demo money into IG and go have a blast. Will be worth 1/10th of a MBA in 1/100th the time.
———- ———-

Secondly, if you are new: know, really, really know that you cannot trade markets. It is nearly impossible. 90% of traders loose money. Maybe its more like 95%. Don’t do it. Do not think that you can do it. Many think that they can, and cannot.

Might as well call this thirdly, in lieu of a feature of consideration on two, immediate above: IF you simply must trade or invest, as has often been said by others, really closely observe ONE market and focus on that, long or short. TLT or GLD, or SPY, QQQ, so on. An even better way, is pick on sector or ground and zone in on that–cars, housing, utilities, banking, Cloud, biotech. ONLY work on one. Set major ETF’s to four day RSI.

Lets face it, Yahoo’s Industry browser is not 15% half as good as it used to be, but still. Try this:

Or Bigcharts, Sectors, too:

That is enough, for one day. More to come! Reminder, this is not an investment site. I am a Generalist. I not give advice here. Just clues. Those are the rules.

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Posted in Investment, Primer

End of Year Wrap Up

Such an epic year deserves recollectioning. From the top on down:

I got married in May to one mighty once in a lifetime woman, Marygertrude, previously Bienko (father), latter Lavigueur (married to Dan twelve years, deceased).

Since I met Mary in Sept 2020, this year end missive starts from there. We just ‘new’. Started visiting here in late October, then often for longer periods after Christmas and New Years (20/21). Lots of walking with Mary and her dogs. Lots of admin on her name change, to Korn.

Moved from Tacoma to here in Lake Stevens after nine and one-half years. An incredibly stressful and arduous effort. Could not have done it without major help from Mary. Sometimes you leave a place and have to just get away. Was not the case. Much good happened there. Gains and large loses and challenges balanced by great growth.

Got Mary’s 1997 Jeep Cherokee going, after it sat in her driveway for four years, after many loses by her, too (sister, mother, husband, several dogs). Found a wizard local mechanic.

Wrapped up client of six and on-half years client Ken’s Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and established incredibly challenging reverse mortgage.

After thirty-one years of trading, finally figured out, that the pattern day trading rule combined with the short regular trading day–six-thirty am to one-fifteen pm, was too limiting and cut my teeth in the futures markets.

Traded demo for months on MES, MNQ, M2K, and MGC (mini-contracts for S&P, Nasdaq 100, Russell 2000, and Gold) then ultimately in the cash market. What a wild ride. More to say at a better moment. Futures markets it can be said, are run by crooks and devils. Large players who milk little people. Sorry. Its true (as it is said, ‘harder than climbing a hundred foot greased poll’).

My old 1999 Saab still runs. Went through replacing head in long, painful process with local garage. Wizard per above finally got it right. Holly cow.

Helped my wife Mary when we met then married, with her house in Buffalo NY. Got 3.9k in rent (sixteen months), now a squatter, and 5k in bills. Long, long, really long story we shall be silent on. An effort not by the week or day but verily, every hour.

Got a probate lawyer and likely a tough eviction lawyer. Now I know why my brother, who left NY State for a gentler place near Nashville with his wife and now my older sister also, calls it California North. Anything goes. Protect criminals!

Set up a canopy bed. My wife has the best taste and finds miracle deals. She is so incredibly clever and resourceful.

Thought I was training for ultramarathon–fifty miler. Diagnosed with a major heart artery, 95% blocked yet, incredibly, told by two specialist, maybe three, that a stent was not needed and better off without it. Told that I had a “very well developed collaterol artery”. Took me a very long time to acquisse. Chest pains used to be common. Now hardly ever.

Two years living among covid. OMG. Knock on wood.

Got rid of State Farm after thirty-eat years. Thank you Geico.

5:44 am Fri. Will write more today, tomorrow, or in the next few days.

Still doing Paul‘s website on Climate. Six and one-half years also. Duly proud. Up to 996 Youtube videos–5.9 M views. His blog: 625,000 views, 287,000 unique visitors.

Stuart H. Scott of Facing Future and Scientists Warning kind died (extensive, YouTube. More to tell later. We got very close.

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Posted in Announcements, Attainments, Biographic, Markets, Places, Roles, Trading, Wellness

Client Media Success, Further Thoughts

twter followers to follow 1

Ask ANY master car mechanic, to text you, explaining how they go about getting an older car to run properly or run at all, or just try asking, an attorney in Contested Wills and Estates how they go about, protecting an interest or objecting to meritless claims, and its just too much to ask anybody. At the same time, it IS reasonable, to ask them, ‘I wish to learn about how to pull an engine head myself, and if I were to do so, what do I need, or how best learn?’ or ‘I am thinking of law school, wanting to work in Estates and Wills. Where is the best place to start?’ or ‘If you had it to do it again how would you go about it, in todays times, and where and with whom?’ And so on.

So here. I cannot tell you all I know. I cannot teach you to fish. But I can tell you to fly fish, or casting off jetties, or where or with whom, or how. You must fish yourself. But help you how to see a unique and abstract, but nevertheless discriminable environment. Let us continue:

Here are my notes, with a data sample of one hundred or XYZ’s twitter followers, so you can a. see the raw numbers and b. so that I could drop it in Excel, and in so doing, be able to TRY to show you, at a passing glance, what I am able to see plainly and easily and immediately, at a passing glance:

twter followers to follow 0

These are, followers 608 to 707, in rows of twenty five, five sets each. For example, at follower PR 697 in the near upper L, notice they follow 1,253, and are followed by 3,102. I followed back. This is someone, who clearly adds value. Then notice SC, who follows 1,062, but followed by JUST 99 persons. Move along please!

Some men might disagree, but NO man can LOVE ten women. No man can love three women. A man can love one woman. Love the one you are with. So here.

When inevitably, you get to 500, then 1,000 Facebook or Twitter followers, who 5,000 or 10,000, there comes a point, where you not only start to GET interaction, but darn right need to do so! That is to say, when you are there to be of service, and not just say ‘look at me!’, ‘pay attention to me!’ Otherwise, you are just part of the standard, ‘circle-jerk’ rip off, that goes if not for all of the world, well, OK then. Then you are part of the most of the world that is asleep and just along for the ride.


Now peak at the top image, of the above sheet, rendered into Excel then curated. Column one, has THOSE followers, who range from a super strong follow/followed rate of TE’s 22.9, PK at 9.3, down to ER at 1.4 (hand note, columns two, four, and three respectively) . Those are followers, shown with the green circle, on the hand written notes.

Now lets move onto the bad ones, who superficially, unprompted MIGHT seem to be worthy, but are NOT and to clearly explain why:


On the other extreme, see MI in column two, who follows 4,283 yet followed by JUST 98. You know the friends, who keep going to parties, but when they are in front of others, do not listen, do not bring a gift, just eat the food and go? So here. In the prior instance, ER is just on the cusp, yet while following 1,019 is also followed by 1,431. We follow them. This is not, repeat, not a perfect system but within a confidence factor of more like 95%, not just 65% or 40%, it works. We did follow TJ at column four, because of work over a year or two, for thought leader ABC, who I grew the Twitter following from, 360 to 1,400 in half a year, and know their work in good (TJ), who can be counted on to retweet, that is to say, am familiar with.

We also followed GL at column three, since it is good to keep an eye on your adversaries. I spoke with them, gifted time, and was treated so rudely so fast, and so vehemently, blocked them in my own account. Yet they are not all bad, just bad for me, and XYZ and ABC both followed em, and recently saw a YouTube video and such. As a famed actress said, upon being asked:

“Why do you have a full bar, downstairs? I thought you went through AA” Whereupon, she said, “I have all this for my friends when they visit. I have no problem with folks enjoying alcohol. I just dont want it, for me!” So here.


Over time, folks will send you private messages, ask you to look at their dissertation, attend an event, like their page, and if your Profile or Timeline are NOT totally filled with idiots, who can only retweet, in the echo chamber of madness, that is this world, you will need to if not want to, pay attention to them. You cannot kiss all the girls, but if you do kiss, make it good and do not pretend!

CUT YOUR Facebook friends from 3,000 to 1,000, or cut them from 947 to 500. Just try it. And. And. And god forbid, do not follow anyone back at twitter, unless they have FAR more following them, than they follow and perforce, by shear force of mathematics, when they pay attention to you, will be worth something.

Attention is precious. Guard it. And raise the bar.

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Posted in Clients, Communications, Continuing, Controls, CRM, Customers, Data, Discipline, Effectiveness, Elevating, Engagement, Establishing, Getting Started, Media, Messaging, Outreach, Sales, Short Term Engagment, Short-Term Projects, Special Projects, Special Roles

Which Way the Wind Blows or 10% of the Planet

Some ten percent of the stock dollar value of the planet, is made up of some ten companies. As it is, so goes the S&P 500, so goes the world.  Indeed, lets go one step further and say that, as goes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Tesla, so goes ‘The S&P’.

I am NOT saying, that this is good or attractive.  Rather, I am saying that in Paretosque form, that to understand the fate of nature, climate, and society–if not major fate itself–this is a major factor to look at (for better or worse) as the world goes.  A structure will behave according to the properties of its system.  You can bet on it.

I wrote more about this today under my new Knowledge tab, here under Capital Markets. I will be sharing more, in the days ahead. Todays page discusses this in detail:

World capital markets of some one hundred trillion dollars are very substantially dominated by the US stock markets. US stocks were reported as having been worth 50.8 trillion on December 31st.

Since the ETF known as the SPY–by all accounts, the single best proxy for the Standard and Poor’s 500, aka as SPX–closed at 374.40 at year end, and today February 11th, 2021 is priced at 390.25, this is an increase of 15.85, 4.33% or 52.96 trillion.’ Full article, continues at link, here.

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Posted in Analytics, Capital Markets, Data, Financial, Globalization, Investment, Markets, Structure, Sustainability

Trees Do Not Grow To The Moon

I reproduce here, a  note to my very good friend, Jordan Lindsey of Conquer Trading, at YouTube, as a comment at his last video titled:  Market View: Nasdaq & S&P 500 Technical Analysis, How Much Pullback Before You Buy?

‘Dear Sensei Jordan, I did some figures this morning, with both you and Michael Norman in mind (MMT, YouTube):

We ALL already know that valuations are at nosebleed levels. Yet its a matter of degree, not of kind. With no criticism to anyone here, for if we are to downgrade anyone, better it be me, not others or you. There just HAS to be more too it, than lines for support and resistance.  Nevertheless:
When you take any of the top ten ‘Go-go stocks’ such as TSLA, then of course the other biggie S&P companies such as AAPL, AMZN, MSFT, GOOG, FB, NVDA, NFLX, V, and PYPL, aggregate their market capitalization, comes to 7.75 trillion. Not for an economy. No. That would be too easy. A small set of dominators, in this oligopoly or plutocracy run by psychopaths (cf Chris Hedges, Dahr Jamail, Noam Chomsky, Stuart H. Scott, Paul Beckwith).
(yahoo finance. Just as we can say, Outlook is nearly the ONLY program MSFT ever sustained and managed not to completely ruin, with maybe Excel a close second, Yahoo managed to loose its excellence, yet their financial data reporting while not as good as what it used to be, is–like their sports data, still very good–quite good. cf ‘Income’ and Summary’).
Then aggregate the sales, which comes to 1.06 trillion, for a PSR of 7.7. Ten or twenty years ago, a price to sales ratio of 3.0 or 4.0 was considered VERY rich, say, for Peoplesoft or Siebel or Veritas, so on, among many good examples).
With the acceleration of change, and disintermediation of money, that has gone on–i.e. you deposit 1k to bank, they loan it out, then THAT money is loaned and the circle jerk just goes on, until nearly no one can remember, how it is that we got HERE. Not just inflation, but, so much money, which in turn, is turned into money, until nearly no one can quite remember, how it is, that we got here.

Yet if you take, the never mind, USA or EAFA or whatever poison you care to measure, lets say, THE planet is valued at 85 trillion (not now. Yes, I have it in Excel, not some stupid figure from USA Today or Huffington Post, etc), my own data. Call it 78, or 81, or 83 or 87, whatever, the comparisons remain and we place the super concentration into the NQ or Nasdaq 100 is placed into resolution:
The USA is about 40% of this, what I wryly like to call ‘the planet’. Gosh. Of that, about 80% is in the S&P 500, which means puts America at 34t, means SPX is 27 trillion (NYSE and Nasdaq. Used to be 8 or 9,000 public companies, now 6,450.
Here is where it gets interesting: in the S&P and has more or less been this way, since at least 1994, HALF the value of the S&P is occupied by no more than fifty companies, at times nearly forty. That puts us at $17,000,000,000,000 for THOSE forty or fifty companies. Of those, these ten are worth 7T.
Will not last. Its true I was up 330% for the last seven weeks, from starting capital. That is no longer true. Lets get real, keep it real. I am not perfect. After thirty years+, I am still not 100% in all ways. ‘Nothing is so expensive, as a real education’ (life education). And yet, I am not done yet. I see these numbers, and cannot believe, a PSR or 7 is permanent, no matter how breathless wonderful the Fed or Powell put is…
Lastly, not sure if it helps much, to add PG, HD, XOM, etc, but plan to compare these top 9 SPX companies–TSLA of course, duly NOT in the S&P, but will compare and report more, another day. Whatever it is, 7 x sales is an extreme abnormality. Means sales must double to get to 3.5 and as markets value goes up, and if it goes up, will not work in tandem, no more than GE, WSX, S, WCOM, AIG kept their mantle.
To be continued.
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Posted in Financial


Here we are, on earth.  Such a dream!

Lets suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and you would naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure, you see, and after several nights you would say, well that was pretty great, but now lets have a surprise, lets have a dream which isn’t under control. Well something is going to happen to me that i don’t know what it’s gonna be. Then you would get more and more adventurous, and you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream, and finally you would dream where you are now.” – Alan Watts

Or if you prefer instead:

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Posted in Inspiration


Leaders are persons, who guide a
group, according to a clearly stated plan,
ardently reinforcing what is important.

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Posted in Continuing, Controls, Discipline, Effectiveness, Establishing, Long Term Project, Organizational Development



Its been awhile. Wanted to write several posts yesterday–for much needed updates on several topics and or engagements–but as Rebirther Sandra Ray said in her book on ‘Loving Relationships’ related to rebirthing: ‘Love drives out all unlike itself’.

And as a consequence of that, the divine gift was a new hard drive. One more day of life gone. Now I must write on demand, not comfort, so I am not too out of date. Never forgotten but much delayed. But I did have many files backup or, or if not perfectly, sufficient to have saved more work for reuse for when and if.

The divine elixir said, let David be lighter. Strip his PC of files and all structure. So be it. Inshallah إن شاء الله. Stochastical noise. The Tao. You name it. So be it dear god. Om Namah Shivia ॐ नमः शिवाय.


Much has happened, since the spring. Paul Beckwith and I continued to work together. We get along well. As many–but assuredly not all–of you know, I do his website. Now at  442,000 views along with 3,200,000 views and 15,200 subscribers.  We distributed a ton of work as a true team effort.

In the spring, famed Stuart H. Scott reached out to me, saying, ‘I sure could use someone like you’, and after making his Facebook following current and really generating a big push behind his twitter account–1,100 solid followers, up from 338.  Sometimes and as happened repeatedly, we are followed by, how shall we say, ‘specialized profiles’ who ONLY follow Obama, Gore, Trump, Chomsky, and Putin.  Stuart might be the 40th.  I rest my case.  Like Paul, he is also super, off the chart bright.

He played a major role not only in getting the Nobel Peace Prize committed to having a ‘NPP in Sustainability’, but got famed 16 yr old student activist striker Greta Thunberg to the roster, along with Pope Francis AFTER helping launch her into orbit as COP 24 recently in Poland.  He and I are enough alike to both be warned, and manage to go on working together.  Stuart is intense.  He is honest.  And he is driven.

In late summer, the State Department approached me about intelligence roles and I said, right off.  I am NOT applying for anything.  If you want me, YOU will need to contact me. They did.  Right away.  Fast forward, to late winter, early spring 2019, and people are promised to travel to come see me, and make a report.  I am told my skill sets are most unusual.  I admit that I believe them here.

Spreadsheet mavens are not impossible finds nor data cognoscenti, nor CRM configuration specialist (Customer Resource Management, software), nor super salesmen who can just about call anyone on the phone, and if there is a way, get through by combined charm, pushiness if not zany disarming humor, but add meditator intuitive who are chess playing strategists who believe in collapse and have visions of what are to come.  I can feel.  I can see.  I am your guy.

My running started at age 11.8 and 48.7 years later still goes on.  And even if as is true, that I cannot quite remember the last time I had a flu or cold, since maybe 2012 think it was, but something was not right, so blood pressure medicine got put on the table perforce.  Never imaged I would agree but had to.  Still do two hour timed runs each week, with bits of infill.

I still work with Ken Kubitz weekly, sometimes twice per week and now soon to be four years latter, have sorted most of his papers.  I even cook for him, do his investment account.

I will help A&S with their stock strategy.  Great persons.  A real delight.

I fired miss P.  Just too painful to work in her home on admin weekly.  A great person with 20% I cannot forbear.  I wish her well.  Same with ‘F’ Industrial.  Same.  Gave up my role.  sometime in romance, a man and women can love each other but not stay together. Same in business.  Romance and finance.   Hard work is just to hard to hurt and suffer all the time and two leaders must pull together to step down and let those more suited step in.

Governor Jay Inslee is just down the road and have begun to work towards reaching him or his key lieutenants, since he really needs my help, more than he can know, on his Climate communications and email strategy in his Presidential Bid.  It remains to be seen if we will or even would like each other or not, or trust or not trust.  But my intuitive flash was, A. he needs me, B. his candidacy based on climate made a LOT of sense at a passing glance, but have not detailed it, and C. fit with my already in place resolve to meet Bill Gates and or Jeff Bezos about Cask and Contain nuclear power.  I am D. NOT saying they are perfect, but am practical.  They have resources that can make a big difference out of pocket change, and E. am told both are behind it. So be it.

I turned sixty in the fall.  I have not a perfect life or embody all good sense, but am by now a true expert in what not to do in dozens of experiences, initiatives, and project rubrics.


Gentle reminder:  My interview, on ‘Extinction Radio Episode 38 8th Jan 2016 Vinit Allen/David Korn‘ is here–money-shot for the impatient, key part at 42:00 min mark. 47:30 for apotheosis.  My some representative YouTube videos are here and here (were republished, so view count now way off).  My twitter is Heuristical.  Not active, but plan to give to myself what I have given to others in size.
——— ———-

Recent interview with Wolfgang’s, Faster Than Expected.  Quick addendae, off to meeting.  More later.  Fast:


Posted in Uncategorized

New Advisory, On Finance

You know the type, went to Princeton or CalTech, got a PhD in atomic physics, but prefers to work part time in a bicycle shop instead, with a simple and inexpensive lifestyle yet would never tell you they had an advanced degree.  Minimal, calm, more or less content, relative to the scale of all the things that can become a man or woman–rancorous if not expensive divorced with kids, stuck holding the bag on back taxes, due to the malfeasance of a former if not long departed business partner, ill health, or depression.  Relationships, finance, health, and soul.

I used to manage 40M at Morgan, inches shy of becoming a Senior VP and, at this point, probably bought and sold 200 or even 300M in stock or equivalents since my ignomious end in 2000.  Lessons learned.  Compliance.  Integrity of agreements.  Impeccable disclosure, etc.

So years latter, when folks approach me, about helping them with their money, you could imagine how many hundreds of things go through my mind, when occurs.

Recently, in addition to the 200k I have been managing in the last year or two, for A & S on a fee basis, a gent I have worked for in the last three years approached me recently, about helping him with his portfolio.  East street.  Yet what is not so easy:

I am not a stranger to this situation.  In fact, not only do I know ALL his situations, but have worked in his home, for YEARS, on all his administration.  In addition to organizing his stuff, I have seen ALL his accounts, if not authorized administrator on several accounts.  And when not signed, surely get to see it all…… Yet over years, not once, not once did I ever offer and opinion about his stocks.  I asked once, a year or two OK, ‘How do you decide what to sell?’  That is all.

Its like being a serious free climber, and asking a new climber, ‘I see you can get up there.  But how do you plan to get down?’  Very gentle and understated.  Not ‘Dude!  You wanna die??  WFT are you doing??  Nuts!’

Recently I was asked–by him–to look after his 250k.  But not only do I not have TPA, ‘third party trading authorization’, but his brother is an attorney.  A big one.  Like 10M+ type wealth.  He was lead on the Enron litigation.  Writes letters to SEC, on observed issues.  Lord.  Yet K and I get along well, and have well earned trust.

It all changed Monday.  He said, ‘Sounds good to me’, as to my being a lot more involved.  Finally.  Three year rapprochement.  Now, the small matter of directing activity, as executed by the Client directly, without HIS Schwab broker having a heart attack, by feeling threatened.  Lets see what happens.


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Posted in Advisory, Clients, Creative, Engagement, Establishing, Financial, Investment, Markets, Roles, Services, Special Projects, Special Roles, Trading

Market Analysis and Lead Development

A successful and very well established and radio podcast on Ecology and Climate approached me in December, wanting to know exactly what I did and how much my standard rates were.

This was due to my having supported a well known climate systems scientist, by having continuously developed and furnished his website since September of 2015, and in due course, having interacted with this podcasts founder and producer on matters of content and distribution.  This show has been furnished for nine years and is broadcast in 93 locations.

Not only did we–the founder and I–always get along well, but this scientist had said he valued the opinion of two specific persons, for key matters at HIS site–this podcaster and me.  Moreover this podcaster was the favorite interviewer of scientist I have been supporting.   So it was all an easy and comfy approach, within a circle of confidence.

What is interesting to me and very unique, is that I never approached the radio show about consulting, but they approached me, given my reputation for consistency, accuracy, and performance.  AKA results.

They needed two things:  one, practical insights as to how to improve their webpage, and two, my expertise in developing then deploying a direct sales process.

Since they already had a complete web rebuild, this was a matter of helping them be more effective–a good site which could still be better.

On the other hand, they had no direct sales process, and we both agreed that it was money well spent, to find out the feasibility of cold calling.  ‘Unsolicited email’ is proven, as NOT effective.  Folks dont read email like ‘this’, or if they do, can hardly attend to.   We can bearly read what we get from our dearest friends.  But strangers?

So what I did, was a value chain analysis of the demographics of fifty US states, according to a mix over overlayed factors, ranging from red-blue, attitudes to gun control, gay marriage, and conventional religion.  I then narrowed down a list of ten or twelve states likely as favorable to caring about Rapid Climate Change, to a sample of six representative states to start out with–two in the northwest, one in north central, one in the northeast, mid atlantic, and south.

This gets into my bread and butter, which is not just to evaluate and operate and market/sell, but to establish feasibility.  As we say in Wall Street, ‘you cannot kiss all the girls’.  So we will find out, the yield, productivity, cost, and odds of success for a campaign of cold calling to college, commercial, and public radio and thus evaluate cost versus benefit.  This has real value, after operating for nine years.  No one knows and we will find out, without undue cost.

I have to not only analyze the market, but to get the leads, build the CRM, and make the calls.  There are things which you cannot hire a specialist for, but only a strong generalist who can see all the elements and operate them.

Lastly, sometimes you do a small project and it might not pay a large fee, but is very valuable for what you can give, what you learn, and what it can lead to.  Aka a great opportunity!

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Posted in Accessment, Analytics, Approach, Clients, Communications, CRM, Effectiveness, Engagement, Getting Started, Mapping, Marketing, Markets, Outreach, Podcasts, Projects, Short Term Engagment, Starting, Sustainability

When It is Time To Go

20180129_225337I once casually dated a wonderful woman once named J, who told me how she gave up her number one client, who generated over 60% of ALL her fees for public accounting, because she did NOT agree with how they wanted their accounting done.  Talk about brass.  Yet she could no longer accept things as they were, and said, let the chips fall where they may.  We were not a match, and friendship was the clear outcome.

Here is the real essence of the story.  She told me how, within ONE week of this decision, THE Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contacted her, and wanted her to do their public accounting.  Can you imagine?  They grabbed her and hired her immediately.

So three weeks ago, I resigned from the American based, Chinese start up, which I had been intimately involved with, since early December of 2016.  Yet there are no recriminations.  It was an invaluable experience.  Lots of good memories and things I so much appreciated.  I am not being political–doubt there are those who would bother to read or check.  Just a fact.  Yet there comes a point, among husband and wife, old friends, or associates, where you just know its not an ideal fit, and shed tension for the good of all.

Its so important, that if you work closely with persons, that not only do you appreciate them and they you, but that you share a vision of how work gets done and how business is done.  A core as it were.  And I must save my precious resources, to give my time and attention to those who I fit, who fit me, and who I can help.

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Posted in Announcements, Controls, Discipline, Effectiveness, Elevating, Ethics, Long Term Project, Major Roles, Organizational Development, Roles

When You Know What To Do, But Remain Silent

I have worked for K for the last three years, sorting his paperwork, memorabilia, and possessions.  Every other week, twice in one week or four visits per month.  Besides his having given 40,000 golf lessons and ‘still swinging’ at age 85, we have had, by now, a long and complex and emotionally intimate relationship and am trusted by his key constituencies–senior lead attorney brother, estate planner, admin on some medical, access to banking records, the whole nine yards.  Sometimes, I even find $750 cash hidden in junk mail, so tell him, ‘don’t throw anything out, unless it’s through me!’  I know all his stuff.  98% of it anyway…

Months ago, when after he was ‘this close’ to ready to allow me, to set up online access, to his banking, which I surely get to see the results of, he decided to squelch it and said he ‘did not want to do it’.

And I used to manage $40,000,000 in capital at Morgan Stanley, yet it was not my place to offer an unsolicited opinion as to his risk or lack of risk, results or lack of results, balance or imbalance on his brokerage account, looked at thing as they came through, and never once offered a thought.  So if banking real time view privileges was out, surely not all the investments?

Yet in the course of conversation, two or three weeks ago, when the market tanked, he took a real interest in my views.  So we agreed for HIM to get online access, to his major broker, de facto, so I could see his account and be better able to look along, as distinct from month end prints……….. This is progress.

How hard it was, to establish pins, authentications, so as we got through it, first it was his broker concerned about red flags since K does NOT use the internet or email, then emails to and from his brother, notes, everyone upset or disturbed or affected.  Told them all  I cannot take this risk.  Not a relationship risk.  Not a financial risk.

I was asked to look at this.  That is all!  If I am right, I am a hero.  But if I am wrong, loose trust with everyone.  Know your place and tread lightly.  In the end, up or down seven or eight thousand dollars in a week is no joke.

Get over being so sensitive, and get over territory and help the dear man.  Yet I know why the broker was concerned.  I understand.  Yet mark my words.  Global stocks, aka the ‘synchronized global recovery’ is long in the tooth, and unmanaged portfolios will suffer when untended.

When you know exactly what to do, but cannot, and are in a group of persons, and where each one has a good opinion, and many shades of gray in confidence, trust, disclosures!  Help others.  That is my path.

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Posted in Advisory, Analytics, Approach, Assets, Capabilities, Clients, Communications, Controls, Ethics, Financial, Globalization, Representation, Roles, Services

Contact Management for an Entire Industry

Industrial cold calling is hard work.  Really hard work.  In another way, its also very easy work.  After a year or more, not only did I establish target markets for the entire United States, but I had to be the one to go in, and take the early bows and arrows.

Its all well and good to say, ‘yes, we know the energy industry uses Industrial Fabrics’ but you cannot call up Exxon, Chevron, Or BP and just talk to them.  So you try to find end users and distributors.  The big ones do not need a fifth or sixth supplier nor another relationship.  And the small ones either do not buy or, when they do, only sporadically.

I looked up ALL 1200 locations shown by a major competitor, as distributors, then did it a second time for a second major competitor, and either called them, or led a team to do so.  Thus we found 95% of the main distributors.

So I had to map an entire value chain, ‘process map’ the entire United States.  First refineries, then welding suppliers, then manufacturer representative.  Then the ah hah moment, getting to end users, some good, some bad.  Shipyards are a lot easier to talk to than chemical companies.  Glass making and aluminum, very hard to engage.  Foundries and fabricators sound so good, but hard to also talk to.  Key personnel do not want to sit by the phone, or when they do, know better than to talk to you.

You pretty much need to build a CRM–I prefer Google Sheets–in what would otherwise be Excel, but then when you hire other persons, needs to be sharible.

Early on, having left the distributor-importer start up, then came back, I had to unravel all the chaos.  No blame.  Senior sales guy we hired, was by himself.

Most important of all, assign a date or value to all leads as open, closed, or pending, what I call ‘yes, no, or maybe’?  And when in the grey zone, how hard do you try and how to account for that in a group process.

Then curating those evaluations–when you last spoke, when to talk next, when blocked and have the case notes so a group of FOUR persons can share the data and act.  That is what I proudly set up.

You cannot always get your say, but in the end, the group said the sheet got too big, and asked to split it between supplier, industrial-insulation, MRO-shipbuilding, and enterprise-reps.  Yet I took gigantically undefined areas and make a structure first for my boss, and me, then a senior sales person, then a junior associate.

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Posted in Sales, Structure

Distorted Rates, Prolongs the Lives of Marginal Businesses


Above graphic, added from 3/02/2018

James Grant. Smart guy: ‘Markets Trust Too Much in the Presence of Central Banks‘, ref also by Zero Hedge:

Well said:  ‘Interest rates are prices. In fact, they are the most consequential prices in a market economy because they discount future cash flows and they help us to set investment hurdles and to measure financial risks. In short, interest rates are prices and prices convey information and distorted prices convey misinformation. So if you want to build a factory or estimate the financial risk in a given security today’s interest rates are just the information you don’t need to make an informed decision.

What’s the fallout of distorted interest rates?  The great Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist, statesman, and author during the 19th century, published a famous essay called »That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen».

In essence, he writes that when you do something there are to be two outcomes: First, the one which you intend and second, the one you didn’t actually intend but then nonetheless occurs.

So when we judge the effect of these unconventional monetary policies it’s important to take into account not just what the policy makers intended but also what they brought about, although not intending it.

It seems to me that the unintended consequences are very much adverse of these policies. Namely, the world-wide distortion of interest rates because markets are connected by arbitrage.’

‘Why is that so concerning?  One of the unintended consequences – and this is truly unseen or at least is rather subtle – is that these policies tend to prolong the lives of marginal businesses. That’s because they can be sustained through the issuance of very cheap debt. Certainly, in the case of Japan it’s clear that one of the consequences of this great post boom hangover that’s now a generation long is to perpetuate the lives of zombie companies.

Capital is like a forest: It needs death as well as life. It reduces the dynamism to an economy if unsuccessful businesses don’t make way for new ones: new ideas, new people and new capital. So these very low interest rates act as a kind of a drug. They perpetuate the status quo, as unprofitable that status quo might be.’

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Posted in Investment, Shared

Winter Turns To Spring, Then Summer

The work with the Chinese start up continues to go very well.  We import and distribute industrial Fabrics.  My boss is smart, hard working, fun, supportive, driven, and ethical.  Sometimes you get hired–and not ungratefully so, but truly with good cheer–to be a Sales and Administrative Assistant, and wind up instead functioning much more like a National Sales manager, not in title but in the true and genuine activity.  Soon to be age 59, I am getting a bit past the phase of needing a good resume or title, and far more focused on results.

I have filled the pipeline with thousands of calls, at first, with great labor, but now after months and months, know what I am doing.  We are ready to hire a Junior Sales Associate, whom I will guide, and know what to do.  I am a true phone expert, and can talk to anyone.

At first, we called a LOT of welding safety suppliers, and have begun to emphasize ship repair and drydock work, in the large commercial area, and is very fruitful.  Thereafter we will more into MRO, maintenance, operations, and repair work, seeking large construction and industrial contractors and service providers.

I continue to be amazed how demonstrably civil persons are, in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas.  I am too old to start over in a new place, but if I did, I bet on the character of these people.  The average level of civility is MUCH higher.

That said, I am also amazed how much I enjoy, appreciate, and understand east coast persons.  Some alpha males try to scare you with blunt, ‘what do you want?’, ‘Why should I talk to you?’, and ‘What do you need?’ but after the initial bark, if you make it through, and I usually do by winning credibility, by being honest, direct, and efficient, these folks are not so scary if not amiable at times and not at all harsh or curt.  Then again, I am from back East… its like family to me and find it all amusing if not entertaining.

Lastly, while early on I begged my President into letting me elaborate, spend time on, making a solid CRM, she said no, when otherwise allowing me tons of room and autonomy.  She said, we must go fast, then we can do this latter.  So paper based system it was.  Oh the pain.  Not hers.  Not mine.  Both of ours.  There WAS a benefit to this speed, but now a cost if not, now and again, at times, duress as to who, what, where, when, why?  And now, six months latter, she wants it.  Yea.  Our work for the next week, to populate a giant sheet, with a physical existence system, offloading all our curated notes.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  I am happy again and uplifted.  I am reassured we can get a clean, tidy, solid structure and be more effective.  It is time!

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Posted in Approach, Communications, CRM, Customers, Data, Discipline, Effectiveness, Establishing, Long Term Project, Major Roles, Markets, New Business Formation, Organizational Development, Outreach, Process, Project Managment, Projects, Roles, Sales, Services, Special Roles, Startups, Structure

Business Start Up, For Humanitarian Organization


Kaizen, 改善:  ‘A Japanese business
philosophy of continuous
improvement of
working practices, personal efficiency, etc.’

A person I had coached pro-bono in the last year and one half–up to and including their establishing a SoundCloud account, then to effectively launch, establish, then elaborate a very well crafted blog on rapid climate change, emergency management for disaster,  and related Federal and State governance into social media–approached me in March about helping his group in the formulation, planning, start, and operation of a four person start up, which I have been doing with great success.

I guided this Director in many phone calls, emails, texts, as he approached, created, revised, and readied to implement his business, which is highly tied into the storm season cycle.  This eventuated in his putting into place business strategy about message and brand, processes for continuous business improvement, personal and professional organizational effectiveness, organizational development, building a sales channel, and content creation.

These are great people, who are highly coachable.  Giving time is not a laughing matter, but once you know someone, and get on the best of terms together AND they get it,  and if not near always soaking up and acting upon your coaching and advisory, then nearly always if you will, it really is a lift.  Both to not only the recipient AND the coach/advisor.

Helping others to get better, based on a many, many mistakes and some gigantic judgements–so that others can benefit from a now lifetime of scrapes and bumps–is uplifting.  I am the WIDE angle lens for business.  I have seen it all and still do.  Every day.

This person is on this third and final draft of his business plan after months of work, where I told them, that slower is faster.  Like a master builder.  Plan it.  Do it.  Deliver it.  Refine it.  Repeat.  Its hard enough to be able to do anything, without knowing exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you will do it.  The drive to attempt, frame, and formulate matters more than the correctness of final fact.

And own your message.  Regard others.  Be highly responsive.  Don’t go too slow or too fast, nor too large or too small, but rather get to business flow and regularity, where instead of laboring ONE part of component, you develop ALL the parts so you can see what to do next, by not overly polishing small pieces, so you can see how all the parts interact.  Build it and they will come.

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Posted in Approach, Clients, Creative, Discipline, Effectiveness, Engagement, Establishing, Getting Started, Interventions, Major Roles, Mapping, Markets, New Business Formation, Organization, Organizational Development, Projects, Roles, Sales, Special Projects, Starting, Startups, Structure

Good Decisions I Have Made

Decided to apply to The Cooper Union Architecture School, despite being told that there was NO way I could get it, as it was harder to gain admission to than Harvard or MIT. I got in against all odds. The word was, that it was ‘impossible’. It was providential.

Decision to get an apartment in New York, instead of commute from Metro New Jersey, where I was from. Decision to LEAVE New York. Felt like I getting out with my life. Image of the man chased by deeply motivated and athletic natives, an d when he gets to the compound, goes through a large wooden gate, and AS he is passing though, dozens of spears are launched right at him, and hit the closing door, ‘thud’, ‘thud,’ ‘thud’, just missing him and certain violent death, as the doors are closing. Saved by inches or milliseconds.

Decision to learn Japanese, apply for a Fulbright, then travel surprisingly instead to South Korea with not ‘just a Zen Master’, if such can be said, but a VERY great zen master, historic in the last two hundred years.

Decision to leave the south.

Decision to go to Seattle.

Decision to leave architecture. Age ten to thirty-two. Twenty-two year love affair, inexplicably and unpredictably ended.

Decision to go to Wall Street.

Decision to climb mountains.

Great decision! Decided to leave blogger and go to WordPress. A good decision beyond imagination. So consequential.

Decision to leave Seattle, go BACK to New Jersey and take care of my old mother in what would become a horrid hospice situation (horrid not with her, but my siblings), then to come back out west, clearly avoiding horrid Seattle (SO overrated) for Portland (nearly as over-rated as Seattle–massive traffic, no different than Detroit, if you ask me), then settle beyond wildest dreams in of all places, Tacoma. OMG. Like the blind date, with the comely girl expecting not much, I found love if not much beauty (read comfort, life, access).

Decision to resume formal meditation. Decision to sustain it. Decisions to amp it up. Decisions to ask for what I wanted and ‘dial it in’.

Decision to resume playing chess. Decisions to stop.

Decision to reduce if not eliminate gluten and dairy.

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Posted in Establishing, Summary

Record Key Events and Outcomes


A few weeks back, I drafted a nice outline of the major numbers of my life–from my age, numbers of professions, states lived, countries done business, capital bought and sold.  Enjoy!  I left it in draft, but publish it now, here.  Summary continues at link.
———- ———-

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Posted in Process, Structure, Summary, Tools

Engagement with International Podcast and Successful Blog

Would Skype time to time with a gent in Europe, who I also, as often happens, gave a LOT of time to them, guiding them to establish a SoundCloud account, and blog, on rapid climate change, with a great itinerary of fabulous guests.

One day, he seemed uncomfortable, and was confident I had done nothing to cause this, so I went right to it, asking: “What is wrong? Is there something you need to say? You seem shielded or uncomfortable!  Is there something you are NOT saying?’

He confided that he would be more comfortable if he paid me for my time, so we embarked on a month or two of serious work, firming up our relationship and allowing better collaboration in more parity.

We reviewed his site and his practices, and endeavoured message him more consistently. The result was that he became more energized, not blocked, and enabled to make changes and improvements with gusto and passion again.  I encouraged him,to be his real self, and NOT to play a a role or hide.  I told him to tell his real life story, and not play it too safe.  This resulted in swift and real improvement.

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Posted in Advisory, Approach, Clients, Creative, Customers, Globalization, Outreach, Process, Projects, Short Term Engagment, Special Projects

Client Dinner, Help Grok Trump-Hillary, Stranger than Fiction


Client invited me to dinner last week.  ‘David.  I cannot pay you per hour to go out and discuss politics, but if you are OK with that, would so much appreciate it, if you would be willing to educate me, on Trump versus Hillary.  I am so perplexed.  And know you are most adroit at all this and can help educate me’.

Not to mention, that I am the rarest liberal who is willing to admit that there are definitely thing I very much appreciate about Trump, and similarly Clinton, and will out and out not vote for neither, so WAY more than impartial.

They took pages of notes, over a three+ hour dinner facing the ocean, and it worked out real well.  Discussed the Vince Foster suicide, Hillary’s reputed trading $1,000 to $100,000, impeachment, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, Julian Assange and Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, scrubbing servers and FBI request for evidence, Trump negotiations to buy the Plaza Hotel, the role of inequality, his bankruptcies, meanness and reputed prejudice and misogyny, his great kids, faux paus after Brexit in Scotland saying how great his golf course was, Gennifer Flowers, and much more.  Who needs reality shows.  We have the election.

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Posted in Accessment, Advisory, Clients, Engagement, Roles, Special Roles, Testimonials

CRM After the Flood!


Sometimes we have a client which is not our largest, but for which we do our very best and with passion. I Have been working with the general manager of TGC since February, in a much coveted referral. From another treasured client.

Might as well be family given the deep tradition, doing back to K having worked for what is reputed to have been THE greatest coach in the last thirty years, might as well be Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky. Told the President M, ‘Let me show you what I can do. I am NOT learning how to do this. I know exactly what to do’. And so it was.

We are now in our ninth engagement since then, and keep winning the next commitment or retainer. Yet with a $1M business and plans to tear down a facility and build a new one for six, promising to have 600 visitors per day–ambitious to say the least, NOT having any electronic audience was a clear invitation for me to step in and build it.

Dare I say, I am MORE proud of the 1,000 visitors we got in the first three months, than the 170,000 views P got in the last year, two major efforts I have been central to.

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Posted in Accessment, Advisory, Analytics, Approach, Capabilities, Clients, Communications, Controls, Creative, CRM, Customers, Data, Effectiveness, Establishing, Long Term Project, Mapping, Marketing, Organizational Development, Outreach, Process, Project Managment, Sales, Tools

Viral Video

Major long term client, finally had a viral video, which went to 400k views on YouTube. Long story. Last week, guided them through a careful edit and vetting process of response to the Washington Post, which was very unfair in how they handled this issue. Yet the exaggeration and hyperbole, in fact, actually helped the video go world wide. Interesting times. Most of the six or seven who vetted their note, were Phd’s or scientific world leaders. His other key context, ‘A’ and I, were the two he trusts the most, and helped keep him out of harms way. Rebuttal has taken near two weeks, and set to print in next few days.

Site traffic went from 80k in nine months, to 143k in ten months, videos went from 163k in September, to now 827,000 views similarly. Major advisory in each and every step. We are a great team. Talk on Skype or Facetime, several times per week and promises to continue. Held low rate, gave them in September, out of service.

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Posted in Advisory

Pre-Brexit Stress, Advisory

Was engaged by client, to do an analysis of a $1.4 portfolio with $400k in stock, custodied at a ‘big-wirehouse’. Helped determine stop loses for major of positions. Very complex. Before Brexit we were happy campers, and after recent stock ‘melt-up’ in late June, most of July, glad we did not sell it all. But you cannot finish a job unless engaged, and was not able to get last of it all sold off, which I would certainly have done by now. Life is not perfect. Sell too early, too late, whatever. My experience is having bought and sold $300M in stock, so not quite a beginner. Cannot begin to tell you here, just give sense of activity.

The Yen ‘carry trade’ is driving it all now, and enough is enough. Trees to do not grow to the moon. Vix is at 12.02 and will not stay there. Steppest term structure in years, presages horror shown of stock collapse awaiting all. Not my time or place to explicate. Be warned. That is all.

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Posted in Accessment, Advisory, Financial

Portfolio Management


Was hired by A in mid July, to teach them sophisticated investment practices. Cognoscenti out there know sophisticated is not a subjective term, but a formal NASD or NYSE term legal in nature.

With a great emphasis on major ETF’s, exchange traded funds, attempted to teach this very smart, very nice person as much as I knew, from how to model risk of major markets, to the relationship of bonds to stocks, the dollar to commodities, that is to say ‘intermarket analysis, and as much progress as we made, they decided in the end they they ‘would never’, accessed that they would never be able to do this at THAT level, not without a lot of labor anyway. Would be like me trying to learn Arabic or Sanskrit, when I never quite finished reading and writing Japanese, as many words as I know!

So they asked to hire me, to help direct a small to medium sized portfolio. As said to my Doctor of many years, as I was bending over durring a full physical, ‘Doctor Schore! Sorry you have to look at this!’ I am in very good condition and clean, but it is what it is. His classic response: ‘This is NOTHING. You should see what I have to look at, at The VA!’ Where he was two or three times per week for many years.

Similarly here. This is nothing. And mean it in a good way. An average person might break to have to figure out or decide what to buy or sell, but I bought and sold 200M or more in my former career. And the average account was about 350k. My minimum latter became half a million.

So when A said, ‘I would be glad to pay you 1.25 or 1.5%, was it, instead of 1%, I said no, lets learn to work together, and would rather UNDER CHARGE YOU THANK OVER CHARGE YOU. But as mythographyer Joseph Campbell said of great Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, when he inexplicably gave copious and great lectures at Columbia University, to a large and empty lecture hall, which should have been filed’but instead had JUST four persons, so here.

I manage this, as though it was five million and is for me a mission in redemption. Want to hire a top performer? Someone with something to prove for the love of it. True.

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Posted in Advisory, Financial, Markets, Trading

Advisory on Social Media

Advised attorney, with 39 years of experience in his legal segment, as to his social media, which was already in place. Advised to create a webpage, NOT to hack the old one down, but to provide a place to launch their ample expression to, to a less formal place, and thus get their name out at Facebook and Google+, raise status in search outside oversize enterprise site, not fitting individuality, and personal uniqueness of said Professional. Arranged test interview, and prepared rough bounce, still awaiting client go ahead for production. Not a criticism. I can lead. I can follow. Two chefs cannot cook a major meal. I get along with most of my clients, but not all of us are meant to work together. I offered to return ALL the last retainer, said, “I want you to be happy”, re-established basis trust. Still hold funds, asked to hold off.

Said, ‘for me, its not a money issue, I win if I give you the money back, then I am not responsible’. ‘And if I get to help you more, I win. I know I can help but must be allowed’. Life is not joke. It is like we are ALL under attack. Not them. Not me. All of us. Following Nice, Turkey coupe, Munich, police shootings in Minnesota and Dallas, was it. I care so much.

‘Help others. Then the world will beat a path to your door’. It is true.

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Posted in Advisory, Clients, Communications, Media

Helped Major Activist

Created website, for major worldwide activist, both setting up his infrastructure and url, but menubar structure, and taught them all the bells and whistles to get them rolling.

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Posted in Advisory, Approach, Establishing, Short Term Engagment
About David
David Korn Special Projects has over twenty years experience in the creation, planning, operation, delivery, and refinement of the complete life cycle of complex and demanding projects. These can involve people, results, or process. Projects can be for events, business planning, financial analysis, construction, litigation, or investment.
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