Katie: Welcome to The BusinessMakers Overtime Show, heard here and online at theBusinessMakers.com. We're your weekly romp into the wild, Wild West of the business world. I'm your host, Katie Laird -
Esther: And I'm Esther Steinfeld.
Katie: - and this show we are literally taking you out west to the desert town of Alpine, Texas to meet rancher-meets-restaurateur, Mike Micallef in Chapter 2.
Esther: Then we're closing up with a Chapter 3 special feature on the science of passion.
Esther: Business passion, that is, but first let's kick it all off with a walk in this past business week. How 'bout that?
Katie: That sounds awesome.
Esther: So what is happening?
Katie: Everything is happening. (Laughter)
Esther: So much is happening. It's crazy – it's crazy how a whole week goes by and things happen, you know? It's just amazing how that works.
Katie: (Laughter) The world keeps ticking, Esther.
Esther: The world keeps ticking regardless of whether we talk about it or not.
Katie: So let's talk about Arizona.
Katie: You know the state.
Esther: It's nice. I've been there
Katie: It's dry and arid. (Laughter)
Esther: It's beautiful, though.
Katie: And certainly there's been an exceptional amount of buzz around its immigration laws.
Katie: Up to the point where they're now actually seeing protesters, apparently, at every single Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.
Katie: I mean it's absolutely insane. So people are really taking this stance against these immigration laws quite seriously. I mean, Esther, I think you were talking about people burning –
Esther: Copies of the movie Raising Arizona, yes.
Esther: They're doing that. Bonfires.
Katie: I mean it's - it's a movie. (Laughter)
Esther: I mean, it just says the word "Arizona" on it. That doesn't mean anything. I actually think it's interesting that they have chosen sports games to protest because in my mind, sports is kind of a retreat from politics. It's almost like there's nowhere to hide anymore.
Esther: If you wanna get away from political commentary -
Esther: - sports isn't even your outlet anymore for that.
Katie: Yeah. Exactly. But I mean I think it is a good tactic 'cause certainly it's getting a lot of great press and there's a lot of money to be made in professional sports, so people - I mean, who knows what other forces are gonna start battling these, you know, set of laws.
Esther: Yeah and the major sports talk radio shows are talking about it, so - about this issue. I mean that's kind of bringing - again, bringing politics into this arena that it generally doesn't see, you know, an audience for, so -
Katie: Yeah. Yeah.
Esther: Very interesting.
Katie: It is. Sorry Diamondbacks. (Laughter)
Katie: So the Associated Press has made a change that is incredibly relevant to both of our lives.
Esther: Uh huh.
Katie: Actually. So no longer - and I know this is ridiculous -
Esther: And it's something we were already doing, so -
Katie: - is it - but it wasn't me.
Esther: Oh really?
Katie: This is something I've been correcting people on, like, forever. Like we have brawls about this in the office. Of course, we're a web site design firm so the word "web site," which has actually been changed now from two words, web [space] site, to one word. Like it appears all over, on marketing materials, obviously all over our own web site and it's -
Esther: And you use two words?
Katie: - always, capital W and then site. Like we weren't even, apparently, using the AP style but like this - I mean it's this turf war and I lost it. (Laughter)
Esther: Oh, you lost. Well you didn't lose. You were actually correct -
Katie: I'm probably saying -
Esther: - until -
Esther: - well you're still correct until May 15th when -
Katie: Yay! (Laughter)
Esther: - when they change the rule, officially.
Katie: I'm gonna go down fighting. That's all I'm gonna say.
Esther: You know what else I think they should change is E-Commerce, in my opinion should be one word.
Katie: I agree.
Esther: No dash and no upper case C. I mean, come on with the upper case C.
Katie: Yeah. Yeah.
Esther: Just gimme a break. And then also email should be one word.
Katie: It's not one word?
Katie: You're kidding me?
Esther: I don't think so.
Katie: I do all lower case, email.
Esther: Yeah, I know. That's what most people do. Definitely not one word.
Katie: Okay, so we need to have the EK -
Esther: E [dash] mail.
Katie: - we need to have the EK style book that we'll be handing out. The Esther and Katie -
Esther: That's right.
Katie: (Laughter) Style book so you know who's really doing what.
Esther: It includes words you can never say.
Katie: (Laughter) Exactly!
Esther: Funnest is in that book.
Esther: It's on the front page.
Katie: And Worcestershire. (Laughter)
Esther: Worcestershire. Worster-sheer.
Katie: And if you have no idea what you're talking about, we'll post a link to that glorious episode on our Facebook page.
Esther: Something else that's happening is good ol' Benjamin Franklin is getting a facelift.
Katie: A facelift at his age? I mean, really.
Esther: Yeah, oh yeah.
Katie: It's about time. (Laughter)
Esther: You know? Get some Botox in there. Some filler, some Restylane.
John: Well it's all about the Benjamins!
Esther: Well he has enough money to get those procedures, clearly.
Katie: Seriously. Seriously.
Esther: Thank you, John.
Esther: So, you know, the $100.00 bill is one of the favorites of counterfeiters. They love to kinda take this money and copy it and use it and now they won't be able to because there are several changes. There are, like, 20 changes to the bill.
Katie: It's significant.
Esther: Yeah, there's a ton. I mean -
Katie: It's, it's starting to look like - I always love going overseas and getting to play with their money 'cause I think currency's so pretty.
Katie: And in the 'States, it's like, blah.
Esther: It's really ugly, yeah.
Katie: Like it's - it's ugly and now it's not anymore.
Esther: Yeah. They've actually changed the color, for instance.
Esther: They say the green used to be elegantly traditional. That's a nice way of saying, "pea green."
Katie: Blah. (Laughter)
Esther: Yeah, puke green. Elegantly traditional and now it's going to be hues that give the bill a modern aesthetic.
Katie: Oh my gosh, they actually used those words? (Laughter)
Esther: They do. The watermark used to be subtle and now it's just going to look like a bunch of smudges on the bills. So that's kinda ugly.
Esther: So they're gonna mix this modern aesthetic with a bunch of smudges. I don't know how that's gonna look. Also, some of the other major changes - it's going to have a very obtrusive security ribbon running through it. It's one of those things that when you hold it up to the light you can kinda see this little strip running through it - now you're gonna really be able to see that thing.
Katie: Actually, isn't it kind of 3-D?
Katie: The strips, so I mean, I can't imagine any counterfeiter - I mean I'm sure there are guys who have lots of time on their hands that really want to print money, go them, I guess. (Laughter)
Katie: But yeah, talk about major challenges.
Esther: Oh yeah.
Katie: It's interesting, going through this New York Times article in the week in review where they really go step by step on, you know, the kind of the before and after shots, just like a plastic surgeon's website. It's amazing. (Laughter)
Katie: So yeah, things are changing.
Esther: So if you are in the business of counterfeiting money you're in trouble.
Katie: Exactly. (Laughter)
Esther: You're gonna have to stick to pennies or something. So now we come to a segment that we absolutely love. It's one of our absolute favorite segments because we just love to see the crazy things that CEOs say. Our favorite segment is called "CEOs Say the Darndest Things."
Katie: Yay. (Laughter)
Esther: This week, we actually have a really good one.
Katie: It's exceptionally good.
Esther: Sometimes we're grasping at straws. This is a fabulous CEOs Say the Darndest Things. Tell us what this crazy CEO said.
Katie: So this week, we're talking about Jason Calcanis. So he's the Mahalo Founder. Jason is also very, very active in funding a lot of these tech startups -
Esther: Gowalla is one.
Katie: - really - Gowalla - I mean, really a big, big name in the tech world and so what we saw, and we're looking at an article on techcrunch.com, was that as brilliant as he is a CEO and tech visionary, apparently his HR skills could use a little bit of, you know, warm and fuzzy loving. (Laughter)
Esther: Well, he's actually well known for being kind of a jerk.
Katie: Okay. Okay, so he's just keepin' it real.
Esther: Keepin' it real.
Katie: And it's funny 'cause I've been reading up on what we're about to talk about on Twitter, you know, through Jason's Twitter account, and I mean he says over and over again, like, "This is one of my perhaps tragic flaws, like I am brutally honest and I say things without thinking, but I really mean them and hopefully the - usually that's a good thing."
Esther: And he stands by them.
Katie: He does. He's not backing down, like, "Oh, oh," you know, people are beatin' him up and he's like, "Forget it." So the story is that one of Jason's employees, Evan Culver, actually sent a resignation email quite recently, you know, saying he's had a great experience. He's gonna be resigning for two weeks. This amazing opportunity came out of nowhere. He just could not say no to and it really sounds like, you know, what he's doing is something he's always wanted to. This great user interaction engineering experience. So I mean the email's cordial enough. I do take issue - I don't like resignation emails. It's kinda like breaking up with someone via text message.
Esther: I agree.
Katie: And to me it's a little jerky and I don't know if that's what Jason was responding to but here is our CEO's Say the Darndest Things quote of the week. And this is Jason's email: "Evan, don't come back to the office. Do not email the team list. Elliot will send you paperwork tomorrow. Today was your last day. Good luck being employee 4,367 at a dying company. Horribly disappointed in you. J." And that's it.
Esther: And then he deleted Evan's email account. Yeah.
Katie: He deleted it.
Esther: And Evan says, "Luckily I had the foresight to forward this correspondence to my other non-work related email address."
Esther: And that's why we have it to even look at.
Esther: Jason tried to eliminate the evidence but no such luck.
Katie: (Laughter) No such luck at all.
Katie: Yeah, so in fact, I believe that Evan went ahead and forwarded this to all of his coworkers and of course to the media and now the world knows about it.
Katie: This is kind of a two-sided The CEOs Says the Darndest Things. Like this is not an appropriate way, I feel, to handle an employee resignation, especially when it's digitally documented.
Esther: It's not but lemme ask you a question. Put yourself in Evan's shoes. If you were in a working environment where you were constantly feeling intimidated or feeling like you could say the wrong thing, it could set your CEO off at any moment -
Esther: - to go on some vicious tirade and say something that might really, really upset you -
Esther: - would you feel comfortable going into his office and having a face-to-face conversation with him? No, I'm not advocating for Jason's behavior and I'm not saying it was right.
Esther: I'm not saying Evan's behavior was right.
Esther: But what I'm saying is that there are a lot of things we don't know about the situation -
Katie: Oh, totally.
Esther: As far as, you know, what he was feeling that made him send the email in the first place and not -
Esther: - 'cause obviously, he's a good employee if he was recruited by another company.
Katie: He's got skills.
Esther: It's not like he's, you know, a nobody. He's clearly someone that Jason wanted to keep around.
Esther: You know?
Katie: And who's to say maybe this is what their company culture's like.
Katie: I mean maybe this is sort of acceptable.
Esther: You know and there's a lot of reports if you go search "Mahalo company culture" you will find reports of very scary, very scary things.
Esther: So -
Katie: It's tricky and I guess the way I thinking it was two-sided was that I don't agree with how Jason handled this on a personal level but like we talked about before, he has stayed true to himself. Like he has not backed down. You know, his response to all of this - people attacking him - is just like, "This was something that was said in private. I said exactly what I felt. I said what I meant, get the F over it." So everyone works differently. I would definitely say without a doubt that I would be petrified of working for Jason Calcanis. (Laughter)
Esther: I know.
Katie: 'Cause I -
Esther: That would not be my environment at all.
Katie: - I am a marshmallow and I just - I kinda wanna hug him and make him soup. So Jason, (Laughter).
Esther: We'll make you some Overtime Soup.
Katie: Exactly. Come on down. (Laughter)
Esther: You sound unhappy these days. You need a spa treatment or something.
Katie: Yeah and yeah. (Laughter) So, indeed, CEOs do say the darndest things.
Esther: They sure do.
Katie: On many levels. (Laughter)
Esther: Well I guess we've got a great interview coming up in Chapter 2, don't we?
Katie: We do. We're gonna be talking to a fantastically brilliant multi-talented fellow named Mike Micallef who is of Alpine, Texas and Dallas/Ft. Worth area. So he's constantly driving back and forth. He is sort of like the Western Texas modern-day Renaissance man. You're just gonna love his story.
Esther: Is he a cowboy?
Katie: He is a cowboy but he is also kind of a, like an urban cowboy, city slicker type, too.
Esther: Urban cowboy. Like it.
Katie: He's an urban cowboy. (Laughter)
Esther: Does he wear rhinestones? I need pictures.
Katie: It would be really awesome if he did. (Laughter)
Esther: All right well stick around for Chapter 2. You're listening to The BusinessMakers Overtime Show, heard here and online at theBusinessMakers.com. I'm Esther Steinfeld.
Katie: And I'm Katie Laird.
Esther: And we'll be right back.