Sending out a big announcement re: Bigger Bird…

About to send out a BIG announcement to our Bigger Bird clients and partners, as well as friends and family who, for whatever reason, aren’t connected via Facebook. We have been researching and planning for two months (and on-and-off for the past few years) to make sure the plan is sound, and we are finally ready to announce it to everyone (drumroll):

We are moving to Korea!

We plan to live in Seoul for a year, starting in June. We bought our plane tickets last week, so we are committed.

How will all this work? Why are we going? Read the full announcement here:
http://www.biggerbird.com/emails/20100223

The announcement will go out to our email list tomorrow. Then, I anxiously wait to see what our clients think of our plan…

P.S. If you are interested in receiving emails like this re: Bigger Bird, by all means please join our email list. (Very low volume… I’d like to send out 1 email per month, but the reality is closer to 1/quarter or 1/year.)

Making bilingualism and biliteracy the norm

Could we retool our primary education system to produce bilingual, biliterate children who outperform their monolingual counterparts, in both languages? Amazingly, it seems we can, and it doesn’t even sound difficult or expensive.

First, a little background. You probably already have a fixed image in your mind of how language education works at the primary level.

There is ESL, where kids are pulled away from their peers for half of the day to attend what are looked upon as remedial English classes. Since ESL students divide their attention between learning English and keeping up with what their peers are learning, it is inevitable that there will be a disparity.

At the same time, for the native English speakers in the class, foreign language exposure is minimal, consisting of learning to introduce yourself, say a few phrases, and sing a cute song or two. This despite the fact that their classmates may be native speakers of these languages.

While there is a vague sense that there are some untapped synergies, English is Priority 1, so the system is not often questioned.

Every child deserves a chance to succeed. But how can a child with seemingly so much more to learn ever be on equal footing with native English speakers? And as some English-speaking taxpayers like to complain, is it even worth spending extra tax dollars to meet these foreigners at their level?
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Some jobs are disposable, and that is a good thing

HGEA (Hawaii Government Employees Association) is Hawaii’s largest union, because the government is Hawaii’s largest employer. More on this incredible atrocity later.

HGEA has been putting up posters at the mall proclaiming that “No worker should be disposable.” This is one of them. (I couldn’t get a bigger size because their web site is broken. Hm.)

 

Hey, I agree with that! People are not single-purpose, single-use trash. They should not have to retire, or be euthanized, they are valuable and can continue to work. If the job they are currently doing ceases to be important, hey, people are flexible, intelligent creatures who can easily learn to perform another job.

 

Somehow, looking at that poster, I don’t think this is what HGEA is trying to say.
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Minimum wage laws hurt more people than they help

Hawaii is considering raising its minimum wage. Again.

As always, the reasons are noble, but the results undermine them and make nearly everyone worse off.

Minimum wage proponents want to reduce poverty and increase the standard of living for the lowest paid workers. This is great, and I support this. Everyone, rich or poor, should rationally support such an objective. Problem is, a minimum wage does not do this.
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Hollywood producers say “never spend your own money.” I agree.

Ah, my first post. To this particular blog, anyway. I could do what I usually do and agonize over how to introduce myself and this blog, but I think I’ll just jump right in. Consider yourself welcomed.

I’ve started a lot of businesses in this lifetime. Depending on how you count, it could easily be over a dozen. I try to launch at least one new product or service every year.

I’d like to do more, but there are only so many hours in the day. So, I enjoy talking with other entrepreneurs and following their ventures. Some are serial entrepreneurs like myself, and they start a lot of businesses. Most of those businesses fail or don’t perform as intended, but that doesn’t bother them much, they learn from it and keep starting new businesses.

Others would be more accurately labeled “wannabe entrepreneurs.” The wannabes usually want to hire my web design company to build them a big expensive web site, which they plan to finance with a bank loan.

Hearing plans like these puts me in a forehead-slapping mood. The simple fact of the matter is that most businesses fail. No one plans to fail, obviously, so we are talking about failures that you don’t and can’t expect. And not necessarily because of a bad idea, bad plan, or bad execution. Everything can go right, then one day, your parents fall ill and you decide to shutter your business to spend more time with them.

You need to start with the understanding that the odds of your business being around in 5 years are slim to none. You need to be 100% okay with that. It’s really not a big deal.

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