Friday, June 23, 2006

The apprentice

I just finished reading "the spprentice" by my good buddy Sir Alan Sugar. This is the spin off of the reality TV show where contestents try to win an executive position at the company called Amstrad. Yeah, like many people I thought Amstrad used to make computers, and then went bust. Apparently there are still around making varous things. In a typical English way the company does OK, but it is not like they are google or anything. The book has useful advice on marketing/people issues type things. Not really a good book for a technology start up. Yiu are more likely to hire Sir Alan to do the marketing rather than to come up with new creative ideas. As he admits, Alan doesn't haved a good feel for software. I think this TV series is causing science departments at UK universities all kinds of problems. I see the vice chancellors watching the TV program, trying to learn how to be an "executive", but their partners are nagging them to do the washing up. Later as the VC stands at the sink with his frilly apron on scrubing dishes, he is thinking "I will show her how powerfull I am". So the next day, the VC goes to work and orders the head of the physics department into his big plush office. The head of the department enters the romm. The VC glowers at him, points his finger and says "your fired and I am closing down your department too". So my theory is that physics and chemsitry departments are getting closed down because VCs can't afford dishwashers.