Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Close by to where I live, there is a field that had some beautiful sunflowers a month ago. I took the opportunity to enjoy them along with the butterflies and bees. They actually point towards the sun as their name implies.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki describes the lessons that his two dads taught him about money and its management. To clarify, he had one biological dad and the other was the father of his friend. One of them was highly educated with multiple advanced degrees, the other had an 8th grade education. One was very wealthy, the other regularly struggled with money. Counter-intuitively, the sides were changed on who was wealthy and who was poor. The dad with the 8th grade education, was a wealthy entrepreneur who owned businesses such as restaurants, a construction company and other business ventures. His educated dad spent the majority of life working with very little to show for it.

The first portion of the book is written as a story from the viewpoint of Kiyosaki as a 9 year old kid who learned financial lessons from his rich dad. He performed a number of jobs for him and learned many aspects of business by observing the management, accounting, sales, legal and other aspects. The style of this section was similar to the way The Wealthy Barber was structured in that it teaches financial lessons through narrative style.

A good point Kiyosaki makes is that a house is not an asset though it may be listed this way traditionally. The costs associated with a house such as utilities, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance pull away cash flow. He instead defines an asset as a resource that produces cash. A house actually could be in this category if fully paid for and used as a rental property. (To clarify Kiyosaki does not necessarily recommend buying real estate only with cash. He endorses obtaining financing and taking on debt) I personally think Dave Ramsey's thoughts on this subject of paying cash for investment real estate are more accurate and help to take into account the risk associated with debt.

Other assets could be mutual funds or stocks that generate cash flow as well as intellectual property such as books or music which produce royalties. A business that one owns but doesn't need to be actively involved in the work would also be considered an asset by his definition.

The point he makes is that many people put money into things which do not help to build their wealth and instead cause negative cash flow in some instances through expenses associated with them.

Kiyosaki also promotes a person being creative and figuring out ways to make money in scenarios which might not on the surface look like an opportunity. An example he gives of this is when he worked in a gas station as a kid for very low wages, they sold comic books which were thrown away if not sold by the time the comic salesman returned with the new comics. He collected all of these comics and started a comic book library which charged 10 cents for two hours worth of reading. This allowed kids in the neighborhood to read more comics for the same price that just one would cost. By looking around and finding ways to make money, he identified this opportunity and created a profitable situation.

This philosophy of the book is good in encouraging the building of assets which will continue to increase cash flow as well as the entrepreneurial spirit. One area I do not agree with is the risk level taken on through debt to enable the purchase of real estate. Overall, the book has some good lessons to be gleaned.

This article is also posted at .

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

The Tipping Point is a concept which Gladwell describes as a sort of point of no return or the point after which an epidemic will explode. This could be an epidemic from a pathology standpoint such as an influenza epidemic or something more benign such as the popularity of an ipod or a book such as Harry Potter gaining enormous popularity. These epidemics usually start out in small numbers and may gradually increase until the point of exponential growth.

He proposes that three types of people are necessary to start an epidemic and help push it to the tipping point. These are the maven, connector, and salesperson. The maven is the type of person who knows lots about lots of things and is interested in helping others by informing them of points of interest or providing useful information. I'm not 100% certain but think that I may fall in this category.

The connector is someone who knows lots and lots of people, much more than the average person. This is the type of person who seems to know people where ever they go and generally has great contacts all over the place in numerous areas and walks of life. They are commonly involved in multiple pursuits which provide access to this wide network. I believe my friends Mandy and Sharla fall into this category.

The salesperson is one of those people who can sell ice to an Eskimo and generally are very persuasive, engaging, and charismatic. My friend Kevin and cousin Heath fit this category.

To clarify, not everyone will fall into one of these categories.

A classic example of the connector is Paul Revere. The reason he was so successful in spreading the word that the red coats were coming was that he had a vast network of friends and acquaintances. He was a member of many societies and likely new the key leaders in the various towns along the way. This enabled him to quickly spread the word and allowed for the colonists to react and prepare for battle. In contrast to Revere, William Dawes also set out on a similar route but those along the route he followed were few in comparison with the network of people who responded along Revere's route. Dawes simply didn't have nearly the connections in towns along his path that Revere did along his.

When a maven or two, a few connectors, and several salesman latch on to an idea or new product, it has the potential to explode in popularity. If we look at the example of the ipod, we can hypothesize as to how this works. MP3 players were on the market and available prior to the introduction of the ipod. The ipod took the concept and improved upon the design and functionality of the mp3 player. Somewhere a maven (perhaps a music connoisseur) noticed that Apple had a good thing going on with this new music player. They told several people and even showed them how to use it. Either they directly talked with a connector or someone they talked with did. Thus the connector then new about the existence of the ipod tried it out and told their broad network about the ipod exposing a large quantity of people to it. A salesperson whether employed by Apple or just someone of a salesperson mentality caught on to it and really sold the benefits and attributes of how great and awesome ipods were. The three of these people or types of people thus started a revolution in the music player industry.

Another concept Gladwell discusses in the book is the factor of "stickiness" in an idea or product. In other words, how likely are people to remember the product or idea or have it maintain their attention. A couple of examples he presents are the educational shows Sesame Street and Blues Clues which do extensive research on what is interesting to children and what holds their attention. This is critical to them in better educating their target audience. The examples and discussion is fairly fascinating and if nothing else, I recommend those with young children or who interact with them to read this section.

Gladwell also presents the marketing parabola which presents the cycle of product adoption as innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, late adopters, and laggards. These categories are generally in normal standard deviations of adoption.

Overall the book presented some very interesting information but tend to become tedious at parts. The reader might do well to skim at parts and focus on the maven, connector, salesperson as well as the stickiness chapters.

Review also posted at and

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Go Dawgs in Korea

Proof that the Dawgs are an international power.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The other day after filling up my gas tank, I reset the odometer settings such as MPG, total miles, total time, and average speed. I also tried resetting the temperature but was unsuccessful.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Josh & Emily's Wedding

Here are some pictures from my friends Josh and Emily's wedding. I thought it was a really neat ceremony incorporating worship throughout.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Herod

1st Dance

Best Man's Speech

Cutting the (cup)Cake

Emily and Dad

Billy and Ellie

Wedding Cake



More pictures are available by following this link.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Picture Update

Yahoo Photos has transitioned to a new picture hosting platform. If you would like to see pictures linking to Yahoo Photos from past blogs as well as others, they are now located at this link on
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...