Archive for March, 2011

Talon Lacquer Developer

March 14, 2011

While good for starting fires, most talons were used for intimidation and puncturing beer cans.

My personal statisticians informed me this week that the median birthdates of you budding entrepreneurs fall between the years of 1990 and 1999.  Good for you, young things!  It is heartening to know that the moguls of tomorrow are looking to the moguls of today for their cues, and those of you who have found my advise and anecdotes are truly the mavens of your cohort.  I have little hope that you will achieve the heights of greatness that I have attained, but it was easier to circumvent laws in my heyday.

Since you are all, on average, so young, you will perhaps only harbor the vaguest of memories of your mothers’ sharpened talons waving in front of your unfocused eyes while you suckled on the polymerized plastic nipple of your bottle.  For me, the days when extreme nail adornment was in vogue are not so long past, many of you were perhaps not even forming coherent memories at this time.  So the career bears mention.

It was a time of vice, a time when a shirts and Kool-Aid changed from one color to another at the drop of a hat.  It was a terrifying time– cocktails had taken on alien hues, and Vanessa Williams had taken all our radio DJs hostage.  Regular people like your parents were looking for protection.  It occurred to me that as much as they were looking for actual protection from the dreaded Mickey Mouse Club and Kids Inc, they were looking for symbols of protection.

I’d been working on a new automobile paint formula on and off for the past decade prior to this, but I couldn’t the right environmental and safety committee approvals.  Something about blinding incidence in trials due to the high gloss, and lethally pervasive fumes.  I am rarely one to give up on product development, but I was at the end of my proverbial rope.  That’s when it occurred to me– I was thinking on too large a scale.  Perhaps if you ever run up against this roadblock, living in the age of nanotechnology, you should think about varnish for your nanobots.

In an early precursor to a social media campaign, I recruited a transnational folk force to grow out their nails to talon-length, varnish them with my high-gloss paint, and then interact with people in everyday situations: grocery stores, juice bars, popcorn and mustard shops, antique toy museums, wig emporia.  Places that you likely visit on any given day.

Obviously the trend caught on in a flash.  If you want to watch you parents squirm, just ask them how long their nails were in the 90s.  And I’ll let you work out what that meant for nail varnish sales.


Open Season

March 7, 2011

A subtle reminder that you may as well be dead for the time you lose doing taxes.

Around this time of year, many of you loyal readers write to me saying, “Cyrus– I would like to start a business, but I’m stymied by taxes!”  The simplest advice I can give you is this: don’t pay taxes.  After all, they are a chore, especially if you haven’t kept a record of your finances.  And you probably shouldn’t bother with keeping any records if you aren’t going to pay taxes, and I recommend burying your money or sinking it all into Wyoming banks, so that way your revenues are invisible and untouchable.  But when you start getting into that sort of thing, the process becomes nearly as cumbersome as just paying your taxes in the first place.

Needless to say, money is an undue burden, and you are best rid of it.

This is why, after many long years of business expertise, I work very hard to ensure that all of my US-based businesses have utterly failed by the time the bells of the new year are chiming.  And believe me this is hard, not just because so many of my ventures are so wildly successful and pushing them towards financial collapse requires great ingenuity on my part, but because some of them I enjoy immensely, and would like to continue to work at for more than just a years’ time.  However, change is a necessary part of life, and what is here today is easily gone by January first.  In my case, I’ve found that constant change keeps me sharp, flexible, and constantly acquiring new tools.  After all, you can’t be a cobbler without a special shoe mallet, nor can you become a great soda baron without a few tanks of CO2.

The final option I leave you to consider is to simply locate your business in a place where you will not have to pay taxes.  Notably, civil war-ravaged countries tend to focus less on taxes, and you can much more easily conduct your business in peace.  Just make sure you have an ample security force.

So please.  This year, don’t bother Mr. Polly with your tax questions.  Take it from me, either don’t do your taxes, relocate to a nation with extremely lax tax laws or a nonexistent or highly unstable government, or simply push your business over the precipice and save yourself the bother.  But if you simply must ask me for advice, I am requesting that that year, if you would like I response, please send your question taped to a bottle of single-malt scotch.  I will return an answer promptly, and in the same bottle upon which it arrived.

Busker Training Camp Organizer

March 1, 2011

One of my many proteges.

There have always existed on the streets of our fair nation both skilled and highly unskilled performers.  Though the timbre of the performance varies from city to city and evolves throughout the ages, it remains that some perform their feats with zeal and aplomb, while others can barely be bothered to touch charred stick-tip to ripped cardboard box.  My personal favorites have always been the orphans, with the ragged hitch of desperation and the quiver of love lost in their reedy-thin voices.  Them and dogs dressed like saints that are trained to confer blessings on coin-givers.

As with all things, the quality of buskers tends to ebb and flow.  While you may look around yourself, as you stand in downtown Portland, Madison, Tucson, Tallahassee, and drink in the bounty of public spectacle, there was a time not too long ago when the most popular form of street-based money-gathering involved threatening to tackle and salivate on passersby.  Granted, the populace was much fitter then, since running from place to place was the modus operandi, but it was quite dangerous to stop and smell any flowers, let alone roses.

Thinking back to the halcyon days of my youth, when I would sit rapt on the corner as my own hometown’s peg-legged old soldier would seamlessly move from haunting harmonica ballad to foot-stomping charivari, nostalgia drove my decision to start a training camp for street performers more than any fear of communicable disease.

Of course, all credit for revitalizing street performance and raising the bar seems to go to the Pickle Family Circus, and while I appreciate what they did for San Francisco, I think you will find that for the swamp cities of America, my circus (the one that I’m near certain the Pickle was modeled on) the Gherkin Circkin, still remains the Platonic ideal.