Sunday, April 13, 2008

“He who knows most knows best how little he knows.”
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) who was born today was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).

This Jefferson quote was on a bronze plaque in a flagstone planter around the flagpole at Thomas Jefferson High School, given as a gift by my class in 1965. I was the class gift chairman. The plaque and all the flagstone is gone now, and it’s back to just bare concrete around the flagpole; our faculty sponsor insisted the contract for the work go to the lowest bidder. The money saved was used to buy some used furniture to put in Senior Hall, which is also long gone. I’d wanted to give the contract to a stonemason who’d done work for my parents; everything he did for them is still standing, and will be for eternity, I expect.

Alfred Butts (1900- 1993) the inventor of the game Scrabble was born today. He was an architect who enjoyed games. He made the first set by hand, then made sets for friends. One of those friends retired and started marketing the game for Butts. A Macy’s buyer saw it being played in a resort, ordered all the stores, and the game became a sensation. SUCCESS across ENTREPRENEUR down.

Guess what, there is an award for websites and blogs, the Webby Awards.

Awards for things like blogs and websites are tricky. Mountain Bell put out a catalog for small business products that won all kinds of awards, I used it as example in a seminar I did. Later when I worked for Mountain Bell I discovered that it had attracted almost no new business and was considered a real flop inside the company.

Thanks to all of you who emailed me yesterday with your thoughts about blogs. I’m going to compile them, add my own thoughts, and post the article here if I can’t find a newspaper or magazine that is interested in it. But please keep those comments coming:

What do you think of blogs (online personal journals like this one)? Why are so few comments posted even on the best? Are they a waste of time, or do they really level the playing field for the grassroots entrepreneur against the corporate giants who buy their ink by the barrel? Post your comments here, or email me if you’d prefer at (I’m trying to get away from AOL, almost impossible! Have you done it? Might be another article…)

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