Monthly Archives: August 2016

You cannot give great jobs away these days.

VeniceImagine just for a moment if someone had called you 5 years ago and asked if you would be interested in a job with a company called Uber, when it was still merely a vision, a seed of an idea. Imagine if that job had come with some form of equity. What would you have said?

When Apple were hiring their first employees, imagine if everyone Steve Wozniak had approached had sat back and declined, secure in their mundane little lives. Again, if Steve Wozniak or Michael Scott had called you when Apple was still a figment of their imagination, or even when Randy Wiggington was still attempting to rewrite BASIC so it would work on Apple II what would you have done?

Now I’m told by people in the know that Padova is a thriving metropolis of smart, innovative technology talent. I’m even led to believe that those in the know actually think Padova University is in reality much better than Milan. But this simply isn’t what I am finding.

Imagine my disdain at this point in time. I’m am working with a very trusted client of mine, a Chicago based investment firm who have a stellar reputation for identifying, acquiring and growing small companies in the tech space into world leaders in their sector. I have a potentially unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for a Vice President Product Development reporting into the CEO. They have a vision, a dream if you will. They believe they can turn their vision into the world leader in their sector, the global No1 in their field within 5 years. Yet nobody appears to be interested in joining them.

Not only is there equity on the table for the right person, there is the opportunity to essentially hire their own team of product developers, software engineers and architects. They can immediately hire (or ideally bring with them a Scrum Master as their Product Manager. They can go back and grab all the people they have mentored throughout their careers working for large corporate’s and bring them all together in one business, creating their own culture, their own vision can actually become a reality.

What’s more, this is all geared to take place in Venice, Italy. You know the place, great wines, gondola’s, beautiful sunsets and a sense of classical style and James Bond movies. A lifestyle far more relaxed than the one you would experience in Milan. Importantly this company wants to bring much needed jobs and investment to a place that really needs them

So what is wrong with the people in the beautiful region of Veneto? Where are the brave, ambitious, visionary senior Product Development Managers, Software Development Directors who are looking for a unique opportunity in a unique place?

I’ve advertised in English and Italian. I’ve used copywriters to add character and flavour to the copy. I’ve headhunted, social media frenzied the job and the company. Yet the response has been at best apathetic.

So if a visionary dream with immense investment, led by people with a history of achieving great things in a stunning location, great package and equity doesn’t attract people. What on earth would?

You can view the job here in Italian. If you would like a copy in English drop me a line to – If you are a recruiter who can help me and would like to collaborate then give me a call – +44 (0) 7880 231900


LinkedIn Trolls – It’s time for “Pay to Play”

Pay to playFor me one of the key irritants with LinkedIn is that a freeloader, someone who has never contributed anything whatsoever financially or even from a reasonably acceptable content perspective has pretty much the same capabilities as someone who is effectively a Pay to Play customer.

Let me explain, as a LinkedIn member since 2005 and a paid subscriber for over 10 years and also someone who pays to use their job advertising and pay per click facilities I expect (that’s right, expect) to have some kind of additional features not readily available to the average LinkedIn troll. I post multiple times daily, usually about the kind of thing that is extremely pertinent to my industry, retail technology and similar. Occasionally I find myself tempted to adorn myself with the old devils advocate head and post something a little more provocative. I do this to try and engage with people, my connections and associates on a different level. I do this because for example I’m interested in what my old friend in East Timor thinks about what is happening in France or maybe what my cousin in Texas thinks about the whole Trump situation. I do this because I like to share ideas, understand others perspectives and just literally change LinkedIn up a gear from all the crappy advertising content and the banality of reading yet another paid for Richard Branson or James Cann post.

However, within minutes you are besieged by the LinkedIn Police, the self appointed usually non-paying, non-subscribing digital night stick wielding narrow minded, massive ax to grind and nothing better to do Linked Trolls. They just cannot help themselves from butting in. They pay nothing for access but feel they have a right to police everyone and criticise other peoples posts.

A couple of issues with the this:

  1. In the top left of an update post you have a drop down box which enables you to “hide the update” or to “unfollow” the person that posted it. How hard is that?
  2. You could just ignore it and move along.
  3. What may not be important to you may very well be important to someone else, namely the person that posted it. The amount of infantile comments along the lines of “LinkedIn is for business not politics..” is not just amazing, it’s pitiful. If you think business and politics are independent of each other you are without doubt an idiot of the highest order and probably shouldn’t even be on LinkedIn, get back to Facebook. Brexit and the whole Donald Trump scenario have never proved the truth better.
  4. Pay to comment. Yes, that is correct. Why am I supporting the development of this social media platform at great expense so you can come on here and attack my posts, undermine my work for free? Have some dignity and understand that I and all the other active, paid subscribers and advertisers enable you to even have an opinion. Have some respect.
  5. Just get a life and stop bullying people, trying to belittle people and undermine people. Especially if you happen to be a Psychologist.

Now why should someone with a fake profile, an ax to grind, someone who is even 3 connections distant from you be able to disrupt your discussion with their self imposed, self righteous indignation? Why should someone like the infamous recruitment troll Antony Porter (fake profile fake photo) be able to report genuine LinkedIn members posts, be in a position to terrorise genuinely informative discussion with his CAPITAL induced rants and raging?

There have been rather a few posts about religion over the last week or so. They have generally been well received, have been conducted in a sane and rational manner. I say generally. We did have a chap in California threatening people and one in the Middle East trying to justify torture and sexual slavery. But generally as a rule the discussion was very interesting from the perspective of trying to understand others view points, it was even rather good fun in places. Which is precisely what an adult conversation should be like.

I’m going to lay my view on the line here and now. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in judging someone or making assumptions or decisions based upon anyone’s personal beliefs, sexuality, nationality or anything else that could be perceived as discriminatory or judgmental. I don’t care if you are Gay, Catholic or a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you will receive the exact same treatment from me regardless. I actually abhor specialism’s which appear to have become the norm. Let’s just get on and move on shall we.

Edit: Just to clarify following some excellent comments. I am wholeheartedly in favour of discussion, debate and a difference of opinion. Otherwise what would be the point of posting anything. However entering a discussion for example about HSBC’s financial performance and stating “All bankers are w***ers and should be in jail…” as I witnessed yesterday isn’t engaging in discussion. It isn’t thoughtful, thought provoking or even remotely interesting. It is simply trolling. If there was even a very token payment to subscribe to LinkedIn it would firstly verify identity and eliminate the fake profile scourge and secondly the trolls may just divert their activity elsewhere. It’s just a suggestion.


PS: Views are my own and are not representative of my company.