Category Archives: Business

Life after Intel

Friday was my last day at Intel (after 24 years, ~10 months). I was eligible to retire based on my age and years of service, but wasn’t planning to retire anytime soon. Intel is in the midst of a large staffing reduction, however, so retirement came sooner than expected.

The last time I was unemployed, this is what a mobile phone looked like.
The last time I was unemployed, this is what a mobile phone looked like.

You won’t find me fishing full time, nor living in one of those golf cart gated communities. I need to and want to continue to work, so the job search will begin soon.

My hope is to continue to work in Application Security, my security work at Intel has ignited a passion in the subject that I want to continue to pursue. In the near term I will work on getting a couple of security certifications that involve some intensive study and exam prep.

While this change is not what I had in mind, I’m choosing to think of it as an opportunity. As I figure out “what’s next”, I’d like to think that the following attributes will characterize ‘life after Intel’ for me:

  • A growth mindset (continually growing, not stagnating nor regressing)
  • No regrets (per John Ortberg, we can turn the ‘right door’ into the ‘wrong door’ by the way we go through it – by spending all our focus on 2nd guessing the decision)
  • Discipline (for the sake of what discipline leads to, not for the sake of discipline itself)
  • Service to others (I’ve been so blessed, and I’m still firmly a believer in abundance over scarcity. As such, I’m compelled to serve.)
  • Lack of comfort (growth and comfort never coexist)
  • Positivity (my life is decidedly more about purpose than about circumstances, I can choose my reaction to circumstances – and I choose to be positive)
  • Intentionality (as Zig Ziglar always said, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time”)
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SEMA Show 2015

For the past 3 years I’ve attended the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas. I go to find new products for my automotive business (McDermott Automotive), and to keep up with with innovation in the automotive world.

It’s an automotive industry trade show, manufacturers and service shops bring over-the-top cars to attract attention and establish credibility. I’ve never seen so many $million cars in one place.
Ironically, the SEMA Show isn’t a car show, but it’s the best car show in the world.


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Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud – Part 1

This book is deep water. I expected a discussion on how honest and forthright behavior contributes to success in life and business. I’m getting so much more. Here are a couple of example quotes:

“When you empathize, you feel for the other person, but still know that its not your experience. In that way, you can be a bridge to a new and different experience from the one that they are having… such as hope.”

“True listening and understanding occurs only when this happens… The other person understands that you understand. And that only happens when your character is connecting enough to get you out of your own experience, and into the experience of the other. To do that requires a makeup that is not detached, or self-focused.”

Dr. Henry Cloud in Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

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I read an article today on Harvard Business Publishing blogs about Zappos, the online shoe seller. Actually, Zappos says that they are a service company that happens to sell shoes.

This is the kind of company that I like to think I would create. Some of the company policies that I particularly like:

  • Under-promise and over-deliver. They promise 4 day free shipping, but often deliver overnight. (they set up their warehouse near a UPS distribution hub)
  • Put the company toll-free phone number on every page of the website. Love it. It sounds trivial, but most companies deliberately bury or exclude their phone number from websites, so that they don’t have to talk with customers.
  • Empower customer service agents on the phone to do what it takes to help customers
  • Fanatical focus on customer service.
  • Don’t just satisfy customers, amaze them
  • “Bribe” new employees to quit after the 4-week company training and 1 week on the job. The idea is that if they will take the $1000 offer to leave the company, they aren’t bought in to the company vision, so you don’t want them working there. $1000 is well spent to weed out those who aren’t going to help you win.

I am inspired by this company. It will be fascinating to see if they can retain the culture as the company grows larger, and to see how they pull that off if successful.

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