Randall Bolten Blog

August 09, 2009
In this post, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am a big fan of the practice of over-assigning sales quotas as part of a company’s annual planning process. It’s a practice that provides reasonable breathing room for people at all levels in the company, and protects sales management from its own aggressiveness and over-optimism.

July 22, 2009
I am a resident of, and a taxpayer in the State of California, the 50th least likely state to declare bankruptcy, and in the last 24 hours I have learned something wonderful. The governor and the legislature just announced a budget deal to address the $26 billion deficit staring the state in the face.

July 13, 2009
“Can’t anybody here play this game” is one of Casey Stengel’s best-known profound observations – and he made many of them – when he found himself having to watch the team he managed, the brand-new New York Mets of 1962, attempt to play baseball.

July 02, 2009
Wow, they really threw the book at Bernie Madoff! 150 years. Should we be satisfied? Well, sort of. As crimes go, this was a doozy, and we can certainly point to this case as proof that white-collar criminals don’t always get off with lighter sentences.

July 01, 2009
Accelerated compensation plans are those where the commission rate increases as the recipient’s performance against quota increases. They are a powerful motivational and sales management tool, especially for earlier-stage companies where a relatively small number of big deals can make a huge difference.

June 04, 2009
There’s a folksy old musing that goes something like this: “Why do dogs chase cars? I mean, what would a dog do if it actually caught one?” Excellent question. What would happen? Best case, the dog gets some exercise, and motorists get a little entertainment value from watching a 30-pound spaniel try to hunt down and kill a two-ton metal beast.

April 03, 2009
Yesterday, a laboratory assistant in the geology department at Stanford University walked past a seismograph on a workbench, and accidentally jostled it with his elbow. The contact caused the seismograph to give a Richter Scale reading of 7.6, thereby causing a massive earthquake with an epicenter 125 miles southwest of Mexico City.

March 22, 2009
Spring has come, and the thoughts of many of us — well, those of us with teenage children of a certain age — turn to the letters (or e-mails) that will shortly be arriving from colleges. Soon, at cocktail parties throughout the land, we will hear the animated, high-pitched chirping of parents, relating anecdotes of superteens they know of who received those dreaded thin envelopes in spite of being captain of the state champion quidditch team, receiving the Nobel Prize in robotics, and scoring 1600 (well, 2400, these days) on their SATs.

March 18, 2009
A while ago, I wrote a deliberately uninformed post, suggesting that the whole Bernie Madoff fiasco wouldn’t have happened if Madoff’s fund had had an audit conducted by a reputable firm, and that this should be a requirement for all investment funds (see “Madoff and the ‘Idiot Plot’” 12/17/08).

March 15, 2009
When I posted “Boneheaded Compensation Plans #1” three months ago (12/19/08), I commented that the “#1″ was appropriate in the title because this would definitely be a recurring topic. And I was right.

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