Supported vs unsupportedOne important protection against your files being sold on is available if you are prepared to support your users in some way. If they can get some kind of help from you some will feel it pays to register with you so that is available. If they feel that there will be upgrades in future and only registered users will get those upgrades that is another reason for people to pay up.
More on the technical skills of dealing with uncertainty
Just to follow up on my posting earlier, if you're interested in how you personally might do in Apprentice tasks, I've set up a short 'test' with imaginary Apprentice scenarios and some simple questions. Have a go. It's the first test on the list here: http://www.workinginuncertainty.co.uk/tests.shtml
I am including the results in my ongoing research into how people deal with uncertainty at work, but it's anonymous of course. Once a number of people have tackled these scenarios I'll be able to post statistics on what people usually think, as well as giving my own advice.
What really counts on The Apprentice, and in business?
With all the focus on Edward's feelings about being an accountant, and his sad failure to explain what went through his mind as he worked through the fruit task, it is easy to think that his social skills were the main weakness. They were pretty weak.
However, this isn't necessarily the key to performance on tasks or even at work. This week the team that was the most acrimonious won. The week before the most acrimonious team lost, but only by £8.
Technical skill matters.
In Edward's case he had some technical weaknesses that proved costly. He could easily work out numbers for profit, costs, and so on. The arithmetic was easy. His problem was that he knew all the numbers were ill-informed guesswork and he didn't know how to deal with that.
As an auditor at PwC he wouldn't have much practical experience of that situation. When I think back to my exams as an ACA (a long time ago) there was nothing much on using numbers when you don't have facts.
Only now, decades later, having written two books on dealing with uncertainty at work, including 'A pocket guide to risk mathematics', I think I know something about the topic that's helpful!
Towards the end of the last series I wrote about the role of uncertainty in Apprentice tasks, with lessons for real life summarised as 'golden rules'. I hope some of you like it: http://www.workinginuncertainty.co.uk/apprentice.shtml
Value vs rewards
The partners of Big 4 audit firms are very wealthy people. Their income seems to be much higher than the value of what they do. How has this situation come about?
TypicalThe new logo cost money and achieves nothing positive, but worse still it omits the full name, instead using the initials ICAEW only.
This is what organisations do when they think they are so important and well known that everyone who matters knows what their initials stand for.
It's the direct result of big headedness.
Too late to do anything, as usual, but I do wish the people who run the ICAEW (with my money) would get off the ego trip they've been on for so many years.
This is just another typical result of it.
Flexibility and risk/uncertainty managementI agree with Martin Anderson. A budgetary control system with fixed targets and so on would be a waste of time for a small company. Actually it adds little if anything for a large company!
Control is vital but fixed targets in a fast moving world do not provide that control.
However, if by budgeting we just mean exploring the future by quantifying the financial implications of our current plans that is obviously useful information about feasibility.