Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Business Card

On the advice of my wife's father, a successful agribusiness owner in the Central Valley who is loathe to buy anything he can't write off of his taxes as a business expense, Athanasia and I are trying to start a business. Doing what, you would be justified in asking. Owning and managing rental property. (We have scads experience managing, owning will be the new part.) It isn't glamorous. It isn't millionaire-making. What it is is something that will let us build equity (we hope) and cash-flow (we hope) with minimal work (we hope), this last is very important since we will need to keep our current jobs. It's all very exciting, but boy is there a lot of work involved in starting up. Aside from finding and buying the property there is licensing, insurance, business card design, inspections, vendor recruitment (stuff like plumbers and electicians to call in an emergency), record-keeping, bank accounts, etc.

In trying to come up with a business card design I came across this fabulous business card of Kevin Mitnick's. Many years ago, before he was sent to prison, I wrote a paper about him for freshman English class. I don't remember anything I said in the paper (it was 20 years ago), but I remember being astounded by Kevin Mitnick's brilliance and thinking that if he had been given greater challenges and guidance he could have avoided his criminal behavior. But what was a teenage computer genius going to do in the 1980s? Go to work for TI, IBM, AT&T, or EDS? Not very likely. Now, companies exist that snap up that kind of raw young talent. Even the Army has a program for slovenly, pale, overweight, teenagers with unusual computer talent. But not then.

Mitnick, the father of all hackers, is out of prison and is working as a computer security consultant. Now instead of trying to hack into the worlds most powerful computers, he is stopping the hackers (and spies) who would gain access to the private information of millions of people and companies. Given what he does and what he did, can you think of a better business card for him than this one that is printed on a set of lock picking tools?

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