Missions Category



“Common sense is a little man in a gray suit who never makes a mistake at addition, but it’s always someone else’s money he’s adding up.” – Raymond Chandler

Let’s hear it for uncommon sense: that inner itch that inspires you to stray from the herd, ditch the training wheels, and leap into the fast lane. As we all know, it’s the risk takers who get their faces on magazine covers and their interviews on news radio. No one ever remembers who won “honorable mention.”

So in this section you’ll find uncommon sense — and our 2 cents — about careers, management, and the economy at large.

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who’s Happy He’s Not On The Job Market… I keep my eyes open for job openings that I can pass on to my students, but too often I encounter ads that get my eyes rolling. The job requirements are so excessive and irrational, not even a combo of Chuck Norris and the Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man In The World could fulfill them. So I’ve started a new feature on my blog called “Stupid Job Ad.” For now, I’ve decidedRead More
"Pick Your Brain" - illustration by Shane Clester
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Will Not Work for Food… or Coffee; featured illustration by Shane Clester… I once made the mistake of having lunch with a fellow Harvard alumnus who owned an IT firm with $17 million in annual sales. He had asked for my help to market to his current customers, so one of my recommendations was to create an email newsletter. He loved the idea, so I gave him a few details on how it would work. He asked how muchRead More
Clark Kent
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Differentiation Advocate; image by Williamwiki via Wikimedia Commons… Thanks to the jury in the Apple-Samsung case, product differentiation is now mandated in the marketplace (at least in the smartphone industry). Unfortunately, differentiation — and creativity and daring — are harder to find despite every company’s claim of “leadership”…Read More
Steve Jobs 1955-2011
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Devastated Jobs Fan; photo is a screengrab of the Apple website homepage… “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – SteveRead More
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + LinkedIn Veteran… Many entrepreneurs and execs have ineffectual LinkedIn profiles — if they have one at all. That’s because they think they don’t need one at this stage of their career. “I’m not job hunting — why should I bother?” That’s because LinkedIn isn’t just for job hunting.Read More
Dead Wood Deliverables
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Consultant to the Consultants; photo by Antti Leppänen via Wikimedia Commons… Deliverable (n.): Report or item that must be completed and delivered under the terms of an agreement or contract. — BusinessDictionary.com Even though the U.S. has a service-based economy (meaning, “sorry, we don’t make things anymore”), clients still want products they can hold. They request the fruits of our education and experience, which we divulge in their offices or over drinks. Yet all that mad science isn’t worth jack if they can’tRead More
PhD programs
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango & Ph.D.-Program Conscientious Objector; photo by Jonathan Daniels on Unsplash… Lots of dirt being dished about Ph.D. programs these days. Take this amusing quicky critique: “The Illustrated Guide To a Ph.D.” For a more elaborate evisceration, read “The Ph.D. Problem” by Prof. Louis Menand in the November-December 2009 issue of Harvard Magazine. Here’s a quote from that diatribe that bullseyes some of my professors at Harvard and in business school: “Professors are not themselves, for the most part, terribly practical people, andRead More
The Tin Man
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango & Social Entrepreneurship Instructor; photo by Alejandro Linares Garcia via Wikimedia Commons… Some people just don’t get it. I’m not talking about the willfully ignorant knuckle-draggers on the Texas State Board of Education. (They’re so beyond not getting it, they’ve gone full primordial.) I’m talking about the highly educated, wealth exuding finance execs who impersonated the Tin Man at a recent conference I attended… The four of them — a VC, a banker, an angel investor, and an asset-based lender — explainedRead More
clones
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango & Professional Provocateur; photo by Ryoji Hayasaka on Unsplash… I got some fan mail about : “I was liking your article, as I have others that I’ve read… However, I soon found the in-your-face political opinion rude and quite unprofessional to say the least. I just wanted to read a good professional article not something that would make the Huffington Post.” Hmmm. How to respond?Read More
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder & Fusion Director, Atomic Tango LLC Somebody my size with my athletic ability doesn’t play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Picture an over-caffeinated chicken on a greased trampoline. It’s just not in my genetic cards. So I did the next best thing: I wrote a bad-ass essay about the team. Actually a few essays…Read More