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.

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
pyramid scheme
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Kool-Aid Abstainer; featured photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash… Multilevel marketing (MLM) is the business equivalent of cigarette smoking: technically legal, extremely lucrative for its corporate overlords, and lethally addictive for millions of people worldwide, even though it’s ultimately bad for them. The big difference between MLM and cigarettes: MLM doesn’t come with a warning label. So as an Atomic Tango public service, I’m writing this big fat warning label for MLM (aka “network marketing”), which is one kind of marketingRead More
PhD
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + PhD Conscientious Objector… Since I love teaching and talking about marketing, friends often ask why I don’t get a PhD. I’ll think about it… and then I stumble upon an example of the actual work perpetrated by PhD’s in my field…Read More
PhD
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + No Longer a Young Professor… Dear Young Professor: Congratulations, you’ve been hired by a Top 20 business school… well, it WAS a Top 20 business school, but you know how these things go. So let’s just say, congrats, you’ve got a job with health insurance! But now is no time to rest on your laurels, because first of all, newbie, you have no laurels. You have to earn those. And around here, you accomplish that by getting published…Read More