Latest Entries

I Hate Open Source Software - Why Open Source Sucks

Listen here you fucking dorks I already know what you’re going to say “Well Grumpy Nerd if you hate open source software so much then why do you have a Wordpress blog that is running on an open source database?” Because Wordpress is a very rare example of open source software that doesn’t suck which doesn’t remotely make up for the other 99.99993% of open source software that sucks like a coked up Hoover.

Open Source Is A Fraud

There are two types of open source projects: The first type is the software built by womanless losers on SourceForge who have so much fucking free time in their lives that they can take hours out of their day to contribute to some worthless open source project that like everything else in their pathetic lives they won’t complete. They won’t document it. They won’t fix the legions of bugs that they built into the software. They will just fade away leaving their code-turd forever stinking up the digital domain.

The second type of open source project is maybe even more insidious than the first. It’s the corporate open source project. This is the project which is directed by, funded by and whom all of the contributors are employed by large corporations. It’s open source to better their market position or to encourage the use of their services. I’m fine with that. I’m a lover of capitalism. What disgusts me are you doe-eyed open source hippies that swallow the bullshit they are feeding you. You naive losers are being bamboozled by your corporate masters because you don’t understand how marketing works. They are contributing to the open source “movement” not to make the world a better place or set software free or build a code utopia or whatever nonsense you believe they are doing it to gain consulting services market share, raise brand awareness or the sell their proprietary solutions that complement the “free ones.”

Linux Sucks

That’s right I just called out the crown jewel of the open source movement. Linux is great if you’re building a super-computing cluster, you run a web hosting company with 3,000 servers or you’re Facebook/Yahoo/Google and you need something very custom and very rare. Linux is pretty nice if you’re deploying an embedded system application. But for the 99.7% of us that are using computers for common everyday tasks Linux is a wholesale disaster. On the server side it requires much more maintenance and more knowledge and effort to deploy and maintain than it’s commercial counterparts.

“Well Grumpy Nerd maybe you’re just not smart enough for Linux…”

No douchebag I am actually much smarter than you and I have shit to do and don’t have time to patch kernels and search for device drivers. It also means that I understand the value of time and I’d rather pay a few hundred bucks for an operating system license that patches itself and has device drivers available out of the box because my time is valuable.

“But Grumpy Nerd Linux is more efficient than Windows and it runs great on my 15 year old POS 486 with 4K of memory…”

I’m sorry that you can’t afford a new computer that will run a decent modern OS. Maybe if you were more talented you could sell your code for money and wouldn’t have to give it away for free. BTW Windows 7 runs awesome on this four core i560 machine with an assload of RAM. Too bad you’re stuck in the mesozoic era of computing.

“Grumpy Nerd Linux can do anything Windows can do and is gaining desktop market share…”

No it can’t and No it isn’t. That is the circle jerk of lies that you Linux nerds tell each other to make yourselves feel better. Outside of your dork circles Linux has zero desktop market share. No one uses it. The reason they don’t use it has nothing to do with Microsoft and Apple being mean. Or Microsoft cutting deals with computer makers. Nope. People don’t use Linux on the desktop because Linux on the desktop sucks. It’s hard to use. The GUIs are all ugly and clunky. Most importantly there are no useful desktop software packages that runs on Linux. Open Office is the drooling learning disabled little brother of Microsoft Office. Everything that Open Office does Microsoft Office does better. Photoshop is better than GIMP. For business productivity try to find an accounting package, shipping system or great suite of design tools that run on Linux. They don’t exist. Aside from web surfing and nerd circle jerk parties Linux on the desktop is useless.

Incomplete Documentation

Open Source nerds don’t have the discipline to write documentation because it’s no fun. Writing new code is fun. Fixing bugs in old code is less fun. Writing documentation sucks. Which is why most open source software is buggy and features little to no documentation making it useless to everyone outside of the authors.

Open Source Is Fad Driven

Most computer nerds have the attention span of a teenage girl off her Adderall. The next shiny object that passes though your periphery will distract you. Remember Ruby back in 2006? (Or just Rails if you’re a cool dork) oh you couldn’t turn a corner without some douche-canoe evangelizing the wonders of this horrible little fad framework and how it was going to revolutionize delivering software and services to the web and like the Segway Scooter of computer science… BAM in 2011 no one uses it. In fact the only people that still use Ruby on Rails are the loud mouthed idiots that painted themselves so far into a public corner evangelizing this brain dead framework that they can’t possibly backtrack without exposing themselves as the frauds that they are.

No Fucking Support

In my best open source Hippie voice; “you don’t get it maaaan the community supports you in the open source movement.” Oh really? You mean I’m supposed to bet my job on the trouble ticket turnaround time of the four crusty nerds hanging out on Source Forge who are going to tell me to RTFM to which there is no fucking manual because no one got around to writing one. That’s the support that you want me to rely on? Or do you mean the paid support from the many corporate open source contributors who sell their consulting services for more than licence cost of the commercial product they are replacing with “free” software? Thus simultaneously  costing me more and wasting more of my time? Thats your support?

Open Source Wastes Time

Open source software is for people that have more time than money. An open source solution is usually a patchwork of mutually incompatible systems jury rigged together into a semi-workable solution. Finding how to assemble these random components into a working system takes time and effort. (Time is a cost just as money is a cost) “Ahh so I have a MySQL 4 database I’m not sure which connector I should use so I’ll get the latest then I’ll write some code…” then when I test it I find that the latest connectors only support the most recent version of MySQL and I have to find an older build of the connector but that version is full of bugs because no one tested it before they released it  (which explains why there were 93 releases last year one per fucking bug apparently)  and half the shit that is supposed to work doesn’t (why would anyone need parameterized queries - just strcat a line of dynamic SQL together you pussy) so I have to re-code for bug avoidance purposes.  After a few tries you’ll successfully dodge all of the non-functional features and you’ll cruft something together that functions (most of the time).

OR! I could skip all of that hassle and develop the whole thing in ASP.NET where the database was designed specifically to work with the web framework that was designed to work with the language that was designed to work with my development environment and it was all designed to run on my desktop OS which is BTW is similar to my deployment server OS and get the job done with zero hassle and in 1/3rd of the time. Oh but I’m an idiot because I paid a few hundred bucks for software!  Microsoft really fucked me didn’t they?

To Summarize The Shitpile that is Open Source

99.99993% of open source software is complete garbage. Most open source developers suck otherwise they would be getting paid to write code. The open source developers that don’t suck work for Oracle, IBM and Red Hat and are contributing to open source projects so their employers can collectively gain market share on Microsoft (isn’t working) and trap suckers into using their open source solutions so that the suckers will buy their consulting services and support contracts. And Wordpress doesn’t suck but MySQL which Wordpress uses to store it’s data does suck.  And thats all you need to know about open source.

Grumpy Nerd Out.

Asheville Oktoberfest Sucked

Jacksonville Florida is suck immersion therapy.  Life here is a series of lowered expectations.  You want to have a good meal out?  Not likely but we can offer you a mostly flavorless but highly salted meal at the national chain restaurant of your choosing.  Maybe you’re interested in listening to some great local music?  You’ll probably have a hard time finding that here but we can offer you a trio divorced cougars wearing stonewashed jeans that they haven’t been able to fit into since the 11th grade singing an off key karaoke rendition of “I Will Survive” in a redneck bar.  Really the only thing exceptional here is how exceptionally average and underwhelming the place is.  We should replace the “Welcome to Jacksonville - Where Florida Begins” sign with generic one that says “A City Pop. 1mil - Nothing Special Here.”  With this overwhelming civic suck how is it possible that our local Oktoberfest was better than the one that “Beer City USA” Asheville NC put on?

First off they held it in the middle of the god damn day.  High noon with the sun beating down on your head? The only reason I want to drink beer at noon out in the hot sun is to numb the pain of of watching boring sports like baseball and golf.  Beer is to be consumed at night where the horror of looking at your fellow human is already mitigated by the lack of light.  Beer can’t combat full on daylight illuminated ugly.  Beer isn’t that strong.  Work with beer and beer will work with you.

The fucking oompa band.  This side of those beer wench outfits nothing goes better with Oktoberfest than Fritz up there playing oompa music with an accordion in his little lederhosen silly green hat getup.  These are the people tried to take over the world? Twice? You have to be shitting me. They didn’t have mirrors in 1930s Germany? If they did they’d take one look at that little feather cap fairy outfit and quickly conclude that the USA is going to win this one and maybe we’d be better off keeping our ourselves and not starting two wars.  I digress.  This is polka music not a Molly Hatchet redux it doesn’t need to be played at 149 decibels.  TURN IT THE FUCK DOWN.

Next on my list; THE LACK OF FUCKING BEER.  Thats right “Beer City USA” ran out of beer at Oktoberfest. Everywhere I turn in Asheville I hear the same old tired saw; “This is the capitol of beer”, “Voted number one brew city”, “Beer City USA”.  Beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, fucking beer it’s all I hear in Asheville.  Yet on the most important beer drinking day of the year you knuckleheads didn’t bring enough beer to the party. Plenty of the shitty stuff left that no one wanted but the good stuff was gone 3 hours before the event was over.  Nice work idiots.  Glad I spent $60 on this shit.

Finally the beer fags who have completely lost touch of the pleasure of drinking a simple yet excellent brew. “This beer has been aged with 10 pounds of ripened pears picked and washed by free range midgets in a hand hewn oak cask that Leonardo DaVinci used in 1503 to wash his balls.”  Outside of the other  low self esteem beer nerds at the competing brewery down the street no one gives a fuck about any of that.  What we do give a fuck about is that in your race to prove that your beer penis is bigger than the other guys beer penis you’ve loaded your brew down with so much garbage that the masterpiece you’ve created is nearly undrinkable.  Less is more morons.  Artists and designers call it negative space.  It allows shape and color to breath.  It works in food and beer too.  I’m sure this is a shock to your cliquey brew-tard subculture but some of us out here actually enjoy a well brewed, high quality beer that doesn’t have 19 different varieties of hops and fruity esters.  Congrats on becoming as annoying and punchable as the West Coast wine snobs and for ruining my favorite beverage.

- Grumpy Nerd OUT.

I Hate Apple Computers

I have so much pent up rage and anger and so little time to vent it properly on this blog. Literally every fucking day ten things piss me off and are worthy of a good rant. But who has time for this shit? So I’m going to down about a quart of tequila and let the discontent flow.

The only thing that annoys me more than Apple computer propaganda is anything related to Twitter. Twittering on your iPhone while drinking a PBR in your skinny leg jeans is the hipster idiocy trifecta. So a few seconds for a Twitter micro-rant (how fucking ironic) and then on to Apple. It should be obvious to you that Twitter is literally the dumbest human trend ever. If you use Twitter for anything other than to con hot dumb chicks into honking your bobo then you deserve to be quarantined with your other Twitter-Tards on a barren island for life, sentenced to speaking in 140 character increments while you play LiteBrite with each other for eternity.

So I swallowed my hatred of all things trendy and gave Apple a legit shot in my quest for a new laptop. I looked at HP, Dell and Apple laptops. No matter which way I spun it the Apple computer cost three times as much as an HP / Dell with similar hardware. For the cost of one Apple I could buy an HP laptop with the same specs as the Apple and a Dell desktop with better specs and have a pile of money left over.  On top of that every single useful software product I could buy for the Apple I can also buy for the PC. However the reverse isn’t true; not all useful PC software has an Apple version. In fact the most important software I need to do my job doesn’t run on Apple unless you run Windows XP on your Apple (yes this can actually be done though software called VMWare) so what you end up with essentially is a PC that costs three times as much as is should using proprietary hardware that you can’t modify. (But it’s pretty!)

To summarize; the Apple does less fucking stuff than the PC but costs three times as much… or rather it can do exactly the same stuff as a PC as long as you run Windows on your Apple which means that at that point your Apple is a PC that you paid way too much for. Here is my advice cut out the middleman save yourself some dough and get a PC.  They cost less.  They can do more.  And contrary to the cute “I’m a Mac” commercials PCs are reliable.

They only reasons I can think of for buying an Apple;

1. You Are a Fucking Idiot; you believe everything corporate marketing pumps into your empty head. You think the Apple guy is “cute” and the PC Guy is frumpy and gross.

2. You are a graphic designer who listened to all the other graphic designers that told you “Apple is the only computer you can do great creative work on.”  While ignoring the obvious fact that the entire Adobe Suite runs just as well on the PC.

3. You are a hopelessly trendy hipster asshole who’s self esteem is so low you’ll do literally anything that the crowd tells you to so that you can be liked. (Pssst: They don’t really like you)

4. You are an open source hippie. You hate Microsoft and think Bill Gates is mean. While ignoring that Apple’s licenses are more restrictive than Microsoft, Apple products are more closed to development and modification than PCs and Steve Jobs had Apple legally threaten a guy who was making fun of him. (Google: Fake Steve Jobs)

5. You think it’s still 1996 and hate that Windows 95 SP1 blue screens twice a day.

6. You’re a Rush Limbaugh ditto head and believe everything that the fat man says including his constant shameless plugging of Apple products and as soon as you move into a bigger trailer you’re getting a Mac.

7. You’re a software developer who wants to automatically eliminate half of the useful development tools from your repertoire.

8. You think that you’re going to make $5M selling the next great iPhone Fart Application.

9. You are so retarded that you think that iTunes and the iPod won’t work with a PC.

10. You’re unemployed and need a $3,500 fashion accessory for your “sitting at Starbucks all fucking day because I don’t have a job” ensemble.

My H & R Block Experience

I think H & R Block Sucks and here is why.

I’m usually so busy with work that I don’t get a lot of time to vent my ample rage on this blog.  But today I’ve come across a cluster fuck of incompetence so outrageous that I am required to take time out and share it for the good of humanity.

Today H & R Block moves to the top of the top of the Grumpy Nerd list of Ire.  They are officially the most incompetent business that I have delt with ever.

So this year I drew the fucking short straw and I was the lucky one that had to get all of the business tax info together for the CPA.  I hate this tax shit.  Getting this crap together for the CPA is like pushing rusted pins covered in Tabasco sauce into my eyeballs.  I can’t stand it.  So as a result I put it off.  I put it off so long it’s too late for us to send the employee and contractor tax info out of town to get 1099-MISC and W-2 forms printed.  Well Grumpy Nerd why don’t you just laser print them yourself?  Well because you can’t.  You have to send the IRS and the SSA special OCR forms or they fine you $50 for each form that can’t be read.  So you have to get a tax prep person to create these special OCR (optical character recognition) forms for you. 

Since I had to get this crap done quick I had to take the W-2 and 1099 filing part of our taxes somewhere local and to get them done quick.  I stupidly picked H & R Block Premium for no better reason than they are open Saturday. What a horrible fucking mistake.  Out of our 8 employee and contractor tax filings H & R Block made mistakes on 4 of them. 

There are plenty of areas of the tax code that can be interpreted more than one way.  Lots of accounting stuff that takes a really skilled hand to do right.  I’m not talking about that.  What H & R Block had to two was literally copy information from the printed page that I gave them to the IRS OCR forms.  No tax knowledge.  No math.  They just had to copy what I gave them and transpose it to the correct OCR forms.  I even told them which forms and printed the information in 12 point font.

It’s too bad that these forms contain sensitive information or I would post them up here for the world to see. Here is a list of the mistakes that H & R Block Premium made filling out some simple employer tax forms;

Employee #1 – W2 Form

-         Social security number in the wrong box

-         Filed to the wrong year 2006 rather than 2008

Employee #2 – W2 Form

-         Social Security number in the wrong box

-         Filed to the wrong year 2006 rather than 2008

-         Wrong street address

Employee #3 – W2 Form

-         Missing social security number

Contractor #1 – 1099-MISC Form

-         Misspelled name

For our tax filing H & R Block screwed up the W2s for three of our four employees. They also made mistakes on one of our four contractor 1099-MISC filings.  I speculate that the error rate was lower on the 1099 filings because they require so little information compared to the W2 forms.

This disaster of a tax screw up was performed at an H& R Block Premium branch.  This is their high end joint for high income earners and business clients.  If this is what goes on at their premium branch what is the experience at their regular joe six pack branches?  Is it rusis monkeys throwing feces at tax forms?

 

You Caused the Depression Stop Blaming Everyone Else

It’s your fault.  You bought shit you didn’t need with money you didn’t have. 

Lets first get past semantics; not recession, depression.  Anyone who was watching from 2004 on knew we were headed for the next great depression.  Why?  Simple; most of you idiots incorrectly thought that the source of your wealth was owning residential real estate.  Residential real estate of course isn’t a source of wealth it’s a place to live and an expense.  If you believe otherwise you are an idiot.

What pisses me off even more than you morons dragging those of us who did manage our money correctly into this economic shitstorm is that you still aren’t owning up to your mistakes.  You did this.  You’re bad planning, you’re lack of self control, you’re poor money habits and your tiny consumer good fueled ego lead you down this self destructive path.  You traded our collective economic future for crap that you bought on credit.  You moron.

Are you going to admit it?  Of course you won’t.  People like you never take personal responsibility for your actions.  The arguments go something like this;

Politically Liberal Morons;  OK man… it’s like this the evil banks OK they forced poor people to take evil teaser rate mortgages that they didn’t understand.  Then the evil banks teamed up with the crooks on Wall st. and sold the bad mortgages to old people’s pension funds.  These banks and Wall st. crooks screwed everyone and made millions!

Politically Conservative Morons; That foppy homo Barney Frank and his liberal buddies in congress with the help of ACORN forced the helpless bankers to make loans to deadbeats in poor urban areas (this is a conservative euphemism for black people) who couldn’t pay back the loans.  That’s right poor people ruined the economy.  And now they want bailouts from the successful among us.

Please allow me to retort. 

First to the lefties;  I’m sure it chaps your ass that your local National Public Radio endowment is in the red and you can’t afford your soy lattes anymore.  Boo fucking hoo.  The bank’s aren’t at fault for forcing tricky mortgages on people.  The banks are at fault for relaxing their lending standards and giving money to everyone no matter their ability to repay.  By providing an ever increasing supply of money to the market the banks certainly inflated demand.  But without the end consumer making terrible decisions with respect to the use of credit there would be no demand.  But you can’t blame the consumer because the consumer is you.  And you can’t own up to your own mistakes can you?  Better to blame the robber barons on Wall st.

Rightwingers; Poor people in the ghetto are to blame?  Really?  Because so many poor people own construction firms that arranged 110% financing?  So many poor people run real estate firms who in cahoots with property appraisers rigged a system of ever increasing real estate prices thus giving the general public the impression that you could not only live in a house cost free but get paid to live there.  Further you assholes via your elected proxies in the Republican party removed the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933 which acted as a financial firewall between the speculative investment and commercial banking worlds.

In short Glass-Steagall act limited the interaction between the credit and investment markets.  So that for example a commercial lender couldn’t securitize a pool of risky mortgages and sell it as a “safe” bond.  Thus insuring at least as long as the good times were a bubbling that commercial banks could lend a nearly unlimited supply of money to even the most credit unworthy individual.

The Banking Act of 1933 was repealed in part by The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999.  This was introduced by the trio of right wing pricks who’s name it bears.  Democrats including Barney Frank roundly opposed the bill save for the most important democrat; Bill Clinton. 

Without the nearly unlimited supply of money flowing into commercial lending by demolishing the firewall between these two formally separate markets there would have been no capital to create the demand.   It was the right wing deregulatory fetishists that created the excess capital in the markets that fed this bubble.  But of course you can’t take the blame for your own bad decisions and the bad decisions of your elected proxies can you?  Better to blame poor brown people. 

In summary; this mess is your fucking fault so stop blaming everyone else.  

Should I Join BNI (Business Networking International)

For your own good don’t join this organization.  I’m just putting that title on this article to get the search bots to rank my blog high for that search phrase.  I get a lot of “BNI sucks” and “BNI is a waste of time” search traffic.  People that search those phrases have already been wronged by the evils of BNI and I end up preaching to the saved.  I want to reach out to people pre-cult where I can do them some good.

With a world of things that piss me off on a daily basis why waste anymore bandwidth yapping about the evils of this organization?   I’ve been inspired by brother Barack’s call to public service and I can’t think of another way that I can make a positive societal impact in my boxer shorts fueled up on this much cheap liquor.  So on with another alcohol fueled anti-BNI rant.

Into the Belly of the Beast

 I got a call from one of my former BNI chapter members asking if I could “sub” for him.  For you lucky folks that have no idea about BNI protocol, they have a strict attendance policy.  If you miss more than a few meetings you’ll be put on probation for poor attendance and may be dismissed.  You receive a get out of jail free card if you have someone come to the meeting in your place.  This like everything else in the rigid BNI system this rule plays to their advantage.  It basically tricks potential suckers into showing up for their meetings where the “visitor hosts” will apply high pressure sales tactics and get them to try and join.

I have to admit I enjoyed visiting my former chapter.  I enjoyed it in the same way one “enjoys” their 20th year class reunion when you see that the former Prom queen is shacked up with a tweaking meth dealer, weighs 300lbs and lives in a trailer with 7 kids from a variety of fathers.  It is pure scheidenfreud and it is delicious. These suckers are still getting up at the crack of dawn to participate in a 25 moron circle jerk and I’m sleeping in!  Internally they all know that this happy delusional exterior masks and perpetuates the lie that BNI is helping any of them which by my calculations it is not.

 BNI Chapter Performance Numbers

 Aside from my smug self righteousness I walked out of the meeting with the 2008 Chapter performance numbers which completely substantiate my claim that BNI membership is a giant waste of time and money.  The numbers are rounded to protect the innocent.  Here we go: 

$95,000 – 2008 BNI Related Member Revenue

$(22,800) – 2008 Member dues and other BNI member expenses (38 x $600/yr)

$72,200  – 2008 BNI Related Member income after expenses

$ 1,900 – Average BNI Income per member (38 members)

  Our average chapter member brought in $1,900 after (direct) expenses as a result of belonging to BNI.  That comes out to approx $9.50 per hour spent on BNI activities.  That is a pathetic return on time invested.  

 Does $9.50/hr sound like an effective sales channel to you?  It doesn’t to me.  And when you consider that to earn that $9.50 and hour our average chapter member wasted 10% of his/her work year flagellating other BNI members the opportunity cost is massive.  Think about what they could have done if they spent 200 hours in 2008 on more fruitful pursuits.  Or just sleeping in?

For All You Greentards That Bought a Prius Three Months Ago – Suck It

Gas is cheap again suckers

That’s right your superior green piety just came to an end fuckers.  I don’t have to hear you endlessly drone on with that superior church lady tone about the joys of a $24,000 car than accelerates like a 1976 Pinto with a stuck choke and a trunk full of rocks any more.

Nope gas is cheap again suckers.  Now I can strut around like a Viagra laced rooster crowing about the joys of unbridled horsepower, comfort and speed.  That’s right I can actually drive uphill without a tailwind.  I can accelerate and merge onto the highway with my air conditioner turned on!  I know hard to believe right?

I know you did the math and had it all worked it all out.  If gas just stays between $4.50 and $5.00 a gallon for the next nineteen years I’ll break even driving my ___________ (insert; Prius, Scooter, Smart Car, or other underpowered wretched dork-mobile here)

But in an economic depression demand falls and when demand falls prices drop.  What won’t drop is the price of your next 55 Prius payments.  Now you’re stuck with exceptionally high payments because you paid full sticker (and probably got the mats and paint sealant too -editor) with all of the other suckers that ran to the Toyota dealer at the same time like lemmings marching off of a cliff.

Now that we’ve established that you are idiots, I don’t want to hear the following bullshit out of any of you in the future;

  1. Peak Oil
  2. Anything related to Al Gore
  3. Electric Cars
  4. Melting Ice Caps
  5. Anything Negative about V-8 engines
  6. Windmills, solar cells, or tidal barrages
  7. Fucking T Boon Pickens
  8. Compact Florescent Bulbs
  9. The reasons I should run my A/C @ 80f
  10. Living off the grid with self composting toilets

The green movement the latest in a series of economic bubbles designed to separate suckers from their money.  At least the .com and real estate bubble lasted 4-5 years.  You greentards cracked after only 6 months of $4.00 gas.  Proving that of the mental weaklings of the past decade you are the weakest of the lot.

Givers Do Not Gain – The End of the BNI Road

I finally pulled the plug on our 8 month BNI horror show.  To sum up; it was a complete waste of time. If you are thinking of joining this group please reconsider unless you sell something very generic that nearly everyone can use (retail banking, retail insurance, cable tv, maybe financial planning) if you sell into the higher cost B2B market forget it.  High level corporate decision makers don’t come to BNI meetings.

 Since my second week in BNI (Business Networking International) my business partner has been telling me it’s a bullshit cult and that I’m wasting my time with it.   My response; you don’t know that lets give it six months and then do the numbers and it isn’t worth the time I’ll bail.  For the record she was 100% correct.  BNI sucks. 

 I know most of you are ADHD and won’t make it to the end of this blog post.  Lets get to the performance results for our chapter right off;

 Here are the rough numbers for our chapter;

 $60,000             Total Chapter Sales

30                      Number of Members (average)

$2000.00           Per Member Earnings (average)

$ 600.00            BNI Dues Per Year

$1400.00           BNI Earnings After Expenses

192                    Member Hours Spent on BNI Activities per year (average)

$ 7.92                Ave member earnings per hour

 $7.92 an hour!  Sign me right the fuck up.  I sit in these god awful meetings week after tortuous week listening to the most nonsensical of bullshit being spewed by members;  “BNI gives me multiple orgasms”  “I lost 50 pounds since I joined BNI”  (That is a lie there are a LOT of fat fucks in these meetings –editor)  “After only 3 months of BNI my kids are no longer ugly)  Just complete non-sense about how much BNI has helped them with their business, social life, whatever the hell.  Then I get these very same people together in for the 1-ON-1 meetings (always at a bar so to have drink close at hand) and ask them about their BNI success and it’s always the same song; “I haven’t closed shit because of BNI.  I’m not going to re-up next year.”   Then why in the hell are you spouting off in the BNI meeting about how much BNI has helped you?

 You go to church and they pump you full of bullshit but you can’t prove or disprove any of it.  The faithful (insane -editor) claim there is a god and it’s all real.  The rational (sane –editor)claim that believing in bronze age fairy tails is retarded and the burden of proof is on the person claiming the existence of a supernatural benevolent spaceman.  Because of the unknowns neither side can prove their case.  That’s the beauty of running a religion.  You can make all sorts of ridiculous claims and as long as you have enough followers believing you who is to say you are wrong!  But BNI for all of its cult overtones at the end of the day is a sales channel which can be quantified with simple math.  My math says that it comes up short for most of its members.

 Quality of Membership

“I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”. – Groucho Marx

The business group that you should belong to doesn’t want you as a member.  You’ll have to lie, cheat or bribe your way in.  That’s because positions in these groups are desirable and profitable.  From what I’ve seen BNI (my chapter anyway) would let anyone in that had $400 and no felonies.  They go though the motions of checking your references to make it look like you are joining something special but after the initial pageantry they pretty much let anyone in.  If BNI were a woman her personal ad would read;

“BBW, (Big Beautiful Woman – code for hard up fat chick –editor) 40, no kids.  I like long walks on the beach and all you can eat buffets.  I’m looking for a man ready to start an family.  Must have operational car and a full set of teeth.

Low fucking standards.  Thats the problem. My chapter would literally take anyone.  $400, pulse, no recent felonies (was it violent?) you’re in buddy.  When you are willing to accept anyone you get everyone you don’t want in the group.  Sure there are a few professionals, a few members that own real businesses.  But by and large the group was made up of down on their luck sales people, one man work from home deals, startups based on horribly flawed ideas, part time businesses, housewives selling Avon, Mona Via, Avocare, etc and one completely insane woman who as near as I could tell would do any household chore for money but claimed to be a gardener.  She showed up to the meetings more than not with potted plants.  She’d stand up for her sales manager minute and show her plants.  And the membership committee gave me shit for not bringing enough visitors.  I’m really going to bring in the CEO of one of these firms we deal with and this bitch is going to stand up looking like she combed her hair with a pillow and pop out a rhododendron?  No friggin’ way.

Here is what you won’t see a lot of in most BNI meetings; Corporate decision makers and multi million dollar business owners.   Exactly the people we need to survive.

I Have (a fake referral for you) Time

“It’s morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.” - W.C. Fields 

The I have time!  This is where every member of the BNI group has to stand up and tell the other members in the group what they brought to the table.  There are three things that you are allowed to have;

 

  1. A Business Referral / Lead for a fellow member – (usually fictional)
  2. A visitor introduction (join up sucker!)
  3. A touching story about how BNI touched your otherwise banal life.

 

From the member’s perspective the referral system couldn’t be worse.  BNI has created an incentive system that is guaranteed to generate a large quantity of very low quality sales leads.  Members are put on the spot by having to stand in front of the group to tell everyone what they’ve brought.  This creates an implied quota.  But you aren’t judged on the on the amount of revenue that you generate for your fellow members but on the quantity of leads that you bring in.

 So why would you create an incentive system that will generate the highest number of low quality leads possible?  Because all that churn shows well to visitors.  If stripped away all the crap referrals and members just passed the solid, legit good quality leads there would be maybe one or two referrals per meeting.  No one is going to apply for membership if they see reality!  30 people here and one person closed business?  Fuck that!  I’m out of here!  But when the visitor sees 20 to 30 leads passed it looks impressive.  They want in on some of that gravy.  Of course they have no way of knowing that the amount of actual business transacted was actually minuscule and really most of the BNI referrals generated aren’t even worth the follow up call.

The End of the Line

If you are considering joining this group I would recommend that you reconsider.  While BNI was profitable to a very small number of members in our group for the majority it was not.  If you sell something at the retail level that virtually everyone needs to buy; banking, insurance, cable tv, you might find some success.  If you sell at the very low end of the B2B market you might also find some marginal success.  However if you sell into the mid-range B2B market you will probably be wasting your time as very few of those caliber people attend BNI meetings.

Should I Join BNI?

Will BNI help my business?   Is BNI worthwhile?  Is BNI a waste of time?

Ignore the above.  Rest assured BNI is a complete waste of time.  I’m just trying to sucker the search engine bots into ranking me higher for the above phrases.

 I really don’t have a lot of time to play with this blog I’m mostly busy working. (no thanks to BNI referrals)  But recently a reader posted a comment in response “BNI Sucks” article.  I think the point that he so ineloquently attempted to make is that the poor showing we had during our 9 month tenure in BNI was my fault rather than what is in my opinion the many failings of the BNI program and organization.  It’s an interesting point and straight out of the “How to Manage a Cult for Dummies” handbook.  That is if someone is perceptive enough to see though the bullshit and call it at face value immediately charge them with “not getting it” so you can setup an us versus the outsiders pattern.  This is standard operating procedure religious / cult nitwits to separate the people that think from the dolts who believe everything they are told.  We can’t have logic, reason and fact checking mucking up the works!

Somewhere near the intersection of no impulse control and bad grammar Chris of ALS / Absolute Locksmiths & Security http://www.als24hr.com / info@als24hr.com – posted the following drivel on my blog;

Your a small mined prick who simply did not understand BNI. I have been in BNI for a long time and made a lot money from it,and made a lot of other members money from my own efforts. It just shows you don’t understand it and this is why you failed badly at BNI. The only saga is you. Grow up and wake up to the real world you sad twat…

 

Chris is from England. I’ve always looked down on the British.  This is the country that gave us boiled beef, warm beer, bad teeth and Benny Hill.  The once great empire reduced to following the USA into Iraq like a pup on a rope.  If you were to write a book about England this would be the title;

England 800 Years of Failure: From owning India and America to following orders like a good doggy. 

It’s a deserving end for all of your pompous pageantry and foppy faux royalty.  But at least you have Big Fucking Ben right?

Consider this; when the Ford Motor Company (who makes some of the shittiest cars on the road) purchased British automotive standard bearer Jaguar in 1990 Jaguar’s quality actually went up.  How bad do you have to be at making cars to get taken to school by Ford?  We have Intel, Google, and Cisco Systems and the best of your technology is worse than fucking Ford.  (And I don’t want to hear this Bletchley Park we invented the computer Allen Turning bullshit.  I haven’t seen dick out of the place since the 1940s)

The one thing that you Brits have always had over Americans is that you sound smarter and more refined than us.  You have better delivery and diction.  You put the average British plumber next to the average American surgeon 9 out of 10 people are going to want the plumber to remove their appendix.  Brits simply sound smarter than Americans.  But poor Chris missed out on the one inbred benefit to being British (but not the actual inbreeding) sounding smarter.  Because when you read what Chris read it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t sound real smart.

My final comment on England before moving on to BNI; there are exactly two reasons why you British bitches aren’t dressed up in lederhosen serving superior beer to your German masters;

1)     The USA

2)     The English Channel

Because without the USA and the English Channel your cloudy little island nation would have suffered exactly the same fate as France, but without the good food and hot women.  So show some respect and appreciation the next time you are inclined to call an American a twat, you twat.  You will eternally owe us.

Now that I’ve used most of our regularly scheduled broadcast to bag on our wooden toothed British brethren I don’t have a lot of time to expose BNI for the fraud that it is.  So for the sake of brevity let’s just do a little math.  These are all round numbers from the BNI chapter than I belonged to (note the glorious past tense)

Our BNI chapter had approx 30 members and our chapter earnings were approx $60,000.  Average chapter member earnings are $2000 each for the year.  When you subtract your yearly dues of $600 the average member in my chapter earned $1400.  If each BNI chapter member averaged 4 hours of BNI related activities for 48 weeks a year that would mean the average member in my BNI chapter would have invested 190 hours in BNI.  So if each member earns on average $1400/yr divided by 190 hours per year that means they have profited approx $7.30 for each hour spent on BNI activities. 

So the assertion that Chris made is that I didn’t “get” BNI.  It was my fault that we didn’t turn up a lot of business though BNI is false.  The math is clearly on my side.  Our chapter is one of the better performing local chapters and I brought in near our chapter average of $2000 which works out to somewhere around $9/hr for me.  A miserable result.

Here is the why I’m annoyed with BNI.  Because they sell false hope and they take advantage of the weak.  I regularly see people come though the BNI meetings who’s business is down on it’s luck because of the current economic circumstances.  They hard sell BNI membership as a solution to their sales slump.  They give the illusion that this is a great sales and marketing tool when the to prospective members while hiding the actual performance of the organization.  Of course if they told prospective members the truth that the average member earns between $5 to $10 an hour.  Some less, some more.  No one would join.

 

 

Why BNI Sucks

Usually I can ferret out bullshit pretty well.  Somehow I let myself get suckered into joining my local BNI chapter.  Business Networking International is a business networking organization founded by Ivan Misner a well dressed hair hat with all of the usual con-artist plumage.

The goal of the organization is to bring a group of people representing different professions together once a week to pass sales leads to each other.  BNI is a worldwide organization with chapters covering most of the civilized world.  Generally any city of a moderate size will have many BNI chapters.  Each chapter usually has 10 to 30 members which meet once a week as a group. The theory is that the other people in your chapter will act as your virtual sales team.  So joining BNI is like adding 20 to 30 sales people to your sales staff so the marketing says.  This is of course utter and complete bullshit.  Like so many other sales and marketing heavy organizations the reality rarely lives up to the hype.

Each BNI chapter will be made up of members who represent different professions.  A chapter might have an accountant, a lawyer, an advertising professional, a florist, etc.  Each chapter is allowed to have only one person representing a each profession.  And no one person can belong to more than one chapter at a time.

Each BNI chapter meets once a week.  Weekly attendance is manditory and membership will be revoked if you miss more than a few meetings during any one year.  Show up late to a meeting and you will get dinged as well.

The BNI meetings are 90 minutes long and all about structure.  Every move for 90 minutes is run with military accuracy.  There are a lot of little details I’ll stick to the important stuff;

15 minutes of open networking:  Before the organized program begins members will spend 15 minutes milling about talking with each other.  Sounds great right?  Well it isn’t.  You have 15 minutes and 30 members so it leads to the rapid fire exchange of vapid pleasantries and not much else.  Like speed dating, except with ugly people early in the morning.  Generally I’ll spend the entire time trying to avoid the 4 or 5 people that get on my nerves and hope someone will have brought donuts.

Ruthless promotion of BNI propaganda:  This is a great time to look at boobs or if you have an internet enabled cell phone look at boobs on the Internet.

Sales Manager Minute: Each member will stand up and give his sales pitch to everyone else in the room.  “I’m Mike Hunt and I represent the supplemental insurance slot in the group.  My perfect referral would be a dumbass that is so scared of the world that he doesn’t want to come out from under his bed and thinks that he needs to buy insurance for his insurance.”

Upon first blush this seems like such a great system.  It certainly sells well in their marketing literature; “joining BNI is like adding 30 sales people to your staff.”  The sad reality is that the only thing that anyone is thinking during the sales manager minute is;

Before: What will I say during my sales manager minute?

After: Boy am I glad I’m done with my sales manager minute.

They aren’t listening to you and even if they were after 30 one minute mini presentations no one in the room retained any information anyway.  Further if you have any technical detail or nuance that you need to convey how could you do that in one minute?  Even if someone was paying attention to you which they aren’t.

Member 10 minute presentation:  Each week a different member presents his business to the group during a short sales presention with a question and answer session at the end.  This will be the longest and most horrific ten minutes of your life.  10 solid minutes of intimate details of exterminating, year end tax filing or mortgage underwriting in exquisite detail. By minute 8 you’ll want to push a rusted screwdriver though your eardrum just to make the pain fucking stop.

The I have (a fictional) referral for you time:  The “I have” time is when members will pass a business referral, share some senseless BNI anecdote to their otherwise banial unfulfilled life, introduce their visitor (sucker) or on occasion blurt out “I love BNI” like a mildly retarded tourettes sufferer.  Really the referrals are the meat everything else is just to distract away from the fact that you didn’t bring a referral.  The majority of BNI referrals break down in the following categories;

Fictional Outside Referral; Member knows some guy they met that in theory could use your service but when you contact him isn’t interested or can’t afford your service.

Fictional Inside Referral; Another member claims to want to purchase your service but really doesn’t. But it gets them off the hook for another week because they made their “quota.”

Wants Free Shit Referral; Another member gives you a referral so that you can give them free stuff because you want to hook another BNI brother up.  It doesn’t matter what you do or what you sell your fellow BNI members will try to get it from you for free. 

The “I have” time is the single worst flaw in the BNI program.  Here is why; there is informal pressure to show up at the meeting with something every week.  The pressure to produce leads to members creating fictional referrals or passing garbage referrals.  Because unlike in a commissioned sales job where you are judged on the quality of your sales.  At BNI you are judged on the quantity of your leads not the quality.  It’s just a terrible system that seems to be specifically designed to insure poor results.
One-on-One Meetings (BNI Homework): These are one hour meetings between two members in a more personal setting billed as a way for you to get a deeper understanding of each other’s businesses.  Sounds great on paper.  In reality these meetings are often used by your fellow members as an opportunity to sell you their wares.  What could be better than a qualified buyer held captive for an hour while they try to sell you; supplimental insurance, nutritional products, payroll services, financial planning, employee health coverage, etc.  If they aren’t trying to sell you something they are trying to pump us for free advice, free services, free anything they can get.  These meetings are a complete waste of time 97% of the time.  So I say fuck it man.  I set these meetings up in bars and drink em pretty.  Or drink until I don’t really give a damn that they are wasting an hour of my life. 

BNI Results: In seven months of BNI we have received 28 referrals.  Of those 28 referrals we closed 3 customers.  One didn’t pay their bill.  One complained because they thought their bill was too high.  And one was a decent small job.  Doing the math we generated $1300 in sales minus the $540 we paid our BNI chapter comes to $760 in revenue generated for approx 80 hours of time invested in BNI or $9.50/hr.  When you count that my hourly bill rate is many times more than $9.50/hr we’ve actually lost a significant amount of money by belonging to BNI.

There are a handful of people in our BNI chapter that come out the better for their participation.  Generally they sell stuff that is so generic everyone is a possible customer; banking, cable TV service, the mortgage guy passes good leads to the financial planner.  But for the large majority (us included) it’s a giant waste of time, a disruption in our workday and a waste of money.

If you visit a BNI chapter don’t submit to the relentless pressure to join the group and fill out an application on the spot.  Take it home and think it over.  If you’re like 80% of the members in my group you’ll end up giving more than you gain.