Posts Tagged ‘Funny’

The Functional Idiot

February 16, 2013


Here is a story. I’m sitting in a room with an extremely intelligent  person. Our new VP of product marketing – Mr Y. He has an MBA from one of the finest universities in the world ,a track record as a C level executive in a Fortune 100 company. He is articulate and presents an amazing vision for the future of our company. Moreover, he defines concrete examples how we will be using social media and go beyond traditional  enterprise marketing. I’m quite impressed. Finally, we have someone in marketing who knows what he is talking about.

One month later, Mr Y Speaks in an executive forum. He repeats exactly the same story with the same social media example and same jokes. I’m getting a bit suspicious , but as the great Jack Welch said – communicating your message is one of the top leadership roles. So, I give Mr Y the credit that he is talking to a new audience.

Two months later, Mer Y is already working with us for four months. We are in a customer conference. The same exact story, word by word 😦 . Two months later he was not working with us anymore …

He is probably a “Type A” functional idiot.

I recently learned the term “Functional Idiot” which I really like. Unfortunately it is not well-defined, yet. The Urban Dictionary definition for “Functional Idiot” is :

A person who suffers from functional idiocy.

Which does not help much. However, almost everyone seems to “Get It”, so they must have worked with some.

There can be a few of ways to describe a functional idiot:

  • Type A functional idiot – A complete idiot who made it through the system to obtain an important function or position (e.g. George Bush Junior :))
  • Type B functional idiot – A very smart person in specific domains who behaves like an idiot in other domains  (e.g. Steve Jobs’ failure to admit he needs to shower to smell good)
  • Type C functional idiot – A person who used to be very smart and effective, but became outdated and irrelevant (e.g Dan Margalit might be an example for the Israeli audience)

Let’s say you are walking around the office and you spot a “Functional Idiot”  make a stupid decision. Let me provide you with tools to rationalize it.

Here is a second story. In a board meeting, you realize one of your board members (Let’s call him Prisoner X)  suggests the company should release a “simple self-service” version of your costly, sophisticated enterprise product. This could have been   a great suggestion. But we already did it six months ago and discussed it multiple times with him.

The challenge is that Prisoner X is quite smart and has a very good track record in the industry. How can we explain the fact he get’s $40K$ a month ,but is not able to remember the main products of his four companies?

Prisoner X is probably a type B functional idiot. He is very smart in the big picture and in identifying opportunities, but he is very bad in operational work and following details.

Type C functional idiots are easier to spot. You would usually find them in the CTO office, they have the word “Strategy” in their title.  in a recent example I was observing a very long thread on the pros and cons of C vs C++. The heated discussions was taking place in 2012 by people with an amazing track record in the high-tech industry history. And it was a very interesting discussion to have. In 1996.

To conclude,It is essential to identify functional idiots and tell them apart. Otherwise  we are all doomed 🙂

Tel Aviv Funny Signs

February 19, 2010
Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign - Parking Warning

Tel Aviv Funny Sign - Parking Warning

Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign

Tel Aviv Funny Sign - Keep Clean

Tel Aviv Funny Sign - Keep Clean


January 16, 2009

The Economist Style guide has a great section on Americanisms, thanks to Rani for pointing me to the link.

In a dry, British fashion they analyze the American use of the English language.

Some nice quotes:

Other Americanisms are euphemistic or obscure (so avoid affirmative action, rookies, end runs, stand-offs, point men, ball games and almost all other American sporting terms).

Put adverbs where you would put them in normal speech, which is usually after the verb (not before it, which usually is where Americans put them).

Cricket is a game not a sport. London is the country‘s capital, not the nation‘s.

In Britain, though cattle and pigs may be raised, children are (or should be) brought up.

Gubernatorial is an ugly word that can almost always be avoided.

For Start-Ups:

Grow a beard or a tomato but not a company. By all means call for a record profit if you wish to exhort the workers, but not if you merely predict one. And do not post it if it has been achieved. If it has not, look for someone new to head the company, not to head it up.

You may program a computer but in all other contexts the word is programme.

Vilest of all is the habit of throwing together several nouns into one ghastly adjectival reticule: Texas millionaire real-estate developer and failed thrift entrepreneur Hiram Turnipseed…

Read the original link to be amused.

New York New York

New York New York

Funny Signs

November 22, 2008

This sign is posted at Mullholland drive, next to LA.

Possession of firearms , bow and arrow prohibited.

Are they scared of the revenge for taking away the land ?

Warning Sign in LA

Warning Sign in LA

This one is from Jerusalem.

It reads – “There is a person stuck in the Elevator, please call the fire department at 102”.

They must really trust strangers to help them out.

We are Stuck in the Elevator, Please Get us Out

This is the famous proposition 65 sign from California.

Would you eat in this restaurant ?

Would you eat in this restaurant ?

Free Sony Vaio Light Blue Cleaning Cloth – Corporate stupidity

September 10, 2008

We have two cool Sony Vaio laptops. Unlike most of our boring X61s ThinkPads they are shiny and smiling.

Unfortunately, when one of them just broke and we had to get it fixed. Now I got it back from the repair with the stupidest letter I have seen in a while.

Dear Valued customer

We Regret your Sony VAIO product required service and we want to be sure you are completely satisfied with your experience in dealing with our repair center.

As a small token of our appreciation we have inserted a light blue VAIO cleaning cloth into your unit.Please use this cloth to maintain the cleanliness of your LCD screen*

* Please refer to reverse side for proper cleaning instructions.

Really. I will scan the copy when I’m back at home.

A $3000 laptop is broken for a month. We had to buy $2000 replacement and lose at least five net days on getting it fixed. And we get a cloth ! for free ! and it is light blue ! How about a free iPhone ? that would make me happy.

Oh, maybe it is just my guilt, but it seems they also accuse of meof not being clean enough…

And to put the final touch, there are cleaning instructions on the back page.  Sure , we know how to defragment a Sony Vaio hard drive and remove sypware from the registry, but how does one use a duster ?

Final Warning :

Note: If there are tiny black or bright points ( red, blue, green or white ) that cleaning does not seem to be able to remove from an LCD dispaly , it is possible that the display has a defective pixel.

Any my free advice to anyone taking a shower ( and Sony support in praticular ) :

Note: When you take a shower,If there are tiny bright points ( red, blue, green or white ) that cleaning does not seem to be able to remove from your head, it is possible that these are your eyes .Beware to clean gently with our small appreciation of light blue cloth. Do not scratch the surface…

Resume bloopers

May 24, 2008

Below are some real examples from resumes I received, modified to protect the innocents. Each one is follwoed with my take on the quote.

1. Although I have no academic degree ,I authored multiple papers for master and undergraduate students. The papers got excellent grades and I was paid well.

  •   I’m dishonest, cheated for a living, and dim-witted enough to write about it in a CV.

2. My high school average grade is 107.

  •  It is actually possible in Israel , but not very relevant if you are over 22.

3. While working in ACME Corporation I also started a startup with two friends.

  •  I cheated on my former employers , failed miserably and now you have the opportunity to let me do it again.

4. English as a mother tonge.

  •  Excellent control of the spell checker as well.

5. Programming language : Basic, Logo, Turbo Pascal, C,C++, LISP, Visual Basic.

  • Someone once told me to mention every technology I have ever heard of.

6. Operating Systems : DOS, Windows 98,Windows 2003.

  • Not many people pratice DOS these days and I’m unique.

7. Army Service: Sniper. Finished first in Class.

  •  You’d better hire me, or else…