It's always good to read about a celebrity like Kathy Ireland, who works hard at building a business and defies a stereotype [The Way I Work, December/January]. I laughed at Kathy's description of her mornings. She probably doesn't need time management advice from my wife, Helen, and me, but we make lunch the night before. And "hairdos" for the kids? Well, in our house, that's called a hair clip.
Jesse Kalisher Gallery
Carrboro, North Carolina
Thanks for the great list of tips for a happy marriage [Balancing Acts, December/January]. As an entrepreneur who's been married for 18 years and owned a business for 10, I would add one more based on my experience: Make proper "appointments" with your spouse and children, and treat them as you'd treat client appointments in your diary. They can't be changed without consultation, and they must be rescheduled, never canceled. If you use the phrase, "I'm sorry, I have an appointment," most clients will work around your schedule.
I really enjoyed and related to Meg Hirshberg's column about maintaining a happy marriage. I have worked with my husband at our engineering consulting business for more than 20 years. When people ask me how we make it work, I tell them we understand that we are working with each other, not for each other. Also, each of us has areas in which one or the other has the final say, even if the other person doesn't agree.
I realize Meg Hirshberg prefaces her column by explaining that she cast the entrepreneur as male and the wife as female because that is her situation, but that didn't stop it from raising my hackles. Since the tips are relevant regardless of gender, it seems outdated to paint a portrait of the work-obsessed husband and neglected wife. It not only perpetuates the mentality that female entrepreneurs are out of the ordinary, but it also belittles the sacrifices of all the husbands (and same-sex partners) who hold down the fort while we build companies.
Brooklyn, New York
Why didn't Joel Spolsky, a consummate professional, hire an experienced event planner [How Hard Could it Be? December/January]? Assuming that just anyone can run an event is plain silly. Things can change dramatically at the last minute. However, if I didn't have a final head count and equipment list long before the event, I would be pounding on your door -- or at least on your e-mail, text, and voice mail.
Technical communication consultant
Technology Source Group
Going to the Dogs
I'm surprised that Marco Giannini of Dogswell [Case Study, December/January] didn't make more of a marketing push with veterinarians. As trusted agents for quality products, veterinarians become an extended sales force once they're sold on a product. And you don't even have to pay for this publicity beyond a limited supply of samples and substantive fact sheets.