(No) Brains by the Hour

Sometimes I think I am being tested.

On a beautiful day here in North Texas, my family and I decided to take a short trip from Allen to McKinney to attend the Oktoberfest running this weekend. On the way from the parking lot to the quaint city square we encountered this.


Oh, help! Talk about not getting it! Here is the thing, upon visiting their Web site I found that it is not as bad as it could be. They do, in fact, offer “packages” that are menu priced. Maybe the name is just the problem.

Another heifeweisen please.


  1. Hi Ed,

    I actually saw you taking this picture, I must say I am truly disappointed now that I have seen how you’ve used it. But, maybe I’m just not getting what it is I’m not getting that would prompt you to head an entry in this manner.

    I suppose I can appreciate the type of business practice you are targeting, but you’ve now targeted a business with which you’ve not had any personal experience. I encourage you to try and find one of our clients that feels they paid more for our work than the value it brought them. In fact, we have had a client actually add a bonus to their invoice!

    Our name is simply used to encapsulate the idea of “borrowing” expertise for just the amount of time that you actually need it. Our premise is pretty simple, we use what we’ve learned in Fortune 500 companies to help small to mid-sized businesses. Most clients do not need a full headcount, so we offer fractional services with an estimate of hours per week needed on site to meet their needs, with guaranteed deliverables. We are also available by phone and email. That being said, clients’ needs ebb and flow, so we have to adjust based on those needs. Sometimes an hourly rate is the easiest way for all involved, though I’ve yet to actually charge by the hour.

    Bottom line, the mission is altruistic, so we subcontract, we work on retainer, revenue share, or work for just plain Karma credits. If the idea is worthwhile, we work to help make it happen. I love what I do, if not for the three kids, car payments and the mortgage, I’d probably charge nothing at all.

    Anyway, thank you for at least taking the time to look at the site, and for somewhat lightening your condemnation.

    Since we are within crawling distance to the Londoner, perhaps you can come by and we can share a couple Heifeweisen.You may just find Brains By The Hour more amicable than you suspected.

    Or you can come to our Symposium on October 24th, from 9am-1pm at the Eldorado Country Club and see what we are all about.


    Principal, Brains By The Hour

  2. Howard LaMunion says:

    Nice sign, not sure what is up with Ed. Lillian has carved out a solid niche in the market for small organizations to enlist the the help of senior level execs. Is Ed a Democrate wtih an Obama sticker on his car?

  3. Gentlemen,

    I truly appreciate the bipartisan support. I did not intend to prompt any mudslinging or “blog bashing” but I sincerely thank you both for defending my honor.

    If you are McKinney, you can now see from the picture above how to find me, come by and we can all have a pint – though we should probably steer the conversation away from politics. 🙂


  4. First, kudos Lillian for finding this post! I have posted many times in this space on my observations, but few have ever ventured in.

    Second, I am glad you did. As I mentioned in the original post, my “beef” with you (if in fact, we really have one) is with the name of your firm. It clearly implies that brains can be purchased by the hour, they cannot. If you poke around this website you will find that we are staunchly opposed to any professional firm charging by the hour because billing by the hour is a direct descendant of Karl Marx? Labor Theory of Value. (Please read Ron Baker?s excellent booklet, see, http://www.verasage.com/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/bury.pdf)

    VeraSage believes that billing by the hour is not only insulting to professionals and suboptimal from a pricing standpoint; it is also unethical and immoral. It is unethical primarily because it puts the professional and customer in an adversarial relationship.
    It is immoral because it makes the professional feel that they are their ?time.? See http://www.verasage.com/blog/why_hourly_billing_is_unethical_a_theory/

    Again, as I mentioned in the original post, it seems that your organization does, in fact, subscribe to many of the beliefs we espouse.

    Third, thanks for defending me from Howard and Joe, but I can take it. I was being a bit of a turd. I found it especially amusing that I stand accused of being both a supporter of Obama and McCain (via Palin). The truth is I am Libertarian and will be voting for neither of them. I have a big “None of the above” sign on my lawn. (@Joe, I do not wish I had thought of it, and would suggest that you read the mentioned posts before accusing me of having a tenuous grasp of reality. I only have 150 years of economic theory on my side!)

    Fourth, with regard to your firm?s mission be altruistic, I would ask that if you think deeper you would realize that the mission of all firms (indeed all businesses) is altruistic. One of our favorite writers at VeraSage is George Gilder who said, ?Profit is an index of altruism.? See http://www.verasage.com/blog/george_gilders_exacosm/ Profit is nothing of which to be ashamed!

    Fifth, perhaps, it will be over Gilder?s idea that I join you for a pint (or two) at the Londoner. Alas, it will not be for several weeks as my wife is due to deliver our daughter in the next ten days. Thanks for the invite to your symposium, but I must decline for now, perhaps another time, but I will be happy to meet with you.

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