NielsenData Blog by Jared Nielsen

Dr. Flint McGlaughlin

Dr. Flint McGlaughlinWhile my experience with Dr. McGlaughlin was brief (over a span of six months or so), I really enjoyed learning as much as possible from him.  He is probably the most thoughtful and insightful person I've spent time with.  Dr. McGlaughlin owns which is a web marketing/SEO/SEM research laboratory that takes existing e-businesses and engages in live, results-oriented research projects that have a precise and tactical improvement on various objectives of each site.  His methodical approach to fact-based marketing (as opposed to intuition-based marketing) was very refreshing and turned me on to many techniques and strategies that I believe carry a lot of value.

I don't believe that instinct and intuition is obsolete, but when that is "validated" with the proper research and benchmarks, it really starts to sing.  Dr. McGlaughlin helped me find that balance that has really helped me professionally.

His sales approach also was a breath of fresh air.  I had often settled with employers and customers for an "hourly fee" but he demonstrated to me that businesses operate on the concept of the value of the solution.  If you can provide a key, critical solution, then determining the value of the "fix" can really help you determine your own "worth"... at least in relation to that business need.

Beyond that, Dr. McGlaughlin demonstrated to me that even determining your "worth" based on raw revenue-generating facts was doing yourself a disservice.  His consistent and dedicated work in the religious community and his non-profit work in India highlighted to me the supreme lack of intrinsic value that money actually held when compared to living a life of dignity and respect.

Now that Dr. McGlaughlin has completed his acquisition of he will only climb higher in the web research space, so perhaps I'll have the privilege of working with him again in the future.  I look forward to that.

Mark A. Trieb, FSA, MAAA, EA, MIAA

Mark A.Trieb HedCutI worked with Mark Trieb at the beginning of my career, as I was fresh out of school and full of spit and vinegar.  He was a young executive, with newly found exponential success as one of the leading principals of a retirement planning consulting organization.  His hard-charging business style drove significant growth for his actuarial offices in Dallas and subsequently Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.  Quick to adapt to software technology (this was the 80's folks), he was a visionary in his day in the realm of financial software applications and the efficiencies that he could gain from them.  This innovation drove Milliman & Robertson to become a prime merger candidate with their European sister company, Bacon & Woodrow whose merger formed the Woodrow Milliman juggernaut.  Mark is still engaged with the evolved company Milliman, Inc. which continues business to this day.

This fertile entrepreneurial ground was where I found myself at the beginning of my career path and I soaked it up with reckless abandon.  Mark taught me some critical principles like hard work, long hours, and the insatiable drive to improve, streamline, and dominate whatever project had to be done.  The work was difficult and I was forced to learn new things every day, but I quickly adapted and adopted his style of business and to this day I believe it has formed me into the man that I am today.

I worked with Mark for over eight years, including a generous sabbatical where I served a two year mission and then returned.  Mark allowed me the opportunity to grow into the rich technology sector including database development, office automation, and data-integrated forms processing systems for 5500-C forms packages.

I will always remember his precision, his driven nature, his narrow focus, and his thirst for not only a good solution, but the best solution.  That innate logic has remained with me for all of these years and I thank him for that influence.

Brian Knight, MCSD, MVP

Brian Knight HedCutI met Brian as I launched my first venture under the guidance of Steve Wilson at the Riverside Group (the holding company for Wickes Lumber - WIKS:NYSE).  I had concluded, in the mid-nineties that it was far preferable to find the best Internet guys in town, pay them a little more, and snatch them from companies that already had deep Internet experience (which in those days was slim pickin's in Jacksonville).  Steve Wilson was a local Jacksonville native and brought me from the Wickes Lumber Intranet department to start a new Internet company in his home turf.  Brian Knight was the first person we interviewed for the new Internet skunkworks team.

I think I'm a pretty good read of people and he just struck me as an absolutely carnivorous learner.  Even though his experience was limited to Cold Fusion and Microsoft Access (that I was aware of), he latched onto the SQL Server materials and tore into them.  Brian proved to me that he also had the same voracious business appetite and very clearly recognized and learned the business reasons for all of the strategies we pursued.  He turned out to be a key influencer in his former workplace and started bringing over many other employees from the ISP where he was working before (Cybermax).  Eventually the president of the company came to my office and pleaded with me to stop hiring all of his people away from him.  That was when we decided to simply acquire their business and organize the plundering into a more humane method.

I drifted from the world at its peak and began my own startup company, but I was struggling to find a good name for it.  Brian had an unused corporate shell and a domain name called Innovative Studios which I purchased from him for a dollar.  That was the start of my roller coaster ride into the world solo and what a wild ride it was!

After I left, Brian turned an emerging career into a lifestyle and began, through hard work and determination, a thriving publishing career (Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services by WROX Press), an astonishing series of corporate acquisitions (he was doing the selling) like and now he is the penultimate SQL Server guru (one of few MVPs in North America) and purveyor of many business strategies such as,, and how many others I can't name.

I have learned from Brian the value of focusing and specializing.  He also taught me the astonishing benefits of publishing and how the power of the printed word (whether in paper or electronic) can truly energize and motivate people.  He clearly is the master of community marketing and engagement, which he easily succeeds at because of his sincerity, humility and honest to goodness care and empathy for people whose technology problems he is engaged with solving.

I'm certainly a better man for having spent time with my friend Brian Knight.