Hanging Out My Shingle

by Jay Cuthrell
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This week we take a look at how one door closes, Job Search Council, Raleigh-Durham Startup Week 2024, and what’s next for me.

Getting Informed

A lot happened this week. Let’s dig into it.

My time at IBM

First, last week was also my last week at IBM. My return to IBM was an amazing privilege. I am incredibly thankful for having the opportunity to make an impact with IBM’s key acquisition companies, roadmaps, clients, and industry analysts. I salute my peers at IBM and the many IBM acquisition companies! ☁️☁️☁️☁️📊🤖🧠🤓🚀

IBM Executive

As is customary, I sent a farewell email to a few of my work peers. However, what is likely to become more customary, is the use of Generative A.I. (GenAI) in the farewell email process.

Help me write an executive level fawewell letter to my peers that I’ve worked with for the past 619 days.

Specifically, I used a watsonx Assistant to craft the rough layout of my farewell letter then added my personalized flourishes. I had my pick of models and compared Granite and Llama. In the end, I went with the Granite options for edits because the Llama model results seemed too unprofessional (amusing perhaps but problematic at best) for my use case, my tastes, and my sensibilities.

Truly, we are entering a brave new world.

Oh. What about other GenAI options? Well, my results varied widely.

  • Anthropic Claude 3: Way too saccharine for my tastes 🤔
  • OpenAI ChatGPT: Way too many words… and coming from me that’s saying something 🤣
  • Google Gemini: Way too many hallucinations about me and my reasons for leaving 🤷

Granted, I could have likely tuned and attenuated the prompts for better results. However, I didn’t want to turn a farewell letter into an extended prompt engineering exercise. watsonx Assistant and Granite got me to the 95% Goldilocks mark by capturing my sentiments accurately and succinctly.

BTW — Fellow IBMers and IBM acquisition company peers — If you didn’t get my Granite-inspired farewell email and are reading this update: Please stay in touch!

Job Search Council

Second, I am proud to be part of a newly formed Job Search Council (JSC). A JSC is where Never Search Alone techniques are used within a mutual support group to find jobs that each of the group members will love.

I am honored to join my fellow JSC members on this journey. We are meeting weekly over the next 2-3 months where I commit to put in the 80+ hours required for this effort.

High Energy Enthusiasm

Third, I was fortunate to attend Raleigh-Durham Startup Week 2024. The event was free to attend thanks to the generous support of the sponsors and co-working spaces. In total, there were several dozen sessions, 1,000+ attendees, and almost 100 speakers across 2 cities.

Of particular note, the event used a compelling mobile app from Whova that I hope SXSW will consider for SXSW 2026. One of the cool features that Whova offered was the ability to create, coordinate, and update attendee meetups. As a result, I was able to quickly create an ad hoc newsletter writer meetup with only a few clicks. 🤓

Hello World

Third, I am hanging out my shingle again. After soaking up some Raleigh-Durham Startup Week 2024 positive vibes energy and pulling a late evening website refresh, I shared a quick update on LinkedIn.

Of course, now the real work begins. Right now, I’m using my cuthrell.com domain for Mastdon/Fediverse purposes. Eventually, I’ll decide on any other shorthand .TLD variants but cuthrell.consulting will get the job done for now.

Initially, I’ll be offering very specific niche services:

For startups and emerging technology companies

  • Fractional strategic roles for product-led, community-led, channel-led, sales-led, and M&A-led growth
  • Enterprise advisory services for pragmatic GenAI and data platforms

For Telco, Media, and Entertainment companies

  • Fractional strategic roles for product-led and sales-led growth
  • Convergence advisory services for pragmatic GenAI and data platforms

For Venture Capital and investment companies

  • Fractional strategic roles at portfolio companies
  • Diligence advisory services

Over my 25+ year career timeline, I’ve developed a niche expertise in concurrent nested mergers and acquisitions. As for why I believe that M&A is going to be a bigger story in 2024 than years prior… a few data points:

  • This quote post on LinkedIn has almost 10,000 views. 📈
  • This quote post on LinkedIn from McKinsey indicates crossing beyond the $1T M&A activity mark is likely. 📈

My theory is that acquisition-led growth companies in 2024 are going to need experts to come in with a neutral dispassionate approach to combine, align, and unify the roadmaps across multiple acquired companies during the integration process for value creation. And, I believe I am that expert to act as a catalyst to realize truly accretive acquisition outcomes.

At some point, I’ll write about my Many D’s approach to M&A in a future Fudge Sunday edition. For now, I’ve put some of my favorite backronyms like GLEEN into the universe of content aggregation within LinkedIn.

Baby steps.

What’s Next

Finally, as for the emerging technologies that I want to align with for cuthrell.consulting, I will be catching up on content from VeloxCon and digging into the Comet roadmap this week with findings presented in future Fudge Sunday newsletter updates. Look for a return to deeply technical topics.

Additionally, I plan to explore a few ideas around GenAI and Fudge Sunday newsletter. For example…you’ll note that I add this to each page I’ve produced on fudge.org has an image and link in the footer:

Written by Human, Not by AI

As a reminder, the words you are seeing in Fudge Sunday were created by me. However, the world of GenAI might have a place in my workflow going forward. A few weeks ago, Marshall Kirkpatrick piqued my GenAI curiosity 🤔 for how I could apply it to Fudge Sunday. Last week, Elizabeth Quintanilla expanded my mind 🤯 with her GenAI skills on Canva, Adobe, and more. So, stay tuned.

What’s the probability that Fudge Sunday will become a GenAI summarized, podcasted, and vertical video published output in 2024?

Until then… place your bets.


I am linking to my disclosure.

p.s. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate getting snail mail. If you have time to drop me a postcard, I’m going to be scanning the picture side of the postcards I’ve received and linking to a Fudge Sunday Reader Postcards gallery (with suitable redactions and filtering for greater anonymity) as a newsletter trailer of sorts. Stay tuned! ✉️


✍️ 🤓 Edit on Github 🐙 ✍️

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