Seven years ago, I ran the first Black Friday sale at BrentOzar.com just for fun. I always like shopping for stuff like TVs around this time of year, even if I don’t actually buy anything – it’s just a fun diversion for looking. However, it caught on with consumers in a big way, so over the years, it became a really big deal for the business. In 2018, we crossed the half-million dollar mark, and then things got better in 2019 as well. Every year, leading up to the sale, I put a lot of thought into two things: What…Read
Yesterday, we announced that we open-sourced a bunch of our SQL Server tools. I say “yesterday,” but I’m writing this weeks in advance because a lot of thought and planning went into this. Here, I’m going to give you the behind-the-scenes story as a small business guy. sp-Blitz and friends were successful. About five years ago, I launched sp_Blitz onstage at the PASS Summit. I wanted to really blow the attendees’ minds by giving them a tool that would make their lives way easier. It worked – that session was voted #2 of the Summit overall. That script inspired more scripts:…Read
I presented a webcast this week for the PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter covering how to get into consulting or contracting. You can watch it now on YouTube: If you like that session, you’ll probably enjoy my past blog posts on consulting & contracting.Read
After today’s bombshell announcement that a subset of SQL Server functionality will run on Linux, I got curious and went dumpster diving. I hopped a flight over to Seattle, rummaged through the dumpster in Redmond, and found a shredded set of meeting notes. It took a long time to piece together, but here we go: Manager: (raps table) “Alright, let’s call this meeting to order. We need to raise the market share of SQL Server. This is the new Microsoft, people. Anything is possible. Let’s think about the truly new and unique. What can we do?” Rand: “People have complained about core-based…Read
At work, we do this weekly Office Hours webcast where people can register, then join a GoToWebinar where we just sit around and answer their questions. It’s half an hour every Wednesday. But if you’re not there live, you miss the whole thing. We used to try recording it, but it was kind of a pain in the rear. We had to set up a separate laptop as an attendee, set up screen recording software, record it, then afterwards edit it down, and upload it to YouTube. We didn’t want to hassle our employees with doing that kind of thing – we…Read
Sales and marketing boils down to these four things: A product – in this case, your skills A brand – what you want people to think of when they think of your product Marketing – getting people to think what you want them to think Sales – getting them to fork over money for your product When most people enter the job market, they only have a product – but no brand or marketing. As a result, their sales effort is hard as hell. With every single sales attempt, you have to convince the hiring managers that your product is the…Read
If you’re thinking about offering something – a piece of software, a service, training, or an e-book – you need to know if people are going to buy it. (And buy includes free stuff, because it costs their time.) Getting the truth is surprisingly hard. I used to think I’d just flat out ask people and they’d be honest with me, especially if I explained that I needed their honesty because I was about to place a big bet on it. Instead, it turns out people want to say yes because they don’t want to insult you and they figure…Read
Friday, Kendra and I launched our newest online training course, The DBA’s Guide to SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery. Here’s a quick glimpse behind the scenes at the work required in launching something like this. Designing and Building the Course Materials November – Course design started – Kendra wrote a profile for the ideal attendee, describing her experience, job duties, and current pain points. This determined the material we’d cover – and the stuff we’d ignore. For example, Kendra wrote, “What’s NOT included? How to install these things. I can figure out how to run a wizard.” November – EU…Read
I bet you hate salespeople. Yeah, for the most part, me too. Bad news: if you start consulting, you’re gonna have to sell your time. You have to figure out how to talk people into signing a contract that says, “We’re going to do ___ for you, and you’re going to pay us $___.” Both of those blanks are completely up for negotiation, and frankly, your customers are in a better negotiating position than you. Would you buy a slightly used consultant from this man? Good news: if you put some work into your company from the start, the sales process doesn’t…Read
“To learn more, go here.” Say this while pointing at the screen, which is displaying a short link to a page on your blog. That page has your list of resources – not just things you’ve written, but things you find interesting about the topic. Why? Because you just got done presenting about a topic you love, and you’ve gotten the audience excited about it too. They already picked your session because they needed help with something, and you’ve shown a few ways to get started. Now they see you as an expert, and they want to keep the learning going.…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in California with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.