"Research in Motion (RIM) reported grim Q4 results Thursday and announcedsweeping personnel changes. Leading the parade of departing execs is Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of the company, who has given up his board seat. David Yach, who has been CTO of software for the company for 13 years, is retiring. And Jim Rowan, chief operating officer of global operations, who has been with the company for four years, is leaving to pursue other interests.”
We’ve always believed that the perceived quality boost that comes from using high-end cables is really just a trick of the mind (read: justifying the ridiculous cost of premium cables to yourself) — if you’ve dropped enough cash, you can probably hear anything you want. Still, our belief is one thing — cold hard proof is another, and it looks like a group of 12 self-professed “audiophiles” recently couldn’t tell the difference between Monster 1000 speaker cables and plain old coat hangers. Yeah, coat hangers. The group was A-Bing different cables, and unbeknownst to them, the engineer running the test swapped out a set of cables for coat hangers with soldered-on speaker connections. Not a single one was then able to tell the difference between the Monster Cable and the hangers, and all agreed that the hangers sounded excellent. No wonder Monster has to rig HD displays. Still, we bet people still fall for the hype — oh hey, if you’re looking for the ultimate in sound, we’ve got half a meter of oxygen-free, triple-wrapped double-insulated Sonically Shielded AmpliSized Egyptian Llama cable here that we’ll part ways with for just a couple grand.
We’ll be straight with you — we aren’t inclined to believe that this is even remotely close to factual, but considering the lengths big box retailers will go to in order to make sure you leave with a totally overpriced cable or two in your bag, we suppose it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Reportedly,GizmoRepublic walked into an unspecified “big box store” and went to check out a display touting the superiority of Monster cabling. Upon further inspection, he realized that the difference in picture quality wasn’t due to the gold-plating or fancy braiding, but rather the use of composite cables on the non-Monster TV. Of course, there are photos of the scene posted in the read link, but even still, we’ve got our reservations about the whole thing. Regardless of what happened in one particular store in one particular setup, one thing’s still quite clear: there’s simply no need to waste your hard-earned dollars paying for fancy packaging.
Record some conversations (with the other person’s agreement, natch) and see if you’re doing something annoying–saying “uh …” in the middle of every sentence, for instance, or slapping a “you know …” at the end.
Important: Never, ever turn a statement into a question by putting a little uptick at the end; it’s a huge credibility killer. Same goes for regional accents that carry a stigma in other regions. If necessary, hire a vocal coach.
2. Always have an agenda.
Never have a business conversation, especially on the phone, without knowing exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. This is also a good idea when meeting face to face or emailing, but it’s even more important during a phone call. Two key reasons:
You may not have the other person’s full attention.
Unlike email, it’s real time–which means you can’t craft a message and then edit it before hitting “send.”
3. Listen (really) to the other person.
When in a conversation, most people barely hear what the other person is saying; instead, they’re thinking about what they’re going to say next. That’s really stupid during a phone conversation because nuances are much harder to catch than if you’re face to face.
It takes a bit of practice, but what you need to do is suspend your “what do I say next?” until after the other person is done speaking.
4. Take a second before each response.
When you pause before responding, the other person knows that you’ve listened. If, by contrast, you jump right in immediately with your response (or worse, cut the other person off), you’ve just communicated that you think your own thoughts are far more important than anything the other person could have said.
5. Listen (really) to your own voice.
This is the flip side of listening to the other person. When in a conversation, most people, as they talk, are thinking about what the other person is going to say next. That almost guarantees you’ll communicate poorly.
Instead, listen to your own voice as if you were listening to another person. (By the way, this is much easier if you’re following rules 1 and 3.)
6. Adapt your tonality to match.
As you speak, gradually take on the least obvious elements of other person’s voice. The key here is to make it subtle, not obvious–lest the changes fall flat or, worse, seem mocking.
Recruiters don’t find people jobs: The average job seeker has it all mixed up – recruiters don’t go out and find jobs, recruiters find candidates. They match candidates with open positions given to them by their client companies. Recruiters are tasked with filling these job requisitions. If you’re planning on working with recruiters, understand that they are often looking for very specific types of candidates – don’t get offended if you don’t match.
Recruiters are part of the bigger picture: With this in mind, job seekers should embrace one or more recruiters as part of their overall job seeking strategy – not as an end-all solution. Professional networking, social media sites, and other job seeking channels should still be utilized to maximize individual job leads. Job seekers should recognize that recruiters can open additional doors for them and are inevitably part of the larger job market landscape.
Recruiters and job seekers need to work together: It’s all about teamwork. Job seekers should be honest about their credentials and in turn, recruiters will work hard to push their profile towards befitting opportunities. Be open and upfront about your current compensation and future expectations and recruiters will get the interviews rolling. If everything works out, the recruiter makes a placement and you get a new job – both sides win when there’s mutual respect and understanding.
I know a lot of creative people are aware of this idea in theory, but I’m not sure how many put it into practice. Every time I am having trouble writing a strategy for a client, or coming up with a new name or headline, the answer never comes sitting at my desk. At my computer, when I’m stuck, my mind and mouse start wandering to Facebook, and then email, and then back to Facebook. I’ve checked Facebook four times writing this article!
But if I get up to take a walk or get a coffee, the pressure is off and my mind becomes free to focus (it sounds counterintuitive, but it works). I have a client who used to jokingly send me into the hall if we were trying to solve something. The same is of course true for travel and time off, but even on a very small scale, leaving your personal space for just a few minutes can make a huge difference in generating new ideas. So don’t underestimate the power of a change in scenery.
2. Don’t specialize.
At my branding and design consultancy, we often have clients ask to see what else we’ve done in their category. And we have to explain to them that we’ve purposely stayed broad in terms of the types of clients we work with, to avoid the pitfalls that come from doing the same thing over and over again. Within every category, there’s so much imitation and repetition: It’s why every fashion site ends up looking like every other fashion site, and every bakery ends up with the same cutesy logo. But by broadening our portfolio, we don’t rip ourselves off. It’s how we’re able to bring fresh thinking and produce ideas that are truly differentiated. The answer is not to be a dilettante, but I do think it’s worthwhile (and more fun) to spread your work and talent across different scopes and processes.
3. Stop reading business books.
Okay, there are some business books that are really great, and I’m not saying NEVER to read them. But if that’s all you’re reading, I will kindly suggest that you’re wasting your time. In general, you learn so much more about business from doing than from reading about it. Fiction, on the other hand (or interesting nonfiction that’s not about your industry), exposes you to new worlds and new perspectives. It reveals things about yourself and doesn’t just give you new information that’s in one ear and out the other—it actually gets you to think differently, which applies to everything you do. That’s why I’m always more excited about potential job candidates with degrees in things like French literature or neuroscience than marketing and dommunications.
It’s official: There are lines that even Facebook won’t cross. Noting on its company blog a “distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information,” Facebook has moved to make it a violation of the social network’s terms of service to “share or solicit a Facebook password.”
This is apparently happening to actual people: The Associated Press described a situation of one Justin Bassett who was asked by an interviewer for his Facebook password when his basic account wasn’t revealing enough. He refused, and withdrew his application for the job.
Erin Egan, chief privacy officer for Policy at Facebook said the social network would also beadvocating for laws that would ban this sort of thing. Maryland and Illinois are both looking into possible legislation that would forbid public agencies to request access to social network sites, adding: “Facebook takes your privacy seriously.”
It does? Social networking has certainly stretched the bounds of what people think of as private, placing all kinds of personal details into the public sphere. So Facebook’s stand faced skepticism by some.
As the Atlantic Wire noted, “Suddenly, Facebook is in the privacy business.” Now that Facebook has filed for its IPO, that may be very good for business. The article also notes, “That whole, privacy-is-over message didn’t go over well with Facebook’s 350 million users in 2010, and so in 2012, Facebook is singing a very different tune.”
The ACLU complained about the practice, calling it an “invasion of privacy" and likening it to an employer going through your snail mail: "You’d be appalled if your employer insisted on opening up your postal mail to see if there was anything of interest inside. It’s equally out of bounds for an employer to go on a fishing expedition through a person’s private social media account."
You’ve heard the adage, “Hire the right people, and everything else is easy.” That may be true, but it’s also unrealistic—especially in start-ups and rapidly growing, innovative businesses. Mistakes are made in hiring; high-potential peope fizzle out, burn out, or check out. Every owner eventually leads a workforce with mixed talent and ability.
And inevitably, one member of the workorce comes in dead last.
In that situation, the temptation is to fix the weak link. Under pressure from other team members who resent the poor performer, you start to squander time and energy in righteous indignation, remediation, and repair. It’s a dispositional world view—if only you could fix this one person, the organization would be better. I once took charge of an organization where a direct report actually told me, “Here we spend 90% of our time on the worst 10% of our performers.” If the worst are taking energy away from the best at your company, there is no way you are performing to capacity, and your leadership will be distracted and ineffectual.
How great leaders handle the problem
So what should you do? Great leaders reframe this issue, and start working on behalf of the team instead of fixing the “eaches”—a more situational world view.
Many years ago I saw this play out on a planning staff run by then-Lieutenant Colonel David Petraeus. It became clear that a few of us were substantially weaker than others. Petraeus had the power to fire and hire, but turnover creates its own set of challenges. Rather than spending his time trying to fix individuals, the future four-star drilled into team development using the weak performance as team indicators, rather than individual failings.
We became better—not in spite of the weakest performers, but because of them. Their performance focused us on organizational vulnerabilities and areas where we could make changes to strengthen our processes. Our team took responsibility for each other’s products, worked together, and all boats rose. We sometimes worked around those who needed help, touching up their work, making sure that the team didn’t fail. We were respectful of people trying their very best but falling a little short, and everyone learned to critique unemotionally. I loved working on that staff, and in just a few months with no personnel changes, we became very, very good.
Why the weak performer is a gift
The primary insight is that poor performance points to conditions in the organization that allow it to occur. What a gift that can be! In the long run, it’s usually more important for you to address those conditions than it is to fret over a single weak employee. Is there a flaw in the hiring process that, if fixed, could improve hiring across the organization? How can on-boarding be improved so that everyone’s potential is maximized? Are the right assessments and metrics in place to help predict problems before they take the organization down? Are other leaders in the right place at the right time? Is there sufficient coaching? Is there sufficient guidance provided so that people make the right decisions? The list goes on.
A single poor performer can capture a leader’s attention and energy like a drowning person taking a would-be rescuer to the bottom. Team rescues, on the other hand, always succeed
Facebook has spoken out against businesses that demand Facebook usernames and passwords from their employees and prospective hires.
“In recent months, we’ve seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information. This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability,” Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan writes in a Friday blog post.
“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends.”
Reports of such practices are widespread. In June 2009, the city of Bozeman, Montana made headlines when it was revealed that its job applications forms asked for usernames and passwords for the job seekers accounts on “social networking,” including everything from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Google. Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union took aim at the Maryland Department of Corrections after it asked a Maryland man for his Facebook credentials during a recertification interview. And just this week, the Calgary Herald reported on a similar incident in Canada.
A day before this report, US Senator Richard Blumenthal told Politico that such requests are an “unreasonable invasion of privacy” and that they should be prohibited in the business world, much like lie detector tests.
In her blog post, Facebook’s Egan went on to say that Facebook would take action to protect the privacy and security of its users by engaging policymakers or “initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.”
Some took this to mean Facebook would consider legal action against employers who asked employees and prospective hires for login info. Asked to clarify this comment, the company spokesman told Wired: “While we do not have any immediate plans to take legal action against any specific employers, we look forward to engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders, to help better safeguard the privacy of our users.”
As more of a general warning, Egan also argued that employers may take on an unexpected legal burden if an employee should actually turn over Facebook information. If the user’s information suggests they committed a crime, Egan said, the employer may have a legal responsibility to notify the police.
suraj.sun tips an article at AnandTech about a Blu-ray DRM scheme called Cinavia. The author makes the case that software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling to compete with online media streaming. Quoting:"In our opinion, it is the studios and the Blu-ray system manufacturers who have had the say in deciding upon the suitability of a particular DRM scheme. Consumers have had to put up with whatever has been thrust upon them. The rise in popularity of streaming services (such as Netflix and Vudu) which provide instant gratification should make the Blu-ray industry realize its follies. The only reason that streaming services haven’t completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don’t have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud. … The addition of new licensing requirements such as Cinavia are preventing the natural downward price progression of Blu-ray related technology. Instead of spending time, money and effort on new DRM measures that get circumvented within a few days of release, the industry would do well to lower the launch price of Blu-rays. There is really no justification for the current media pricing."
For many in the entrepreneurship game, long hours are a badge of honor. Starting a business is tough, so all those late nights show how determined, hard working and serious about making your business work you are, right?
Wrong. According to a handful of studies, consistently clocking over 40 hours a week just makes you unproductive (and very, very tired).
The most essential thing to know about the 40-hour work-week is that, while it was the unions that pushed it, business leaders ultimately went along with it because their own data convinced them this was a solid, hard-nosed business decision….
Evan Robinson, a software engineer with a long interest in programmer productivity (full disclosure: our shared last name is not a coincidence) summarized this history in a white paper he wrote for the International Game Developers’ Association in 2005. The original paper contains a wealth of links to studies conducted by businesses, universities, industry associations and the military that supported early-20th-century leaders as they embraced the short week. ‘Throughout the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, these studies were apparently conducted by the hundreds,’ writes Robinson; ‘and by the 1960s, the benefits of the 40-hour week were accepted almost beyond question in corporate America. In 1962, the Chamber of Commerce even published a pamphlet extolling the productivity gains of reduced hours.’
What these studies showed, over and over, was that industrial workers have eight good, reliable hours a day in them. On average, you get no more widgets out of a 10-hour day than you do out of an eight-hour day.
Robinson does acknowledge that working overtime isn’t always a bad idea. “Research by the Business Roundtable in the 1980s found that you could get short-term gains by going to 60- or 70-hour weeks very briefly — for example, pushing extra hard for a few weeks to meet a critical production deadline,” she wrote. But Robinson stressed that “increasing a team’s hours in the office by 50 percent (from 40 to 60 hours) does not result in 50 percent more output…In fact, the numbers may typically be something closer to 25-30 percent more work in 50 percent more time.”
The clear takeaway here is to stop staying at the office so late, but getting yourself to actually go home on time may be more difficult psychologically than you imagine.
As author Laura Vanderkam has pointed out, for many of us, there’s actually a pretty strong correlation between how busy we are and how important we feel. “We live in a competitive society, and so by lamenting our overwork and sleep deprivation — even if that requires workweek inflation and claiming our worst nights are typical — we show that we are dedicated to our jobs and our families,” she wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal.
Long hours, in other, words are often more about proving something to ourselves than actually getting stuff done.
Are your 55+ hour weeks really productive and sustainable?
Thought all those shattered screens and iPhone 4 backplates would push Apple towards making mobile devices machined from aluminum like its laptops and tablets? Think again, friends, because a newly published patent application from Cupertino indicates the company is considering crafting portable computing devices out of glass. The app claims a “substantially seamless enclosure … extruded in its entirety with glass material” so that wireless signals can freely flow to and fro, along with a method for manufacturing such a device. Naturally, this is only an application, and it doesn’t say exactly what kind of super-durable glass would make this a desirous design change. So, who knows if we’ll ever see an all-glass exterior on an iPhone or iPod, but you can get a more in-depth peek at that potential future at the source link below. You can also get a glance at what’ll be Android’s new anthem should that glass-filled future come to pass.
Here are three keys to making really good decisions:
1. The first key is not to make bad ones. That begins with self- awareness — becoming more attentive to the physical signs that you’re feeling a sense of threat. The most common ones are tightness in any part of your body, more rapid breathing, and the experience of anger or fear. The intensity of an emotion is not a reason to act on it.
Instead, when you recognize what’s happening in your body, take a couple of deep breaths — breathe in to a count of three, out to a count of six. Then feel your feet, which will ground you back in reality.
All you’re trying to do here is buy time. It’s only when you quiet your physiology that you can think clearly and reflectively about how best to respond.
2. The next challenge in making good decisions is cultivating perspective. The primitive parts of our brains aren’t wired to take the future into consideration, and tend to seek out instead the most immediate source of gratification, or the route to the least pain and discomfort.
Too often, we use our prefrontal cortex to rationalize our shortsighted choices, rather than to foresee their future consequences. “It’s ok to have this dessert because I worked out this morning,” you tell yourself, even though it was your first workout in a month and your 10th dessert. Or: “I’ll put off that difficult work because I’ve just got to deal with these urgent emails” — only to find you’re too tired to get to the tougher stuff later.
The antidote is to ask yourself a simple question each time you’re contemplating a difficult decision: Which choice is going to add the greatest value and serve me best over time? Plainly, there are instances when you simply have to do what’s most urgent. But it’s also easy to kid yourself that you’ve always got urgent demands and never have prioritize time for what’s harder to do, but will truly add value.
One solution is to schedule your most important work as early as possible in the day, when you typically have the most energy and the fewest accumulated demands.
3. The highest challenge we all face is doing the right thing — especially when it doesn’t necessarily serve our immediate self-interest. Doing so requires knowing what you truly stand for. Then what you need most is conviction, because choosing the right thing may involve sacrifice and discomfort.
It’s the difference between doing what makes you feel good — a couple of beers can get you there — and doing what makes you feel good about yourself.
If you deeply value honesty, do you warn a client away from a product about which you have doubts, even if it means losing a sale? If you are committed to kindness and consideration of others, do you choose to help out a friend in need, even when you’re feeling exhausted or overburdened?
Once again, you can begin by asking yourself a simple question: What would I do here at my best? Meaning, “Who do you really want to be?” Intentionally embodying your values in your everyday behavior requires the courage to intentionally override your more primitive impulses.
Think for a moment about someone who recently triggered you — pushed you deep into negative emotions. How did you react? Did it get you what you really wanted? Was it consistent with the person you want to be?
“Jenna-Louise Coleman will be the newest companion to the Doctor (Matt Smith) on the hit series Doctor Who. The announcement came earlier today on the BBC’s Twitter page devoted to the program, along with some other details about the upcoming season of the show. Miss Coleman is also known for her previous roles on Emmerdaleand Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Most of the focus at most companies is on what’s directly ahead. The leaders lack “peripheral vision.” This can leave your company vulnerable to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. To anticipate well, you must:
Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industry
Search beyond the current boundaries of your business
Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better
“Conventional wisdom” opens you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing. But if you swallow every management fad, herdlike belief, and safe opinion at face value, your company loses all competitive advantage. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill you must force yourself to:
Reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes
Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including their own
Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions
Ambiguity is unsettling. Faced with it, the temptation is to reach for a fast (and potentially wrongheaded) solution. A good strategic leader holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. To get good at this, you have to:
Seek patterns in multiple sources of data
Encourage others to do the same
Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously
Many leaders fall pretty to “analysis paralysis.” You have to develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive at a “good enough” position. To do that well, you have to:
Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter
Balance speed, rigor, quality and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers
Take a stand even with incomplete information and amid diverse views
Total consensus is rare. A strategic leader must foster open dialogue, build trust and engage key stakeholders, especially when views diverge. To pull that off, you need to:
Understand what drives other people’s agendas, including what remains hidden
Bring tough issues to the surface, even when it’s uncomfortable
Assess risk tolerance and follow through to build the necessary support
As your company grows, honest feedback is harder and harder to come by. You have to do what you can to keep it coming. This is crucial because success and failure—especially failure—are valuable sources of organizational learning. Here’s what you need to do:
Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons
Shift course quickly if you realize you’re off track
Celebrate both success and (well-intentioned) failures that provide insight
We lead busy lives and use our limited time as an excuse to procrastinate and avoid getting things done, but often claiming we don’t have time is a lie. It’s a lie we tell others and ourselves. It helps us believe we’ll never get anything done, and this is a problem. Fortunately, the solution might be as simple as changing your language. Wall Street Journal writer Laura Vanderkam explains:
Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
It’s a simple idea, and a great one. Our language is often used to provide a polite answer when the truth might be hard to hear. Sometimes we even subject ourselves to more polite language and end up in situations like this one. How you use your time is very important. It’s a limited resource and shouldn’t be wasted. Don’t risk putting it to poor use by failing to be honest with yourself and others about your priorities in life. Alter your language and you may just discover what’s most important.
Canadian businesses and governments are lagging several western nations in the “Internet economy” and are being warned that they risk falling even further behind unless they take immediate and more aggressive action.
The Internet contributed $49-billion to Canada’s gross domestic product last year, representing 3 per cent of the country’s economy, a report to be released Monday by the Boston Consulting Group estimates. It is projected to hit $76-billion by 2016, or 3.6 per cent of GDP.
Leading strategic marketing and research consultancy KAE, in conjunction with Toluna, a global pioneer in online polls, surveys and opinions, this week reveal the startling findings of a new research study into the opinions of consumers towards the potential of technology giant, Apple, breaking into the banking sector.
The survey, using Toluna’s global research panel community of 4 million consumers worldwide, collected data from over 5,000 respondents, across the US and UK, and revealed that one in ten people (10%) would consider banking with Apple. Of those who are already Apple customers, 43% would consider switching to Apple for their day to day banking needs.
The impressive levels of trust generated between Apple and their customers was the main reason given for a possible switch to an Apple Bank, with around two-thirds citing their trust in the brand (66%) as the primary reason, and just over half claiming they think Apple would make their account easy to access and manage, as well as providing a reliable service.
It comes as no surprise that the majority (81%) of people who would bank with Apple are technology savvy and currently do their banking online. In terms of overall attitudes towards banking, the study also found that these consumers display great interest in using their smartphone for personal banking (62%), and are even of the opinion that call centres may not exist in the future as everything will be done online (53%).
Of those surveyed in the UK, almost one in five currently bank with Lloyds Banking Group (18%) or Barclays (14%), while in the US almost a quarter (23%) are with Bank of America and around one in ten with JP Morgan Chase (11%).
MD of KAE, David Rankin, commented: “Apple would face no capital constraints in building a deposits base. With a proven ability to cross-sell additional products, along with the highest sales per square foot of any retailer and an affluent customer base, it wouldn’t take long for Apple to become one of the most profitable consumer banks in recent times. Once the power of the Apple brand and its options for growth are understood, it tends to prompt one of three responses from financial institutions: accelerated invention, defensive benchmarking or blissful issue avoidance. We know that not everyone would be impressed by the arrival of an ‘iBank’; we also know that the boldness of the next big Apple move will inspire and terrify in equal measure”.
"The strength of Apple’s relationship with consumers is a result of its ability to redefine the terms of competition in an industry and design emotionally rich ‘human’ experiences", said Lee Powney, Chief Commercial Officer at KAE. “This research tells us Apple customers perceive a fit where at first glance we would assume the brand could not travel. To observe a ‘wrong’ and ‘make right’ is a core characteristic of this business. Apple’s ethos, its way of being and way of doing is instinctively understood by its customers. This makes it a truly dangerous animal to a startling array of sectors”
On the likelihood of Apple entering into this sector, Powney also added “When you look at the possible cross fertilisation effects on purchases of moving this amount of cash into the model, and the resulting increases in preference for its platform from developers and content owners, it would take a remarkable display of discipline to resist. However it would be very ‘un-Apple’ to simply enter into a market without changing the terms of competition”
[brightcove video=”1518744714001” /] Do you have tons of Facebook friends and often update your status? If so, you may be a narcissist, a new study suggests. Research from Western Illinois University showed a link between the number of Facebook friends you have and how active you are on the…
"Google has once again stood up in court for the rights of users and services online, this time defending Hotfile from copyright infringement accusations. [Quoting the article]: ‘Google takes a sort of hard-line approach via the DMCA, telling the court that however the MPAA may try to mislead them, Hotfile is in fact protected under safe harbor provisions. And furthermore, Google suggests that the MPAA’s approach iscontrary to the language in and precedents surrounding the DMCA. The onus is on copyright holders to alert a service to the nature and location of an infringement, and the service’s responsibility is to alert the user if possible and remove the material within a reasonable period of time’”The full brief has been uploaded to Scribd. The MPAA, naturally, has requested that the amicus brief be rejected by the court: “Google’s proposed brief appears to be part of a systematic effort by Google, itself a defendant in ongoing copyright infringement cases, to influence the development of the law to Google’s own advantage — as well as an effort by Hotfile (whose counsel also represent Google) to circumvent its page limits. Google is acting as a partisan advocate for Hotfile, making arguments that Hotfile has or could have made in its own opposition to summary judgment. The parties here are well-represented and have the incentive and wherewithal to make all the arguments the court will need. Although Google purports not to take a position regarding summary judgment here, Google unmistakably seeks a ruling against plaintiffs. Google’s motion should be denied”
Most people in Western societies are ineffective, passive listeners. We are trained to treat conversations like tennis matches. Each person lobs the conversation back and forth, but there are few thoughtful pauses between each volley. Seth agrees. He encourages entrepreneurs to be active listeners by “listening to hear, versus listening to get your damn opinion in. Waiting to talk, that is how we work. That is not listening, that is waiting to say something.”
2. Empty the “cup”
Seth encourages entrepreneurs to allow the other party in a conversation to thoroughly divulge their thoughts without interruption or interpretation. He has used this approach to transform contentious arguments into constructive, meaningful dialogues, including particularly angry confrontations.
3. Let go of analysis paralysis
Don’t get stuck strategizing; get out there and make stuff happen. Seth urges emerging entrepreneurs to “be on the playing field, not in your head. Too many people spend their time in the bleachers commenting about business, but where you are really going to learn something is on the playing field. On the playing field is talking to customers. Get on the playing field.”
4. Go streaking
When confronted with the opportunity to streak, most people initially recoil, but not entrepreneur-types. ”You got an idea, you want to go talk to someone, your brain goes cuckoo…like you are streaking. Your brain will talk you out of stuff. Jump. Go. Shut your mind up. Take action. You know you are doing the right thing when you are pushing yourself. If you are safe, you are not an entrepreneur.”
Seth sees strong corollaries between starting a venture and streaking. “Sometimes when you go into meetings, it feels like taking off your clothes and going, ‘I’m here’,” he says.
Similarly, although operating a start-up is often frightening, it is also exhilarating. “It is such a thrill when you do it…you feel this incredible joy and high,” he adds.
5. Cycle through breakdowns and breakthroughs
Seth believes that success at a start-up is predicated upon a series of breakdowns, which are punctuated by periodic breakthroughs. In Seth’s words: “How fast you can fall off the horse and get back on is how fast you can move.”
Successful entrepreneurs tenaciously grapple with each breakdown until they achieve a breakthrough. Those who do not have the stamina or creativity to master this process generally give up after failing to overcome the first few breakdowns.
6. Be unreasonable
The foundational underpinning of entrepreneurshipis the willingness to be unreasonable. Seth tells his audience that, “You guys need to practice being unreasonable. People will call you…crazy, get a job, whatever. Going the extra mile, asking for more, having more conversations…this is a critical ingredient to being a good entrepreneur, being unreasonable. The more you can stretch, the more outrageous you can be, do it.”
7. Shut up and start
This is the most straightforward entrepreneurship tool: Just start. “I hear so many people say, ‘I’m going to write this plan….it’s not going to go as planned. So when you write your plan, realize…it’s like writing a fairy tale. It’s not going to happen that way. Shut up and start. Have the courage to fail.”
With the help of Ars’s Macintosh Achaia to refine the points for this article, here are ten annoyances that will remain with us as part of iOS—at least until the next iOS release rolls around.
Ever type an URL in Safari and see a short pause on the second or third letter as browsing history is searched? These senior Safari moments and other performance complaints on older hardware will not cease with iOS 5.1. Any additional snappiness or better battery life will be, at best, subjective.
There will be no iDisk replacement because buying Dropbox was both Plan A and Plan B, that is unless Plan A is the end of discrete file management in Apple’s vision of personal computing. That would also explain the current OS X Finder.
Syncing will still not really be syncing. Delete a contact or calendar event on an iOS device and it rightly disappears everywhere. Delete content like podcasts or movies and everything reappears when synced unless deleted from the computer running iTunes. We’re still waiting for post-PC equality.
Mail needs work. There’s still no junk mail filtering on iOS devices, and if filtering is too CPU intensive or battery draining, how hard would it be to allow marking junk mail for the server side of things? Signatures by mail account is another simple improvement, too. Collapsable folders and sub-folders would be another.
Notification Center also remains unfinished. Little annoyances, like “Clear” buttons so small they appear designed for Homo floresiensis, will remain tiny. All notifications will remain from all calendars, as well, even though Calendar itself allows hiding calendars from view. Don’t expect Notification Center on the iPad to actually use the larger display any time soon, either.
Messages still continues to treat the same person sending a text from different sources as different people, despite Contacts understanding that people have more than one phone number or e-mail address.
While Photo Stream finally allows for the deletion of indiscriminate pictures, does it matter if Photo Stream can’t really be shared? You can pay $4.99 for iPhoto, and most will, but why isn’t there a Photo Stream website for all to see whether or not that’s an iPhone in your pocket?
Imagine going to the grocery store and being forced to buy one item and leave before coming back for something else. Welcome to the App Store, which kicks you entirely out of the app after every purchase.
There will probably never be a visual indicator for the menu bar showing the iPhone is muted. You can just stare at the side of the iPhone instead of the display, or put hand in pocket and finger the switch to see if it vibrates.
You will continue to be unable to delete applications like Weather or Stocks on your iOS device. Yep. Still.
One could go on, and some will no doubt disagree on the validity of some choices, but there’s another point to be made. Apple will easily sell 100 million iOS devices this year, perhaps as many as 200 million. Those buying will very likely continue to report the highest level of satisfaction with Apple’s handhelds and tablets. It’s hard to find disappointment in that.
For years, the 40-hour work week was recognized as the sweet spot for workplace productivity and profits, a system, which AlterNet’s Sara Robinson points out, is backed by 150 years of research. Every hour you work beyond 40 actually makes you “less effective and productive over both the short and the long haul.” But you don’t have to be a social scientist to notice that this wisdom seems to be going by the wayside. In fact, most of us just need to take a glance at our own working hours.
In an excellent (and long—you may want to bookmark this in you read-it-later app of choice) essay titled Why We Have to Go Back to a 40-Hour Work Week to Keep Our Sanity, Robinson lays out the decades of research backing the 40-hour work week wisdom and how it applies to both manual laborers and knowledge workers, discusses how a down economy and the “passion” of Silicon Valley helped us lose sight of these well-documented facts, and ultimately calls for the return of the 40-hour work week—not just as a route to better health, sanity, and productivity for all, but also as a way to create jobs, arguing that “[f]or every four Americans working a 50-hour week, every week, there’s one American who should have a full-time job, but doesn’t.” Robinson’s conclusion says it all:
For the good of our bodies, our families, our communities, the profitability of American companies, and the future of the country, this insanity has to stop. Working long days and weeks has been incontrovertibly proven to be the stupidest, most expensive way there is to get work done. Our bosses are depleting resources from of the human capital pool without replenishing them. They are taking time, energy, and resources that rightfully belong to us, and are part of our national common wealth.
1. Create competitions in which one employee will be promoted and the other won’t.
You may think it’s a great way to create internal competition but someone is going to lose and hold a grudge against you, the winner, and the company. Instead look for win-win ways to develop your whole team.
2. Be blind to your employees’ goals, dreams, and job satisfaction.
The more you know about what motivates your employees and the more interest you have in their happiness and success, the more they will bring that enthusiasm to work. Even if you can’t provide a job for them that satisfies 100% of their hopes and desires there are always ways to incorporate what they love into what they do.
3. Hold someone back because he does his job well.
Have you ever said to yourself: “He is sooo good at what he does that I can’t afford to change his position”? Be honest. If so, start planning to help your employees grow and grooming others under them, or you will probably lose them.
4. Reward just the squeaky wheels.
Squeaky wheels often get the grease, it’s true. But there are also folks who don’t self-promote but deserve development and congratulations nonetheless. Do you know who they are? What are you doing to recognize them.
5. Assume an employee doesn’t understand the bigger picture.
In my case, the manager chose not to help me understand how I fit into the overall success of the restaurant. He communicated that I was important only in so far as the work was concerned—but he really could care less about me on a broader level. Most people want their work to make a vital contribution. It’s the leaders job to help them see how to get there and to show them a path that has potential successes along the way.