venerdì 29 novembre 2013

5 cose su cui smettere di preoccuparsi quando stai cercando di ottenere un lavoro

More and more employers don’t care about your education. It makes sense: the first place social change happens is usually at the workplace because social change is almost always financially prudent. Think about it: hiring women during WWII meant factories could keep operating, so women got equality at work faster than other places. Giving gay partners health benefits gave employers access to a much stronger candidate pool, so gay rights launched from corporations (companies like Disney lead the way).

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giovedì 28 novembre 2013

Simpatica storiella, a quanto sembra vera

On July 20, 1969, as commander of the apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon.
His first words after stepping on the moon, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," were televised to earth and heard by millions.


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venerdì 22 novembre 2013

51 Modi attraverso i quali la gente comune raggiunge l'eccellenza

By Robin Sharma

  1. Know what you want. Clarity is power. And vague goals promote vague results.

  2. Remember that every problem has a solution. Maybe you just can’t see it. Yet.

  3. In this Age of Dramatic Distraction, the performer who focuses the best wins the most.

  4. Before someone will help you, you need to help them.

  5. Become the most passionate person you know. It’ll be contagious.

  6. Know more about your craft/the work you do than anyone who has ever done the work you do…in the history of the world.

  7. Join The 5 am Club. Your most valuable hours are 5am-8am. They have the least interruptions.

  8. Devote yourself to learning something new about your field of mastery every day. Success belongs to the relentless learners. Because as you know more, you can achieve more.

  9. Remember that when you transform your fitness, you’ll transform your business.

  10. Don’t check your mobile when you’re meeting with another person. It’s rude. And rude people don’t reach world-class.

  11. Every time you do what scares you, you take back the power that you gave to the thing that scared you. And so you become more powerful.

  12. A problem is only a problem if you make the choice to see it as a problem.

  13. Stop being a victim. Your business and personal life was made by you. No one else is responsible. To make it better, make better choices. And new decisions.

  14. You can lead without a title. Don’t wait to get a position to stand for excellence, peak quality and overdelivery on every expectation.

  15. Find your own style. Be an original. Every superstar differentiated themselves from The Herd. And marched to their own drumbeat.

  16. Understand that when you play small with your success, you betray your potential. And the birthright you were born under.

  17. Eat less food and you’ll get more done.

  18. As you become more successful, stay really really hungry. Nothing fails like success. Because when you’re successful, it’s easy to stop outlearning+outOverDelivering+outthinking and outexecuting everyone around you. (Success is Beautiful. And dangerous).

  19. If you’re not overprepared, you’re underprepared.

  20. The only level of great manners to play at is “Exceedingly Polite”. In our world, this alone will make you a standout. And differentiate you in your marketplace.

  21. Remember that the moment you think you’re a Master, you lose your Mastery. And the minute you think you know everything, you know nothing.

  22. To double your results, double your level of execution.

  23. Invest in your personal and pro development. All superstars do.

  24. Get this year’s best Targets of Opportunity down onto a 1 Page Plan. Then review it every morning while the rest of the world sleeps.

  25. You don’t get lucky. You create lucky.

  26. When you push through a difficult project, you don’t get to the other side. You reach The Next Level.

  27. Smile. And remember to inform your face.

  28. Spend time in solitude every day. Your best ideas live there.

  29. Debrief on how you lived out your day every night in a journal. This will not only record your personal history, it will make you uber-clear on what you’re doing right and what needs to be improved.

  30. If your not being criticized a lot, you’re not doing very much. Ridicule is the price of ambition.

  31. Develop a monomaniacal focus on just a few things. The secret to productivity is simplicity.

  32. To get the results very few people have, be strong enough to do what very few people are willing to do.

  33. Rest. Recover. It’ll make you stronger.

  34. Buy a smaller TV and build a larger library.

  35. Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal. So goal-achieving is a superb practice for character-building.

  36. Food fuels your body. Learning feeds your mind.

  37. Don’t ask for respect. Earn it.

  38. Finish what you start. And always end strong.

  39. Breathe.

  40. In business, don’t play to survive. Play to win.

  41. Protect your good name. It’s your best asset.

  42. Remember that words have power. Use the language of leadership versus the vocabulary of a victim.

  43. Give more than you take. The marketplace rewards generosity.

  44. Know that if it’s not messy, you’re not making progress.

  45. Be a hero to a kid.

  46. In business, aim for iconic. Go for legendary. Make history by how awesome you are at what you do.

  47. Please don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many many people are simply busy being busy.

  48. Your doubts are liars. Your fears are traitors. Stop buying the goods they are attempting to sell you.

  49. The best anti-aging remedy in the world is working really hard.

  50. World-Class performers have no plan B. Failure just isn’t an option.

  51. You have the power to change the world—one brave act and one person at a time. Please use it.

My best to you!

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giovedì 21 novembre 2013

57 Startup lessons

There are already very good lists of startup lessons written by really talented, experienced people (here and here). I’d like to add another one. I learned these lessons the hard way in the past four years. If you’re starting a company, I hope you have an easier path.
 

People

  1. If you can’t get to ramen profitability with a team of 2 – 4 within six months to a year, something’s wrong. (You can choose not to be profitable, but it must be your choice, not something forced on you by the market).
  2. Split the stock between the founding team evenly.
  3. Always have a vesting schedule.
  4. Make most decisions by consensus, but have a single CEO whose decisions are final. Make it clear from day one.
  5. Your authority as CEO is earned. You start with a non-zero baseline. It grows if you have victories and dwindles if you don’t. Don’t try to use authority you didn’t earn.
  6. Morale is very real and self-perpetuating. If you work too long without victories, your investors, employees, family, and you yourself will lose faith. Work like hell not to get yourself into this position.
  7. Pick the initial team very carefully. Everyone should be pleasant to work with, have at least one skill relevant to the business they’re spectacular at, be extremely effective and pragmatic. Everyone should have product sense and a shared vision for the product and the company.
  8. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Pick a small set of non-negotiable rules that matter to you most and enforce them ruthlessly.
  9. Fire people that are difficult, unproductive, unreliable, have no product sense, or aren’t pragmatic. Do it quickly.
  10. Some friction is good. Too much friction is deadly. Fire people that cause too much friction. Good job + bad behavior == you’re fired.


Fundraising

  1. If you have to give away more than 15% of the company at any given fundraising round, your company didn’t germinate correctly. It’s salvageable but not ideal.
  2. If you haven’t earned people’s respect yet, fundraising on traction is an order of magnitude easier than fundraising on a story. If you have to raise on a story but don’t have the reputation, something’s wrong.
  3. Treat your fundraising pitch as a minimum viable product. Get it out, then iterate after every meeting.
  4. Most investor advice is very good for optimizing and scaling a working business. Listen to it.
  5. Most investor advice isn’t very good for building a magical product. Nobody can help you build a magical product — that’s your job.
  6. Don’t fall in love with the fundraising process. Get it done and move on.


Markets

  1. The best products don’t get built in a vacuum. They win because they reach the top of a field over all other products designed to fill the same niche. Find your field and be the best. If there is no field, something’s wrong.
  2. Work on a problem that has an immediately useful solution, but has enormous potential for growth. If it doesn’t augment the human condition for a huge number of people in a meaningful way, it’s not worth doing. For example, Google touches billions of lives by filling a very concrete space in people’s daily routine. It changes the way people behave and perceive their immediate physical surroundings. Shoot for building a product of this magnitude.
  3. Starting with the right idea matters. Empirically, you can only pivot so far.
  4. Assume the market is efficient and valuable ideas will be discovered by multiple teams nearly instantaneously.
  5. Pick new ideas because they’ve been made possible by other social or technological change. Get on the train as early as possible, but make sure the technology is there to make the product be enough better that it matters.
  6. If there is an old idea that didn’t work before and there is no social or technological change that can plausibly make it work now, assume it will fail. (That’s the efficient market hypothesis again. If an idea could have been brought to fruition, it would have been. It’s only worth trying again if something changed.)
  7. Educating a market that doesn’t want your product is a losing battle. Stick to your ideals and vision, but respect trends. If you believe the world needs iambic pentameter poetry, sell hip hop, not sonnets.


Products

  1. Product sense is everything. Learn it as quickly as you can. Being good at engineering has nothing to do with being good at product management.
  2. Don’t build something that already exists. Customers won’t buy it just because it’s yours.
  3. Make sure you know why users will have no choice but to switch to your product, and why they won’t be able to switch back. Don’t trust yourself — test your assumptions as much as possible.
  4. Ask two questions for every product feature. Will people buy because of this feature? Will people not buy because of lack of this feature? No amount of the latter will make up for lack of the former. Don’t build features if the answer to both questions is “no”.
  5. Build a product people want to buy in spite of rough edges, not because there are no rough edges. The former is pleasant and highly paid, the latter is unpleasant and takes forever.
  6. Beware of chicken and egg products. Make sure your product provides immediate utility.
  7. Learn the difference between people who might buy your product and people who are just commenting. Pay obsessive attention to the former. Ignore the latter.


Marketing

  1. Product comes first. If people love your product, the tiniest announcements will get attention. If people don’t love your product, no amount of marketing effort will help.
  2. Try to have marketing built into the product. If possible, have the YouTube effect (your users can frequently send people a link to something interesting on your platform), and Facebook effect (if your users are on the product, their friends will need to get on the product too).
  3. Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, then do marketing that way. Pick a small set of tasks, do them consistently, and get better every day.
  4. Reevaluate effectiveness on a regular basis. Cut things that don’t work, double down on things that do.
  5. Don’t guess. Measure.
  6. Market to your users. Getting attention from people who won’t buy your product is a waste of time and money.
  7. Don’t say things if your competitors can’t say the opposite. For example, your competitors can’t say their product is slow, so saying yours is fast is sloppy marketing. On the other hand, your competitors can say their software is for Python programmers, so saying yours is for Ruby programmers is good marketing. Apple can get away with breaking this rule, you can’t.
  8. Don’t use supercilious tone towards your users or competitors. It won’t help sell the product and will destroy good will.
  9. Don’t be dismissive of criticism. Instead, use it to improve your product. Your most vocal critics will often turn into your biggest champions if you take their criticism seriously.


Sales

  1. Sales fix everything. You can screw up everything else and get through it if your product sells well.
  2. Product comes first. Selling a product everyone wants is easy and rewarding. Selling a product no one wants is an unpleasant game of numbers.
  3. Be relentless about working the game of numbers while the product is between the two extremes above. Even if you don’t sell anything, you’ll learn invaluable lessons.
  4. Qualify ruthlessly. Spending time with a user who’s unlikely to buy is equivalent to doing no work at all.
  5. Inbound is easier than outbound. If possible, build the product in a way where customers reach out to you and ask to pay.


Development

  1. Development speed is everything.
  2. Minimize complexity. The simpler the product, the more likely you are to actually ship it, and the more likely you are to fix problems quickly.
  3. Pick implementations that give 80% of the benefit with 20% of the work.
  4. Use off the shelf components whenever possible.
  5. Use development sprints. Make sure your sprints aren’t longer than one or two weeks.
  6. Beware of long projects. If you can’t fit it into a sprint, don’t build it.
  7. Beware of long rewrites. If you can’t fit it into a sprint, don’t do it.
  8. If you must do something that doesn’t fit into a sprint, put as much structure and peer review around it as possible.
  9. Working on the wrong thing for a month is equivalent to not showing up to work for a month at all.


Company administration

  1. Don’t waste time picking office buildings, accountants, bookkeepers, janitors, furniture, hosted tools, payroll companies, etc. Make sure it’s good enough and move on.
  2. Take the time to find a good, inexpensive lawyer. It will make a difference.


Personal well-being

  1. Do everything you can not to attach your self esteem to your startup (you’ll fail, but try anyway). Do the best you can every day, then step back. Work in such a way that when the dust settles you can be proud of the choices you’ve made, regardless of the outcome.
  2. Every once in a while, get away. Go hiking, visit family in another city, go dancing, play chess, tennis, anything. It will make you more effective and make the people around you happier.
Da http://www.defmacro.org

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mercoledì 20 novembre 2013

45 Lezioni di vita, scritte da una novantenne

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.


VIA  reginabrett.com


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