3 Key Life Lessons You Can Learn From A Very Odd Mathematician; If you want to be the best, put in the hours.

JULY 28, 2013 by ERIC BARKER

3 Key Life Lessons You Can Learn From A Very Odd Mathematician

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By all accounts, Paul Erdos was a very odd guy. If you were a friend of Erdos he might show up at your house in the middle of the night wanting to do math and announce, “My brain is open.” He wouldn’t do laundry. If he was staying with you, you had to do it for him. If he wanted to work on a theorem at 5AM he’d bang pots and pans until you came downstairs. He is also one of the world’s most accomplished mathematicians. He collaborated with more people in the field of math than anyone who has ever lived and is recognized as the center of the mathematical world. And people loved him because he brought out the best in them. What made him weird made him great and what made him great made him weird. This is what you can learn from him.

1) If you want to be the best, put in the hours.

Ever since Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success, people have been taken with the idea of 10,000 hours of practice being the threshold of expertise. Paul Erdos makes that number look like a low-water mark. Even in his 70′s, he often published more papers in a year than most solid mathematicians do in their entire lives. Read more of this post


Steve Jobs Spurs Harvard MBA to Ditch McKinsey for China Website

Steve Jobs Spurs Harvard MBA to Ditch McKinsey for China Website

Qin Zhi says Steve Jobs’s “Stay Foolish” commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 was so inspiring, the Harvard MBA left his consulting job at McKinsey & Co. in New York for an Internet startup in China.

“After reading those words I thought to myself what I was doing then was absolutely not my passion,” Qin, now chief executive officer of Autohome Inc., which operates China’s largest vehicle-comparison website, said in an interview last week in Beijing, where he was born. “What I did had no risks and I felt like I was wasting my life. So I decided to seek a change.” Six years after joining Autohome in 2007 as employee No. 38, Qin has helped oversee a 100-fold increase in revenue that topped 1 billion yuan ($163 million) last year. Today, the company employs more than 1,000 people and its namesake website attracts an estimated 6 million unique users a day, about double that of the online car section of top Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700). Read more of this post

After divorce or a job loss comes a period of recovery from grief and rebuilding your life. It takes two years. No shortcuts.

July 29, 2013, 9:11 p.m. ET

After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis

Experts say most people should give themselves a good two years to recover from an emotional trauma



Recover and Rebuild: Getting over a divorce involves two overlapping processes—recovery from grief and restructuring your life. Where will you eat dinner? Who will your friends be? After all, when you are married, even if you hate your spouse, ‘you know when to show up and when to come home,’ an expert says. 

Whether you’ve lost a job or a girlfriend, it won’t take long before someone tells you, Dust yourself off. Time heals all wounds. Yes, but how much time? Experts say most people should give themselves a good two years to recover from an emotional trauma such as a breakup or the loss of a job. And if you were blindsided by the event—your spouse left abruptly, you were fired unexpectedly—it could take longer. That is more time than most people expect, says Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago and former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. It’s important to know roughly how long the emotional disruption will last. Once you get over the shock that it is going to be a long process, you can relax, Dr. Gourguechon says. “You don’t have to feel pressure to be OK, because you’re not OK.” Read more of this post

What’s an Idea Worth? Why the billable hour no longer makes economic sense.

July 29, 2013

What’s an Idea Worth?



Like a lot of accountants, Jason Blumer never really wanted to be an accountant; he wanted to play guitar in a hair-metal band. But like most guys who want to play guitar in a hair-metal band, Blumer eventually realized that there wasn’t much money in touring bars and being paid in beer-smeared $20 bills. So he changed gears and decided to follow his dad into what seemed like one of the more steady businesses around. After college, he bought some suits, joined a midsize firm in South Carolina and processed his clients’ payroll and tax returns. He billed them by the hour. He hated every second of it.

Blumer, 42, wanted to infuse a bit more rock ’n’ roll into his industry. So when he eventually took over his father’s small firm, he made his own rules: There would be no time sheets, no dress code and, most radical of all, no billable hours. He was convinced, in fact, that the billable hour was part of a series of mistakes that took all the fun out of his profession. To him, it seemed like a relic of a dying economic age and one that was depriving his industry of billions in profit. Read more of this post

Bad loans trigger new debt crisis in China’s Wenzhou

Bad loans trigger new debt crisis in Wenzhou

Staff Reporter


The city government in Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province has seen its finances deteriorate and is facing an economic crisis due to local businesses taking on bad loans, reports Beijing’s Economic Observer. The private lending crisis in Wenzhou, which erased a sizable amount of local residents’ savings, has begun to impact the official financial system, with banks reporting a surge in bad loan ratios, the paper said. The non-performing loan ratio at local banks climbed from 0.37% in June 2011 to a high of 4.01% in March, while 6,458 loan disputes, involving 24.2 billion yuan (US$9.3 billion) were reported last year. Read more of this post

China Is Set to Suffer the Skyscraper Curse

China Is Set to Suffer the Skyscraper Curse

Auditors seeking to head off a Chinese crash are rushing to scrutinize the debt-swollen books of the country’s local governments. Economists are poring over statistics, bond spreads, electricity gauges and stock valuations. They might all have more luck if they got their noses out of the books and looked up.

On July 20, the Broad Group broke ground on Sky City on the outskirts of the south-central city of Changsha. The skyscraper will rise 838 meters (2,749 feet) into the heavens to become the world’s tallest building. If that weren’t feat enough, the project aims to wrap up construction in 90 days and at almost half the cost of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which it would top. Read more of this post

China Cities May Tighten Property Curbs as Slowdown Lifts Target

China Cities May Tighten Property Curbs as Slowdown Lifts Target

Chinese cities seeking to cap home-price gains below income growth may need to tighten property curbs as the nation’s slowing economic expansion makes their targets more difficult to meet. Hangzhou, the capital city of the eastern province of Zhejiang, will tighten approvals of pre-sale permits in the second half and may raise down payments for second homes to make sure its price-control target is met, according to a July 27 report by Today Morning Express, a Chinese-language newspaper affiliated with the provincial government. Read more of this post

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