This video shows just how geeky Bill Gates still is

This video shows just how geeky Bill Gates still is

JULIE BORT TECH  JAN. 31, 2015, 10:58 PM

Bill Gates loves Reddit. He does “Ask Me Anything” sessions on the chat site on a regular basis, participates in Reddit’s record-breakingly huge Secret Santa program and, for an AMA he did on Wednesday, he even filmed a YouTube love video. If you had any doubt that the Microsoft co-founder and child prodigy computer geek was still a geek at heart, his Reddit humor ought to put that to rest. For instance, his YouTube love video was filled with geeky humor like this web programing reference to the color red.

Why You Should Strive For Mastery Instead Of Success

Why You Should Strive For Mastery Instead Of Success


For her first job, art historian and criticSarah Lewis curated a retrospective of the late painter Elizabeth Murray at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was taken aback by how undeveloped Murray’s early work looked and asked the artist what she thought about it. Murray said many of the first works on display had “missed her mark,” and she had even thrown one of the pieces in the trash before a neighbor convinced her to keep it. “In that moment, my view of success and creativity changed,” Lewis says in her TED Talk “Embrace the near win.” “I realized that success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery.” She began to understand this concept more when she sat in on the Columbia University women’s archery team’s practice. She observed how each of the archers spent hours repeatedly missing their targets, making subtle adjustments to their form after every “near win.” Lewis realized that true fulfillment can only be achieved when we pursue mastery, embracing everything deemed a success and failure along the way, rather than dwelling on fleeting moments of victory. “Mastery is not the same as excellence,” she says. “It’s not the same as success, which I see as an event, a moment in time, and a label that the world confers upon you. Mastery is not a commitment to a goal but to a constant pursuit. What gets us to do this, what gets us to forward thrust more is to value the near win.” More valuable than first place is taking second place when gold was in your grasp, Lewis argues. The near win should be something to inspire and not crush us. “It gets us to focus on what, right now, we plan to do to address that mountain in our sights. “We build out of the unfinished idea, even if that idea is our former self. This is the dynamic of mastery. Coming close to what you thought you wanted can help you attain more than you ever dreamed you could,” Lewis says.

26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20

26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20


Etienne Garbugli @egarbugli 

(10 SlideShares) , Senior UX Researcher & Innovation Consultant, Lean B2B Author at

Uploaded on Mar 28, 2013

Help fund the book:
In December 2013, this presentation was voted Most Liked presentation of the year by SlideShare. It was included in their Zeitgeist.

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Daily Bamboo Innovator Insight: Sat 15 Nov 2014 – Oranges, lemons and forex: How to understand the market-rigging scandal


Oranges, lemons and forex: How to understand the market-rigging scandal: Medium

The importance of sparking entrepreneurial spirit in family businesses: FP

Google CEO on moonshots: Find a ‘zero million dollar’ research problem; To succeed at a moonshot, you need curiosity, impulse, and a problem that no one seems to be investing in. Fortune

13 Misconceptions 20-Somethings Have About Success: BusinessInsider

This 5-Year-Old Genius Just Aced A Computer Science Test From Microsoft; The boy, now 6, is officially a Microsoft Certified Professional which is highly regarded in the information technology industry: BusinessInsider

Prospects for growth: An interview with Robert Solow; The economist who won a Nobel Prize for advancing our understanding of technology looks at the past and future of productivity-led growth.: McKinsey

Thinking Like a Writer: Steven Pressfield

9 Powerful Leadership Lessons From The US Military: BusinessInsider

The Man Who Made the Modern Music Industry; Ralph Peer became the father of country through sheer commercial calculation: Southern folk music, he realized, was a vast untapped well of copyright-free songs: WSJ

The Life of Ivan Pavlov: His discoveries fueled grandiose hopes of curing psychiatric illness and breeding humans with more refined nervous systems—in short, of saving the world through physiology. WSJ

Nike’s Martin Lotti on Just Doing It; The Nike Football vice president and creative director talks about the importance of design, the future of shoes and the place where he’s happiest: WSJ

Where to Look for Insight: HBR

Being Happy at Work Matters: HBR

Bring Agile to the Whole Organization: HBR

How to Motivate Yourself When Your Boss Doesn’t: HBR

Why No One’s Reading Your Marketing Content: HBR

John Kotter (2001): What Leaders Really Do; The idea of getting people moving in the same direction appears to be an organizational problem. But what executives need to do is not organize people but align them. HBR

Galleons and gunships: Pacific history has been defined by bullies enforcing their rules: Economist

Large family businesses are in decline in Spain, but their ability to innovate has renewed interest in the sector. CampedenFB

Finding Our Place in the Stars; The physicist who kept the ‘Interstellar’ science sharp talks about black holes, space travel and his optimistic vision of human possibility. WSJ

The Classical Roots of ‘The Hunger Games’; The blockbuster film franchise reaches back to the myth of Theseus, ancient Greece and Rome, and the very foundations of Western culture: WSJ

Do You Want To Know About Your Brain? New research suggests many peopledon’t think that much about brain science. Should they? NYTimes

Is Quantum Entanglement Real? Einstein thought not. But experiments suggest so. NYTimes

How To Make Transparency Part Of Organizational Culture: Forbes

How ColaLife learned to think outside the crate; The award-winning charity used to distribute medicines packaged with Coke bottles to remote rural areas, but it had to adapt and move on as it became more successful: Guardian

Demand-based pricing strategy: A matter of avoidance or appreciation; Uber reintroduced the world to the basic economic theory of dynamic pricing when demand and supply are at play, naming it “surge pricing”. Nation

A Malaysian company called Heart and Shawl is using e-commerce to change the way headscarves are priced and the way they are acquired by Muslim women. TheStar

‘The Art of Things’: Pioneering Product Design; “The industrial revolution was made by engineers,” she writes. “Today it is the designers who are building machines.”: WSJ

Seth Klarman: The Patient Investor: ValueWalk

Multitasking: No more than a mirage? AsiaOne

Sick of scams: but what is the cure? AsiaOne


China finance official says shadow banking major issue: Reuters

China Busts Underground Banks With $23 Billion Transactions: Bloomberg

The Not-So-Mighty Chinese Consumer: WSJ

NQ Mobile Inc Dumped By Uber Bull Oberweis: ValueWalk


Three megatrends for Asean growth: TheStar

Sleepless in Singapore; The property market in Singapore, described by a developer “to be in a (state) of slumber” and by a Singaporean analyst that it “could get worse”: TheStar

More luxury homes go under the hammer as defaults spike in Singapore: Today

Japan & Korea

Why Subaru’s Profit Is Surging; Weaker Yen, Sluggish Demand at Home Gives Big Car Exporter Strong Lift: WSJ

Samsung SDS strong debut frees cash for Lee’s successors; Samsung SDS became the 5th most valuable company on the South Korean bourse with a market capitalisation of about US26bil: TheStar


Jim Rogers On Putin, His Suspicions About Oil Prices, And Why 26-Year-Olds On Wall Street Have The Biggest Advantage: BusinessInsider

“World’s Richest Restaurateur” Sees An Imminent Crash In America’s “Crazy” Real-Estate Market: ZeroHedge

Economic integration: The flying factory; Asia has built a web of economic interdependence which China would be ill-advised to unravel: Economist

A Once Bullish Crispin Odey Fears Recession In Emerging Markets: ValueWalk

Spreading deflation across East Asia threatens fresh debt crisis; Asia’s currency skirmishes are happening in a region of festering grievances and territorial disputes, with no Nato-style security structure to dampen down fires: Telegraph

Corporate buybacks fuel all-time highs – but for how long? US companies will buy $450bn of their stock this year, but when will this become too expensive? FT

Regulation: Banks count the risks and rewards; Crackdown on money laundering threatens to leave parts of developing world cut off from global finance: FT

Mexico Hit by Unrest and Scandal; Mexico’s Spreading Unrest and Sense of Lawlessness Are Shaping Up as Major Political and Economic Challenges to President Enrique Peña Nieto: WSJ


What Steve Wozniak Got Wrong About The iPhone 6; Apple is almost never first-to-market in any product category. Their strategy is to come up with dramatic, generational improvements to products that others have done not as well. BusinessInsider

Kinpo’s (金寶) subsidiary –YZprinting unveiled its new 3D Food Printer yesterday, which allows users to prepare healthy and delicious snacks simply by feeding food ingredients into the machine. ChinaPost

Is YouTube the new television? Why the video website is rewriting the rules of broadcasting: FT

Twitter Is Junk. Why Are You Surprised? Bloomberg

Russia plans alternative version of ‘Wikipedia’: Reuters

Apple Could Swallow Whole Russian Stock Market: Bloomberg

Sam Jain’s CheapOair is really taking off; His CheapOair website has kept its focus in air tickets-and human customer service. Fortune

How Formula One Teams Are Using Big Data To Get The Inside Edge: Forbes

CHART OF THE DAY: Mobile Messaging Is Poised To Overtake Social Networks: BusinessInsider

Apple doesn’t own Fortune

Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith: Reuters

Marc Andreessen: the ’90s Had It Right; In a Q&A at WSJD Live, the Venture Capitalist Said the Dot-Com Crash Was Catastrophic but the Ideas Weren’t: WSJ

Jualo, in Emulation to eBay, Woos Indonesia’s Secondhand Market: JakartaGlobe

BlackBerry Has no Immediate Plans to Crack ‘Sensitive’ China Market: JakartaGlobe

Stanley Gibbons enters the internet age with stamp auction site; Stamps worth less than £50 can now be bought and sold via the philately auctioneer’s online marketplace: Guardian

5 Ways Product Design Needs to Evolve for the Internet of Things: HBR


The Dengue Fever Scourge; Vaccines in the pipeline could help control a pandemic that sickens millions each year. NYTimes

In India, Latrines Are Truly Lifesavers: NYTimes

What the U.S. Can Learn From India and Brazil About Preventive Health Care: HBR

Energy & Commodities

Shipbrokers in merger talks after 30% plunge in oil price; Clarkson hoping to acquire Platou, while Icap and Howe Robinson also say they are considering their options: Guardian

Oil price slump to trigger new US debt default crisis as Opec waits; Falling oil prices and and US shale drillers drowning in a sea of debt could be the spark for a new credit crunch: Telegraph

Plunging oil price triggers warning of defaults and ‘distress’ in the energy sector; Who will blink first as global oil prices collapse? FP1, FP2

How a Halliburton-Baker Hughes deal would shake up the Canadian oil field services market: FP

Proposed merger of oilfield firms poses challenge to Schlumberger: Reuters

IEA sees new era, no quick rebound in oil prices: Reuters

There Will Be Blood – How The Fed Has Flooded The Shale Patch With Junk Debt: ZeroHedge

The Fall of a National Champion: Petróleo Brasileiro offers an epic lesson in how to squander a windfall. Petrobras Scandal Widens, Earnings Delayed; Former Engineering Director at Brazil’s Oil Firm Arrested Along With 17 Others; Shares Plunge: WSJ1, WSJ2

Cotton stockpiles are swelling so large that there will be enough in global warehouses to make about 23 billion pairs of jeans, or three for every person on the planet. The glut sent prices to a five-year low: Bloomberg

Taming the Wild Tuna: Why Farmed Fish Are Taking Over Our Dinner Plates: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Wei family to sell their Taipei 101 shares? WantChinaTimes

McDonald’s CEO: Here’s Why We Don’t Want To Be Like Chipotle: BusinessInsider

McDonald’s Created Broccoli That Tastes Like Bubble Gum: BusinessInsider

Insiders Think Lululemon Is In Serious Trouble: BusinessInsider

The New Breed of High-Performance Wool Clothing; Long a tried-and-true textile for outdoor apparel, wool is getting engineered for higher performance by companies like Voormi, Duckworth and others: WSJ

Inventure Foods has succeeded when it comes to healthier snacks and even healthier margins: Forbes

Nestlé Explores Sale of Frozen Food Unit Davigel; Swiss Food Giant Presses Ahead With Consolidation of its Portfolio of Fringe Businesses: WSJ

Daily Bamboo Innovator Insight (Life & Books): Friday 14 Nov 2014 – A popular currency trading website vanished overnight and $1-billion of investors’ money disappeared with it


Building Legacies: Family business succession in South-east Asia: Economist, CampdenFB

A popular currency trading website vanished overnight and $1-billion of investors’ money disappeared with it: FP

From crew member to CEO of McDonald’s Singapore; “Somewhere, some time in my career, someone gave me a break. Someone saw some potential in me and opened that door.” AsiaOne

Open letter to the G20: exposing the corporate shell game is good for business – and the world: Guardian

Billionaire Investor Ray Dalio Says These 5 Habits Made Him Successful: BusinessInsider

Family Businesses of the First World War: CampdenFB

Avian navigation: Flight risk; Pigeons appear to use gravity to set a course back to their lofts: Economist

European history: Reactionary days; How Europe invented the modern repressive state: Economist

Veterans break 50-year silence on China’s first nuclear test: WantChinaTimes

What the stock market can teach you about your own personality; Money brings out the insecurity in everyone. But here’s the good news: you can defeat it: Guardian

Why cats never became man’s best friend: Quartz

Why the Wagner family has outsourced almost nothing at its $200 million airport: BRW

The evolution of a TED Book cover: TED

Unraveling Why Some Mammals Kill Off Infants: NYTimes

The meaning of solitude: KoreaTimes

Auto Parts Billionaire Shahid Khan: I Felt The American Dream In My First 24 Hours Here: Forbes

Five Smart Risks To Set Yourself Apart In Cautious Times: Forbes

Transportation, divergence, and the industrial revolution (and the oil tanker king John Fredriksen), Climateer Investing

Plants talk to each other using an internet of fungus: Hidden under your feet is an information superhighway that allows plants to communicate and help each other out. It’s made  of fungi: BBC

Cost management: A path to sustainable performance improvement: Nation

Taylor Swift Is the Music Industry: BusinessWeek

In the sleepy world of podcasts, ‘Serial’ murder mystery is a sensation and a global phenomenon —a testament to the power of great story-telling. WSJ

Three ways CEOs can improve the supply chain. CEOs increasingly view the supply chain as a critical point of competitive differentiation. Here’s how to make it better. McKinsey


The Liar’s Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World’s Toughest Tycoons: Amazon

Zeckendorf: The autobiography of the man who played a real-life game of Monopoly and won the largest real estate empire in history: Amazon

Daily Bamboo Innovator Insight (Life & Books): Thursday 13 Nov 2014 – Peter Thiel’s very negative – and very useful – advice for entrepreneurs


Peter Thiel’s very negative – and very useful – advice for entrepreneurs: Fortune

America’s Youngest Female Billionaire Explains How She’s Transforming Medicine: BusinessInsider

Some Of The Most Successful Businesses In The US Were Started By Entrepreneurs Over Age 50: BusinessInsider

Why Panera’s CEO Wrote A 20-Page Memo About How He Would Destroy Panera: BusinessInsider

Jerry Seinfeld Explains How He’s Remained Consistently Successful: BusinessInsider, WNYC

China’s Philosopher-CEO Zhang Ruimin; Haier’s leader describes how he built a winning global company by continually reframing his management philosophy. Strategy&

The books that illuminate a turbulent decade in business: FT

6 Hustles Warren Buffett Used To Make $53,000 By Age 16: BusinessInsider

From the Knowledge Economy to the Human Economy: HBR

Why Time — Not Money — Is the Key to Happiness: Knowledge@Wharton

Nicholas Kristof’s ‘Path’ to More Effective Giving; New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof discusses how to use your time and money for the greatest good. Knowledge@Wharton

The ‘Too Rich to Succeed’ Challenge Facing Start-ups: Knowledge@Wharton

Customer Loyalty in the Age of Big Data: Knowledge@Wharton

CEO of SAP: Why Writing About the Past Helped Me Lead in the Present: 250 words

Bringing a healthy dose of pragmatism to strategy: McKinsey

The Most Underutilized Tool in Making People Happier at Work: LinkedIn

Is It Legit? A Quick Look At Different Types Of Financial Fraud: Aleph

Scientific Insights From Rats Filled With Regrets; Researchers learn that rodents share what appears to be a uniquely human emotion: WSJ

Problems Plagued Virgin Galactic Rocket Ship Long Before Crash; Richard Branson’s Projections on Launch Ran Counter to Technical Capabilities: WSJ

Making ‘Profit’ a Dirty Word in Higher Education; A million students may lose financial aid thanks to rules that don’t apply to public universities. WSJ

Inventiveness isn’t always the exclusive realm of educated boffins: TheStar

Tatsumi: Godfather of alternative manga is reborn on film: JapanTimes

What would you like to learn today? Building a center for research into Self-Organized Learning: TED

Let it go, let it go: 4 strategies to help you stop micromanaging: BRW

The 7 secrets to Gail Kelly’s success: BRW

Study Reveals The Career Strategy That Top CEOs Have In Common: BusinessInsider

The productivity of PhDs: Lazy graduate students? Economist

8 Ways to Motivate People to Say Yes More Often: FastCompany


Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t: Amazon

The Innovator’s Method: Bringing the Lean Start-up into Your Organization: Amazon

Increase Revenue or Reduce Expenses: Which Is More Effective

Increase Revenue or Reduce Expenses: Which Is More Effective

Running a successful business is a challenge not to be taken lightly. There is a considerable amount of issues to factor in, including short-term viability and long-term success. In general, you should carefully examine every important business decision to make sure it serves a short-term requirement, while at the same time keeping alignment with long-term company goals and values.

Businesses are being put under an enormous amount of pressure to increase profits regardless of the accompanying economic climate. To be able to deliver on this requirement companies need to tackle the challenge in two fronts:

  1. Increase Revenue

All companies sell some sort of good or service. To increase the amount of money coming in there are various alternatives that complement each other. The first one is to generate more money from existing customers. This can be accomplished either by upselling or cross selling. Another alternative is to increase the price of the current product. This approach poses a problem if demand is too elastic and an increase in price generates a drop in demand. A third option is to enter new markets with the current product line. This is possibly the most promising alternative and as such it should be the one that receives more attention and resources. To achieve the exponential growth businesses seek, entering new markets is a very efficient way of reaching a larger customer base. A side effect is the creation of economies of scale that in turn reduce spending to increase profits even more. You can learn more about entering new markets in this informative article:

  1. Reduce Expenses

Even though rising revenues is by far the best approach to increase profits, since the limit up to which they can be increased depends on how big the market is, the other side of the profit equation is very important to manage as well. All things being equal, a decrease in expenses will translate into an immediate profit increase. The strategies by which expenses can be reduced vary greatly depending on the type of business and its cost structure. For labor-intensive companies, ensuring optimum staff levels might be the way to go, while for manufacturing companies an improved production process or vendor negotiation could have a bigger impact. One area where the majority of businesses can get an instant expense cut is by running their operations from an executive office suite. Since common area expenses are shared amongst various tenants, and space is optimized for the current workforce (no idle work stations for growth – they are procured and paid for as needed), the expense reduction starts from the day you move in to one of these spaces. Companies like the one found in specialize in finding the perfect space to match business needs and reduce current expenses in the process. Another benefit is that these setups come already furnished, eliminating the cost of outfitting the space.

So there you have it. Increasing revenues and reducing expenses. In order to promote growth and alleviate the pressure to increase profits, every manager or C-Level executive should be focused on these two areas of their business.


Credit to Jessica for the article. She can be contacted at

Disruptive Innovation: A Flawed Idea? Executives say they want disruptive innovation, but what they really crave is “managed evolution”

Disruptive Innovation: A Flawed Idea?

Executives say they want disruptive innovation, but what they really crave is “managed evolution,” says John Parkinson.

John Parkinson, Contributor

July 10, 2014 | | US

I collect useful and illustrative quotes from famous people. Two of my favorites are from George Bernard Shaw (an Irish author and playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics): “Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything” and “Progress is not made by reasonable men.” I have always liked the implications of his attitude, reminding us that we need to remain flexible and open to new ideas, however “unreasonable” they may at first seem.

Which brings me to the topic of disruptive innovation. …

I do so love an intramural academic spat, especially in areas where there is little actual “science” underlying the debate. Even better when conventional “wisdom” (much of which is akin to folklore, without rigorous foundation or supporting evidence) is challenged on the merits, and the reputation of an academic icon is called (justifiably or otherwise) into question.

Read more about the discussion at

Gotham Research Founder Fears For Safety After Article Published

Gotham Research Founder Fears For Safety After Article Published

by Mark MelinJuly 09, 2014, 1:36 pm

Gotham Research is considered an enigma on Wall Street – and this is how its founder, Daniel Yu, likes it.  When they first boomed onto the scene, really having been “discovered” within the last year, there was a “who are these guys?” whisper after their scathing research reports were quickly noticed and resulted in publicly traded firms collapsing in value.

Gotham Research’s cloudy background

That whisper turned into an overt scream yesterday when a major financial newspaper published an article outing the firm’s somewhat clouded background. In a statement to ValueWalk this morning, Yu expressed frustration that publicity could damage his business and even endanger his safety. This might not be that unfounded as Carson Block, another hedge fund short seller who publishes research on potential fraud, is said to have expressed similar concerns. Yu would neither confirm nor deny any personal details, however, ValueWalk independently confirmed the identity of Gotham’s founder, but agreed to leave out all details after a request from Yu. He is in the business of publishing research on publicly traded companies he believes are engaged in fraud. This indelicate focus resulted from his personal history of losing on stocks due to deceit and fraud, as was recently reported. This focus translates into the most celebrated research success in the firm’s short history: LETS GOWEX SA (OTCMKTS:LGWXY) (BME:GOW), a Spanish high flying tech stock.

Gotham Research’s report on GOWEX

After Gotham Research published a scathing research saying 90 percent of LETS GOWEX SA (OTCMKTS:LGWXY) (BME:GOW) revenue is “fake” and the company was engaged in accounting fraud, the stock immediately tanked nearly 50 percent – highlighting how, oddly, this firm with a short track record that had an almost non-existent public background could issue an opinion and collapse a publicly traded company. Gowex the firm being attacked wasn’t just any company, but a highly celebrated European technology success story. The CEO, who would later admit to committing accounting fraud, was honored by auditor Ernst and Young with Spain’s entrepreneur of the year in 2011.

Modern day vigilante in the finance world?

A VC’s Amazon Review, and a Quirky Approach to Disclosure; Is it ethical for a venture capital investor to praise a product put out by a company he’s invested in without disclosing his financial interest?

Jul 9, 2014

A VC’s Amazon Review, and a Quirky Approach to Disclosure



Is it ethical for a venture capital investor to praise a product put out by a company he’s invested in without disclosing his financial interest?

James D. Robinson IV, a founder of RRE Ventures in New York City,  which is currently investing from a $280 million fund raised this year, did just that. RRE  is an investor in Quirky Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and OnDeck Capital Inc.

In a review on AMZN +1.90%, Robinson praised Aros, an air conditioner introduced in May by Quirky Inc. and General Electric GE -0.19%rating it a high five out of five stars.

“Beautiful, functional, smart,” he wrote. “As for cooling, seems to do a great job, and unlike some, it just doesn’t seem any louder to me.”  The loudness remark was a response to some critics who had cited the “noise” in their own Amazon reviews.

Human evolution: Shaped by water; A new theory that is convincing

Human evolution: Shaped by water; A new theory that is convincing

Jul 5th 2014 | From the print edition

The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution. By Clive Finlayson.Oxford University Press; 202 pages; $27.95 and £16.99. Buy from,

ACCORDING to the standard treatment in evolutionary biology, about 1.8m years ago man’s brain became larger, his gut became smaller and he started walking upright. No ape had done that before. It was an important milestone in the story of human evolution.

The ancestor in question, Homo erectus, could use simple tools and hunt. His diet was more meat-based than plant-based. Meat has more calories than food derived from plants. Humans had transformed themselves from tree-climbing apes that needed to spend a lot of time searching for food to upright, meat-consuming hunters that could roam large distances. So successful was this transformation, evolutionarily speaking, that in due course the descendants ofHomo erectus, modern-day Homo sapiens, had no problems colonising the far reaches of the globe.


CEOs: The More You Pay Them, The Worse They Perform

MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2014

CEOs: The More You Pay Them, The Worse They Perform


The Peter Principle

“Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he/she reaches his/her level of maximum incompetence”

The Peter Principle states that everyone gets promoted to a level at which they’re incompetent. More generally Lawrence Peter observed that anything that works gets used to do other things until it fails. This is true even of ideas, and sometimes even failure doesn’t stop them being promulgated. Consider, for instance, economics as the primary example of an idea stretched beyond its elastic limit.

But at the top of the corporate tree are those executives who’ve somehow avoided becoming victims of the Peter Principle. Of course, simply becoming a CEO doesn’t disprove the idea, it just makes it more likely that we’ll have lots of incompetent business leaders who’ve become really good at blaming other people. And a survey of CEOs suggests that this is exactly true: they’re overrated, they’re overpaid and they don’t deliver for anyone apart from themselves. Why am I not surprised?


The Humble First Jobs Of 15 Highly Successful People

The Humble First Jobs Of 15 Highly Successful People


Warren Buffett: young and old.

It can be easy to see the world’s most powerful and influential people as occupying a sphere far removed from the rest us.

But many of the one-percent started off with conventional first jobs.

Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein, for example, grew up in the projects and made extra money at a concession stand in Yankee Stadium. Warren Buffett built his savings as a kid by delivering newspapers. And before she found her calling in media, Oprah Winfrey worked at a corner store.

We’ll take a look at 15 highly successful people who made the most of, but weren’t defined by, a modest first job.

Lloyd Blankfein sold snacks at Yankee Stadium.

As the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Blankfein is one of the most influential people on Wall Street.

But he worked his way up from the bottom. He grew up in Brooklyn housing projects and worked his first job as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium.

Richard Branson was an amateur bird breeder and arborist.

Read more about the first jobs of successful people at

Reinventing Innovation: To gain an edge in a reviving economy, companies are looking for little ideas that can create big value

July 2, 2014


CFO Magazine

Reinventing Innovation: To gain an edge in a reviving economy, companies are looking for little ideas that can create big value.

Josh Hyatt

Even with economic activity rustling back to life, few companies are eager to make big bets. A thin layer of growth hardly forms a solid enough foundation for businesses to pour money into hunting down breakthrough discoveries or conceiving cutting-edge technologies.

Not that it’s a bad time for innovation. In fact, now is an ideal time for a focused form of it. In a study of 275 senior finance executives conducted by CFO Research, in collaboration with American Express, just 13% of respondents said that they expected their companies to spend and invest “substantially more” in the coming year, with about a third (34%) choosing “about the same amount.” (See Figure 1, below.) (The full report, Reinventing Innovation, can be downloaded from

That said, investing in innovation during the early stages of a recovery can yield abundant benefits when the economy regains its full sheen. Armed with new offerings, a business can position itself to grab market share from its less-prepared rivals. As aware of this as they may be, finance executives aren’t about to cast away the cost-consciousness that has served their companies well during the downturn. What they are doing, instead, is bringing a new level of discipline to the innovation process.


Leadership Lessons From Admiral Michelle Howard, The Highest Ranking Woman In Naval History

Kathryn DillForbes Staff

LEADERSHIP 7/01/2014 @ 1:19PM 16,721 views

Leadership Lessons From Admiral Michelle Howard, The Highest Ranking Woman In Naval History

Admiral Michelle Howard knows what it means to lead the charge.

This morning, in a ceremony at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Howard became the first woman in the U.S. Navy’s 236-year history to be promoted to four-star admiral and Vice Chief of Naval Operations, the second highest position in the Navy.

While today’s proceedings make history, Howard is no stranger to firsts. In 1999 she became the first African American woman to command a Naval ship, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore. Howard was also the first African American woman in any branch of the military to reach three stars. In the past she’s been deployed to Indonesia for tsunami relief efforts, participated in Maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf, and served as commander of a Counter-Piracy Taskforce where–three days into the job–she spearheaded the rescue of Captain Phillips from Somali pirates.

A native of Colorado, Howard, 54, is an enthusiastic trout fisher (“I really am from Colorado!”) whose mother first taught her to cast off. She had been married to husband Wayne Cowles for one year when Operation Desert Storm began and both were deployed (Cowles, now retired, was a U.S. Marine.)

On the eve of her promotion, the highest ranking woman in Naval history spoke with Forbes about innovative teams, how to help employees stay committed, and what she’s learned from a caffeine habit.

If you want to innovate, first take a hard look at yourself–and be flexible about making changes.


Greetings for Ramadan: The politics of good wishes

Greetings for Ramadan: The politics of good wishes

Jun 30th 2014, 15:39 by B.C.

AS MUSLIMS all over the world face the tough slog of mixing daily work with dawn-to-dusk fasting, at a time when days in the northern hemisphere are formidably long, they can at least be assured that their political leaders wish them well—especially in the English-speaking countries.

In the Anglosphere, but not in most other Western countries, offering warm words to Muslim citizens as they begin their fast has become an annual ritual, just like a Christmas or Easter message. David Cameron’s was particularly warm, effusive and substantial this year, whereas the greeting offered by Barack Obama was more modest in scope than in previous years. For example, the message from the White House pointedly avoided any reference to Arab struggles for democracy and confined itself to generalities about the Muslim belief in care for others and community spirit. Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper was more concise, but he recalled that Ramadan was “a time for fasting, worship and contemplation as well as a time to share with family, friends and community.”


Who Billionaire Reid Hoffman Calls To Feel Inspired

Who Billionaire Reid Hoffman Calls To Feel Inspired


Who does someone who’s already incredibly successful call when they want to dream up new, successful ideas?

Billionaire LinkedIn founder ReidHoffman has three go-to people he calls when he wants to be inspired: Tesla founder Elon Musk, former PayPal CTO Max Levchin, and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel.

Levchin, Thiel, and Hoffman are all considered part of the “PayPal mafia,” a group of successful people who were early employees or founders at the eBay-owned payment company.

“For macroeconomic, financial, bold models, I’ll call Peter [Thiel],” Hoffman explained to Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. “The intersection of kind of interesting business models or business technology, things like big data, Max Levchin. For a willingness to just think super big [where] risk is not a variable, Elon [Musk].”

When asked what they call him for, Hoffman laughed and said, “A view of the Valley.”

“Like, OK, I’m thinking about X, who are the right people to talk to about X, you know, and what can work on this?” Hoffman said.


99% of the plastic we throw in the ocean has mysteriously disappeared

99% of the plastic we throw in the ocean has mysteriously disappeared

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros an hour ago

Though plastic was invented in the 1800s, it was really only around 1950 that the human-plastic love affair took off. And boy did it—the nearly 2 million tonnes (2.2 million tons) of plastic produced in 1950 had surged twentyfold in just two decades (by around the time a young Dustin Hoffman was advised to consider a future in plastics in The Graduate) (video).

image001 Read more of this post

What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Tom WatsonContributor

ENTREPRENEURS 6/30/2014 @ 3:33PM 618 views

What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Two weeks ago, the annual Giving USA report showed that American philanthropycontinues to climb out of the trough of the Great Recession, one of the real lagging indicators of the economy. And while U.S. philanthropy has been roughly static at two percent of GDP for a couple of generations now, overall capacity of donors remains high, even through downturns.

The challenge for causes, fundraisers, nonprofit executives, social entrepreneurs and concerned board members everywhere remains “how?” – how best to tap that steady vein of generosity in this society which, even if fairly flat, remains constant and deep.

A couple of reports that crossed my desk over the past few weeks provide some new insight, and should be of interesting to folks in the philanthropic sector.

One  is called I’m Moral, But I Won’t Help You: The Distinct Roles of Empathy and Justice in Donations, and it focuses on the results of an academic study of 600 people run through four different charitable scenarios. In one, for example, participants were asked to choose “between donating to medical patients described alternately as having a low level of responsibility for their situations and those having a high level of responsibility.” Recipients of donations in the group were described either as unable to pay for medical treatment because of “low-wage jobs with poor benefits due to economic conditions” or unable to pay for treatment because of inability “to hold a steady job due to their drug and alcohol abuse or gambling addiction” – in shorter terms, not their fault and their fault.



The Right to Write: Who owns a story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?


JUNE 28, 2014 2:39 PM 47 Comments

I sat on a panel once with another novelist and a distinguished African-American critic, to discuss Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The critic said, “Of course, as a white woman, Stowe had no right to write the black experience.” The other novelist said lightly, “No, of course not. And I had no right to write about 14th-century Scandinavians. Which I did.”

The exchange made me wonder: who has the right to our stories?

For centuries, African-Americans couldn’t fully participate in the literary conversation, since for many of them literacy was forbidden. Why wouldn’t they resent the fact that their stories were told by whites? But does this mean that, as novelists, we can write stories only of our own race, our own gender, our own subcultural niche?

Stowe used other people’s stories as sources, but what drove her to write was her own outraged response to slavery. She has the right to that response. Isn’t it better that Stowe wrote her book, instead of staying respectfully mute because the stories were not hers to tell? It was the narrative strands about the black experience that gave the book such emotional potency, and made it such a powerful abolitionist force.

Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?


How We Transformed Marketing at Electrolux

How We Transformed Marketing at Electrolux

by MaryKay Kopf and Fred Geyer  |   11:00 AM June 30, 2014

Marketers are racing to create seamless customer experiences that make it easy for consumers to engage at every touchpoint as they navigate the “decision journey” and beyond. Despite this revolution, leading appliance makers have been slow to adapt to the ways people learn about and purchase appliances. Electrolux was no exception – until recently.

Many consumers think of us as a vacuum cleaner company – and indeed our first product, in 1919, was a vacuum. But today we’re a $15 billion global consumer and professional appliance firm that includes Frigidaire, AEG, Molteni, Electrolux, Zanussi, and Eureka among its brands. As we were a product-centric organization, the shopping experience had played a supporting role, with individual elements of the experience managed by different organizational silos. When online emerged it became a new silo, followed by mobile and social. The organization was locked in a structure that made it difficult to connect and integrate all the different ways that a person gathers information, makes a decision and receives support — online and offline. In 2012, Electrolux leadership decided this had to change.


How Bill Gates gamed IBM…and 4 other tips to negotiating the best contracts for your business

How Bill Gates gamed IBM…and 4 other tips to negotiating the best contracts for your business

Published 23 June 2014 13:03, Updated 24 June 2014 13:38

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Sophisticated negotiators understand that a successful deal often hinges on hammering down the right contract language. In fact, choosing the wording is a negotiation in itself, one with its own unique pitfalls.

Five guidelines can help you master this difficult task.


Consider the college dropouts whom a corporation hired for low wages to provide operating-system software for a new line of home computers. The company used its clout to drive a hard bargain on price, but the young programmers shrewdly added a clause that would enable them to sell their software to other customers. Read more of this post

What American Apparel CEO Dov Charney’s ouster says about the new world of corporate leadership; The long leash is tightening on CEOs – especially charismatic founders whose drive and influence have made them seemingly untouchable

What American Apparel CEO Dov Charney’s ouster says about the new world of corporate leadership


Theresa Tedesco | June 23, 2014 | Last Updated: Jun 23 7:20 PM ET

Keith Bedford/BloombergDov Charney, the embattled CEO of American Apparel Inc., on June 18 was unceremoniously ousted from the clothing retailer he founded in 1997. Read more of this post

At Acute Care Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not

At Acute Care Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not


NEW BRITAIN, CONN. — Propped up in a hospital bed, a 75-year-old man withamyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, must make an agonizing decision. Should he keep struggling until the illness inevitably kills him, dependent on a ventilator, unable to walk or eat or move? Or should he choose a day and a time to have the ventilator disconnected, and die?

The man, who asked not to be identified to protect his privacy, was a patient at the Hospital for Special Care here, one of 400 long-term acute care hospitals in the United States. These are no ordinary hospitals: Critically ill patients, sometimes unresponsive or in comas, may live here for months, even years, sustained by respirators and feeding tubes. Some, especially those recovering from accidents, eventually will leave. Others will be here for the rest of their lives. Read more of this post

Lofty Salaries in the Ivory Towers; Are university presidents overpaid, or does the compensation appropriately reflect their wide range of management, recruitment and fund-raising duties?

JUNE 23, 2014

Lofty Salaries in the Ivory Towers


Despite continued talk in academia of austerity – resulting in program cuts, loss of tenure-track jobs and increasing reliance on part-time adjuncts – the salaries of university presidents have reached record levels. Recently, at the University of Alberta, 56 Canadian academicsapplied for the $400,000-a-year job of the departing president in groups of four to highlight the pay disparity.

Are university presidents overpaid, or does the compensation appropriately reflect their wide range of management, recruitment and fund-raising duties? Read more of this post

Long love is built on understanding the nuances of human nature, including human frailty; “In love’s service only wounded soldiers can serve.”

Rhapsody in Realism

JUNE 23, 2014

A few years ago, I came across an article on a blog that appealed tremendously. It was on a subject that obviously I have a lot to learn about. But it was actually the tone and underlying worldview that was so instructive, not just the substance.

The article was called “15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years” by Lydia Netzer. The first piece of advice was “Go to bed mad.” Normally couples are told to resolve each dispute before they call it a night. But Netzer writes that sometimes you need to just go to bed. It won’t do any good to stay up late when you’re tired and petulant: “In the morning, eat some pancakes. Everything will seem better, I swear.”

Another piece of advice is to brag about your spouse in public and let them overhear you bragging. Read more of this post

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