The bar test

May 26, 2014

Via firstround.com   Article

This Advice From IDEO’s Nicole Kahn Will Transform the Way You Give Presentations

“FIND YOUR STORY

Run the Bar Test

‘Bars are friendly, social places, sure, but something really important happens when you’re at a bar,’ says Kahn. ‘You use really direct language. You make sure that what you’re saying is entertaining and engaging. You don’t quote tons of data. You don’t use overly corporate language — except maybe in air quotes.”’

These experiences show that we all have an innate sense of what makes a good story, but we tend to forget it at work. So, how would you give your presentation at a bar? What if you only had the backs of napkins for graphics? How would that change the way you related information? …

CRAFT YOUR STORY

Less Words, More Visuals

Even IDEO relies on Keynote slides to present projects. And while there are hundreds if not thousands of guides about how to construct compelling presentation decks, Kahn says there’s really only one rule you need to remember: Visuals have power.

‘It seems obvious, but it’s actually really hard to execute and takes a lot of restraint,’ she says. ‘But there’s very important reasoning behind it: When you have visuals on the screen and not a lot of words, you make people dependent on you as the presenter to know what’s going on. You have the authority in the room. The slides do not.'”

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Invaluable investing advice

May 26, 2014

By Allan Roth via cbsnews.com   Article

Invaluable investing advice for young people

Hurdle one: Don’t spend all the money you make. You’ve got to live below your means and save. Bernstein notes that even if you can invest like Warren Buffett, you’ll die broke if you don’t save. Putting away at least 15% of your salary is critical. …

Hurdle two: Understand basic finance. Learn about the difference between a stock and a bond as well as the difference between luck and skill. …

Hurdle three: Don’t ignore financial history. Typically, we think a strong economy leads to great investing returns and vice versa. History shows the opposite. …

Hurdle four: We are the enemy. When it comes to investing, our brain exhibits pathological behavior. We seek out patterns to predict the future, yet what we’re really doing is just predicting the recent past and chasing past performance. …

Hurdle five: The financial services industry wants to make you poor and stupid. Bernstein says if you’ve read about the previous four hurdles, you’ll know more than the typical stockbroker or financial advisor. Bernstein warns ‘you are engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the financial services industry.’ Keep fees low.

He says to put equal amounts of your savings into three low-cost funds:

  • A U.S. stock market index fund
  • An international total stock market index fund
  • A U.S. total bond market index fund”

Why

May 26, 2014

By 

Always Communicate the Why

“Effective leaders spend time communicating the ‘why’ – before moving on to talk about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. The result? People connect with the leaders vision, purpose and intent.

In most organisations the ‘why’ is neglected or missing. This is a huge problem. Without a clear and compelling ‘why’ people are unable to figure out the right ‘what’ or the best ‘how’. The result is misdirected effort, wasted time and money.”


Never forget

May 26, 2014

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Colossal failure

May 19, 2014

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Killing it

May 19, 2014

By Ideon Lewis-Kraus via wired.com   Article

One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush

“Silicon Valley is not a place where one is invited to show frailty or despondence. It is, as Nick puts it, ‘the place where everybody is killing it all the time.’  … But in recent years the Valley has successfully elaborated the fantasy that entrepreneurship—and, more broadly, creativity—can be systematized. This is the basic promise of accelerators (Y Combinator et al.), that success in the startup game can be not only taught but rationalized, made predictable. Starting a company was once an urge felt only by the blindly ambitious and slightly unsound, but in the Valley it’s been ostensibly transformed into a scheduled path one can simply elect and apply for, rather as one might choose law school or Wall Street. …

This daydream of constant killing-it has made it difficult to talk about how fearful and distraught the life of the founder can be. But over drinks with close friends—on that rare occasion when an early-stage entrepreneur has time to have a drink or see a friend—almost any founder will tell a story that much more closely resembles Nick and Chris’ than it does the story of your favorite billionaire, reverse-engineered to seem a neat matter of destiny. This is especially true today, in the era of what observers have come to call the ‘Series A crunch.’ Due in part to the rise of startup accelerators like Y Combinator, as well as to the surplus capital washing around the Valley from recent IPOs, it has never been easier to raise a small amount of money. And it has never been easier to build a company—especially a web or mobile product—from that small amount of money, thanks in part to the proliferation of cheap, easy development tools and such cloud platforms as Amazon Web Services. But the amount of ‘real’ VC funding (i.e., Series A rounds) to be allocated hasn’t kept pace. The institutions that write the big checks, those that might support and sustain real growth, can survey what a hundred companies have managed to do with a small check and put their real money on the propositions that promise the greatest yield and bear the least risk.”


Six secrets

May 19, 2014

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.wordpress.com   Article

Six Secrets to Winning at Office Politics

“Being good at office politics is being good with people, without manipulation and deception. Ethical office politics is influencing people through relationships. Leadership is relationships. …

Six secrets to winning at office politics:

  1. Relationship first. Build real relationships with people of influence before you need them.
  2. Check your motives. Always work for the good of your organization.
  3. Involve people with divergent perspectives. Include HR, finance, and marketing, for example.
  4. Don’t gang up on someone.
  5. Help others win. Don’t expect others to keep helping you if you aren’t helping them.
  6. Be transparent and vulnerable with the right people.”