Level zero manager or level one manager?

Joseph L. Rotman from University of Toronto have published "Are All Managers Created Equal?" which entails the managerial style differences and how their management style affects company strategic positioning and their future outcome. The abstract is as shown here:
Some managers are better than others.
Based on the cognitive hierarchy framework of Camerer, Ho, and Chong
(2004), we develop a structural econometric model that estimates the
level of strategic thinking. In the model, firms with a high level of
strategic thinking are more likely to correctly infer the expected
actions of their competitors. We apply this model to the decisions by
managers at 2233 Internet Service Providers to adopt 56K modems in
1997. We validate our model by showing that firms with higher estimated
probability of strategic thinking were more likely to have survived
through April 2007. We estimate considerable heterogeneity in the
degree to which firms behave strategically and find that strategic
ability affects technology choices. In particular, we simulate an
increase in strategic ability and find that the diffusion rate of 56K
modems falls substantially.

The article from Businesspundit "Are You A Level 0 Manager?" summarized the highlight of the paper as follows:
At it's core, strategic thinking is all about finding your company's
points of differentiation, preferably ones that can be generated by
some sort of competitive advantage. Differentiation without paying heed
to competition could turn out badly. So ask yourself what kind of
manager you are. How much to do you think about your competitors? Do
you anticipate what they might do, and how you might respond? Or is
this analysis all a bunch of fluff that takes the focus off execution?
Should you be a level 0 manager, or is it something to avoid at all

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How to do (bash) shell programming

This Bash tutorial is put together by Billy Wideling. It goes through from basic to more advance topic on how to program in shell. As an engineer or as a programmer, anyone who are used to UNIX or LINUX environment, knowing shell programming can save you lots of time and money.

Content of tutorial as listed below:

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Accessing your email from perl through IMAPClient

There is great IMAP Client API (Mail::IMAPClient - An IMAP Client API) you can use to basically generate your own email client using Perl. I have built my own email searcher from scratch using this API. Functions are easy to use and if you want to do any automation work based on received email, this is easy way to have it implemented.


This module provides methods implementing the IMAP protocol.It allows perl scripts to interact with IMAP message stores.

The module is used by constructing or instantiating a new IMAPClient object via the new constructor method.
Once the object has been instantiated,the connect method is either implicitly or explicitly called.At that point methods are available that implement the IMAP client commands as specified in RFC2060.When processing is complete,the logoff object method should be called.

This documentation is not meant to be a replacement for RFC2060,and the wily programmer will have a copy of that document handy when coding IMAP clients.

Note that this documentation uses the term folder in place of RFC2060's use of mailbox.This documentation reserves the use of the term mailbox to refer to the set of folders owned by a specific IMAP id.

RFC2060 defines four possible states for an IMAP connection: not authenticated,authenticated,selected,and logged out.These correspond to the IMAPClient constants Connected,Authenticated,Selected,and Unconnected,respectively.These constants are implemented as class methods,and can be used in conjunction with the Status method to determine the status of an IMAPClient object and its underlying IMAP session.Note that an IMAPClient object can be in the Unconnected state both before a server connection is made and after it has ended.This differs slightly from RFC2060,which does not define a pre-connection status.For a discussion of the methods available for examining the IMAPClient object's status,see the section labeled "Status Methods",below.

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For those innovative minds who want to build their proto PCB for cheap!

Julian posted on
Research / Techkwondo article More PCB Stuff which pretty much cost her $159.99 for 6 PCB boards all custom designs from company called Gold Phoenix!

You can read her original article which also contains links to her PCB build tutorial and how she have done her design.

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Window Mobile Free goodies!

After I have purchased my first PDA (Toshiba e750) back in year 2001, I was real excited about how much my life is going to be more efficient and being able to do all sort of things on the go. Shortly after my purchase, I have come to realization that even with top of the line PDA (at the time), there was so much limitation to PDA which you really cannot use as you would like. I had to make big compromises in order to fit my needs. It definitely was great keeping my calendar schedules and keeping few notes, multi-media functions and mp3 accesses were real drag mostly because of memory limitations and no telephony function. Wi-fi 802.11 access were great but very limited to home use which defeated the purpose of mobile functionality especially when you have access to your home computers. Work use was very limited also due to limited SSH or VPN tunneling provided in PDA OS.

After many years of abandonment, I have started to use my PDA again. Recently, I have noticed a huge price drop in the flash memory cards and release of lots of great free mobile tools! Perhaps you can dig out your old PDA or Smartphones and put them to good use again.

The downloadsquad list out great list in Windows Mobile tools for commuters and travelers - Mobile Minute listing from
all the free tools you need from eBook/RSS feed in news and web sites/Movies/Music/Games! Go check them out!

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Method of how to assess the company value before you join them

Firefox extension tutorial made easy

If you are like me, I wouldn't go with IE but with Firefox. Firefox has great add-on feature that give simplified access to do customized browser experience. If you ever thought of "I wish that Firefox would do <such and such>", then after going through this tutorial, How to create Firefox extensions, you can at least start thinking of actually making your idea reality.

List of content of the tutorial:
  1. Learn By Example
  2. Hello, world!
  3. Looking inside the XPI
  4. Re-configuring your extension’s installation
  5. Chrome is more than a shiny bumper
  6. Skin that cat
  7. Pack it up and try it out
  8. An easier way to re-build
  9. My Firefox got completely hosed up
  10. Ensure server compatibility
  11. Additonal help and information
  12. Comments / Feedback

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Entrepreneur bring up?

Article Entrepreneurs are born, but can they be taught? from by Jim Hopkins, USA TODAY, pretty much lays out that large part of taking risk portion is inherited from their parent while there are limited skill sets that you can learn.

The skills that can be learned are as listed below:

Skills. Young ventures, unlike big existing firms, need to be organized from scratch.

Frequency. Students need to know that starting a company isn't as rare as they might think, so they shouldn't be afraid to try.

Opportunity. That means learning to
recognize when you have a great idea — and when you don't. Being the
18th person to open a nail care salon in an already crowded market is a crummy idea.

Which provide fairly good list and those are the items that can be learned from school or through book. In addition, I think the other portion of risk taking, self-drive, and opportunity search can also be taught. It is just matter of how desperate and dedicated each individual is. I believe that Entrepreneurs are self-taught, not borned.

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Great startup rules by Fletcher

The skrenta have put together Fletcher's angry list of startup rules by Mark Fletcher. These are great tips and makes sense. You can take a look and let me know what you think.

1. Your idea isn't new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more.

2. Stealth startups suck. You're not working on the Manhattan Project, Einstein. Get something out as quickly as possible and promote the hell out of it.

3. If you don't have scaling problems, you're not growing fast enough.

4. If you're successful, people will try to take advantage of you. Hope that you're in that position, and hope that you're smart enough to not fall for it.

5. People will tell you they know more than you do. If that's really the case, you shouldn't be doing your startup.

6. Your competition will inflate their numbers. Take any startup traffic number and slash it in half. At least.

7. Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Leonardo could paint the Mona Lisa only once. You, Bob Ross, can push a bug release every 5 minutes because you were at least smart enough to do a web app.

8. The size of your startup is not a reflection of your manhood. More employees does not make you more of a man (or woman as the case may be).

9. You don't need business development people. If you're successful, companies will come to you. The deals will still be distractions and not worth doing, but at least you're not spending any effort trying to get them.

10. You have to be wrong in the head to start a company. But we have all the fun.

11. Starting a company will teach you what it's like to be a manic depressive. They, at least, can take medication.

12. Your startup isn't succeeding? You have two options: go home with your tail between your legs or do something about it. What's it going to be?

13. If you don't pay attention to your competition, they will turn out to be geniuses and will crush you. If you do pay attention to them, they will turn out to be idiots and you will have wasted your time. Which would you prefer?

14. Startups are not a democracy. Want a democracy? Go run for class president, Bueller.

15. You're doing a web app, right? This isn't the 1980s. Your crummy, half-assed web app will still be more successful than your competitor's most polished software application.


Personal Finance related Free eBooks!

The mint blog had recently posted 30
Free eBooks To Learn Everything You Want to Know About Personal Finance
. As a new comer to US myself, these listed books cover information from mortgage guide to everyday banking as well as 401k and personal financial advices.

Basics of Personal Finance
Building Wealth:
A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future (1.2 MB 39 pg) - An excellent e-Book from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (putting all the other Feds to shame), this guide helps individuals and families develop a plan for building personal wealth. It presents an overview of personal wealth-building strategies that includes setting financial goals, seeking guidance, budgeting, saving and investing, and managing debt.

Pathways to Getting Ahead (882 KB, 48 pg) - A very good booklet, this guide is targeted to young adults, and aims to spur thinking about the importance of asset building in their personal lives and about how larger policy decisions impact the choices they make.
Money Matters: Your Guide for Financial Security (24 MB, 32 pg) - Get helpful tips on how to set financial goals, organize your financial files, find a financial professional, understand your investment options and responsibilities, and be a wise borrower.

Banking Basics (721 KB, 44 pg) - From the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, this e-Book provides an introduction to banking for young people that answers many basic questions: What is a bank? What makes one type of account different from another? Why do banks fail and what happens when they do? Updated in 2007 so the spiffy information are current.

Simple Strategies for Managing Your Money (7.5 MB, 12 pg) - From the FDIC. Use the helpful checklists to get financially fit, avoid bad deals and scams, insure all your deposits, and effectively resolve problems with financial institutions.

Taking Control of Your Finances (1.3 MB, 12 pg) - Another handy guide from the FDIC that’s geared toward young adults — from those still in school to just starting a career or a family. Learn the right ways to save and manage money, and how to avoid some common mistakes people make with their money.
Consumer Awareness

Consumer Action Handbook (11 MB, 178 pg) - One of the most popular books published by the federal government (seriously). This 178 page e-Book is an easy-to-read guide offering general buying tips and ways to resolve marketplace problems (including sample complaint letters), as well as information on specific topics such as credit, cars, insurance, and travel. There are thousands of names, addresses, telephone numbers and websites for corporations, trade groups, state and local consumer protection offices and federal agencies.

Consumer’s Almanac (562 KB, 32 pg) - Organize your expenses, save for the future, and manage your credit with monthly calendars and worksheets.

Ten Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Planner (347 KB, 14 pg) - A straight-forward brochure from the Certified Financial Planners on 10 questions you should ask when you look for a financial planner — an important decision that should be accompanied by important questions.

Credit & Credit Cards
Building a Better Credit Report (235 KB, 24 pg) - Learn how to legally improve your credit report, how to deal with debt, how to spot credit-related scams, and more.

The Credit Card You Pick Can Save You Money (213 KB, 13 pg) - This consumer awareness brochure provides tips on picking the right credit card that meets your spending and repayment habits. It focuses on key costs and terms to consider such as the annual percentage rate (APR), the cash advances, the annual fee, and the grace period, to name a few.

Healthy Credit (1.2 MB, 12 pg) - Learn more about how your credit report and credit score affect your ability to borrow money and stay healthy financially.

Saving & Investing
66 Ways to Save Money (78 KB) - One of the classic publications with over two million copies distributed. Practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more.

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing (5.7 MB, 32 pg) - From the SEC. A road map to start you on a journey to financial security through saving and investing. Use this guide helpful tips and worksheets for calculating net worth, income, and expenses.

How SIPC Protects You (3.3 MB, 10 pg) - If your brokerage firm closes due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) works to return your assets. Find out what SIPC does and does not cover.

All About The Foreign Exchange Market in the United States (assorted PDF) - Discusses in detail the operations, participants and instruments in the U.S. segment of the global foreign exchange market.

Tools of the Trade: A Basic Guide to Financial Derivatives (2.1 MB, 15 pg) - This guide offers insight into when and how derivatives can be valuable tools for managing financial risk and focuses on pertinent questions to ask yourself and others before you or your company invests.

Know Before You Go' To Get a Mortgage (684 KB, 16 pg) - The purpose of this guide is to provide general mortgage information to consumers and to shed some light on the risks associated with todays more complex mortgage offerings. It is by no means meant to counsel consumers to avoid certain products, but rather to alert them to potential risks, and encourage them to make informed decisions and to be aware that certain products may be appropriate for some borrowers but not for others.

Interest-Only Mortgage Payments and Payment-Option ARM's: Are they for you? - Information to help you decide if an interest-only mortgage payment is right for you (Note: they’re probably not right for you).

Retirement Planning
Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future (3.2 MB, 16 pg) - Create your personal savings plan and prepare for retirement with this step-by-step guide.

401(k) Plans (41 KB, 7 pg) - Explains what these plans are, what happens when you change employers, and what to do if you need the money before retirement.

Variable Annuities: What You Should Know (11.3 MB, 24 pg) - Explains what they are, how they work, what you have to pay, and questions to ask before you invest.

Estate Planning & Insurance
Estate Planning (48 kb, 9 pg) - Covers why a will is important and how to prepare one; how to estimate the size of your estate and minimize taxes; and how to set up powers of attorney and advance medical directives.

Living Trust Offers (132 KB, 4 pg) - From the Federal Trade Commission, a small pamphlet to find out if living trusts are right for you and how to protect yourself from scams when planning your estate.

What You Should Know About Buying Life Insurance (312 KB, 28 pg) - A quick 28 page pamphlet that describes various types of life insurance, with tips on choosing a company, an agent, and a policy that meets your needs.
Privacy & Security

ID Theft:
What It’s All About (711 KB, 36 pg) - An information small pamphlet from the FTC: Thieves can steal your personal information and use it to commit fraud for long periods without your knowledge. Here’s how to protect yourself, and what to do if you are a victim.

Identity Theft (452 KB, 22 pg) - This booklet is designed to help you understand what identity theft is, how it happens, how to protect yourself, and what steps to take if your identity is stolen. There is a companion video along with the booklet, available here.

Privacy Choices for Your Personal Financial Information (77 KB, 6 pg) - A small booklet that explains your right to opt out of sharing some of your personal information and lists the types of information that financial companies can share about you.

Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number (218 KB, 8 pg) - Someone illegally using your Social Security number can steal your financial identity and your money. Find out how to prevent identify theft, how to report it if you suspect it, and if you can get a new Social Security number if you are a victim.

Phishing and Pharming: Helping Consumers Avoid Internet Fraud (387 KB, 8 pg) - The increase in online transactions has been accompanied by an increase in online identity theft. Fraudulent access to personal information over the Internet is increasingly prevalent and sophisticated. Two forms of identity theft are at the forefront of this Internet piracy: phishing and pharming.