10 Basic skills that you need for your success

Great article on 10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything by lifehak.org.

1. Public Speaking
The ability to speak clearly, persuasively, and forcefully in front of an audience – whether an audience of 1 or of thousands – is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything – products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, worldviews. And yourself – which means more opportunities for career advancement, bigger clients, or business funding.

2. Writing
Writing well offers many of the same advantages that speaking well offers: good writers are better at selling products, ideas, and themselves than poor writers. Learning to write well involves not just mastery of grammar but the development of the ability to organize one’s thoughts into a coherent form and target it to an audience in the most effective way possible. Given the huge amount of text generated by almost every transaction – from court briefs and legislation running into the thousands of pages to those foot-long receipts you get when you buy gum these days – a person who is a master of the written word can expect doors to open in just about every field.

3. Self-Management
If success depends of effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. Strong organizational skills, effective productivity habits, and a strong sense of discipline are needed to keep yourself on track.

4. Networking
Networking is not only for finding jobs or clients. In an economy dominated by ideas and innovation, networking creates the channel through which ideas flow and in which new ideas are created. A large network, carefully cultivated, ties one into not just a body of people but a body of relationships, and those relationships are more than just the sum of their parts. The interactions those relationships make possible give rise to innovation and creativity – and provide the support to nurture new ideas until they can be realized.

5. Critical Thinking
We are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of times more information on a daily basis than our great-grandparents were. Being able to evaluate that information, sort the potentially valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is crucial – and woefully under-taught. Good critical thinking skills immediately distinguish you from the mass of people these days.

6. Decision-Making
The bridge that leads from analysis to action is effective decision-making – knowing what to do based on the information available. While not being critical can be dangerous, so too can over-analyzing, or waiting for more information before making a decision. Being able to take in the scene and respond quickly and effectively is what separates the doers from the wannabes.

7. Math
You don’t have to be able to integrate polynomials to be successful. However, the ability to quickly work with figures in your head, to make rough but fairly accurate estimates, and to understand things like compound interest and basic statistics gives you a big lead on most people. All of these skills will help you to analyze data more effectively – and more quickly – and to make better decisions based on it.

8. Research
Nobody can be expected to know everything, or even a tiny fraction of everything. Even within your field, chances are there’s far more that you don’t know than you do know. You don’t have to know everything – but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. That means learning to use the Internet effectively, learning to use a library, learning to read productively, and learning how to leverage your network of contacts – and what kinds of research are going to work best in any given situation.

9. Relaxation
Stress will not only kill you, it leads to poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be failing to relax, you knock out at least three of the skills in this list – and really more. Plus, working yourself to death in order to keep up, and not having any time to enjoy the fruits of your work, isn’t really “success”. It’s obsession. Being able to face even the most pressing crises with your wits about you and in the most productive way is possibly the most important thing on this list.

10. Basic Accounting
It is a simple fact in our society that money is necessary. Even the simple pleasures in life, like hugging your child, ultimately need money – or you’re not going to survive to hug for very long. Knowing how to track and record your expenses and income is important just to survive, let alone to thrive. But more than that, the principles of accounting apply more widely to things like tracking the time you spend on a project or determining whether the value of an action outweighs the costs in money, time, and effort. It’s a shame that basic accounting isn’t a required part
of the core K-12 curriculum.


Building your team for your own startup

Mashable did it again. Check out Startup Hacks: Seven Ideas for Building Your Team

Seven ideas for building your startup team:

1. Hire like-DNA

Like DNA doesn’t necessarily mean like personalities. Hire people who get it, who see the world the same, but that have complementary skills. There’s an old saying that “it takes all kinds,” but don’t take that too literally. If you do, you’ll have analysis paralysis and you won’t accomplish anything in a timeframe that matters.

2. Too many chiefs

Don’t hire too many execs; being top heavy isn’t fun. It comes with egos, turf wars, high expense to your cash and cap table. A VP level role must be severely justified. Just because someone is the first employee, doesn’t mean they’re a VP. And just because someone’s a founder, doesn’t mean they’re a VP either. While we’re here, “founder” is not a job title, so avoid behaving as if it were.

3. Build a low fat company

People tend to over-hire so that they can scale to meet the demands of a hockey stick business that’s coming any day now. Don’t hire until it’s clear you have one of those hockey stick situations. You’ll burn less venture, social and emotional capital. The more bodies, the more drama and associated management. The fewer bodies, the less of that and likely the more you get done. You’ll be able to make decisions faster and implement them even faster. Understand, that in the early stages of a company, getting small wins is key. Momentum is like that: the sum of the small wins yields the bigger win, so on and so forth.

4. Be scrappy and hire scrappy

It’s the only way to fly in this era. Scrappy people find a way, they create momentum, they make things happen, they thrive on roadblocks, they don’t read the manual, they figure things out, they see the forest and the trees, they find openings in the field, they try fast and fail fast, but apply lessons learned quickly.

5. Can you feel it?

Chemistry is so, so, so important. You need to be able to WANT to have a drink or a meal with the people on your team. You need to be able to call B.S. at times, and for your teammates to not take things personally. You need to have personal and company alignment of interests. This level of engagement is only had with strong chemistry.

6. Hire in tribes

If you can find people that have enjoyed and had success working together in the past, keep them together. You can’t buy that. It’s like an instant catapult, and there’s no substitute.

7. Don’t hire (or partner with) your friends (for friendship sake)

Make sure there’s a major fit to the task or vision, otherwise you put a friendship on the line - and that can only go one of two ways. I have a friend that to this day is hurt because I didn’t ask him to join a company I started. Truth was, we had a good chemistry friendship, but that didn’t qualify for a good chemistry business venture. I’m just glad to still have the friendship.


Maverick's Startup Rules

Maverick put together his rules to be successful in the startup: A Couple of My Rules for Startups.

1. Don't start a company unless its an obsession and something you love.

2. If you have an exit strategy, its not an obsession.

3. Hire people who you think will love working there.

4. Sales Cures All. Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.

5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them. Pay up for people in your core competencies. Get the best. Outside the core competencies, hire people that fit your culture but are cheap

6. An expresso machine ? Are you kidding me ? Shoot yourself before you spend money on an expresso machine. Coffee is for closers. Sodas are free. Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk. There are 24 hours in a day, and if people like their jobs, they will find ways to use as much of it as possible to do their jobs.

7. No offices. Open offices keeps everyone in tune with what is going on and keeps the energy up. If an employee is about privacy, show them how to use the lock on the john. There is nothing private in a start up. This is also a good way to keep from hiring execs who can not operate successfully in a startup. My biggest fear was always hiring someone who wanted to build an empire. If the person demands to fly first class or to bring over their secretary, run away. If an exec wont go on salescalls, run away. They are empire builders and will pollute your company.

8. As far as technology, go with what you know. That is always the cheapest way. If you know Apple, use it. If you know Vista... ask yourself why, then use it. Its a startup, there are just a few employees. Let people use what they know.

9. Keep the organization flat. If you have managers reporting to managers in a startup, you will fail. Once you get beyond startup, if you have managers reporting to managers, you will create politics.

10. NEVER EVER EVER buy swag. A sure sign of failure for a startup is when someone sends me logo polo shirts. If your people are at shows and in public, its ok to buy for your own folks, but if you really think someone is going to wear your Yobaby.com polo you sent them in public, you are mistaken and have no idea how to spend your money

11. NEVER EVER EVER hire a PR firm. A PR firm will call or email people in the publications, shows and websites you already watch, listen to and read. Those people publish their emails. Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them an email introducing yourself and the company. Their job is to find new stuff. They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. Once you establish communications with that person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source for them. If you are smart, they will use you.

12. Make the job fun for employees. Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them. My first company, MicroSolutions, when we had a record sales month, or someone did something special, I would walk around handing out 100 dollar bills to salespeople. At Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions, we had a company shot. Kamikaze. We would take people to a bar every now and then and buy one or 10 for everyone. At MicroSolutions, more often than not we had vendors cover the tab. Vendors always love a good party :0


Great way to promote your business

Best of all, they are free!

10 Ways to Promote a Business Online for Free

Tips for technical interview

Interesting article for you to Hacking the Technical Interview. Read on...

How to use NLP, Hypnosis and other Jedi Mind tricks to land the exact job that you want

NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a rogue branch of pschylogy that is based on the premise that language and communication can be used to influence people. Using these skills in a technical interview would produce remarkable results.

Some of the tools and techniques that can be used to influence the outcome of a technical job interview are:

< Syncing >

People like people who are like themselves. Syncing is way by which you can establish deep rapport with anyone by mimicking their physiology. By sitting in the same posture, nodding in the same way, breathing at the same rate, you can create a strong connection with the interviewer.

< Anchoring >

Spatial Anchoring is a powerful way to associate all the positive feelings to you and negative feelings to the rest of the candidates who are being interviewed.

< Footprinting >

Footprinting allows you to exactly know what qualities the interviewer are looking for and how to position yourself as the ideal candidate.

Great post mortem story of failed web 2.0 company (Monitor110)

There are great lessons to be learned and followed if you want to success in web 2.0 company. Monitor110: A Post Mortem does not provide formula for success but it does provide great insight to what went wrong for Monitor110.

Full quote as follows:

Turning Failure into Learning

Writing a post mortem is hard, particularly when the result is failure: a failed deal; a failed investment; a failed concept. That said, without a post mortem, without deep reflection, honesty and introspection, how can we get better and do better the next time? Quite simply, we can't. My involvement with Monitor110, as an investor, Board member and leader, was one of the most interesting and informative experiences of my life. I learned about areas I never dreamed of. I worked with a terrific group of young, exceptionally bright people who believed in the vision. Ultimately, we failed. But why did we fail, and what could we have done differently? Some of the stuff is pure 20:20 hindsight. These observations aren't worth much. But the interpersonal dynamics, the issues of organizational structure, the need to change strategy in light of new information, the relationship with key investors, all of these are very instructive. I will endeavor to be as honest and candid as possible.

Let me say that I deeply respect everybody involved with Monitor110 from the original founder, Jeff Stewart, to our investors, employees and customers. Everyone tried very hard to make things work, and this post is not an indictment of anyone. There are no "bad actors" in this story. But a confluence of factors made success an uphill struggle.

The Seven Deadly Sins

While we certainly made more than seven mistakes during the nearly four-year life of Monitor110, I think these top the list.

1. The lack of a single, "the buck stops here" leader until too late in the game
2. No separation between the technology organization and the product organization
3. Too much PR, too early
4. Too much money
5. Not close enough to the customer
6. Slow to adapt to market reality
7. Disagreement on strategy both within the Company and with the Board

A Little Background

I was initially approached in early 2005 by Jeff Stewart, who had the original idea for Monitor110. It was a compelling idea. The thesis: more and better information is being put out on the Internet every day, information that can be valuable to Institutional investors who are constantly looking for an edge. And these investors were not very sophisticated about how to best access this information; Monitor110 would use technology to help them get that edge. Jeff and a few guys had hacked together a version 1.0 of the system, which was based on a boolean matching engine with rules corresponding to each company and investment theme. It was fast. It worked ok. We spent some time working with PubSub, who had built a scalable matching engine but was not focused on the financial services industry.

By mid-2005 the system worked, but spam was becoming more prevalent and caused the matching results to deteriorate, e.g., too much junk clogging the output. Around the same time we started to dig into natural language processing and the statistical processing of text, thinking that this might be a better way to address the spam issue and to get more targeted, relevant results. This prompted us to not push version 1.0, instead wanting to see if we could come up with a more powerful release using NLP to mark the kick-off. In retrospect, this was a big mistake. Mistake #5, to be precise. We should have gotten it out there, been kicked in the head by tough customers, and iterated like crazy to address their needs. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. Didn't.

An Unusual Leadership Structure

The idea was that Jeff was the technology guy and I was the business guy. Jeff focused on technology and product and I focused on fund raising, HR, controls and client access (given my Wall Street and hedge fund rolodex). On paper, made sense. Jeff was a successful three-time entrepreneur, I was an experienced senior Wall Street executive. The problem was, however, that when it came time to make hard decisions the two-headed structure really didn't work. It was a technology company working to solve a complex problem, and ultimately technology dominated the discussion. Ultimately, we ended up building something that the business side was not happy with, which made selling it difficult. An indication of Mistake #2. Neither Jeff nor I had the power, real or perceived, to simply change direction. The Board was supportive of this management structure. This was also a mistake. Mistake #1.

A Real Product versus a Science Project

We talked about "release early/release often," but were scared of looking like idiots in front of major Wall Street and hedge fund clients. Is it better to wait a bit before releasing to have a more compelling product or to begin getting feedback on a less impressive offering? We chose #1; in retrospect I think we should have chosen #2. By choosing to wait we lost our intimacy with the customer (Mistake #5 again), falling into the classic (as a "green" entrepreneur I didn't know this, but as a seasoned four-year venture investor I know this now) trap of pursuing a "science project," not building a commercially salable product. Dumb. Another problem: technology and product management were effectively bundled together, with the same decision-makers for both. This was another crucial error, #2 again. Instead of having product management as the advocate for the customer and the product evangelist, we had technology running the show in a vacuum. Huge mistake. This allowed us to perpetuate the science project for much, much longer than we should have. There were no checks-and-balances built into the system. This was a recipe for failure. I intuitively knew it then but as an inexperienced entrepreneur didn't feel empowered to act. Really, really stupid. After 20 years of making consistently good business decisions why didn't I throw a fit and and be more assertive in communicating my concerns? No good answer here.

And these bad behaviors were reinforced by an unplanned event that sharply impacted our psyche: being on the front page of the Financial Times. It is hard to call it a mistake since we didn't seek to get such exposure, but I put it down as Mistake #3. To be honest, this single fact was a very meaningful factor in our failure. It raised the level of expectations so high that it made us reluctant to release anything that wasn't earth-shattering. It was also catalyst for us raising our last and largest round of capital. So the net effect was that it enabled to raise all this money that kept us far from the customer. Truth be told, we were probably afraid of customers at this point because we didn't want to disappoint them or look bad. Oh, we'd build something they'd love. We just wouldn't show it to them until it was done. Ugh. Just so stupid.

Too Much Money

Too much money is like too much time; work expands to fill the time allotted, and ways to spend money multiply when abundant financial resources are available. By being simply too good at raising money, it enabled us to perpetuate poor organizational structure and suboptimal strategic decisions. Mistake #4. We weren't forced early on to be scrappy and revenue focused. We wanted to build something that was so good from the get-go that the market would simply eat it up. Problem was, with all that money we hid from the market while we were building, almost ensuring that we would come up with something that the market wouldn't accept. And then there were technology issues that came up along the way, very substantive issues, that because of so much money we simply didn't face into nearly fast enough. And this drove a wedge in the company between those that were more plugged into the market (and felt we weren't building the right thing or addressing the data issues the right way) and those who were building the product (and felt very convinced that what they were building was responsive to the market). I would almost argue that too much money enabled the other six mistakes to be made again and again and again. Seems counter-intuitive, right? It's not. And believe me, I am super sensitive to this issue now as an investor. If a company wants to raise significantly more money than I think they need to get to revenue, I push back. Hard.

Investor Expectations versus Market Reality

We raised money based on a vision of a scalable web portal, a tool that would eventually be the web-enabled side of Bloomberg. We never believed we'd replace Bloomberg, Reuters or Thomson for market data and mainstream news, but that we'd eventually become a necessary part of the Institutional investor research mosaic. We were positioned as a technology company, not as an alternative research provider or a services business. And it was the deep belief in Monitor110 as a pure technology company that created a rift between the business side of the company and powerful members of the Board. Mistakes #6 and #7, as you'll soon see.

We did an angel round in the latter part of 2005 followed by an institutional round early in 2006, enough money, we thought, to help us build the new version 1.0 of the product. We then did another institutional round in Q3 2006 to further execute against this vision, because the money was offered to us on a pre-emptive basis and around six months earlier than we were planning to do a raise. The new release would be whizzy, fast, comprehensive and use all that neat technology to analyze unstructured data in real time, and to score each data element by reputation and relevance. Easy to filter, discover and analyze. Super cool, right? Sure. Problem was, we started out trying to analyze most of the dynamic web (probably up to 100 million sources by now) in real-time, and using technology (NLP, pattern matching, etc.) to do the filtering, indexing and categorization. This was no mean engineering feat. We had a very, very large and complex back-end. And even with this, the quality of the data coming through to the end-user was just not that good. Too much spam, still. Duplicate posts. Sometimes mis-categorized. Difficulty applying our reputation algorithms. Not good.

Those closer to the customer wanted to effectively chuck this approach and to build up a high-value corpus of data from the bottom up, using our deep knowledge of the source universe to assemble a body of data from publishers of high reputation. Really more akin to a "Bloomberg for the Web" than the original product, as the sources would be of high-quality and indexed correctly. They also wanted to build a research capability, where a desk could generate customized reports for clients leveraging our technology and data. But making this fundamental change to our approach towards data and the business model resulted in a fight. Almost a jihad, where certain parts of the company were vehemently in favor of changing our approach while others said "improvement to the current system is right around the corner." This could only happen because of Mistakes #1 and #2, where nobody could pound the table and say "this is the way we're going to do it and here's why," nor could the business side simply say "this is what our clients want. This is why we should do it." We were one big, passionate, driven, dysfunctional family. This argument played out over months and months, and cost us an enormous amount of money. Eventually we did change our approach to data, but it was a fight that spiritually damaged the company and morale and had a financial impact that substantially depleted our coffers.

And in Conclusion

The good news for me personally is that I now invest in a way that actively seeks to avoid the seven deadly sins listed above, and the performance of my portfolio companies bears this out. But I simply wasn't smart enough or experienced enough to see all of these mistakes or to feel empowered to do something about them until it was too late. I would like to thank all of our investors for having the confidence in us to pursue the Monitor110 vision, and I'm sorry that we weren't financially successful. I'd also like to thank the people with whom I worked during my tenure at Monitor110. Not a bad apple in the lot. Smart, hard-working, highly motivated professionals. They will invariably do extremely well in their post-Monitor110 lives.

The market for alternative information and tools is very, very challenging, and the current market environment isn't making it any easier. But there are clear needs out there that should and will be addressed. I will write a post on the alternative information market at a later time. Thanks for listening.


The know how of hiring the best!

Small Business Trends puttogether article on How to Hire the Best (for the least expense)

Great article to follow through to maximize your dollar for the quality employees.


• STEP 1: Clear, Precise, Thorough Job Description.

Make absolutely sure this is your first step. Appropriate levels of detail vary for each job. Include the need that’s solved with this person’s hire. It’s impossible to measure their success, and yours for their hire, without it. Include their incentives. Do not proceed to go before this is completed.

Your goal is clear now. The next step is made easier.

• STEP 2: Clear, Precise, Job Qualifications.

The details make the difference here, too. Your work environment, the setting, their workspace, personality of their colleagues…all must be included along with specific task-related skills necessary to perform the tasks of the job. You’ll hire the person that fits your needs, stated or not. The purpose here is to state them clearly, for everyone’s acceptance.

• STEP 3: TOE the line.

o Transparent. You’ll be rewarded with greater engagement, participation, input and…forgiveness as you make this recruiting process transparent for all. Tell everyone, tell them repeatedly and put it in writing. And demand the same of everyone else. Small companies usually are at an advantage here. But this is a double-edged sword.

o Openness. Keep all parties informed, all to all, on the progress of each step in this recruiting process. It’s time-consuming if your time horizon is very short. Otherwise, it’s obvious this is an investment whose immediate return comes in the form of …

o Engagement. The holy grail of small business success. Recruiting and hiring is a perfect opportunity to create another layer of engagement with the current members, with the future member.

Everyone now knows when and what you want to hire. And why.

And they know they’re engaged in the process.

Who and Where are the next questions. Who has the qualifications? Where do you find them?


• STEP 1: Look Within.

The first place, usually the best place, for all your company’s solutions rests internally. That’s everyone in your company: your employees, your colleagues. It’s their evangelism that’s brought your team together. Their evangelism brings your customers to you. Look to them. They know best how to solve your company’s needs. They’ll know best who will work best.

o Note: Some company circumstances allow customers and partners/vendors to be included at this stage. I’d label that step 1A. Do it only A. if your relationships make it possible; B. after you’ve asked, transparently, your closest confidantes: your employees.

• STEP 2: Evaluate Within.

Vet the potential candidates internally before contacting any directly. This is most important in any small, close-knit community, whether it’s geographical or professional. This step will save time, money and embarrassment for all involved.

• STEP 3: Create a single point of contact.

Identify one person to contact any potential candidates after being vetted internally first. This respects the confidentiality of the candidates, avoids conflicting messages and saves everyone time. Let this person manage the interactions (interview follow-up, additional interviews) with the candidates. It can be the hiring manager. You can also use this process to test the capabilities of a promising member of your company.


You’ve been unable to hire your desired candidate. Maybe, you’ve even interviewed one or two with no success. But any possible candidates for further review have been eliminated.

Now, what? What are your options?

• Ads? Be prepared for an onslaught of unqualified emails, resumes and phone calls.

If you must use an ad, I’d encourage you to keep the name of your company confidential. Competitors don’t need to know. Idle and incorrect gossip is kept to a minimum.

• Recruiters?

Be careful. And I say that having been a recruiter for corporate bankers back in the day. A top-notch, professional, recruiter with high levels of integrity can bring added-value to your company with each search they handle. They can find better candidates, they can do a better job of screening candidates, they can focus your time on meeting only the best of the candidate pool.

Unfortunately, it’s a minority of recruiters who fit this bill. No offense. But the potential for conflicts of interest, the lack of any enforced standards, the lack of loyalty…all increase the risk of an expensive and unproductive experience.

IF…you choose a recruiter, make sure it comes recommended from a trusted source. And, follow these recommendations:

o Verify their universe of candidates? What companies, competitors, do they have an existing relationship? This is the list from which they cannot recruit candidates for your job. The bigger the list, the smaller pool of candidates to draw from.

o Testimonials. Do NOT move forward without 5-10-15 wonderful testimonials.

o Expenses. Don’t pay them…unless it’s a very high-level position that requires a high-level of personal, confidential handling and it’s a limited universe of candidates.

o Maximum fee. Most recruiters are compensated based on a percentage of the salary of the candidate you hire from their recommendation. That incentivizes them to encourage you to pay more. Fix a maximum fee, regardless of the candidate’s eventual salary.

o Timelines and deadlines. Get them in writing. Hold them accountable with penalties for non-performance.

• Two potential resources.

I’ve used neither. But if I’ve told you to NOT use a recruiter…and you’re out of candidates…I should offer a solution.

o New-Hire.

I chose this company in recent weeks as my Small Business Resource of the Week. I’ve met the CEO, Chuck Smith. He came recommended by Steve MacGill, CEO and founder of Peersight Online. The testimonials for New-Hire were plentiful and their responses were near immediate and universally enthusiastic. I had created a partnership with them while CEO at another company.

Their key is that not only will they work with you to craft the text of your and work to place your ads for maximum responses, but they have an online application that lets you create a screening questionnaire and filter the candidates based on their answers. This let spend time only with those candidates you want to meet.

Chuck’s had many years in the recruiting and hiring business. And if you really, really want a recruiter they offer that service also.

o Hire Insight.

If I didn’t know New-Hire, I’d talk with Chad Hayward at Hire Insight. We’ve exchanged emails. I like his approach:

In terms of fishing or farming, the key is treating the process like a marketing activity (see http://blog.hireinsightselect.com/?p=12 ). Basically, this means developing an employer brand and designing appealing materials, such as postings, around that brand (i.e., “why would someone want to work for you?”). Of course, then there is the need to find the right places to market that job (generic job boards are not the only option, and is often not best); maybe we could offer suggestions on where readers could post vacancies.

In summary, I hope some of this helps clarify some steps to take to insure you recruit the Best Talent for the least expense.

The Best …for the Least. (It should be every small company’s motto in every thing they, we, do. It’s an easy way to A. be a stand-out; B. keep the cash-flows positive.)


Best motivational article I have ever read!

7 Habits to Master the Art of Winning against the Odds is the best motivational article I have ever read. It give you the how the slump happens to how to overcome the problem you are facing.

Success in life is determined by your ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
~ Winston Churchill

I can help take someone from failure to success but I can’t take them from excuses to success because if you’re making excuses you haven’t yet realized where the real problem lies.
~ John Maxwell

The main idea behind it are following 7 habits:

1. Learn to accept responsibility for your actions.
2. Admit your mistakes.
3. Develop mental toughness.
4. One goal at a time.
5. Develop your inner self.
6. Focus on what you can control.
7. Never stop learning.

Lunis Torvalds is funny guy. Top 10 quote list

Linus is definitely a great guy and he has quote a bit of humor as well!

The 10 Best Linus Torvalds Quotes

1. “Software is like sex: it's better when it's free.”

2. “Microsoft isn't evil, they just make really crappy operating systems.”

3. “My name is Linus, and I am your God.”

4. “See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.”

5. “The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it.”

6. “Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100 mph.”

7. “Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.”

8. “When you say, ‘I wrote a program that crashed Windows,’ people just stare at you blankly and say, ‘Hey, I got those with the system, for free.’”

9. “I don't doubt at all that virtualization is useful in some areas. What I doubt rather strongly is that it will ever have the kind of impact that the people involved in virtualization want it to have.”

10. “Now, most of you are probably going to be totally bored out of your minds on Christmas day, and here's the perfect distraction. Test 2.6.15-rc7. All the stores will be closed, and there's really nothing better to do in between meals.”

Browser Add-On Business?

Is it really plausible? It is hard to tell and it's in the gray area where it depends on many other factors. ReadWriteWeb have published interesting article Can Browser Add-ons Be Businesses?

Conclusion is as follows:

Browser add-ons are increasingly interesting ways to reach consumers. Since the browser is the most used application on the desktop and major browsers are platforms, businesses are looking for opportunities to reach consumers through this new channel. Better than desktop applications, browser add-ons are light and update automatically.

As with any vertical business, only a few add-ons can become real businesses. The competition is tough and the business models have not been mapped out that well. Yet if there's a shot at reaching users via a download, browser add-ons seem to be it.


Productivity TIP - Priority

Many times it is very hard to be productive and being able to achieve the goals that are set forth due to the fact that there are too many things that needs to be done.

Lifehacker published article that How Priorities Make Things Happen. Main theme idea is that by really thinking through what is the real priority that is either do or die can make it easier for people to give visibility of what needs to be done.

It also helps clamping down the meeting as well as achieve productive meetings as quoted from the article:

When there is uncertainty or disagreement, reframe the discussion around the priorities using questions like these.

* What problem are we trying to solve?
* Does this problem relate to our top goals or is it a distraction?
* Is this problem important enough to warrant changing our priorities?
* What is the simplest way to resolve this that will allow us to meet out goals?
* If we're struggling to meet our goals, which goal can we drop down to Priority 2?

Also, setting the proper priorities with good fundamental will involve saying no to many things as shown here.
One effect of having priorities is how often you have to say no. It's one of the smallest words in the English language, yet many people have trouble saying it. The problem is that if you can't say no, you can't have priorities. The universe is a large place, but your priority one list should be very small. That small list means there are thousands of good ideas that must be denied to focus your energy on the ones you've chosen to pursue. If you continually say yes to ideas that do not match your priorities, you are saying yes to failure. If you want to change your priorities, that's one thing, but if you are constantly changing them then they were never priorities at all. You did not think deeply enough about them if, emotionally, they are easy to change every few hours. So a fundamental law is this: if you can't say no, if you can't protect your priorities, you can't make things happen.