Monday, April 29, 2013

Books : Business & money

Books are the oldest support for ideas, and it will stay for long.

In an era where everything is digital and ephemeral, books can stay on your shelf and remind you the origin of ideas that makes who you are. It creates a base that does not move.
With this plateform, you can observe change and use it at your advantage instead of being carried away by the stream.

The creative mind is just a place where idea are in conflict and then fusion to give birth to new ones.

Creativity is not a choice, it is a reflex of our brain fired by accepted but conflicting idea.

With no plateform, ideas come in and out from your mind, thus diminishing idea conflict without which, you can't be creative.

That's why I consider reading and keeping track of what you read should be a top priority for everyone and this habit is programmed inside my list on rememberthemilk : I give my money one time every 3 month for 3 books on amazon.

That's why I prefer book that digital information, and why I store quotes and every great articles in Evernote. They are a plateform that constantly remind me ideas that was once in my mind.

Some of the books are uncorrelated, because it is the easiest way to create new idea.
Pollenizing and connecting the dots is how we create unique ideas.

Here are the list of one that changed me in some ways.

Peopleware

It explained me what make people feeling great at their workplace. It speaks not only about material tips, but also habits of the company that can poison its people.

Permission Marketing, Linchpin, The dip by Seth Godin

Well, Seth Godin wrote a lots of book, but they essentially explain the same idea about making things happen, and how ideas can spread, how much they can/should spread depending on the market, and how to be remarkable in business.

Lucid Dream

A french book about lucid dream, the book is not very good, but I talk about it because lucid dreams (knowing in a dreaming that you are dreaming) changed profoundly how I see the world. Once you get a lucid dream, you are simply amazed beyond imagination of the power of our mind. Inception is a pale imitation of what happen when you are conscious and fully vivid in your dream.
Lucid dream shaped how I see the world, so I cite this book that remind me this fact.

The E-Myth revisited

Thanks to this book, you will stop seeing your business as a technician, but as a business man.
Your business is not a place where you work, the business is your product.
When you push that idea farther, you'll see that the everyday life services you are using are application of this idea. It explains a lot about how big businesses works and see the world.
How it changed my view of the world : Mc Donald's goal is not sell hamburger. Mc Donald's goal is to open more Mc Donald.

Think and Grow Rich, Today we are rich, The richest man in babylon

Once you read this book, you'll understand that money does not make your rich.
Instead, being rich is a mindset that attract money.
That's why winning 1 million at the Lottery is not a dream. Earning 1 million is.
Winning at the lottery does not make you rich, but once you earn your first million, you can burn it, you'll stay rich because you know how to attract money like a magnet.

Unfair advantage, the new 8 rules of money from Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki seems like an infomercial guy, but his message is not scam, and, as the previous books, change your vision of money.
The idea is that people are focusing too much about how much money they have in their bank account, and how to protect and grow it. The problem with that is that it is easy to think that without money first, you can't be rich, and, moreover, by not educating yourself, you are giving your money to hands you don't know, that may have not your best intention in mind.
Robert idea is that people should focus on where the money flow and how to change this flow, instead of accumulating it mindlessly. You can make your money to work for you only if you are educated enough to understand how the money is flowing. If you don't, other people will take your money to work for them.

Reality Check from Guy Kawasaki, Startup weekend, Lean startup

Put your feet on earth, by focusing on what is really important for your startup : Shipping.
It also explain you what a banker thinks, and what an investors think so you can adapt your pitch depending on the person you are talking with.
Key ideas :
  • Some people can be interested in your business, and not in your product, spot them and adapt your pitch.
  • Ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, ship, test, refine, scale.
 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Idea and possession

Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws
Amschel Rothchilds

No animal and certainly no human want we steal something from them.
Therefore animal get the sense of possession, and we are not exception.

Controlling money supply is about controlling this part of our brain that want to possess.
It's not unlike your dog obeying you for the rewarding meat.

But the speciality of humans is creativity, that is creating idea, that, by definition, spread.

One can argue that with an empty stomachs, you can't be creative, so you are inevitably controlled by money. And this was true.

The only thing that is different from the days Amschel Rothchilds said that is summarized in one things : Internet.

But first, what controlling money supply means ?
I suspect the author implied a geographical control of money, that is : the one who can move money to the pocket he wants get power.

But Internet changed the odd, now the money does not go into pockets, it goes into ideas.
Internet made ideas more powerfull, and borderless.
Now ideas are controlling money.
Money does not attract ideas.

Give money to a monkey and you get a rich monkey, not an idea.

"where the money goes ?" is not anymore a geographical question.
It is an idealogical one.

Even if it was a geographical concept, mobility improved at a point you can move at whatever location money goes.

This masquerade of crisis, is more a way to brings people back in survival mode, to push them to possess things.
But at the end of the day, we never had in history so much power between our ears.

Our brain can now follow whatever idea you want instantly.

Now, money is in the service of ideas, as long as you stop going into survival mode. (Tip : Buy an hammer and smash your TV)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If it hurts, do it more often

In software project, integration, deployment and delivery were the most painful part of any project.
The project seems to be 99% done, but the last 1% will take you 50% of the project's time.

You can't skip these steps, if you skip them, you won't ship, if you won't ship, you won't get paid.

The old quote, "if it hurts when you do that, don't do that" is only useful if not doing that is a possibility.

So what developers invented so these it stops hurting ?
They do it every single day, instead of once at the end !

The observation is that when something hurt, you keep doing it, then it stops hurting, then it becomes an habit, and then you forget it, this is hard coded inside the human nature.

This idea applies even more for developers, because when one is forced to do something that hurt very often, be sure that he will make the computer do the work for him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Responsability and delegation

A basic problem with bad manager is that they think about adding man power so they can delegate their responsabilities to someone else so they can accomplish more.

But we can't delegate responsabilities.
We can give new responsabilities to someone so it helps meeting ours, but we can't transfer ours to someone else.

Transfering our responsability is fleeing,
Transfering our responsability is making a promise on behalf of someone else.

Once we make a promise, we are the only one that should make sure we meet it.
There is nothing bad into asking people to make promise to us, so it helps us fullfilling ours.
But that is different promises.

Telling : I could not do what I said because X did not blahblah is always a bad excuse.
It is the sign of someone who does not admit he brokes his promise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Speaking about convictions

There is different level of discussion,

The first level is about weather, superficial, and safe,
No information gained, looking up is enough to see clouds, so talking is pretty much useless, but no war begans because of weather.

The highest level is about convictions, deep, and dangerous,

Convictions are powerful ideas that drive our behavior while making us more human.
Without conviction, we are as good as a fish in a bowl fighting for survival and security.
Without conviction, the lizard brain drives our life.
Only human can behave for an idea.

Conviction is an idea that make someone do what he does for its own sake.

Killing a conviction, can kill a man, so the lizard brain protects it,  by fighting and escaping.

However, talking about convictions should not be avoided, you can't understand a person until you know what is driving him.

What must be avoided is awakening a lizard brain.

But as we speak about conviction to someone without doing any judgement, with a curious, open mind and deep trust, his survival brain goes to sleep, and we can get insight from his most important persona. This is the best food of our mind, and the best way to understand someone.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

E-Myth summarized

I recently read again The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It.

This is a great book, a little bit romanced to get its point, american speakers are the best story tellers.

The idea is :

The product of the entrepreneur is a business.
The product of the manager is scalability.
The product of the technician is the commodity. (a book, a service, a software)

These are the three main personas in a company, and the company is as good as its weakest link.
If you are these three persona at the same time, any imbalance cause pain.

Too much of the technician, and you become your business' slave. You are not working for you, you are working so your business can survive another day.
A business should help its founder to survive... not the other way around.

Too much of the manager, nothing get done, everything become a process and the company becomes too heavy to adapt any change in the environment.

Too much of the entrepreneur, and nothing ship because there is always an idea to improve, and a new feature to add.

The entrepreneur makes the whole business appealing so someone else can buy it. (Either in share, in patent, or in franchise)
The manager makes sure that the business can scale easily, order and predictability are just a mean to this end.
The technician make what the customer is buying, the commodity.

Each of these three personas has their own goal, by hearing them, we can channel them on the same path for our own growth.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The survival instinct and creativity

The only thing that differentiate human from other animals is one trait : Creativity.
Emotions are not specific to humans, whatever any great poems can tell us, creativity is the only trait.

How to define creativity ?
Creativity is not the act to create.
Monkeys can create simple tools to solve simple problems, but can we say that they are creative ?

Creativitiy is the act to create ideas.
And an idea is a product of one's mind, than can spread and survive beyond its creator.

The lifetime of an idea is dissociated from its creator. In the move V for Vendetta the introduction says, "we can cry the death of a man, but not his ideas. You can't kill an idea."

Painting is creative, the canva will survive the death of its author and in turn, influences other authors.
Entrepreneurship is creative, because a business will continue to survive beyond its founders.
Cooking is creative, a great recipe will spread its reputation in a culture.
Programming is creative, a program style will influence other programmers.

Canvas, businesses, recipes, programs, are the mediums of ideas, not the ideas.
They help spreading it, they are physical representation of these, so other people can get the idea, these are just recorders. Ideas live in the minds of people.

I have the highest values on the people that fight for ideas.
Even if they killed people, even if based on my judgement they are wrong, even if ideas are manipulated, they are the most human people. No animal fight for idea.
You can dismiss their idea, but you can't dismiss they behave more humanly than anyone.

I have the highest value on the people that created the idea.
The source of idea is the one worth reading, and also every his followers that do it for the sake of this idea. Every followers doing it for any other reason than the idea itself are driven by emotion, not by any human trait. We call them man of conviction or stubborn.

On the other hand, another well known trait we inherited from lizards is the survival instinct.
When an organization is over concerned by his own survival, the lizard brain spread into the culture, acting like one big lizard, and poisoning people mirroring the organization.
People fear, protect and flee instead of being creative, they loose their humanity.
The price of loosing creativity is despair. We get the same despair as we have when some of our emotions are not satisfied, but most people don't pinpoint it to this cause. They slowly die because they are not creating, their human mind dying since they don't use it.

The survival instinct is indispensable for our defense in hostile environment, our creativity is indispensable for our humanity. When people act for fear of loosing their jobs, saving, house or whatever, the survival instinct is speaking. Because, in our society, the symbol of survival is money.
In these terms, our world is currently hostile.

But Internet came in, and now ideas spread faster than never.
It empowered creativity because a new idea is nothing but a merge of several ideas into one's mind. When any idea merge with ideas from the laws of money, a new idea is born, and its physical representation is called a business.

No jobs, no house, no saving become important.
Thanks to the laws of money a business attracts money, so we can devote our energy to raise its idea without the survival instinct devoring our humanity.

This way of thinking solve our survival instinct and creativity into a nice equation.

That's why I am creating a business : it is a physical representation of what IT training should looks like that also attract money to it.
I fight for this idea since my lizard brain lastely shut off, but I need to attract money to it so the lizard brain will stays quiet, so I can continue to fuel this idea.
Why doing that ? Because that is the definition of creativity, it is the only thing that animal can't do, and, the most enjoyable activity.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Citations for thoughts

Our actions are influenced by our thoughts,
our thoughts are influenced by our culture,
our culture is influenced by where our mind and senses are.
Both of these, we are in total control.

I tend to capture words that inspire me, so I can read and think on them again to ultimately influence my actions on the good path. Some of which, I lost the sources, internet will find it for you, but they are valuable nonetheless, here they are :

Things don't just happen. Things happens just. Jim Rohn

Make sure what you do is the product of your own conclusion

Take an idiot motivate him, and you got a motivated idiot.

Have the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the Courage  to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

You can't get rich by demand.

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job
If you work harder on your job you'll make a living
If you work harder on yourself you can make a fortune. Jim Rohn

Plant in the spring or beg in the fall

No apology if you have done well, no complaint if you did not

Don't be a follower be a student

The creative adult is the child who survived.

The one with no objective, can't reach it. Sun Tzu

Comfort makes coward of us all.

Find what poor people read and don't read it
Find out how they talk and don't talk like they use.
Don't talk the language of the poor Jim Rohn


The core business of banking is best described as : "facilitating the movement of money from point A, where it is, to point B, where it is needed." Third Lord Rothschild

The world is but a canvas to the imagination Henry David Thoreau
 
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. Albert Einstein
 
Set a big goal, not for what it will bring you, but for what it will make of you to achieve it.
 
Discontent is a call for expansion 
 
"I don't need much", "well, so you don't need to become much"
 
Information without education is of limited value.
Education transform information into meaning.


"If I had more money, I'd have better plan..."  "No, if you had better plan, you would have more money"

Tax money feed the goose with golden eggs

A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it. The Richest Man in Babylon
Him whose purse is empty does gold avoid The Richest Man in Babylon

what we call necessary expenses will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.

Success is something you attract, it is not something to pursue

Have a mind that is open to everthing and attached to nothing

The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence. John F. Kennedy

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." Robert A. Heinlein

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination" Einstein

"It seems we learn better from bad experience than from good advice"

"Conviction increases the chance that there is creativity and some spark of imagination" A movie producer searching for a great realizator

We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination David Lynch

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. Ellen Goodman

 
The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.
 
I Bargain with life for a penny.
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.
For life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask.
But once you have set the wages,
Why you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial's hire.
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of life
Life would have willingly paid.