2005 Stanford University commencement address by Steve Jobs. I'm sure many of you have seen this already, but I find myself returning to it every few months, whenever I need a reminder to stay hungry and foolish...
I work from home at least 50% of the time and its a huge challenge... definitely not for everyone. You have to be self motivated and really enjoy what you're doing, otherwise you're better off finding an office job. Even if you have what it takes keeping productivity on a consistently high level is a daily struggle.
I came across a list of 30 tips for staying productive while working from home at Zenhabits. The list is very useful, filled with great ideas to help you stay disciplined and focused on work without hurting quality of life. My personal favorite is number 17:
"No turning on the computer for a quick email check or to do 1 little thing until you’ve gotten “ready for work” as mentioned above. The nuance is if you have nowhere to be, that 1 little thing leads to showering at 2 in the afternoon with a splitting headache because you’ve forgotten to eat etc." - I couldn't agree more!
The only things tip I would add to the 30 is:
I just found a great article on digg via TorrentFreak that talks about Paolo Coelho, the best selling author of "The Alchemist". Paolo has been distributing his books via BitTorrent and other file sharing networks for free. The great part is that the end result has been a huge boost in sales of his books, particularly in developing countries such as Russia (he's very popular there).
This is a great "new economy" story...give things away and watch people line up to buy them. Think about what you can give away for free and how you can efficiently distribute it to your target audience... the only catch is that it has to be something of real value, otherwise who cares?!
Since Paolo Coelho has been brought up, I 'd like to mention that he is one of my favorite authors. His books touch millions of people by giving them a perspective on spirituality in their daily lives, covering topics that are important to everyone; love, friendship, sex, personal and spiritual growth... I would recommend "The Zahir", "11 Minutes" and "Warrior of the Light: A Manual" to everyone. I carry Warrior of the Light with me almost everywhere I go.
Download the books for free using links on the Pirate Coelho Blog. Enjoy!
I was just watching a live feed of Bill Gate's keynote at CES and towards the very end the Guitar Hero world champion known as "Tipper Queen" made a guest appearance and very briefly showed what she can do with the axe. I looked her up on YouTube and found the video embedded below... anyone who has played Guitar Hero will appreciate just how awesome this is:
I wonder if Slash of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, who also made an appearance with Bill Gates (talk about selling out) could beat Tipper with enough practice... somehow I'm not sure he could.
Moscow's city government has pre-approved construction of the world's largest building, "Crystal Island", which at 27 million square feet will essentially be a city within a city. The project is estimated to cost 4 billion dollars and should be finished by 2013.
As a frequent visitor to the Russian capital I can't imagine this being part of the cityscape, it just doesn't fit in. My feeling is that Crystal Island is a modern day version of the thankfully never built "Place of the Soviets" except now its a monument to capitalism... it even looks like the BP logo when viewed from the top :)
Here are some pictures of the project designed by Sir Norman Foster:
This is a great Robin Hood story with an entrepreneurial twist as Peter fights for his vision of giving the world's poorest people access to clean drinking water by charting the world's richest a big premium to buy it in a bottle, only to end up selling the company to Starbucks and getting rich himself in the process.
Great business... great story. Really love Peter's roll up the sleeves attitude
I never blogged enough to have a loyal (small or large... doesn't matter) reader base, but seeing as how I haven't blogged since March, I likely have no readers at all, maybe just the odd visitor from Mind Petals, and thats great too because it means I can start largely from scratch.
One of my primary influences to start again was the realization that I don't have to write about business related topics to deliver a message about entrepreneurship. I can post anything that inspires me and that will hopefully be enough to inspire someone else and thats really all I want to do. The blog that actually motivated me most of all to start doing this again is the Kanye West Blog, he just writes about things he sees that influence him and that really transfers to his readers. Hope I can achieve even a little bit of that.
Most of all, I have make blogging a habit and let the good ideas flow!
Heres a perfect example of whats wrong with the vast majority of marketers... it pissed me off so much that I decided to blog for the first time in weeks (while sitting on hold)...
The Travelocity.com 888 service line, which for the brave at heart can be reached by dialing 888-872-8356, was simply not designed for/by human beings. The fundamental problem is that the marketing team that created the promotional messages you hear while on hold never actually sat through a typical call. They recorded some friendly messages that cover common topics like...
The recordings you hear while on hold are two people (a man and a woman) talking about these riveting topics. These messages might even be helpful if it weren't for the fact that typical hold times are over 30 minutes and there isn't even any elevator music pauses between them, so essentially you're listening to the same 4 messages all the time! Looped! I've had to call their wonderful India based call center 3 times today for a total of over 2 hours on hold listening to the same looped junk. I estimate that I've heard each of those educational messages at least 50 times.
If someone from their marketing department put him or her self in the shoes of a customer sitting on hold, they would feel the anger induced goose bumps on their own skin and get a grasp for the damage they're doing to their brand. Their goal of reducing call volumes and hence call center costs is a noble one, but the millions of dollars spent promoting the "Roaming Gnome: Denouncer of Travel Myths" have gone down the pipe as far as anyone who has ever called their 888 number is concerned.