Category: Bits and pieces

You are Being Lied To and Other Truths

Larry Winget has written a manifesto called You are Being Lied To and Other Truths over at ChangeThis. It is time well spent to read the dozen pages. Larry writes this about himself:

All I am really an expert at is being stupid and learning from it….I have become an expert at not making the same mistake twice, and learning from every stupid thing I have ever done.

I have read many bestseller business books over the years and I do agree with Larry:

There are simply no secrets. When you see the word “secret” you should run! And when you hear that someone has a brand new concept for how to be successful, beware. You don’t need anything brand new; you need to go back to the old and simple stuff that makes sense.

Instead of 500 books about the secrets of customer service, try this: Be nice. Say thank you. A secret? I hope not. Isn’t that all you are looking for in a transaction?

Instead of 600 books on the secrets of selling, try this: Ask. Just ask people to buy. Ask, ask, ask, ask, and ask. Become a master asker.

Instead of 700 books about the secrets of leadership, try this: lead. Get out in front of people and give them something to follow.

Larry ends his manifesto with Larry´s Truths about Business
+ Attitude doesn’t matter.
+ Who cares if your employees are happy?
+ You don’t have to love your job—but it helps.
+ Not firing people is a cancer on your business.
+ Do the right thing no matter what.

When it comes to knowing if something is the right or wrong thing, simply trust your instinct. Larry puts it like this: “If you have to ask, it’s the wrong thing”.

German – English

BEOLINGUS is a great German-English dictionary and my own favourite.

Search in more than 680,000 translations with examples and hints, explanations, synonyms, sayings, aphorisms, and quotations in English and German. Browse lists for special topics. Listen to German and English pronunciations spoken by native speakers.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

The Canoe Race

A Japanese Company and a California Company decided to have a canoe race on the Columbia River. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. Afterwards, the California team became very discouraged and depressed. The management of the California company decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A “Measurement Team” made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was that the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the Californians had 1 person rowing and 8 people steering. The Management of the California company hired a consulting company and paid them incredible amounts of money. They advised that too many people were steering the boat and not enough people were rowing. To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program”, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. “We must give the rower empowerment and enrichment through this quality program.”

The next year the Japanese won by 2 miles. Humiliated, the management of the California company laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles and canceled all capital investments for new equipment.

Then they used the money saved by giving a High Performance Award to the steering managers and distributed the rest of the money as bonuses to the senior executives.

MBA versus common sense

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?” To which the American replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, senor?” The American laughed and said that’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions. “Millions, senor? Then what?” The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Multilingual

A Swiss man, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Americans are waiting.

“Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie deutsch?” he asks. The two Americans just stare at him.

“Excusez-moi, parlez-vous Français?” he tries. The two continue to stare.

“Parlano l’italiano?” No response.

“Hablan ustedes Espanol?” Still nothing. The Swiss guy drives off, totally frustrated.

The first American turns to the second and says, “Y’know, maybe we should learn a foreign language.” “Why?” says the other, “That guy knew four languages, and it didn’t do him any good.”

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere-even sitting in an armchair by the fire-yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here’s how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs.

Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKS with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it. BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other display devices it can become unusable if dropped overboard.

The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session-even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK’s appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

Brand Recognition

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say, “I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says, “He’s fantastic in bed.” That’s Advertising.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink. You open the door for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her a ride, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.” That’s Brand Recognition.

Marketing explained

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, “I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, “She’s fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and to straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, “May I,” and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”
— That’s Brand Recognition.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You talk him into going home with your friend.
— That’s a Sales Rep.

Your friend can’t satisfy him so she calls you.
— That’s Tech Support.

You’re on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you’re passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated toward the center and shout at the top of your lungs, “I’m fantastic in bed!”
— That’s Spam.