" Startup " Archives

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May 30, 2022

Why practice actually makes perfect: How to rewire your brain for better performance

Link: Why practice actually makes perfect: How to rewire your brain for better performance

Growing up, we all heard the expression “practice makes perfect” from our high school coach/music teacher. Then Malcolm Gladwell went on to popularize the research that expertise developed over “10,000 hours” of deliberate practice. But how does that really work?

In this post, I’ll share what science knows about learning and how special type of brain tissue called myelin, plays a key role in helping us acquire and master skills.

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May 22, 2022

Seth Godin: “Leading Up”

2013/05 Seth Godin | Backwards from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

From Seth Godin’s Creative Mornings talk earlier this month, expounding on a principle he calls “leading up”:

One of the things that I hear the most after I give a talk or someone reads one of my books is, ‘That’s great, but my boss won’t let me. I’d love to do something like that, but my boss won’t let me.’

Well of course she won’t! Because what you’re saying to her is, ‘I want to do something really cool and really neat, and if it works I’ll get the credit, and if it doesn’t you’ll get the blame. Because you said that it was okay.’

Who would take that deal?

In fact, what we see is that the people who have jobs or who have clients who are making a dent in the universe, are doing it by leading the people who are ostensibly in charge to make better decisions; leading those people to have better taste; leading those people to have the guts to do the work that they’re capable of doing.

The remarks quoted above begin at 05:15, but of course, the entire talk is worth watching.

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May 10, 2022

5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Help Yourself Get Healthy

Link: 5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Help Yourself Get Healthy

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

With one sentence and a simple waving of his hand, Obi Wan Kenobi became the coolest guy in the world to 5-year-old Steve.

I couldn’t help but wonder how great it would be to possess the powers of the Force like this Jedi master, getting in or out of situations that I couldn’t normally, simply through the powers of persuasion.

Now, unfortunately the Force has yet to be officially discovered in this Galaxy (or has it?), but it doesn’t mean we can’t actually use Jedi mind tricks on OURSELVES to live healthier lives.

Although you’ll hear everywhere that “eating less and moving more is the key to losing weight,” I would argue that conquering the mental battle before the physical one is the real key to weight loss and healthy living.

Here’s what I mean: our brains are incredible pieces of technology, and they tend to get in the way of our quest to get healthy.

Whether it’s eating too much accidentally, or tricking ourselves into rationalizing and justifying unhealthy behavior, our brains have the ability to move us towards a better life, or closer to the dark side.

Here are 5 of my favorite tactics you can use to Jedi mind-trick yourself into living better.

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April 25, 2022

Your Business Model Is a System And Why You Should Care

Link: Your Business Model Is a System And Why You Should Care

Lean emerged out of the manufacturing world with a rallying cry for “waste reduction” in the production process. Lean Software drew parallels between hardware and software manufacturing processes and aimed to reduce waste also in the production process.

Then Lean Startup came along and pointed out that efficient production is NOT enough UNLESS it also delivers customer value and emphasized learning OVER production towards that end.

In a startup (or any new product) where you don’t yet know whether what you produce will generate customer value, you are better served by limiting or completely forgoing production (through an MVP or concierge MVP, for example) to first test value creation.

You have to first find a problem worth solving before committing resources to build and scale a solution. This is the essence of what I teach in my bootcamps where I have a “no code rule” and teach how to forgo such production completely until the right time. That said, while I’ve always found this logic highly rational, it’s often a hard pill to swallow for entrepreneurs because we love production and optimization of production processes.

I also couldn’t help feeling that the full impact of all that lean thinking has to offer is left deferred to latter stages when customer value production is in full tilt (after Product/Market Fit).

Then I had an mini-epiphany.

I like Ash Maurya’s posts, and I’m a fan of his Running Lean book, this post is no exception…

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April 3, 2022

Review: The $100 Startup

Link: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

In The $100 StartupChris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.

Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you’re sure it’s successful.

In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.  It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” – even if you don’t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.  You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees.  All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.

Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.  Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.

In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold.  Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives.  And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.  This remarkable book will start you on your way.

We’ve decided to start reviewing things that are interesting on here, and The $100 Startup is a book that we bought that is interesting.

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillegeau accomplishes something unique. Instead of discussing how to grow, scale, leverage, and sell a new business-typical of much of the entrepreneurship literature-he focuses entirely on “microbusinesses”: tiny, one- or two-person operations that maximize freedom and generate roughly $50,000 per year.
Much of Chris’ advice will benefit solo creatives who rely upon strong online presences. But the stories that he culled from hundreds of interviews with entrepreneurs satisfied my need for a diverse proof-of-concept. Product- and service-based-online and offline-freelance, partnership, and employee-hiring: all such business are represented in this book.

Most importantly, The $100 Startup demonstrates that you do not need to go into debt to start a profitable and meaningful business. If more people took this advice in the realm of schooling-realizing that you don’t need to go into debt to give yourself a higher education-then our world would benefit from an incredible boost in the number of creative entrepreneurs ready to tackle our problems, both big and small.

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April 1, 2022

How much sleep do we really need to work productively?

Link: How much sleep do we really need to work productively?

Every one of us, on average, will be sleeping 24 years in our lifetime. That’s a pretty long time if you ask me and makes it even more important to know exactly how the phenomenon of sleep impacts us.

And still, there are so many unanswered questions evolving around sleep and how much we need of it. In fact, Most of what we know about sleep we’ve learned in the past 25 years.

One of the biggest problems I’ve discovered is that sleep is such an over talked topic. We get the general idea that we know all about it: how much we need of it, how it impacts us and why this or that happens when we sleep. Once I took a step back to really think about where our knowledge about sleep comes from, I realized that nearly all of it is based on hear-say or what my mom told me when I was in elementary school.

With this post, I’ve set out to uncover once and for all what the most important research has taught us about sleep. And of course, how you can use this knowledge to create an unbeatable daily routine.

Another nice post from the guys at Bufferapp.com.. Definitely recommend following their blog.

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March 21, 2022

Lean Analytics

Link: Lean Analytics

We’re fans of Lean here at The Interviewr, and we’re also big fans of analytics, so this book is a book that we’re excited to recommend you pick up.

Marc Andreesen once said that “markets that don’t exist don’t care how smart you are.” Whether you’re a startup founder trying to disrupt an industry, or an intrapreneur trying to provoke change from within, your biggest risk is building something nobody wants.

Lean Analytics can help. By measuring and analyzing as you grow, you can validate whether a problem is real, find the right customers, and decide what to build, how to monetize it, and how to spread the word. Focusing on the One Metric That Matters to your business right now gives you the focus you need to move ahead-and the discipline to know when to change course.

Written by Alistair Croll (Coradiant, CloudOps, Startupfest) and Ben Yoskovitz (Year One Labs, GoInstant), the book lays out practical, proven steps to take your startup from initial idea to product/market fit and beyond. Packed with over 30 case studies, and based on a year of interviews with over a hundred founders and investors, the book is an invaluable, practical guide for Lean Startup practitioners everywhere.

Check out the book here

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January 16, 2022

Why To Do Lists Are Failing Us

Link: Why To Do Lists Are Failing us

If you’re like me, you switch task managers every six months at the point that you have added a bunch of items in your list that you’ll never get around to and can’t bear to be reminded of them again. At which point, you conclude that the app has failed you. It must have because you haven’t completed any of these tasks!

Task management tools fail users because they operate without context. How many times have you been to the grocery store and forgotten the dill pickles you were asked to buy? Or met someone and tens minutes later realized you forgot to ask an important question?

This rang true when I read it today. I’m an avid fan of To Do Lists, but they’re not perfect.

Here at The Interviewr, we use an Agile approach to our business, so we build out updates following sprints. Technically a sprint is a big To Do list of sorts, with User Stories and Tasks, but it works for us so we use it.

Sprints won’t work for all businesses. I know some that are big fans of Waterfall principles, but for us, where we’ve built the entire site on Lean Startup Principles and Practices, Agile has been the way to work.

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December 27, 2021

Some thoughts on organizational complexity

Link: Some thoughts on organizational complexity

Thinking about complexity
Knowledge Representation is a central topic in the field of artificial intelligence. Research in this area tackles the challenge of mapping the external world into simplified, machine-readable models. Creating a sufficiently sophisticated model is as important, if not more, than the algorithmic processing that occurs once the model is built.
The more external states that can be represented in a model, the morecomplex we could say it is. Simple models can cause people to falsely believe that successful results can easily be “scaled up” to more complex models. Unfortunately, it’s rarely that simple.

Interesting post from Dalton Caldwell…

We try to avoid getting too complex ourselves here, but I’ve been involved with companies where complexity was their bread and butter it seemed so I can understand where Dalton is coming from…

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December 17, 2021

Do What You Love

Link: How to do what you love, the right way

Every time I start a new job I take my dad to see my office. He loves seeing where I work, and I love showing him. It’s a thing. As much as I enjoy this unspoken ritual of ours, there’s always a predictable response from my dad that serves as a clear indicator of our large generation gap. At some point he’ll ask a question along the lines of, “So… no one has an office? You just sit out here in the open?” I’ve tried many times to explain the idea of co-location and collaborative work, but I don’t think it’s something that will ever compute for him.

Thoughtful article by Rian van der Merwe.

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The Interviewr Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of TheInterviewr about their online Interview Relationship Manager, related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

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