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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

R.I.P. Steven Covey

In Business, Culture, Leadership, Philosophies and Opinions on 18/07/2012 at 10:47

 

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

~ Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rest in peace.

A Harlem Landmark Closing After 10 Years In Business – Hue-Man Bookstore

In Authors, Business, Thinking Africa on 18/07/2012 at 09:42

 

COMMUNITY PSA: I’m deeply saddened by news of the closing of the largest Black American owned bookstore in the U.S. Just finished listening to an interview on NPR with the owner Marva Allen about the state of her industry and why she had to make a tough business decision to close the store.

Simple answer, the “business model was no longer sustainable.” She said that while at the same time indicating that her gross profit margins were 37%. Bottom line, her store didn’t have enough traffic to boost sales to a point where they would allow for a more sustainable model.

One other note, the largest Black American owned company is not as large as the smallest Fortune 500 company. According to Allen this is largely because Black American owned business don’t have the same access to funding and investment that White owned businesses in America. Just something to seriously consider people.

We’ve got work to do.

The Top 10 Technology Game Changers for the Next Decade

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 20:09

This content was produced by GOOD with the support of Intel

How close to reality are some of our most futuristic fantasies? Consider that going to the moon was once a giant step for mankind, but in the near future you’ll be able to purchase a two week vacation to the International Space Station (if you’ve got a few million bucks to spare, of course). Here’s our list of ten incredible technological innovations that are poised to change our lives within the next decade.
Nanotechnology
Microscopic nanorobots placed inside the human body to fight disease from within will make enormous strides in the next ten years. Eventually, we’ll eliminate the need for invasive surgery and chemotherapy. The cancer cure we’re seeking might not come as a magic pill, but rather a technological advancement enabling us to repair from within using microchips one-billionth of a meter in size. The future is now at Cyberdyne, a Japanese electronics firm manufacturing Hybrid Assisted Limbs for Parkinson’s patients and miniaturizing from there.

Computer Eyewear
In the next decade, the simple act of pulling out a smartphone to take photos and record videos will seem clunky and outmoded. What if you could simply touch a button on your sunglasses and instantly record your surroundings exactly as you see them? The design team behindYouGen.tv is hoping to do just that. Their Epiphany Eyewear glasses will incorporate “magic glass”—chromatic shifting conductive glass—to power their instant on-off recording feature. The data captured from a first person’s perspective can be streamed to social networks, and has untold implications for learning, as you’ll literally be able to see through someone else’s eyes. “We believe this will raise the overall level of human empathy across the world,” said Erick Miller, founder of YouGen.tv.

Genome Sequencing
The building blocks of the human body may contain clues to unlock underlying causes of diseases. Life Technologies is producing a genome sequencing map to explore an individual’s DNA within 24 hours, potentially preventing future diseases. Cost is expected to plummet to $1,000 by the end of the year. Expect a more targeted treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases based on a unique genetic blueprint. (cont … GOOD)

Meet The League Of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing The World

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media, the World on 30/06/2012 at 19:33

ALL PHOTOS BY MIKE MCGREGOR

The previously untold story of how an unprecedented network of high-achieving women from the world’s largest companies, innovative startups, philanthropic organizations, government, and the arts combined forces to change the lives of girls and women everywhere.

Act One

IGNITION

They needed the cows.

Maria Eitel, CEO of the Nike Foundation, is starting her tale at the beginning of her eight-year journey to save the world’s girls. She is telling me about one 13-year-old in particular, the very one who inspired her to invent the Girl Effect, a global initiative that in less than a decade has created or supported groundbreaking programming and research that has put the often-terrifying needs of indigent girls in the toughest parts of the world on the global agenda. “I was in this ridiculously poor part of Ethiopia,” says Eitel, whose title at the time was vice president of corporate responsibility at Nike. The founder and CEO, Phil Knight (along with future CEO Mark Parker), had tapped her to create a not-for-profit arm–but had not dictated a mission. Eitel was in the midst of a yearlong exploration to determine how to make the biggest impact.

In Ethiopia, she followed this girl, named Kidan, through her entire day, watching her strap a filthy jerrycan to her back and haul water, then grind grain as she sat in the dirt. “She was amazingly smart,” recalls Eitel, who likes to talk about creating “that moment of inspiration when you know that a girl believes in herself.” She calls it “ignition,” and Kidan had it–she wanted to be a doctor. “She was such a bright light,” says Eitel. “But we learned that it’s not enough.”

When Eitel spoke to Kidan’s mother about her dreams for her daughter, she found out that the child had already been committed to be married, in exchange for cattle. The mother did not share Eitel’s dismay. “Once I was a girl,” she told Eitel. “One day, there was this commotion and they picked me up and put me on a donkey and that was my wedding. I never saw my family again. So Kidan will just have to be strong.” Kidan’s hope for a career–for anything like the self-directed life that Eitel, and probably any reader of this magazine, believes to be a human right–was effectively over, just as her mother’s had been not so long ago. And her survival? Well, her marriage commitment placed that in greater doubt: In sub-Saharan Africa, says Eitel, more than 90% of deaths related to pregnancy are among adolescents. They needed the cows. (cont … Fast Company)

Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 18:31

Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water. Billionaire Peter Thiel, for example, argues that despite spectacular advances in computer-related fields, technological progress has actually stalled because the internal combustion engine still rules our highways, the cancer death rate has barely changed since 1971, and the top speed at which people can travel has ceased to improve.

Thiel is right about engines, speed, and cancer death rates. But he and the pessimists are completely wrong about what lies ahead. I don’t believe that the future holds shortages and stagnation; it is more likely to be one in which we debate how we can distribute the abundance and prosperity that we’ve created.

Why am I so optimistic? Because of the wide assortment of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging. They are enabling small teams to do what was once only possible for governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanity’s grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health.

Let me give you a taste of what lies ahead.

Vivek Wadhwa – Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University

Most people in the world have been affected by the advances in computing and mobile technologies. In a short 15 years, the Internet has changed the way we work, shop, communicate, and think. Knowledge, which used to be available only to the elite classes through books such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, is today abundant and free. All of this happened because computing power is growing exponentially. The technology industry knows this growth as Moore’s Law.

The advances are happening not only in computing but also in fields such as genetics, AI, robotics, and medicine. For example, in 2000, scientists at a private company called Celera announced that it had raced ahead of the U.S. government–led international effort decoding the DNA of a human being. Using the latest sequencing technology as well as the data available from the Human Genome Project, Celera scientists had created a working draft of the genome. It took decades and cost billions to reach this milestone.

The price of genome sequencing is dropping at double the rate of Moore’s Law. Today, it is possible to decode your DNA for a few thousand dollars. With the price falling at this rate, a full genome sequence will cost less than $100 within five years. Genome data will readily be available for millions, perhaps billions, of people. We will be able to discover the correlations between disease and DNA and to prescribe personalized medications—tailored to an individual’s DNA. This will create a revolution in medicine. (cont … Forbes)

Another View on Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and its associated technologies

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 27/06/2012 at 11:01

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The following blog was written by one of my Google+ and Facebook friends Shawn P. Scott.  He has offered up an interesting industry perspective on Microsoft’s new tablet platform.  Check it out and feel free to share your thoughts.

Everyone keeps talking about how the new Microsoft Surface tablet will not stand up against the iPad and is doomed to fail unless it comes in at a super cheap price point. Personally I don’t think anything could be further from the truth. First of all I don’t think the 1st gen Surface is even looking to compete with the iPad but rather target people in the market for a new laptop.

Windows 8 is a bold move on the part of Microsoft, one that will ultimately decide the fate of the company going forward. With the RTM release expected in late July or early August, time is running out for getting devices into the marketplace that truly harness it’s power. I believe Surface is just an example of how much Microsoft believes in Windows 8 and is banking on its success.

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One of the most different aspect of Windows 8 is the all new touch interface for navigating around. Yes you can still use a mouse, but it’s clear that the future of Windows lies in your fingertips. This is evident with just a few minutes use of the new operating system and the only way to maximize the efficiency the new interface brings is with a touch display. I’m sure Microsoft realized this early in the development process and started thinking of ways they could promote this new change.

That is where the Surface was born. Traditional laptops are simply not the most effective way to run Windows 8, and to keep the OS from being a dud like Windows ME and Vista Microsoft needed to release a device on day 1 that could run the OS like it was designed.

Some OEM partners like Acer were upset at the move but Microsoft had no choice in the matter. They couldn’t leave the future of their company up to PC manufacturers who are struggling to make quality hardware that meets the needs of the general public. If you were to walk into the computer section Best Buy right now, you would see a sea of laptops many with the exact same specs. Most of them won’t have battery life of more than 3-4 hours. Most of them will have the barest specs necessary to keep their price down.

The 3 most popular brands at Best Buy are HP, Sony and Dell. As far as I know, none of these companies have a touchscreen device ready to be launched alongside Windows 8. HP has worked with Microsoft in the past on tablet devices and each one has been a miserable failure. Given the bad track record of Windows powered tablets, Microsoft simply could not afford to leave its fate up to ill conceived devices.

The iPad is a great device for internet consumption, but thats where it ends. College students don’t write 20 page essays on their iPads, photographers don’t edit professional level pictures on their iPads, developers don’t build sites and apps on their iPads. All of these tasks are performed on a traditional computer with the power and functionality to handle them.

This is where Windows 8 and Surface stand to shine because together they alleviate the need of owning a second device for actual work. While the RT version will only run Metro apps, the Pro version is where the sweet spot for Microsoft is. Companies may be buying iPad in large numbers, but when real work needs to be done they also have secondary devices.

In 2011 nearly 17 million laptops were shipped in the US and over 85 million worldwide. The top worldwide producers were HP (14.8 million), Dell (10.6 million) and Lenovo (10.2 million). The Surface doesn’t have to outsell the iPad to be successful, it simply needs to get Microsoft onto this list. Toshiba comes in on the lower end of this list with 4.4 million units shipped and is a prime target for Microsoft.

The reason Toshiba ranks so low on the worldwide scale is they make low quality products that don’t perform very well. If they can manage to sell 4.4 million of them, I’m quite sure Microsoft can manage to ship 5 million Surface devices that showcase the best features of Windows 8.

Right now is a horrible time to buy a new Windows PC, every single device on the market will be rendered obsolete as soon as Windows 8 hits the shelves. No one knows this better than Microsoft and they are hedging their bets on themselves.”

What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

In Business, Consider This on 12/06/2012 at 10:42

Mornings are a great time for getting things done. You’re less likely to be interrupted than you are later in the day. Your supply of willpower is fresh after a good night’s sleep. That makes it possible to turn personal priorities like exercise or strategic thinking into reality. But if you’ve got big goals–and a chaotic a.m. schedule–how can you make over your mornings to make these goals happen? Because I write about time management frequently, I’ve gotten to see hundreds of calendars and schedules over the years. From studying people’s morning habits, I’ve learned that getting the most out of this time is a five-part process. Follow these steps, though, and you’re on your way to building morning habits that stick.

1. Track Your Time

Part of spending your time better is knowing how you’re spending it now. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that nutritionists tell you to keep a food journal because it keeps you from eating mindlessly. It’s the same with time. Write down what you’re doing as often as you can. Use my spreadsheet, a Word document, or a pad and pen.

While you measuring your mornings, try tracking your whole week. The reason? The solution to morning dilemmas often lies at other times of the day. You may be too tired because you’re staying up late. But if you look at how you’re spending your nights, you’ll notice that you’re not doing anything urgent. The Daily Show can be recorded and watched earlier–possibly while you’re on the treadmill at 6:30 a.m.

As for the mornings themselves, you can be organized but still not be spending them well. Question your assumptions. You may believe that “a man who wants to keep his job gets into the office before his boss” because that’s what your father did, but your boss may be disappointed that he doesn’t get the place to himself for an hour first! If you decide that something is a top priority, do it, but understand that we have to do few things in life.

2. Picture the Perfect Morning

After you know how you’re spending your time, ask yourself what a great morning would look like. For me, it would start with a run, followed by a hearty family breakfast. After getting people out the door, I’d focus on long-term projects like my books. Here are some other ideas for morning enrichment: (cont … Fast Company)

FOR THE BOOKSHELF: About Strengths Based Leadership

In Business, Culture, Leadership on 09/06/2012 at 15:35


Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.

In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than one million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.

In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.

As you read Strengths Based Leadership, you’ll hear firsthand accounts from some of the most successful organizational leaders in recent history, from the founder of Teach For America to the president of The Ritz-Carlton, as they discuss how their unique strengths have driven their success. To help you apply your own strengths, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a new leadership version of Gallup’s StrengthsFinder program that will provide you with specific strategies for leading with your top five strengths. Each copy of Strengths Based Leadership includes a unique access code to take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment. After you complete the assessment, you will receive a personalized strengths-based leadership guide. The leadership version of the program will also enable you to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength revealed in the book.

Loaded with novel research, stories, and actionable ideas, Strengths Based Leadership will give you a new roadmap for leading people toward a better future.

Tattoo Removal Rises As Employers Hesitate To Hire Inked Applicants

In Artistic Expression, Business, Consider This, Culture on 30/05/2012 at 10:19

Wrapping an ornate dragon tattoo around your forearm may have seemed like a good idea at one time, but visible body art can often be hindrance to success, especially in the workplace.

According to a report from Philly.com, those sporting visible tattoos are struggling to get hired in the face of stricter corporate dress codes.

In short, clean-cut candidates with a traditional corporate appearance are more appealing to employers than those with visible body artwork.

survey conducted by Careerbuilder.com showed similar results, according to MSNBC. After taking the pulse of HR managers, the job search site found that piercings, cited by 37 percent of hiring managers, are the top physical attribute that can limit an candidate’s career potential. Bad breath came in next, at 34 percent, with visible tattoos trailing not too far behind at 31 percent.

Nevertheless, tattoos seem to have gone mainstream, with one quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 having some body art. Thus, where the ubiquity of tattoos meets with the distate of potential employers, the lucrative business of tattoo removal has found a home. And despite the procedure costing thousands of dollars, business is booming. (cont … HuffPost)

The solution, LASER TATTOO REMOVAL. The following video demonstrates how the process works.

MAVA Capital Connection ’12 Conference – Day Two

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 28/05/2012 at 16:44

Panel Discussion on Investing in a Volatile World-How to See Opportunity and Value Risk

(WASHINGTON) May 24th, Omni Shoreham Hotel – It’s day two, the energy is still very high and it’s time to get down to business.  The general session is starting.  It’s a panel discussion dealing with the topic of “Investing in a Volatile World – How to See Opportunity and Value Risk”.

The panel is moderated by Dan Primack, Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine.  The panel itself comprises of Peter Barris, Managing Director of NEA, Cameron Lester, General Partner Azure Capital Partners and Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Motorola Solutions Venture.

The panel discussed the current venture market, the quality of tech startups available to invest in and the recent facebook IPO.  Crowdfunding and its value was also discussed.  But at the end of the discussion it was clear that three things were important to the venture and investment community when it came to technology startups.  Cloud, Big Data and Mobile.

It was stated that any startup with a good idea, great executive and a good product in either of these spaces had a real shot at being funded.  And that’s the point of it all.  Every year MAVA sponsors this conference to bring the best and the brightest together in the Mid-Atlantic region to have such discussions. (cont … Examiner.com)