TEDs Top 20 Talks of All Time

You’ve probably watched many TED videos before.

If not, TED was a venture started in 1984, as an annual conference with speakers sharing new ideas about Technology and Design.   Afterward, it’s objective was to promote “ideas worth sharing” about different topics that impact our life, and has featured speakers such as Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Clinton, Larry Page and many other celebrities.

Regardless of your acquaintance with TED videos, it might be worth your while to look at the top 20 TED Videos of all time.

Do you have any ideas worth sharing?

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Dan Pink’s Inspirational Quotes

We all need some inspiration from time to time.   Need some?  Check out the three quotes that author Dan Pink keeps on this wall.

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.”Viktor Frankl

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”Steve Jobs

“Being a professional is doing the things you love to do — even on the days you don’t feel like doing it.”Julius Erving

If you haven’t read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, please do.

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Steaks, Patents, Trade Secrets and Trademarks

Want to learn the difference between patents, trade secrets and trademarks, using a Vegas Steak as reference?   These kind of analogies only happen at Freakonomics, but as usual offer practical ways to learn.

If you are interested in where the Coca-Cola secret recipe falls in the Intellectual Property domain, and if the the rumor that only few executives at the company actually know the recipe is true?

John Wanamaker famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Seems the Marketing Execs at Coca-Cola do know which half is working.

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Beyond the Jipp Curve

The Jipp Curve proves that there is a relationship between telephone density (teledensity) and the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country.   Back then, data showed that richer countries had higher penetration and use of telephone lines.
With the introduction of Smartphones a little more than decade ago, the Jipp Curve has been turned over its head, and Smartphone growth is spreading faster than any other previous technological innovation.  Some other incredible facts, taken from Dan Pink’s blog:
  • In 2006, smart phones accounted for just 6% of U.S. mobile phones sold that year. Today, “smart phones represent more than two-thirds of all U.S. mobile-phone sales.”
  • “In 1982, there were 4.6 billion people in the world, and not a single mobile-phone subscriber. Today, there are seven billion people in the world — and six billion mobile cellular-phone subscriptions.” Of those subscriptions, 73 percent are now in the developing world, even though those countries account for just 20 percent of the world’s GDP.”
  • Right now the world has 1.4 billion PCs in use. “Mobile phones, on the other hand, are already selling more than 1.4 billion units every single year.”
Even if the world’s connectedness will continue to bring enormous benefits to mankind, I wonder when being online, all the time, will overwhelm us to the point of saying, enough!
It is incredible to think about how two decades ago, without internet and Smartphones, everything worked well.  I guess every generation asks this question at a given point in time. 

Means I’m getting old, I guess.
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The Secret of Life, According to Steve Jobs

There are many inspiring speeches out there.   From no other than Steve Jobs, I recently watched an obscure interview about life and changes that he gave when he was still working at NeXT, before returning to Apple as CEO.

Some excerpts from the interview:

“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

“The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.  — Steve Jobs 

Steve Jobs could have been a certified jerk, but his relentless focus on doing things with the potential to change the world, is admirable.

I just hope more of us had his vision and courage.

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Don’t Break The Chain!

Turns out Seinfeld was not only brilliant at comedy, but also at suggesting a simple tool that can make your life more productive.

It has even become an iPhone app, which I recently downloaded, and started to test.   Aptly titled Wonderful Day, you can take a look at the introductory video to understand how it works.  I’m planing on using it for getting disciplined on daily blogging, daily reading and healthy eating.   

I can imagine Seinfeld’s voice reminding his audience:  don’t break the chain!”.

If Seinfeld’s methodology doesn’t work, you can always use Charles Duhigg’s habit changing methodology, which is simple and effective.

How disciplined are you in the things you want to achieve?  Are you breaking the chain?

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Measuring Wizards

Charke Ching, a TOC colleague recently wrote a humorous short story about wizards and quality, in an attempt to illustrate the possible consequences of applying the concept of “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” combined with the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Clarke’s story reminds me of Eli Goldratt’s famous phrase:

“Tell me how you measure me and I will tell you how I will behave”, or the flipside “If you measure me in irrational ways, do not complain if I behave irrationally”.   

Long story short:   be careful what you measure and what you reward.

A critical skill of any effective manager is the ability to bring out the best of people, by identifying what specific behaviors are productive to the organization,  and then reinforcing them and rewarding them appropriately.   It is the systematic application of this reinforcement process, along with a rewarding environment, that can propel your organization to superior levels of performance.

What are the key things you measure in your organization?  How is that working for you?

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Guess Who’s Back?

After some weeks of handling delicate family matters, ending some previous projects and starting some new ones, I am “back in business”.

Even if this blog was created initially for my personal development, it is good when a friend asks you where have you been and when you’ll be back.

Thanks to all for reading. And please give me feedback, to continuously improve!

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The Icarus Deception, a Godin Kickstarter Project

It all started with the Domino Project, an initiative for authors based on the assumption that when you have a tribe, or group of people following you, publishing your work under a different model may work, and big advances, publishers and brick and mortar bookstores may not be necessary.

Seth Godin’s latest initiative expands on his previous work, and is based on the following assumptions:

  • You have a “tribe” of people that follow you, respect you, and are eager to know and share your thoughts
  • Your tribe is big enough to help you fund and launch projects, in exchange for something special in return, such as a special edition of a book, exclusive interview, or others
  • Brick and mortar distribution will work in your favor, expanding on the initial efforts of your tribe

The book to be published under this format is called the Icarus Deception, launched as a Kickstarter Project.  It was funded in record time, just a few hours, showing how big Godin’s tribe is.   With this book, Godin will try to challenge the notion that you need to convince the publisher of a new book idea before publishing a book, instead of convincing your audience and by default, your publisher.

Do you have a big enough tribe?   Find something you are good at, and start building it slowly over time.  This is one of the biggest asset you’ll have in the long run.

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The Dip, Revisited

For all of you that like Seth Godin and his thoughts, The Dip is one of his bestselling books, talking basically about when it’s time to quit something you are doing…or stick with it until you make it.

Some excerpts (paraphrased) from his book:

  • The famous phrase, “winners don’t quit”, is jut wrong.
  • Winners quit, the right things, at the right time, all the time.
  • Quit the wrong stuff, stick to the right stuff.  Have the guts to do just this.

If you want a short audio introduction of the Dip, listen here.

Jim Collins has some thoughts along these lines too, with his New Year’s Resolution Stop Doing List, where he advice readers to stop doing stop that make you lose focus on what you really want, as time for all of us is  the scarcest resource and limited.

So, how good are you at quitting?   Are you focusing on the right things?

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