Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How to Give Your Startup a Fighting Chance

VC Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Ventures has tips for startups in the Dec 2006 issue of Business 2.0

Ram Shriram
Silicon Valley entrepreneur; Director, Google

Give Your Startup a Fighting Chance

1. Hire smart. Setting the DNA of a company starts with the founders, and hiring is the No. 1 pitfall for young ventures. Don't compromise on quality, verify passion, stay focused on doing one thing really well. The motivation should be to build something of value for the long term.

2. Define the market problem. Rather than rush to form a venture, think hard about the problem you're solving. Break it down into easily understandable pieces so you can explain it first to yourself.

3. Simplify the solution. Set specific goals and milestones to get you to a stage of validation; that ensures that your efforts and energies will be well spent. At that point, be flexible and open to changes. It's better to have half a product with a brutal triage of features at launch than to have a half-assed product.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Researchers prove if you are mentored, crime pays better

Crime, they say, doesn't pay. If criminals are mentored, researchers have proven, it pays better.

Carlo Morselli and Pierre Tremblay, of the Université de Montréal, and Bill McCarthy, of the University of California at Davis, who studied the impact of mentoring on criminal success recently published their findings this paper titled “Mentors and Criminal Achievement: Researching Mentorship and its Impact”.

Morselli et al also cite an earlier researcher on mentoring, who quotes one of the subjects of his study as declaring, “Any man who hits the big-time [in crime], somewhere or other along the road, became associated with a big-timer who picked him up and educated him”. Adding, “No one ever crashed the big rackets without education in this line.”

The study however is not anecdotal but adopts a rigourous methodology.

When measured along the key metrics that signify success in this profession; the ones who were mentored made more money and got caught less often. “Those who had a mentor reported almost nine times greater earnings than nonmentored men” write researchers. “As for costs, mentored offenders experienced fewer days of incapacitation during the window period”.
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Monday, January 02, 2006

There are two ways of looking at things.

As I have often written, "There are two ways of looking at life; the way it is, or the way we will like to believe it is".

The first step is a honest at our ownselves. This article on 'Critical Thinking' offers an interesting 'How-to list...' (see below).

The article is titled, "Becoming a Critic of your own thinking'.

A how-to list for dysfunctional living

Most people have no notion of what it means to take charge of their lives. They don’t realize that the quality of their lives depends on the quality of their thinking.

We all engage in numerous dysfunctional practices to avoid facing problems in our thinking. Consider the following and ask yourself how many of these dysfunctional ways of thinking you engage in:

  • Surround yourself with people who think like you. Then no one will criticize you.
  • Don’t question your relationships. You then can avoid dealing with problems within them.
  • If critiqued by a friend or lover, look sad and dejected and say, “I thought you were my friend!” or “I thought you loved me!”
  • When you do something unreasonable, always be ready with an excuse. Then you won’t have to take responsibility. If you can’t think of an excuse, look sorry and say, “I can’t help how I am!”
  • Focus on the negative side of life. Then you can make yourself miserable and blame it on others.
  • Blame others for your mistakes. Then you won’t have to feel responsible for your mistakes. Nor will you have to do anything about them.
  • Verbally attack those who criticize you. Then you don’t have to bother listening to what they say.
  • Go along with the groups you are in. Then you won’t have to figure out anything for yourself.
  • Act out when you don’t get what you want. If questioned, look indignant and say, “I’m just an emotional person. At least I don’t keep my feelings bottled up!”
  • Focus on getting what you want. If questioned, say, “If I don’t look out for number one, who will?”
As you see, the list is almost laughable. And so it would be if these irrational ways of thinking didn’t lead to problems in life. But they do. And often. Only when we are faced with the absurdity of dysfunctional thinking, and can see it at work in our lives, do we have a chance to alter it.

Read the entire article

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