Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs


Carmine Gallo, Author, 
7 Prin­ci­ples of Inno­va­tion based on the “Inno­va­tion Secrets of Steve Jobs.” 
Jobs and Woz­niak started Apple in the spare bed­room of Steve’s parent’s house, before get­ting too big and mov­ing the busi­ness down to the garage. What the world needs is more jobs … Steve Jobs. It’s fair to ask our­selves, “What would Steve do?”
Prin­ci­ple #1 is to do what you love. Bill Gross just said the same thing. Being the rich­est man in the cemetary doesn’t mat­ter … doing some­thing that mat­ters does. Build a com­pany that touches peo­ples’ lives every day. You can­not cre­ate some­thing great unless you are pas­sion­ately mov­ing the world forward.
Prin­ci­ple #2 is to put a dent in the uni­verse. There is a dif­fer­ence between vision and mis­sion. A vision is clear and con­cise and con­sis­tently com­mu­ni­cated. Vision inspires evan­ge­lists. A vision helps you see things that other peo­ple may have missed. Two peo­ple can see exactly the same thing and inter­pret things dif­fer­ently, based on their own vision. Starbuck’s founder Schultz’s vision was not to make a bet­ter cup of cof­fee, but to cre­ate a third space between the office and the home.
Prin­ci­ple #3 “Cre­ativ­ity is just con­nect­ing things” ~Steve Jobs. Suc­cess­ful inno­va­tors apply learn­ing from one field, to another. Accord­ing to Den­nis Crow­ley, foursquare is a more inter­est­ing tool because it was built in Green­which Vil­lage and not Sil­i­con Valley.
Prin­ci­ple #4 Keep it sim­ple. Say no to 1,00 things to make sure you’re not on the wrong track or try to do too much. When you can cre­ate a prod­uct that a two-year old can use intu­itively, you know you’re on to some­thing. “As phys­i­cal beings, we under­stand clar­ity” ~Jonathan Ives. Sim­plic­ity is crucial.
Prin­ci­ple #5 is about the expe­ri­ence with the prod­uct. Cre­ate insanely great expe­ri­ences. Inno­va­tion is not just about prod­uct inno­va­tion, it’s about the expe­ri­ence peo­ple have with the prod­uct. The Apple brand was inspired by the Four Sea­sons hotel, because the hotel chain deliv­ers such good cus­tomer experience.
Prin­ci­ple #6 is to mas­ter the mes­sage. Nobody was bet­ter than Steve Jobs, because he informed, illu­mi­nated, and inspired dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tions. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t get peo­ple excited about it, it’s not worth much. Learn the rule of three. The human mind can only process 3 or 4 points of infor­ma­tion in short term mem­ory, so don’t bom­bard peo­ple with dozens of ben­e­fits. That is why you find groups of three in every­thing Apple does. Also learn to think visu­ally. Use the Pic­ture Supe­ri­or­ity Effect to pre­sen­ta­tions, by adding great images to slides. Reten­tion goes up by 65%. With words only, reten­tion is about 10%.
Prin­ci­ple #7 is the most impor­tant: Sell Dreams, Not Prod­ucts. As human beings, we are self con­sumed. Help peo­ple accom­plish their dreams, and you will win them over. To turn Apple around, Steve Jobs focused and inno­vated around his cus­tomers and their needs. Steve Jobs’ advice was: “Dream Bigger”


USPS.. You'll never be the same anymore


Topic: CNN - USPS wants to limit next-day guarantee

This article tells me 3 things.
1.  USPS is declining by the day.  Less service = less revenue
2.  Invest in companies such as UPS, FEDEX, or DHL for the long-term.
3.  Expect small to mid-size businesses to be affected the most.

That's all for today.

Tim Draper's 8 Rules for Start Up Success


1) Test your product and get it out into market...see if the dogs will eat the dog food
2) Don't run out of cash
3) Eliminate human button on iPod, simplicity, simplicity
4) Focus...what is the most important thing to customer and what you can do to uniquely solve it. -- and eliminate items on fin statement like WC, anything not critical to key customer need
5) Leadership: you are the are on a mission but everyone picks up what you eminate...Sun always used the term Awesome (from McNealy), Job's culture. You are the leader of organization: take care of self, employees will also. You are the brand and heart of culture.
6) Think Big...go after things that count, one life to lead and go after big problem, change society
7) Have fun: get the endorphines firing, lots of little stupid things...leads to creative solutions
8) Partner and work with as many people as possible David Rosenblatt of DoubleClick fame added:
9) Accountability: clear owner of each item who goes to bed focus and worried about it.
10) Transparency: avoid layered bureaucracy and heavy processes that obscure. Keep employees informed of all the company's tentacles, challenges and opportunitities

Quote of the Month: October


The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
-Alan Kay

10 most useful travel websites


Travel websites can help you before, during and after your trip.
Travel websites can help you before, during and after your trip.
  • For planing your trip, Bing Travel, AutoSlash and Plnnr can be helpful sites
  • While you're on the road, check TripIt or Tripping for travel advice
  • Once you're back home, creatively preserve yur photos with Blurb
( -- The Web should make things easier for travelers, but the sheer volume of services out there is often more overwhelming than useful. Unfortunately, you don't always know which outfits pay off until you've already invested your time. The Budget Travel team puts websites -- new and established -- to the test every day.
So when it came time to line up our favorites, the task was easy -- we just turned to the sites we keep revisiting because they're so darn helpful. Our top picks can help you avoid overpaying for airfare (Bing Travel), bag the primo room at a hotel (Hipmunk), and never miss a deal on a rental-car reservation again (AutoSlash).
Some of our favorites are as useful as a mind-reading tour guide (Plnnr); others are as handy as having a personal secretary track your frequent-flier balances (Award Wallet). Put them all together, and they become Budget Travel's picks for the best the Web has to offer.
Budget Travel: 4 most common reasons airlines lose luggage
For Planning
1. Bing Travel
Buy plane tickets at the best possible time.
Like other booking sites, Bing lets you comparison-shop for tickets across more than a hundred sources. Yet unlike most other sites, it also analyzes historical data to predict whether the price you see on the screen today is likely to rise (or drop) in the coming week, clearly marking the bargains with a big, green Buy Now icon. What's more, Bing is the only airfare search site to have its predictions independently audited. With an accuracy rate of 75 percent, it's not perfect -- but those are better odds than blind guessing gets you.
2. AutoSlash
Lock in the lowest rate on rental cars.
Here's how it works: Reserve a vehicle from a favorite agency through the AutoSlash site, and the site will instantly begin tracking rate changes for your reservation. If a sale pops up later -- snap! -- it automatically locks in the lower price on your behalf. You can even use AutoSlash if you've booked independently. Just enter your confirmation number, and the site will notify you when it's found a lower rate (which you'll have to rebook on your own). Neither AutoSlash nor the company you first booked with charges a fee for the service.
Budget Travel: 10 coolest small towns in America
3. Fly or Drive Calculator
Determine the cheapest way to reach your destination.
Coupon site crunches data from sources such as AAA and Google Maps to power its Fly or Drive estimator (found in the site's Tools & Calculators tab). The more details you supply -- the make and model of your car, the number of travelers in your group, whether you'd be springing for a taxi to the airport -- the more accurate the estimates. For the eco-minded, it even includes a carbon-footprint estimate for each mode of travel. (Note: The calculator only works for trips within the continental U.S.)
4. Plnnr
Get instant itineraries tailored to your tastes.
Whether you have a full week or a few hours, Plnnr can craft a (free!) customized point-to-point trip guide for 20 popular urban destinations across North America and Europe. You supply the length of your stay, desired activity level, and interests (such as outdoors, kids' activities, and culture), and the site spits out a fully formed itinerary, factoring in each attraction's opening and closing hours and travel times between spots by taxi or on foot. You can further fine-tune the results by adjusting the priority level for even more specific subcategories -- architecture, breweries, and even cemeteries -- or reject individual suggestions outright. (Plnnr won't get its feelings hurt.)
5. Hipmunk
Find a hotel you'll fall in love with.
The folks behind Hipmunk's airfare and hotel searches know that good trips are about more than mere numbers. That's why they've incorporated an "agony" scale for flights with multiple legs and long layovers, and an "ecstasy" rating for hotels based on a combination of a property's amenities, rates, and user reviews on TripAdvisor. Even better, Hipmunk's hotel search tool has built-in color-coded heat maps to display a given destination's best spots for dining, shopping, nightlife, landmarks, and -- ahem -- "vice." So you'll always end up in a neighborhood that fits your specific needs (or noise tolerance). The site displays real-time prices available on Orbitz, Getaroom,, HotelsCombined, or Airbnb and links out to the appropriate site to close the deal.
Budget Travel: A neat freak's guide to a clean suitcase
On the road
6. TripIt
Keep every last confirmation number, arrival time, and prepaid reservation fee straight.
Don't have an über-organized type among your travel crew? Don't worry. TripIt consolidates every important detail of your vacation into a single handy document, which you can access on the go via laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Just forward each email receipt from booking a flight, hotel, rental car, or cruise to your TripIt account, and the site will cull and compile the flight numbers, gate information, and other relevant items so you never show up in the wrong place at the wrong time -- or with the wrong confirmation code in hand. Not satisfied? The site also supplies seat-selection advice for flights, links to check in online, flight status updates, weather forecasts, and driving directions.
7. Tripping
Connect with the locals -- through a trustworthy community.
While any old travel site can add some social-networking features and call itself "the Facebook of travel," Tripping paves the way for true face-to-face interactions in about 130 countries across the globe. Primarily a homestay network -- but just as effective for setting up a casual coffee meeting or a video chat with a looped-in local -- Tripping manages the risk factor with its stringent membership policies and strong user-reference system. (To join, users must display a passport via Skype and prove a home address.) When you're not traveling yourself, you can earn some good travel karma by playing tour guide for visitors to your own hometown.
8. Google Maps
Expertly navigate unfamiliar territory.
Thanks to constant refining by its mapmakers and graphic designers, Google's gold-standard mapping tool just keeps getting better. Live traffic information was recently added for 13 European countries; the site's maps for New York City, London, and other major cities now have public transit options; markings for tunnels and highway signs become easier to read every year; and you can plot your route by car, bicycle, or foot -- although the latter two options are still in beta. There's simply no more comprehensive and user-friendly way to explore.
Budget Travel: 10 gorgeous pools you won't believe are public
Once you're back
9. Award Wallet
Never let another frequent-flier mile expire.
Consider it the loyalty-program counterpart to TripIt's travel-info collector. Award Wallet streamlines your family's assortment of frequent-flier and loyalty programs, compiling them in a single, simple, point-tracking package. The setup takes minutes. For each account, just enter your log-in information; Award Wallet automatically pulls your points balances and expiration dates -- so you know to take action if you're on the verge of losing them. And because the site saves your log-in information, you only need one password to access all your accounts.
10. Blurb
Preserve your photographs in a format that people can't keep their hands off of.
Custom book publisher Blurb lets you design and print a soft-cover or hardcover travel photo album using impressive design tools and high-quality inks, paper, and binding. Most important, it also leaves you broad creative control. (No floral borders or faux photo-corners necessary.) Price is based on size, paper stock, cover material, and shipping fees, but single copies start at $11 for a 20-page book. Think your book has potential beyond your own coffee table? Blurb can also share your images as a free online slide show or sell copies of the book through its online shop.

Source:  CNN

Back from a 3 month hiatus!


BIG UPDATE TIME: I moved to LA for my new job and I'm loving it!!!!!

Warren Buffet's 10 Rules to Success


Here are Buffets 10 rules:

1. Reinvest Your Profits. This makes sense not only in the stock market, but in a small business as well. Entrepreneurs who bleed all the profits out of a business find that they may struggle to grow the business into something larger and more valuable.

2. Be Willing to be Different. Buffet didn’t make his fortune by following the crowd. Instead, he invested when everyone else was panicked, and sold off when everyone else was buying. That strategy always beats the market. Doing what everybody else is doing - the same way they are doing it - is the recipe for becoming average. Nobody pays extra for “average”.

3. Never Suck Your Thumb. After you gather the information you need, make a decision. To Buffet, any time wasted to get to a decision is just “thumb sucking”. Success comes from immediately grabbing every opportunity that you can recognize.

4. Spell out the Deal In Advance. Your bargaining position is never stronger than before you are committed. So, advantage of that opportunity to spell out the details and specifics of any deal before you start. This is especially true when working with friends or family.

5. Watch Small Expenses. In the investment world, this translates into watching not just the returns offered by investment funds, but also the fees charged by the fund managers. This is so true in every aspect of small business and personal finance, as well.

6. Limit What You Borrow. Buffet claims to never have borrowed a significant amount of money. His advice is to remain debt-free, and then save and invest money. This is a very counter-cultural (see #2) contrast to those who preach getting rich using Other People’s Money.

7. Be Persistent. This is an advantage that the small entrepreneur has over larger, more established competitors. Persistence and ingenuity can, and often does win against large odds. If you’ve done your research, taken care of the details, watched your expenses and stayed out of debt, your success through persistence may only be a matter of time.

8. Know When to Quit. Don’t throw good money after bad. Resist the temptation to salvage a bad deal with a last-minute home run.

9. Assess the Risk. Buffet recommends thinking through both the best-case and the worst-case scenarios. This helps clarify the risks and rewards for any venture, which is critical to the decision making process.

10. Know What Success Means. Buffet doesn’t measure success in terms of dollars. As he says, “When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” Here is wisdom.

The surprising truth about what motivates us


First time seeing an animated presentation but I absolutely love it.  I would absolutely prefer watching this video versus watching a live person presenting.  Great stuff!

Christopher Poole: Build A Product Before You Build A Platform


Ten Steps to a Successful Startup


I just read a great article on 10 steps to a successful startup which can be read here.  Lots of great content there.

Find Your One Thing


Today is a great day to share some wise words!

Have you figured out yours?

Help Support the Relief in Japan


The American Red Cross has once again launched a texting campaign to raise money for relief efforts in the Pacific region. Last year, the Red Cross was able to raise over $20 million for Haiti relief through simple text donations.
If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake Relief, just text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text will provide $10 towards the Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts.

Great Article I found that will help in the future


I highlighted in red the points that I found incredibly useful.
What’s The Most Difficult CEO Skill? Managing Your Own Psychology.

Ben Horowitz
“It’s fucked up when your mind’s playin’ tricks on ya” —The Geto Boys
By far the most difficult skill for me to learn as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared to keeping my mind in check. Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of CEOs all with the same experience. Nonetheless, very few people talk about it, and I have never read anything on the topic. It’s like the fight club of management: The first rule of the CEO psychological meltdown is don’t talk about the psychological meltdown.
At risk of violating the sacred rule, I will attempt to describe the condition and prescribe some techniques that helped me. In the end, this is the most personal and important battle that any CEO will face.

If I’m Doing a Good Job, Why Do I Feel So Bad?

Generally, someone doesn’t become CEOs unless she has a high sense of purpose and cares deeply about the work she does. In addition, a CEO must be accomplished enough or smart enough that people will want to work for her. Nobody sets out to be a bad CEO, run a dysfunctional organization, or create a massive bureaucracy that grinds her company to a screeching halt. Yet no CEO ever has a smooth path to a great company. Along the way, many things go wrong and all of them could have and should have been avoided.
Things go wrong, because building a multi-faceted human organization to compete and win in a dynamic, highly competitive market turns out to be really hard. If CEOs were graded on a curve, the mean on the test would be 22 out of a 100. This kind of mean can be psychologically challenging for a straight A student. It is particularly challenging, because nobody tells you that the mean is 22.
If you manage a team of 10 people, it’s quite possible to do so with very few mistakes or bad behaviors. If you manage an organization of 1,000 people it is quite impossible. At a certain size, your company will do things that are so bad that you never imagined that you’d be associated with that kind of incompetence. Seeing people fritter away money, waste each other’s time, and do sloppy work can make you feel bad. If you are the CEO, it may well make you sick.
And to rub salt into the wound and make matters worse, it’s your fault.

Nobody to Blame

“You can’t blame Jazz Musicians or David Stern with his NBA fashion issues” —Nas
When people in my company would complain about something or other being broken such as the expense reporting process, I would joke that it was all my fault. The joke was funny, because it wasn’t really a joke. Every problem in the company was indeed my fault. As the founding CEO, every hire and every decision that the company ever made happened under my direction. Unlike a hired gun that comes in and blames all of the problems on the prior regime, there was literally nobody for me to blame.
If someone was promoted for all the wrong reasons, that was my fault. If we missed the quarterly earnings target, that was my fault. If a great engineer quit, that was my fault. If the sales team made unreasonable demands on the product organization, then that was my fault. If the product had too many bugs, that was my fault. It kind of sucked to be me.
Being responsible for everything and getting a 22 on the test starts to weigh on your consciousness.

Too Much Broken Stuff

Given this stress, CEOs often make the one of the following two mistakes:
1. They take things too personally
2. They do not take things personally enough
In the first scenario, the CEO takes every issue incredibly seriously and personally and urgently moves to fix it. Given the volume of the issues, this motion usually results in one of two scenarios. If the CEO is outwardly focused, she ends up terrorizing the team to the point where nobody wants to work at the company any more. If the CEO is inwardly focused, she ends up feeling so sick from all of the problems that she can barely make it to work in the morning.
In the second scenario, in order to dampen the pain of the rolling disaster that is the company, the CEO takes a Pollyannaish attitude: it’s not so bad. In this view, none of the problems are actually that bad and they needn’t be dealt with urgently. By rationalizing away the issues, the CEO feels better about herself. The problem is that she doesn’t actually fix any of the problems and the employees eventually become quite frustrated that the Chief Executive keeps ignoring the most basic problems and conflicts. Ultimately, the company turns to crap.
Ideally, the CEO will be urgent yet not insane. She will move aggressively and decisively without feeling emotionally culpable. If she can separate the importance of the issues from how she feels about them, she will avoid demonizing her employees or herself.

It’s a Lonely Job

“And this loneliness won’t leave me alone” —Otis Redding
In your darkest moments as CEO, discussing fundamental questions about the viability of your company with your employees can have obvious negative consequences. On the other hand, talking to your board and outside advisors can be fruitless. The knowledge gap between you and them is so vast that you cannot actually bring them fully up to speed in a manner that’s useful in making the decision. You are all alone.
At Loudcloud, when the dot com bubble burst and subsequently sent most of our customers into bankruptcy, it crippled our business and devastated our balance sheet. Or rather, that was one interpretation. Another interpretation, and necessarily the official story for the company, was that we still had plenty of money in the bank and were signing up traditional enterprise customers at an impressive rate. Which interpretation was closer to the truth? In the absence of someone to talk to, that’s a question that I asked myself about 3,000 times. As an aside, asking oneself anything 3,000 times turns out to be a bad idea. In this case, I had two specific difficult questions:
1. What if the official interpretation was wrong?  What if I was misleading everyone from investors to employees? In that case, I should be removed from my position immediately.
2. What if the official interpretation was right? What if I was grinding my brain into sawdust for no reason at all? What if I was taking the company off track by questioning my own direction? In that case, I should be removed from my position immediately.
As is usually the case, there was no way to know which interpretation was right until much later. It turned out that neither was actually right. The new customers didn’t save us, but we figured out another way to survive and ultimately succeed. The key to getting to the right outcome was to keep from getting married to either the positive or the dark narrative.
My friend Jason Rosenthal took over as CEO of Ning about a year ago. As soon as he became CEO, he faced a cash crisis and had to choose amongst three difficult choices: 1. Radically reduce the size of the company or 2. Sell the company or 3. Raise money in a highly dilutive way.
Think about those choices:
1. Lay off a large set of talented employees whom he worked very hard to recruit and, as a result, likely severely damage the morale of the remaining people.
2. Sell out all of the employees who he had been working side-by-side with for the past several years (Jason was promoted into the position), by selling the company without giving them a chance to perform or fulfill their mission.
3. Drastically reduce the ownership position of the employees and make their hard work economically meaningless.
Choices like these separate the women from the girls. Tip to aspiring entrepreneurs: if you don’t like choosing between horrible and cataclysmic, don’t become CEO. Jason sought advice from some of the best minds in the industry, but ultimately he was completely alone in the final decision. Nobody had the answer and whatever the answer, Jason was the one who had to live with the consequences. So far his decision to reduce staff by letting go of primarily the most recent hires has paid off. Revenue at Ning is soaring and team morale is high. If it had gone worse (or ultimately goes bad), it will be all Jason’s fault and it will be up to Jason to find a new answer. Whenever I see Jason, I like to say: “Welcome to the show.”

Techniques to Calm Your Nerves

The problem with psychology is that everybody’s is slightly different. With that as a caveat, over the years I developed a few techniques for dealing with myself. Hopefully, you find them useful too.
Make some friends—Although it’s nearly impossible to get high quality advice on the tough decisions that you make, it is extremely useful from a psychological perspective to talk to people who have been through similarly challenging decisions. My friend Bill Campbell was a huge help to me as CEO, but interestingly it wasn’t his great success running Intuit that I found most useful; it was his disastrous experience running Go. Through that experience and his most traumatic days at Intuit (like laying off 1/3 of the company), Bill learned a tremendous amount about how to think about excruciatingly difficult decisions from a psychological perspective.
Get it out of your head and onto paper—When I had to explain to Bill and the rest of my board that, as a public company, I thought that it would be best if we sold all of our customers and all of our revenue and changed business, it was messing with my mind. In order to finalize that decision, I wrote down a detailed explanation of my logic. The process of writing that document separated me from my own psychology and enabled me to make the decision swiftly.
Focus on the road not the wall—When they train racecar drivers, one of the first lessons is when you are going around a curve at 200 MPH, do not focus on the wall; focus on the road. If you focus on the wall, you will drive right into it. If you focus on the road, you will follow the road. Running a company is like that. There are always a thousand things that can go wrong and sink the ship. If you focus too much on them, you will drive yourself nuts and likely capsize your company. Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid.

Don’t Be a Punk.

A Final Word of Advice – Don’t Punk Out and Don’t Quit As CEO, there will be many times when you feel like quitting. I have seen CEOs try to cope with the stress by drinking heavily, checking out, and even quitting. In each case, the CEO has a marvelous rationalization why it was OK for him to punk out or quit, but none them will every be great CEOs. Great CEOs face the pain. They deal with the sleepless nights, the cold sweat, and what my friend the great Alfred Chuang (legendary founder and CEO of BEA Systems) calls “the torture.” Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEOs point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. The great CEOs tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers. They all say: “I didn’t quit.”

10 Tips on CEO Lessons


CEO Lessons Learned from biztools videos on Vimeo.

Yes! Finding Movies ARE frustrating!


Movie Industry To Blame for Piracy
Why would movies be such a popular illegitimate download? It doesn't take much time comparing the ease of finding a new song on iTunes with your odds of locating a new movie on Amazon or Netflix to realize that the commercial online availability of movies lags woefully behind that of music. Between the wait for a new film to appear online—and the self-defeating "release window" system that requires it to be taken offline on an arbitrary schedule—getting an honest movie rental or purchase over the Internet remains frustrating.


Jay-Z - "Evolution Of My Style"


Living For A Purpose


I hate taking time for granted.  I really dislike spending my time on something and having nothing to show for it.  I don't want to waste anyone's time nor do I want to be a waste of space.  I want every ounce of sweat to account for something I aimed to do.  I want to be successful.

I am what I am because of my desire of who I want to be.  I was surrounded by great influences and that has taught me to never settle for the standard.  I don't want to abolish my health but I do want to astonish my wealth.  I don't want my dreams to be fictitious because I made my life too ambitious.  I want to be proud of my work but remain too busy to acknowledge it.

I want to be GREAT.

This video defines musical art... literally


Remember my post about Michael Uslan visiting Flashpoint? Here's the video.


Michael Uslan Visits Flashpoint Academy from Tribeca Flashpoint on Vimeo.

Michael Jordan 's Wisdom (Rare Interviews)