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Category: business personalities

Spotting innovation: what geeks do in the weekend

Spotting innovation: what geeks do in the weekend

If you only have change to listen to one podcast, then my recommendation would have to be the Tim Ferriss Show; it’s insightful, informative and also lots of fun. And if you only have time for one episode, then I would recommend the one with Marc Andreesson. OK, that might be a bit unfair as I’ve only listened to a few, but I’ve just finished the one with Marc and it’s just awesome.

Marc is one of the seminal figures in Silicon Valley history, having helped create some of the major players in the industry. He is now co-founder of venture capital firm Andresson Horowitz, helping shape some of the companies of tomorrow. The podcast runs through a whole bunch of interesting topics, from tales of the Valley, all the way to the role of conflict in an organisation, to new and emerging technologies like drones and blockchain based companies. There was one point however that stuck with me more than many of the others.

At one point, Tim asks Marc how their company looks for the next big thing, the next thing to invest in, the next thing that’s going to change our world. Marc mentions that the next big thing is something that is considered fringe nowadays, but that will manage to make the leap into the mainstream (Crossing the Chasm?). In order to spot these trends, they ask themselves ‘what do the nerds/geeks do in the weekend?’ In other words, forgetting the activities that bring home the bacon, what do smart people do in their spare time, what’s exciting them and what are they making. There’s a lot of depth in that statement and something that resonates with me, particularly in light of what’s happening at the Isle of Man Code Club. There are a number of projects there that are based around people’s passions, are innovative and can grow into something useful. So yeah, check out what the nerds are doing over the weekend 🙂

Role of Social Media in Marketing – Talk by Robert Scoble

Role of Social Media in Marketing – Talk by Robert Scoble

Excellent insight for marketers:

Robert Scoble, blogger and entrepreneur, discusses his thoughts on how ideas spread. The public session was part of the Stanford GSB marketing course, the Power of Social Technology (Dr. Jennifer Aaker). A panel of experts, including Robert Scoble, MC Hammer, and Loic LeMeur, discussed how social media can build successful brands.

Ideas worth spreading

Ideas worth spreading

Seth Godin
Image via Wikipedia

A great post on Seth Godin’s blog lists a number of random ideas worth reading. Here are my top 5:

  • Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.
  • The hard part is finishing, so enjoy the starting part.
  • Powerful organizations adore the status quo, so expect no help from them if your idea challenges the very thing they adore.
  • Seek out apostles, not partners. People who benefit from spreading your idea, not people who need to own it.
  • Are you a serial idea-starting person? If so, what can you change to end that cycle? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.

I have a couple of books he published and I like how they inspire great ideas, which are really simple and intuitive. Recommended reading for anyone interested in making their ideas work for them.

Read more on Seth’s blog

Qaulifications vs Experience

Qaulifications vs Experience

The University of Cambridge is an institute of...
Image via Wikipedia

Interesting conversation today about the value of experience vs qualifications. I must say, it’s not uncommon to find people with tons of business experience who never went to grad school or sometimes even completed a formal education. It’s also not uncommon to find people with business degrees in other walks of life, not using the skills they have learnt. It’s funny how some people would put so much effort into getting their diploma, all those late nights and dark under eye circles, then not being able to take advantage of what they have gained.

The question is, what do you think is more important? The things one learns at business school? Or the formative years that give a person the traits that are so essential in business? Ot much be a combination of both, but one surely must be more important. Think about our business leaders of today, where do they get their foundations?

Tribes (Seth Godin) – Free Audio Book

Tribes (Seth Godin) – Free Audio Book

I’ve almost got to the end of Seth Godin‘s “Tribes“. I had tried buying this on Amazon some time back, but my order had got cancelled. So it was quite lucky that I came across an audio book version that Seth is giving away for free. I downloaded the player a couple of weeks ago and had it on my phone, but I’ve been away on holiday and had the opportunity to get to listen to it.

It’s a pretty inspirational text that’s really brilliant in its simplicity. I love the fact that after you read some of Seth’s texts you end up thinking how simple the ideas are and marvelling about how you didn’t think of them yourself. It’s all down to framing the ideas and Seth has a great way of decorating his ideas with memorable anecdotes and examples from real life. It’s also great how he covers a range of different topics; from marketing down to shiny new copper kitchen sinks; well, so the metaphor goes. Seriously I started following Seth as a marketing guru, but this book is much more than that; it’s an essential management and change text that can help you both in your career and your personal life.

Anyway; if you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on the book you can download the Tribes audio book here.

5 top business blogs

5 top business blogs

I’ve been asked where to subscribe to some great business blogs, so I thought I’d make a Top 5 list of my own. Here’s some interesting reading:

  • Freakonomics: You’ve read the book, now subscribe to the blog. Educational and entertaining. If you enjoyed the book, you’ll find the blog quite interesting too, as it takes the same tone with a number of different subjects, while managing to keep it quite personal too.
  • The Beehive: A great blog by Steve Bee, the head of Pensions Strategy at Scottish Life. “In a fusion of his two main interests, pensions and cartooning, Steve achieved notoriety some years ago by becoming the only person ever to have submitted a paper in evidence to a Commons Select Committee in cartoon-strip format. However, his main claim to fame lies in the field of pensions where he is acknowledged as one of the leading experts on pension developments in the UK today.”
  • Seth’s Blog: I’ve mentioned Seth Godin a number of times in this blog already, so his blog must also get a mention here. Seth is a marketeer and innovator and his blog posts are always full of insight. If you only check out one blog a day, make this the one you read.
  • Marginal Revolution: As you can imagine from the name, this is an economics blog, written by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, two influential economists and writers. It’s quite whimsical, but informative nonetheless, so it makes it onto my recommended list.
  • Bigger isn’t always better: My final pick is an interesting blog by Bob Tomasko, who always has interesting insight. I find his posts pretty thought provoking, so I’d recommend you check it out.

I’ve tried to pick some top blogs from a category I’m familiar with, but you might want to echo this post with some picks from your niche, whether it’s social media or commercial real estate. Just find 5 blogs you like and recommend them to your readers.