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Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

4 months ago

Ten words and phrases to avoid in presentations

More on Personal Growth

NonConformist

NonConformist

8 days ago

Before 6 AM, read these 6 quotations.

These quotes will change your perspective.

I try to reflect on these quotes daily. Reading it in the morning can affect your day, decisions, and priorities. Let's start.

1. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."

What's your life goal?

80% of people don't know why they live or what they want to accomplish in life if you ask them randomly.

Even those with answers may not pursue their why. Without a purpose, life can be dull.

Your why can guide you through difficult times.

Create a life goal. Growing may change your goal. Having a purpose in life prevents feeling lost.

2. Seneca said, "He who fears death will never do anything fit for a man in life."

FAILURE STINKS Yes.

This quote is great if you're afraid to try because of failure. What if I'm not made for it? What will they think if I fail?

This wastes most of our lives. Many people prefer not failing over trying something with a better chance of success, according to studies.

Failure stinks in the short term, but it can transform our lives over time.

3. Two men peered through the bars of their cell windows; one saw mud, the other saw stars. — Dale Carnegie

It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

The glass-full-or-empty meme is everywhere. It's hard to be positive when facing adversity.

This is a skill. Positive thinking can change our future.

We should stop complaining about our life and how easy success is for others.

Seductive pessimism. Realize this and start from first principles.

4. “Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, and stupid people already have all the answers.” — Socrates.

Knowing we're ignorant can be helpful.

Every person and situation teaches you something. You can learn from others' experiences so you don't have to. Analyzing your and others' actions and applying what you learn can be beneficial.

Reading (especially non-fiction or biographies) is a good use of time. Walter Issacson wrote Benjamin Franklin's biography. Ben Franklin's early mistakes and successes helped me in some ways.

Knowing everything leads to disaster. Every incident offers lessons.

5. “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.“ — James Rohn

My favorite Jim Rohn quote.

Exercise hurts. Healthy eating can be painful. But they're needed to get in shape. Avoiding pain can ruin our lives.

Always choose progress over hopelessness. Myth: overnight success Everyone who has mastered a craft knows that mastery comes from overcoming laziness.

Turn off your inner critic and start working. Try Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins.

6. “A champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fail.“ — Serena Williams

Have you heard of Traf-o-Data?

Gates and Allen founded Traf-O-Data. After some success, it failed. Traf-o-Data's failure led to Microsoft.

Allen said Traf-O-Data's setback was important for Microsoft's first product a few years later. Traf-O-Data was a business failure, but it helped them understand microprocessors, he wrote in 2017.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” — Ryan Holiday.

Bonus Quotes

More helpful quotes:

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw.

“Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.” — Mark Twain.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale.

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” — George Bernard Shaw.

Conclusion

Words are powerful. Utilize it. Reading these inspirational quotes will help you.

Ian Writes

Ian Writes

2 months ago

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a Giant Steaming Pile of Sh*t by Robert Kiyosaki.

Don't promote it.

Kiyosaki worked with Trump on a number of projects

I rarely read a post on how Rich Dad, Poor Dad motivated someone to grow rich or change their investing/finance attitude. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a sham, though. This book isn't worth anyone's attention.

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of this garbage, doesn't deserve recognition or attention. This first finance guru wanted to build his own wealth at your expense. These charlatans only care about themselves.

The reason why Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a huge steaming piece of trash

The book's ideas are superficial, apparent, and unsurprising to entrepreneurs and investors. The book's themes may seem profound to first-time readers.

Apparently, starting a business will make you rich.

The book supports founding or buying a business, making it self-sufficient, and being rich through it. Starting a business is time-consuming, tough, and expensive. Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. Rarely do enterprises succeed.

Robert says we should think like his mentor, a rich parent. Robert never said who or if this guy existed. He was apparently his own father. Robert proposes investing someone else's money in several enterprises and properties. The book proposes investing in:

“have returns of 100 percent to infinity. Investments that for $5,000 are soon turned into $1 million or more.”

In rare cases, a business may provide 200x returns, but 65% of US businesses fail within 10 years. Australia's first-year business failure rate is 60%. A business that lasts 10 years doesn't mean its owner is rich. These statistics only include businesses that survive and pay their owners.

Employees are depressed and broke.

The novel portrays employees as broke and sad. The author degrades workers.

I've owned and worked for a business. I was broke and miserable as a business owner, working 80 hours a week for absolutely little salary. I work 50 hours a week and make over $200,000 a year. My work is hard, intriguing, and I'm surrounded by educated individuals. Self-employed or employee?

Don't listen to a charlatan's tax advice.

From a bad advise perspective, Robert's tax methods were funny. Robert suggests forming a corporation to write off holidays as board meetings or health club costs as business expenses. These actions can land you in serious tax trouble.

Robert dismisses college and traditional schooling. Rich individuals learn by doing or living, while educated people are agitated and destitute, says Robert.

Rich dad says:

“All too often business schools train employees to become sophisticated bean-counters. Heaven forbid a bean counter takes over a business. All they do is look at the numbers, fire people, and kill the business.”

And then says:

“Accounting is possibly the most confusing, boring subject in the world, but if you want to be rich long-term, it could be the most important subject.”

Get rich by avoiding paying your debts to others.

While this book has plenty of bad advice, I'll end with this: Robert advocates paying yourself first. This man's work with Trump isn't surprising.

Rich Dad's book says:

“So you see, after paying myself, the pressure to pay my taxes and the other creditors is so great that it forces me to seek other forms of income. The pressure to pay becomes my motivation. I’ve worked extra jobs, started other companies, traded in the stock market, anything just to make sure those guys don’t start yelling at me […] If I had paid myself last, I would have felt no pressure, but I’d be broke.“

Paying yourself first shouldn't mean ignoring debt, damaging your credit score and reputation, or paying unneeded fees and interest. Good business owners pay employees, creditors, and other costs first. You can pay yourself after everyone else.

If you follow Robert Kiyosaki's financial and business advice, you might as well follow Donald Trump's, the most notoriously ineffective businessman and swindle artist.

This book's popularity is unfortunate. Robert utilized the book's fame to promote paid seminars. At these seminars, he sold more expensive seminars to the gullible. This strategy was utilized by several conmen and Trump University.

It's reasonable that many believed him. It sounded appealing because he was pushing to get rich by thinking like a rich person. Anyway. At a time when most persons addressing wealth development advised early sacrifices (such as eschewing luxury or buying expensive properties), Robert told people to act affluent now and utilize other people's money to construct their fantasy lifestyle. It's exciting and fast.

I often voice my skepticism and scorn for internet gurus now that social media and platforms like Medium make it easier to promote them. Robert Kiyosaki was a guru. Many people still preach his stuff because he was so good at pushing it.

James White

James White

1 month ago

I read three of Elon Musk's suggested books (And His Taste Is Incredible)

A reading list for successful people

Daniel Oberhaus via Flickr

Elon Musk reads and talks. So, one learns. Many brilliant individuals & amazing literature.

This article recommends 3 Elon Musk novels. All of them helped me succeed. Hope they'll help you.

Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Page Count: 193
Rating on Goodreads: 4.23

Arthur Dent is pulled off Earth by a buddy seconds before it's razed for a cosmic motorway. The trio hitchhikes through space and gets into problems.

I initially read Hitchhiker's as a child. To evade my mum, I'd read with a flashlight under the covers. She'd scold at me for not sleeping on school nights when she found out. Oops.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is lighthearted science fiction.

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes are:

  • “Space is big. You won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

  • “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

  • “On planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars, and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.”

the Sun Tzu book The Art Of War

Page Count: 273
Rating on Goodreads: 3.97

It's a classic. You may apply The Art of War's ideas to (nearly) every facet of life. Ex:

  • Pick your fights.

  • Keep in mind that timing is crucial.

  • Create a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

  • Obstacles provide us a chance to adapt and change.

This book was my first. Since then, I'm a more strategic entrepreneur. Excellent book. And read it ASAP!

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes are:

  • “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

  • “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”

  • “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Peter Thiel's book Zero to One

Page Count: 195
Rating on Goodreads: 4.18

Peter argues the best money-making strategies are typically unproven. Entrepreneurship should never have a defined path to success. Whoever says differently is lying.

Zero to One explores technology and society. Peter is a philosophy major and law school graduate, which informs the work.

Peters' ideas, depth, and intellect stood out in Zero to One. It's a top business book.

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes are:

  • “The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.”

  • “The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.”

  • “If your goal is to never make a mistake in your life, you shouldn’t look for secrets. The prospect of being lonely but right — dedicating your life to something that no one else believes in — is already hard. The prospect of being lonely and wrong can be unbearable.”

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Nir Zicherman

Nir Zicherman

3 months ago

The Great Organizational Conundrum

Only two of the following three options can be achieved: consistency, availability, and partition tolerance

A DALL-E 2 generated “photograph of a teddy bear who is frustrated because it can’t finish a jigsaw puzzle”

Someone told me that growing from 30 to 60 is the biggest adjustment for a team or business.

I remember thinking, That's random. Each company is unique. I've seen teams of all types confront the same issues during development periods. With new enterprises starting every year, we should be better at navigating growing difficulties.

As a team grows, its processes and systems break down, requiring reorganization or declining results. Why always? Why isn't there a perfect scaling model? Why hasn't that been found?

The Three Things Productive Organizations Must Have

Any company should be efficient and productive. Three items are needed:

First, it must verify that no two team members have conflicting information about the roadmap, strategy, or any input that could affect execution. Teamwork is required.

Second, it must ensure that everyone can receive the information they need from everyone else quickly, especially as teams become more specialized (an inevitability in a developing organization). It requires everyone's accessibility.

Third, it must ensure that the organization can operate efficiently even if a piece is unavailable. It's partition-tolerant.

From my experience with the many teams I've been on, invested in, or advised, achieving all three is nearly impossible. Why a perfect organization model cannot exist is clear after analysis.

The CAP Theorem: What is it?

Eric Brewer of Berkeley discovered the CAP Theorem, which argues that a distributed data storage should have three benefits. One can only have two at once.

The three benefits are consistency, availability, and partition tolerance, which implies that even if part of the system is offline, the remainder continues to work.

This notion is usually applied to computer science, but I've realized it's also true for human organizations. In a post-COVID world, many organizations are hiring non-co-located staff as they grow. CAP Theorem is more important than ever. Growing teams sometimes think they can develop ways to bypass this law, dooming themselves to a less-than-optimal team dynamic. They should adopt CAP to maximize productivity.

Path 1: Consistency and availability equal no tolerance for partitions

Let's imagine you want your team to always be in sync (i.e., for someone to be the source of truth for the latest information) and to be able to share information with each other. Only division into domains will do.

Numerous developing organizations do this, especially after the early stage (say, 30 people) when everyone may wear many hats and be aware of all the moving elements. After a certain point, it's tougher to keep generalists aligned than to divide them into specialized tasks.

In a specialized, segmented team, leaders optimize consistency and availability (i.e. every function is up-to-speed on the latest strategy, no one is out of sync, and everyone is able to unblock and inform everyone else).

Partition tolerance suffers. If any component of the organization breaks down (someone goes on vacation, quits, underperforms, or Gmail or Slack goes down), productivity stops. There's no way to give the team stability, availability, and smooth operation during a hiccup.

Path 2: Partition Tolerance and Availability = No Consistency

Some businesses avoid relying too heavily on any one person or sub-team by maximizing availability and partition tolerance (the organization continues to function as a whole even if particular components fail). Only redundancy can do that. Instead of specializing each member, the team spreads expertise so people can work in parallel. I switched from Path 1 to Path 2 because I realized too much reliance on one person is risky.

What happens after redundancy? Unreliable. The more people may run independently and in parallel, the less anyone can be the truth. Lack of alignment or updated information can lead to people executing slightly different strategies. So, resources are squandered on the wrong work.

Path 3: Partition and Consistency "Tolerance" equates to "absence"

The third, least-used path stresses partition tolerance and consistency (meaning answers are always correct and up-to-date). In this organizational style, it's most critical to maintain the system operating and keep everyone aligned. No one is allowed to read anything without an assurance that it's up-to-date (i.e. there’s no availability).

Always short-lived. In my experience, a business that prioritizes quality and scalability over speedy information transmission can get bogged down in heavy processes that hinder production. Large-scale, this is unsustainable.

Accepting CAP

When two puzzle pieces fit, the third won't. I've watched developing teams try to tackle these difficulties, only to find, as their ancestors did, that they can never be entirely solved. Idealized solutions fail in reality, causing lost effort, confusion, and lower production.

As teams develop and change, they should embrace CAP, acknowledge there is a limit to productivity in a scaling business, and choose the best two-out-of-three path.

Maria Stepanova

Maria Stepanova

2 months ago

How Elon Musk Picks Things Up Quicker Than Anyone Else

Adopt Elon Musk's learning strategy to succeed.

Photo by Cody Board on Unsplash

Medium writers rank first and second when you Google “Elon Musk's learning approach”.

My article idea seems unoriginal. Lol

Musk is brilliant.

No doubt here.

His name connotes success and intelligence.

He knows rocket science, engineering, AI, and solar power.

Musk is a Unicorn, but his skills aren't special.

How does he manage it?

Elon Musk has two learning rules that anyone may use.

You can apply these rules and become anyone you want.

You can become a rocket scientist or a surgeon. If you want, of course.

The learning process is key.

Make sure you are creating a Tree of Knowledge according to Rule #1.

Musk told Reddit how he learns:

“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.”

Musk understands the essential ideas and mental models of each of his business sectors.

He starts with the tree's trunk, making sure he learns the basics before going on to branches and leaves.

We often act otherwise. We memorize small details without understanding how they relate to the whole. Our minds are stuffed with useless data.

Cramming isn't learning.

Start with the basics to learn faster. Before diving into minutiae, grasp the big picture.

Photo by niko photos on Unsplash

Rule #2: You can't connect what you can't remember.

Elon Musk transformed industries this way. As his expertise grew, he connected branches and leaves from different trees.

Musk read two books a day as a child. He didn't specialize like most people. He gained from his multidisciplinary education. It helped him stand out and develop billion-dollar firms.

He gained skills in several domains and began connecting them. World-class performances resulted.

Most of us never learn the basics and only collect knowledge. We never really comprehend information, thus it's hard to apply it.

Learn the basics initially to maximize your chances of success. Then start learning.

Learn across fields and connect them.

This method enabled Elon Musk to enter and revolutionize a century-old industry.

Michael Salim

Michael Salim

1 month ago

300 Signups, 1 Landing Page, 0 Products

I placed a link on HackerNews and got 300 signups in a week. This post explains what happened.

Product Concept

The product is DbSchemaLibrary. A library of Database Schema.

I'm not sure where this idea originated from. Very fast. Build fast, fail fast, test many ideas, and one will be a hit. I tried it. Let's try it anyway, even though it'll probably fail. I finished The Lean Startup book and wanted to use it.

Database job bores me. Important! I get drowsy working on it. Someone must do it. I remember this happening once. I needed examples at the time. Something similar to Recall (my other project) that I can copy — or at least use as a reference.

Frequently googled. Many tabs open. The results were useless. I raised my hand and agreed to construct the database myself.

It resurfaced. I decided to do something.

Due Diligence

Lean Startup emphasizes validated learning. Everything the startup does should result in learning. I may build something nobody wants otherwise. That's what happened to Recall.

So, I wrote a business plan document. This happens before I code. What am I solving? What is my proposed solution? What is the leap of faith between the problem and solution? Who would be my target audience?

My note:

Note of the exact problem and solutions I’m trying to solve

In my previous project, I did the opposite!

I wrote my expectations after reading the book's advice.

“Failure is a prerequisite to learning. The problem with the notion of shipping a product and then seeing what happens is that you are guaranteed to succeed — at seeing what happens.” — The Lean Startup book

These are successful metrics. If I don't reach them, I'll drop the idea and try another. I didn't understand numbers then. Below are guesses. But it’s a start!

Metrics I set before starting anything

I then wrote the project's What and Why. I'll use this everywhere. Before, I wrote a different pitch each time. I thought certain words would be better. I felt the audience might want something unusual.

Occasionally, this works. I'm unsure if it's a good idea. No stats, just my writing-time opinion. Writing every time is time-consuming and sometimes hazardous. Having a copy saved me duplication.

I can measure and learn from performance.

Copy of the product’s What and Why’s

Last, I identified communities that might demand the product. This became an exercise in creativity.

List of potential marketing channels

The MVP

So now it’s time to build.

A MVP can test my assumptions. Business may learn from it. Not low-quality. We should learn from the tiniest thing.

I like the example of how Dropbox did theirs. They assumed that if the product works, people will utilize it. How can this be tested without a quality product? They made a movie demonstrating the software's functionality. Who knows how much functionality existed?

So I tested my biggest assumption. Users want schema references. How can I test if users want to reference another schema? I'd love this. Recall taught me that wanting something doesn't mean others do.

I made an email-collection landing page. Describe it briefly. Reference library. Each email sender wants a reference. They're interested in the product. Few other reasons exist.

Header and footer were skipped. No name or logo. DbSchemaLibrary is a name I thought of after the fact. 5-minute logo. I expected a flop. Recall has no users after months of labor. What could happen to a 2-day project?

I didn't compromise learning validation. How many visitors sign up? To draw a conclusion, I must track these results.

Landing page

Posting Time

Now that the job is done, gauge interest. The next morning, I posted on all my channels. I didn't want to be spammy, therefore it required more time.

I made sure each channel had at least one fan of this product. I also answer people's inquiries in the channel.

My list stinks. Several channels wouldn't work. The product's target market isn't there. Posting there would waste our time. This taught me to create marketing channels depending on my persona.

Statistics! What actually happened

My favorite part! 23 channels received the link.

Results across the marketing channels

I stopped posting to Discord despite its high conversion rate. I eliminated some channels because they didn't fit. According to the numbers, some users like it. Most users think it's spam.

I was skeptical. And 12 people viewed it.

I didn't expect much attention on a startup subreddit. I'll likely examine Reddit further in the future. As I have enough info, I didn't post much. Time for the next validated learning

No comment. The post had few views, therefore the numbers are low.

The targeted people come next.

I'm a Toptal freelancer. There's a member-only Slack channel. Most people can't use this marketing channel, but you should! It's not as spectacular as discord's 27% conversion rate. But I think the users here are better.

I don’t really have a following anywhere so this isn’t something I can leverage.

The best yet. 10% is converted. With more data, I expect to attain a 10% conversion rate from other channels. Stable number.

This number required some work. Did you know that people use many different clients to read HN?

Unknowns

Untrackable views and signups abound. 1136 views and 135 signups are untraceable. It's 11%. I bet much of that came from Hackernews.

Overall Statistics

The 7-day signup-to-visit ratio was 17%. (Hourly data points)

Signup to Views percentageSignup to Views count

First-day percentages were lower, which is noteworthy. Initially, it was little above 10%. The HN post started getting views then.

Percentage of signups to views for the first 2 days

When traffic drops, the number reaches just around 20%. More individuals are interested in the connection. hn.algolia.com sent 2 visitors. This means people are searching and finding my post.

Percentage of signups after the initial traffic

Interesting discoveries

1. HN post struggled till the US woke up.

11am UTC. After an hour, it lost popularity. It seemed over. 7 signups converted 13%. Not amazing, but I would've thought ahead.

After 4pm UTC, traffic grew again. 4pm UTC is 9am PDT. US awakened. 10am PDT saw 512 views.

Signup to views count during the first few hours

2. The product was highlighted in a newsletter.

I found Revue references when gathering data. Newsletter platform. Someone posted the newsletter link. 37 views and 3 registrations.

3. HN numbers are extremely reliable

I don't have a time-lapse graph (yet). The statistics were constant all day.

  • 2717 views later 272 new users, or 10.1%

  • With 293 signups at 2856 views, 10.25%

  • At 306 signups at 2965 views, 10.32%

Learnings

1. My initial estimations were wildly inaccurate

I wrote 30% conversion. Reading some articles, looks like 10% is a good number to aim for.

2. Paying attention to what matters rather than vain metrics

The Lean Startup discourages vanity metrics. Feel-good metrics that don't measure growth or traction. Considering the proportion instead of the total visitors made me realize there was something here.

What’s next?

There are lots of work to do. Data aggregation, display, website development, marketing, legal issues. Fun! It's satisfying to solve an issue rather than investigate its cause.

In the meantime, I’ve already written the first project update in another post. Continue reading it if you’d like to know more about the project itself! Shifting from Quantity to Quality — DbSchemaLibrary