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Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen

1 year ago

How can you bargain for $300,000 at Google?

More on Personal Growth

James White

James White

1 year 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.”

Khyati Jain

Khyati Jain

1 year ago

By Engaging in these 5 Duplicitous Daily Activities, You Rapidly Kill Your Brain Cells

No, it’s not smartphones, overeating, or sugar.

Freepik

Everyday practices affect brain health. Good brain practices increase memory and cognition.

Bad behaviors increase stress, which destroys brain cells.

Bad behaviors can reverse evolution and diminish the brain. So, avoid these practices for brain health.

1. The silent assassin

Introverts appreciated quarantine.

Before the pandemic, they needed excuses to remain home; thereafter, they had enough.

I am an introvert, and I didn’t hate quarantine. There are billions of people like me who avoid people.

Social relationships are important for brain health. Social anxiety harms your brain.

Antisocial behavior changes brains. It lowers IQ and increases drug abuse risk.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Make a daily commitment to engage in conversation with a stranger. Who knows, you might turn out to be your lone mate.

  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Shop for food locally rather than online.

  • Make a call to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.

2. Try not to rush things.

People love hustle culture. This economy requires a side gig to save money.

Long hours reduce brain health. A side gig is great until you burn out.

Work ages your wallet and intellect. Overworked brains age faster and lose cognitive function.

Working longer hours can help you make extra money, but it can harm your brain.

Side hustle but don't overwork.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Decide what hour you are not permitted to work after.

  • Three hours prior to night, turn off your laptop.

  • Put down your phone and work.

  • Assign due dates to each task.

3. Location is everything!

The environment may cause brain fog. High pollution can cause brain damage.

Air pollution raises Alzheimer's risk. Air pollution causes cognitive and behavioral abnormalities.

Polluted air can trigger early development of incurable brain illnesses, not simply lung harm.

Your city's air quality is uncontrollable. You may take steps to improve air quality.

In Delhi, schools and colleges are closed to protect pupils from polluted air. So I've adapted.

What you can do is as follows:

  • To keep your mind healthy and young, make an investment in a high-quality air purifier.

  • Enclose your windows during the day.

  • Use a N95 mask every day.

4. Don't skip this meal.

Fasting intermittently is trendy. Delaying breakfast to finish fasting is frequent.

Some skip breakfast and have a hefty lunch instead.

Skipping breakfast might affect memory and focus. Skipping breakfast causes low cognition, delayed responsiveness, and irritation.

Breakfast affects mood and productivity.

Intermittent fasting doesn't prevent healthy breakfasts.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Try to fast for 14 hours, then break it with a nutritious breakfast.

  • So that you can have breakfast in the morning, eat dinner early.

  • Make sure your breakfast is heavy in fiber and protein.

5. The quickest way to damage the health of your brain

Brain health requires water. 1% dehydration can reduce cognitive ability by 5%.

Cerebral fog and mental clarity might result from 2% brain dehydration. Dehydration shrinks brain cells.

Dehydration causes midday slumps and unproductivity. Water improves work performance.

Dehydration can harm your brain, so drink water throughout the day.

What you can do is as follows:

  • Always keep a water bottle at your desk.

  • Enjoy some tasty herbal teas.

  • With a big glass of water, begin your day.

  • Bring your own water bottle when you travel.

Conclusion

Bad habits can harm brain health. Low cognition reduces focus and productivity.

Unproductive work leads to procrastination, failure, and low self-esteem.

Avoid these harmful habits to optimize brain health and function.

Simon Ash

Simon Ash

1 year ago

The Three Most Effective Questions for Ongoing Development

The Traffic Light Approach to Reviewing Personal, Team and Project Development

Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels

What needs improvement? If you want to improve, you need to practice your sport, musical instrument, habit, or work project. You need to assess your progress.

Continuous improvement is the foundation of focused practice and a growth mentality. Not just individually. High-performing teams pursue improvement. Right? Why is it hard?

As a leadership coach, senior manager, and high-level athlete, I've found three key questions that may unlock high performance in individuals and teams.

Problems with Reviews

Reviewing and improving performance is crucial, however I hate seeing review sessions in my diary. I rarely respond to questionnaire pop-ups or emails. Why?

Time constrains. Requests to fill out questionnaires often state they will take 10–15 minutes, but I can think of a million other things to do with that time. Next, review overload. Businesses can easily request comments online. No matter what you buy, someone will ask for your opinion. This bombardment might make feedback seem bad, which is bad.

The problem is that we might feel that way about important things like personal growth and work performance. Managers and team leaders face a greater challenge.

When to Conduct a Review

We must be wise about reviewing things that matter to us. Timing and duration matter. Reviewing the experience as quickly as possible preserves information and sentiments. Time must be brief. The review's importance and size will determine its length. We might only take a few seconds to review our morning coffee, but we might require more time for that six-month work project.

These post-event reviews should be supplemented by periodic reflection. Journaling can help with daily reflections, but I also like to undertake personal reviews every six months on vacation or at a retreat.

As an employee or line manager, you don't want to wait a year for a performance assessment. Little and frequently is best, with a more formal and in-depth assessment (typically with a written report) in 6 and 12 months.

The Easiest Method to Conduct a Review Session

I follow Einstein's review process:

“Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

Thus, it should be brief but deliver the necessary feedback. Quality critique is hard to receive if the process is overly complicated or long.

I have led or participated in many review processes, from strategic overhauls of big organizations to personal goal coaching. Three key questions guide the process at either end:

  • What ought to stop being done?

  • What should we do going forward?

  • What should we do first?

Following the Rule of 3, I compare it to traffic lights. Red, amber, and green lights:

  • Red What ought should we stop?

  • Amber What ought to we keep up?

  • Green Where should we begin?

This approach is easy to understand and self-explanatory, however below are some examples under each area.

Red What ought should we stop?

As a team or individually, we must stop doing things to improve.

Sometimes they're bad. If we want to lose weight, we should avoid sweets. If a team culture is bad, we may need to stop unpleasant behavior like gossiping instead of having difficult conversations.

Not all things we should stop are wrong. Time matters. Since it is finite, we sometimes have to stop nice things to focus on the most important. Good to Great author Jim Collins famously said:

“Don’t let the good be the enemy of the great.”

Prioritizing requires this idea. Thus, decide what to stop to prioritize.

Amber What ought to we keep up?

Should we continue with the amber light? It helps us decide what to keep doing during review. Many items fall into this category, so focus on those that make the most progress.

Which activities have the most impact? Which behaviors create the best culture? Success-building habits?

Use these questions to find positive momentum. These are the fly-wheel motions, according to Jim Collins. The Compound Effect author Darren Hardy says:

“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”

What can you do consistently to reach your goal?

Green Where should we begin?

Finally, green lights indicate new beginnings. Red/amber difficulties may be involved. Stopping a red issue may give you more time to do something helpful (in the amber).

This green space inspires creativity. Kolbs learning cycle requires active exploration to progress. Thus, it's crucial to think of new approaches, try them out, and fail if required.

This notion underpins lean start-build, up's measure, learn approach and agile's trying, testing, and reviewing. Try new things until you find what works. Thomas Edison, the lighting legend, exclaimed:

“There is a way to do it better — find it!”

Failure is acceptable, but if you want to fail forward, look back on what you've done.

John Maxwell concurred with Edison:

“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward”

A good review procedure lets us accomplish that. To avoid failure, we must act, experiment, and reflect.

Use the traffic light system to prioritize queries. Ask:

  • Red What needs to stop?

  • Amber What should continue to occur?

  • Green What might be initiated?

Take a moment to reflect on your day. Check your priorities with these three questions. Even if merely to confirm your direction, it's a terrific exercise!

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Tora Northman

Tora Northman

2 years ago

Pixelmon NFTs are so bad, they are almost good!

Bored Apes prices continue to rise, HAPEBEAST launches, Invisible Friends hype continues to grow. Sadly, not all projects are as successful.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Is the project a scam? Will the reveal derail the project? Possibly, but when Pixelmon first teased its launch, it generated a lot of buzz.

With a primary sale mint price of 3 ETH ($8,100 USD), it started as an expensive project, with plenty of fans willing to invest in what was sold as a game. After it was revealed, it fell rapidly.
Why? It was overpromised and under delivered.

According to the project's creator[^1], the funds generated will be used to develop the artwork. "The Pixelmon reveal was wrong. This is what our Pixelmon look like in-game. "Despite the fud, I will not go anywhere," he wrote on Twitter. The goal remains. The funds will still be used to build our game. I will finish this project."

The project raised $70 million USD, but the NFTs buyers received were not the project's original teasers. Some call it "the worst NFT project ever," while others call it a complete scam.

But there's hope for some buyers. Kevin emerged from the ashes as the project was roasted over the fire.

A Minecraft character meets Salad Fingers - that's Kevin. He's a frog-like creature whose reveal was such a terrible NFT that it became part of history – and a meme.

If you're laughing at people paying $8K for a silly pixelated image, you might need to take it back. Precisely because of this, lucky holders who minted Kevin have been able to sell the now-memed NFT for over 8 ETH (around $24,000 USD), with some currently listed for 100 ETH.

Of course, Twitter has been awash in memes mocking those who invested in the project, because what else can you do when so many people lose money?

It's still unclear if the NFT project is a scam, but the team behind it was hired on Upwork. There's still hope for redemption, but Kevin's rise to fame appears to be the only positive outcome so far.

[^1] This is not the first time the creator (A 20-yo New Zealanders) has sought money via an online platform and had people claiming he under-delivered.  He raised $74,000 on Kickstarter for a card game called Psycho Chicken. There are hundreds of comments on the Kickstarter project saying they haven't received the product and pleading for a refund or an update.

Sarah Bird

Sarah Bird

1 year ago

Memes Help This YouTube Channel Earn Over $12k Per Month

Image credit: Jakob Owens via Unsplash

Take a look at a YouTube channel making anything up to over $12k a month from making very simple videos.

And the best part? Its replicable by anyone. Basic videos can be generated for free without design abilities.

Join me as I deconstruct the channel to estimate how much they make, how they do it, and how you can too.

What Do They Do Exactly?

Happy Land posts memes with a simple caption they wrote. So, it's new. The videos are a slideshow of meme photos with stock music.

The site posts 12 times a day.

8-10-minute videos show 10 second images. Thus, each video needs 48-60 memes.

Memes are video titles (e.g. times a boyfriend was hilarious, back to school fails, funny restaurant signs).

Some stats about the channel:

  • Founded on October 30, 2020

  • 873 videos were added.

  • 81.8k subscribers

  • 67,244,196 views of the video

What Value Are They Adding?

Everyone can find free memes online. This channel collects similar memes into a single video so you don't have to scroll or click for more. It’s right there, you just keep watching and more will come.

By theming it, the audience is prepared for the video's content.

If you want hilarious animal memes or restaurant signs, choose the video and you'll get up to 60 memes without having to look for them. Genius!

How much money do they make?

According to www.socialblade.com, the channel earns $800-12.8k (image shown in my home currency of GBP).

Screenshot from SocialBlade.com

That's a crazy estimate, but it highlights the unbelievable potential of a channel that presents memes.

This channel thrives on quantity, thus putting out videos is necessary to keep the flow continuing and capture its audience's attention.

How Are the Videos Made?

Straightforward. Memes are added to a presentation without editing (so you could make this in PowerPoint or Keynote).

Each slide should include a unique image and caption. Set 10 seconds per slide.

Add music and post the video.

Finding enough memes for the material and theming is difficult, but if you enjoy memes, this is a fun job.

This case study should have shown you that you don't need expensive software or design expertise to make entertaining videos. Why not try fresh, easy-to-do ideas and see where they lead?

Jeff Scallop

Jeff Scallop

1 year ago

The Age of Decentralized Capitalism and DeFi

DeCap is DeFi's killer app.

The Battle of the Moneybags and the Strongboxes (Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Pieter van der Heyden)

“Software is eating the world.” Marc Andreesen, venture capitalist

DeFi. Imagine a blockchain-based alternative financial system that offers the same products and services as traditional finance, but with more variety, faster, more secure, lower cost, and simpler access.

Decentralised finance (DeFi) is a marketplace without gatekeepers or central authority managing the flow of money, where customers engage directly with smart contracts running on a blockchain.

DeFi grew exponentially in 2020/21, with Total Value Locked (an inadequate estimate for market size) topping at $100 billion. After that, it crashed.

The accumulation of funds by individuals with high discretionary income during the epidemic, the novelty of crypto trading, and the high yields given (5% APY for stablecoins on established platforms to 100%+ for risky assets) are among the primary elements explaining this exponential increase.

No longer your older brothers DeFi

Since transactions are anonymous, borrowers had to overcollateralize DeFi 1.0. To borrow $100 in stablecoins, you must deposit $150 in ETH. DeFi 1.0's business strategy raises two problems.

  • Why does DeFi offer interest rates that are higher than those of the conventional financial system?;

  • Why would somebody put down more cash than they intended to borrow?

Maxed out on their own resources, investors took loans to acquire more crypto; the demand for those loans raised DeFi yields, which kept crypto prices increasing; as crypto prices rose, investors made a return on their positions, allowing them to deposit more money and borrow more crypto.

This is a bull market game. DeFi 1.0's overcollateralization speculation is dead. Cryptocrash sank it.

The “speculation by overcollateralisation” world of DeFi 1.0 is dead

At a JP Morgan digital assets conference, institutional investors were more interested in DeFi than crypto or fintech. To me, that shows DeFi 2.0's institutional future.

DeFi 2.0 protocols must handle KYC/AML, tax compliance, market abuse, and cybersecurity problems to be institutional-ready.

Stablecoins gaining market share under benign regulation and more CBDCs coming online in the next couple of years could help DeFi 2.0 separate from crypto volatility.

DeFi 2.0 will have a better footing to finally decouple from crypto volatility

Then we can transition from speculation through overcollateralization to DeFi's genuine comparative advantages: cheaper transaction costs, near-instant settlement, more efficient price discovery, faster time-to-market for financial innovation, and a superior audit trail.

Akin to Amazon for financial goods

Amazon decimated brick-and-mortar shops by offering millions of things online, warehouses by keeping just-in-time inventory, and back-offices by automating invoicing and payments. Software devoured retail. DeFi will eat banking with software.

DeFi is the Amazon for financial items that will replace fintech. Even the most advanced internet brokers offer only 100 currency pairings and limited bonds, equities, and ETFs.

Old banks settlement systems and inefficient, hard-to-upgrade outdated software harm them. For advanced gamers, it's like driving an F1 vehicle on dirt.

It is like driving a F1 car on a dirt road, for the most sophisticated players

Central bankers throughout the world know how expensive and difficult it is to handle cross-border payments using the US dollar as the reserve currency, which is vulnerable to the economic cycle and geopolitical tensions.

Decentralization is the only method to deliver 24h global financial markets. DeFi 2.0 lets you buy and sell startup shares like Google or Tesla. VC funds will trade like mutual funds. Or create a bundle coverage for your car, house, and NFTs. Defi 2.0 consumes banking and creates Global Wall Street.

Defi 2.0 is how software eats banking and delivers the global Wall Street

Decentralized Capitalism is Emerging

90% of markets are digital. 10% is hardest to digitalize. That's money creation, ID, and asset tokenization.

90% of financial markets are already digital. The only problem is that the 10% left is the hardest to digitalize

Debt helped Athens construct a powerful navy that secured trade routes. Bonds financed the Renaissance's wars and supply chains. Equity fueled industrial growth. FX drove globalization's payments system. DeFi's plans:

If the 20th century was a conflict between governments and markets over economic drivers, the 21st century will be between centralized and decentralized corporate structures.

Offices vs. telecommuting. China vs. onshoring/friendshoring. Oil & gas vs. diverse energy matrix. National vs. multilateral policymaking. DAOs vs. corporations Fiat vs. crypto. TradFi vs.

An age where the network effects of the sharing economy will overtake the gains of scale of the monopolistic competition economy

This is the dawn of Decentralized Capitalism (or DeCap), an age where the network effects of the sharing economy will reach a tipping point and surpass the scale gains of the monopolistic competition economy, further eliminating inefficiencies and creating a more robust economy through better data and automation. DeFi 2.0 enables this.

DeFi needs to pay the piper now.

DeCap won't be Web3.0's Shangri-La, though. That's too much for an ailing Atlas. When push comes to shove, DeFi folks want to survive and fight another day for the revolution. If feasible, make a tidy profit.

Decentralization wasn't meant to circumvent regulation. It circumvents censorship. On-ramp, off-ramp measures (control DeFi's entry and exit points, not what happens in between) sound like a good compromise for DeFi 2.0.

The sooner authorities realize that DeFi regulation is made ex-ante by writing code and constructing smart contracts with rules, the faster DeFi 2.0 will become the more efficient and safe financial marketplace.

More crucially, we must boost system liquidity. DeFi's financial stability risks are downplayed. DeFi must improve its liquidity management if it's to become mainstream, just as banks rely on capital constraints.

This reveals the complex and, frankly, inadequate governance arrangements for DeFi protocols. They redistribute control from tokenholders to developers, which is bad governance regardless of the economic model.

But crypto can only ride the existing banking system for so long before forming its own economy. DeFi will upgrade web2.0's financial rails till then.