Business, life

Make Better Decisions

The lake and clouds near HWY 92&280

Thanks to @farnamstreet for these great points that he posted on Twitter. It reminded me of a good conversation I had with a friend about the ‘right’ decision and a ‘good’ decision.

A good decision is the best decision you can make based on the evidence at hand at the moment you need to decide. If it will be the ‘right’ one – only time can tell. Btw, it is good to remember that many decisions are reversible. With those types of decisions, you can use a light-weight process. You don’t have to live with the consequences for that long if you can change it (which is easy to say and hard to do). You should improve your skills to recognize quickly that a decision is wrong. When you become good at course correction, you will be able to ‘fail quickly’ and move forward fast. If you wish to get better and increase the odds to have good decisions that turn out on the right side, here is a list of rules to help with the process.

How to take a better decision?

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Business

Make Your Meetings Better

Empty meeting

In the past I’ve wrote about status meetings and why you should avoid them. As a basic productivity rule, you should replace meetings when emails or calls will do.

But there are many cases, where you wish to have a meeting in order to: brainstorm, inform, decide etc’.

How can you make it more productive? Continue reading

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Business, life

Weapons Of Math Destructions

Weapons Of Math Destructions book

 

I have just finished this book “Weapons Of Math Destructions” by Cathy O’neil.

It’s an important book that deal with mathematical algorithms and models that control our modern life and where they threat to change many aspects of our social interactions. Think about cases like who is being selected to a certain collage and all the implications. She gives good stories and background to each example in the book.

To me, the bottom line is a call to developers, product managers, scientists (and anyone else who contribute to the creation of these systems) to take more responsibility when they building algorithms. I know it’s a real challenging aspect, as most people are not even aware to the tendencies that they got and influence their decisions. It’s also a call for the regulators to think and ask the hard questions about modern ‘AI‘ systems.

Overall, it’s a good book that is full with good stories and examples that drive her main points about the dark side of big data.

Give it a try.

You might like it as much as I did.

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Business, life

Good Podcasts

headset with colors in the backgroundYesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend about ways to improve your knowledge in different topics.

I suggested to him to leverage his long commute or runs to listen to audio books and podcasts. I have been doing it over the last 15 years and it’s a great way for me to utilize time better. Suddenly the long runs become interesting and time flies. So his next question was what are the podcasts I like and why.

Here are the top ones:

  • Revisionist History is my favorite one. Gladwell does what he is excelling at… telling a story you think you knew but turn it on its head and during this process teach you a thing or two. In the last two seasons, Gladwell went back and reinterpret something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood. The one on Martin Luther King is fascinating.
  • Freakonomics is an award-winning podcast with a lot of listeners (which most, I suspect, like logic, economic etc’). Stephen Dubner has conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt. The last few episodes (as of March 2018) about CEOs are really good. Check it out.
  • Here’s the thing with Alec Baldwin – Alec really knows how to interview his impressive guests and listen to their ideas and stories. It’s great to follow him and learn about people that changed history, industries or ‘just’ put a smile on our faces.
  • Epicenter – I’ve been passion about the crypto world since 2012. Around early 2014 I found this one. It’s a podcast that takes you to the heart of this important technological revolution: the rise of decentralized technologies. Every week, they bring conversations with some of the brightest minds in this bourgeoning ecosystem of startups and open source projects. Good stuff if you want to learn more about decentralized technologies and the crypto world.
    Btw, Block Zero is a new podcast that deal with this topic as well. It’s still young but sounds good so far.
  • The Moth – The Moth Podcast features stories that are being recorded live on stage around the USA.
    Some of them are really good! Episodes are released every Tuesday.

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Business, life

Books I Enjoyed During 2017

This year was full with good books.

I got to some books by mistake (e.g. Girl with a pearl earring during a trip to Zion national park) and others after getting a warm recommendation. Here is the list of the ones that I like most. There were at least ~12 other books that I didn’t like and stopped in the middle, but I guess, it’s part of life.

One of the best papers I read this year (again) was “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper is quite short (only 8 pages without the references) but every word there counts and it’s giving a total picture of this powerful invention. It’s much bigger than ‘just’ cash system and in the future we will see this technology breakthrough changing many industries.

OK, let’s jump to the books. Continue reading

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Business, life

Where The Best Ideas Win

I’ve just finish to read one of the best books for this year: Principles: Life and Work

It’s a a long book but very well organized. You get a good background on Ray Dalio and how he arrived to where he is today. I knew him for the past 10 years, but I was amazed to learn that he was broke in the early 80′. In a classic american dream story, he was able to build one of the largest (and maybe, best) hedge funds in the world that these days managed over $150B.

Things I liked:

  • He is giving good explanations to each principal and how he got to it. There are many cases where he is driving his points with a real life example, which is helpful. In a way, you can think on this book as a recipe book for life and business. Ray doesn’t want you to follow blindly after this principals but to get you to think on them and come up with a set of principal that is based on your idea, experience and life lessons.
  • He provides the reader with a strategy and a roadmap to better thinking and dealing with problems and challenges.
  • He also giving tools and methodologies to accomplish goals you think are important base on your values.
  • After over 40 years in the stock market, he learned that in order to be so successful you need to be an independent thinker (because the consensus is baked into the price of assets) and you need to be more right than wrong. So the ability to learn from your mistakes and to keep improving is critical.
  • In the last part of the book, he is talking about business and how to build a group or organization that will be transparent, self improving and able to bubble up with the best ideas. It sounds easy, but from the past 20 years, I know how hard it is to accomplish.

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Business

Startups Limiting Factors #StartupTips

In reality, we see many examples that too much capital makes your startup unfocused and it’s a curse, not a blessing. When you get funds at the beginning it’s putting you in the wrong position of ‘spending’ money and not earning it. To minimize it as much as you can is a smart move that helps to build a healthy business. One that is earning money and not spending all of it. It sounds (too) basic but you will be surprised how many founders forgetting it after the raising the first round. You wish to start lean and mean and keep it for as long as you can.

Limited capital makes companies focused.

This is an important factor when you wish to build a business and make it profitable in limited time.

The main limiting factors for startups:

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