How Entrepreneurs Can Increase Their Productivity

•December 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Editor’s noteJames Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written 6 books on investing. His latest book is I Was Blind But Now I See. You can follow him@jaltucher.

When I got separated from my ex-wife in November, 2008 I put an ad on Craigslist pretending to be a psychic and spent the day answering all the emails I got in return. I had various tricks to prove I was a psychic. For instance, if a woman wrote me and asked: prove you’re a psychic I would write back: when you were younger you had beautiful long hair. Then it was cut and you were horribly sad, all that beautiful hair lost. They would all respond, HOW DID YOU KNOW?

Then I had Thanksgiving dinner in the Red Flame diner on 44th Street by myself and had a Turkey sandwich.

It was the financial crisis, I was all alone, I spent the nights in cheap hotels, and the world was falling apart. I shut down a business I had been starting. It was a year and a half after I sold and I felt I was ready to begin the next one. I started a business crowdsourcing ads. My partners were the guys who did Freakonomics. It was going well. Why did I shut the new business down? No reason at all. It’s probably still a good idea. I was just mired in my own negativity.

Meanwhile Andrew Mason spent that month, the worst month in financial history since the Great Depression, starting Groupon and became a billionaire.

Through the years I missed investing in Google. I missed investing in Foursquare. I missed, I lost, I suffered, I cried. I could’ve started other businesses instead of the ones I did. I could’ve accepted job offers instead of lying in my hammock crying about failures. We all have stuff to complain about. What a waste! It’s hard not to spend most of the day angry or scared or anxious. Particularly when running a startup.

I want to be productive, healthy, and happy. Better to avoid having 80% of my thoughts (or more on some days!) be “not useful”. In my worst days I easily could’ve spent a good chunk of my day wasting it by thinking thoughts that aren’t useful. That’s just as much a waste of time as playing dumb games or watching the Kardashians on reality TV.

Pretend your brain is a giant Gmail inbox. You can use filters to immediately label thoughts to get them out of your priority inbox and not have them bog down your productivity (or happiness). As soon as you see one of the below types of thoughts pop up, label it, filter it, and file it (thoughts have a way of racing past us). Many times, this has been the only way I’ve been able to pick myself up and get moving again.

Here are nine filters you can use to get rid of such negative thoughts:

1)      Pessimistic thoughts:  For instance, judging myself too harshly. Or assuming I’m no good at something so I shouldn’t even try. Or assuming I’m destined to be an unhealthy old man. These are all negative thoughts. If you can’t try something, then you won’t try something. You think Larry Page wanders around his bedroom late at night thinking, “man, I can’t do this!”

How do I know I can label them as “negative thoughts”? As opposed to negative reality? Because they have no basis in fact. I don’t know how I will be as an old man. And if I judge someone too harshly before I even know them—what’s the point? It’s one thing if they reach into my pocket and try to take my wallet. Then I can judge them: “This person steals things.” But until then, why judge? And yet I do. What a waste!

Or, before I give a talk, thinking that I’m going to do horribly despite the fact that I’ve prepared well and it’s a friendly crowd. All the evidence suggests that my negative thought is not based in reality and yet I’ll still think it. Not useful.

2)      Vice – My vice thoughts start when I wake up. Who made me angry the day before? Do I look good in the mirror? Or when I look at the above picture of Larry Page (referred to as “human being #1” in my house) I get envious. Or am I constantly thinking of the waffles I’m going to eat at breakfast in the city later? That might be a fun thought (just like constantly thinking about sex) but it’s not necessarily one that will bring me closer to happiness or success. I can enjoy the waffle when I eat it. I don’t have to think of it every second of the  day.

3) Perfectionism/Shame– I want to make more money. I want my kids to love me. I want a big house. I want, I want, I want. We spend our first few years of life being programmed by commercialism into thinking that some things are important: getting a college degree, owning a home, having as many people as possible love you (fame), getting attached to certain things (like the Dr. McCoy doll I have sitting right next to my computer that nobody better mess with), getting a private plane, having sex with as many people as possible. These thoughts of what a perfect life would be like are harmful.

What if you don’t get the college degree, or own the home, or get the yacht in the Mediterranean?

Perfectionism is a form of bondage. We want things to be “just right” or else we are unhappy. We become ashamed. Why, when I had $10mm, did I want $100mm? I had enough to live forever. And yet, some feeling inside of me thought I was imperfect, unloved, not good enough, unless I had that $100mm. And then, of course, I lost it all. And I really did feel shame. For years! Perfectionist thoughts are not only not useful, they are damaging.

4) Jealousy. – there’s that Sting song, “if you love someone, set them free.” A lot of people love others but don’t want the other to be free. They say, “I love you” but the love is tainted with need, with desire, with jealousy. How do you catch yourself when you feel this less pure form of love. Jealousy is like this also. Why did this friend sell his business for $80 million and I’m still working 29 hours a day. Or why did this other friend cash out when he was just a low-level employee of Facebook? It’s hard. But it’s still a type of thought that will bring you down, force you to live a lesser life than the person you were meant to be. When you think you have the purest motives, take a second to check yourself – what are your ulterior motives. What would happen if you don’t get what you want?

You might think that jealousy can be a motivating thought: If he can do it, why can’t I? But it’s not. It takes away from the thoughts of creativity, ingenuitiy, innovation, invention.

5) Painful – We just had the Thanksgiving holidays. This gives rise to a lot of pleasurable thoughts. But also painful ones. Often we’re put together with family and friends that bring back memories. Historical is often hysterical.

We remember the past, we remember the things that were done to us. Everyone shouts hysterically, confusing it with historically. I went to a Thanksgiving once where one sister threw coffee on another sister. What started out as pleasurable thoughts (“MMm, Thanksgiving!”) quickly turned painful. This Thanksgiving I spent the entire day on a plane. It was my best Thanksgiving ever!

It’s too much to say: I’m not going to think these painful thoughts. We’re not Jesus. But for me, just being aware that I’m about to go into a situation where painful thoughts might occur, helps me to label them and filter them when they come up. Or even stay away from the situation altogether (hence the plane ride on Thanksgiving).

6) Fear. Everything changes. I’m going to get older. I’m going to fail at some of the things I start. Heck, I have proof of that. Maybe some day my wife Claudia will hate me (I hope not.) Maybe some day my kids will. (One of them yesterday said to me, “I hate you”, and it made me afraid for a second that her words weren’t the senseless provoking of a nine year old but I suddenly pictured  her as a twenty-nine year old saying it.)

But these fears of the  future are just as useless as the painful thoughts of the past. They have nothing to do with how we can be happy and productive right now. Today. So they deserve to be labeled and put in the mental spam box. Some people live life as if today is your last day. Better to do the opposite, live each day as if it’s the first. A fresh start. Time for newness and confidence.

7) Obsessive. Perhaps the biggest time and life waster.  One time I was so obsessed with another woman that I’d go to sleep with my phone right next to me wishing she’d call. I’d wake up disappointed she didn’t call and wondering what she was doing all night. I’d wait until I thought she was awake and then I would call and ask her to breakfast. If she couldn’t, I’d go to her area and wait around until she was available. I’d keep circling the block to see the light was on in her window. My entire day revolved around her. Of course she got sick of me. In which case I became more obsessive. What does this have to do with being an entrepreneur? It has everything to do with it. That valuable energy I was wasting could’ve been spent developing Groupon or heck, even Lycos.

Or sometimes when someone is angry with me, I can’t just give it up. I have to prove myself right. I have to make sure he or she knows how wrong he is. I play the argument over and over again. I can’t understand how they can think I’m wrong. Or what I did to deserve such harsh treatment. I’m RIGHT! So get with the program.

8) Sadness.  I don’t want to suggest that it’s “bad” to feel sad. If someone close to you dies, you’ll feel sad. But often people stretch out the sadness until it becomes an addiction, an excuse to be pessimistic.” I’m “never going to be happy” because…X, Y, and Z.”

Our mind likes to be sad. It likes the barriers to happiness. Happiness is too wide open and scary. Sadness keeps us confined inside our boundaries. Those boundaries become the walls that pessimism lives inside of. It’s easy to be pessimistic because then we fool ourselves into thinking we don’t need to do too much. What if in 2004, some kid at Harvard didn’t say, “I’m going to make a little website that everyone on the planet is going to put all of their personal details on.” What if he said, instead, “Ahh, I don’t feel like it. Some girl who looks like the girl with the dragon tattoo just broke up with me and can I really compete against anyway? Don’t be an idiot, Mark.” And he just went under his covers and cried. No good!

9) Unimprovement. We know exactly when we are thinking of things that are not good for us. Am I going to eat chocolate until 1 in the morning while watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta? Most likely this is not good for me (although “Real Houswives of Beverly Hills” is a completely different issue).

The mind is like a giant Gmail box. Emails are constantly coming in. Most of them are junk emails and are instantly filtered into the spam box. But many other emails come in that we don’t know what to do with.

In Gmail you can create filters. For instance, when someone sends me a receipt for my latest book “I Was Blind But Now I See” I am able to label the email “Bad Behavior” because when my next self-published book comes out (working title, “Bad Behavior”) I can easily filter every email with that label and send it to them.

It’s the same in our mind. If we use the above nine labels above, and then filter anything (or most things) with those labels into the “not useful” box as per this post, then here’s what happens:

A)     Our brain gets quicker at noticing when we are thinking not-useful thoughts.

B)     Your negativity is like a rock constantly being doused with water. Eventually the rock withers to nothing, although it takes time. It’s persistent practice.

C)      We have more time for the useful thoughts – the thoughts that lead to productivity, minimalism, happiness, freedom.

D)     We can identify which labels are occurring the most and develop problem-solving techniques to directly deal with them. Not every “not useful” thought should be treated the same.

Don’t believe me. Don’t pay any attention to this advice. Like everybody else, I’ve got 6,000 things to do today. And I know if any of the nine things above drag me down, I won’t get things done. I’m already feeling anxious about it. And I’m not helped by the 12 cups of coffee I’ve already consumed. In fact, I could be slipping into an obsessive panic.

Not useful.

Bisnis Online: Modal Minimal, Keuntungan Maksimal

•November 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This article is taken from Kompas news in Bahasa Indonesia.

Sudah lama bermimpi ingin punya usaha sendiri?  Sekarang waktunya Anda merealisasikan mimpi tersebut, terutama berkat hadirnya, platform online bebas biaya yang akan mendukung pengembangan bisnis Anda sepenuhnya.  Jangan khawatir, Anda tetap dapat bekerja full time sementara bisnis online menjadi part-time job yang di masa mendatang justru dapat menjadi investasi masa depan Anda saat sudah siap sepenuhnya menjadi wirausahawan yang tangguh.

Perkembangan zaman yang semakin maju, dengan teknologi internet serta gadget yang semakin canggih, membuat bisnis online semakin mengukuhkan dirinya sebagai salah satu alternatif untuk penambah “devisa” diri sendiri. Pada awalnya, kebanyakan orang memang hanya melihat gambaran besar bahwa bisnis online ini hanyalah sebagai bisnis coba-coba. Bila dipikirkan dengan lebih luas, bisnis online ini sebenarnya dapat menjadi sumber penghasilan tambahan Anda di setiap bulannya, mungkin sedikit bumbu serius bisa menjadi katalis yang tepat.

Seperti halnya bisnis lainnya, mendirikan bisnis di ranah online juga memerlukan kerja keras dan kegigihan demi menuai keberhasilan.  Dengan semakin meluasnya penetrasi internet di Indonesia, semakin besar pula peluang pengembangan kewirausahaan, khususnya secara online.  Bila dijabarkan ada beberapa alasan mengapa bisnis online adalah alternatif yang menggiurkan.

Pertama, nilai investasi relatif rendah; investasi utama hanya untuk barang yang dijual, tidak perlu biaya besar untuk membangun toko ataupun sewa lapak tahunan.

Kedua, modal kerja utama hanyalah sambungan internet, komputer, serta barang dan jasa yang ditawarkan.

Ketiga, resiko investasi bisnis online pun rendah, pemilik bisnis bebas berimprovisasi untuk menemukan produk yang paling pas dan cara terbaik untuk memasarkan bisnisnya. Jumlah pengguna internet yang sudah mencapai 45 juta pengguna merupakan alasan

Keempat: potensi pelanggan mencapai jutaan orang.

Kelima, biaya pendirikan “toko” rendah, bahkan ada platform e-commerce yang sama sekali tidak membebankan biaya registrasi ataupun pendirian toko.

Biaya operasional toko online pun dapat ditekan. Selama bisnis masih dalam tahap pengembangan, tim pengelola bisa menekan biayanya seminimal mungkin. Hingga sekarang, ada beberapa toko online yang pengelolanya hanya dua hingga tiga orang namun sudah mencetak transaksi hingga puluhan juta tiap bulannya.

Terakhir, bisnis online memiliki pilihan metode pemasaran yang beragam.  Wirausahawan yang internet savvy kini semakin lihai dalam menggunakan berbagai jaringan sosial dan forum untuk mempromosikan bisnisnya secara gratis untuk meraih pembeli (dan bahkan komunitas yang relevan).

Jika Anda berpikir bahwa untuk memulai sebuah bisnis online harus membangun sebuah website dulu, silakan tanggalkan pemikiran itu.  Sekarang ini, di Indonesia pilihan platform yang dapat Anda gunakan semakin beragam. Baik ini kali pertama ataupun kesekian kali Anda mendirikan toko online, ada baiknya Anda memilih platform e-commerce yang komprehensif namun berbiaya rendah (bahkan gratis!).

Salah satu contoh platform e-commerce yang bisa Anda dayagunakan adalah Sebelumnya dikenal sebagai tempat nge-blog, sekarang Multiply memfokuskan dirinya untuk mengembangkan wirausahawan di Indonesia, khususnya mereka yang melirik bisnis online.  Multiply sekarang juga sudah menjadi tujuan jualan online dimana tersedia beragam barang dan jutaan calon pembeli.

Bila Anda pikir mendirikan bisnis online itu sulit, tidak halnya bila Anda memilih Multiply sebagai rumah Anda.  Cara daftarnya mudah dan gratis, ada langkah demi langkah cara pendirian toko, ada tim merchant relations yang siap sedia membantu Anda menata toko Anda.  Multiply Commerce adalah rekan yang tepat untuk mengembangkan bisnis Anda.

Dengan perkembangan kegiatan jual-beli yang begitu pesat di Multiply, Mei 2011 lalu situs tersebut melansir platform e-commerce,  Bersama dengan platform tersebut, hadirlah infrastruktur dan fitur yang komprehensif namun gratis untuk digunakan dalam mengelola dan mengembangkan bisnis online sang penjual, serta mempermudah proses belanja.

Stock room, misalnya, mempermudah proses pengunggahan foto dan informasi barang yang dijual.  Semua catatan transaksi tersentralisasi, sehingga tidak akan ada pesanan yang terlewat.  Semua produk yang menggunakan product listing akan ter-display di halaman utama Multiply, menjadikannya lebih terlihat bagi calon pelanggan.  Bila pelanggan hendak melakukan pembelian, mereka tinggal meng-klik tombol “Beli Sekarang” dan otomatis barang masuk ke Keranjang Belanja. Mereka dapat mengujungi toko online lain dalam Multiply, melakukan proses yang sama, lalu melakukan pembayaran sekaligus berkat sistem pembayaran yang sudah terintegrasi.   Pembayaran selesai dilakukan, penjual pun mengirimkan barang pesanan ke partner logistik untuk mengirimkan barang.  Proses belanja jadi lebih mudah, nyaman dan, paling penting, aman.  Ditambah lagi, Multiply menawarkan perlindungan pembeli bagi produk-produk yang ditawarkan oleh online seller yang sudah diverifikasi sebagai penjual terpercaya.

“Buat aku bisnis online ini sangat menyenangkan.  Semacam memiliki toko di mana pun dan buka 24/7,” ujar Chitra pemilik salah satu toko di Multiply,  “Hasil berjualan online juga lumayan untuk menabung, tiap bulan, saya bisa dapat sekitar Rp 25 juta.”


Something to Learn from Steve Jobs

•October 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Millions of people today are paying their tributes to Steve Jobs, arguably one of the most important and influential CEOs of modern day history. It is hard to find a person like Jobs. He had laser-like focus and demanded the utmost quality of his employees. From starting Apple in his garage, to getting ousted in 1985 from the very company he built, to coming back in 1997 and taking Apple from the brink of bankruptcy to the largest company in the world, Steve has changed the world in more ways than one. Steve Jobs clearly had a significant impact on people around the world and left us along with the business community a few lessons we can all share.

Focus on Quality, Not Money
To Jobs, it was never about the money. At age 22 he had nothing; at age 23 his net worth was $1 million; at age 24, $10 million; and at the age of 25, over $100 million. Along the way, he was uncomfortable with his fortune. His focus was on creating life-improving products and making an impact on a person’s life. That’s what drove him, that’s what made him get up in the morning. Money was just a side effect that he didn’t care to think about.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters to me,” said Jobs.

The business community can take note. Put people first. Focus on quality.

Focus on the Future, Not the Present or Even the Past.
Always the visionary, Jobs was ahead of his time, time and time again. Too often companies can get trapped in the present, pumping out products with no inspiration. A few examples: In 1998 the first iMac came with no floppy disk drive whereas every other computer manufacturer had still included them at that time. The release of the iPhone did not have a keyboard whereas the Blackberry, the most popular smartphone at the time, had one. It also did not include flash as Jobs saw HTML 5 as the future. Now with the iPad, it promises to be the computer for everyone that the original Mac aspired to be. Through all of these decisions and more there was backlash, but in the end people eventually came around and benefited from this forward thinking. The world would be more innovative if more companies had the same focus.

Show People What They Want, Not What They Ask For
Never relying on focus groups, Jobs trusted one thing: himself.

“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice,” he said.

People often think they want something until they get shown an alternative they never thought possible. Another quality about Steve was his ability to say no, even more often than he said yes to ideas.

“The secret to innovation is saying no to 1,000 things,” said Jobs.

Of course, no product was his idea alone, but he was the one that fostered the environment for ideas to be created and had the final say. The problem with focus groups is they can be influenced depending on the type of question asked, and the people involved have a preconceived notion of what they want based on the products that are out at the time. The business community should focus more on what they want, and focus on the future and less on the here and now.

The Bottom Line
There is no doubt the world has lost an amazing human being. A part of him will live on with the products we use and he will continue to be an inspiration to future leaders. No other CEO in recent memory has had rock stars and politicians show up at his door. Meanwhile, millions of people found out about his death on the very devices he helped create. The business community and future leaders should take note of his example: focus on quality, focus on the future and rely on your internal vision. The world will be a better place for it.

“The thing that drives me and my colleagues … is that you see something very compelling to you, and you don’t quite know how to get it, but you know, sometimes intuitively, it’s within your grasp. And it’s worth putting in years of your life to make it come into existence,” said Jobs.


Don’t Include These In Your Resume

•October 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Jobs are scarce these days and competition for every opening is fierce. Employers have reported that for every position advertised, hundreds of people send in applications for the job along with their resumes. The majority of these applicants are rejected, of course, because only one person is needed. Many applicants may be rejected for the job because of what they’ve put into their resumes. If you’ve been putting in any of the material cited below, stop! You may be hurting your chances of getting hired.

Unrelated Part Time or Temporary Work
Whatever job you’re applying for, your employer is not interested in your jobs mowing the neighbor’s lawn, washing dishes after school in a local restaurant and other simple odd jobs that do not relate to the job advertised.

Unrelated Interests
Your interests or hobbies won’t help you nail the job if they’re unrelated to the position offered. Collecting rocks, for example, might help you secure a job as a geologist, but it won’t help with most other positions. Mention only interests that make you a more attractive candidate for the job and exclude all the rest.

Boring Words and Resume Cliches
Words such as “team player”, “detail-oriented” and other similar resume cliches are no longer effective in selling yourself to a prospective employer. Use powerful verbs to say the same thing. Find appropriate words in a thesaurus if necessary. For “team player”, write: “cooperates and collaborates easily with other staff” or “scrupulously vigilant about details” instead of “detail oriented”. A resume that’s different than the usual run-of-the-mill submissions will grab the attention of HR people or whoever does the hiring.

High School Diploma
If you only have a high school education, it may be prudent not to include that fact, unless you are currently a college student in pursuit of a degree.

Vague Objectives
If you list your objectives, make them concrete. For example, something similar to the following can be very effective: Objective: To contribute to the success and profitability of the company through my effort, expertise and experience. A vague objective, such as the following, should not be in your resume. Objective: To help the company through my hard work.

Your Photo
Don’t send your photo along with your application. Your face is unimportant to a potential employer, unless a picture is requested, which is a rare occurrence. Some people who have sent photographs with job applications and have not been hired have brought lawsuits for discrimination against the company which declined to hire them. The employer is likely to ignore all applications with a picture of the applicant attached.

Personal Qualities
Your age, race, religion, medical condition, disability, height, weight and sexual orientation are irrelevant. The law requires employers to disregard these qualities in their hiring decisions. Nevertheless, many of them ignore the law, and base their application rejections on one or all of these factors.

Don’t broadcast your weaknesses. For example, don’t write something like: “I’m good at word processing, but not quite up to par on Excel and Power Point.” Lead from your strengths. Don’t give an employer an excuse to reject you. If you’re asked, however, after you’ve applied for a job, don’t lie or exaggerate – your weakness will become evident in time, and could lead to your dismissal, if not disclosed initially if asked.

Negative Comments
Don’t bad-mouth your previous boss. Don’t complain about your financial troubles. If you were fired from your last position for pilfering paper clips, don’t mention it. If you were dishonorably discharged from the military, or did a prison stretch, don’t mention it. You can be truthful about any of these issues only if asked.

Lies and/or Exaggerations
Don’t lie about your experience, education or achievements. Don’t inflate your previous salary. Employers in these tough times have been verifying facts on applicants resumes, and almost every lie and exaggeration will be nailed.

Self-Serving Goals
If you’re applying for a job in a certain industry, just to learn that business as a stepping stone to another position, don’t mention that. Many younger applicants cite their long-term goals in their resumes which result in their rejection. Employers want applicants to focus on the job they’re offering, not on some future job.

Politics, Prejudices and Personal Preferences
Whatever your political persuasion, and whatever or whoever you dislike, should not be included in your resume. You may like or dislike the current government administration, but your potential employer will probably not care.

The Bottom Line
Landing a job is tough enough these days without the added disadvantage of a resume with material in it that should’ve been left out. Leave out the items mentioned above and you’ll have a better chance of getting the job you applied for. Good luck.



Quotes by Steve Jobs

•October 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. — Steve Jobs, speaking at Stanford University’s commencement, June 2005

Steve Jobs‘ visionary ideas and leadership forever changed the world of computers and consumer electronics. An amazing public speaker, Jobs was known for his awe-inspiring product announcements, captivating speaking engagements, and eloquent interview style.

Throughout the years, Jobs was responsible for a number of memorable quotes. As we look back on his life and career, Tecca has gathered together a few of our favorites:

ep 300px logo
On creativity and ideas

  • People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.
  • Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
  • Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea… and it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. (2004)
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

On computers and computing

  • What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds. (1991)

do-630-young-steve-jobsOn business

  • Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better. (Rolling Stone, June 1984)
  • I was worth about over a million dollars when I was 23 and over 10 million dollars when I was 24 and over a hundred million dollars when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money. (PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires, 1996)
  • Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me. (On the success of Bill Gates and Microsoft, The Wall Street Journal, summer 1993)
  • Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.
  • It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. (BusinessWeek, May 1998)

ep 300px jobsnewsweek

On products — his own and others

  • I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left! You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.” (When asked about Microsoft Zune’s wireless capability vs. the iPod, Newsweek, October 2006)
  • There’s nothing that makes my day more than getting an email from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad over in the U.K. and tells me the story about how it’s the coolest product they’ve ever brought home in their lives. That’s what keeps me going. It’s what kept me five years ago, it’s what kept me going 10 years ago when the doors were almost closed. And it’s what will keep me going five years from now whatever happens. (2010)
  • Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. … Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.” (Announcing the original iPhone)
  • One more thing…


On living life

  • You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. (1995)
  • I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
  • When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
  • Death is the destination we all share, no one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.


Get a Grip With Object-Oriented Programming

•August 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Last semester I also took Object Oriented Programming with C++. Neither Object Oriented Programming (OOP) nor C++ that I have experience before. So, this subject was really a challenging subject for me.

Of course the subject started with C++ first. In a so called “Normal Programming” C++ is a similar concept of programming with other programming languages. I have experienced in Visual Basic 6, so I can understand the concept of C++ quite fast. I can finished the first assignment with a good mark. One thing that I have to understand from C++ is its functions. Some C++ functions are very useful, and Visual Basic doesn’t have them, such as vector, map, and list. Three of them are a kind of array functions, that have their own purposes.

After the first assignment the course started taught the OOP. From that time, my though time in this course has been started as well. hehehe… It was really not easy to understand the concept of OOP, in addition it must be applied in C++. The most difficult part in C++ programming is the implementation of pointer, with the concept of OOP.

With very early understanding of OOP and C++ I have to solve my next assignment. In this assignment I need to develop a game that control a hero in order to reach a princess in a maze, of course with the implementation of the OOP. The game, screen, hero, and princess should be define as an object, and every object has their own properties and connection to another object. I can say that the assignment is the most frustating assignment for me. Luckily, the second assignment was the peak of my trouble. A few week after the submission of assignment 2 the course lecturer provided the “answer” for the second assignment, which made me clear how to program in OOP. I could solve the rest of the assignments better.

Object Oriented Programming is a very good concept of programming. When doing programming with OOP, everything are objects. Even the bigger object could be splitted up into several objects, and all similar objects could have the same parent object. I think OOP can make the development software process much easier, including the debugging of the program.

It’s really too bad that Visual Basic 6 doesn’t support OOP. I guess I have to switch my programming language, such as C++ or Visual Basic.Net, and hopefully I can do it soon enough. I have my finger crossed. :)

Learning Database Systems

•August 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

Last semester I studied Database Systems from USQ as an external student. As a application programmer, I thought Database Systems will not give so much difficulty to me. The first few sessions I could understand the concept of Database Systems easily. But, come the new part to me.

I thought quering a database only can be done through SQL statements, but then I found out that there are another two quering methods. There are Relational Algebra and Relational Calculus. Hoooo, this two surely are confusing. Generally SQL, Relational Algebra, and Relational Calculus are the same, but the implementation of those are different. I have an example for those from one of my assignments.

Consider a Relational Schema:

Contest(starter, ender, pointsStarter, pointsEnder, debatedate)
Debater(name, club, age)


Give all contest details of contests where the starting debater is a member of the “Plato” club and prevented his opponent from scoring any points.

Relational Algebra

(Πstarter, ender, pointsStarter, pointsEnder, debatedate(σpointsStarter>=pointsEnder(Contest))) |> (σclub=’Plato’(Debater))

Relational Calculus

{st, en, ps, pe, dd | (∃nm, cl, ag) (Contest(st, en, ps, pe, dd) /\ Debater(nm, cl, ag) /\ (st=nm) /\ (ps>=pe) /\ (cl=’Plato’)}

SQL Statement

SELECT Contest.*
FROM Debater
JOIN Contest ON = Contest.starter
WHERE = ‘Plato’
AND Contest.pointsStarter >= Contest.pointsEnder;

Can you understand the Relational Algebra and Relational Calculus above? For me, it’s quite confusing for the first time. After several times trying to understand, at last I understand what they meant. But, one thing still hang on my mind, what are Relational Algebra and Relational Calculus for? Because, in these years I only use SQL statement. So, anyone know?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.