Monday, May 27, 2013

Miscellaneous Tidbits

 I am very close to having my marketing book published.  I would tell you the title but it is still being debated.  Email me at jimestill@gmail if you would be willing to do an Amazon review on it when it is released.

The Primal Fusion blog has a great article on the value of the $1B Yahoo acquiring Tumblr.  As an angel investor, we always dream of the Billion dollar exit.


One of my investee companies- Telehop is offering good savings on Telus cell long distance calls.


I am at 96,000 views on my TEDx talk.  Still trying to get it to go viral so I appreciate any shares, comments etc.


Hatsize has released a new product.    Next generation labs for learning.


One of the Golden Seeds companies - Chromis is selling very cool HDMI cables on Amazon.  Buy one.  According to a reviewer:

"I looked at high quality HDMI cables, and dual Cat5e/Cat6 cables for sending the data to to the projector, but really...this was by far the smartest way to go at that distance. The siffness of higher quality HDMI would not have allowed me to fish the cable through the ceiling spaces or make the tighter bends to the projector and source components. I highly recommend this product, it fully supports 1080P and 3D."


And a photo with my daughter Laura on the lovely Mount Douglas in Victoria.   Its name is being changed to Pkols (the original native name)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Gamification Revolution

I am trying to get my youtube video to go viral so would appreciate any sharing, comments, likes, Tweets etc.

A friend of mine wrote an interesting article on BlackBerry 10.  Worth reading.


I do not believe in video games. 

One of my investment thesis is not to invest in them (although Canrock does have a small investment in Willpawn4food).  My theory is picking a hot game is like picking which movie will be hot - tough to do.

I do not play internet games except chess and at one time, I played some solitaire, tetras etc.

I do believe in gamification.  I actually have a patent on using gamification in a business environment.  So I read with interest The Gamification Revolution - How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition by Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder.

I know that people actually go out of their way to play games.  So combining games in loyalty programs, learning, and jobs is a way to keep people engaged and interested naturally. 

One way to do this is with prizes - as in goods and cash.  But interestingly enough, it can be done with much less tangible things like points, awards, titles etc. 

I am fascinated by the "why people do games".  There is a psychological component that is important.  Much of that is about challenge.  And the ideal challenge is one that is difficult but not too difficult.  People get satisfaction for solving challenging problems.

Gamification can be a great way to engage staff and customers. 

This is a great book that explains the why and the how of gamification.

 And a great time management quote "When you play, play hard - when you work, don't play at all"  Teddy Roosevelt.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

From Smart to Wise

Prasad Kaipa and Nvi Radjou wrote "From Smart to Wise - Acting and Leading With Wisdom". 

I have long sought wisdom so jumped at a chance to read the book.  One of my favorite expressions is "wisdom is learning from other peoples' mistakes".  

Wisdom is like corporate culture.  It causes right decisions to be made.  It allows for superior insight.

The first chapter seemed unnecessary.  It talked about why wisdom is important.   I suspect people who do not know that would not be reading the book (although that is true of many things).  People who need to know something are the last ones to seek to learn it.

It did point out that all of us have wisdom and can develop more of it.  It is not some mysterious spiritual or religious thing that only a few can approach.

The second chapter spoke of connecting with your noble purpose.  When put that way, it empowers us.  Wisdom comes from acting with that higher purpose in mind.

There was a chapter on "know when to hold and when to fold".  Knowing what is important enough to fight for vs what is not.  

The final chapter was on finding your wisdom.  Find your wisdom logic.

One wisdom I knew was reinforced by the book.  Hire people with good character and teach them skills.  People with skills and poor character are very difficult to change and lead.

Smartness is important but is increasingly insufficient.  Ethical clarity and authenticity are needed to thrive.

My suggestion if you seek wisdom - read the book.

Back from Morocco

I am just back from a week in Morocco.  Beautiful country.  A mix of modern with ancient. 

I hurt my knee running the first day but did manage a 5 mile hike in the Atlas Mountains.  But then did no workouts.  So I feel bloated (there was lots of food of course).  

But as with all travel, I always feel behind when I return.  So I use an email management technique to ease my email stress.  It is based on the old time management principle - touch each piece of paper only once. 

What I do is allocate 2 minutes maximum per email (most take less than a minute).  If I can complete it in less than 2 minutes, I deal with it completely.  It requires focus on just one at a time.  Working with a full email in box is a bit like working at a messy desk - everything is screaming "do me, do me". 

In busy times, I also sometimes spend 10 minutes doing emergency scanning.  For this, I allow only 5 seconds per email.  This reduces stress because I know nothing is burning.

By the time I spend even half a day, I will have weeded the emails that take more than 2 minutes down to only about 40 emails - much less daunting than before I started.