Saturday, 23 February 2013

14 Things Successful People Do On Weekends

Here are 14 things successful people do (or should be doing) on weekends:
1. Make time for family and friends. This is especially important for those who don’t spend much time with their loved ones during the week.
2. Exercise. Everyone needs to do it, and if you can’t work out 4 to 5 days during the workweek, you need to be active on weekends to make up for some of that time, Vanderkam says. It’s the perfect opportunity to clear you mind and create fresh ideas.
“I know an owner of a PR firm who takes walks in the park with his dog to spark ideas about how to pitch a new client, or what angle to take with the press for a story,” Kurow says.
Cohen suggests spin classes and outdoor cycling in the warmer months. “Both are energizing and can be organized among people with shared interests. For example, it is not uncommon for hedge fund folks and Wall Street professionals to ride together on weekends. It is a great way to establish and cultivate relationships based on membership in this elite professional community.”
3. Pursue a passion. “There’s a creative director of a greeting card company who went back to school to pursue an MFA because of her love of art,” Kurow says. “Pursuing this passion turned into a love of poetry that she now writes on weekends.”
“Successful people make time for what is important or fun,” Egan adds. “They make space for activities that add to their life balance.”
4. Vacation. Getting away for the weekend provides a great respite from the grind of an intense week at work, Cohen says.
5.  Disconnect. The most successful people avoid e-mail for a period of time, Vanderkam says. “I’m not saying the whole weekend, but even just a walk without the phone can feel liberating. I advocate taking a ‘tech Sabbath.’ If you don’t have a specific religious obligation of no-work time, taking Saturday night to mid-day Sunday off is a nice, ecumenical time that works for many people.”
6. Volunteer. “I know a commercial real estate broker who volunteers to help with cook-off events whose proceeds are donated to the Food Bank,” Kurow says. “The volunteer work provides a balance to the heavy analytical work she does all week and fulfills her need to be creative — she designs the promotional material for the non-profit.”
Cohen says a lot of successful people participate in fundraising events. “This is a great way to network and to meet others with similar interests,” he says. “The visibility also helps in branding a successful person as philanthropic.”
7. Avoid chores. Every weekend has a few have-to-dos, but you want these to take the minimum amount of time possible, Vanderkam explains. Create a small window for chores and errands, and then banish them from your mind the rest of the time.
8. Plan. “Planning makes people more effective, and doing it before the week starts means you can hit Monday ready to go, and means you’ll give clear directions to the people who work for you, so they will be ready to go, too,” Vanderkam says.
Trunk agrees. She says successful people plan their month and year because “if you get stuck on short-term lists you don’t get anything big accomplished.”
9. Socialize. “Humans are social creatures, and studies of people’s experienced happiness through the day finds that socializing ranks right up there, not too far down below sex,” Vanderkam says.
Go out with friends and family, or get involved in the local community.
“It has been demonstrated that successful people find great satisfaction in giving back,” Cohen says. “Board membership, for example, also offers access to other successful folks.”
10. Gardening/crafts/games/sports/cooking/cultural activities.This is especially important for those cooped up in an office all week.
“For the pure joy, some folks find great satisfaction in creating beautiful gardens,” Cohen says.
Kurow knows an attorney who uses her weekends to garden and do mosaics and tile work to satisfy her creative side. “Filling her life this way enables her to be refreshed on Monday and ready to tackle the litigation and trial prep work. Artwork for her is fulfilling in a way that feeds her soul and her need to connect with her spiritual side.”
Bridge lessons and groups can also sharpen the mind and often create relationships among highly competitive smart professionals, Cohen says. “I once saw a printout of a bridge club’s membership list; its members were a who’s who of Wall Street.”
Theatre, opera and sporting events can also enrich one’s spirit, he adds.
11. Network. “Networking isn’t an event for a successful person, it’s a lifestyle,” Trunk says. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they manage to connect with new people.
12. Reflect. Egan says truly successful people make time on weekends to appreciate what they have and reflect on their happiness and accomplishments. As Rascoff said, “weekends are a great chance to reflect and be more introspective about bigger issues.”
13. Meditate. Classes and private instruction offer a bespoke approach to insight and peace of mind, Cohen says. “How better to equip yourself for success in this very tough world?”
14. Recharge. We live in a competitive world, Vanderkam says. “Peak performance requires managing downtime, too–with the goal of really recharging your batteries.” That’s how the most successful people get so much done.
Successful people know that time is too precious to be totally leisurely about leisure, Vanderkam concludes. “You’re not going to waste that time by failing to think about what you’d like to do with it, and thus losing the weekend to TV, puttering, inefficient e-mail checking, and chores. If you don’t have a busy workweek, your weekend doesn’t matter so much. But if you’re going from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, it certainly does.”

Google Confirms That Project Glass Will Work With iPhone

After making a visit to a disappointingly bland Google conference room behind frosted-glass doors in New York, the Verge’s Joshua Topolsky got some hands-on time with Glass. His in-depth report included an interesting little bit of information about Glass that many people have been wondering about. Glass, he wrote, will be compatible with Android – as most people always expected – and Apple’s iPhone. Google just confirmed to us that this is indeed correct, though the company didn’t want to comment on the details of how this will work.
glass_dogThere are a few possibilities here, of course. Glass could simply use your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot to get online, but that would use a lot of battery power – both on your phone and on Glass. Presumably, Glass will simply piggyback on existing data connections just like your Fitbit or any other kind of gadget talks to your phone today, as the Verge’s post also seems to indicate. This means Google will likely have to offer an iOS app for Glass as well. (And maybe that’s where some of the third-party Glass apps will live, too?)
Chances are Google will start selling Glass to consumers later this year and for somewhere under $1,500. Before the consumer launch, though, Google will also start shipping developer versions to a few lucky contest winners and those who signed up for it at the company’s I/O developer conference last year. So far, it’s not clear when these “explorer” editions of Glass will be available, but with the next I/O scheduled to start on May 15 and the recent media blitz around Glass, we might see them launch in the next few weeks.

The Best Cloud Computing Companies and CEOs to Work For in 2013

Hiring great people and creating a culture of achievement that is fun, focused and able to get challenging tasks done is not an easy task.
Keeping that culture strong and focused on the customer takes a unique leader that consistently earns trust and respect.  Those are the qualities I think of whenever I’m asked to recommend the best cloud computing companies to work for.  Using the scores from I’ve put together the table below comparing cloud computing companies and when available, the percentage of employees who approve of their CEO.
Cloud computing companies are sorted based on the percentage of employees would recommend their company to a friend.  I added in CEO scores to get a sense of which companies have a significant gap between morale and the perception of the CEO.  As of today according to employee rankings, Microsofthas the largest gap between percentage of employees who would recommend the company to a friend (77%) and  CEO rating (48%).

The highest rated CEOs you’d want to work for based on their Glassdoor ratings are as follows, with their ratings shown as of today:
Jyoti Bansal of AppDynamics (100%)
Drew Houston, Dropbox (100%)
Aneel Bhursi, Workday (100%)
Scott Scherr, Ultimate Software (97%)
Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat (97%)
Larry PageGoogle (95%)
Aaron Levie, Box (94%)
Marc Benioff, Salesforce (93%)
Tom Georgens, NetApp (92%)
Mark Templeton, Citrix Systems (91%)
Bill McDermott & Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP (90%)

How To Treat Your Employees

Wade had sex with Karen and now I had to fire him. She was our top designer. And he was also starting to make fun of one of my partners behind his back. He’d do that roll-the-eyes thing whenever my partner spoke.
Wade had caught the disease. The disease is very contagious and it spreads to the other employees quickly and it contaminates everyone’s work. Like a tumor you have to cut it out as soon as it appears. Wade was fired.
The disease spreads in stairwells. The archaelogical digs of startups are found by deciphering the cigarette butts and condoms flung down the stairwells. The employees talk to each other there. They talk about you. And they don’t say very nice things. Put a microphone there. And while you are at it put a microphone in the elevator. It can’t hurt.
When I was a kid one of my friends told me he got a blowjob every weekend in the stairwell at Quakerbridge Mall near the movie theater. I had acne, bad hair, cysts, braces, glasses, and bad clothes.
Fucking stairwells.
L. was crying when she called me and asked me to meet her at the cafe across the street from work. I said, “what’s wrong?” She said, “just meet me at the cafe.”
She was a project manager working at my first company. The cafe was the Abracadabra cafe and for some reason they served coffee and donuts in a magic store. The best magic store in the city. Where David Blaine supposedly learned his stuff and everyone made fun of him behind his back. Like people do.
L. was still crying. She had heard one of my partners call her ugly and stupid when he thought she wasn’t listening. She didn’t know what to do. “I had been so happy at work until this moment,” she said.
One word can destroy people. It’s so easy. The magic word.
We want to be loved and when it’s not returned by those in authority we just feel horrible. There was nothing I could tell L. other than that I valued what she did. She was in charge of about one-third of our business. I wanted her to be happy. Every word is important. We sat there until she stopped crying.
Ten years later, almost to the day, I took my daughter Mollie to the same store. The man behind the counter sold us six different magic tricks. Mollie couldn’t figure any of the tricks out. Like the pencil that pokes a hole in the paper and then you can move the pencil around without creating a rip. We took them back to the Chelsea Hotel where I was staying and all night we practiced them. The next day Mollie went home and I was lonely again.
In 2001, I was running a $125 million VC fund with three other guys and about five or six employees. We occasionally co-invested with Yasser Arafat. I had the passwords of all the other partners and would regularly read their emails. Am I past the statute of limitations on this one? They didn’t like me and, to top it off, I was paranoid and sick.
One time Mark emailed to Alex, “you better get your partner in line.” Alex took me to dinner that night. Vietnamese. And he told me I had to contribute more to finding deals. It was mid-2001, the Internet had crashed and our firm was going down the drain. I honestly had no clue what to do. And nobody knew it yet but I was broke and was being forced to sell my house.
spiralBeware of stairwells
On weekends I would meditate with a group of people. We would sit all day and it was supposed to calm the mind. My legs hurt being in the lotus position for so long. The lotus position is not a relaxing position. It’s not supposed to be relaxing. It cuts off circulation to your legs and then after about a half hour it becomes excruciatingly painful.
One time after an hour-long sitting, the bell rang and we all got up to do a walking meditation. My legs were numb and asleep and as soon as I got up I fell over onto the ground and was in agony as the blood slowly came back into my legs. Everyone had to continue their walking meditation while I was frozen on the floor in pain and embarassment. I was losing my job, my money, my house, and I was on the floor numb. Everyone stepped over me silently, their hands clasped in front of them, heads down, doing their walking meditation while their minds continued to settle.
O. wanted to start his own business but still wanted to work for me. So I moved him to half time and gave him the same pay and introduced him to his first clients so he could start his business. But we were getting more and more work and we were opening multiple businesses, so O. was soon doing more work for me than just half time. One time one of my main investors asked me to do a task and I asked O. to do the task. O. replied that it was not important and he would not do it so I ended up doing the task. O had gotten the disease.
I asked O. to take a week or two off and then come back with a clear mind. He wrote back, “the secretary makes more than me. You buy dress shirts for one meeting and then throw them behind your desk where they stink up the office. I not only quit the business but I quit YOU.” He then shut off his phone and blocked me on Facebook and wherever else we were connected.
I’m proud to say we have patched that up and we are now friends.
Here are my rules for employees:
A) Treat them as if they are eventually going to be better than you. You can learn from every one of them before you have to fire them or before they abandon you.
B) Picture that all of them will eventually start their own businesses and you are just training them. This doesn’t mean be nice to them all the time. It means train them to start their own businesses. In my first business a bunch of employees broke free, stole some clients, and started their own business. Now they are doing very well. My partners hated them. I love them. It’s good to have many friends who look back and appreciate what you did for them.
C) If an employee gets the “disease” (all they want is more money and they don’t care about anything else and they start to have an attitude) then instantly fire them. There is no cure for the disease and it’s highly contagious.
D) No employee is allowed to say a bad thing about any client. Everyone has to love the client’s products. No gossip. No jokes. Worst situation: One time we had a proposal to send to the U.S. Post Office. Everyone worked very hard on it and we got it done just in time. The project manager FedExed the proposal to the Post Office. Fed. Ex. He was tired because his wife had just had a baby in the prior month. We had to fire him that very night. Nor did we win the job.
E) No gossip about anyone. I was guilty of this as a VC. I would talk badly ab0ut one of the CEOs we invested in. One of my partners told him everything I said. The CEO eventually went bankrupt anyway but he has since written a novel where I am the evil character. Gossip is a seed that gets twisted into history.
F) I picture every employee calling home at night to their mother. The mother asks, “how was your day at work?” I picture the employee saying, “Mom, it was the best.” I picture the mother crying tears of happiness because the baby that once came out of her is so happy to be working with me. I try to make that happen every day.
G) Teach the employee how to exploit you for their own gains. You certainly exploit them. Not in a bad way. You have to exploit them. You charge more for their services than you pay them and than you pay for all of your fixed expenses. That’s how you get rich so it’s worth it. But ultimately they have to exploit you to feel good about the relationship. When you both die there should be no bad feelings that linger among the maggots you share between your graves.
H) How can they exploit you? By building a rolodex off of yours. By learning your skill set. By learning how you deal with your failures. By learning not to repeat your mistakes. By eventually stealing some of your clients and employees and breaking off to start a business or take a higher position at a competitor. None of these things are bad things. You want them to do this. If you train them how to do this then it all becomes a good thing for you in the long run even though you might not see that. If you act with abundance in these situations then abundance will come to you. Too many bosses act with fear and scarcity and ultimately scarcity will come to them.
I) Teach them how to sell. Even if they are programmers. Programmers are often introverted and think they can’t sell. I’m a programmer. Because of their introversion, programmers are often seen as more trustworthy by the clients. Bring programmers or introverts to your meetings. They listen the best and they are the best sales people but they don’t know it.
J) Surprise them. Employees are like “reverse clients.” You have to please them just like you please a client. It doesn’t cost much to reward an employee who gets a job done. Gift certificates, dinners, get a masseuse to come in every Friday, write employees personal notes about what you liked about their work, and so on. Employees, like clients, are the gift that keep giving. They are all there to make you wealthy so you need to be infinitely grateful to them and, ultimately, help them get wealthy.
I don’t have any employees anymore. I now work with partners on everything I do. I know what things I’m good at and what things I’m bad at. Ultimately I wasn’t very good with employees. I tended to fall in love with a few of them a little too much. And then I would break all my rules and very bad things would happen.

Microsoft Hacked, Just Like Facebook and Apple

Microsoft Hacked, Just Like Facebook and Apple

microsoft_new_logoOn Friday evening, Microsoft announced via its security blog that it, too, had been the victim of a cyber attack, comparing its situation to the likes of Facebook’s and Apple’s recent security breaches.
“During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations,” wrote Matt Thomlinson, General Manager of Trustworthy Computing Security, in a company post.
Microsoft claims no evidence of customer data being compromised.
The security breach of the Redmond-based software company is just one in a series of high-profile tech company hacks, starting earlier this month with Twitter’s announcement that the data of some 250,000 user accounts could potentially have been compromised.
As we reported earlier in the week, laptops belonging to employees at Facebook, Apple and possibly Twitter were infected with malware after visiting an iPhone-focused software developer site. Sources have told AllThingsD that many other companies could have been infected by the malware-spreading site, and perhaps many more will disclose similar instances of hacking in the coming weeks.
And just yesterday, customer service management provider ZenDesk announced that it had been hacked as well. The fallout from that hack affected some of the companies ZenDesk provides its services to, including Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr.
Microsoft did not respond to a request for further comment

Profile of a cyber criminal (infographic)

Profile of a cyber criminal (infographic)

Profile of a cyber criminal (infographic)

Yesterday, Zendesk was hacked and the personal information of an unknown number of Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr users was stolen. Last year, 12.6 million U.S adults were the victims of identity fraud.
Who’s committing these crimes?
Most of them are between 29 and 49 years old, and three-quarters are male. They work in organized groups, half of which have six or more members. And they live all over the world, but especially in Asia, notably China and Indonesia.
That’s according to online payments company Jumio – one of the companies that Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin has invested in. Jumio has put together an infographic highlighting who is attacking companies and people.
To do what they do, cyber criminals need access to the interwebs. That means Internet service providers and website hosting providers are critical, and most of the ones criminals work through are based in Russia and China.
This won’t make victims of identify theft, hacking, or online fraud feel any better, but only 0.0019 percent of cybercrimes in the U.S. in 2010 were tried in court and saw the hackers convicted.
Here’s all the data, in visual form:
Image credits: Jumio