Category Archives: Uncategorized

Automate your job or perrish

If your job is process oriented, for example, calculating make-goods for improperly filled orders, your whole department will be automated soon. Don’t let the pink slip surprise you. If you analyze numbers in Excel, craft a narrative about them, and move them around spreadsheets, your employable days are numbered. Any white-collar job you can learn to do in a few days is threatened – even if it takes a lifetime to master. (Poker takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. So professional pokers players are at risk. Please read “Can Alexa Lie?” for details.)

FOMO Is Driving Adoption

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is motivating tech-savvy CEOs to get super serious about data and deploy machine learning systems across their enterprises as quickly as possible. No CEO wants to learn that their goods or services are losing market share because competitive offerings (built by both human and robot workers) are much cheaper. Every CEO we work with is trying to automate everything they can. Soon, machine learning systems will become “table stakes” for every company – department by department, system by system, function by function. You might not recognize it’s happening until you’re laid off.

Man/Machine Partnerships

Industrial-scale automation is coming, but it’s not here yet. In the interim, some work will be fully automated and some will still require human expertise, due to limits of evolving technology, or because of cost/benefit, or simply because humans still need to be involved. No matter how this unfolds, you must personally harness the power of machine learning, robots, automation, AI, cognitive computing, data science tools, etc., by partnering with them. To survive and prosper as robots take over the business world, you will need to become the best man/machine partner of your peers. Here’s how to start.

Step One: Invent the Future

Consider your job. Think about all the ways it may be done in the future. Anything is possible. Imagine AI is smarter than you are. Imagine robots can do anything. Imagine you are tasked with automating your job, every keystroke, every phone call, every in-person meeting – everything.

Write down which areas will most likely be automated first. It may only be small parts of the process. List everything you do and all your responsibilities, and write down how they will be done when machines rule the world.

Step Two: Start Reading

Read everything you can about data, data science, machine learning, AI, and automation. Everything you need to know is available online. Find every company that is working on automating cognitive tasks associated with your business. Look for partners, vendors, consultants, well-read bloggers – anyone who can help you understand what you need to do. Immerse yourself in the subject. It is your new full-time job.

Step Three: Be “That Person”

This is the hardest step. Dig deep. Become “that person” in your department who “knows this stuff.” Figure out where to use data for better decision-making and what tools to use to automate certain tasks, and become expert in them. Your current lack of knowledge is unimportant. You can learn, so learn!

Step Four: Propose a Test Project

After you have figured out which vendors, partners, processes, tools, consultants, and colleagues need to be combined to accomplish your test project, build a short, uncomplicated presentation (if needed) to articulate what you will try to accomplish and what benchmarks you will use to measure success. You will be surprised at how quickly management says yes. If management does not say yes, you are working in a company that is not going to exist much longer, so look for a job where you get permission to use your new knowledge.

Step Five: Show Your Results

Build another presentation that describes the problem you identified and solved with data science, data scientific research, machine learning, and the automation or the automated systems you built, conscripted, used, partnered with, purchased, etc. Make it super easy to understand and obvious.

Step Six: Revel in Your Success and Repeat

With your initial success will come a “hallway handle,” something that gets thrown around by two coworkers passing in the hall, like, “Hey, what are you working on?” “Joe’s data project.” Embrace it, own it, love it. It’s your pathway to gainful employment for the next decade and beyond.

This Will Work

One of the biggest problems facing white-collar workers today is a misunderstanding of man/machine partnerships. There is very little chance that robots (as we are defining them here) will take every white-collar job in the next few years. They don’t have to. They only have to take yours.

The way to prosper in an ever-more-automated world is to create your competitive advantage by becoming the best possible man/machine partner. If you let the machines do what they do best, combine that with what you do best, and, most importantly, demonstrate the value of you and your machine skills to management, you will not only survive the attack of the machines, you will be stronger for it.

It Is Time To Run In The Feilds Of Heaven

Driving home tonight I came across a rabbit that was hit by a car. It was still alive and was valiantly trying to hop off the road. But this rabbit was not well, its back was broken and couldn’t get away.

It was scared and terrified; and try with all its might, it could only use it front paws to drag itself along.

I slowed the car as I approached and stopped in front of the rabbit. I got out to see if there was anything I could do. I reached down and carefully picked it up. It was so warm and so soft. It wasn’t struggling like it had been not 5 seconds before. There was nothing I could do, the rabbit passed away in my hands as I carried it off.

I took the rabbit to into the scrub to a near by fence with high grass and placed him there. I looked down and I just felt sad.

The last thing that poor rabbit felt was terror.

I walked back to my car and sat there. Looking in the direction of the rabbit. All I could think was “It is time for you to run in the feilds of heaven” I was upset, I was on the verge of tears, I haven’t been so sad in many years.

This sucks

A better question to ask yourself instead of “How do I get ahead?”

This is an excellent article about how your struggles determine your success and is well worth the read.

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that—it’s easy to like that. 

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything. 

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence—but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship—but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was that for?” if not for their lowered standards and expectations 20 years prior, then what for?

Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.

At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then … and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

This post originally appeared on MarkManson.net

2 Awesome tips to make your meetings more productive

1. Send relevant materials in advance to those who will be attending.

If team managers want to discuss data that doesn’t need to be confined to a conference room, then it’s in their favour to not dedicate a portion of the meeting for employees to catch up at their own pace.

2. Set a goal at the start of the meeting.

Meetings that stretch on for too long typically lack a purpose or agenda. Zuckerberg got managers to announce each meeting’s intention from the outset. It starts with the question, “are we in the room to make a decision or to have a discussion?” Sandberg writes.

Sandberg says inspirational posters are hung around the Facebook campus that say things like “Done is Better than Perfect,” “Move Fast and Break Things,” and “Fortune Favours the Bold.” One of her favourites says “Ruthless Prioritisation,” which is a clue to how she schedules her day and how the company approaches meetings.

Fuck you Spammers

If you partake in spamming just so your shitty site can rank better in Google. Then you are a fucking bastard who should be shot in the fucking face and your lifeless corpse should then be fed through a sausage mincer.

Your remains would then be sent to your loved ones, but being the asshole that you are, no one could possibly love you so you will die alone wondering why no one liked you.

… Assholes