Mastery is Progress

A couple of my employees were invited to speak at the local university recently to discuss their jobs and their career choices with students. They asked me if I had any advice for them that they could share; they may have regretted that question after 45 minutes of my response. You see, there seems to be a generation entering the workforce currently that is super smart and super ambitious but is missing a very important basic principle – that careers are built on mastery. Level 50 Perhaps it is the gamification of a generation or simple impatience, but achievement...

Stop writing for your target audience

You really need to stop writing your blog for your “target audience.” Yes, I know that this is counter to every bit of advice that you hear these days, but I believe that thinking about who might read what you write and what they might think can contribute to a form of “stage fright”. No one wants to be judged; and its easy to talk yourself out of a topic when you start asking yourself if anyone would care or be interested. Write for yourself. You should write about the things that interest you. It will be easier to write about topics in which you are knowledgeable and...

Perpetuating Incompetence

Ignorance begets Confidence There’s a cognitive bias known as The Dunning-Kruger Effect that describes how people who are very bad at something, actually think that they are quite good because they don’t know enough to understand just how bad they are; they overestimate their performance. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell Although humorous, Russell gets one thing wrong – this isn’t about intelligence it is about a person’s world view; most probably through a lifetime of...

My 2013 Reading List

My reading list for 2013 wasn’t quite as long as in “the year of the bookworm” of 2012, but I still covered some excellent books and learned so much. There were so many good ones in fact that I must begin to re-read previous year’s books more regularly (a new year’s resolution I think). The full list is below, but here are my favourites: Non-fiction Genghis Khan by Jack Weatherford (amazon link). This is probably one of the best history books I have ever read. Perhaps partly because I was never taught about Genghis Khan and the Mongol empire in school found the whole...

What’s the difference between Data...

In this era of “Big Data,” I often hear terms like data and information being used almost interchangeably; and so I thought that I’d write an explanation of these terms and also include what should be the ultimate goal of data analysis – “insight”. Data? Big or Small. Data is raw. It has no meaning on its own. On a website, it would be the IP address of a visitor. For weather, this is the temperature, air pressure, humidity, and so on. For a class of students, it is their individual grades. And for the grammar police out there, it is now acceptable to use the term...

#HatchingTwitter. A Review. An Inspirati...

I read Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton this week on the recommendation of a colleague and wow, what a great read! The book is fast flowing and is a lot like a Harlen Coben novel. It seems like fiction, and considering how successful Twitter has become – I was left hoping it really was fiction (how could all of this be true??); but no, this is the behind the scenes true story about how Twitter started and the characters involved in its formation and rise to greatness. It starts with Evan Williams selling Blogger to Google and then initially funding and then running...

Big Data is not just more data

Everyone seems to be jumping on the “Big Data” bandwagon these days – especially by the marketing folks. Recently I read Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier and it opened my eyes to the true meaning of this term and how it is far more than just more data. Here are a few of the main points that resonated with me. Big Data is not just more data, it’s ALL the data. Something that I hadn’t considered was the impact that Big Data has on statistics. A lot of statistical methods were created...

Wifi interference caused by BTWiFi and B...

Ever since doubling down on my broadband connection by using both Virgin Media and BT Infinity my wired connection is amazingly fast.. almost supersonic.  But after a few days, my wifi connection really started to suffer.  And the problem wasn’t just with my wifi – my Sonos system started to drop out intermittently and it doesn’t use a standard wifi signal.  Everything pointed to some form interference.. I live in a city and so there are plenty of other wifi signals around.. here’s what I found: Quite a few access points – but the most...