Saturday, May 23, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
"Brutal" competition in IaaS causes market upheaval: Gartner
Lessons for the New CEO From 5 Great Leaders of History
IT leadership lessons from Sun Tzu: Passion matters
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
These 134 Words Are the Single Most Important Quote for Every Entrepreneur to Remember
You can be a spectator or you can be in the arena. The difference defines what it means to be an entrepreneur.
BY THOMAS KOULOPOULOS
Last week, I was reminded of what it means to be an entrepreneur when a good friend shared with me the pain of watching his business fail after years of hard work. He wasn't bitter about it but he was thinking hard about the risks and rewards of yet another startup. He's well off financially, so it's a rational question of where to place his bets.
What he was really asking was the question that separates entrepreneurs from everyone else: "Do you want to be a spectator or do you want to step into the arena?"
Spectators place bets and take risks. Nothing wrong with that. But when you're in the arena, it's not about the odds; you don't come to bet, you come to win.
The single greatest misconception about being an entrepreneur is that it's about gambling. Wrong. Entrepreneurs will bet on themselves long before they drop a quarter into a slot machine. When Elon Musk invested his entire fortune in Tesla and SpaceX, he wasn't betting it all on red or black at the roulette wheel, and he certainly wasn't placing all of his chips on double zero. Musk was not a gambler. He was in it to win. However, I can guarantee you that if you had lined up 10,000 people at random and asked them to make the same bet, to put their entire fortunes on the line during the recession of 2008 and live off of loans from friends (yes, that's what Musk was doing), they would have seen nothing but risk and run off faster than a Tesla P85D going from 0 to 60.
Musk's moment of truth is hardly unique. I have yet to encounter an entrepreneur who hasn't faced that dreaded long night without money in the bank to make payroll the next day. Terrifying? Damn straight it is! So why do it? Because here's the difference between an entrepreneur and just about any other sane person: You're in the arena because you believe enough in yourself, your vision, and your team that there is only one option--winning.
"Do you want to live a life on the sidelines, filled with reasons why you didn't try, or do you want to live a life in the arena, filled with stories of how you did?"
Crazy? Perhaps it is to most people, but there's nothing naive or Pollyannaish about it. You know what the downside looks like. You understand the steep precipice of failure and its equally steep price, but you plow forward anyway--all the while surrounded by critics and naysayers, who come up with a near infinite number of reasons why the odds are stacked against you and failure lurks around the corner.
You do it because, at the end of the day, the question you've already answered is a very simple one: Do you want to live a life on the sidelines, filled with reasons why you didn't try, or do you want to live a life in the arena, filled with stories of how you did?
I've already used up 500 words and I promised 134. Here they are --
Teddy Roosevelt said it much better in a lot less:
[Bracketed] additions are mine and are not counted in the 134 words.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the [wo]man who points out how the strong [wo]man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the [wo]man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself [or herself] for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if [s]he fails, at least [s]he fails while daring greatly, so that his [or her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
--from Theodore Roosevelt's Speech "Citizenship in a Republic," delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
Take those 134 words and pin them up on your mirror. Read them daily to remind yourself why you're inside the arena rather than sitting on the sidelines.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
PUBLISHED ON: MAY 17, 2015
Monday, May 18, 2015
Three Steps To End Office Gossip
Sunday, May 17, 2015
21 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Crush Your Fear of Failure
The Quotes to Help You Crush Your Fear of Failure
1) "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." – Michael Jordan
2) "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic." – Anonymous
3) "Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy tryingto cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing." – H. Stanley Judd
4) "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible: the fear of failure." – Paulo Coelho
5) "I'm intimidated by the fear of being average." – Taylor Swift
6) "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." – Wayne Gretzky
7) "Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success." – Denis Waitley
8) "I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try." – Nikki Giovanni
9) "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" – Thomas Edision
10) "Remember that failure is an event, not a person" – Zig Ziglar
11) "I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate." – George Burns
12) "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." – Theodore Roosevelt
13) "There is no failure except in no longer trying." – Elbert Hubbard
14) "If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative" – Woody Allen
15) "Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." – Denis Waitley
16) "There is no such thing as failure. There are only results" – Tony Robbins
17) "Success is not built on success. It's built on failure It's built on frustration. Sometimes it's built on catastrophe." – Sumner Redstone
18) "One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again." – Henry Ford
19) "Most people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure." – Napoleon Hill
20) "The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." – Elbert Hubbard
21) "Failure is success if we learn from it." – Malcolm Forbes
Tony J. Robinson is the founder of DoReallyGood.com, which is the place to go for the information and inspiration necessary to take your life's most important goals and make them a reality. You can pick up a copy of his free eBook, "Goal Domination: The 5 Step Game Plan for Setting and Dominating Your Goals" by clicking here.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
When you see the names Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Probably just a bunch of old dudes who don't really have any bearing in your life. You've probably asked yourself, "what can I really learn from someone who lived 2,300 years ago?"
In all honesty, the life lessons from these great men are timeless. They apply to our everyday lives in way most people don't even comprehend. These men were some of the most wisest men to walk the Earth. Below you will find 22 ageless life lessons everyone can learn from Aristotle… don't forget to read some life changing lessons from Socrates as well!
1. "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."
2. "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
3. "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet."
4. "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."
5. "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."
6. "To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."
7. "Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny."
8. "The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life – knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live."
9. "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness."
10. "The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication."
11. "We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action."
12. "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."
13. "Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach."
14. "To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill."
15. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
16. "We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one."
17. "We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time."
18. "You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."
19. "Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope."
20. "What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do."
21. "Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god."
22. "Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods."
Monday, May 11, 2015
In October Rizzoli will be republishing what is regarded by many to be the strangest book in the world, the Codex Seraphinianus. The Codex is unlike other historically well-known strange books (such as the Voynich Manuscript),
in that the author of the book is not only known (Luigi Serafini is his
name), he’s still alive. But the book is just so damned strange that it
has accumulated a veritable industry of speculation about its meaning,
deeper origins, and whether the language in which it is written actually
has any syntax or not. Serafini has said relatively little about it
himself over the years, and denies that the script has any meaning, but
no one really believes that, including me.
My fascination with the Codex Seraphinianus dates back to the
early 1980s when it was published and when I was working in a
Waldenbooks store on Montague Street in Brooklyn, known to other stores
as “The Zoo” because of the cast of characters who worked there. Some of
the customers recognized me as a kindred spirit so they’d come in,
shoot the shit, and we’d discuss weird books and other stuff until Bob,
my manager, gave me a “look” or told me to work the register. Bob was
cool actually, and didn’t mind at all that I’d come in to work totally
baked because I not only had tunnel vision at the register and was
super-accurate, I’d get bored and order up books for the Sci-Fi,
Philosophy and Religion sections and my books would sell pretty quickly.
Phillip K Dick? Stanislaw Lem? Lama Anagarika Govinda? Kierkegaard? You
bet I stocked ‘em. I kept all their books on the shelves. (Though I
wonder what Bob would have said had the $40,000 Tibetan Tanjur I ordered
as a gag through Waldenbooks HQ actually shown up.)
One day one of “my” customers came in and told me about the Codex Seraphinianus: Man,
it’s like a hundred dollars and its got drawings of trucks with human
heads, skeletons getting fitted for new bodies, weird animals that don’t
exist and shit, like from a whole ‘nother universe. It’s not written in
English or any other language but the dude who wrote it made up his own
language…I never saw anything like it… Back in the pre-WWW days
you couldn’t just whip open your phone and command it to give you a rare
book: You had to brave odd looks in rare bookstore after bookstore by
people who had never heard of The Codex Seraphinianus and who
highly suspected you had either hallucinated the existence of such a
book or had heard of the book from someone else who had hallucinated it.
Recently, however, I was finally in a place where my finances matched
the book’s availability, so I got myself one, only finding out shortly
thereafter that Rizzoli was putting out a new edition in October. This
kinda explained the panicky bargain price I got for an unopened copy of
the 1993 French edition. But let me say, that after all these years, the
book really does live up to its reputation: The drawings are in turn
hilarious, disturbing, bizarre and, sometimes, just flat-out
incomprehensible, but all of them are annotated in Serafini’s script.
Even in my relatively abstemious state of mind these days I can spend
hours “reading” it. One typical image is shown above and, in the video
below, you see a bunch of pages out of the early chapters.
Over the years a whole cult has grown up on the Internet devoted to the Codex Seraphinianus.
For instance, this group discovered that the numbering system is base 21, and this guy discovered certain grammatical rules governing the script, and even created a sort of transliterator you can use. This lady claims to have hallucinated herself into the world of the Codex, even prior to having heard of it. No one, however, has yet cracked the Codex and translated it. As for the author, he is very much alive (and apparently real, as you will read below) but continues to deny that the script has any meaning. (His website doesn’t,
unfortunately, doesn’t have a heck of a lot of info.) In the
forthcoming edition, however, Serafini now states that a stray white cat
that joined him while he created the Codex in Rome in
the 1970s was actually the real author, telepathically guiding Serafini
as he drew and “wrote.” Recently, I traded email questions about the
new edition and about Serafini himself with Charles Miers, Rizzoli’s
chief publishing honcho, who himself is a long-term fan of the Codex:
Dangerous Minds: So how did this new edition of Codex Seraphinianus come about? Was it something Rizzoli initiated or did the author Luigi Serafini initiate contact?
Charles Miers: Rizzoli and Serafini have been
working together for years in Italy on several other successful projects
on Serafini’s art such as the recent Storie Naturali inspired by Jules Renard, in Italian, still in print,
DM: I think I heard that there’s new content and even
drawings in this edition that haven’t appeared previously. Is that true?
What’s new about it?
CM:Yes that’s true, the first 2 chapters are made
with completely new drawings, also new is the 22 pages “Decodex” insert
in which the author explains in various languages when and how the Codexcame to life and the crucial help he had in this from a white cat.
DM: Do you expect this book to sell like hotcakes? Yeah, it’s
kinda pricey but I finally bought my own copy of the 1993 version
several months ago, and I’m only slightly sad to find out I could have
had a newer one for about a third of what I paid.
CM: We expect to sell out fairly quickly of our
first print runs of both the trade and deluxe limited edition.
Serafini’s literary following is very impressive.
DM: So have you spoken to Luigi Serafini yourself? Does he
even speak English? For that matter is he actually real or just a
pseudonym of someone else?
CM: Serafini is absolutely a real person and he speaks very good English.
DM: Any interesting stories you or your Italian Rizzoli
counterparts have heard about Serafini? Though I don’t think he’s a
recluse or anything, his website
doesn’t exactly have a whole lot of information. The story is that he
has a whole warehouse of ceramics down in Umbria or somewhere, but I
haven’t heard much more than that about him.
CM:Serafini has very interesting homes both in Rome
and in Milan and had, until a few years ago, a ceramic laboratory near
Deruta, in Umbria, which is no longer operating.
DM: Have you spent any quality time with the Codex
yourself? Any thoughts on the language therein? Serafini has supposedly
said that it means nothing, but there do appear to be fairly clear clues
that at least some of it has some meaning. For instance, the numbering
system is base 21.
CM: The book has been in my personal library since
its original publication and is a favored treasure of mine for both its
bookmaking production and nuances. The page numeration of the “Codex”
does follow a math system based on the number 21: having said that,
Serafini particularly denies any numerological influence in his work.
But this is something which has already sparked speculation for many
DM: Any discussions about bringing out something new by Serafini in the future?
CM: Absolutely yes, Rizzoli Italy is talking with
Serafini about a couple of ambitious projects, which are inspired by the
popular ancient Italian literature.
Well, I’d bet that’s a Dangerous Minds exclusive! We may see an
additional title to two from Serafini in the future! And I must admit to
wanting to get my mitts on that new edition with the new illustrations,
but as I’m rapidly running out of room for more books I guess I’ll have
to pass… for now.
Here’s part one of a symphony devoted to the Codex Seraphinianus, with great images of the early part of the book (see youtube clip)
Marketing claims won't convince customers, security and service are what matters
Alex Rabbetts | May 8, 2015
As the data centre industry begins to mature, customers are coming to the conclusion, as is right, that data centre selection is about much more than power and cooling. All data centres have power and all have some form of cooling. Of course, there are varying amounts of power available, but most data centres can meet the needs of most customers. At the recent Finance and Investment Forum the clear message from investors and customers was, "We don't care about your silly claims, we care about how secure the data centre is and we care about the service we get".
As an industry, most data centre businesses seem to be obsessed by a 'mine's bigger than yours' type of attitude. (Maybe it isn't maturing quite as fast as we think!) 'My data centre is Tier 3', 'Mine's Tier 3* with bells on', 'I've got a PUE of 1.2', 'Mine's 1.1' - the problem with these claims is;
a) They are not true,
b) They are mostly unachievable,
c) They are almost always self proclaimed,
d) Customers aren't even interested.
The hype invariably has little or no substance. Yes, the customer cares that the data centre is available when they need it. The customer might even care about the data centre's efficiency; although many are charged for power whether they use it or not, so are less interested because any savings from efficiencies won't be passed on to them anyway.
The customer rightly expects that the data centre will be always on. They expect that there will be sufficient redundancy that if one element fails there will be another to take its place without affecting service. Customers expect that the data centre is built to run as efficiently as possible. After all, the industry has been shouting about that stuff for years. There is hardly a data centre provider who hasn't claimed to be 'Tier 3', (almost always self proclaimed), or doesn't claim that their PUE is smaller than everyone else's, (usually self proclaimed with no evidence to back it up). What many don't want to talk about - because it isn't their strong point, is security or service.
Customers care about security and service far more than they care about what tier the data centre provider's marketing department claims it to be or what its PUE is - in fact, they don't even care what PUE stands for, and why should they? The customer wants to know, will my equipment and data be secure? And what kind of service can I expect? If I call up in the middle of the night because my server appears to have gone down, how will I be treated? In the unlikely event of an incident at the data centre, how will my services be prioritised?
Almost every week there is another story about a security breach of some form or another.
Some drunken MP left a laptop on a train, some idiot in a Government department posted a CD with everyone's National Insurance number on it and it got lost, hackers leaked the passwords of several thousand users of a 'cloud' provider, security guards in a data centre were asked to sign for the removal as thieves stole their core routers. Customers need to be safe in the knowledge that processes and procedures are robust enough to protect against any breach. It is surprising how many data centres lack these kinds of basics.
There are some data centres where it takes hours to get in, even when you're expected. It might take 30 minutes to get through the front door, but if you want to get in just nip around the back and use the loading bay; there isn't anyone there and you can get to wherever you like in the building. Processes should be robust and effective to protect customers' data and equipment, but should be smooth and seamless to enable ease of access when authorised. Security of data is paramount to most organisations and yet some data centres are only paying lip service to it, preferring, instead, to talk about what 'Tier' they claim to be or how low their PUE is - immeasurable and unchallengeable and much easier to talk about!
Service, too, is notoriously poor across the industry. Many, ashamedly, take the view that once the customer has signed a contract they are locked into it for a number of years. Even when it expires, it will be too difficult or expensive to move. That may have been true once, but it certainly isn't any more. It seems that the majority of data centre providers have jumped on the 'cloud' bandwagon, with few having any knowledge of what they are claiming as 'cloud services'. What they have also failed to understand is that unless they start to recognise the need to provide good service, the cloud is likely to be their nemesis.
Cloud can mean many things to many marketing departments, but what it definitely means is that a customer can move more easily between providers. Using a cloud platform enables customers to migrate data, and possibly applications, away from one data centre and into another. We would never advocate using the cloud alone as a place to store important or sensitive data, (remember the hackers who leaked the passwords of several thousand cloud customers!), using it to migrate from one platform or facility to another is probably a good reason for its use.
The forthcoming Datacloud Congress, (formerly Data Centres Europe), is leading the way in recognising this shift in customer attitudes. There is a Cloud theatre, but much of that thread is about security in the cloud and/or using the cloud. There will be a Cyber Security Summit, chaired by myself, that will take a deep look at security in the cloud. There is also a Data Centre theatre which will also be considering security and service as part of the IT sourcing decision.
Listen to your customers, they are almost always right security and service are what matters, marketing hype doesn't!
Alex Rabbetts, CEO MigSolv will be chairing panel discussions at BroadGroup's Datacloud Congressand exhibition held at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, 3-4th June 2015
Thursday, May 7, 2015