Category Archives: Career

Looking More Confident During a Presentation

Source: HBR, Apr 2017

 

Gesturing as if you were holding a basketball between your hands is an indicator of confidence and control, as if you almost literally have the facts at your fingertips hands. Steve Jobs frequently used this position in his speeches.

When people are nervous, their hands often flit about and fidget. When they’re confident, they are still. One way to accomplish that is to clasp both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Many business executives employ this gesture, though beware of overuse or pairing it with domineering or arrogant facial expressions. The idea is to show you’re relaxed, not smug

When you stand in this strong and steady position, with your feet about a shoulder width apart, it signals that you feel in control.

This gesture indicates openness and honesty

The opposite movement can be viewed positively too—as a sign of strength, authority and assertiveness.

Super Hubs

Source: Daily Beast, Mar 2017

Professionally, networks are the ultimate competitive advantage. But on a more basic level they are a fundamental precondition for social mobility. Network science mathematically substantiates that in all networks a greater number of connections increases the chances of individual survival. Our fates are determined by the place we occupy within networks, and that place depends on the number and the quality of our connections. “Nodes” with the most connections and the most influence—including human ones—are “superhubs.” Nodes at the fringes are the least connected and suffer the greatest risk of failure.

At elite schools, they receive the best education and, even more important, are introduced to top-tier professional networks. “At Yale,” Vance writes, “networking power is like the air we breathe—so pervasive it’s easy to miss.” These networks allow superhubs to create circumstances favorable to advancing their interests. To optimally scale and capitalize on the system, they continuously build ever more interlinkages.

Choosing Between a Startup and a Tech Giant

Source: Business Insider, Apr 2017

1. ‘Do I want to eventually found my own tech startup?’

“I meet a lot of people who say, ‘Oh eventually I want to start my own company, but I’ll join Google now,’” he says. “My advice there is to always to just go and join a startup. That’s where you’ll actually learn how to start a new company. That’s where you will see a lot of mistakes made, and a lot of successes as well.”

A smaller company might provide you with a broader experience, which you’ll need if you plan to strike out on your own.

2. ‘What drives me?’

“If you are someone who gets a lot of ideas, like you’re showering in the morning and you just have an idea, in a startup, you can have that idea live and serving users by that afternoon,” Otasevic says. “In bigger companies like Google or Facebook, you’ll probably need a month to roll that out.”

So if you’re driven by speed and constant, fast innovations, go for a smaller team. That being said, Otasevic says that your fast changes may go unappreciated by users, if your startup lacks a big reach.

“Everything you release in Google or Facebook will have millions of eyeballs on it,” he says.

In order to figure out where you should take your talents, consider where you’re more motivated by speed or impact.

3. ‘What do I want to learn?’

“People often just settle for conventional wisdom like, ‘Oh, Google has a great engineering team and therefore I will learn a lot there,’” he says. “Yeah, but what do you want to learn? Go deep.”

He says that companies like Google offer excellent learning experience in terms of large-scale systems, while startups can provide more education on building things up from scratch.

4. ‘In what environment do I work best?’

Many tech giants like Google come with great perks and strong company values.

“Google has a great culture, in terms of engineering,” he says. “Intellectual curiosity is a value. That’s been Google’s philosophy in hiring forever. You want to hire people who are extremely curious and passionate about the world’s problems.”

On the other hand, tiny startups can also provide you with a close, fun environment, if you’re on a great team.

“You really feel that people on the team are like your family,” Otasevic says. “You’re pulling in the same direction. Everything that goes good or bad, you’ll get through it together.”

The Bright Future for College Graduates

Source: ZeroHedge, May 2017

Jobs: Supply and Demand

Source: WSJ, Apr 2017

Startups that can’t be articulated in the right words.

Source: Business Insider, Nov 2016

How does Thiel seem to find fast-growing startups so easily?

One good rule of thumb: look for startups that can’t be articulated in the right words.

“I think in some ways the really good companies often couldn’t even be articulated…we didn’t quite have the right words. Or maybe they were articulated but were articulated in terms of categories that were actually misleading,” Thiel said.

That means the startup’s idea has to be so new that it’s not easily understood by everybody. For example, Thiel said most people called Google just another search engine, when in fact, it was the “first machine-powered” search engine. Even Facebook, he says, was called just another social network, when it was actually a company that “cracked real identity” online.

Thiel added the same thinking goes the other way: avoid startups that use too many buzzwords.

So if a startup describes itself with trendy words like big data, cloud computing, or software-as-a-service, it’s time to run away.

“I’d often said when you hear those words, you need to think fraud and run away as fast as you can,” Thiel said. “It’s like a tell that you’re bluffing, that there’s nothing unique about the business.”

Be More Convincing

Source: Business Insider, Dec 2016

if you want to convince someone that your explanation for something is the best way to explain it, you might want to tack on some useless (though accurate) information from a tangentially related scientific field.

It turns out that when you tack on additional information from a respected field of study, people think that makes an explanation more credible.

one of several cognitive biases we have in favor of certain types of explanations. We think longer explanations are better than short ones and we prefer explanations that point to a goal or a reason for things happening, even if these things don’t actually help us understand a phenomenon.

As the authors behind this most recent paper note, previous research has also shown that we prefer explanations of psychology when they contain “logically irrelevant neuroscience information,” something known as the “seductive lure effect.”

 

  • Good explanations matter, and were rated better than bad explanations (even if the bad explanations had reductive information).
  • Adding useless reductive information made the biggest difference when researchers added neuroscience to an explanation of psychological science.
  • Participants trusted psychology the least and — in the one exception to the general rule — didn’t think adding psychological explanations to social science made those explanations more credible (though these particular findings weren’t statistically significant).
  • Study participants actually considered neuroscience more rigorous and prestigious than the sciences considered more fundamental by researchers (biology, chemistry, and physics). This could explain the big effect that neuroscience explanation has when added to explanations of psychological science.
  • Mechanical Turk respondents thought the explanations with reductive information were better than undergraduates thought they were. That information made a big significant difference for them, but it was less of a big deal for undergraduates. Different groups of people are going to evaluate information in different ways, and neither of these groups of people can accurately represent the way the entire population evaluates information.
  • People who were better at logical reasoning were better at evaluating explanation accurately (they gave less credence to reductive information). The researchers think this could mean that philosophers who have studied logic are less susceptible to this cognitive bias.
  • People who knew more about science were also better at telling good explanations from bad explanations.