Updates from July, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Leon Apel 10:08 am on July 31, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Coolest Virtually UnKnown Technology: Claytronics Revealed 

    What is claytronics?   It’s a technology that allows you to use computer assisted design (CAD) to create PHYSICAL OBJECTS from micro matter. Claytronics is in it’s infancy and will definitely revolutionalize the manufacturing industry.

     

     

    I wasn’t familar with claytronics until I read this article in Business 2.0:

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/05/01/8405653/index.htm?postversion=2007052118

     

    Think about all of the applications:

    – execute manufacturing work in seconds;

    • develop a complete replica of a human being to be in your room while having a conversation with someone who is not physically present;
    • convert all paper diagrams and drawings into physical objects (cool way to write class notes!)
    There are endless options…

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  • Leon Apel 6:22 pm on July 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Age of Information Automation and Prediction 

    Many people like classifying eras, groups, phases, describing new eras such as:

    • Web 2.0 Era
    • Generation X
    • Post 9/11 Era

    While many “experts” call our current era the age of information, I think it’s too vague and I’ll make it a bit more precise with two case studies.  Our era involves  automating information to the point of predicting behaviour and using that information.

    AUTOMATING INFORMATION CASE STUDY: GOOGLE’S SEARCH ALGORITHIM

    Automation is the core of the revolution towards predicting behaviour.   Automation involves historical and/or just-in-time information usage.  Automating is what the great Google is all about.   It’s based on applying an algorithim to serve relevent content.

    CONCLUSION

    If you’re using information that is not automated or prediction-oriented, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  If you can afford it, outsource your tasks or find a way to automate what you’re doing.   On that note, do you want a job writing, ahem, writing blogs?

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  • Leon Apel 10:55 am on July 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    How to Accomplish Any Goal (if it’s Worth it!) and Manage Information/Time 

    I’ve found many amazing ways of accomplishing my goals now by taking action and implementing what I’ve learned.

    I’m faced with a (favourable) challenge: do I keep learning more or do I act now or both?   How do I manage my time?

    Thanks to the internet accomplishing any major goal can be just a search away.  Of course, this is subject to many contraints.  In other words, the knowledge is out there for those who choose to seek it.

    What I wrote seems like fluff: it’s as if I’ve been like I haven’t said much, but this is a big deal to me.  Information is very addictive.  At the same time, everything boils down to a decision over what to do with your time.

    Onwards.

    Want to make a million dollars?   Reverse-engineer it.   How easy is that?   Look…if you really want to accomplish all your goals it’s really as simple as learning from the best.   There are an infinite number of ways to make a million dollars.   Some meet your needs more.

    Many of the most successful people I know drop this secret again and again, so I’m going to repeat it.  Reverse-engineer it.  Reverse-engineer it. Reverse-engineer it.

    Need an example?  Let’s pick something tough.   What’s the hardest thing to accomplish that you can think of? 

    **BRIEF EPIPHANY* WOW.  As I write this I think back to very successful people who have used similar words and have challenged people with statements such as: "Give yourself an extremely challenging goal, so that when you accomplish it, you’ll know it was because you used my idea."   I’ve heard a similar phrase mentioned in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich; by the Chicken Soup for the Soul author featured in The Secret and by Tim Ferris’ in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Work Week.   

    Back on track…recall we were picking a seemingly challenging goal.  How about arranging a one-on-one meeting with the President/Prime Minister/Chancellor of any country in the world?

    How to do this: Reverse-engineer it!   Okay, fine…I’ll spell out a high level overview.  This needs to be broken down further and further until you accomplish all the steps necessary to accomplish your goal.   I adopted components of this "sales process" to many tasks from Casey Combden, a man who makes $100,000+/month.

    1. Find out who has done it before and who is currently doing it (MAKE A LIST)

    2. Contact them.  Pick up the phone.  If you don’t get through to the first person, go to the next person.  Do you suck at this?  Hire someone to do it for you.  Money talks.  Don’t have money?  Earn it….again, you can find a way.  Nothing mentioned here or in further posts are NECESSARY STEPS.  They are  SUFFICIENT, yet not foolproof.  (CONTACT)

    3. Present your idea and ask for how you can meet the President — what are your options?  If they can’t help you, ask if they know who can (use your leads wisely).  If they can’t help you, go to the next contact on your list.  (PRESENT YOUR REQUEST)

    4 (OPTIONAL). Follow-up to set up a new meeting if need be.

    5. Once you acquire the KNOWLEDGE, plan how to excecute this effectively and, if need be, cycle through the previous steps (PLAN YOUR SUCCESS).

    6. EXECUTE OR  If at first you don’t succeed…you know the saying.

    7. If it’s worth the time, continue attemping.  If not, I encourage you to stop!  There are times when QUITTING IS A GOOD OPTION.   Also, evaluate your succeed if you choose to learn from your success.  Again, it’s your life!  Take shortcuts if it makes sense. (MANAGE PRIORITIES AND EVALUATE)

    If you take this challenge, you’re a champ.  I don’t need to offer you a prize, but I’d like to because I like meeting champs. 

     

    "Choose your Destiny" – Mortal Kombat, haha 🙂

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  • Leon Apel 4:36 am on July 21, 2007 Permalink  

    Who’s the Coolest Guy on the Planet? SEO Contest 

    I recently found about an amusing contest where contenders compete to receive a top search engine ranking for "Coolest Guy on the Planet."  If you search Google for "Coolest Guy on the Planet" you’ll see a few listings.  The top guys are champs.   I love how the internet is a game where you can compete with a given set of rules–some known and some unknown–for profits.

    The current #1 listed person–Brad Fallon–is a respected Search Engine Optimist and it’s great to see a so-called "Guru" put theory into practice.

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  • Leon Apel 7:55 am on July 19, 2007 Permalink  

    Get Better Customer Service: Get People to Do Emails, Calls, Research and More For You… 

    Do you take full advantage of the services offered by customer service representatives or do you waste time by doing tasks that they are paid to do for you anyways?

     

    It sometimes several hours a week to receive proper customer support and implement their recommendations, hence the need to outsource (see previous post).    Lately, I’ve been requesting that my customer service agents to do more for me and save me time doing a lot of the grunt work they ask me to do.  At first I tend to get some hesitation; however, it still works more often than not.

    The following are my typical requests, which seem reasonable yet about 50% of companies offering services including PROS/CONS according to my experience:

    – Flexibility in Providing Support

    WHO DOES IT WELL: Most web hosting companies – You can pay for support offered through multiple channels including web chat, emails, phone calls, and more.  I’ve even given a hosting company access to my computer to help with a support issue (1&1 Hosting)

    NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Most local businesses who are still very Web 1.0 and living in a 20th Century world.  Please adapt!

    – Making internal phone calls to other divisions for me (don’t you hate getting the run-around?)

    WHO DOES IT WELL: HP (Hewlett Packard)

    NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: TD Canada Trust (They couldn’t forward a message to my local branch when asked)

    – Emailing me information rather than wasting my time by making me write it down:

    WHO DOES IT WELL: 1&1 Internet Hosting – They always give me detailed descriptions and instructions upon request with 24/7 support

    NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: 90%+ of local businesses who "don’t do email" and TD Canada Trust

    – Listens/responds to my requests carefully as opposed to giving automated answers

    WHO DOES IT WELL: Local businesses who do not have automated systems

    NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: 1&1 Internet Hosting – I gave specific requests and they failed to read 2+ of my emails

    Friendliness

    I found this factor to relevant on a person-by-person basis as opposed to an organizational trend

    There are plenty of other examples …

    This boils down to AUTOMATED SYSTEMS VERSUS PERSONALIZED SYSTEMS.  Obviously, there is a loss in some customer satisfaction either way:  automated systems are relatively more consistent yet more inflexible due to standard procedures.

     

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