Apr 29, 2011

Book I read: 7 Habits of highly effective people

I got some recommendations that I should read Stephen R. Covey's, 7 habits of highly effective people. It's an old book, I guess you could call it classic on self management and evolving yourself. For appreciation for these people who recommended this one, I decided to give it a go, even the title wasn't really attempting for me.

I honestly thought by the title and sells speeches, that book would give easy answers to be more effective. And I do hate easy answers, because I don't believe those to work. If something seems too good to be true, it often is. For that reason, I wasn't really expecting much out of this book, but how wrong was I.

Book really digs deep in behavior of a person and tries to change the way you think of life and your way to response to it. It gives some really good ideas and also practical tips how you can get more out of your life, not only about work or personal life, but everything as whole. No wonder it has sold over 15 million pieces. Even though it is an old book and lot have changed with internet and mobile nowadays, it is absolutely valid still today. It could be even more valid now than it used to be in the time it was released.

Only thing I found bit annoying was that towards the end the message started to be bit of a preaching. Some things related to religion and behavior started to be presented as facts of life, not as opinions of a writer. In 21th century, I think many people don't have such a strict points of view for those things.

Have to say it was pleasure to read it. I definitely learned from it and I'm already trying out some of the things presented there. Also I notices that I'm already following some parts of the habits, so this was a good boost to continue on that way.

This one goes once again to my recommended reading list.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 28, 2011

Beautiful ad - road safety

How touching can ad be. They included long list of life learning's and statements to think about to a one, touching ad. Definitely worth of watching.

In a mass of meaningless waste of time in ads, there's always some pearls to get inspired from. To find these pearls, I follow Ads of the World where I found this one also.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 26, 2011

Inspiring ways to connect social media with real life

In a motorshow in Amsterdam Renault had Facebook passes (cards with RFID) that you could register your Facebook accounts to and use those tho "like" their cars in that show. That was a really cool new way to get people to share their experience in that show and also get free publicity via social network. Here's the whole story as reported in Springwise.

Couple months ago I blogged about Shoes as your social media tools, which was a school project where they used shoes to be able to check-in to places using special carpet. That was another way to connect social media with real life.

I've seen couple of similar ideas in couple of other occasions and I believe there's a trend there. Real world and social media is getting more and more connected. Foursquare, FB places and other location based services have taken the first step, but I wouldn't be surprised if we would soon jump out of app world to integrated world of things. I bet some of the clothes makers are already planning to integrate social media chips to their clothes or something similar.

I can already imagine people tagging to like something with their jacket sleeves, wrist bands or rings. This trend could start with similar liking as it is now, but soon there could be also "hanging with out with these guys" type of check-ins or likes. There you would be checking in also with people, not only with places or products.

It would be easy to say that phones will play an important role on these type activities, since those are still most often carried with, but I still believe these type of activities could work even without a display. You could sign in to your equipment (cloth, jewelry, key chain or whatever) and then just touching something with that one does the one action it is meant to do. Dead simple and cool.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 21, 2011

Do you need to live you work in order to be good on it?

There's different level of devotion to work. There are guys who really live the work life with all of their cells. They are genuinely interested on the subject area of their work. Then there are the other kind of people, those who work and are interested on their area, but they don't really live it. Are ones better than the others?

I know some people, who really live their work with every cell of their body. They seem to know everything that's happening in that area. They know all the fancy stuff and latest trends in their area. They can be seen as gurus of knowledge in that specific area.

Then the other people, which I think most of people actually are, those who do keep track on their work life during work times. Still they are not that devoted to the work that they don't use their spare time to keep up with work related stuff.

So do you need to live your work in order to be good on it?

The first ones are in many ways good on keeping up the competition. They can drive changes more easily and can be quite a fact droppers. They can eat alive all the others with their superior facts about area of interest. They really help all the others to keep up with technology or interest just by sharing so much valuable information about surrounding environment.

Bad side on the devoted ones is, that they often doesn't seem to value opinions of the less educated ones. In many cases that might be excusable, but also they might miss some important point of views at the same time. There's two sides on this one too, part of those devoted ones can't get away from the main stream thinking of the topic under interest. They can't really invent anything other than the things that other devoted ones also see and invent. There are exceptions, there are guys who know everything, but still can see the trees from the forest.

What about the ones which are not devoted to their work? Are they less valuable workers?

Surely they can't be as knowledgeable about all the things happening in their field that the other ones, but they still can keep quite well up-to-date if they just want to. Their main benefit comes from possibility to see the totally stupid things out of new thinking in their field. They might have better position to model what they see with some other knowledge they've got from their different interest field. Of course that requires that there are some real interests, other than TV and the yellow press.

As dull it might sound, there's room for both. In order to stay on leading edge of something, you really need devotion. There needs to be true interest to always keep up with latest that is happening on the field. But also there needs to be this larger and different points of view. There needs to be people who can see things differently and map things surprisingly.

Maybe the most worrying thing on the devoted ones, is that they can easily demotivate the ones that are interested on other things on their spare time. There's a change that really motivated, but not devoted ones, are put down just because they don't seem that motivated and capable due to their personal priorities being something else than work.

It's a true challenge for managers to get these people to work effectively together.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 16, 2011

Seeing yourself, believing yourself

Wonderful and inspiring story from Caroline Casey. Ted talk: Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

It's amazing what people get done when they believe in themselves. Story from Caroline also shows the other side of it. You should really understand and accept who you are in order to really believe in yourself.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 14, 2011

How to get lot of web traffic to your news blog or service

Here's a tip for smaller news sites and blogs who want to multiply their traffic just within couple of days.

Firts step. Pick a subject that is quite popular, but still speculative. Here's some good example's: next product launch of Apple, next steps of Google's social network, organizational changes of some big company, something about some famous celebrity. I guess you got the point.

Step 2. Then create a speculative news article with these elements:
- make contradictory statement which has a slight change of being true.
- tell that you have insight information from anonymous source close to company or person
- ask for comment from actual source (you can actually skip this one, since they never comment on speculative issues)
- publish your article and start spreading the word

Step 3. All the news sources will publish the info stating that according to anonymous source of  [your web page here] this and that will or already have happened.

Step 4. Enjoy the benefits and increased traffic and hope you won't get sued. You can always try to say that you can't reveal your sources, if someone accusses you on false information.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 13, 2011

Return a favor economics

Web has brought us back the return a favor economics. In the old times this is how villages worked, people was helping each other to get help when they needed. Now in web there are some services which are based on the same idea. Give your experience or help and we will help you back.

One of those is feedback roulette. You have to review other sites and at the same time others will review yours. This is as easy as it gets. Help me and I'll help you. It's a true win-win.

There seems to be many more services which talks about favors, but those are more about making "a favor" for money or bonus points. So I don't think that those are favors as such, but those are just plain work.

Then there's services like Pay with a Tweet, where you can get your goods , by making a favor of tweeting about the thing you received.

Also there are at least couple of more generic tries where people can exchange favors, like Favorpals and Favorfly but neither of those doesn't really seem that successful yet.

Still I believe there is room for this in web. For general service offering favors for real life happenings, web might be too big. But for niche services like getting feedback of your peers in your area of expertise, this is a perfect way to increase co-operation between people and it will create lot of good thinks to the world, when smart people help each other to get things done.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 12, 2011

Being sick kills creativity

I was sick for some days, quite common spring flu and I just laid down in bed and sofa most of the time. I had all the time in the world to blog, but I couldn't. Not feeling well and not being able to exercise outdoors seemed to put my writing skills to zero. I even had some subject I had thought before hand I could blog about, but still I just couldn't arrange my thoughts in any meaningful way.

I've noticed that I often arrange my thoughts when I'm on move. If I'm jogging or doing something else or I'm out with the kids, I notice myself thinking on something I'm going to blog about. I even sometimes make the first sketch in my mind during being out. I always forget that one, but still it's easier to start writing when you have once gone through your thoughts that.

I found even scientific proof that exercising enhances productivity and creativity. Here's one study about creativity being increased because of exercising. The main finding there seems to be that exercising affect your mood and creativity separately.

I'm finally feeling better and I'm going to start finishing the ideas I had to blog about. I just need my time outdoors to get my thinking together.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 1, 2011

Stop pointless arguying and try to understand the opposite side also. It's refreshing.

I've been in many discussions with people I think are really smart, but still I've seen them to make totally incorrect conclusions based on facts we both share. And to be fair, I've thought those are totally incorrect conclusions, it could be that I'm making the totally incorrect conclusions.

People reflect anything they see based on their own history with the subject. Everyone have some precausions about all the subjects in the world. Even not knowing anything is a history with the subject, which makes person even more unsecure with the facts they are given. Still in almost all situations, people match the data they receive to their own value map, history of experiences with similar issues.

This all causes disagreements and makes people get angry to each other because of they are not seeing the things the same way they do. Funny thing is that people most often do have valid reasons why they disagree with someone or understand differently things that they do. Most often they are not stupid or just being mean, but they are interpreting thing based on their experience and understanding, and that makes them see things differently.

Here's an example, look at these two photos in this blog post? How do you see those? Where do you think those are from and what actually happening in those photos?

I bet some of you might already have really good guesses about those or you could even actually know what's happening in those? Others might not have any glue and could guess totally wrong. Even though these aren't something to argue about, I hope it still proves my point that your own experience always affects on how you interpret situations.

Once in a while it's really refreshing to really try to understand why someone is seeing things totally differently than you are. Try sometime to go to the other side, and try openmindly understand the reasoning why somebody else is seeing the same thing so other way than you are. If you try this couple of times, I promise it opens you a new world. It helps you to understand much more about people. But it is also really hard, I at least easily get the temptation to start correcting the facts I think are not correct without really trying to understand. Being open minded will give you lot of experience for the future to communicate with people who you want to influence.

In case you are still wondering, the upper picture is from Lahti, from ski jumping tower, where in summers there is outdoor swimming lanes in landing area of the ski jumping hill. The second photo is from WRC rally Finland, where someone left video camera on to the road to get close ups from soon coming WRC rally car. Did you get those right at the first time?

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen