Coaching vs Correcting

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Unfortunately, sometimes you have to say "No"

Unfortunately, sometimes you have to say “No”

Now that I have the honor and pleasure of being a father, I have to admit, that becoming one has dramatically changed my life. One of the things that changed are the kind of things you talk about with friends. Now suddenly the main topic has become the baby: how old is he now, does he sleep during the night, how heavy is he, etc. And sometimes the future is discussed: which school will you choose (or have you chosen) or in which language(s) will you raise your son? With a Dutch father, Taiwanese mother and part Korean family in a country that speaks Cantonese and English, that is a difficult topic. Some time ago I talked to my cousin who has a son that is a few years older. His son is a naughty little guy, very typical for his age. Somehow we got to the topic of where correcting transforms into coaching. » Read more…

Why choice is bad

One of the great regular TEDTalks contributors, Barry Schwartz, held a lecture about why the amount of choice we have in our lives is a bad thing. I just found the lecture on Youtube and while the TEDTalk was already held in July 2005, I think it’s still valuable.

Why choice makes  people miserable:

  1. Regret and anticipated regret
  2. Opportunity costs
  3. Escalation of expectations
  4. Self-blame

The best quote: “The secret to happiness is … low expectations.” (Barry Schwartz, 2005)

Watching this video should be life-changing for marketeers and will change the way they approach portfolio management and the choice (=responsibility) they give consumers: » Read more…

Moms doing the worst job in the world, with P&G

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Proctor & Gamble rarely mess it up, when it comes down to marketing campaigns. But now they do seem to have. In their “Proud sponsors of Moms” campaign they have lowered themselves to one of the lower of the lowest, if it comes to parenthood. In the ad below they glorify the disgustingly pushy behavior of moms accepting nothing but the best from their children’s performance in sports. Those moms will stop at nothing: dragging their children out of bed to training in the early morning when the kinds clearly need their rest, showing only disappointment and no support when their son or daughter fails and only showing happiness when they (the parents) reach their goal: they have made their child win Gold in the Olympics.

Let’s think about it a bit further: Wouldn’t it be great if your child becomes an Olympic champion? Yes, of course. It would make me proud, as well. But while I’m proud of my son every day, the chances that he will become a Olympic champion, especially when I push him very hard, are exceptionally small. Is a ruined youth worth the effort? Is it my right to ruin my son’s youth? Is it the right thing to do towards a happy (adult) life for my son? There are enough specialists pointing out why we should be aware of pushing our children too hard, before it is too late » Read more…

When not telling the truth is allowed

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Kingston DataTraveler G3 - Get more than you were promissed

Kingston DataTraveler G3 - Get more than you were promised

I recently bought a 32 GB USB drive. Not for small files of course (it would be a bit big for small files), but for carrying with me some large Virtual Machine images. (For an explanation on what virtual machines are, see wikipedia, but it’s not important for the story.) I did not want to spend too much money, but I did want a reasonably fast one, since I would be copying huge files (around 10 GB each) onto it. The shop had really fast ones (with speeds specified to be 20 MB/s), that were also really expensive. In the end I decided to go for the cheaper, mid range, Kingston DataTraveler G3. As you can see on the picture of the packaging, it should be able to write with 5 MB/s, and read with 10 MB/s. Not that fast, but fast enough for what I wanted to spend. I took into account that “they all lie” about this kind of specs. Those speeds are the ones you only achieve under the most optimal circumstances, etc.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the speeds reported by Windows when I was copying my large files » Read more…

Why Apple is on its way to become the new Palm

The Apple does not fall far from the Palm

They are not that different

I recently read an article, which stated that RIM was becoming the new Palm. That might be a fairly good observation: RIM (the maker of BlackBerry phones) isn’t doing well at all after all. However, there are more and perhaps more likely candidates for this title.

Palm was once a high tech company with revolutionary and business changing products. It’s handheld computers, ‘palmtops’ or ‘personal assistants’ seamlessly (this is an evolving term) integrated with business tools like Outlook for email, tasks and calendar. Palm launched the first successful app shop, where you could buy thousands of apps to extend your Palm’s functionality with both productivity tools and games. Although the Palm platform was strong » Read more…

Evolution of mobile phones: from fridge to cutting board

I bought my first mobile quite late, at the end of the 90’s. It was a Siemens C35. It was quite popular at that time and one of the reasons was that it was small (it was also remarkably easy to use). People that bought their phones just one or two years before were now frowned upon for walking around with a so called ‘fridge‘. That’s what we called the huge phones made just a few years earlier.

In the following years phones continuously became smaller and thinner. There were exceptions » Read more…

Microsoft rapidly losing market share in PC market

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In 2011 Microsoft will lose a significant part of it’s market share in the PC operating systems market. In a market where Microsoft is traditionally very dominant with about 90% of all devices on the Internet running Windows, it will lose about 10% market share in this year’s PC sales alone. You might think, where does this guy get this idea from? How is this possible? Well, it’s due to the definition of “PC” that Microsoft uses. In the traditional PC market, this year’s market is estimated between 361 and less than 400 million pieces. That excludes about 53 million expected tablets. » Read more…

BrandZ: Apple overtakes Google as most valuable brand

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In the brand value ranking maintained by BrandZ, Apple has now succeeded Google as the most valuable brand with a value estimated at $153 billion. That’s a 859% increase since 2006, the year before Apple introduced one of it’s biggest hits until now, the Iphone (announced in January 2007). In the BrandZ ranking IBM remains third.

Comparing Apples with ‘peers’

It’s interesting to remark that in another ranking by InterBrand, Apple scored only 17th in last year September’s assessment with a value of only $21.143 billion. That’s almost 8 times less. This should all have to do with the methodology differences in measuring the brand value. » Read more…

Microsoft and Mozilla moving the Web towards Apps

Apps vs Web

Apps vs Web

Previously I wrote about the battle between Apps and the Web, how the battle drove an upward spiral where both are getting better and better and how Apps and Web will inevitably grow together. Mozilla (the developer of Firefox) and Microsoft (Internet Exporer) are now both taking their own steps towards that.

Today Internet Exporer 9 has been launched. It offers lots of improvements and it would go too far to describe them all here, but one of the interesting things related to Apps and the Web is that a website now easily (virtually) becomes an App, by ‘pinning’ a website to the taskbar, like you could already make a shortcut to any other application on your Windows 7 taskbar. » Read more…

Lack of sleep helps make optimistic decisions

Sleep deprivation makes flipping coin look like good odds

Sleep deprivation makes flipping coin for profit look like good odds

Entrepreneurship is about taking risks. Calculated risks. Top managers take big decisions every day. They have busy schedules and some only sleep a few hours a day. Research now shows that sleep-deprivation makes decision making easier. Not better though. Ever seen a CEO that always presents optimistic plans? It might be because of his lack of sleep.

According to an article in the Journal of Neuroscience described on, sleep-deprived individuals in a study “tended to make choices that emphasized monetary gain, and were less likely to make choices that reduced loss”. The study is the first that shows that lack of sleep impacts the way the brain assesses economic value, increasing sensitivity to positive consequences and decreasing  sensitivity to possible negative consequences of decisions. » Read more…