June 15, 2015

Summary - "The law of success" by Napoleon Hill

The law of success by Napoleon Hill

The most successful men and women on earth have had to correct certain weak spots in their personalities before they began to succeed. The most outstanding of these weaknesses which stand between men and women and success are intolerance, cupidity, greed, jealousy, suspicion, revenge, egotism, conceit, the tendency to reap where they have not sown, and the habit of spending more than they earn.

Lesson by lesson, the following is a statement of that which you may expect to receive from the Fifteen Laws of Success:

I. A definite chief aim will teach you how to save the wasted effort which the majority of people expend in trying to find their lifework. This lesson will show you how to do away forever with aimlessness and fix your heart and hand upon some definite, well conceived purpose as a life-work.

2. Self-confidence will help you master the six basic fears with which every person is cursed-the fear of Poverty, the fear of Ill Health, the fear of Old Age, the fear of Criticism, the fear of Loss of Love of Someone and the fear of Death. It will teach you the difference between egotism and real self-confidence which is based upon definite, usable knowledge.

3. Habit of saving will teach you how to distribute your income systematically so that a definite percentage of it will steadily accumulate, thus forming one of the greatest known sources of personal power. No one may succeed in life without saving money. There is no exception to this rule, and no one may escape it.

4. Initiative and leadership will show you how to become a leader instead of a follower in your chosen field of endeavor. It will develop in you the instinct for leadership which will cause you gradually to gravitate to the top in all undertakings in which you participate. Imagination will stimulate your mind so that you will conceive new ideas and develop new plans which will help you in attaining the object of your Definite Chief Aim. This lesson will teach you how to "build new houses out of old stones," so to speak. It will show you how to create new ideas out of old, well known concepts, and how to put old ideas to new uses. This one lesson, alone, is the equivalent of a very practical course in salesmanship, and it is sure to prove a veritable gold mine of knowledge to the person who is in earnest.

5. Imagination will stimulate your mind so that you will conceive new ideas and develop new plans which will help you in attaining the object of your Definite Chief Aim. This lesson will teach you how to "build new houses out of old stones," so to speak. It will show you how to create new ideas out of old, well known concepts, and how to put old ideas to new uses. This one lesson, alone, is the equivalent of a very practical course in salesmanship, and it is sure to prove a veritable gold mine of knowledge to the person who is in earnest.

6. Enthusiasm will enable you to "saturate" all with whom you come in contact with interest in you and in your ideas. Enthusiasm is the foundation of a Pleasing Personality, and you must have such a personality in order to influence others to co-operate with you.

7. Self-control is the "balance wheel" with which you control your enthusiasm and direct it where you wish it to carry you. This lesson will teach you, in a most practical manner, to become "the master of your fate, the Captain of your Soul."

8. The habit of doing more than paid for is one of the most important lessons of the Law of Success course. It will teach you how to take advantage of the Law of Increasing Returns, which will eventually insure you a return in money far out of proportion to the service you render. No one may become a real leader in any walk of life without practicing the habit of doing more work and better work than that for which he is paid.

9. Pleasing personality is the "fulcrum" on which you must place the "crow-bar" of your efforts, and when so placed, with intelligence, it will enable you to remove mountains of obstacles. This one lesson, alone, has made scores of Master Salesmen. It has developed leaders overnight. It will teach you how to transform your personality so that you may adapt yourself to any environment, or to any other personality, in such a manner that you may easily dominate.

10. Accurate thinking is one of the important foundation stones of all enduring success. This lesson teaches you how to separate "facts" from mere "information." It teaches you how to organize known facts into two classes: the "important" and the "unimportant." It teaches you how to determine what is an "important" fact. It teaches you how to build definite working plans, in the pursuit of any calling, out of FACTS.

11. Concentration teaches you how to focus your attention upon one subject at a time until you have worked out practical plans for mastering that subject. It will teach you how to ally yourself with others in such a manner that you may have the use of their entire knowledge to back you up in your own plans and purposes. It will give you a practical working knowledge of the forces around you, and show you how to harness and use these forces in furthering your own interests.

12. Co-operation will teach you the value of team-work with all you do. In this lesson you will be taught how to apply the law of the "Master Mind" described in this Introduction and in Lesson Two of this course. This lesson will show you how to coordinate your own efforts with those of others, in such a manner that friction, jealousy, strife, envy and cupidity will be eliminated. You will learn how to make use of all that other people have learned about the work in which you are engaged.

13. Profiting by failure will teach you how to make stepping stones out of all of your past and future mistakes and failures. It will teach you the difference between "failure" and "temporary defeat," a difference which is very great and very important. It will teach you how to profit by your own failures and by the failures of other people.
14. Tolerance will teach you how to avoid the disastrous effects of racial and religious prejudices which mean defeat for millions of people who permit themselves to become entangled in foolish arguments over these subjects, thereby poisoning their own minds and closing the door to reason and investigation. This lesson is the twin sister of the one on ACCURATE THOUGHT, for the reason that no one may become an Accurate Thinker without practicing tolerance. Intolerance closes the book of Knowledge and writes on the cover, "Finis! I have learned it all!" Intolerance makes enemies of those who should be friends. It destroys opportunity and fills the mind with doubt, mistrust and prejudice.

15. Practicing the golden rule will teach you how to make use of this great universal law of human conduct in such a manner that you may easily get harmonious cooperation from any individual or group of individuals. Lack of understanding of the law upon which the Golden Rule philosophy is based is one of the major causes of failure of millions of people who remain in misery, poverty and want all their lives. This lesson has nothing whatsoever to do with religion in any form, nor with sectarianism, nor have any of the other lessons of this course on the Law of Success.

All new ideas, and especially those of an abstract nature, find lodgment in the human mind only after much repetition, a well known truth which accounts for the re-statement, in this summary, of the principle known as the "Master Mind."

Your six most dangerous enemies –

The Six Specters are labeled: Fear of Poverty, Fear of Death, Fear of Ill-Health, Fear of the Loss of Love, Fear of Old Age, Fear of Criticism.

Success in life is largely predicated upon our knowing men! To know others, not as they seem to be, but as they really are, study them through:

1-The posture of the body, and the way they walk.
2-The tone of the voice, its quality, pitch, volume.
3-The eyes, whether shifty or direct.
4-The use of words, their trend, nature and quality.
Going a step further, if you would know men study them:

When angry
When in love
When money is involved
When eating (alone, and unobserved, as they believe)
When writing
When in trouble
When joyful and triumphant
When downcast and defeated
When facing a catastrophe of a hazardous nature
When trying to make a "good impression" on others
When informed of another's misfortune
When informed of another's good fortune
When losing in any sort of a game of sport
When winning at sport
When alone, in a meditative mood.

Skepticism is the deadly enemy of progress and self-development.The development of self-confidence starts with the elimination of this demon called fear.

Many religionists claim that they can so deeply implant the tenets of their religion in the mind of a child that there never can be room in that mind for any other religion, either in whole or in part. The claims are not greatly overdrawn.

Select any two people of these two types that you choose, and study them, and the reason why one advances and the other stands still will be quite obvious to you. You will find that the one who advances believes in himself. You will find that he backs this belief with such dynamic, aggressive action that he lets others know that he believes in himself. You will also notice that this Self-confidence is contagious; it is impelling; it is persuasive; it attracts others.

Self-confidence formula

First: I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose, therefore I demand of myself persistent, aggressive and continuous action toward its attainment.

Second: I realize that the dominating thoughts of my mind eventually reproduce themselves in outward, bodily action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality, therefore I will concentrate. My mind for thirty minutes daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to be, by creating a mental picture of this person and then transforming that picture into reality through practical service.

Third: I know that through the principle of Autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of realizing it, therefore I shall devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of the factors named in the sixteen lessons of this Reading Course on the Law of Success.

Fourth: I have clearly mapped out and written down a description of my definite purpose in life, for the coming five years. I have set a price on my services for each of these five years; a price that I intend to earn and receive, through strict application of the principle of efficient, satisfactory service which I will render in advance.

Fifth: I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice, therefore I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. 1 will succeed by attracting to me the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me because I will first serve them. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me because I will believe in them and in myself.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Love, beauty, joy and worship are forever building, tearing down and rebuilding the foundation of each man's soul.

Once understand the law of mental telepathy and you will know why Self-confidence is the second of the Fifteen Laws of Success.

The only lasting favor which the parent may confer upon the child is that of helping the child to help itself.

It is literally true that man, through the Law of Habit, shapes his own personality. Through repetition,

Are you a human magnet and you are constantly attracting to you people whose characters  harmonize with your own.

Think well before you speak because your words may plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of some other person.

Initiative and Leadership are associated terms in this lesson for the reason that Leadership is essential for the attainment of Success, and Initiative is the very foundation upon which this necessary quality of Leadership is built. Initiative is as essential to success as a hub is essential to a wagon wheel.

In the field of salesmanship it is a well known fact that no salesman is successful in selling others until he has first made a good job of selling himself.

You can now see the advantage of making it your business to talk initiative, think initiative, eat initiative, sleep initiative and practice initiative. By so doing you are becoming a person of initiative and leadership.

Service, Sacrifice and Self-Control are three words which must be well understood by the person who succeeds in doing something that is of help to the world.

Make excuses for the shortcomings of others, if you wish, but hold yourself to a strict accountability if you would attain leadership in any undertaking.

Enthusiasm is a state of mind that inspires and arouses one to put action into the task at hand. It does more than this - it is contagious, and vitally affects not only the enthusiast, but all with whom he comes in contact.

Successful people have discovered ways and means which they believe best suited to their own needs, to produce stimuli which cause them to rise to heights of endeavor above the ordinary.

Fear no man, hate no man, wish no one misfortune, and more than likely you will have plenty of friends.

To do much clear thinking a man must arrange for regular periods of solitude when he can concentrate and indulge his imagination without distraction.

Self-discipline is the most essential factor in the development of personal power, because it enables you to control your appetite and your tendency to spend more than you earn and your habit of "striking back" at those who offend you and the other destructive habits which cause you to dissipate your energies through non-productive effort that takes on forms too numerous to be catalogued in this lesson.

Self-control was one of the marked characteristics of all successful leaders whom I have analyzed, in gathering material for this course.
If you are successful remember that somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a lift or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember, also, that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.

Employers are always on the lookout for a man who does a better job of any sort than is customary, whether it be wrapping a package, writing a letter or closing a sale.

As you have already learned, power is organized effort. The three most important factors that enter into the process of organizing effort are:

Co-operation and

A good stock of self confidence and a new suit of clothes will help you land a position without "pull," but remember that nothing will go so far toward helping you hold it as will push, enthusiasm and determination to do more than that for which you are paid.

Definite Chief Aim, Self-Confidence, Habit of Saving, Imagination, Initiative and Leadership, Enthusiasm, Self-Control, Doing More Than Paid For, Pleasing Personality, Accurate Thought, Concentration, Co-operation, Failure, Tolerance, Golden Rule.

Positive thought develops a dynamic personality.

Do not unto others that which you would not have them do unto you.
That the successful men and women are those who reach decisions quickly and then stand firmly by those decisions after they are made.

Move with quick DECISION and Time will favor you. Stand still and Time will wipe you off the board. You cannot always make the right move, but, if you make enough moves you may take advantage of the law of averages and pile up a creditable score before the great game of LIFE is ended.

June 9, 2015

Summary - "Marissa Mayer and the fight to save Yahoo" by Nicholas Carlson

Marissa Mayer and the fight to save Yahoo by Nicholas Carlson

[Very interesting book that reveals current affairs of Google & Yahoo]

In the fall of 1992, two graduate students in Stanford’s computer assisted design program downloaded Mosaic and started to tell each other about all the cool web pages they were found with it. Finally, one of those two students, David Filo made a list of all the sites he liked. He shared it with his friend Jerry Yang and Jerry made a list too. Filo combined the lists and in early 1994, Yang published the list on a web page hosted for him by Stanford. At first, Yang called the site Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web. Then, David and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.  That was the beginning of Yahoo - Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

Both of them were not business people. Perhaps the only reason Yahoo ever became a business at all was what happened in October 1994. That’s when Marc Andersen’s start-up, Netscape, launched an even more consumer friendly version of the Mosaic browser, called Navigator. A millions of people tried the WWW for the first time, they went straight to Yahoo to figure out where to go.

Softbank, a massive Japanese conglomerate headed by an energetic golf-loving industry titan named Masayoshi son invested $5 million in Yahoo at a $40 million valuation. Masayoshi son was instrumental in expanding expanding Yahoo to the international arena, and  the same person was instrumental in Alibaba's huge success during its initial days..

[The book goes on with details of different stages that had been handled by different CEOs. It is quite interesting to know about the Microsoft takeover attempts and the drama that happened behind the scene. Just skipping to the section where a Marissa Mayer story starts]

In 1993, Mayer applied to and was accepted into, ten schools including Harvard, Yale, Duke and Northwestern. She decided to go with Stanford for premed. During the pre-MED days, she got bored “I’m just doing flash cards. This is easy, Too easy. It’s just a lot of memorization”.
Everything changed when she took CS105 (introductory computer science class) where she came in second in a class of three hundred. Mayer excelled the rest of her years as an undergraduate at Stanford. After she got her bachelor’s degree, she stayed at the school to get a master’s in computer science, with a specialty in AI.

When people ask Mayer why she joined Google after getting her masters in symbolic systems at Stanford, she likes to tell them her ‘ Laura Beckman story’. It is about the daughter of her middle school piano teacher, Joanne Beckman.

Laura tried out for the volleyball team her junior year at high school. At the end of the tryouts, she was given a hard choice: bench on varsity or start to JV (junior varsity). ‘Most people when they are faced with this choice, would choose to play - and they will pick JV. Laura did the opposite. She chose varsity and she benched the whole season. But then an amazing thing happened. Senior year she tried out and she made varsity as a starter and all the JV starters from the previous year were benched their whole senior year. When asked Laura why she chose bench on varsity, she said, “I just knew that I got to practice with the better players every day, I would become a much better player, even if I didn’t get to play the games”.

The moral of Mayer’s story was that it’s always better to surround yourself with the best people so that they will challenge you and you will grow.

Even though she had a good offer from McKinsey, she went with Google’s internship (not even full time job). After the internship, Google hired her as a coder. She threw herself into a big project: building a system for Google that would allow it to serve the right ads with the right searches.

But then a funny thing happened. After Mayer had been working on the project for weeks, another Google engineer Jeff Dean offered to help. In a relative snap, Dean built a better system than the one Mayer had been working on for weeks.

There was no shame in Mayer getting outcoded by Dean, But for her, the experience provided a truth. She realized that she was never going to be as good at programming as Dean - r even in his class. Eventually, Google was going to be full of people who were at his level. If she was going to prove she belonged at Google, she was going to have to find other ways.

While working on different search results, she found Serif fonts are more readable, but sanserif were more legible. Mayer took the research to Larry Page and argues they need to make a change. Page agreed. The letters on Google’s search results pages lost their serifs.

Mayer had found her niche, an area where she could prove she belonged: improving and guiding the development of Google’s UI (user interface). It perfectly suited her degree in human-computer interaction. Less than a year after being hired as a junior coder, Mayer was in charge of the meetings that determined how Google.com would look. and she was literally settings the agenda on the products Google would make. More important, she had proven to be a crucial part of the team.

Mayer found that the Page’s mind sets very attractive to be around. She and Page played board games together. Other Googlers began to hear about the relationship. There was a rumor that Page and his cofounder, Sergy Brin had been invited to have dinner with the queen of England and that Page had brought Mayer as his date.

Slowly everyone started to figure it out. The relationship was very discreet. There were absolutely zero displays of affection between Mayer and Page at the office.

In 2002, Mayer noticed her new boss was having a problem hiring the right kind of people into Google. She told him: stop trying to hire MBAs to be product managers and start hiring computer science graduate with an interest in business.

In 2003, CEO Eric Schmidt made official what was already a fact. He put the mayor in charge of the look and feel of Google’s consumer products, including search. In 2005, he made her VP and her face & bio went up on Google’s website.

One time, one her APM (associate product manager) brought a product to her for review and she told him, “ This page is too busy. What you need to do is look at every font on the page, every font size. And every time you see a new color or new font size, you add up a point. I want this page below five points. That became a rule - no pages with more than five points. With the help of mental scaffolding, process and rules, and mimicry she pulls it off.

Around 2005, Mayer came into her office visibly upset. She and Larry had broken up. In 2007, Page married a Stanford graduate student named Lucy Southworth. For the same year, Mayer met Bogue, who played football at Harvard and was a banker in San Francisco and they got married.

One peer Mayer’s style irked in particular was Salar Kamangar. Kamangar joined Google as its ninth employee. He drafted the original business plan and handled financing and legal early on. Younger than Mayer, he rose along with her at Google, and became VP before her. They clashed often.

In 2000, Krishna Bharat who started the Google news service, invited Amit Singhal to join Google. Singhal studied in India (B.Tech) and got MS from UMD, but continued his PhD at Cornell and his topic of interest was searched. Before joining Google, he was a research fellow at Bell Labs (ATT). His hire almost immediately paid off. Soon after joining, Singhal decided the code Google used for figuring out how to rank its search needed a major overhaul. It had been written by Sergey Brin and it was very sloppy. Singhal rewrote the whole thing in two months, adding huge improvements to relevancy and speed. In 2006, Singhal was named as a Google Fellow, an award with a prize in the million of dollars. He earned a nickname around the campus: King of the Ranking.

Almost from the start of the universal search project, Singhal and Mayer didn’t get along. The surface issue that the two disagreed over most was: should Google allow only algorithms to determine the ranking of its search results, as Singhal argued? Or should Google sometimes uses human editors to curate its result, as Mayer argued?

Ultimately the contest between Singhal and Mayer was not over any one issue. It was about authority. Singhal believed that the engineers who created the hard-core technology powering Google search could more than handle user interface design, which is Mayer’s area. How hard could it be to draw mock-ups? Not hard as developing an algorithm. Singhal and Manber (his boss) wanted engineering to own the Google’s product. They felt the product would improve faster, if they didn’t have Mayer bottlenecking the whole process.

Page got involved with the ongoing issues between Mayer and Singhal.  Page believed that made Singhal more capable of pushing Google products to their technological limits. Page summoned Mayer into a one-on-one meeting and told her she was done working on Google’s search.

In Dec 2010, Page announced that a decade after going the CEO job up to Eric Schmidt, he was going to take it back. He formally took control in April 2011 and dissolved the operating committee and created a new council of executives who would report to him and Mayer was not named to it.

Around this time, yahoo was looking for a CEO replacement and the deal went well. She became the CEO of Yahoo.

When joined as CEO,Yahoo board was expecting Mayer to do a big lay-off; however, she resisted that move which irked the board.

Even though Yahoo share price got tripled during her period, it was mainly due to Alibaba's huge growth that Jerry invested during its incipient days.

The rest is history.