A place to learn how to make bikes. You keep the skills, your first bike goes to someone who really needs it.
The Bicycle Academy is a new enterprise providing people with the skills and facilities to design and make their own bikes.
Frame building will be taught by the legendary Brian Curtis as evening classes or short weekday courses. As part of the learning process each student will make a frame designed specifically for use in Africa. Once graduated students will be able to use The Bicycle Academy workshop to hone their skills and build their own frames. (Sponsored via peoplefund.it)
Many people don’t realize that more than half of Founder Institute companies start the process without their final idea – and in many cases, without an idea at all. In fact, the first 1/3 of the program is devoted to identifying and refining a meaningful, enduring and defensible startup idea.
In the video below from the very beggining of the program, Adeo Ressi outlines a simple, 5-step method to forming and beggining to evaluate startup ideas. Adeo is a serial entrepreneur, founder of the Founder Institute and TheFunded.com, and is on the board of the X PRIZE Foundation. He also runs the Silicon Valley Founder Institute, and has a second child due any day now congrats Adeo!). (via Founder Institute)
(watch the video or read the transcript)
“The next thing I want to say is about hiring great people. It seems like this is pretty obvious, but many people don’t spend a lot of time on it. They kind of have a conventional HR department or a conventional way of choosing who works in their company. I think you have to spend much more energy on it and be much more creative about deciding who it is that you hire. The individual is important. You certainly have to hire people who don’t fit into your organization or who can stimulate the organization and don’t kind of have the kind of corporate code involved in them. This is kind of a Bob Sutton kind of point of view. But more and more it’s about the team. Building hot teams. And that involves having people with many different disciplines, people who are generalists but also have empathy for people who are experts at different areas. Hal Levitt’s book about hot groups, you can read that and find all the things that are necessary to make a hot group. It’s very important that the groups be of a size. Many of the groups that I belong to, like the Mechanical Engineering faculty, are too large to actually be a hot group. And so you have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to make the group small enough, eight to 12 people, so that they can function by breaking the group down into those sizes. But one of the main things is just to have an unfair advantage in doing your hiring. IDEO has this unfair advantage called Stanford University which we’ve snuggled up next to and have a strong program with. Many companies should have closer relationships with their local universities. I’ve been quoted lots of times in places like Fortune. There’s an article about how I’m basically saying if I hire the right people and everything else will work out. I mean, that’s not exactly true, but it makes for good journalism. But the main thing about hiring people is you have to have a point of view about who you want in your company. And I don’t mean that you want people who have four Os from a certain school in their circuits courses. And Bob Sutton, who studied IDEO for a long time, who’s a professor here, has this point of view that he calls ‘attitude of wisdom’. And so IDEO goes about hiring, we make sure that every single person who’s hired by the company has been what we call ‘lunched’ by 10 other people, meaning that you’ve been taken to lunch by that person and that person gives you a 9, a 10 on a scale of ‘this is a good fit for IDEO’. One of the major fits is what we call the ‘attitude of wisdom’, which is, is this person the kind of person who has the force of personality to really get their ideas out there, because we really want somebody who is not shy about getting their ideas out and vocal about it and works hard at trying to win everybody over that theirs is a good idea, and that they have the balance with that to actually consider that their idea might be improved upon by others. And you know the kind of people who have one side or the other, right? Too shy to kind of get involved or too arrogant to not see that their idea can be improved upon and built upon by others. And so looking for that balance, it’s really easy to see who has that characteristic. And it turns out that kind of technical competence around here and so forth is easier to find and this kind of fit is hard. And this is where I talk about limits to growth. IDEO has not grown at all based on financial reasons or how much money we want to make or what the numbers went to be. We grow because we find another one of these people. So we started with two, we’re at about 430, and it’s just from one at a time picking off these people. When the dotcoms were growing really good, I was on the board of a few of them and they were like hiring stuff and they kept saying what great people they had, and I thought to myself that as they approach the total population of the United States–like 250 million people–in their company, by definition they would have average people in their company. If you know about having a good group, if you don’t have a t-shirt, if your group is not represented by a t-shirt, then you’re not part of a really good group.”
Another video on that topic by Marissa Mayer, she joined Google in 1999 as Google’s first female engineer and led the user interface and webserver teams at that time. She is Vice President of Location and Local Services at the company.
Challenge yourself against better players and you’ll become star of the team. Google’s Vice President of Location and Local Services, Marissa Mayer, reflects on her personal experience working with some of the finest talent in high-tech, and points out that working with the best empowers each player to excel.
“… as much as working for one of the ‘cool agencies’ might sound great, it’s never as good as having a boss who will take you to places you didn’t even know existed.”
Having spent a good amount of time either talking to, or working with, several agencies over the last 18 months and recently taking on a new role, I have a similar point of view.
My recommended approach looks something like the above diagram—which is how I evaluated places to potentially join as I talked to them. The tricky thing here is that you have know yourself pretty well for this to truly work.
In other words, it won’t be easy. You’re going to have to do some deeper thinking and soul searching to determine your purpose and clearly understand what you value and believe.
Or, maybe you know that stuff already. In that case, it won’t be so hard.
As an aside, I think this is what the best recruiters in our industry do for us and for the agencies with whom they are trying to fill roles. But back to the point…
What this really comes down to is the people (at both the agency and the clients)—especially the agency’s leadership and the team(s) that you’ll work with every day. It’s the people that make a job either enjoyable or miserable. That doesn’t change no matter how “cool” the agency or brands you’re working for and/or on.
If you want to be happy in your work life, chose to work with and for great people.
By Stephen M. Kosslyn
The Craft of Scientific Presentations: Critical Steps to Succeed & Critical Errors to Avoid
by Michael Alley
by Nancy Duarte
The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick
By Andy Boundes
by Dan Roam
1) Start on time and finish early. It shows respect for peoples time.
2) Skip long introductions. If you like to give contextual background information, do it at the relevant part of your talk.
3) No intro slides at all. It feels wrong but it works great.
4) Before you even say hello, give your audience something of value. A nugget of information.
5) Don’t sacrifice content for jokes or funny slides. It’s the real meat of your presentation.
6) Don’t dumb down information. Your audience is not stupid.
7) Reference specific work examples.
8) Do not make any editorial notes during your talk (“sorry, this slide is hard to read”). Avoid editorializing. It just takes focus away from the content and will interrupt peoples experience.
9) Avoid phrases like “…more in detail later”. It pulls the audience right out of the talk. And the current becomes less interesting and important. Another form of editorializing.
10) Stories make great talks. If something is boring content, build a story around it.
11) Stop anticipating questions your audience might have. Leave it to the Q&A. Don’t include answers in your presentation already.
- HOW TO: Get Tweetable Moments from Your Presentations (mashable.com)