Appiness.io blog

23 Sep 2016
by Admin
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The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week

The ladies of Twitter never fail to brighten our days with their brilliant ― but succinct ― wisdom. Each week, HuffPost Women rounds up hilarious 140-character musings. For this week’s great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.     

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22 Sep 2016
by Admin
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Interning At A Start-Up — Part 2

Last week I introduced myself and provided some general advice. This week in my presentation to C.S. students is the core question – what’s it like to work at a start-up.

So what is it like? It is one of the most exhilarating challenging difficult frustrating and ultimately rewarding jobs you will ever have. If you like it, you’ll find yourself unable to go work anywhere else. If you don’t like the environment, then it’ll be painfully awful.

One historian titled the onset of the industrial revolution in Europe with a single word – Acceleration. Tremendous advancement comes not from a single discovery, but in a rapid acceleration in learning and applying that knowledge. We’re in one of those periods.

Intensity

And in times of rapid change comes a lot of opportunity. Change can make you uncomfortable or it can get you excited. Either way, you can take advantage of it. And that fundamentally is what a start-up is. A means to take advantage of change.

The first thing to realize is you will fail – a lot. The number and size of the mistakes I’ve made in my jobs is awful. You will too. And the more you push, the bigger and more mistakes you will make.

And when you make those mistakes, everyone will see them. There’s no hiding them. The best thing to do when it happens is own up to it and figure out the best way to fix it. And keep in mind one important thing, a large part of success is making fewer mistakes than others. Your competitors are all making big mistakes too. Usually much bigger ones.

A hedgehog knows one thing very well. A fox knows many things. At a start-up you need to be a fox. My success at Windward is in large part my programming skills. But at times my marketing skills have been key. My sales ability, which is poor, has been essential. It’s useful to be very good at your core job. But it’s critical that you’re competent at a wide number of other jobs.

It will take everything you’ve got. One of our interns was given his first task the second day. By the end of the day he knew he couldn’t do it and went home almost in tears ready to give up. But that night he decided that he was not going to let this beat him. He came back in and over the next 2 weeks figured it out. And became, by my count, one of 3 people in the world who understood a totally undocumented API.

Working at a start-up is like going on Outward Bound. It won’t push you to your limits, it will push you beyond them as you discover your actual limits are far beyond what you think they are.

What to do in School

So you’re in school and you want to go be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Good – that’s the kind of goal that drives you to success.

Step 1 is you need to intern at start-ups while you’re in school. During the school year if you can. During the summer you must. An internship is job experience for you. It’s a detailed interview process for the company.

Interning one summer at a large company like Facebook, Microsoft, etc. is also good experience. But the rest at start-ups. (One of the interns at Windward spent this past summer at Google – and he kept getting jobs completed in about 1/2 the time they expected. That’s the prep you get at a top start-up.)

You’ll learn a lot, you’ll meet new friends, and you’ll have an incredible sense of accomplishment. On the flip side, without internship experience, how will start-ups be able to evaluate if they want to hire you? That’s their #1 measure.

Next create your own software products. Small games on Android are fine. Or a website for a club you’re in. Part of this is to show where your interests lie and part is to show you love programming. If at all possible do some that require serious multi-threaded programming as you learn a lot doing that.

Third is participating in hackathons. These are really useful as they show that you can work in a collaborative environment with your teammates. And, if the projects in the hackathons differ enough, it shows a wide variety of products you created. Finally, and this is oh so important in the start-up world, you’ve shipped products! That’s gigantic.

And finally comes the GPA. Your parents like a high GPA. Big corporations like a high GPA. But in the start-up world, while some do look at this, most have learned that it has almost no correlation with success and ignore it. At Windward we don’t ask it of applicants.

Next week – What Matters

first published on LinkedIn

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22 Sep 2016
by Admin
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Email Hacking, And You And I

You and I aren’t likely to be the victim of an “email hack job” (my phrase). Yes, the KGB hasn’t existed (we are told) since the 1990’s. But assuming it’s the KGB that’s doing the dirty deed to our public figures, as is the conventional wisdom, you and I simply aren’t important enough to them.

If we’re going to be hacked – if that’s really the word for it – our emails will be intercepted by jilted loved ones, with whom in better days we may have shared our passwords, or our employers who told us on Day One of our employment that the company’s email system belonged to them and we waived any privacy, period. So much so that a New York court, when addressing a lawsuit against a hospital by a famous surgeon, actually held that when the doctor emailed his own lawyer in confidential, privileged, emails about strategy in his suit against the hospital, his emails weren’t protected because they were sent from work. One can question why the surgeon used his work account . . . but that’s not the topic of this article.

The lesson to be derived from the leaked (by who?) disclosure of Colin Powell’s emails presents a far greater issue for all of us. For they showed that one of the most revered figures of our time, although no longer in government service, was not only vulnerable to the hacking, but that in his private communications he was as gossipy as the rest of us – taking shots at both Clinton and Trump in the manner of a virtual, one-man, focus group – Trump as a “national disgrace” and Clinton as one with “unbridled ambition” and “not transformational.” Not to mention her husband’s continuing – how shall I put it? It’s ironic, indeed, given that it’s Hillary that is under the gun for having used a non-secure account to conduct business while she was Secretary of State.

When you look at the things Powell said in email, it kind of says something: that human beings are human beings – even those of Powell’s stature. But it also shows us that it is remarkably easy for mischief to be perpetrated when we are indiscreet. Email and texting are so prevalent today that we are (for better or worse) able to learn in haec verba what others actually think or thought, with no holds barred. Even if they intended those communications to be private.

So The New York Times last Friday, in a front page story titled “Concern Over Colin Powell’s Hacked Emails Becomes a Fear of Being Next,” tells us how public figures are dealing with the fear of being hacked. The interviews, naturally, were with “big shots” – politicians, news anchors and others legitimately fearful of being next in the line of fire.

But what about the rest of us? OK, our emails (probably) won’t end up on the front page of The Times. And since we are not going to change human nature, it is likely useless to suggest that we become more discreet and measured about what we say about friends and colleagues, and non-friends and non-colleagues. Let’s face it, people have been saying rotten things about others since the dawn of time. It’s beyond my pay grade – and would be extremely hypocritical – for me, in particular, to encourage the next guy to be “a better person.” (I imagine my friends laughing).

So let’s look at hacking, given the people we are. I have often advocated (but have not always followed) a rule of waiting 6 hours (or whatever) before hitting “send.” And maybe that works for some – that by waiting, the angst, anger or snide comment will have faded, and simply hitting “delete” will do the job. But maybe the better answer is to simply change our mindset altogether – to go retro, as it were. Maybe the answer is to simply return to a time when if we had something rotten to say, we actually (and not virtually) “said” it. Yes, our phone bills might be a little higher; but maybe by the time the person called answers the phone or calls back, the “need” to say it will have disappeared. Or maybe, saying “it” to a real person, rather than having it exist forever in cyberspace with no way to gauge a reaction, will temper our comments or our tone. All of this toward a personal decision to use emails or texts when there is a real need for it and not as a substitute for personal conversation. Yes, a real need for it!

And maybe, yes, the Snowdens of the world don’t deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor. But maybe they do deserve our thanks for holding a mirror up to us, and our willingness to engage in gossipy, and perhaps self-destructive, behavior.

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