1.01.2005

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» RANT: "I do not think it means what you think it means."
» TIP: Next time you feel the urge to bash your boss coming on
» TIP: When you are losing the game to a dominant competitor
» MISC: "Something like that doesn't last very long in our house"
» TIP: Failure as an opportunity to reshuffle the deck
» MISC: Holiday gifts do NOT make you happy
» TIP: If you are shooting for an overnight success
» MISC: Save money without giving up the things you love
» MISC: You can't depend on your eyes when...
» RANT: Do you think like a winner?

RANT: "I do not think it means what you think it means."

GL observed: In the film Princess Bride, the character of Vizzini frequently exclaims, "Inconceivable!" Finally Inigo Montoya responds, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."... (No one loves a pedant, but) when others misuse words frequently, it feels like fingernails on a chalkboard...

(One of the oddities is that) so many, many people react angrily to any suggestion that they have misused a word. When people make mistakes with math, especially with tips or returning change, it seems that correcting math mistakes is fine. Why the hyper-sensitivity to being corrected about misuse of words? Why is caring about words and their correct usage so off-putting to those who...misuse words? Why not simply say, "Okay, I didn't know that. Thanks for letting me know."? Why reply with a forest fire of anger? ...

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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TIP: Next time you feel the urge to bash your boss coming on

Marshall Goldsmith shared many reasons why bashing the boss directly is never a good thing
  • You demean yourself. If you are so brilliant that you can consistently judge your boss, and your boss is so stupid that he merits endless hours of critique, why do you report to the idiot? Ultimately, when we discredit our boss, we discredit ourselves.
  • You come across as a hypocrite. When you bash your boss behind her back, the person you are talking to may think, "What do they say about me when I'm not around?"
  • You communicate a lack of courage. If the boss is behaving in a way that is bad for the company, why don't you challenge him? The answer must be that you are afraid.

One alternative is to focus on the situation and be a part of the solution.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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TIP: When you are losing the game to a dominant competitor

Try create your own playing field and change the rules by which you and your competitor play, Jonathan Dampier advised. It's a lot easier to win when the rules are in your favor, whether you're an entrepreneur or just doing your own incarnation of a WoW project. Target vs. Walmart is a good example.

...They don't make Goliaths any bigger than Walmart. The retail landscape is littered with those who tried to beat Walmart at their game. But Target was different. Target created a new playing field, we'll call it "Tar-zhay". On the Tar-zhay playing field, it isn't about the lowest price. It's about value-priced cool. And affordable chic. It's about good design for a good price.

So while Kmart, Montgomery Ward and others were trying to slay Goliath on Goliath's turf, Target was changing the playing field and, thus, changing the rules. We all watched what happened to both Kmart and Montgomery Ward. Target not only survived the confrontation with Goliath, they thrived...

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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MISC: "Something like that doesn't last very long in our house"

RD -- Some neighbors of my grandparents' gave them a pumpkin pie as a holiday gift. As lovely as the gesture was, it was clear from the first bite that the pie tasted bad. It was so inedible that my grandmother had to throw it away. Ever gracious and tactful, she still felt obliged to send the neighbors a note. It reads

"Thank you very much for the pumpkin pie. Something like that doesn't last very long in our house."

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk > Jokes

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TIP: Failure as an opportunity to reshuffle the deck

Jane Genova observed: ...It wasn't until relatively recently that America got philosophical about failure in general, and losing everything, more specifically. As Scott Sandage chronicles in his book "Born Losers: A History or Failure in America," in the early days of American capitalism failure was not only a professional tragedy. It was also viewed as a moral one. Those failing, seen as misfits in capitalism, let America down...

Now, failure is viewed as almost grace, good karma, a unique opportunity to reshuffle the deck. Think Steve Jobs who was kicked out of his own company and went on to create iPod. Think Bill Clinton who lost the Governor's race, figured out how to win big and went on to two terms as US president. Think Jimmy Carter who wasn't elected for a second term and now is America's unofficial ambassador of values...

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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MISC: Holiday gifts do NOT make you happy

Material riches fail the happy test, Financial Times reports. Rich people are likely to find more happiness scuba-diving or going to a concert than buying that Ferrari, global investors were told on Friday. According to what many in financial circles will regard a heretical piece of research by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, materialistic goals may even cause dissatisfaction with life and mental disorders such as paranoia... there was a mass of evidence to suggest that spending on experiences, such as walking the Machu Picchu trail in Peru, rather than possessions, such as flash watches, seemed to make people happier, provided their basic needs were satisfied... Explaining the benefits of experiences over possessions, (James Montier) said they tended to be unique, whereas a house or car is likely to become the norm very quickly. He urged readers to avoid a keep-up-with-the-Joneses syndrome...

Barry Ritholtz observed, ...The value of wealth isn't necessarily the THINGS you can acquire, it is the things you can do with it -- the experiences and memories that you can "acquire."

Think of it this way: It's the not the TOYS, it's the PLAYING...

Could it be true that the best things in life aren't things?

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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TIP: If you are shooting for an overnight success

Open big, bestselling author Seth Godin blogged, (is) what Hollywood wants. Martha Stewart is a write off because her first episode of the Apprentice had horrible ratings. That female president show, on the other hand, is on a roll. The irony, of course, is that these ratings are based on the promotion and the premise, not the show itself--they reflect viewership before word of mouth or first-hand experience.

We all want to open big. We want our product launches to be instant successes. We want the resumes we send out to be opened in one day, a call the next, an interview the third and a corner office by the end of the week...

The bottom line is that... The natural, user-driven networks that make a product succeed or fail rarely hit all at once. But the snowball effect online is far more powerful than the old-world scream & dream approach.

So, what's it mean to you?

  • Make something worth making.
  • Sell something worth talking about.
  • Believe in what you do because you may have to do it for a long time before it catches on.
  • Don't listen to the first people who give you feedback.
  • Don't give up. Not for a while, anyway.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

Your Turn!

 

MISC: Save money without giving up the things you love

I love coffee (especially hazelnut.), Darlene Arechederra blogs. I love the smell of coffee brewing. It brings me to a standstill. The earth could slip off its axis, but I'd only worry about it once I have that fresh cup of brew in my hands. Then, and only then, am I interested in moving on.

You know what I mean, don't you? Perhaps for you it's eating out. Or chocolate. Books. Shoes. Clothes. Perfumes. If it's something you love, there's a slim chance you'll give it up easily... The words, giving up something are fighting words for some! I mean, can't you just picture the boxing gloves coming out? ... Chances are that cutting back, phasing out, or even eliminating things you enjoy will not inspire you for long. The very thought can leave you feeling as if you're facing an uphill battle.

Darlene outlined 3 quick steps to immediate success

  • Know the reason you want to make changes. To have this work, you must have a specific reason. What is your very special purpose in trading off something you love?
  • Determine the first, small change you will make to set up your trade off. Choose something that will leave you feeling great about your decision. Deprivation doesn't work for the long haul.
  • Tuck away every cent you save, once you begin your plan. Put it up to have it for your own special purpose. Quickly reaping your rewards will provide motivation and keep you saving...

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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MISC: You can't depend on your eyes when...

...your imagination is out of focus, Mark Twain once said. That leads to the question: what do Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 tragedy, and Katrina have in common?

Failure of Imagination, Kathie Snow wrote. "...If officials had let their imaginations roam, it's possible they could have anticipated what terrorists were capable of doing; then measures could have been taken which might have thwarted a terrorist attack..."

Category: C++ Quant > Random Walk

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RANT: Do you think like a winner?

via Dr. Henry Lee --

The Winner's Attitude

The winner is always part of the answer; the loser is always part of the problem.
The winner always has a program; the loser always has an excuse.
The winner says, "Let me do it for you;" the loser says, "That's not my job."
The winner sees an answer for every problem; the loser sees a problem for every answer.
The winner sees a green near every sand trap; the loser sees two or three sand traps near every green.
The winner says, "It may be difficult, but it is possible;" the loser says, "It may be possible, but it's too difficult."

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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