Friday 19th April 2019
  • The Importance of Working With "A" Players


    Stop me if this sounds familiar. There is a person who toils alone for years in relative obscurity before finally cracking the code to become a hero. The myth of the lone genius. It's the stuff of Disney movies.

    Of course, we all have moments when we're alone and something suddenly clicks. We'd do well to remember, though, that in those moments, we are not as independent as we like to think. The people we surround ourselves with matter.

    In part, because we tell ourselves the story of the lone genius, we under-appreciate the role of a team. Sure, the individual matters, no doubt. However, the individual contributions are supercharged by the team around them.

    We operate in a world where it's nearly impossible to accomplish anything great as an individual. When you think about it, you're the product of an education system, a healthcare system, luck, roads, the internet and so much more. You may be smart but you're not self-made. And at work, most important achievements require a team of people working together.

    Continued here

  • Where even Walmart won't go: how Dollar General took over rural America


    As Dollar General opens stores at the rate of three a day across the US, often in the heart of 'food deserts', some see Dollar General as an admission that a town is failing.

    It moves into places not even Walmart will go, targeting rural towns and damaged inner-city neighbourhoods with basic goods at basic prices - a strategy described by a former chief executive of the chain as "we went where they ain't".

    The chain now has more outlets across the country than McDonald's has restaurants, and its profits have surged past some of the grand old names of American retail. The company estimates that three-quarters of the population lives within five miles of one of its stores, which stock everything from groceries and household cleaners to clothes and tools.

    Continued here

  • Which countries get the most sleep - and how much do we really need?


    Do you lie awake at night worrying you're not getting enough sleep? You're not alone - some countries are in the middle of a sleeplessness epidemic which has the potential to damage people's health and productivity.

    Among the most rested countries surveyed by Sleep Cycle, an app that tracks how much shuteye people are getting, New Zealand comes top with the average Kiwi clocking up in excess of 7.5 hours per night. Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK and Belgium all rank highly for sleep, too, with Ireland close behind.

    But not all developed economies rest well; South Korea and Japan are the world's worst countries when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. The problem of sleeplessness in Japan is well-documented, particularly in relation to the phenomenon of karoshi - death caused by lack of sleep.

    Continued here

    Read TradeBriefs every day, for the best insight!

    Advertisers of the day
    INSEAD: The INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives - India
    Wharton Business Analytics Team: Wharton's Business Analytics Program (Online)

    Our advertisers help fund the daily operations of TradeBriefs. We request you to accept our promotional emails.

  • There's no actual skill called "business": Naval


    Nassim Taleb made his fortune, his wealth by being a trader who basically relied upon black swans. Nassim Taleb made money by losing little bits of money every day and then once in a blue moon he would make a lot of money when the unthinkable happened for other people.

    Whereas most people want to make little bits of money every day and in exchange they'll tolerate lots of blow-up risk, they'll tolerate going completely bankrupt.

    We're not evolved to bleed a little bit every day. If you're out in the natural environment, and you get a cut and you're literally bleeding a little bit every day, you will eventually die. You'll have to stop that cut.

    We're evolved for small victories all the time but that becomes very expensive. That's where the crowd is. That's where the herd is. So, if you're willing to bleed a little bit every day but in exchange you'll win big later, you will do better.

    That is, by the way, entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs bleed every day.

    Continued here

  • The key to loving your job in the age of burnout


    In 2009, two US professors set out to study zookeepers and aquarium workers in an effort to discover what kept them motivated at work.

    The results pointed to an overwhelming similarity: The keepers gained a deep sense of meaning from their jobs. It didn't matter that caring for animals was extremely badly paid and offered little career advancement, or that many of the actual tasks involved could be classified as "dirty work" - cleaning up feces, chopping vegetables, scrubbing floors. The zookeepers, most of whom were highly educated, felt that they were fulfilling a calling, and in doing so were extremely dedicated, often volunteering for months before even beginning to be paid, and rarely quitting.

    Continued here

  • Memories of your parents may have long-term health effects


    Your perceptions of your parents directly affects your physical health and wellness, according to new research. And regardless if they are true, you might be stuck with them for life.

    "There are things that happen to us in life that can alter our perceptions of the past, but it's not always the objective- or what actually happened - that really affects us," says lead author William Chopik, psychology professor at Michigan State University.

    "What really impacts adults is how we psychologically interpret things and create memories. In short: our memories of our childhood predicted health and depression even though they may not even be based in reality," Chopik says.

    Chopik's findings, which appear in Health Psychology, revealed that mere perceptions put mental and physical health on the line for decades to come. Your memories, Chopik explains, might be the key to lifelong health and happiness.

    Continued here

  • Only 6 Percent of Ideas Become Commercial Successes. Here's How to Increase Your Odds


    You probably spend a lot of time on idea generation--a necessary thing to do.

    You might even be spending too much time coming up with ideas and not enough figuring out how to evaluate them. You want to select the best ideas--not just any idea. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg didn't generate their business-launching ideas. They picked them.

    This over-emphasis on idea generation is confirmed by 2012 research from the German University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, which found a "lack of research in the field of idea evaluation... and that the appropriate evaluation instruments are missing."

    Idea evaluation is hard work. According to existing literature, only 6 percent of all "official" ideas and 14 percent of promising ideas that reach a development phase become commercial successes.

    There are plenty of strategies out there for selecting the best ideas. They'll only take you so far if you don't understand these four fundamental principles for idea evaluation:

    Continued here

  • We Know How You Feel: Computers are learning to read emotion!


    In this column, we highlight important macro topics, new technologies, productivity tips - effectively, things that move humanity forward.

    By scanning facial action units, computers can now outperform most people in distinguishing social smiles from those triggered by spontaneous joy, and in differentiating between faked pain and genuine pain. They can determine if a patient is depressed. Operating with unflagging attention, they can register expressions so fleeting that they are unknown even to the person making them. Marian Bartlett, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, and the lead scientist at Emotient, once ran footage of her family watching TV through her software. During a moment of slapstick violence, her daughter, for a single frame, exhibited ferocious anger, which faded into surprise, then laughter. Her daughter was unaware of the moment of displeasure - but the computer had noticed. Recently, in a peer-reviewed study, Bartlett's colleagues demonstrated that computers scanning for "micro-expressions" could predict when people would turn down a financial offer: a flash of disgust indicated that the offer was considered unfair, and a flash of anger prefigured the rejection.

    Perhaps the most successful researcher-entrepreneur in this field is an Egyptian scientist living near Boston, Rana el Kaliouby. Her company, Affectiva, formed in 2009, has been ranked by the business press as one of the country's fastest-growing startups, and Kaliouby, has been called a "rock star."

    Continued here

  • Behold the Beefless 'Impossible Whopper'!


    In this column, we highlight important macro topics, new technologies, productivity tips - effectively, things that move humanity forward.

    Burger King is introducing a Whopper made with a vegetarian patty from the start-up Impossible Foods. The deal is a big step toward the mainstream for start-ups trying to mimic and replace meat.

    Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by Pat Brown, a former Stanford University professor, who became a vegan soon after college and founded his company with the explicit goal of decreasing the world's reliance on animal agriculture.

    Mr. Brown, who is 64, was motivated by his discomfort with the ethical, health and environmental costs of meat. But he said he came to believe that consumers would make a change only if they had a product that satisfied their cravings for beef.

    Now, that's an exciting future to work towards!

    More in this NY Times article