Category Archives: Business

MIT BRAIN SCANS SHOW THAT ENTREPRENEURS REALLY DO THINK DIFFERENT

Original article

brain

A BRAIN SCAN STUDY AT MIT SUGGESTS THAT ENTREPRENEURS ARE MORE LIKELY TO USE BOTH SIDES OF THEIR BRAINS WHEN MAKING DECISIONS.

Your widgets are selling slow and steady. But the kids are demanding widgets with Wi-Fi. Should you bet the farm on a new product line or concentrate on incremental improvements in widget production?

Our brains have two basic problem-solving strategies. Exploitation means taking advantage of what you already know, concentrating deeply on a current task to optimize performance and efficiency. Exploration means taking a step back from the task at hand to allow your mind to roam flexibly among alternatives. Leadership in the age of flux calls for “ambidextrous” minds that can switch back and forth between the two strategies when called for. A new study from MIT suggests that one component of this ambidextrousness involves tapping your creative and logical sides at the same time.

Researchers from the neuroscience department and business school collaborated to scan the brains of 63 subjects, divided between self-described entrepreneurs and managers, when engaged in a game. The game involved virtual slot machines; to maximize returns you had to decide when to keep playing the same machine (an exploitative choice) or try a new one (an explorative choice).

The entrepreneurs in the study, perhaps surprisingly, weren’t any more likely to engage in exploration. But when they did, they were more likely to activate both the right and left sides of their frontal cortex. Managers mainly stuck to the left side, which is associated with logic and structured thinking. The right side, on the other hand, is associated with creativity and emotion.

Successful decision-making isn’t necessarily about doing more exploration than exploitation. It’s in the timing–knowing when to shift between the two forms of thinking. A question for further research is whether entrepreneurs’ brains function this way because of the kind of decisions they’re used to making, or whether people with these more coherent brains are more likely to end up as entrepreneurs. “It’s a nature versus nurture question,” said Professor Maurizio Zollo, the lead author of the study.

-BY 

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So you want to manage a product?

PM

What no one tells you about the role

What product management is

  • Being the heart, mind, and voice of the user
  • Facilitating cross-functional teamwork
  • Making product trade-offs
  • Meeting an end-goal with fixed time and resources
  • Leading people along a product journey
  • Being positive and practical
  • Making tough calls with little information

What product management is not

  • Being the most important voice
  • Being the only idea-generator
  • Being a designer
  • Being a programmer
  • Managing QA
  • Optimizing websites
  • Writing marketing collateral

Product management is not what you think it is.

  1. You’re not managing a product. You’re managing the problem it solves.
  2. Your product is only as good as a user’s perception of it.
  3. Product Managers are neither designers nor engineers.
  4. It’s not about being a star — It’s about managing a universe.

Rohini Vibha in Product Management

This article has a valid discussion/overview of product managers, but I would argue that product managers may have strengths in design and engineering as some are from those departments and promoted into PM position. They have a greater understanding for work in a cross discipline team, collaboration, and empathize with the developers. They may have the tendencies to have a more connected/closer connection and better perspective of customers needs. In hindsight, better decisions are made from a knowledgeable background/well rounded product manager.

Click on the title link above for the full article!

Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles of Success

Original article

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Think and Grow Rich- Google ebook

The 17 Principles of Success by Napoleon Hill

  1. Definiteness of Purpose – The habit of focusing your actions and thoughts on one high and desirable goal in life
  2. Mastermind Alliance – The habit of working in complete harmony with others for the attainment of a specific objective
  3. Going the Extra Mile – The habit of doing more than is required of you with the expectation of receiving greater compensation from direct or vicarious sources
  4. Applied Faith – The habit of acting as if you already have what you want in life
  5. Pleasing Personality – The habit of being generally agreeable and friendly with people
  6. Personal Initiative – The habit of starting tasks that are important to you and seeing them through to completion
  7. Positive Mental Attitude – The habit of looking for the positive side of every situation in life—especially during times of turmoil and adversity
  8. Enthusiasm – The habit of keeping yourself energized by focusing your life on what you love most
  9. Self-Discipline – The habit of choosing not to make negative choices that will cost you more than you gain
  10. Accurate Thinking – The habit of making decisions and forming opinions that are based on factual information and tangible evidence
  11. Controlled Attention – The habit of prioritizing your time and energy to stay focused on what is most important and beneficial
  12. Teamwork – [Basically the same as the Mastermind Alliance principle]
  13. Learning from Adversity and Defeat – The habit of learning from adversity and defeat and making gradual improvements because of those experiences
  14. Creative Vision – The habit of visualizing the things that you want most and the actions that will help you to acquire them
  15. Maintenance of Sound Health – The habit of keeping your energy level up by eating healthy food and participating in physical exercise
  16. Budgeting of Time and Money – The habit of taking time everyday to move closer to your definite major purpose and saving money to ensure steady financial growth
  17. Cosmic Habitforce – The habit of repeating desirable thought patterns and behaviors until they become effortless and self-moving
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Avoiding Logical Fallacies

The informed argument: a multidisciplinary reader and guide

Robert Keith Miller

An apparently logical argument may reveal serious flaws if we take the trouble to examine it closely. Mistakes in reasoning are called logical fallacies. This term comes from the Latin word deceit, and there is some form of deception behind most of these lapses in logic. It is easy to deceive ourselves into believing that we are making a strong argument when we have actually lost our way somehow, and many fallacies are unintentional. But others are used deliberately by writers or speakers for whom “winning” an argument is more important than looking for truth. Here is a list of common fallacies that you should be careful to avoid in your own arguments and that you should be alert to in the arguments of others. 

  • Ad Hominem Argument is an argument that attacks the personal character or reputation of one’s opponents while ignoring what he or she has to say e.g. good people can make bad arguments, and even a crook can sometimes tell the truth. It is better to give a logical response to an opponent’s arguments than to ignore those arguments and indulge in personal attacks.
  • Ad Misericordiam Argument is an appeal to pity, inspiring emotions that is closely related to whatever they are arguing for and when the entire argument does not rest upon this appeal alone. Consider how weak an argument becomes when the appeal to pity has little to do with the issue in question. 
  • Ad Populum Argument plays upon the general values of an audience e.g. a politician that loves his children, and admires his wife have factors that appeal to the average man and woman but which nevertheless are unlikely to affect his performance in office.
  • Argument by Analogy is a comparison that works on more than one level, ans it is possible to use analogy effectively when reasoning inductively. When arguing from analogy, it is important to remember that you are speculating. As is the case with any type of inductive reasoning, you can reach a conclusion that is likely to be true but not guaranteed to be true.
  • Begging the Question begins with a premise that is acceptable only to anyone who will agree with the conclusion that is subsequently reached- circular argument. Because it is much easier to claim that something is true than to prove it is true. 
  • Equivocation is when someone uses vague or ambiguous language to mislead an audience e.g. abstract language, right, real. Be careful of using one word in several different senses without acknowledging that this has been done.
  • False Dilemma is when a speaker or writer poses a choice between two alternatives while overlooking other possibilities and implying that other possibilities does not exist.
  • Guilt by Association is a maneuver by opponents into the false position of being held accountable for the actions of all the men and women who hold to that particular negative association.
  • Ignoring the Question is when someone does not acknowledge the question and begins to talk about something else.
  • Jumping into Conclusions is when the question is not supported by an adequate amount of evidence, there should be more than one example to support an argument. 
  • Non Sequitur is Latin for “it does not follow” in which the subordinate clause does not clearly relate to the main clause. A cause-and-effect relationship has been claimed but not explained. 
  • Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc is Latin for “after this, therefore because of this” assumes that an event is the result of something that merely occurred before it. There’s impressive amount of evidence, but the evidence is frequently questionable. Logic should always recognize the distinction between causes and what may simply be coincidences. Sequence is not a cause because every event is preceded by an infinite number of other events, all of which cannot be held responsible for whatever happens today. Don’t isolate at random any one event in the past, and then try to argue that it explains everything. 
  • Slippery Slope is a fallacy when one step will inevitably lead to an undesirable second step.
  • Straw Man happens when arguers pretend that they are responding to the views of their opponents when they are only setting up a type of artificial opposition which they can easily refute i.e. exaggerate the views of others or respond only to an extreme view that does not adequately represent the arguments of one’s opponents.