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The Outsized Benefits of Simply Introducing Yourself

Geplaatst op feb 22, 2014 in News

Beyond “My Name Is”

The Smartest Thing Jimmy Fallon Did on His First Tonight Show


While I’m not usually a fan of “leadership lessons you can learn from [insert pretty much anything here, including pets and inanimate objects],” this well-written piece from television writer James Poniewozik smartly frames an important decision made by new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon: He introduced himself to his audience. And we’re not talking “Hi, I’m Jimmy Fallon, and I’m looking forward to this.” In fact, Fallon “deliberately walked the audience through who he was, who his supporting stars were and what kind of show he was going to do,” writes Poniewozik. “He literally, at one point, pretty much explained how a late-night show works.”

In essence, aside from entertainment, Fallon’s job is not unlike that of a new CEO: to make existing employees, or in this case Jay Leno’s fans, OK with him. By creating a comprehensive introduction process, Fallon had the power to “frame the story, from the beginning, in a way that could make these long-time Tonight viewers — many of them older — comfortable with him.” Successfully managing the transition requires a vital combination of attributes: being honest and coming across as “humble and considerate, acknowledging that he represented a big change and asking the audience for their attention rather than demanding it.” 

The Lone Maverick

How to Avoid the Venture Capital Trap


With Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp all over the news, an image of a handwritten note from a cofounder of the mobile-messaging-app service is making the rounds. The company’s CEO keeps it taped to his desk. It says “No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!” You can add to that: “No Revenue!” Or, at least, not much revenue. WhatsApp’s dollar-a-year user fees don’t add up to much cash flow. Which is exactly the kind of thing investor Devin Mathews is talking about in a Fortune piece that he wrote before the Facebook deal was announced. For years, the media has been leading all of us to think that there’s only one real path to entrepreneurial glory: Come up with a great idea for an internet product, raise $50 million from venture capital firms, and sell to Facebook or Google for a huge price based on clicks, views, likes, or something other than revenue or profits.

But the reality is that the vast majority of tech-company founders use personal savings to fund their companies until the firms are profitable. That may not sound exciting, but it’s a “story that needs to be told more often because it is achievable, it is common, and it is companies like these that prop up the U.S. economy,” Mathews writes. Of course, you have to be smart to do it this way: You need “deep insight into the trends driving an industry and the needs of customers.” You also have to have the self-awareness to change when things aren’t working, the confidence to surround yourself with people smarter than you are, and the courage to be alone with your thoughts. —Andy O’Connell

It’s Not All About Food

Spain, Land of 10 P.M. Dinners, Asks if It’s Time to Reset Clock

The New York Times

In the interest of increasing productivity and pulling itself out of an economic crisis, Spain may have to rethink its daily work schedule (long hours of work punctuated by long hours of meals and naps) and even shift its time zone. While this isn’t necessarily news — Slate’s L.V. Anderson points out that the time-zone campaign has been underway for a while — there’s one important nugget buried toward the end of the Times piece: The current schedule may be a detriment to women. “These working hours are not good for families,” points out a lawyer and mother of two kids. And sociologist María Ángeles Durán, while doubting that a time-zone shift would boost productivity (technology gaps and a service-oriented economy are more to blame), told reporter Jim Yardley it could help women: “She cited a survey she conducted of female lawmakers in Europe, who complained that men deliberately scheduled meetings in the early evening when women were under pressure to return home.”

“For men, this is perfect,” Durán notes. “They arrive home and the children have already had their baths! Timetables can be used as sort of a weapon.” 

The Perfect Brand

There’s Nothing Subversive or Anti-Business About ‘The Lego Movie’

Pacific Standard

True, the villain in the new Lego movie is named Mr. Business, but Fox Business’s accusation that the film is therefore somehow anti-corporate is way off, says Kevin Nguyen. Instead, the movie’s subtext is the Lego business itself, which has proudly bounced back from past questionable choices, including retail stores, theme parks, and the like. By renewing a focus on customers — including, recently, girls — the company has undergone a resurgence. The whole film is a celebration of this powerful brand, of the universe of products it has created, and the legions of fans it has acquired. Lego wants nothing less than to be the perfect global toy brand. And if that isn’t the epitome of big business, I don’t know what is. —Andy O’Connell

Off-Label Uses for Bitcoin

Marginally Useful

MIT Technology Review

Bitcoin is in essence a transaction log, says writer/programmer Paul Ford. Its block chain protocol — built on top of well-understood, established cryptographic standards — records with certainty, and publicly, which transactions occurred when. That’s a great boon to law enforcers, who have called the coins “prosecution futures.” Backed by the full faith and credit of absolutely no one, they may not be an ideal form of money, but they’re admirably suited to turning other things into money. Take digital art. Attaching a coin to a digital image could turn an easily copied commodity into a one-of-a-kind digital image — that is, a rare (potentially valuable) piece of original artwork. Or imagine if a brand like Dunkin’ Donuts created its own currency: DunkinDollars. When people clicked on an ad for, say, a Dunkin’ iced latte, they could be rewarded with Dunkin’s own virtual currency. The currency could not only replace cookies as a way to track transactions but also could be exchanged in the open market, like a kind of penny stock. “The entire web of advertising would become a more interesting place,” Ford argues. Rather than ads hunting for you, you’d have a reason to hunt for ads. —Andrea Ovans 


I’m an Introvert. And You?

It’s Safe to Come Out as an Introvert Now (Quartz)
Hush. (Medium)
Shaking Off a Shy Reputation at Work (The Wall Street Journal)

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