I had to bribe them. What other choice did I have?
My lecture at Princeton had just ended with smiles and enthusiastic questions.
At the same time, I knew that most students would go out and promptly do the opposite of what I preached. Most of them would be putting in 80-hour weeks as high-paid coffee fetchers unless I showed that the principles from class could actually be applied.
Hence the challenge.
I was offering a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world to anyone who could complete an undefined “challenge” in the most impressive fashion possible. Results plus style. I told them to meet me after class if interested, and here they were, nearly 20 out of 60 students.
The richest man in the world — $62 billion and counting. (Photo: CBS/AP)
“Excuse me. Where is the most difficult to reach microphone?”
I was out of breath from running up the steps but had managed to find one of the microphone stands, manned by two headset-wearing volunteers.
More than 10,000 people had waited on the sidewalks overnight to be first in the doors of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, and I had made a choice: I would go for the mics instead of the front row.
Given a choice of shaking Warren Buffett’s hand for a five-second photo op or asking him a question, I opted for the latter, and in ten seconds, I’d be sprinting to the corner of the top floor. After all, lunch with Buffett once auctioned off for $620,100, and I’d planned it all out.
These are my notes on what happened and what I learned… Read More
Do you want to spend more time with loved ones or friends, but you also have business goals that — under current models or habits — require 80 hours per week or checking e-mail at 20-minute intervals?
This cognitive dissonance leads to failure in both areas, but few people are able to fix the problem.
Dr. Stewart Friedman was recently profiled in the New York Times for his unusual field-testing of “four-way wins,” or goal structuring that integrates four facets of life–work, home, community, and self.
It’s not often that you see the phrase “rock star adoration” in the newspaper of record.
I reached out to Dr. Friedman, founder of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project and former work-family adviser to both Al Gore and Jack Welch, while writing The 4-Hour Workweek. He is absolutely brilliant with micro-testing and fixing two largely unaddressed issues for type-A personalities: psychological interference and conflicting goals… Read More
Summer is upon us, and to encourage all of you to dream of traveling eastward, this is Part 1 of a 2-part series on hacking the world’s foremost cherry-blossom-meets-Bladerunner playground.
To begin: Most of what you hear about Tokyo is either a vast exaggeration or massive understatement.
The world’s most expensive city? Ridiculous. You can have an incredible meal and full night out for less than in NYC (try anything above floor 5 in Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku), and no tipping to boot. Certainly nowhere near the mind-numbing prices of London. Japanese weirdness? Most definitely. Quirky and futuristic, light-hearted but oddly Dilbert, Tokyo is a fusion of inventiveness and eccentricity found nowhere else on earth.
I’ve lived in Tokyo four or five times since 1995 and consider myself more Edokko (Tokyoite) than Californian. Here are a few of my tips for hacking it—seeing the real deal with real Japanese—while keeping the wallet (mostly) intact… Read More
What happens when a successful US-based computer programmer, who lost his lucrative job to outsourcing, travels to India to try to get it back?
Will he discover the secret of India’s success, or that sending jobs overseas is an unstable gamble?
The videos below share his incredible experience. It’s a fascinating and humanizing portrait of real Indians in Bangalore, the “Silicon Valley of India”.
This inside look shows how ridiculous it is to throw around terms like “slave labor” and “stealing jobs” without understanding the realities of this unusual world where best jobs start at 6pm and end at 3am… Read More
[Note: The vote was postponed from Tuesday (today) to tomorrow, Wednesday. There is still time to take the actions below.]
This is the most important and controversial post I’ve ever written. For American readers, the short video above could be the most important video you watch in your lifetime.
I hesitated to post this and will alienate some readers, but I accept that.
Wednesday, July 9th, could mark the beginning of official condoning of warrantless surveillance of law-abiding citizens in the US, not to mention foreign nationals. I am not an alarmist and believe in qualified surveillance with process — this is different. I’ve done the homework.
The above is an 18-minute interview that I just finished with Daniel Ellsberg, famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971. His actions are often credited with helping end not only the Nixon presidency but also the Vietnam War. He consulted for the Kennedy Administration after receiving a PhD. from Harvard in Economics and served in the Pentagon under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Remember that part of lifestyle design is creating a good environment for you and those you care for. Central to this is preventing dangerous laws — the rules of your environment — from coming into existence. This is not about being political. It’s about being responsible. There are Republicans in Congress who oppose this bill, so it shouldn’t be written off as leftist propaganda.
In the video above, I interview Ellsberg to learn what every American needs to know — and do in the next 24 hours — about the new FISA (Foreign Information and Surveillance Act) amendments. The interview, and below partial transcription, answers questions like… Read More
Before the economic recession hits us like a Pamplona bull, we will have long entered an digital recession characterized by lower per-hour output from digital workers and a higher incidence of problems like “e-mail bankruptcy.”
This Chapter 7 of personal productivity is a failure point where the user — physically incapable of responding to the number of unread inbox items — deletes all messages and sends an e-mail to all contacts asking them to resend anything still relevant.