Many innovations are the result of chance discovery and customer need


In 1879, the Proctor and Gamble company’s best seller was candles. But Thomas Edison had just patented the electric light
bulb. Within a short space of time, the market for candles had collapsed and the company were in trouble.
However, destiny turned their fortunes around. At their factory in Cincinatti, a forgetful employee had one day gone to lunch and forgotten to turn the candle-making machine off. When he returned, he found a mass of frothing lather filled with air bubbles. Rather than discard the batch, he decided to turn it into soap. To his surprise, he found that the soap floated.

At that time, many people still bathed in the Ohio river. The idea of a soap that floated and never got lost appealed to them. Thus Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Proctor and Gamble company for many years to come.

Moral: Many innovations are the result of chance discovery and customer need.

16 Tips to Simplify Your Life (and Increase Your Productivity)


Simplify your life

Someone once said “it takes a genius to live a simple life” and I totally agree with that.

In this world of “dramatic distraction” and information overload it is too easy to become overwhelmed, lose focus and be swept away from the things that matter most.

Here are 16 tips that I have learnt form other leaders, blogs (tombasson) and books, and have been trying to apply in my life to de-clutter, un-complicate and become more intentional about how I spend my time…

1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.

2. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. (This one in particular has been life-changing for me!)

3. Start your day with exercise. (or even better, learn how to surf – no better way to start the day!)

4. Be obedient to the sabbath! (That means learning how to really rest and refuel – taking one full day a week as a complete recovery day.)

5. Learn to say no.

6. Plan your week ahead. (I spend 10 minutes every Sunday evening looking at my diary for the upcoming week and planning spaces for work, rest, exercise, relational meetings etc. It helps me to stay focused on that which is important and gives me permission to say no to that which isn’t.)

7. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings.

8. Get up early.

9. Go to bed early.

10. Eat a big healthy breakfast.

11. Clean out your closets. Get rid of things you never wear or don’t use anymore.

12. Stop watching TV. Or at least cutback to no more than 1hr per day. (Jess and Tom haven’t had a TV for the nearly 6 years they’ve been married. When you don’t have it, you simply don’t miss it.)

13. Make sure you plan a decent holiday break once a year. (I find it should be at least 10 days for it to become truly regenerative.)

14. Learn to protect your time. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity and complicate your life.

15. Do your banking online.

16. Use Evernote. Seriously, it’s an amazing piece of software.

In the end, it’s about priority. About deciding what really matters and, as Stephen Covey says, “putting first things first”! And so, as you simplify your life, may it increase your productivity and grant you a greater sense of purpose, and may it bring you great freedom and peace.

Thanks to tombasson

Never be sure of what future holds for you


The Sultan of Persia had sentenced two men to death.One of the men, knowing how much the sultan liked his stallion, offered to teach the horse to fly within a year if the sultan would spare him his life. The sultan, fancying himself as the rider of the only flying horse in the world, agreed. “You’re mad,” said the other prisoner. “You know that horses can’t fly. You’re only putting off the inevitable.” “Not so,” said the first prisoner. “I have four chances of escaping my sentence. First, the sultan might die. Secondly, I might die. Thirdly, the horse might die. And fourth…I might teach the horse to fly.”

Moral: Never be too certain of what the future holds.

Becoming More Skype Savvy via Recording Apps


I conduct most of the meetings over phone. I love meetings over phone because it allows me talk to the client according to their time. Due to time difference and distance, phone comes very handy to me for meetings and talks.

However I’m not happy with the technology I’ve been using to conduct these interviews. Sometimes the recording turns out fine. Other times, the person with whom I’m speaking is on a cell phone or has bad reception and the audio comes out fuzzy, making it difficult to transcribe. It’s also an incredibly lengthy process to transcribe the interviews.

I’m a huge fan of Skype but I dislike that Skype lacks a built-in recording capability. In order to record Skype conversations, you must use an outside recording application and here are the best ones I’ve found so far:

Pamela

Pamela is a Skype-certified app that records both audio and video calls through Skype. Pamela is free for up to 15 minutes of recording. For around $25, you receive unlimited call recording, as well as blogging and podcast support.

MP3 Skype Recorder

MP3 Skype Recorder is a free audio recording app. It stores the recorded audio into convenient MP3 files, which can be easily played on iTunes.

VodBurner

VodBurner allows the user to create a final video of the entire conversation. This would be perfect for adding my interviews to YouTube. VodBurner records the video for both conversations at the same time and allows the user to edit the conversation into one video. After a 14-day trial, VodBurner costs about $100 for a license, but you can get around that if both computers are using VodBurner as it is completely free for calls between VodBurner users.

HotRecorder

HotRecorder is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) recording tool. However, it only works for versions up to Skype 1.4. On the upside, HotRecorder provides voicemail for VoIP services. On the downside, the trial version only allows two minutes worth of recording, which is disappointing. I do like that HotRecorder also works with Google Talk and other VoIP services.

While all of these are Windows compatible, the same may not be true for the Mac. However, there are Mac apps out there with the same functionality. I’d love to hear about the Mac apps you’ve used for this.

I really wish these apps had automatic transcription services, as well. I do a lot of writing and, while it’s useful that I can make videos of my interviews with VodBurner, I’m really looking for a tool that automatically transcribes the audio. I want an all-in-one tool that Skypes, records the audio and video, and transcribes the conversation to text. Know of anything like this? Which Skype recording app do you find most useful?

One Bedroom Flat – A Bitter Reality


ONE BEDROOM FLAT…
WRITTEN BY AN INDIAN SOFTWARE ENGINEER..

… As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineering and joined a company based in USA, the
land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true. Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India.

My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat.

I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald’s and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down. Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one  candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After
the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after
them, we returned to USA. My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week. Our savings started diminishing.

After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children. Every year I decide to go to India… But part work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn’t get any holidays and thus could not go to India … The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed away, much to my children’s dislike and my wife’s joy we returned to India to settle down.
I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA… My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India… My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years. Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA… I decided that had enough and wound-up every thing and returned to India… I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.

Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, Had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more. I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM. Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me. Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who  will be performing my last rights, God Bless them.

But the question still remains ‘was all this worth it?’ I am still searching for an answer……………..!!!

START THINKING

IS IT JUST FOR ONE EXTRA BEDROOM???

LIFE IS BEYOND THIS …..DON’T JUST LEAVE YOUR LIFE & PARENTS ……..
START LIVING IT …….
LIVE IT AS YOU WANT IT TO BE ……. BCZ LIFE IS PRECIOUS!!!