Chapter 2: Give Everyone an Equal Vote

Welcome to the Chapter summaries section! For the next few weeks I’ll be posting the summaries at the end of each of the 20 chapters in my book. I hope you enjoy them!

Excerpt from What Not to Do in Business, the Leadership and Management Survival Guide, By Tom Berarducci:

From Chapter 2: “Give Everyone an Equal Vote”:

There is a fine line between inclusion and chaos, between taking appropriate steps to make everybody feel like they have been heard, and abdicating any form of directional control over your business. Lean too far in one direction, and you become a mere observer, no longer charting the course of your business. Lean too far in the other direction, and you will be labeled a dictator, unwilling to entertain any form of dissent. Still, it is your business. You are in control. Or are you? Choose wisely, and your business will thrive. Choose poorly, and you will be practicing What Not to Do.

Like what you just read? Then pick up your own copy of What Not to Do in Business. You can grab the Paperback or Kindle version from Amazon.com by clicking HERE. Or check out the iPad or iPhone version in the Apple iBookStore by clicking HERE.

Still not convinced? Read more about the book by clicking HERE.
Check back often for more excerpts from Tom’s book. Thanks!

Chapter 1: Believe Your Own PR

Welcome to the Chapter summaries section! For the next few weeks I’ll be posting the summaries at the end of each of the 20 chapters in my book. I hope you enjoy them!

Excerpt from What Not to Do in Business, the Leadership and Management Survival Guide, By Tom Berarducci:

From Chapter 1: “Believe Your Own PR”:

When you start to believe your own PR, you begin traveling down the road to ruin. If you choose this path and let your ego be fed by your minions, you will never make a mistake. Of course this reality will only exist in your mind. Even the folks feeding your fantasy will know the truth. They simply won’t have the backbone to tell you, or they will be secretly hoping your failures will be noticed by others, and that they may get a crack at your job when you inevitably “seek opportunities elsewhere”. When you do this, when you believe your own PR, you are doing nothing other than practicing a particularly destructive form of What Not to Do.

But, if you resist the urge to be perfect, if you are able to project confidence while still acknowledging your own vulnerabilities, then you have been given the greatest gift possible. If you do this, you will be able to go to work everyday, and improve upon not only your abilities, but your company’s performance as well.

Like what you just read? Then pick up your own copy of What Not to Do in Business. You can grab the Paperback or Kindle version from Amazon.com by clicking HERE. Or check out the iPad or iPhone version in the Apple iBookStore by clicking HERE.

Still not convinced? Read more about the book by clicking HERE.
Check back often for more excerpts from Tom’s book. Thanks!

Pebble Smartwatch Review

I’ve had my Pebble smartwatch for over a week now, so I’m ready to write a few comments about it. First a few caveats. I’m not going to write an exhaustive review for several reasons, including:

1. There are already many fine “feature” reviews out there, including this one from Engadget. Although comprehensive, I don’t care much about reviews like this because they are largely a re-hash of the product’s spec sheet, which I can easily read and don’t need someone to paraphrase for me. If you want that, just go to the Pebble website. It reminds me of going into a store and asking the salesperson about a product, only to stand there in amazement as they proceed to read off the package. Trust me, I can do that myself and don’t think stores should be paying people to read to their customers.

2. “Typical” reviews rarely add enough color commentary, nor do they offer suggestions for improvements. It’s almost like the reviewer really doesn’t understand much about the product domain; they are simply observing the product operate but offering little conclusions, criticisms, accolades, or comments. Again, what’s the point of writing a review like that? Essentially, most reviews are like book reports. Boring.

3. And, last but not least, I simply don’t have the time.

So here goes.

The concept is cool, and after using the Pebble watch for a while I’m even more convinced that, done right, a smartwatch can become an essential component of your daily life. But right now it’s not. Right now it’s merely interesting. That’s because most of the things the Pebble watch is supposed to do either don’t work, don’t work right, or only work some of the time (with some effort).

What works

- You can get text messages on your watch. Seems to work every time and I like it.
- You can scroll up/down to see the whole message even though it’s too big for the display.
- You can dismiss the message and get back to the watch face easily.
- Watch faces are nice, and there are a (small) number of well-designed choices.
- You can skip forward and back in your music playlist. You can pause the music player.
- Initial setup is easy (on iOS). Software updates seem to work well.
- Vibration notification seems dialed in nicely.
- Band is very comfortable.

What doesn’t work

- Email notifications. If you mess around with the iOS notification settings, you can (sometimes) get this to work. My experience is that I get email notifications about 40% of the time. After a week I’ve gotten tired of going back into settings and toggling email notification settings to re-enable this feature several times a day.
- Any other notification besides text messages and email. You should be able to get all sorts of notifications on your watch (why not?), but all I’ve been able to get are text messages (reliably) and emails (unreliably). Yet you should be able to get any notification your phone can generate in the notification center on your watch. You can’t.
- Contact list display. Although the Pebble site says that the watch can display your contact’s name, this only seems to work for me when I get a text message. It should also work when someone calls me, but all I see is the 10-digit phone number. So I still have to take my phone out of my pocket to decide if I want to answer it or not. Totally useless.

What needs improvement

- Music controls. Although I can skip forward/back through my playlist and pause the player, I can’t do the ONE thing everybody wants to do with their music – adjust the volume! I’m amazed that no other reviewer has picked up on this. Proves my point that most of them don’t really use the product much. Volume up/down should be table stakes for music control.
- Phone controls. This is really weak. I really need to see the name of the caller on my watch. This is supposed to work, but I have not been able to figure out how. Further, I need to do the one thing that everybody who talks on the phone for business always does – MUTE the phone! Again I’ve seen no review mention this and again I am appalled. If you spend as much time on conference calls as I do, you can’t live without this feature. It should be there. No excuse.

“Conclusion”

I put quotes around this because I’m amused how all the other reviewers have a “conclusion” yet most of them never conclude anything! In fact they mostly appear to be straddling a very fine line in order to not upset anybody lest they not get the chance to write any more reviews! “On the one hand…but then on the other hand…” Blah Blah BLAH.

Here’s my conclusion: The Pebble smartwatch represents a great effort by a small startup to create something truly useful, unique, and game-changing. Unfortunately, like so many V1.0 products, reality falls short of the ultimate potential. Does that mean the watch is crap and you should not buy one? Absolutely not. If you are a geek (like me) and love the latest and greatest cool new things, this is the only game in town and you should tolerate all the warts and go get one. But if you expect a product as refined as the iPhone5 and do not want to deal with hiccups, problems, updates, etc., then steer clear until Pebble 2.0 (or Apple comes up with their own!).

Thank You Sequester

Most people think the sequester which is about to hit the government is a bad thing. I think it’s a wonderful thing. It has shown us that we don’t need all those politicians in Washington to decide how to balance the budget. Even though they cannot. All we need is a simple algorithm. It’s so simple a computer can do it!

So my proposal is the following. Let a computer handle all the budget decisions! Obviously, the politicians can’t. So from now on they won’t have to. Here is Tom’s algorithm for Washington’s budget mess:

1. Start with the proportions we have now. All the departments get the percentage of the budget they now get.
2. Reduce the total spend to the amount of money that comes in each year. You can’t spend a penny more.
3. All the Politicians can do is:

A. Alter the percentages by taking from one bucket to give to another. Total still has to add up the same, OR
B. RAISE taxes on EVERYBODY by the same percentage! That’s right. Everybody pays their FAIR share of the increase. Folks that pay nothing now have to pay something, some small portion, of every increase. That way you can’t raise taxes above the baseline without affecting ALL the people!

–> This way we can keep the budget the way it is now, with some folks paying nothing, and the top 1% paying most of the bills, OR we All pay more. No more deficits.

That’s it. Crisis over.

You’re welcome.

Tom

Chapter Summaries are Here!

Well the book has been out for a while and now comes the time to start giving stuff away. Anybody who wanted a copy before this has had ample chance, so I shouldn’t be bothering too many folks by doing this. After all, my main goal has always been to get as much of this information in as many hands as possible and let’s face it, I never thought I was going to get rich (or break even for that matter) doing this book. That was not why I did it. This is why.

So, starting very soon, I’ll be giving away more and more of the book! All you need to do is stop by this blog and simply read! It couldn’t be much easier than that.

First off, I’ll be giving away the “chapter summaries” which are the ending paragraphs of each of the 20 chapters of the book, in which I try to wrap up the entire chapter in a few sentences. If you want to know what each chapter is about, this is the best way to do it!

So stop by often and read the chapter summaries for free! If you like what you read, you can still pick up your very own copy of What Not to Do in Business from Amazon or the Apple iBookStore. Whichever you choose, I sincerely hope you read and enjoy every word. And, as always, thanks.

Tom