Kenapa kucing suka mencakar orang

I remember when I was a kid, my late grandma  told me that she was scratched by a cat. One of her fingers was blue in colour. The doctor said that she needs to have that finger cut.

My grandma refused. Though, the finger recovered. My younger sister (she is a nurse) complained that doctors need to sit for patient psychology class in order to graduate.

I miss my grandma. Innalillahi wa innalillahi rajiun…Al Fatihah.

One creepy story to talk about in the dark

I got this creepy story from here:

One day, an elderly woman enters a funeral home, accompanied by several hospital staff bearing her late husband, who has recently passed away. The funeral director immediately comes to the woman and offers his condolences.

“Ma’am, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Each person grieves in their own way. Please let me know what humble services I can offer.”

“Thank you, sir. My husband was quite dear to me, and his passing is very sad.

“There is one request I will make from you,” she continues, “One of my husband’s final wishes was to be buried in a black suit. As you can see, he has passed wearing a blue suit. Please, money is no objection – I want my husband to be buried in the most exquisite black suit.”

“Certainly, ma’am,” the funeral director replies, “Please come back tomorrow and I will have your husband dressed perfectly. It would be my honor.”

“Thank you so much. It means the world to me.”

The widow returned the following day to see her husband presented in a gorgeous black suit.

“Oh! This is perfect! Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much.” The woman pulls out her check book. “How much do I owe you?”

“Ma’am, you don’t owe me a thing, as it turns out. Shortly after you left, another woman came in for a burial service, mourning the passing of her late husband. I noticed the man was wearing an excellent black suit, and after judging the size and build of him, thought he was precisely the same stature as your late husband. I asked the woman if she wouldn’t mind too terribly if her husband was buried in a blue suit. Graciously, she accepted.

“So… I switched the heads.”


An awesome note on Ideas and Assets

via Xianhang Zhang

There’s the romantic notion of two complete nobodies, coming up with the next great idea and forging off to change the world. While that does happen, I believe that it’s not the optimal path towards controllable business success.

There’s a ton of brilliant 22 year old kids these days all churning through the same bucket of rather trivial ideas for web startups. Games! Group Messaging! Coupons! The reason why is that when you’re 22 and just out of school, there’s only a limited scope of ideas that it’s actually practical for you to execute on. What I’ve found though, is that the most exciting startup ideas are mostly not in this pool but are, instead, backed by a hidden asset.

When I talk about assets, cash is the least interesting of all of these. Instead, I’m talking about more intangible assets like skills, reputation, relationships, attention & fame. I’m of the strong opinion that the most reliable path towards startup success is to focus relentlessly on acquiring interesting assets and then execute on the startups that naturally fall out of them.

Stack Overflow is the perfect example of this. The software that runs Stack Overflow is actually relatively trivial and really could have been built by anyone at anytime. What made Stack Overflow possible were two hidden assets:

  1. Without an initial community of high quality users, Stack Overflow would have died. Joel Spolsky & Jeff Atwood ran, at the time, two of the most popular programming blogs in the world and were able to generate sufficient interest and attention to get SO over the initial cold start hump
  2. Without great software design SO would not have been able to retain users at the rate they did. Joel Spolsky & Jeff Atwood had both been thinking very deeply about the structure and organization of social software for a very long time and avoided a number of obvious mistakes in the fundamental foundations of the software. Here’s a blog post from Joel in 2003, thinking about these issues:… and the Stack Overflow podcasts are a secret mine of excellent social experience design insight:…

Neither Joel or Jeff had any grand, overarching vision of starting Stack Overflow when they started blogging for the first time. Instead, they just diligently worked to each build this amazing asset. But by building this asset, they opened up a thousand new, good startup ideas that were unavailable to most other people in the world and all they needed to do was to pick the one most appealing to them and execute on it.

I talk to a lot of different early stage startups these days and, inevitably, the ones I’m most excited about are those with a hidden asset backing them. Joe Edelman who built one of the most sophisticated reputation systems in the world at Couchsurfing is now deploying that asset towards Groundcrew. Gabe Smedresman who ran real world social games at Yale is now deploying that asset towards Gatsby. Yishan Wong who is one of the one of the world experts at startup engineering management is now deploying that asset towards Sunfire Offices. Sutha Kamal who is one of the most relentless business development minds I’ve seen at work is now deploying that asset towards Massive Health.

Inevitably, the story was that these entrepreneurs focused on acquiring assets and they reached a point where they couldn’t not do a startup with them. It became like walking through a field of low hanging fruit and wondering which ones they should pick.

I think the conventional startup narrative is mistaken in that it casts the world into those who are temperamentally suited towards only doing startups and everyone else in the world who can be regarded as a brighter species of sheep. Instead, practically every one of the entrepreneurs in that list has spent significant time being an employee, quietly building up assets that would later become valuable. Many of them were even reluctant to become entrepreneurs.

What I take away from this is that I would like for a new startup narrative to emerge. One that focuses on the less sexy aspects of building a startup which is the 10 years before you write the first piece of code. I’d like for people to start thinking of startups as less something you decide to do and more an opportunity that gets handed to you after years of diligent, hard work. I’d like for people to focus first on making real contributions to the world before feeling like the world owes them a startup success. It’s things like this that are the key towards shifting the ecosystem into a more mature startup culture and most optimally deploy the scarce human capital that we have.

Disregard ideas, acquire assets

via Tristan Harries

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers would agree w/ this post 🙂

Coincidentally when talking to Adam from Quora, he mentioned that he didn’t think the technology behind Quora made the product a 2011-only idea… that it really could have been created and built at any time, even if you didn’t have a social graph already or accustomed social behavior. But I actually think there were several hidden assets at work.

Their background from Facebook gave them unique and powerful objective data into human behavior which most entrepreneurs don’t have. The relationships and reputation they built through their careers at Facebook also played a huge role in inviting influential players to become early members, in the same way that Reid Hoffman seeded LinkedIn with his personal network of influential Silicon Valley elites.

Additionally, while Adam didn’t think Quora was an idea that had been baking in his mind for a while, he mentioned to me that one of his friends from high school told him that Quora felt like a natural progression of some of the ideas he was talking about back in school. Interestingly, Adam didn’t see it that way, but found it interesting that his friend could identify that.

So I think one of the reasons the “hidden assets” narrative you’re describing isn’t so commonplace, is because people are in fact not very good at seeing how their pasts lead them to where they are. I think many of us are far better at revising history to match narratives to which we aspire – we choose the story of the present that matches who we aspire to be, and then revise our memory of history to match the present.

Digg is Dead

Quoting from COMPUTERWORLD on Why Digg Failed?

Digg was created as an act of rebellion against the media elite. But it ended up being suffocated by control. You can’t post this. You can’t post that. If you’re the wrong kind of person, or have the wrong interests, you’re not welcome on Digg. Go away.

Friends,  stay true with your purpose, stay small and stay hungry.

Key decisions that Larry Page and Sergey Brin made in the early days of Google.

I’m somewhat influenced by the work of Anthony Robbins. If I remember it correctly, it was in his book entitled “Unlimited Power” that he asserted that the best way to improve your life is through asking empowering questions.

Well, Google. Larry Page. Sergey Brin. Who wants to know “What are 4-5 key decisions that Page and Brin made in the early days of Google?” [source]. Although the answer summary is as lame as global warming (yes, take that Al Gore), few original answers are really interesting. The best one (I mean the one that I really like) is presented below (just some excerpt) on the lesson learned:

  • Choose a market that is exploding in size:  mobile devices, cloud computing, (anything else to add to this list?)
  • Google was not the first search engine, YouTube was not the first video sharing website, Facebook was not the first social network. Everyone knew that the search engine market was “mature” and that it was impossible for a new entrant to compete with Yahoo! and Altavista. Google came in and annihilated them anyway. Find competitive advantage and leverage technology.
  • Maintain control of your company. If you cannot resist pressure from your investors to do the wrong things, your company will fail. Where would Google be today if it had left the consumer search market and focused solely on enterprise document search? Where would it be if it had copied Yahoo! and became a portal site?
  • Early revenues and profitability are extremely important and give you a better bargaining position with investors.  Google became profitable in its third year of operation according to its SEC form S-1 filing.
  • Take as long as necessary to find the perfect CEO. When you are a startup and only have 5 million a year in revenue the CEOs you have access to will not be as good as the ones you will be able to acquire later. Do not be pressured into taking on a CEO who is not the right fit for the company you are building. Aggressively leverage high profile VC investor connections to gain access to competent high level talent.
  • Company culture is extremely important to attracting talent. Paul Buchheit who invented Gmail left his job at Intel and took a pay cut to join Google. Everyone working at Google at the time “knew” that Google was going to be crushed by Altavista and Yahoo. He thought that Intel was doomed, because “Google was more fun” than working at Intel. Culture is more important than compensation for attracting star employees and you should leverage it.

Heartbreaking Japan

Heartbreaking Scene of Japan Earthquake/Tsunami

I found this heartbreaking picture of earthquake/tsunami of Japan  from here, and I quote two comments:

This made me realize how grand my life is, perspective is everything.

Also very very heartbreaking.

by LoFih

The Japanese have had one of the highest standards of living for a long time. This has made me realize how fragile life is.

Last week, she could’ve been waiting on the new iPad, or pissed why YouTube was showing 30 second ads, or why her little sister kept pestering her when she’s listening to music. That little sister could very well be buried in there somewhere. Cherish what you’ve got, the time, the people. We are all sitting comfortably quite assured that everything will be fine when we wake up tomorrow.

Guess what, so was she.

by dont_exists

How to think and work like Steve Jobs

I am privileged and thankful for the opportunity to work with smart people. The way they think, the way they do things are amazing. However, of all the wildest dream, I would want to adapt and understand on how Steve Jobs works (more or less, the question is like ‘how lightbulb works?’).  Somebody asked the question of  “If Steve Jobs was such a bad boss, why did so many people work with him?” in Quora. However not the question that interest me, it is one of the answer, delivered by Scott Dunlap. He said,

I’ve had a chance to work for and with a number of visionaries that most would consider “assholes” when they were managing huge growth engines – Marc Andreessen, Steve Blank, Mike Homer (Netscape), Larry Ellison, etc. I think it comes down to the gift and curse of being a true visionary. Until you’ve worked with one of these folks it’s a bit hard to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.

The gift/curse of the visionary is that they can see the future as clearly as they can see the present. Steve Jobs had a virtual iPad in his hands years before it was possible, and probably dreamed Toy Story-like animation a solid decade before Pixar assembled their first prototype. Both he sees with such clarity, that it MUST be built. Then he surrounds himself with the smartest people he can find, and they grind through the realities of making it happen. They get closer, and then closer, to the point Steve can taste it…but all this “reality” keeps creating excuses, delays, etc. Can you imagine how frustrating that is if the product is so clear in your head you actually used it last night? Just get the fucker done! Enough excuses!!! Do you have any idea of the change in the world this will have, and if I give a shit about your kids little league game?!? He’s not trying to be an asshole. But if he doesn’t say it, he’s not being true to his vision. It’s a big weight to carry.

It reminds me of the famous Judy Garland quote:

“They say it’s hard to work with Judy Garland…do you have any idea how hard it is to BE Judy Garland?”. As hard as it is to work for visionaries, it’s not nearly as tough as being one.

If you ever work for one of these types, your own expectations for success will be set so high, you will find your best for the remainder of your career. Just don’t expect there to be a lasting friendship when it’s all said and done, and book a solid 2-6 month break after your tour of duty. 😉

How to obtain expert performance through deliberate practice

I’ve picked this note from Vivek Haldar, whom summarized a lengthy paper entitled “The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance” by Ericsson, K. Anders; Krampe, Ralf T.; Tesch-Römer, Clemens. The paper holds a stand called deliberate practice to obtain expert performance, as oppose to innate talent (talent, something that I hate to hear over and over again, sigh). The note is presented below.

There exist, poor correlation between ability measures and performance: Ability tests tests predict “new graduate” performance (performance on a job immediately after training) with a correlation of 0.3, and that goes down to 0.2 for long-term performance.

Experts can rarely move across domains: Again and again, experts have failed to transfer their gifts to a new domain. Their gift works only in their own domain.

“The search for stable heritable characteristics that could predict or at least account for superior performance… has been unsuccessful.”

Just practice is not enough, and there is usually a plateau: mere repetition of a task leads to a performance plateau. Most adults perform at less than maximal levels even for tasks they do frequently. Looking at long-term performance records (mostly in sports), performance of the best has had a constant upward trend (i.e. world records are regularly broken).

The ten-year rule: Surveying many experts in many fields reveals that it takes at least 10 years to achieve world-class performance.

Three types of activity: Work, play, and deliberate practice. Work is extrinsically motivated, and performance stability and predictability (i.e. that you’ll get the job done) are paramount, performance growth is not. Play is intrinsically motivated and pleasurable, but not goal-directed, and not structured to improve performance. Deliberate practice is structured, effortful practice, usually not pleasurable, focused on specific performance bottlenecks.

Characteristics of deliberate practice: Tailored to subject’s existing level and weaknesses. Must get immediate feedback on performance. Subjects should actively try out new methods and refine them to match new performance goals. Since deliberate practice is effortful and not pleasurable, subjects must be motivated enough by the promise of increased performance to go through it.

Intensity: deliberate practice must push your limits. One must push their maximal level. This is in contrast to both work (where the goal is steady-state performance) and play (where the goal is to have fun).

Monotonic benefits: Performance increases monotonically with deliberate practice. This is perhaps the most important point of the paper. You can break past plateaus and crank up your performance — if you are ready to put in the hours of deliberate practice.

The importance of rest: deliberate practice is intense and exhausting, and can only be sustained for a limited time each day. There were no benefits from doing this for more than four hours a day, and benefits trailed off after two hours a day. Adequate recovery time is essential.

The importance of support structures: the commitment to deliberate practice involves not just the individual, but an intricate support structure consisting of parents and teachers and facilities, sustained over a long period of time.