Rainy summer reading tip

This is a delayed July post… 🙂

It is raining in Copenhagen. In fact it has been for a while this summer and many people are struggling to keep their positive attitude when in the middle of a July day it is raining and 13 degrees Celsius. I can understand this: If you pay your taxes, at least you should be able to count on a bit of sunshine in the summer, right? Well, I’ll leave that to the politicians and instead give my fellow Danes something to do while the rain is pouring down. If you are stuck in your rainy flat or a summerhouse (be it in Skagen, Tisvilde, Nykøbing S, or wherever) why not pick up a good book?

My recommendation today is The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (get it free for Kindle here)

Recommending a good book is a hard matter. There are so many good ones, and each can serve a different purpose, be it entertainment or learning. Furthermore, are you recommending to brand yourself, the author or for the receiver of the tip’s genuine pleasure?

As for the first, this recommendation is on my blog forever (scary), so it will serve to brand me I guess. As for the second reason; Franklin can hardly benefit from a recommendation from poor me, but if anyone is unaware of this champion of liberty, truth and knowledge, you should pick up this book quickly. As for the last reason; this is truly a recommendation for the readers benefit. Not only will you learn something, but it is a truly riveting tale from an honest world where great revolutions were occurring. Much like today really; Frontier America propelled hard work to riches fuelled by an enormous growth potential. Today we see something similar in China and within IT.

One of the key take aways I got from the book was how Frankling continuously kept working with himself and thereby developed a winning attitude towards life where, as he put it, it wasn’t important  who made the bullets or even who fired the gun, as long as the bullets hit the intended target. Today everybody is hooked on grapping the glory, but is that really so important?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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PFSD – An applied Austrian afterthought

This is build on my post about Post financial stress disorder.

The brilliant economist Roger Garrison of Auburn U once told an anecdote to me (it might not have been his creation, my notes delude me on this subject). When asked how Hayek and Friedman differed in their respective approach to dealing with the Great Depression the following story serves as an illustration: Imaging a great big green monster showed up in Louisiana and started a rampage of destruction. Both economists are send to investigate. Friedman starts by examining how much is destroyed, how fast is it destroyed, when is it destroyed, was it eaten by the monster or trembled by it’s great feet? Etc… Hayek on the other hand, tries to solve why the big green monster appeared in the first place and if we can learn from this so not to have it reappear again.  

This short story tells of one of the main lessons of the Austrian Business Cycle Theory; that the period of unsustainable growth fuelled by overspending and loans is actually just as big a part of the business cycle as the resulting downturn. So what does that tell us about avoiding PFSD in the future for your origination?

Honestly I am not sure yet. We still have a lot to learn, but what I believe to be important is to set clear goals and not care about much else. When selling you time as an employee the least you can ask for is knowing what you are expected to deliver and do.

That sometimes takes a backseat in times of growth and prosperity. Instead you just hire and hire. Then when the financial stress sets in you are stuck with no real knowledge of what the right performance are and who is contributing to it, so you just fire and fire (in many cases based on seniority, so essentially trying to get back to the pre-spend days). That leaves all employees and subsequently the organization as a whole, with a traumatic feeling of loss.  So use you time now to set up systems that tells and reward the right behavior.


Keep happy in the rain… Make a list

Hello internet! Sorry to not keep this blog up. But as you all know; we beta launched echo.it last week and boy it is hard to both be an entrepreneur and keep your dayjob running (especially when you have a nice, but insistent, PE fund owner)… My last meeting yesterday ended at two in the morning, I have a cold, and is extra tired for moving all weekend. Oh yeah… And it rains and snows simontainously in Copenhagen today. Well… I am not beat, because I know that whatever pain I feel now is only temporary and in order to remind me of this fact I decided to make a short list of things that rocks right now, have it on my person (or devise) and look at it whenever I feel pressured.

Here is my list

  1. Moving in with sweetie Katja in the Frederiksberg part of Copenhagen where taxes are (slightly) lower.
  2. The great reception of echo it
  3. My friends and coworkers
  4. I am within the next month going to London, Paris and Berlin.
  5. I have tickets to see Sham 69, Descendents, Adicts and Social Distortion this spring!
  6. Bonus: Millwall beat QPR 2-0. Go lions!!

 

What does your list look like?

Oh yeah… The music mentioned is below so that you are not cheated from some inspiration this morning (it is all punk, so turn up your speakers) and I even found some footage of the game too.

Have a great morning! I am happy you took the time to read this.


Finally! The Launch of Echo it – let the good deeds begin!

Do you know what 1 March is famous for? Back in Roman times, it marked new years. In 1565, the great city of Rio de Janiero was founded, and in 1893 Nikola Tesla gave the first public presentation of a radio.

Today may not make you quite as happy as Johnny will be on 1 March, 2093, when he finally boards a spaceship for much needed vacation in space (Okay, I am just guessing here – but wouldn’t it be cool?).

And I am also not going to try to burn any poor women like they did in Salem exactly 319 years ago. But today is just a super awesome day, because it marks the launch of Echo it, and hopefully the beginning of a nicer world…

Try Echo it now and start making the world a better place – one echo at a time >>

 

So what is Echo it?

In short, Echo it is a social platform designed for sharing and promoting good deeds – regardless of size or significance. We human beings have a natural inclination to help one another, sometimes we just need to be reminded of how little effort it takes and how good it feels to extend a helping hand.

Echo it lets you share your good deeds with your peers. It also keeps you updated on the good deeds of your peers. Sharing your good deeds with your peers will inspire them to perform similar acts of kindness – following their good deeds will keep you inspired.

That way, your good deeds will take on a life of their own. And who knows, your acts of goodness might come back to you – just like an echo.

Join in, start echoing, and help change the world – all it takes is one echo! 

 

 

Putting social media to the test

It’s a well-known fact that human beings quickly conform to the norms within a social group. If the norm is to be apathetic towards the needs of others, new members of the social group will most likely conform to apathy.

However, if the norm is to be attentive and helpful towards the needs of others, new members of the social group will most likely conform to enthusiasm, involvement and attentiveness.

So in a way, you could see Echo it as a social media experiment. An experiment designed to test whether it’s possible to build up a social platform around something more substantial than LOL cats, fan pages, party pictures, and random observations on everyday life.

So come on and help show the world what this whole internet thing is all about! Get Started Now!

Please spread the word to all your friends. And remember; doing so is a good deed, so you might as well echo that right away.

Have a great day and I hope to see you onboard!

Stefan on behalf of The Echo it team*

*) Which all rocks a lot!


The Market of Good Deeds

See the pencast or read below – Whatever rocks your world the most.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Market of Good Deeds, posted with vodpod

 

The market of good deeds can be sliced in many different forms and shapes. Consumer preferences are, as with all preferences, based on the subjective valuation of the customer. Some prefer goods that address specific needs and concerns; others want a more broad scope. Some desire neutrality while others view a cause bias as preferable. In this post and pencast I will however focus on the area of execution. This is illustrated in figure 1, where the width of the pillars are the amount of players. Going from the left to right we see a lot of players in the global context. Established organizations that do a fine job like Red Cross try to go to suffering areas of the world and help there – far away from the benefactor. While typically being not for profit, their overhead costs runs upward of 80%. Further down the scale we have national or locally oriented groups, typically with a religious background. Their product is also based on helping away from the donator, but still closer to home, like focusing national homelessness or helping obese children. The amount of these technologies (I use the technology term here to also include organisations, beliefs, incentive systems etc… for more on Social Technologies see here) tends to be correlated with the size of the state. Meaning that in societies with a large state, fewer of these organizations exists. This is not to say that government is any better or worse in helping the causes; it is merely an observation. Last down on the scale we have the interpersonal niceness – how to be a decent human being. No real organizations offers products here, but behavioral technologies such as manners and morals have sufficed to a degree in the past. However with cultural globalization, moral relativism, high divorce rates and general performance culture those technologies have come under severe pressure. This is were Echo It is meant to make a difference.

Figure 1

Have a nice day. I am happy you took the time to read this.