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links for 2009-09-14

14 Sep
  • We spend all our time on execution…
    Tactics tell you what to execute. They're important, but dwarfed by strategy. Strategy determines which tactics might work.
    But what's the point of a strategy if your goals aren't clear, or contradict?
    Which leads the first two, the two we almost never hear about.
    Approach determines how you look at the project (or your career)…Most everyone has a style, and if you pick the wrong one, then all the strategy, tactics and execution in the world won't work nearly as well.
    As far as I'm concerned, the most important of all, the top of the hierarchy is attitude. Why are you doing this at all? What's your bias in dealing with people and problems?
    Some more questions:
    * How do you deal with failure?
    * When will you quit?
    * How do you treat competitors?
    * What personality are you looking for in the people you hire?
    * What's it like to work for you? Why? Is that a deliberate choice?
    * What sort of decisions do you you make when no one is looking?
  • Through this experience, I learned an important lesson: When in doubt, make your product more compelling. All of Fog Creek's affiliate marketing ideas, coupons, discounts, direct-mail pieces, catalog ads, and everything else we spent time on — none of this was as good a use of our time as simply doing what we loved best anyway: creating useful software.
  • I'd written earlier about under-construction properties being a royal pain to purchase. The Indian express article highlights nearly all the problems one could face:
    * Making a deal without even owning the land on which the apartment will be built.
    * Untenable delays. In one case of a scrapped project 125 buyers were hoodwinked into buying even before the land was acquired.
    * Delayed refunds and loss of interest
    * Over promise, under deliver – Omaxe promised 10 lakh "affordable" homes and has yet to deliver on one. In other projects, they "handed over" control to residents without completing basic amenities.
    * No "completion certificate" for a project, which is critical for getting other approvals like water/sewage connections.
  • ICICI's retirement plan – and to be fair, every single insurer's retirement plan – is a waste of time. Simply buy long term FDs, long term government bonds or growth gilt funds; the return is far superior. If you want tax savings, get into a term plan and buy an ELSS mutual fund; anyway they will not last much longer (the tax saving nature of them).
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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Links

 

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