Monday, July 14, 2014

Focus


Hilary Hinton "Zig" Ziglar once said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Then why is it some people are very successful in there fields and other are not.
As it turns out, almost all successful people have one thing in common i.e. FOCUS. They utilize there 24 hrs in the best possible way! However, the subject "FOCUS" has a nuance and depth that many people miss. Most people think of there only being one kind of focus.

Here are some excerpts from Greg McKeown's post in linkedin.

Focus as a Noun. When people speak of focus they usually mean having a single goal. It is a static thing, a thing you have. This kind of focus conjures pictures of Roger Bannister relentlessly pursuing his goal of breaking the four-minute mile, John F. Kennedy challenging NASA to put a man on the moon within a decade or, coming back to Bill Gates, a vision of a personal computer on every desk. The upside to this kind of focus is clear and compelling: you pursue a single objective and don’t get distracted along the way; you build momentum as many different people aligned behind achieving this one goal.

However, there is a dark side to focus as a noun. It’s what we might think of as the Kodak Problem. Kodak was relentlessly focused on a single objective—and it almost killed them. They found themselves caught off guard by the disruptive innovation of digital cameras. Kodak was so focused on optimizing for traditional film capture and processing that they did not see or accept the transformation in their industry. This is where the second type of focus comes in.

Focus as a Verb. Focus is not just something you have it is also something you do. This type of focus is not static; it is an intense, dynamic, ongoing, iterative process. This kind of focus conjures pictures of Steve Jobs saying to Jony Ive day after day, “This might be crazy, but what if we…” until once in a while the idea took the air out of the room. It’s the constant exploration needed to see what is really going on and what the “noun focus” should be.

Imagine if the moment you woke up this morning your eyes focused one time and then never adjusted again. You would be out of focus all day. Our eyes produce clarity through a perpetual process of adjustment. Similarly, in our lives and on our teams, it is not enough to say, “We have our focus!” Rather, and adapting Dwight D. Eisenhower statement, “Focus is nothing, focusing is everything.” That may take the point too far, but it still makes the point that having a focus is insufficient.

The downside to thinking of focus as a verb only, is that it can lead to being overly reactive. It can lead people to making and remaking decisions too fast for any real momentum to take place. It can result in counterfeit agility where things feel fast but people aren’t going forward. It can become motion sickness instead of momentum.

The answer is to develop and value both types of focus.

 In order to have focus we need to escape to focus. 
"Whether you can invest two hours a day, two weeks a year, or even just five minutes every morning, it is important to make space to escape in your busy life."

As Bill Gates has written, "No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time. There are only 24 hours in everyone’s day."

Focusing on what is essential is a powerful ability, perhaps the most powerful in a world where we are so bombarded with distracting ideas, information and opinions. However, if we want to consistently give our energies to what is essential we need to develop both kinds of focus. Only in this way can we answer with confidence the question, “What’s important now?”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Giving grammar lessons to 'Celebrities'

Its 21st century, people instead of asking "How are you?".. simply say "Hru?", "Sup?". And after the advent of SMS/WhatsApp/BBM etc. people are more into using diminutive phrases instead of grammatically apt sentences with "cool" usage of "Urban Dictionary" words.

It takes a lot of effort these days for many people to represent themselves in a very decent manner in front of their family, colleagues etc (specially youth!). And somehow their passable language is influenced by the people (in this case 'celebrities') whom they follow and read about.

As a matter of fact, most of the celebrities who are being religiously followed by their fans display an outburst of profanity. But today I stumbled upon a video in which a group of kids are helping there celebrity idols to rectify some of grammatical "blunders" they made on internet.. (Yes! on Twitter!!)

Check this video.



I upvote it and I think its an innovative and engaging way for kids to learn things better and  help their superstar "celebrities" represent in a more effective way on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Kitten Story

There was an old wise cat and a small kitten in an alleyway. The old cat saw the kitten chasing its tail and asked, “Why are you chasing your tail?”

The kitten replied, “I’ve been attending cat philosophy school and I have learned that the most important thing for a cat is happiness, and that happiness is located in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it, and when I catch it, I shall be happy forever.”

Laughing, the wise old cat replied, “My son, I wasn’t lucky enough to go to cat philosophy school, but as I’ve gone through life, I too have realised that the most important thing for a cat is happiness, and indeed that it is located in my tail. The difference I’ve found though is that whenever I chase after it, it keeps running away from me, but when I go about my business and live my life, it just seems to follow after me wherever I go.”

Saturday, June 14, 2014

International Conference on Software Engineering - 2014

The 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE-2014), one of the biggest computer science conferences, took off here on Wednesday. The annual conference, being held in the country for the first time, is expected to bring value to computer science research and aid software companies in Hyderabad and in the rest of the country. The conference concludes on June 7.

More than 1,200 delegates, including about 700 international delegates from about 53 countries, are taking part in the conference.

Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural function, Prof James D Herbsleb of the Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, spoke on socio-technical coordination. He stated that any product architecture will have the coordination problem that the developer organisation must solve. He presented a theory of coordination, based on decision networks, that generalises the modularity strategy.

Speaking at a press conference later, Prof Vasudeva Varma, conference chair and dean (research), IIIT Hyderabad, said Hyderabad was chosen as the venue after five years of persistent efforts. “This is the biggest ICSE conference ever. There is a lot the IT industry, researchers and students can take back. Such a conference had made an incredible impact in IT industry in Hong Kong earlier. The same could happen here,” said Varma.

About 700 research papers will be presented, and formal demonstrations, poster sessions including 20 workshops and 18 tutorials, new faculty and researcher symposium, ACM student research competition are some of the events that will be held as a part of the conference.

Varma said a completely free and day-long workshop is scheduled for the last day of the conference. The topic, “The Business side of Software - Emerging Challenges and Opportunities” will help the research community know the challenges in software industry from industry leaders,” he added.