Ben Perreira

My head's dropbox.

Month: October, 2012

I See You

I read this great book by Mark McCormack, founder of IMG and the man who became the first sports agent when he started representing Arnold Palmer in 1960. He wrote the book in the eighties, before email (and forwarding) really existed, but most of the book contains some phenomenal insights that are applicable in contemporary settings.

One insight that stands out: assume anything you write will be seen by everyone.

This eliminates the need for a BCC field and makes you accountable for anything you type to someone you now trust, but later may regret trusting. It also means that anything on your social networks or blogs can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. It means talking shit or trying to rip people off will not work. It forces you to be better at your job, communicate better and not cheat.

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The Mnemonist

Some of the most successful people have short memories. Events happen and they forget them entirely.

A far cry from this is a mnemonist – someone whose memory is so incredible they can remember all the numbers of pi, for instance.

I forget things very easily in the short term. If you give me a list of five things to do, I’ll forget four of them immediately. I never remember anyone’s name upon first introduction. I’ve always wondered how I can remedy this.

My long term memory is much better. I remember obscure details of where I met somebody, exactly what someone said, what people wore, how they reacted to something. Only through practice have I learned to forget these things, or detach the (good or bad) meaning that caused it to be so memorable.

As the mnemonist must know from his experience of retaining incredible amounts of memories, I know that some things are better forgotten.

Good Directions

No, not the Billy Currington song.

There’s a logic to giving directions. You have to make them clear and follow a methodology.

If you start with your street number, you just babbled a bunch of numbers.

If you only give your street address, you assume I live in your neighborhood.

If you only give me your zip code, it’s going to be like that time I wandered around Paris for two hours in the rain looking for some girl in some arrondissement.

Assume I have Apple maps (zing!) and may not get there. Build context so I can plan where I’m supposed to be and how long it’s going to take me to get there.

I’ll return the favor by making your effort worth it.

Proxies of Value

I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again – the hardest thing to do is accurately value something. The hardest things to value is ourselves. Instead we use proxies.

Take my friend who works does market research for a multinational. The company used to fly her around the country every week until they decided she should be stationed in Amsterdam. I’m not sure if her salary went up (assume it didn’t), but the company also now had to pay for her apartment to the tune of 3000 euro (~$3600) per month. Based on her career level, $3600 per month could easily equal half her salary. Suddenly her company is plausible paying $120k per year for her services plus benefits.

Another friend met a girl about four years ago in Santa Monica. It turned out that the girl lived in Pasadena – a lovely area but a solid 45 minute drive from Santa Monica in no traffic. He didn’t have a car at the time so he had her come meet him near his house. When she got there, she came off as uninterested in him. There was one huge problem – she had just driven over two hours in traffic to meet him. The map didn’t match the territory.

Just like my friend with the great job was able to glean her value through the company’s high rent payment, my friend who met the girl from Pasadena was able to gauge her interest by her insane commute.

Convert actions > Overt actions > Words