banter

12/6

Wrapping up the year of 2010

2011 is quickly creeping upon us all! It seems like just a few weeks ago summer ended and now all the Boston/Cambridge residents are putting up their holiday decorations and awaiting the first snowfall.  December rolls around and it always seems to be the time of year when people start thinking, “What have we accomplished this year?”, “What’s in store for next year?”, “Did we meet these deadlines?”, “What resolutions can we make and hope to keep so next year will be the most effective?”.

For this final post of 2010, we thought it would be intersting to reflect back on some of the big movers and shakers for us this year and see what we can possibly expect from 2011.

Well to start it off…Do you pronounce it “twenty ten” or “two thousand AND ten”?

January 12th – A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hits Haiti and ends up as one of the deadliest on record.  This event prompted FutureFridays to launch our non-profit organization ReliefHub.org to give people a place to help fund projects to assist Haiti in their recovery efforts.

February 11th- we lost world-renowned, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

March 23rd- The U.S. House of representatives approve Obama’s Health Care Reform Bill.

April 20th- Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform explodes and is worst oil spill in history. 4.9 million barrels of oil went into the Gulf of Mexico. It took almost 4 months for the oil leak to be stopped.

May 4- Most expensive piece of art sold at auction surpasses world record in New York City with Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust selling for $106.5 million dollars.

June 11- 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in South Africa and is one of the most viewed sporting events of all time. Spain wins!

July 25- Over 90,000 U.S. War in Afghanistan reports are made public via Wikileaks, thus begins the “War on Wikileaks” and their eventually demise.

August 31-The 7 year war in Iraq is ended by President Obama! Now the focus is on the U.S. economy and the other war in Afghanistan.

September 28- The technology and science Breakthrough Awards held by Popular Mechanics are announced. Everything from a Cellphone Microscope to an Electricity -Generating Soccer Ball are included among this years most innovative products and people.

October 1st- The movie “The Social Network” debuts and gives audiences an inside look into the Harvard student who created “the facebook” and the whirlwind you can get into when creating a start-up.

November 2- Midterm Election day for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, Republicans take control of the House.

The year of 2011 is sure to bring about lots of interesting news, trends, and innovative products. There has been talk of mobile phones with “Glass-less” 3D display screens, Google testing auto-pilot cars, hopefully more jobs and a boost in the economy would be nice!

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm by tiffany - Permalink - Leave a comment

In: Uncategorized

11/4

Methods of Madness

The FutureFridays team has been moving at light-speed lately, creating our own company site, developing numerous projects and moving into our new office space. In the midst of all this “newness”, the importance of streamlining and implementing our methods and teamwork has become more apparent, and we thought we’d share some of the latest principles we’ve adopted.

In his enthralling book entitled The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss cites Parkinson’s Law, dictating ”that a task will swell in importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.” Therefore the FutureFridays team has decided to put our best foot forward in implementing this “magic is in the deadline” mentality. If you’re given 24 hours to complete a task, the time allotted forces you to execute; basically, you are driven to create the bare essentials. If given an entire workweek to complete the same project, Parkinson’s Law hypothesizes that the lack of pressure will leave the project lingering until the end of the week, at which point you will likely dread tackling it so much that you’ll have run out of energy, steam, and of course time.

“The end product of the shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus. This presents a very curious phenomenon. There are two synergistic approaches for increasing productivity that are inversions of each other:
1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20).
2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinson’s Law).” 4 Hour Workweek blog

The Pareto principle (aka the 80/20 law of the vital few) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.   Even Microsoft has noted that by fixing the top 20% of the most reported bugs, 80% of the errors and crashes would be eliminated. (Wikipedia)

In this same realm of wonderful business advice, the FutureFridays team recently had the pleasure of attending Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote address while at the MGMA 2010 Annual Conference in New Orleans.  Gladwell is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, and Outliers: The Story of Success. What the Dog Saw is his latest release and is a compilation of stories he wrote for the The New Yorker.  Gladwell stated, “It turns out that giving experts more data doesn’t increase accuracy or improve their decisions… It only increases their confidence about their own decisions and leads to overconfidence.”  An interesting concept for those in the business world, particularly our team as we embark on this journey with our many projects.

Posted on November 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm by tiffany - Permalink - Leave a comment

In: business, resources