Archive for August, 2009

Fail Like You Mean It !

Monday, August 31st, 2009

All great effort involves striving — and sometimes falling short.

A few luminaries share their thoughts on this topic:

  • Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway PT and many other innovations) discusses how creative people fail frequently, rarely work linearly and never give up:
  • A Honda Motors video shares some of their insights regarding success (and failure) re: their racing cars:
  • A video profiles famous failures:
  • A book author reminds us that even successful celebrities had to endure some rain before they saw their rainbows:
  • Thomas Alva Edison famously said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” and “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
    – Edison is considered the most famous American inventor, and has, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents.  In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory.
  • “You can’t let your failures define you. You must let your failures teach you. … The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, tried harder, who loved their country … too much to do anything less than their best. … So, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems will you solve? What will others say about you years from now?”
    – Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s address to America’s students
  • “You’ve lost your job but you have not lost your skills, talents, or expertise. Skills, talents, and expertise are transferable. … Knowledge is portable. … What you do does not define who you are. You have to separate your net worth from your self-worth. Your net worth is going to fluctuate… but your self-worth should only appreciate.”
    – Chris Gardner, former homeless person, now a millionaire, profiled in the book/movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and this Black Enterprise article.
  • “One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win.”
    – President Barack Obama, comments after losing bid to host the summer Olympics for 2016 in Chicago.  Not since 1976 had a US candidate been eliminated so early in the voting process.  — October 2009
  • “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again (because there is no effort without error or shortcoming), but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
    Excerpt from the “Citizenship in a Republic” speech which Theodore Roosevelt gave at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910.
  • “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

US Energy Secretary Chu speaks re: Clean Energy at Harvard’s JFK School of Government

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a forum at Harvard’s JFK School of Government in Cambridge to hear The Honorable Dr. Steven Chu, United States Secretary of Energy, speak on the topic of “Laying the Foundation for the Next Generation of Clean Energy Jobs.”

The event was moderated by Harvard’s Dean David Ellwood.   A special introduction was provided by Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA), co-author of the American Clean Energy & Security act  (sometimes referred to as ACES, or the “Waxman-Markey bill”).  This bill passed in the House on June 26, 2009. The bill now goes on to be voted on in the Senate.

Markey also was the (co-)author in the past (1982, 1993, 1996) of several key telecom bills.    Markey indicated that the recent set of energy bills — the 2007 Energy Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka  ARRA aka The Stimulus Bill) and now Waxman-Markey — will be just as pivotal in the energy sector (in regards to unleashing innovation to solve societal challenges) as the telecom bills were in unleashing innovation to create unheralded advances and investment ($850 billion) in the telecom space.  However, Markey pointed out that the telecom sector is four times the size of the telecom space.  As a result, he expects that $1 trillion to $2 trillion of investment will be unleashed.

Chu (who is also a Nobel Prize recipient in physics) gave a very engaging presentation.  He chronicled the changes which our environment has shown in recent decades/centuries.  He also described the perils of reaching a (non-linear) tipping point in regards to greenhouse gasses:    Although much of the excess greenhouse gasses have been man-generated, we need to be aware that there is a tremendous quantity of frozen organic material in our ice caps and tundras.  Just a few degrees increase around the tipping point could cause that organic material to thaw out.  Once it does, the amount of carbon dioxide and methane generated by that (previously inert) organic material would be so substantial that even a massive reduction of the human-generated greenhouse gasses would not be sufficient to halt the overall escalation of greenhouse gasses.

Chu also made reference to the McKinsey report which stated that the ACES goals are easily achievable, even if we only focus on investments which have a positive financial ROI.   He also referenced “easy” adjustments, such as using white-colored roofing and road materials (rather than dark-colored materials) to decrease absorbed solar-thermal energy.  In addition, various computer tools are available today which help architects understand construction and maintenance design considerations in regards to making their designs more “green.”

Chu championed the creation of Energy Innovation Labs (aka Energy Frontier Research Centers) to help us become the leaders in a new economic revolution.  This will lead us to an era of economic prosperity in addition to helping to save the planet.

He closed with a quote from Martin Luther King regarding the “fierce urgency of now,”  encouraging us to act now (even with imperfect solutions) so that we do not fall into the trap of waiting (too long) to arrive at perfect solutions.

[View video of event.]

[Additional coverage of the event was provided in articles from WBUR and Reuters.]

Additional contact info:
Webwww.TKGweb.comTwitter: @tonyparham

The Secrets of Social Media

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

I find certain links very informative in regards to use of social media and other web tools.  Below are a few of the links which I have found most informative.

[Caveat: I have not tested all items; No warranties expressed or implied. 🙂 ] Feel free to add your blog comments (at the bottom of this post) with additional thoughts, recommendations and constructive opinions.

Additional contact info:
Webwww.TKGweb.comTwitter: @tonyparham

General Info From @Mashable

General Info & Guides

Social Media Market Data

Business, Customer Service, Marketing

Business Models


  • Social media job search tips: here

Managing your personal brand(s)

Privacy / Etiquette

A few URL Shorteners


Various tools

Additional contact info:
Webwww.TKGweb.comTwitter: @tonyparham