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Doe 10b Form 2011-2023
__________________________ School or Sub-Division Code: _ _ _ Last 4 digits of SSN: __________________ M.I. State: ______ Zip: ___________ School/Office: ___________________________ Bargaining Unit Code: _ _ FTE: _____________% Beginning date of employment with Department of Education: _______________________ MM/DD/YYYY II. CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL TO RECEIVE LEAVE SHARE DONATIONS (Completed by employee or representative) I certify and have so indicated...Show details
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How do essay writing services work?Although every essay writing service provider has a unique way of doing things, I can summarize their operations in four simple steps.You register with the company by filling a form that needs your personal information.Place your order detailing all the requirements of the paper.Sit back and let the writers do the work.Receive the paper and review it, then pay.However, most will let you request a revision if you are not satisfied even though some will charge you.Though that sounds quite easy, I would also suggest working with a writer or consultant directly to help you interact one on one.The advantage of working with clients directly is that;You can follow the progress by interacting with the writer at intervals.You can bargain the cost of the work unlike with companies where the prices are fixed.Also, you get instant feedback and clarifications whenever there are issues.You build trust with a single writer, which creates consistent quality and writing style.Although you may recommend the same writer with the writing companies, you might not get them every time you need their service.Having been in this industry for the last five years, I understand the nitty gritty of the essay writing services. If you need high quality, unique, and timely essays, get to me through the following email@example.comThank you
How does WBJEE counselling work?WBJEE counselling procedure is very much similar to the counselling procedure adopted in JEE MAINS. After obtaining a rank in the exam interested candidates will be required to generate username and password and will have to pay the registration fee. This registration fee will be non-refundable,which is around 500. After registration candidates will be required to fill their choices online through the website. After declaration of round 1 result a candidate will be left with 3 choices. 1- accept the seat and take admission in the allocated seat.2- consider the candidate for up-gradation to higher filled choices.3- surrender the seat and pull out yourself from the counselling procedure.candidates will have to report to the reporting center within the specified period of time and will have to submit their choices failing to do so in round 1 will automatically remove you from further consideration and you will loose your seat. For choices 1 & 2, candidates will have to pay seat acceptance fee which will be returned in further rounds if you opt for choice 3( but will have to report to the reporting center,otherwise the candidate will not be able to claim it).This procedure will be repeated for three rounds and extra rounds can be introduced if the counselling team feels the necessity of it.In last round you will be forced to either accept the allocated seat or surrender your seat.
Does anyone want to write their heart out here?My wife was a prostitute.It all began 8 years ago when I was dumped by my girlfriend.I had just graduated and came to know that my Girlfriend was to marry a rich NRI. He was wealthy as hell. Owned couple of restaurants and petrol pumps in Delhi. Moreover he even owned 5–6 cars, all SUV. It broke my heart to see my girlfriend taking the Pheras with her new hubby. I did attend her wedding, but left soon.2 months down the line I shifted to Mumbai. Got a job, rented an apartment with another guy and tried to move on in my life. I would drink and smoke excessively. I picked up the habit of sitting in this Ladies Bars. I was lost in a world between reality and chaos. I did not know what I was going to do in my life. I was brought up by a single mother who had died during my college days. My grandfather and grandmother took care of my further education then. I was lonely and I was lost. I was a heavy drinker and smoker and I couldn't focus on work due to my ex girlfriend. I visited brothels, and slept with prostitutes. I was in a verge of destroying myself.One morning when I woke, I saw the prostitute cleaning my house and wash the utensils. It was unnatural. I was shocked. I asked her what was she doing to which she replied that she thought my room needed cleanliness as it was too dirty. She had already done the utensils and was cooking for me. I did not know what to say or express. She left soon after and I was numb.Like usually I went to work, while returning I bought some booze and snacks. But what stuck me is the prostitute who was cleaning my house.Anyways, I called my pimp and asked him to send the same girl. He agreed and within the next hour she was at my doorstep. She was smiling. I did not want to have sex that day. I just wanted her company. Maybe because I was feeling to lonely. I called her in and we watched a movie. We spoke about each other. She was hiding something from me. Never told me but I could sense it. We slept together the whole night and we didn't do it. Maybe I was getting attracted towards her.The next morning the same thing happened. She was cleaning and cooking. She gave the curtains and mat to the laundry man. My room started looking more livable. She got rid of all the empty alcohol bottles too. She left and I felt something missing. I had noted down her number. I thought of calling her up but didn't have the courage.One Sunday morning I finally took the courage to call her. I asked her if she was free that day as I was thinking of going for a movie. She agreed and we met at Bandran that whole day we enjoyed. I never looked at her as a prostitute then. But more as a friend. I was sceptical whether what I was doing was right or wrong. I never had the courage to ask her why was she chose prostitution as a profession.We started meeting every Sundays. It would be fun. As if my life was being coloured again. We were something. We couldn't stay without meeting each other. Our small talks turned into late night conversations. I had stopped drinking and smoking, almost cut down by 70%.On an instance, I remember we were sitting at Marine drive. Her head was on my shoulder. We were talking when she suddenly started weeping.“Rohit” - she continued“Rohit, I don't want to live that life again. I could see tears dropping from her eyes. Rohit I'm not that person. I want to live a simple life and do something. I want someone who loves me from the deepest of his heart.The last line struck me. Because it was the same thing my ex girlfriend had told me many yet ago.i didn't know what to say. I hugged her and spent rest of the evening near the shore.I didn't call her the next day. I didn't reply to her texts. I didn't pick her calls. She must have called a thousand times. I was afraid, afraid to be dumped again. I had heard the same words from the person who I loved the most but dumped me for a richer guy. I didn't know what to tell her. I was afraid.Post one week she came to my house. She was angry. She thought I was doing this because she was prostitute. That wasn't the truth. I was afraid.But I anyhow appeased her. I hugged her. I was in love with her. We cried on each other's shoulders.After 6 months or so I went to her native place in West Bengal wherewe tied the knot. I shifted to Pune and today we are living a very happy life.For me or any man, remember it shouldn't matter if the woman is a virgin or not, everyone has gone through something that has made them what they're today. What matters is 2 hearts and a clean soul.Thanks you for reading.
What is the most selfish act you have ever witnessed?When I was twelve, my dad died. I have five siblings and we ranged at the time from seven years old to eighteen. The eldest was leaving for college that week, but came back and spent the year at home at my mom's request.Before Dad had been dead a whole month, my mom started sort-of dating a sort-of homeless guy (he had been homeless and then was living in an RV on someone's property as their caretaker) my family had helped before (we volunteered for years prior to this at the local homeless shelter).A month. Our father had died of unexpected of complications from heart attacks just a month prior. We four youngest didn't know what was going on at first and she didn't let our older two siblings know. All we knew was that almost every night mom would have us get in the van, and she'd be in her pajamas and robe, and we'd drive down to his place and she'd send us to go play in the yard while she "said goodnight" and "ministered" to him.Eventually she'd come out with a shit-eating smirk, load us up in the van and drive back home.Less than two months after that she moved him into the house and started claiming they were married to everyone. (They weren't.)Why this was so incredibly selfish was because we weren't allowed to grieve anymore after that. We all had to be happy because mom had a new boyfriend-then-husband, and we all felt like we couldn't even talk about Dad anymore. Mom still talked about him but only to force our good behavior, ie: "You are all such terrible children! Your father wanted you to be raised this way and I've sacrificed so much for you...!" He wasn't even a good stepdad. He could have been worse, sure, but he'd fight with mom then storm out of the house and she'd blame it on us.Less than six months after my dad died he and my mom went on a drive and left me to change a curtain rod. I was still twelve and very small for my age, and I couldn't signNow the curtain rod. I tried, hard, but I kept falling off the back of the couch. They got back and saw that I hadn't done it, so the step-dad kept saying to me "Hah, I knew you were useless." while laughing and repeating it over and over like it was hilarious. I lost my temper and said "You're just a fat old man!" (he was 13 years older than my mom so he seemed quite elderly to me.) He, in front of my mother who had been laughing at his denigration of my handyman attempts, grabbed me, shook me hard, and screamed in my face "You stupid little b***ch!" and stormed out of the house.Mom then spanked me for trying to ruin her marriage.I just wanted my dad back, but I couldn't even say that because what if it made the step-dad feel bad?
What has your experiences with pitbulls (dog) been like?Hard. Worth it, but hard.This was my experience with my pitbull. Our boy was found by a friend on a morning stroll. Tiny and scarily thin, she walked the neighborhood she found him in to try to find an owner—at least a mother dog. No one recognized the flea-infested pup and no one wanted him. She brought him to me. We discussed his fate as we watched him strut around my living room.“That puppy has worms,” I observed. My friend turned to me, incredulous.“How do you know?”“’Cause they’re coming out of his butt,” I replied, indicating.The decision was made that he would stay with me, I’d nurse him back to health and find a more suitable home. After all, I was 19 and living at home—I knew my parents wouldn’t want another pet (1 other dog, 3 cats, and a few small pets as well).I took him to our vet, got him de-wormed/vaccinated and weighed (4.8 lbs.) and found out his age (about 5 weeks).“He should really be with the mother at this age,” the vet informed me. “Not just for nutrition, she needs to teach him how to be a pup.”I looked down at the dirty puppy, bundled in towels, on my lap. He was working on shredding his bedding—he certainly was active.That night I took him outside every hour, on the hour, to relieve himself. After 24 hours, I was finally able to see more waste than worms in his droppings. His little bloated stomach began to slacken, it just made his bony frame more startling.His aggression began with my other dog, a senior lab/beagle mix. It started as play-based aggression and quickly became dominating. This required correction. His energy level was through the roof, and he was growing rapidly. We later found out he is a predominantly pit/Great Dane mix—those long legs!He began displaying dominance-based aggression toward my mother. As she’d try to water her plants, he’d nip at the heel of her pants and try to pull her shirt. “Puppy stuff” some people would say. Maybe, I thought, but he’s getting so big.At about 5 months, he started picking fights with fenced dogs while on walks. I enrolled him in training. He completed every level of training they had to offer. He was great at obedience. Horrible at socialization. At 1, he received major surgery for a knee injury that he sustained during a play session in the back yard. It was a 10-month recovery process. For him, it was painful and probably traumatic. But it guaranteed him a life free of future pain. I just wanted him to be able to run. He needed to run.At 2, fully recovered, I resumed his training. I always had treats in one pocket and his deterrent in the other (emits high-pitched whistle; just jolts him to attention). I exercised him, daily, vigorously. I was consistent with my discipline.By 4 he was secure enough to stop trying to dominate everyone. But walks were still an issue and he was possessive. Feeding time was a matter of dropping the food bowl and running out of the way. I began standing across the aisle from him while he’d eat and methodically desensitized him. One of my favorite things to do now is to lay my hand on his head as he eats, feeling his cranial muscles working as he chews.At 5, we made a breakthrough. He was in peak physical shape and mentally, he was at peace.We named him Stinky; in memory of his humble beginnings we say, but it was just a name that stuck “Stinky Puppy”, he never answered to the more refined names we tried. Raising him was hard work, but dealing with the people we encountered was worse. Whenever I’d express my frustration with his aggression people would nod “…yes…vicious…pitbulls”. I never believed Stinky was aggressive because he’s a pitbull, I’ve met many well-adjust pitties throughout the years. He was a special case and every time he behaved in a way that affirmed certain groups’ stereotypical beliefs about his breed, I’d cringe and vow to work harder. (No one ever said he was aggressive because he’s a Great Dane.)At 5 weeks old, Stinky was emaciated and infested with round and tape worms. The vet informed me that a puppy that young with that bad of an infestation likely contracted the parasites while still in the womb. His mother was either severely neglected, or on the streets. She obviously struggled to care for him, and lost him. I read article after article discouraging people from adopting a puppy so young stating proper socialization needed to be taught by the mother and litter-mates.One time, early on, after a frustrating wrestling match in the back yard with Stinky, my mom came into the house and announced “That’s it, I can’t do this anymore, we have to find him another home.”“No one is going to want him, Mom,” I pleaded “he’s too much to handle and a shelter won’t even give him a chance. He’ll be euthanized.”She reluctantly agreed to give me more time to work with him.He’s an 11-year old senior dog now, who splits his time between helping my dad in the yard (he’s great at chewing sticks) and napping on his Serta doggie bed. I moved out eventually, he stayed with my parents (their request). I knew he was better off in a home with a yard than a small apartment, so I agreed.I visit regularly and make sure to post a pic online for family and friends, he’s so popular. The last few years, I’ve received a lot of compliments on his good behavior, how prompt his responses are and how quickly he learns new things. But I can’t help but smile inwardly every time any one calls him “gentle”, and he is. We’re very proud of his progress, he and I. We just needed a little more time.5 weeks. Playing in the grass on Thanksgiving, a couple days after being found.5 years. Panting, after a romp in the sprinklers. There’s that pittie smile!11 years. Surrounded by the remnants of the tree branch he just shredded. Such a good boy.
What are telltale signs that you're working at a "sinking ship" company?Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina Principle states, "Happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." He saw that unhappy families were each doomed by unique problems of their own making, while happy families were those who steered clear of such problems.The corporate world suffers from the reverse of the Anna Karenina Principle. Successful companies each seem to invent their own unique paths to success. But failing companies follow predictable death spirals that have been followed by many other companies preceding them.Often these "sinking ship" companies can seem to be doing just fine, especially to employees who don't have the experience to recognize the obvious signs. This is handy guide of what to look out for.If you work at a big company, look for:New opportunities are evaluated and shot down based on their impact to the old legacy businesses. (See The Innovator's Dilemma).Managers are paid for making quarterly and annual targets, so they avoid investments that pay off in the future since they detract from their bonus numbers. As the business declines, they simply negotiate lower bonus targets each year.You benchmark your performance against your direct, legacy competitors instead of the new disruptive entrants in your market. You think you are doing well vs. your competitors without being aware that you are competing in the equivalents of the Seniors Tour.Mediocre employees are not fired since their managers know they can't recruit better ones anyway.When asked "why do you like working here?" your employees talk about the dental plan.Your managers roll their eyes when you point out that how new technologies like Apple Watches, Twitter, and Amazon Web Services will impact your business. They call them "toys" and say, "our customers will never trust their businesses to those!"Your co-workers use Blackberries from 2009. They say, "I already know how to use it, and I don't need that distracting new stuff."You spend the first week of the quarter talking about long-term strategic planning. You then forget about it and spend the next twelve weeks scrambling to make the quarter.Instead of firing bad leaders, you create cross-functional committees to solve the problems those bad leaders created. When those problems persist, you disband the committees and bring in consultants to solve the problems the bad leaders (then the committees) created.All conversations about new grown end with reluctant middle management saying, "only if you give me more budget!" The budget never comes, and you all go back to what you were doing.You integrate acquired companies so quickly that you destroy their businesses and their best people leave.Or, instead of integrating the acquired companies, you keep them as independent business units and get no synergies. You integrate them in a hurry a year later during a cost-cutting exercise. The best people leave.Your CFO spends 5% of her time talking about innovation and revenue growth and 95% talking about cutting costs. She says, "that's my role here."The HR department thinks their job is administration, compliance, and keeping employees from suing, not ensuring the company wins in the market by having the best team.To pay $9.99 for an Evernote subscription, you need to wait a year for the "Information Technology Steering Committee" to approve Evernote as a vendor.You have a Chief Strategy Officer. People say, "I don't know what he does all day." He disappears and is not replaced.You don't target the best companies and try to hire their best people. Instead, you put three-page job descriptions on your website and wait for candidates to find them, fill out a form, and apply.People argue over offices. They all use the same excuse: "I'm on the phone a lot."You launch "innovation projects." When it looks like you'll miss earnings by a penny a share a few quarters later, those projects are cut. After those risky but innovative projects are cancelled, the people working on them are laid off, getting richly punished for their risk taking. No one ever signs up for an "innovation project" again."Succession planning" has become a euphemism for, "when the boss quits, just promote someone on her team so we don't need to pay for a search."You have five CEOs in five years. The board then announces the company is getting broken up and sold. They act like that was the plan all along, then lay off you and half of your co-workers.You ask your laid-off co-workers why they joined the company in the first place. Their answer: "job security."If you work at a startup:You never hear how much cash you have in the bank or hear what was discussed in the board meeting. When you ask questions, your executives say, "I need you to stay focused on your work."When you get your stock option offer, no one will tell you how many shares are outstanding or that the last round of funding came with a 5x liquidation preference.People never talk, coordinate, or even leave their desk because they "hate meeetings." (They actually hate each other).You "rehearse" for board meetings and spend a week on board meeting slideshows that are prettier than your customer slides.You have more MBAs on the team than engineers. They all do "business development" since sales is beneath them.You have a Chief Strategy Officer. No one knows what he does. He disappears one day and is not replaced.Your CTO just came out of a PhD program and wants to "commercialize his research."You have a raucous launch party that is attended by no customers, only your friends.When the product doesn't sell, you complain about how the customers "just don't get it" and aren't "visionary."You've fired three VPs of Sales because each one told you, "the customers don't want the product."Your CEO has a "great" customer meeting that he says is sure to lead to a closed deal before the quarter ends this Friday. All he needs to do is meet with procurement, negotiate price, win the deal, agrees on terms, write up up contracts, negotiate them, sign them, and invoice the customer. The deal closes 175 days later.You add features because board members want them. Your CEO calls himself a "visionary" in his bio.The CEO keeps everything secret because, "that is how Apple does it."The CEO approves all of the design decisions because, "that is how Apple does it."The technical co-founder is a bad manager so agrees to hire a VP of Engineering to replace him. He thinks that VP will report to him since he is the "visionary'".Your site is going to be ad-supported, and you have 1500 users.You get free lunch but have no customers.Your free lunch is taken away.Your boss renegotiates your salary and asks you, "how much do you really need to live on?"He offers you more stock options. He still doesn't tell you how many shares are outstanding.You get laid off and become a creditor to the company because they didn't reimburse your last five expense reports.The liquidation yields five Aeron chairs and a Nespresso machine, and Ashton Kutcher's stock is senior to yours.
Does a girlfriend have to fill out a leave request form for a US Army Soldier in Special Operations in Africa?Let me guess, you've been contacted via email by somebody you’ve never met. they've told you a story about being a deployed soldier. At some stage in the dialogue they’ve told you about some kind of emotional drama, sick relative/kid etc. They tell you that because they are in a dangerous part of the world with no facilities they need you to fill in a leave application for them. Some part of this process will inevitably involve you having to pay some money on their behalf. The money will need to be paid via ‘Western Union’. Since you havent had much involvement with the military in the past you dont understand and are tempted to help out this poor soldier. they promise to pay you back once they get back from war.if this sounds familiar you are being scammed. There is no soldier just an online criminal trying to steal your money. If you send any money via Western Union it is gone, straight into the pockets of the scammer. you cant get it back, it is not traceable, this is why scammers love Western Union. They aernt going to pay you back, once they have your money you will only hear from them again if they think they can double down and squeeze more money out of you.Leave applications need to be completed by soldiers themselves. They are normally approved by their unit chain of command. If there is a problem the soldier’s commander will summon them internally to resolve the issue. This is all part of the fun of being a unit commander!! If the leave is not urgent they will wait for a convenient time during a rotation etc to work out the problems, if the leave is urgent (dying parent/spouse/kid etc) they will literally get that soldier out of an operational area ASAP. Operational requirements come first but it would need to be something unthinkable to prevent the Army giving immediate emergency leave to somebody to visit their dying kid in hospital etc.The process used by the scammers is known as ‘Advance fee fraud’ and if you want to read about the funny things people do to scam the scammers have a read over on The largest scambaiting community on the planet!
What are the common mistakes that seed-funded startup founders make?I raised $500,000 at 19. I was on my way to change the world. Three years later everything burned down.This post is not about how to shoot for the stars or run a company. Others are better at that.This is about what not to do.I’ve made every mistake possible. But ironically, I’m constantly meeting teams doing the exact same things that caused my first startup to implode. Everything I’m writing about I’ve experienced first hand through my own startups as well as various businesses I’ve been involved in. It’s been all my fault and this is my story.Some of you will disagree with me. Others will have things to add. I’m happy to discuss in the comments.Here’s my attempt.ZUCKERBERG SYNDROMMy girlfriend didn’t know what I was working on for nine months. I slept with a chair blocking the front door. My phone was tapped. Corporate America and Uncle Sam were listening. Someone was going to kill me to steal the idea.I really believed this. So I did everything possible (literally) to avoid getting feedback out of the fear of having our idea stolen.Ultimately, secrecy and stupidity killed us. Three years and hundreds of thousands later, we released an alpha version to a modest 30 people for the first time. Everyone hated it. Our capital was gone. Our morale: zero.I see this all the time. Startup founders hiding their ideas because of the fear that someone will steal it. Remember: no one cares about you. Your biggest issue is getting discovered. If someone steals your idea, that means you’re doing something right.Because of this syndrome, most startups are wasting their time and money building products no one wants. Why? Lack of testing. The biggest mistake a company can make (product wise) is to avoid talking to and testing with potential and current users. Every day. It’s also one of the main reasons startup’s fail.If you’re not constantly releasing and looking for feedback you’re either a) delusional (me) thinking too many people will sign up/buy your product and you won’t be able to scale b) scared that it’s not good enough (me) or c) someone will steal your idea (as I was).A. SCALING“Your priority, in short, is proving that people will use your product at all. If they won’t, then it won’t matter if you can’t scale. If they will, then you will figure out a way to scale. I’ve never seen a startup die because it couldn’t scale fast enough. I’ve seen hundreds of startups die because people refused to embrace their product.” — Guy Kawasaki [Emphasis mine]I’ve done this and I’ve experienced this in the past three startups I’ve worked in. It’s completely delusional. If five out of five people tell you that they wouldn’t use your product (before you build), quit. If eight out of ten people tell you that they hate this feature and you empirically see that they’re not using it, kill it. Don’t assume. Always be testing.More on feedback below.b. TESTINGSee point A.C. STEALING(!)No one will steal your idea. It takes time, money, skills and immorality to steal. Not everyone is born that lucky.Most importantly, no one cares about your idea.They’ll only start caring when there’s a massive amount of initial traction (50,000+ users). By then, you’ve already established a strong user/customer base and it’s too late for the others.HIRING FOR WEAKNESSOnly hire for a strength that needs to be filled in your company. Never for a weakness.Not once did any of the startups I worked in hire for a strength. I repetitively recommended hiring people purely out of loneliness, fear and scarcity repetitively. Each time it sunk us deeper.But what does that mean?Hiring for a weakness means that you attempt to fill a weakness in the fundamenetals in your company by hiring for a weakness. Example: If you’re building a product and it’s not gaining traction and your company doesn’t have inherent fundamentals, hiring Ryan Holiday to sell your product won’t help. You can’t fight weakness with weakness.However, if you have a rockstar engineering team and you want to add a marketing person to help take the product get to another level, then you’re adding a strength.Hiring for weakness also means:a. You hire a B+ player instead of a A+ player.b. You hire people so that they go through the struggle with you, so that they share your fears and paranoia. Not so they execute on what’s needed.c. Hiring someone to fill a position. Not to compliment the rest of the company.d. Hiring someone and not having any idea of what the hell you want them to do.e. It means hiring someone because you think there’s no one else. Scarcity.f. Hiring a client’s friend. Because you’re scared.It’s ultimately about the fundamentals. If the fundamentals of the product and the team aren’t there, adding someone is just adding a weakness. It won’t help, because it’s not a strength.PAINTER’S DILEMMAApproving emails? One week treks. Our first wireframes? $40K and four months. Did we have a working product after all this? No. We failed.The Painter’s Dilemma is when you’re so deep in the details of your project that you don’t even know what the idea is anymore. You’re blind. When you’re too deep you need help.How to solve it? Stop. Talk to people. Get feedback. Iterate and build. Release. Breathe.Repeat the loop.The more feedback you get the healthier you and your product are.FEEDBACK*I can’t emphasize this enough. If you don’t get feedback (everyday) you will die. I never got feedback. EVER. Well, until the cash ran out. Oops.If you’re not getting qualitiative and quantitive feedback/data everyday, the cancer will start.It’s easy: speak to people, Google Analytics, send surveys. Just don’t hide from it.*This is the crucial and worth a dedicated blog post in the future.COMMUNICATE“Don’t talk to him, he doesn’t understand. He’s out of the picture next funding round anyways.” I hid everything internally. It was easy, we were in 5 different countries! Our developers were remote (I’ll get to that) and Basecamp was our only means of communication. In other startups, I wouldn’t included people from discussions because “it isn’t necessary. That isn’t their job”New features, awful designs, conniving plans were all pushed through a funnel. I was the leader of the deceiving. Architecting a blue print to push my own delusional “never test and succeed” agenda. My style? The longer the email the less likely someone important will read it. What a strategy. As always, the CEO is the biggest idiot.I don’t care if you’re a church, a tech startup or a non-profit. If you don’t have a system of communication in place that keeps everyone aware of what everyone is doing in the company, in real-time, for every milestone, everyday, you will die very soon.Lesson: Live and breath Scrum.SCREW LAWYERSLawyers are criminals.I spent $15,000 on legal documents/fees we never used. Every entrepreneur/startup I’m involved with thinks lawyers are the first step to success. Bullshit.DOCSAll the legal documents you ever need are available online. If you’re B2B, all companies that you’ll work with have their own standard LOEs, NDAs, etc., that they anyways steal from Fortune 500 companies. Request it. Then use it. B2C? Here.BUT I NEED A TRADEMARK!Unless you have 10,000 clients you don’t need to think about copyright or even the name. Prove the concept first. Worry later. If you do have to worry, those are very nice worries to have.PATENT IT!Patenting something that isn’t validated with at least 10,000 clients is moronic. Ironically, this is the only mistake my first startup didn’t follow through with (fully, at least).DECISION MAKINGI was traumatized from taking decisions. Most startups never take decisions. In other statups I work in, decisions took weeks. People join startups for the reason of avoiding bureaucracy but everyone still does it. Why? Lack of trust and overview of the team, so they choke the process (have I suggested Scrum?).The board should decide on the vision and the group should decide what to execute on by creating a backlog for the week. The team should then have the power to execute it. With a great communication process in place, teammates should be able to take decisions without reporting to anyone while keeping everyone updated with everything’s that going on, live. Have a flat structure to achieve this by using Scrum.Let people do their jobs. Trust them. Don’t have a tedious review process as most startups do. Don’t suffocate the system. Empower your people.Read Scrum by Jeff Sutherland on how to manage your team. Then read Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal for how to organize the information flow. Both books compliment each other perfectly.THE BOARDThe ideal board is 3–5 people maximum if you’re a startup. Anything above that means that either no decisions will ever be taken (my first company) or someone has a hidden agenda and profits from a discombobulated board.A business is not a democracy. Unanimous decisions don’t work and will never work.Who’s should I put on the Board?Only investors/shareholders who hold a large stake and are extremely active in the success of your venture.INVESTORSSmart Money vs Still MoneyJust because someone is offering you cash almost always means you shouldn’t accept it.Your investor can have the greatest contacts in the pharmecutical industry. She can be CEO of Merck. If she doesn’t have a massive network in whatever industry you’re in, it’s worthless. The money will be worth nothing. This is true 100% of the time.Always onboard investors that can help you in your niche industry.MEETINGSThis is my top 3 favorites. Most won’t agree with me on this.I’ve never been to a meeting that has made me money/funded my venture. I don’t think anyone has. Has anyone ever handed you a check at a meeting? I doubt it. Today, it usually happens by wire-transfer.Meetings are pointless. Every team I meet, consult for/work with all think that going to meetings is the most crucial part of business. Most importantly, the whole team should be there. Pick up the fucking phone. Travel is time and money expensive. Even if you’re taking a cab.I would fly 10,000 miles for a 3 hour meeting and then fly back to Europe that same day. $30K. Gone.“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be: ‘meetings.’” - Dave BarryMost of the discussion can be ironed out over email and FaceTime.Ok yes, I agree. Meeting in person is important. But not until it’s necessary. Most of the time, it’s unecessary. And even when it is, it shouldn’t always be an excuse to leave work for a business lunch or to Shanghai for the day.Avoid meetings. Get more done.It’s a waste of time 99% of the time.FOUNDING PARTNERS = YOUR SPOUSEYou will be married to your partners and investors for the next 7–10 years. Choose wisely.Know your team. Speak to your investor’s enemies. Get references for everyone.Don’t be a deceiver. Use Scrum.WORKING HOURSWe worked 16 hour days. Yey! Startup life!No. Work 8–10 hours and you’ll get more done than working 18 hours a day. Don’t believe me. It’s proven.Working 18 hour days leads to a burn out, which leads to painter’s dilemma, then delusion, then deceiving others around you, then depression. Then it’s too late.Ultimately, the more you work the more mistakes you’re prone to make. Mistakes made are mistakes that need to be corrected. Mistakes that aren’t correct can take up to 24x longer to correct than if they were corrected immediately.But you can’t see that. You’re burned out. You’re in Painter.PRODUCT / MARKET VALIDATIONAnother reason I refused to test in the three product startups I was involved in was because “the ideas work successfully elsewhere. They will also work here.” Doesn’t work like that.Just because you’re making a mishmash of several products that have product/market validation elsewhere doesn’t mean people are willing to use your product. I have yet to meet a new founder who hasn’t claimed this.In order for someone to switch to your product, your product needs to be at least 8x better.*Is your product really 8x better than your biggest competitor? If the answer isn’t a clear yes, quit.*Read Hooked by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover for how to build habit forming products.RECREATING THE WHEEL“God gave you eyes, so plagarize.” -Michael LewisNo need to re-create the wheel. Everything is out there already for a reason. Use APIs, read books (many books), steal functions, designs, ideas, marketing slogans, branding, on boarding processes, software, colors, clients, everything from other people/companies who are successful.This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t test it in your own environment. You must validate every single function that you put out there. Use the Lean Startup KanBan by Ash Maurya for this.DILUTIONWe gave away 51% for our first funding round. How much did we plan to keep when we “exited?” Think about that. It doesn’t make sense.Startups do this all the time. If you retain 51% after the seed round, how much does the founding team plan to keep by Series B? 20%? If you take the average of what you got paid for equity after the exit + your salary you’ll be paying more in taxes with a minimum wage paycheck for the past 8 years it took you to exit. Might as well work in a shoe store.If you don’t have the bargaining power (a validated product) to raise money with, quit.GUYS IN SUITSOur tech partners wore suits. That made us comfortable. They ended up quoting $100k. We ended up with nothing.If you see tech people in suits, run.OUTSOURCINGI lost well over $100,000 for our first version that was outsourced. We were smart enough to not learn from our mistakes so we found another team to outsource with. Another hefty sum gone. Only myself to blame.I’ve had terrible experiences with outsourcing and great experiences with in-house development.However, many products (we all use everyday) have found great success in outsourcing. I also know many entrepreneurs who outsource and are extremely succesful. While there are massive benefits, there are also downfalls. If you plan to, find a free consulting company that has pre-screened teams.Either way, using Scrum increases your chances of success in-house or out.YOUR TEAMEntrepreneurs read about Steve Jobs’ management style and think he was a tyrant. So they curse at their employees and tell everyone that they are “shit.” They think that’s how a company should be run and that’s how teammates should be treated. Wrong. Treat your team like shit and you’ll get shit.Either way, that’s not how Steve Jobs did it. Steve Jobs empowered his team. He told them that what they’re outputting is shit because he knew that they could do better. Because they are the best in the industry. He made them feel good. He challenged them and today Apple is Apple because of that.On the other hand, I lied. Didn’t speak about the hard things and repressed whatever fear or worry we had. We were scared that someone would quit or that we would look bad if we showed our emotions in front of our investors.You should always be able to tell your teammates all the fears and worries you have. Chances are, if you’re worried about something, everyone is worried about the same thing. Bring it up. Talk about it. I keep mentioning Scrum* because it encourages team members telling each other what’s bothering them and what’s impending the growth progress. This is key to not failing.Not once, in any of the startups I was in, did I or others get credit for great work or for their ideas that ended up being implemented. Not once did anyone congratualte a teammate on a engineering triumph, a beautiful design or a new lead. Startups think “business is business. This isn’t a cute place to pat each other on the backs.”BUT THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A BUSINESS SHOULD BE. You should be holding each other up, helping one another and listening to the problems in the team. Because ultimately, you’re on the same mission.The second the negativity flows in people become scared. They stop raising issues, telling you how they feel and how to improve the business. When that happens you start to slowly die because you’ve fell into dillusion that everything is working. Six months later, you’re on the street.Empower your team. Congratulate people. Love each other. When someone screws up, tell them that. But also tell them how to improve and ask them why they think they screwed up and how to make their job easier.You’re a team. Be one.*Believe it or not, I’m not affiliated with Scrum in anyway. I’m not even a Scrum Master.—When I reflect on all the stupidity I’ve personally done and the startups I’ve been involved in, I realize that the only thing I ever followed up through and executed with absolute perfection, were the things that eventually ended up killing us: not telling a soul what our idea was. Talking to lawyers. Partnering with bad teams. Hiring out of weakness. Going to too many meetings. No decision making system. Not using Scrum. Hiring people out of fear. Hiding from reality.Mistakes are simple to make but hard to correct. They’re usually the first option that pops up. But as entrepreneurs we do thing because they’re hard, not because they’re easy.Hard choices take a long time to get right. It takes guts, intuition, experience and lots of luck. But never settle. Never accept your situation.Life can always be better.…..This was originally posted on the NY Observer and our blog on Penta.Follow me @lukaivicev or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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