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  • NegBox 10:10 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Assessment Fail 

    This awakening realization has been 17 years in the making – yet it seems so obvious.

    Think back to your last interview, date, or business introduction. Were there any emergencies? Any crisis? Any threats to the well-being of you or anyone around you? Any opportunity for the other person to behave totally freely?

    Bet the answer is “None of the Above.”

    True colors come out when every path is a valid path and no judgements are expected. When the game is played for keeps. When you can see the end of the tit-for-tat game.

    17 years ago I started playing the first real MMORPG out there – Ultima Online. Back then it made perfect sense that as a requirement to join some guilds/player cooperatives you were taken on a couple of “trial hunts” out in the wilderness or dungeons of the game. If you’re going to trust someone with your alter-ego-life, then you might want to put them in situations where you depend on them slowly. If the person turns out the be incompatible, your losses are smaller. It just makes sense.

    Invariably during one of these “trial hunts” everything would turn ugly; this was never on purpose, just the nature of things. The monsters would overwhelm the group, or a rival group would show up and start a war. That’s when you got to see the real people you were dealing with. Did they run and hide? Did they steal from fallen comrades? Were they ninja-looting? Did they not follow instructions and cause chaos? Did they assist? How did they assist? Did they organize a rescue? How did they handle loss? How did they handle their defeat and others defeats? What were they most worried about? How did they recover? Did they enjoy the game or the final outcome? How did they measure their own actions? What did they think of others?

    All these questions were easily answered after everything had gone to shit and back. Most potential “responses” to these situations were valid and acceptable – and a few were not. The keys were freedom of action and the knowledge that the game was for keeps – If they lost stuff, they lost stuff, if they were attacked they could die, if they stole something they would get to keep it. All actions were valid, but some were better choices.

    You could spend six hours talking to a person in the game, or 20 minutes in a crisis situation – and the crisis would give you a more accurate readout every single time.

    I don’t think we do enough of this in our daily lives. Of course we don’t live in a fantasy land, or in constant danger. Still we don’t really put anyone under any sort of stress to see how they perform. And while the military does this as routine, the goals are very different – I am not solidifying and testing conditioned responses against a set that I expect. I expect nothing – I want to see the true self of a person. I want to let them tell me who they really are.

    I wish I could come up with a way to test people in the way that true emergencies test you.

    I can imagine a handful of ways to test people off the top of my head. Imagine being at a job interview and then then being told some xyz emergency and they needed you. Or going on a date and leave your wallet on the table when you go to the restroom. I wonder how many more methods we could come up with.

    For now you might as well flip a coin.

     

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  • NegBox 5:01 am on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Corporate Jargon Mashup 

    Just got this in an email from a company I did business with explaining some changes in their company:

    “The inter-company merger was motivated by a desire to provide a deeper level of services to our clients by leveraging operational efficiencies across our organization.”

    How many times did I have to read and write this drivel? I thank my lucky stars every night I don’t anymore. For those not versed in Corporatese, that sentence means they merged two departments from different companies into one and saved some money by reducing the amount of people they needed, and they are going to let people in the larger company deal with the boring stuff like accounting and HR.

    On one hand you can’t run a company without ‘straight talk’ – talking directly and openly about things. On the other hand you have to treat the general public like idiots and spew out this shit to make it seem like you’ve successfully executed the Picard Maneuver and destroyed the Borg while having tea that morning.

    Real, and sad.

     

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  • NegBox 4:06 am on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Retirement 

    I get asked this question frequently – “When are you going to retire?”

    Why do people ask me this? I don’t get it. I do online marketing because its fun. I love it. Why would I ever stop?

    I stopped doing what I was doing at IBM because it sucked the soul out of me. If you had asked me when I was going to retire back then, I would have answered “I can’t afford to retire, as much as I would want to quit right now.” Yet back then nobody asked me when I was planning to retire – Why didn’t anyone ask me?

    Now that things are different and I really like what I’m doing…  Why the question? Pretty ironic.

     
    • Wordpress Palace 3:58 pm on October 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i used to read your blog all the time, you should post more often!

      your on the first page of affbuzz today, and i always was a fan of the naked pic at the bottom, come out of retirement and post more!

      • NegBox 4:40 am on November 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Too funny. It comes and goes in waves. I really like posting short blurbs – about 100 words or so is what naturally comes out. I can’t fit jack shit in a Tweet, and its really hard to justify a much longer post when so many things press on my time – including relaxing. I guess I could do like many and ghostwrite articles – I won’t. This blog is really for me – It’d be like hiring someone to eat my pizza. You’ll see a bit more of me here, the wave is coming.


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  • NegBox 3:07 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Meaning of NegBox 

    Some eight years ago I figured people would want to use torrents for file transfers by accessing remote servers overseas. I didn’t see this need being filled and I could see it in high demand, so I partnered with a friend who lives overseas and we had a few of these available. I registered the domain NegBox.com as that is the name I came up with for this concept. I never sold a single one. Today, eight years later, search for “seedbox” and you’ll find a whole industry.

    I failed there in two big ways:

    1 – The marketing. I only tried to market this on Craigslist. I did not stop to think about who my audience was either: Teenage/Young males – not the most affluent bunch.

    2 – We were too early to the market. The “seedbox” idea (I was calling it a “NegBox”) isn’t the first venture where I anticipated the market need accurately, but a few years too early.

    The lessons I took home here were straightforward: Evolve things instead of trying to revolutionize them, and focus on the sales and marketing above all.

     

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  • NegBox 7:56 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Visual WebSite Optimizer 

    Just got Visual Website Optimizer’s “Customer Survey”.

    The last question was the best one:

    Q: “If you had to describe VWO to a friend, how you would do that?

    A: “Dear friend, Visual Website Optimizer is the platform that wants me to test every single combination of factors instead of providing fractional factorial testing. While they could use simple genetic algorithms to help me evolve pages, they use inefficient math that takes boatloads of clicks to come to any conclusion at all; unfortunately they don’t have a lot of competition so you’re stuck with them.”

     

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  • NegBox 9:42 pm on January 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Pact With the Devil: How to Tell When You are Making One 

    The one common aspect of pacts with the devil is that you get what you want up-front.
    Not only you get what you want now, it is almost effortless and you don’t have to worry about the price to pay until much, much later.

    In pacts with mere mortals you have to work your ass off for the rewards – the work itself being the payment.

    This is all about delaying gratification.

    Needless to say, trying to cheat reality has pretty bad consequences every single time.

    Can you pass on temptations?

     

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  • NegBox 5:37 am on November 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Play Your Endgame NOW 

    What do YOU have to lose?

    I never wanted to get a tattoo because it felt too “permanent” – what if I change my mind next week? Then as time wore on I realized the amount of regret possible was shrinking. If I make it to 80, I’ll probably be covered in them. Nothing to lose. I’m not sure there is anything to gain either.

    I often wonder why senior citizens are not wildly out of control. What is there to lose? Can’t they see the end of the road? The closer the end is, the less there is to lose.

    The US is the only country that calls “Social Security” the right term “Social Security” – other countries call it by terms related to retirement or social assistance. The US term is the right one – Social Security keeps those in dire need from breaking bad and even assembling into a revolution; Social security keeps me from getting mugged when I go out. If you didn’t pay social security, hungry people will come out to mug you for food – hunger is a powerful force. Hunger taps directly into the most basic instinct of all: Survival. There are 3,095,693,981 base pairs inside every human that scream they want to survive.

    When I was 17, everything was possible. Literally, everything. I had to choose. Every year I left behind doors I didn’t open. Doors I didn’t chose. Lives I didn’t live. Deaths I didn’t die. Girls I didn’t date. Things I didn’t do. Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated by the movie Mr. Nobody – It has been over two years since I saw that movie and I still remember it daily. You mind tricks you into believing some of those choices are still available to you. You THINK the possibility is there. Your mind makes up stories of how you can somehow magically cheat the universe and get away with it all “if you really wanted” – You could quit smoking “if you really wanted” and meanwhile you won’t get cancer so you can wait, you could finish college “if you really wanted” and meanwhile your job doesn’t suck so bad.

    I asked around why don’t poor seniors or people with terminal illnesses buy AK-47s and storm our banks and cause all sort of mayhem. Found a couple of explanations – Mostly about being unable to recover from a failed gamble. Somehow this isn’t convincing. Personally I have gotten more aggressive with time. One day I will understand… Or get an AK-47.

     

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  • NegBox 7:02 pm on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    $100 Contest – ID This Song 

    Just leave me a comment with the title and author of this song and after verifying the ID is correct I will PayPal you $100 to your address – Its that simple, and yes I’m that desperate. I love this song! The MP3 Tags say its “Coney Island” by Ben Klock – yet it isn’t – its mis-tagged. Solve the mystery, get $100.

    Here’s the song:

    Coney Island

    I’ve tried Shazam and two more ID services and so far nothing. This isn’t some indie band playing live – this sounds well produced in a studio.

    The song reminds me of Mad Men… Even the years mentioned in the song are close the the timeline of Mad Men.

     

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  • NegBox 12:43 am on July 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    3 Sites to Create Banners Online 

    I’ve used these with varying degrees of success… Anyone know of others?

    http://www.bannersnack.com/

    http://bannernow.com/

    http://banner.fotor.com/

     

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