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  • NegBox 6:47 am on June 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: culture, excel,   

    International Marketing – Giant Spreadsheet of Cultural Differences 

    Need a leg up on international campaigns? Use this giant interactive Excel to compare cultures, create ads that connect and avoid pissing money away.

    Inspired by Finch’s hilarious “How not to crack an international market” post, I decided to share this juicy spreadsheet. I got it during my MBA, probably from one of the professors – I had never seen it before, and have never seen it posted since. The spreadsheet form comes from Neil Sandford who got permission from the original researcher, Professor Geert Hofstede.

    Geert Hofstede excel data

    What’s in it an how it was made

    (Original simple article in Chinese)

    These ideas were first based on a large research project into national culture differences across subsidiaries of a multinational corporation (IBM) in 64 countries. Subsequent studies by others covered students in 23 countries, elites in 19 countries, commercial airline pilots in 23 countries, up-market consumers in 15 countries, and civil service managers in 14 countries. These studies together identified and validated five independent dimensions of national culture differences:

    Power distance, that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that ‘all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others’.

    Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word ‘collectivism’ in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.

    Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values.

    Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions.

    Long-term versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’. Both the positively and the negatively rated values of this dimension are found in the teachings of Confucius, the most influential Chinese philosopher who lived around 500 B.C.; however, the dimension also applies to countries without a Confucian heritage.

    Scores on the first four dimensions were obtained for 50 countries and 3 regions on the basis of the IBM study, and on the fifth dimension for 23 countries on the basis of student data collected by Bond. Power distance scores are high for Latin, Asian and African countries and smaller for Germanic countries. Individualism prevails in developed and Western countries, while Collectivism prevails in less developed and Eastern countries; Japan takes a middle position on this dimension. Masculinity is high in Japan, in some European countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and moderately high in Anglo countries; it is low in Nordic countries and in the Netherlands and moderately low in some Latin and Asian countries like France, Spain and Thailand. Uncertainty avoidance scores are higher in Latin countries, in Japan, and in German speaking countries, lower in Anglo, Nordic, and Chinese culture countries. A Long Term Orientation is mostly found in East Asian countries, in particular in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

    The grouping of country scores points to some of the roots of cultural differences. These should be sought in the common history of similarly scoring countries. All Latin countries, for example, score relatively high on both power distance and uncertainty avoidance. Latin countries (those today speaking a Romance language i.e. Spanish, Portuguese, French or Italian) have inherited at least part of their civilization from the Roman empire. The Roman empire in its days was characterized by the existence of a central authority in Rome, and a system of law applicable to citizens anywhere. This established in its citizens’ minds the value complex which we still recognize today: centralization fostered large power distance and a stress on laws fostered strong uncertainty avoidance. The Chinese empire also knew centralization, but it lacked a fixed system of laws: it was governed by men rather than by laws. In the present-day countries once under Chinese rule, the mindset fostered by the empire is reflected in large power distance but medium to weak uncertainty avoidance. The Germanic part of Europe, including Great Britain, never succeeded in establishing an enduring common central authority and countries which inherited its civilizations show smaller power distance. Assumptions about historical roots of cultural differences always remain speculative but in the given examples they are quite plausible. In other cases they remain hidden in the course of history.

    The country scores on the five dimensions are statistically correlated with a multitude of other data about the countries. For example, power distance is correlated with the use of violence in domestic politics and with income inequality in a country. Individualism is correlated with national wealth (Per Capita Gross National Product) and with mobility between social classes from one generation to the next. Masculinity is correlated negatively with the share of their Gross National Product that governments of the wealthy countries spend on development assistance to the Third World. Uncertainty avoidance is associated with Roman Catholicism and with the legal obligation in developed countries for citizens to carry identity cards. Long Term Orientation is correlated with national economic growth during the past 25 years, showing that what led to the economic success of the East Asian economies in this period is their populations’ cultural stress on the future-oriented values of thrift and perseverance.

    Enjoy. If you are using Excel 2010 or higher, you’ll have to allow editing to be able to interact with the charts. Here’s the spreadsheet:



    Prof. Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture.

    Geert Hofstede analyzed a large data base of employee values scores collected by IBM between 1967 and 1973 covering more than 70 countries, from which he first used the 40 largest only and afterwards extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions. In the editions of GH’s work since 2001, scores are listed for 74 countries and regions, partly based on replications and extensions of the IBM study on different international populations.


    Subsequent studies validating the earlier results have included commercial airline pilots and students in 23 countries, civil service managers in 14 counties, ‘up-market’ consumers in 15 countries and ‘elites’ in 19 countries.


    From the initial results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary Dimensions to assist in differentiating cultures: Power Distance – PDI, Individualism – IDV, Masculinity – MAS, and Uncertainty Avoidance – UAI.


    Geert Hofstede added a fifth Dimension after conducting an additional international study with a survey instrument developed with Chinese employees and managers.


    That Dimension, based on Confucian dynamism, is Long-Term Orientation – LTO and was applied to 23 countries.


    These five Hofstede Dimensions can also be found to correlate with other country, cultural, and religious paradigms



    • joy sanders 2:52 am on October 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks heaps, especially for the finishing eye candy made all that reading worth while…. appreciations!

    • Wolf 1:50 pm on February 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a great sheet, but unfortunately all the LTO data seems to be missing. It just shows 0 for every country.

  • Gratuitous Eye Candy

  • NegBox 4:31 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amish Shah, , Magic Bullet System,   

    Microsoft Sues Magic Bullet System and Amish Shah Along With Jay Styles 

    Microsoft is suing Amish Shah, Jay Styles and two companies (the creators of the Magic Bullet System guru product) for using Microsoft trademarks and cybersquatting on Microsoft trademarks. And for contributory infringement.

    This should send an epic shockwave through the “guru” ranks – The lawsuit talks about contributory trademark infringement and contributory cybersquatting. That means helping or motivating SOMEONE ELSE to do trademark infringement or cybersquatting. Microsoft is saying that not only did these guys do the dirty, they encouraged other people to do it too.

    The Wall Street Journal Law Blog posted court documents relating to Washington at Seattle case C10-0653 RSM. This suit has been going on for a while – If you look at the title of the court document, it says “Denying Defendant Amended Motion to Dismiss”. PDF File for your enjoyment here:

    Snapshot first page of MSFT lawsuit with MBS - Cropped

    Click for PDF: Microsoft vs Magic Bullet System


    AFAIK civil cases are public records in the US, so this should be a fun read for quite some time to come.

    You can find all the dirty online if you know where to look.


    Defendants allegedly providing instructions and their alleged sales
    of a method known as the “Magic Bullet System,” which is meant to teach buyers how to use Microsoft marks in order to sell the emoticon-related software

    I had seen this idea in one of the intro videos to the Magic Bullet System. I actually thought the trick was clever – Though not my style.

    Their system or idea was this:
    Get a domain name that has some allusion to MSN Messenger in it, like “world-favorite-msn-messenger.info” or some such shit. Then they would use their “magic bullet” or WordPress, can’t remember, to create a Google and seo-likeable website (you know, Privacy policy, Terms of service, farticles).
    On that website they would offer the MSN Messenger for download and soft-bundle it with a smilies toolbar. The smilies were a CPA offer pulled from some network. I think the pitch was to tell people “Now that you got the toolbar, here are the Super-Mega-Dopey Similies” or something like Step 1- Get Messenger, Step 2- Get Smilies.

    Now you have the idea… You could do this with something that isn’t trademarked, or at least be a little more careful about your pick of domain names and such so you’re not next in line.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit Crazy Eyes ADHD

    ADHD Summary (idea shamelessly stolen from Mr. Green):

    1 – Hide yo launches, MSFT be suing everybody out here

    2 – Don’t fuck with Microsoft

    3 – Guru shit will get you fucked by Microsoft


    This should send an epic shockwave through the “guru” ranks – The MSFT lawsuit talks about contributory trademark infringement and contributory cybersquatting. That means helping or motivating SOMEONE ELSE to do trademark infringement or cybersquatting.
    • Mike Chiasson 6:32 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hide you kidzzzzz!

    • Monty 7:43 am on March 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Man, it’s crazy. I remember those videos. They claimed to make like $400/day profit with that campaign. Didn’t seem big of a deal to sue because of such shit like that…

      And the idea was to order a domain like:


      and then pretened that people are downloading the messenger cuz they’re looking for it. Except they were taken to a smiley page and had to install that one thinking they get messenger too, but nope.

      It is shady, but when you think about farticles, flogs, these generate way more money and are still ok to run.

    • Matt 2:52 am on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I thought it was sketchy too, but “contributory”? C’mon – we’re all adults here. The courts treat us like children and we sink to the level of expectation.

    • NegBox 1:08 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Matt, in most cases I’d agree – contributory infringement is the bullshit lawyers use to pad lawsuits.

      In this case I think Microsoft may have a valid point. When anyone shows a campaign online, there are invariably two hundred newbies who will try to cut and paste it – and then pout wondering why it doesn’t work straight up. I wouldn’t be surprised if their little video had actually caused a few dozen copycat sites, especially considering how much traffic these guys drive to their launches. What would be nice is having the burden of proof squarely on MS – to come up with several samples of sites actually “contributing” if you will.

  • Gratuitous Eye Candy

  • NegBox 4:49 pm on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: secret   

    The One Word That Is Holding You Back 

    Do you remember this scene of The 300? Watch closely: There is no hesitation, and there is no undo, take back, or retreat. This is what comes to mind when thinking about life and choices.


    If you look closely at my blog, or any e-mail or IM you might have received from me, you will find one of my best secrets – Actually, you won’t find it because the secret is what remains unsaid. I relax my standard a bit on the blog, so you’re bound to find some slips – Still…

    The secret is to never, ever, ever use to word “but“... Not in conversations, not in e-mails and not in instant messages.

    What the heck could this possibly do? You wouldn’t believe it. I actually shared this little tip with two friends who run different companies about three years ago. Last year I asked them about it. They both remembered distinctly the idea -because they had tried it with surprising results. They both pretty much reported the same thing – Everything – meetings, conferences, etc – started going much, much smoother. People around them would be more positive and things would get done better. They both pretty much independently said it was like fucking Voodoo.

    Why “but“? Because it is the “undo” of language, it is worse than hesitation – its an outright “cancel what I just said“. There are many other ways to “undo“, by using commas for example – yet none is so flagrant as “but“. The easiest way to replace “But” is to use “and“, a comma, or like I did above using “yet”. If you can’t say it without “but” or no good alternative presents itself – then you need to think about whatever it is in a different way and say something entirely different – pure and simple.

    Try it, it costs $0, results are immediate and pretty fucking unbelievable.


  • Gratuitous Eye Candy

  • NegBox 7:58 pm on December 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: holidays   

    Avoid Getting Swindled This Holiday Season 

    If you haven’t read Robert Cialdini’s masterpiece: “Influence”, you’re a tool. I can even tell you what tool you would be… You’d be a plunger, ready to dive into a toilet full of shit – My shit to be specific.

    In this little story below there is a tale of how massive amounts of people get screwed, along with an opportunity for you.

    Quote straight from Robert Cialdini’s “Influence” book:

    So the toy manufacturers are faced with a dilemma: how to keep sales high during the peak season and, at the same time, retain a healthy demand for toys in the immediately following months. Their difficulty certainly doesn’t lie in motivating kids to want more toys after Christmas. The problem lies in motivating postholiday spent-out parents to buy another plaything for their already toy-glutted children. What could the toy companies possibly do to produce that unlikely behavior? Some have tried greatly increased advertising campaigns, others have reduced prices during the slack period, but neither of those standard sales devices has proved successful. Both tactics are costly, and have been ineffective in increasing sales to desired levels. Parents are simply not in a toy-buying mood, and the influences of advertising or reduced expense are not enough to shake that stony resistance.

    Certain large toy manufacturers, however, think they have found a solution. It’s an ingenious one, involving no more than a normal advertising expense and an un-derstanding of the powerful pull of the need for consistency. My first hint of the way the toy companies’ strategy worked came after I fell for it and then, in true patsy form, fell for it again.It was January, and I was in the town’s largest toy store. After purchasing all too many gifts there for my son a month before, I had sworn not to enter that store or any like it for a long, long time. Yet there I was, not only in the diabolic place but also in the process of buying my son another expensive toy—a big, electric road-race set. In front of the road-race display I happened to meet a former neighbor who was buying his son the same toy. The odd thing was that we almost never saw each other anymore. In fact, the last time had been a year earlier in the same store when we were both buying our sons an expensive post-Christmas gift—that time a robot that walked, talked, and laid waste. We laughed about our strange pattern of seeing each other only once a year at the same time, in the same place, while doing the same thing. Later that day, I mentioned the coincidence to a friend who, it turned out, had once worked in the toy business.

    “No coincidence,” he said knowingly.

    “What do you mean, ‘No coincidence’?”

    “Look,” he said, “let me ask you a couple of questions about the road-race set you bought this year. First, did you promise your son that he’d get one for Christmas?”

    “Well, yes I did. Christopher had seen a bunch of ads for them on the Saturday morning cartoon shows and said that was what he wanted for Christmas. I saw a couple of ads myself and it looked like fun; so I said OK.”

    “Strike one,” he announced. “Now for my second question. When you went to buy one, did you find all the stores sold out?”

    “That’s right, I did! The stores said they’d ordered some but didn’t know when they’d get any more in. So I had to buy Christopher some other toys to make up for the road-race set. But how did you know?”

    “Strike two,” he said. “Just let me ask one more question. Didn’t this same sort of thing happen the year before with the robot toy?” Wait a minute … you’re right. That’s just what happened. This is incredible. How did you know?” No psychic powers; I just happen to know how several of the big toy companies jack up their January and February sales. They start prior to Christmas with attractive TV ads for certain special toys. The kids, naturally, want what they see and extract Christmas promises for these items from their parents. Now here’s where the genius of the companies’ plan comes in: They undersupply the stores with the toys they’ve gotten the parents to promise. Most parents find those toys sold out and are forced to substitute other toys of equal value. The toy manufacturers, of course, make a point of supplying the stores with plenty of these substitutes. Then, after Christmas, the companies start running the ads again for the other, special toys. That juices up the kids to want those toys more than ever. They go running to their parents whining, ‘You promised, you promised,’ and the adults go trudging off to the store to live up dutifully to their words.”

    “Where,” I said, beginning to seethe now, “they meet other parents they haven’t seen for a year, falling for the same trick, right?”

    “Right. Uh, where are you going?”

    “I’m going to take the road-race set right back to the store.” I was so angry I was nearly shouting.

    “Wait. Think for a minute first. Why did you buy it this morning?”

    “Because I didn’t want to let Christopher down and because I wanted to teach him that promises are to be lived up to.”

    “Well, has any of that changed? Look, if you take his toy away now, he won’t understand why. He’ll just know that his father broke a promise to him. Is that what you want?”

    “No,” I said, sighing, “I guess not. So, you’re telling me that the toy companies doubled their profits on me for the past two years, and I never even knew it; and now that I do, I’m still trapped—by my own words. So, what you’re really telling me is, ‘Strike three.’ ” He nodded, “And you’re out.”

    In the years since, I have observed a variety of parental toy-buying sprees similar to the one I experienced during that particular holiday season—for Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo dolls, Furbies, etc. But, historically, the one that best fits the pattern is that of the Cabbage Patch Kids, $25 dolls that were promoted heavily during mid-1980s Christmas seasons but were woefully undersupplied to stores. Some of the consequences were a government false advertising charge against the Kids’ maker for continuing to advertise dolls that were not available; frenzied groups of adults battling at toy outlets or paying up to $700 apiece at auction for dolls they had promised their children; and an annual $150 million in sales that extended well beyond the Christmas months. During the 1998 holiday season, the least available toy that everyone wanted was the Furby, created by a division of toy giant Hasbro. When asked what frustrated, Furby-less parents should tell their kids, a Hasbro spokeswoman advised the kind of promise that has profited toy manufacturers for decades, “I’ll try, but if I can’t get it for you now, I’ll get it for you later” (Tooher, 1998).

    There are a couple of things you can do with this info, other than not promising toys that will be in short supply. One of those things would be to figure out what toys will be in short supply, get there first and bank on eBay. Another would be to catch these parents looking for these toys during the holiday season and offer an alternative. Another would be to re-target these parents AFTER the holiday seasons with, say.. An Amazon affiliate link – I can already see the landing page “Remember the toy you promised? Its available NOW”…

    Jesus saves, everybody else uses MasterCard.

    • Mike 7:25 pm on December 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wicked site man, mixes my 2 favorite things together, porn and internet marketing! Great content too

      • Slave Rat 3:57 pm on December 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! I read your blog post about CPV. I haven’t been able to see a DirectCPV pop yet (I installed some video thing that didn’t work) – I’ll have to try babelfish. Thanks for the tip.

  • Gratuitous Eye Candy

  • NegBox 4:12 pm on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    How to Become Stupid 

    This is an anecdote that shaped my beliefs and views on intelligence – as a little follow-up to my last post on “Drive” by Daniel Pink.

    I’ve only shared this story with close family members, as it stereotypes and isn’t very scientific. That didn’t matter for my young mind – Young minds don’t care about science as they’re trying to make sense of the world.

    [Fade to sepia]

    As I was attending elementary school (not in the US and not in Asia) I happened to have quite a few schoolmates of Asian descent. As a young kid, I could tell these kids were just as sharp as me, and sometimes even smarter, more patient, methodical, etc. We did have dumb kids, and even kids with true learning problems – this is not a story about kids with real problems.

    Among my Asian friends I noticed two distinct behaviors – Some would behave just normal, like me. Others would play the “language” card and pretend they didn’t understand things because of the difference in language – they had figured out they could get away with less school work and less demands from the teachers if they played like they were dumb… And they did, they kept playing dumb from the point I have clear school memories (about second grade) to the point they graduated from school six or seven years later.

    The teachers saw a dumb kid, with learning problems and a language barrier, struggle through school for several years and make it out.

    I saw a normal kid who played dumb since second grade – and by the time they were in seventh grade they had BECOME dumb. They were no longer faking it – you could tell the little spark of focused attention had been put out. It was like they became a little autistic as part of their act, and they became their act.

    My little mind understood something about intelligence in very straightforward terms:

    • If you play dumb, you will get away with doing less, and you will become dumb.
    • If you do what you’re supposed to do, you will get smarter in the same time that slackers become dumber.

    [Fade to color]

    Play dumb, be dumb. Play smart, get smart.

    • Mike Chiasson 12:58 am on December 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow that seriously sounds familiar. I agree that just as knowledge can be learned, so can stupidity.

      • Slave Rat 8:05 pm on December 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Did you see this “become stupid” with family members or other folks too?

    • barman 8:09 pm on December 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      1. those nipples are awful
      2. how am i not in your blog roll and dupre is

    • Slave Rat 1:23 pm on December 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      1 -Those nipples, covered in whipped cream, are delicious. 2 – Of course you *are* on the blogroll. Justin is where the Squeaky Rats are too. .. Check again, I’ve just added a section on the sidebar titled “Mondo Blogs” for the squeaky AND jealous.

  • Gratuitous Eye Candy

  • NegBox 10:31 pm on December 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Daniel Pink, ,   

    Mastery is a Mindset 

    This is an excellent piece of the book “Drive” By Dan Pink

    The big a-ha! moment:

    If you believe intelligence is a fixed quantity, then every educational and professional encounter becomes a measure of how much you have.

    If you believe intelligence is something you can increase, then the same encounters become opportunities for growth.

    In one view, intelligence is something you demonstrate; in the other, it’s something you develop.

    Why this matters:

    These two types of thinking trigger contrasting responses to adversity—one of helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.”

    The full explanation cited directly from the book:

    Mastery Is a Mindset

    As with so many things in life, the pursuit of mastery is all in our head. At least that’s what Carol Dweck has discovered.

    Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has been studying motivation and achievement in children and young adults for nearly forty years, amassing a body of rigorous empirical research that has made her a superstar in contemporary behavioral science. Dweck’s signature insight is that what people believe shapes what people achieve. Our beliefs about ourselves and the nature of our abilities—what she calls our “self-theories”—determine how we interpret our experiences and can set the boundaries on what we accomplish. Although her research looks mostly at notions of “intelligence,” her findings apply with equal force to most human capabilities. And they yield the first law of mastery: Mastery is a mindset.

    According to Dweck, people can hold two different views of their own intelligence. Those who have an “entity theory” believe that intelligence is just that—an entity. It exists within us, in a finite supply that we cannot increase. Those who subscribe to an “incremental theory” take a different view. They believe that while intelligence may vary slightly from person to person, it is ultimately something that, with effort, we can increase. To analogize to physical qualities, incremental theorists consider intelligence as something like strength. (Want to get stronger and more muscular? Start pumping iron.) Entity theorists view it as something more like height. (Want to get taller? You’re out of luck.)

    If you believe intelligence is a fixed quantity, then every educational and professional encounter becomes a measure of how much you have.

    If you believe intelligence is something you can increase, then the same encounters become opportunities for growth.

    In one view, intelligence is something you demonstrate; in the other, it’s something you develop.

    The two self-theories lead down two very different paths—one that heads toward mastery and one that doesn’t. For instance, consider goals. Dweck says they come in two varieties—performance goals and learning goals. Getting an A in French class is a performance goal. Being able to speak French is a learning goal. “Both goals are entirely normal and pretty much universal,” Dweck says, “and both can fuel achievement.” But only one leads to mastery. In several studies, Dweck found that giving children a performance goal (say, getting a high mark on a test) was effective for relatively straightforward problems but often inhibited children’s ability to apply the concepts to new situations. For example, in one study, Dweck and a colleague asked junior high students to learn a set of scientific principles, giving half of the students a performance goal and half a learning goal. After both groups demonstrated they had grasped the material, researchers asked the students to apply their knowledge to a new set of problems, related but not identical to what they’d just studied. Students with learning goals scored significantly higher on these novel challenges. They also worked longer and tried more solutions. As Dweck writes, “With a learning goal, students don’t have to feel that they’re already good at something in order to hang in and keep trying. After all, their goal is to learn, not to prove they’re smart.”

    Indeed, the two self-theories take very different views of effort. To incremental theorists, exertion is positive. Since incremental theorists believe that ability is malleable, they see working harder as a way to get better. By contrast, says Dweck, “the entity theory . . . is a system that requires a diet of easy successes.” In this schema, if you have to work hard, it means you’re not very good. People therefore choose easy targets that, when hit, affirm their existing abilities but do little to expand them. In a sense, entity theorists want to look like masters without expending the effort to attain mastery.

    Finally, the two types of thinking trigger contrasting responses to adversity—one that Dweck calls “helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.” In a study of American fifth- and sixth-graders, Dweck gave students eight conceptual problems they could solve, followed by four they could not (because the questions were too advanced for children that age). Students who subscribed to the idea that brain-power is fixed gave up quickly on the tough problems and blamed their (lack of ) intelligence for their difficulties. Students with a more expansive mindset kept working in spite of the difficulty and deployed far more inventive strategies to find a solution. What did these students blame for their inability to conquer the toughest problems? “The answer, which surprised us, was that they didn’t blame anything,” Dweck says. The young people recognized that setbacks were inevitable on the road to mastery and that they could even be guideposts for the journey.

    My Notes

    Most of the “Drive” book is ok so far.

    This idea, however, is different. This idea is huge. It has huge practical applications from the workplace to the family. I challenge you to go around your house or through your friends and dig up what their belief is regarding intelligence as a fixed attribute or a malleable skill.

    Better yet – I went to my kids and checked their understanding of intelligence to make sure it aligned with mine – this is one concept I was keeping a close eye on already as it is tied to self-esteem – now I know exactly how it works its magic and what it must be shaped like to be beneficial.

    • Justin Dupre 5:07 am on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is a very interesting post on intelligence. Some good insights here especially the “helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.” I must dig in to this and find out more about it.

      • Slave Rat 4:08 pm on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The book gets better, and more practical, towards the end. This bit of the book struck a chord as it resonated with one of my experiences growing up. I’ll post it up as the next post here.

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  • NegBox 3:17 pm on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Excuses,   

    That’s My Story, and I’m Sticking to It 

    Thats my story and im sticking to it!

    That right there is a powerful agent of positive change. The power lies in SAYING that phrase and seeing how silly your stories sound.

    “That’s My Story, and I’m Sticking to It”

    That’s the phrase I began chirping every single time I said – or heard someone tell me- something that sounded even a tiny bit like a whim, hidden excuse or faulty reasoning. I decided to start doing this after reading “All Marketers Are Liars” for the fourth time and thinking about our everyday stories for a long time.

    I thought this would be a good way of explaining the stories of marketing, by making folks notice their everyday actions and how they put stories around it – even stories that made no sense at all.

    It worked wonders. My entire family laughed – and laughs. They all now chirp it back to me and make everyone conscious of why we do what we do.

    In action it looks like this:

    Wife: “If it was warmer, we’d be out jogging”
    Me: “Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”

    Me: “I’m gonna get a Wii for Christmas… It has really nice games *FOR THE KIDS*… and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it”

    Kids: “I love Cheerios, they’re good for your heart”
    Me:” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!”

    Wife: “I really need these boots for the winter so my feet don’t freeze… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…” (while rearranging 50 other pairs of boots in the closet)

    Its really nice to see a whole new level of consciousness in everyday living – lifting the veil of the little stories we tell ourselves to justify doing what we’re doing.

    It separates reality from the story and makes YOU accountable for doing whatever you are doing – it takes the story out of the picture, as an optional mental masturbation, and puts you back in control.

    I firmly believe everything is optional – there is not one single thing you have to do. Sure, there are risks, consequences, rewards, whatever… Yet nothing is mandatory. These little stories we hear on TV or from other people and then we tell ourselves give us quick ways to deceive ourselves. We live out the lies we tell ourselves. Kill the lie. Then dissect it and take a look at its guts.

    If you’re a marketer, you then take that dead, dissected lie, you stitch it back up, and you sling it out into the world as a marketing piece:

    “Newsflash: In Winter, consumers stop going to the Gym and turn to Acai Berry Detox to combat Holiday Weight Gain”

    “Get a Wii for the Kids for $25? Only at Bidiot.com!”

    “Free Heart-healthy Cheerio Samples. Enter your e-mail (and entire medical history)”

    “You’ve won free UGG Boots! Just claim your prize in the next two minutes by entering your cell phone number in the next screen!”



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  • NegBox 5:39 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    What About Guru Products? 

    Nothing is ever black and white – so here’s the skinny.

    You keep getting bombarded by “Product Launches”. What to do? Are they good? Bad? Evil?

    They are not all bad, and they are not all good. The major difference between a good product and a bad product is YOU. Yes, you. Not the product, YOU.

    Quick example: If it is a guru product on PPC, then it will only be good for you if you haven’t done PPC and haven’t had any other training on PPC.

    The bottom line is: It is not the guru product that will lead you to success; it is busting your ass trying to make it work.

    The guru product is like reading a book on exercise techniques – you’re not going to get any fitter while reading it – You might learn of good gyms, equipment, supplements and related stuff – but THE BOOK WONT MAKE YOU SWEAT ONE DROP.

    There’s another deeper problem with these “products” – They can’t give you a ‘road to riches’ – because that road keeps changing each and every single day. What you could do today on MySpace ads, you can’t do tomorrow – and if you can still do it, now there are a couple hundred more people doing it. You’re going to find that the “product” is either so generic you can’t apply it directly, or if it is specific enough, that it just doesn’t work out for you because the environment has changed. And it isn’t a matter of getting a “fresh” product – things change so incredibly fast that yesterday’s news is pretty much OBSOLETE. As the saying goes: “If it’s news, you lose!

    Here are some practical tips – shit I actually did, shit I failed at and shit I still do:

    1)      Budget spend:

    What is your budget? Write it down, whether you’re coming in with $2,000 of play money or $200 a month, write that down.

    Take 1/3rd of the budget and put that towards learning. No matter if that is guru products, forum subscriptions or books – you cannot go over that amount even if the Pope gives you a ring and pitches his Tax-Sheltered Holy Bling Profit System. If you set it aside per month, then it’s a per-month limit. If you set aside a chunk of money, then that’s all you have and that’s it – no more, no less. I did exactly this.

    2)      Whatever you sign up to, you do it. Make sure you’re not signing up for a 3-year course. You want it all and you want it now – Fuck the “drip-feed” where they give you a pinch of content every week – run like hell.

    3)      You read the books, watch the videos, you do the exercises, you follow along like your life depends on it. You read the material three times. You think about it while you’re peeing, you think about it while you’re shitting, you think about it while you’re fucking… And when you’re done peeing, shitting and fucking around, you DO *SOMETHING*.  You carry a notepad and jot down ideas, and then sit down and do them sequentially.

    4)      After you’ve assimilated a couple of these, being books, video courses or whatever, you STOP. Yes, you STOP. You now know everything the guru courses can teach you – now you need to talk to people wherever they may be. At this point, guru shit is likely to be a giant waste of time.

    5)      An EXCELLENT source of information, training and tips are the little “marketing guides” blogs put up to entice you to sign-up to their mailing lists – Some blogs put up these guides without the mailing list sign-up – these are usually even more valuable. If it’s a list that goes out every week or more often than that, you can bet your ass that person is trying to cash in on you – IGNORE. If it’s a list that goes out every time there is a blue moon, chances are high whatever it is they’re sending is worth at least reading the e-mail. Don’t know where to start? Start here on my post about Uber-Affiliate’s Marketing Guide updated for 2010 and its links.

    6)      Do not fall for the idea that its ok for a blogger or guru to monetize their time on the blog or “marketing guide” by plaguing it with paid plugs and affiliate links. It creates a three-way conflict of interest where you –the reader- is the only possible loser – just move on, there are plenty of other sources of the same information out there. And no, just because everybody does it, doesn’t make it any less risky for you to trust “incentivized” opinions.

    7)      Skip guru blogs for the most part and head for the real people. Take a peek at their posts – These are the blogs that will give you the best tips, most useful tools and best pointers. Who are these bloggers and blogs? Look at my list of recommended affiliate marketing blogs – Those bloggers will give you the scoop. Others will scoop you up and wring you dry.

    Recap for Alzheimer’s and ADHD: Stop buying guru shit, read the blogs on my recommended list and the guides I linked from my post on Uber-Affiliate’s Marketing Guide updated for 2010. The rest is blood, sweat and tears.

    Now go sweat, bleed and cry!

    • Dude 12:06 pm on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, that pretty well clears it up for me. This is more than most IM’s will say. Most of them just say that all guru products are crap and don’t get any further into the explanation.

      I think I’m starting to get it though. Nobody can really tell you what to start a business in. This you have to think for yourself. Same with IM.

      • Slave Rat 7:48 pm on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        You’re welcome – Its not all bad and not all good. If you wade into my posts you’ll see I went into the ShoeMoney System which was a total waste – I also got my hands on List Control 2 that was useful… I went through a lot of the trainings offered by PPCBully in their videos and VIP videos, even went through the videos from Zero Friction Marketing (bleah), the books for AffiloBlueprint… Don’t think for a minute that I dropped $2K for list control or such sums; I’m not that nice or naive. That post pretty much sums it up, though. It all depends on where you start, and regardless of where you start, after a very base competence level none of it will be worth your time.

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  • NegBox 8:46 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dr Ngo, Mind Map   

    Affiliate Marketing Mind Map by Dr NGO 

    This is a brilliant mind-map by Dr NGO


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