Archive for July, 2010

Learnings from David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue

July 18th, 2010 No comments

-at 23 started a travel agency, he lost everything. “always bolster your business with plenty of capital”

-at 34 sold second startup, Morris Air, to Southwest Airlines where he was fired after five months “always be your own boss”

-at 39 founded JetBlue. He was ousted by his board

-in 2008 he started Azul. Raised $235 million and invested $13 million of his own money

-”All of us have failures. What matters isn’t what happens to you in life. What really matters is how you react to it

-how to succeed in airline business: “Have the best product. Have the lowest cost. And kill’em with frequency”

-Neeleman makes $200,000 a year with no stock options

-Herb Kelleher “Don’t think about shareholders. Think about crew members. The crew will take care of the customers. The customers will take care of the shareholders”

-”When things are going south, communication should increase” his mistake in dealing with JetBlue’s board

-He owns 15% of Azul but has voting control, so board can’t oust him. “I’ve set it up so I can’t get sucker-punched again”

-”The stock price doesn’t lie” regarding JetBlue -40% in three years

Categories: Life

NPD U.S. June 2010 Videogame Sales

July 16th, 2010 No comments

Games: $1.1 billion (-6%)
Hardware: $401.7 million (+5%%)
Software: $531.3 million (-15%%)
Accessories: $169.6 million (+6%)

DS: 510,700
Xbox 360: 451,700
Wii: 422,500
PlayStation 3: 304,800
PSP: 121,000

Title / Platform / Publisher / Release Date / Units sold
1. Red Dead Redemption / 360 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 582,900
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Wii / Nintendo / May-10 / 548,400
3. Red Dead Redemption / PS3 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 380,300
4. New Super Mario Bros. / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 200,900
5. Just Dance / Wii / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 174,800
6. Wii Fit Plus (with Balance Board) / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 /
7.Toy Story 3 / DS / Disney Interactive Studios / Jun-10
8. UFC 2010: Undisputed / 360 / THQ / May-10
9. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 / Wii / Warner Bros. / Jun-10
10. UFC 2010: Undisputed / PS3 / THQ / May-10

Categories: News

General Petraeus on Leadership

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

-communicate effectively on day one. Sent a letter to the troops, to the commanders. And you just echo it and re-echo it in every forum, in every communications opportunity you have
-learn and adapt, tell the truth
-best leaders? foundational level of sheer physical fitness, soldiering is still an outdoor sport. A certain degree of mental toughness, integrity, sheer professional expertise (technical and tactical competence), but what separates the stars. judgement – hugely important
-Ulysses Grant vastly under-rated. Great book by Jean Edwards Smith, Grant. Bruce Catton, Grant Takes Command. He just had sheer determination

Categories: Life

Importance of Writing

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

“..the importance of writing. I’ve explained that it’s integral to learning, that to write well you have to read well, and that to read well you have to think hard. Thinking hard is how we learn” – Douglas Brown

Categories: Life

Quote from Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

How has your study of Jobs and Apple helped you in your job as a venture capitalist?

Extraordinary, rare companies like Apple in those first two or three years have some common traits. The individuals will be different, the businesses will be different, the decade will be different, but the purpose, the drive, the sense of mission, the intelligence of the founders, those will be common. If you have been around the start of success, it’s far easier to recognize it again.

Categories: Life

Stress Symptoms and Fixes

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

From a WSJ article, psychological stress can take a physical toll on many body systems, causing for instance:

-increased blood pressure
-increase heart rate
-muscle aches
-digestive problems
-weakened immune system
-skin disorders
-allergies, asthma
-increased sensitivity to pain

To keep stress under control by:

-physical exercise
-adequate sleep
-regular, balanced meals
-maintaining social connections
-cognitive behavioral therapy

Categories: Life

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin Notes

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

The factor that seems to explain the most about great performance is something that researchers call deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance. The chief constraint is mental. The required concentration is so intense that it’s exhausting.

Innate talent is nothing, success is 99% hard work.

Top performers perceive more
-They understand the significance of indicators that average performers don’t even notice
-They look farther ahead
-They know more from less
-They make finer discriminations than average performers
-Domain-specific knowledge is power


Mozart’s early work was copying, arranging, and imitating the works of others. His first masterpiece, Piano Concerto No. 9, was created at the age of 21. After 18 years of extremely hard expert training. Mozart became Mozart by working furiously hard.

Tiger Wood started learning golf before the age of 2. After 17 years, at the age of 19 he was on the U.S. team in the Walker Cup. Asked to explain his success, he said “hard work.”

Warren Buffett was born on August 30, 1930. He bought his first stock at the age of 11 worth $120. He didn’t achieve any real success until he read Intelligent Investor at the age of 19. Before then he read every investment book at the library from market timing to technical analysis. At age 20, his net worth was $9,803.70. At age 21, it was $19,738. At age 26, it was $174,000 directly after studying under Benjamin Graham at Columbia and then working for him for a few years. So it took Buffett about 15 years before he really hit his stride. He also got better with age and more practice.

It looks like even for the great ones, it takes around 15-18 years to reach performance excellence.

The best performers set goals that are not about outcome, but about the process of reaching the outcome. They are thinking of exactly, not vaguely, of how to get to where they are going using self-observation.

Categories: Life

Rose Blumkin of Nebraska Furniture Mart

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

Sell cheap and tell the truth, don’t cheat no-body, and don’t take no kickbacks. When she made a sale, “Deliver it before they change their mind.”

Advice to graduating students, “First, honesty. Second, hard work. Next, if you don’t get the job you want right away, tell them you’ll take anything. If you’re good, they’ll keep you.”

Categories: Life


July 3rd, 2010 No comments

Keynes said, “It’s not bringing in the new ideas that’s so hard. It’s getting rid of the old ones.”

Keynes said, “Better roughly right than precisely wrong.”

Einstein attributed his mental success to “curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self-criticism.” By self criticism he meant becoming good at destroying your own best-loved and hardest-won ideas. If you can get really good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.

Categories: Life

Jim Collins Quotes

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

How do you distinguish the truly great talent from the rest?

The right people don’t need to be managed. The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The right people don’t think they have a job: They have responsibilities. The right people do what they say they will do, which means being really careful about what they say they will do. People who take credit in good times and blame external forces in bad times do not deserve to lead. End of story.

Almost across the board, people are worried. As a rock climber, the one thing you learn is that those who panic, die on the mountain. You don’t just sit on the mountain. You either go up or go down, but don’t just sit and wait to get clobbered. If you go down and survive, you can come back another day.

I don’t care how hard this period is. You have to have the combination of believing that you will prevail, that you will get out of this, but also not be the Pollyanna who ignores the brutal facts.

Categories: Life