Sudhir Sarnobat

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Meet An Entrepreneur Who Doesn't Believe In Venture Capital

Entrepreneur Brian Pallas doesn’t believe in venture capital. His startup, Opportunity Network is funded entirely from private investors and business partners. The 28-year old hasn’t taken a penny of venture capital. Last year, when I first reported about Pallas’ success, ON was valued at $100m …

Venture Capital

Don’t Take Money from VCs Until You’ve Asked 4 Questions

In the race to get the check in hand, most entrepreneurs don’t do in-depth due diligence — or any due diligence — on the venture capital (VC) firms they pitch. Founding teams eager to raise capital to grow their companies enter into long-term partnerships with VC firms they don’t know well. It’s a …

Are You a Leader, or Just Pretending to Be One?

We’ve rarely needed leaders more — but wanted the leaders we have less.<p>It’s as if we’ve forgotten what leadership really is, and confused it with what it isn’t.<p>What’s not leadership? For one thing, performing. Leadership is not making the right faces, memorizing the right lines, pumping your fist …

The Limits of Empathy

A few years ago, Ford Motor Company started asking its (mostly male) engineers to wear the Empathy Belly, a simulator that allows them to experience symptoms of pregnancy firsthand—the back pain, the bladder pressure, the 30 or so pounds of extra weight. They can even feel “movements” that mimic …

Why pain feels good

Why exactly do some people enjoy eye-wateringly hot curries, extreme workouts or sadomasochistic sex?<p>His opponent had been known to cause seizures, heart attacks, and even death. But Jason McNabb looked remarkably calm as he entered the arena. The whistle blew. Assault came thick and fast – a …

University of Pennsylvania

This company is designing the future of office furniture

<i>This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED's articles in print before they're posted</i> …

When the Competition Is Trying to Poach Your Top Employee

If you’ve got smart, talented people on your team, chances are they’ll get calls from recruiters. How should you respond when a competitor is wooing one of your employees? How do you know if your team member is really considering the offer or bluffing? Should you make a counteroffer? And what can …

How to Stop Micromanaging Your Team

Micromanaging is a hard habit to break. You may downplay your propensities by labeling yourself a “control freak” or by claiming that you just like to keep close tabs on your team, but those are poor excuses for excessive meddling. What can you do to give your people the space they need to succeed …

A Refresher on Price Elasticity

Setting the right price for your product or service is hard. In fact, determining price is one of the toughest things a marketer has to do, in large part because it has such a big impact on the company’s bottom line. One of the critical elements of pricing is understanding what economists call <i>price</i> …

Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings

Happiness feels intolerably elusive for many of us. Like fog, you can see it from afar, dense and full of shape. But upon approach, its particles loosen and suddenly it becomes out of reach, even though it’s all around you.<p>We put so much emphasis on the pursuit of happiness, but if you stop and …

How Can I Know Anything at All? BBC Animations Feature the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Hume, Popper & More

How did everything begin? What makes us human? What is the self? How do I live a good life? What is love? We've all asked these questions, if only …

The Research Is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies

Andrew Nguyen/HBR STAFF<p>Managers want employees to put in long days, respond to their emails at all hours, and willingly donate their off-hours — nights, weekends, vacation — without complaining. The underlings in this equation have little control; overwork cascades from the top of the …

The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level

A few weeks ago, we were asked to analyze a competency model for leadership development that a client had created. It was based on the idea that at different points in their development, potential leaders need to focus on excelling at different skills. For example, in their model they proposed that …

When to Give Feedback in a Group and When to Do It One-on-One

If you’re like most leaders, you’re probably reluctant to give an individual feedback in a team meeting. You’ve probably learned to praise in public and criticize in private. You may be concerned that if you give feedback in a group setting, you’ll put that person on the spot, get him or her …

How to Get Employees Excited to Do Their Work

What keeps you up at night as a manager? Are you worried about hitting your numbers? How to boost the results of lower performers? What about how to keep top performers motivated?<p>We often believe that the most effective way to respond to these concerns is to directly tell our employees what to do. …

Millionaires Don't Use To-Do Lists (They Use This Instead)

Do you really think Richard Branson and Bill Gates wrote long to-do lists and prioritized items as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and on and on?<p>In my research into time management and best practices for productivity, I've interviewed over 200 billionaires, Olympians, straight-A students and entrepreneurs. I …

The famous Robert Frost poem we’ve read wrong forever

It is the most famous poem in American literature, a staple of pop songs, newspaper columnists and valedictorian speeches. It is “The Road Not Taken” …

Losing Customers Over Poor Service? Lessons From TD Bank & Big Ass Fans On Overcoming Indifference

Studies have shown that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of the company. Perception is everything. Perhaps employees aren’t actually indifferent—it’s perceived that they don’t care. Lack of warmth in business could be killing …

Customers

How to beat anxiety without medication

A few years ago, my father was diagnosed with a fairly common form of prostate cancer. As a result, he needed surgery to get it out of his body before it spread anywhere.<p>When he got out of surgery, we were informed by the doctors that they could not remove the breathing tube at the moment. He’s a …

Mental Health

These 5 Things Are Ruining Your Life

You might think that you have your life pretty well figured out. You do the things that need to get done in a reasonable amount of time, you take …

Productivity

3 Cognitive Biases That Alter Your Thinking

“<i>Change your thoughts and you change your world.</i>”<br>~Norman Vincent Peale<p>There are far too many layers of cognition (thinking, knowing, remembering) to …

Here are the 14 rules behind Amazon's brutal workplace

The New York Times just published an in-depth look at some of the cutthroat tactics Amazon management uses to keep its employees working hard.<p>The article describes a pretty intense workplace — performance reviews where employees feel they have to "diplomatically throw people under the bus," for …

Why Was Social Security Designed Like A Ponzi Scheme?

Have you ever wondered why we have a Social Security system?<p>For most of human history, people relied on families and extended families for security in old age. But as we moved into the 20th century, families became dispersed and increasingly unreliable. As a result, people turned to government to …

Retirement

How Certainty Transforms Persuasion

Certainty profoundly shapes our behavior. The more certain we are of a belief—regardless of its objective correctness—the more durable it will be and the greater its influence on what we do. Across dozens of studies spanning more than two decades, consumer and social psychologists have shown that …

What to Do When Satisfied B2B Customers Refuse to Recommend You

In an ideal B2B world, your happy customers would spread the news about your great products, generating all the well-known benefits of word of mouth. But your customers may not <i>want</i> their competitors to hear about you.<p>If your product or service has become your customer’s secret sauce – putting them …

Specialization vs Generalization: A Study on Business Strategy

It’s a question that’s been around for a very long time: which is better to focus on, specialization or generalization? Many people have to ask …

Do You Know The Platinum Rule For Customer Loyalty?

We live in a competitive world. We spend our careers educating ourselves and working year-after-year to make a difference for those around us. As entrepreneurs and businesspeople we commit everything to the bet that we can provide a compelling service to our customers. Through all of these areas, …

Business Strategy

How To Build Trust, Even With Your Enemies

Everybody likes to operate in an environment of trust. When you deal with people you trust, things get done faster, stress is reduced and new opportunities open up. As E.M. Forster once wrote, “One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.”<p>And many businesses are …

Leadership

Why Analytics is Absolutely Necessary For Effective Customer Acquisition

A recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting revealed that 64 percent of marketers believe that they need better data for prospecting, and 67 …

Marketing

Why Sales Teams Should Reexamine Territory Design

Companies are using more analytics to enable better sales force decisions, yet one area that is still too frequently undervalued is sales territory design, or the way in which the responsibility for accounts is assigned to salespeople or sales teams.<p>The distribution of customer workload and …