Albert Einstein – Quote Collection

~ “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
~ “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
~ “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
~ “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”
~ “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
~ “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
~ “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
~ “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
~ “I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”
~ “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”
~ “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”
~ “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
~ “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”
~ “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
~ “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
~ “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
~ “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”
~ “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”
~ “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”
~ “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
~ “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”
~ “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”
~ “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
~ “In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”
~ “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”
~ “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

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A Street Vendor

There is a fruit vendor (I don’t know his name,but lets call him ‘T’)who I usually observe just below my apartment which is on the corner of a square.There are some 2-3 vendors who are regular at the spot.But there is something special about this one.He arrives at 9-10am and he is sold out till 4-5pm. While the others carry the same load for 2-3 days.I figured out some points that he follows.Lets talk technically…

1. Product

T always has something different,unusual, which the other vendors never have.Last week he got such a fantastic variety of grapes that anybody having a glance would be tempted to buy,to try what this new stuff is. Watermelon, while every other vendor had those white/green huge melons, this guy had small, dark green/black melons, which are not regular in the racks anywhere. Both of the grapes and the melons were one of the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.
Conclusion:Even though he had competition,T just tried to go out of way and bring something different,better,attractive. A customer always tries stuff which looks good.And along with it,if it tastes good,only a fool won’t buy it.

2.Quantity & Quality

While the other vendors were loaded to full capacity,T had only some 70% of it. But as I said earlier, the other ones took 2-3 days to sell the lot while T could sell it off in a day.So many of the regular customers know that he always has fresh stock.
Conclusion : Overloading could have cost T lesser.But it would have taken more time.Also,fruits are perishable.One night is well enough to decrease their value. Better to load limited quantity of fresh stock everyday.

3.Costing

The cost T offers for his products is always higher than others. If the other vendors are selling a melon for Rs.60,T sells that much smaller melon for Rs.50.if the customer bargains,he suggest them to visit the other vendors and buy the bigger one.

Conclusion: This develops a sense of trust among customers.And as always said,better things are costlier!! People always prefer to buy the better ones.

4. Commitment & Compromise

It is difficult on a sunny day to stand in the heat all day.But still T,always grabs the prime spot and never moves.The other vendors on the other hand have a nap in shadow sometime in afternoon,chai n stuff.T only moves when he’s finished.
It happened once that I saw T till 8-9pm with few bunch of grapes left.Well I am his regular customer,so I went to him and asked.He was cool and just answered ‘hota hai…’ I was amazed by that chill. And later he offered me everything he had for Rs.50. Which on weighing was about 2kg.And his rate was Rs.60/kg.
Conclusion : T made some good money while the others were sleeping. Commitment & dedication are always key to success. At the end,he could have waited,but T compromised and offered me the last chunk of his lot.Most of it for free.It did nothing but made me happy and he was free to pack up.

Business is business,let it be Apple Corporation or a fruit vendor.

Delegate or die: the self-employed trap

Source : http://sivers.org/delegate

Most self-employed people get caught in the delegation trap.

You’re so busy, doing everything yourself.
You know you need help, but to find and train someone would take more time than you have!
So you keep working harder, until you break.

Here’s my little tale of how I broke into the delegation mindset:
In 2001, CD Baby was three years old.
I had eight employees but I was still doing “everything else” myself.
Working 7am to 10pm, seven days a week, everything still went through me.
Every five minutes, my employees had a question for me:
“Derek, some guy wants to change the album art after it’s already live on the site. What do I tell him?”
“Derek, can we accept wire transfer as a form of payment?”
“Derek, someone placed two orders today, and wants to know if we can ship them together as one, but refund him the shipping cost savings?”
It was hard to get anything done while answering questions all day.
I felt like I might as well just show up to work and sit on a chair in the hallway, just answering employees’ questions, full-time.

I hit my breaking point.
I stopped going to the office and shut off my phone.
Then I realized I was running from my problems instead of solving them.
I had to fix this, or I’d be ruined.

After a long introspective night of thinking and writing, I got myself into the delegation mindset.
I had to make myself un-necessary to the running of my company.

The next day, as soon as I walked in the door, someone asked, “Derek, someone whose CDs we received yesterday has now changed his mind and wants his CDs shipped back. We’ve already done the work, but he’s asking if we can refund his set-up fee since he was never live on the site.”
This time, instead of just answering the question, I called everyone together for a minute.
I repeated the situation and the question for everyone.
I answered the question, but more importantly, I explained the thought process and philosophy behind my answer.
“Yes refund his money in full. We’ll take a little loss. It’s important to always do whatever would make the customer happiest, as long as it’s not outrageous. A little gesture like this goes a long way to him telling his friends we’re a great company. Everyone always remember that helping musicians is our first goal, and profit is second. You have my full permission to use that guideline to make these decisions yourself in the future. Do what makes them happiest. Make sure everyone who deals with us leaves with a smile.”

I asked around to make sure everyone understood the answer.
I asked one person to start a manual, and write down the answer to this one situation, and write down the philosophy behind it.
Then everyone went back to work.
Ten minutes later, new question.
Same process:
1. Gather everybody around.
2. Answer the question, and explain the philosophy.
3. Make sure everyone understands the thought process.
4. Ask one person to write it in the manual.
5. Let them know they can decide this without me next time.

After two months of this, there were no more questions.
Then I showed someone how to do the last of the stuff that was still my job.
As part of learning it, they had to document it in the manual, and show it to someone else, too.
(Learn by teaching.)
Now I was totally un-necessary.
I started working at home – not going into the office at all.
I had even taught them my thought-process and philosophy about hiring new people.
So our two newest employees were entirely found, interviewed, hired, and trained by them.
They used that manual to make sure every new employee understood the philosophy and history, and knew how to make decisions for themselves.
I’d call in once a week to make sure everything was OK.
It was.
They didn’t even have any questions for me.
Because my team was running the business, I was free to actually improve the business!
I moved to California, just to make it clear that the running of things was up to them.

I was still working 12-hour days, but now I was spending all my time on improvements, optimizations and innovations.
To me, this was the fun stuff.
This was play, not work.

While I was away, my company grew from $1M to $20M in four years.

There’s a big difference between being self-employed and being a business owner.
Being self-employed feels like freedom until you realize that if you take time off, your business crumbles.
To be a true business owner, make sure you could leave for a year, and when you came back, your business would be doing better than when you left.