The laws of computing (2)

The “laws” of computing: an occasional series of witty (?) thoughts.

Old computer imageTHE LAWS OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING

  1. Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
  2. If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
  3. If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
  4. Any given program will expand to fill all the available memory .
  5. Program complexity grows until it exceeds the understanding of the programmer who must maintain it.

GOLUB’S LAWS OF COMPUTERDOM

  1. A carelessly planned project takes at least three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project takes only twice as long.
  2. Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it so vividly manifests their lack of progress.

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I have no clear idea where I got all this except that I started collecting them 20+ years ago in a text file that I moved from computer to computer ever since. Most still occasionally appear in other places around the net, usually associated with the Murphy’s Law material so I’m not the only one who collected and saved them !

I like them and discovered recently that many people have never seen them and that needs to be fixed :-)

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Book review: Secrets of ProShow® Experts

Secrets of ProShow® Experts: The Official Guide to Creating Your Best Slide Shows with ProShow Gold and Producer
by Paul Schmidt, ©2010

Book cover imageMaking video slide shows out of your digital pictures is a terrific way to use the pictures, exercise your creativity and have some fun. While this book is nominally about the software that Paul and his company, PhotoDex, created, you could benefit from reading this book whether you use the ProShow software or not. In fact, if you do the kinds of presentations more suited to PowerPoint, this is still a good book because the principles here apply to good presentations–period.

Bottom line
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. This book is far more about the show than the software making the show. In the introduction, Paul puts it this way:

This book is about what makes a great slide show; this is not just a book about ProShow, though. I intentionally don ’t explain how to use ProShow, the user interface, or exactly how ProShow works. [...] The content of this book could easily be applied to any number of different types of software, including business presentation programs, video editors, and 3D animation programs. ProShow is used as the example application, but mostly the core principles apply.

He hits all the high points of doing a good slide show (or a presentation): have a message, tell a story, know the audience, and keep it simple. He talks about visual composition, proper use of fonts, alignment and contrast. While he discusses how the slide show is a unique format for a presentation, he emphasizes the fundamental principles that apply just as much to a presentation with PowerPoint as a slide show with ProShow.

What I liked

The author is Paul Schmidt the CEO and a founder of Photodex who sell the ProShow software. This book could seem to be a self-serving substitute for proper documentation for the software, but it isn’t that at all. Although you’re probably not going to get this book if you have no interest in the software, it’s not primarily about the software at all-in fact, if you want detailed information about using ProShow or tutorials for it, this book isn’t the best resource out there. (I think the best resource is the ProShow enthusiasts forum).

That’s not to say that you won’t learn a lot about the software, you will, but you’ll learn far more about making a great slide show and that’s a huge part of the book’s value, you’ll be able to apply the content in several places using several tools.

Mechanically, the book is well written: conversational, clear, reasonably concise and well-illustrated with examples. There’s an accompanying CD with images, sample slide show fragments and even more examples.

What I didn’t like.

I went into this one biased against it and was immediately surprised by how good it was. Now I find it hard to identify anything more than nits to complain about. I occasionally found Paul’s opinions about photography grating–no, Paul, there really still are reasons to shoot in portrait mode–but that’s a nit when he’s got the principles so well-articulated. I wish it were a bit less expensive, but these kinds of books aren’t cheap to print, and considering the DVD that’s included, that’s a nit also.

Recommend the book, the ideas and the software.
If you want a creative outlet for your photography or just something to help people relive an event, get ProShow and make some slide shows–but get this book, too. Your slide shows will be better, your presentations better and the audiences for both will appreciate it.

Note: new edition. The above review was written for the 2010 version, there’s a brand new edition out which has been updated for the latest versions of ProShow Gold and Producer.

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Related posts
Presentations without PowerPoint
Vacation pictures and digital slide shows

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Laws of Computing

The laws of computing: an occasional series of witty (?) thoughts.

Photo of an old mainframe computerLUBARSKY’S LAW OF CYBERNETIC ENTOMOLOGY
There’s always one more bug.

 

 

Picture of modern laptopTROUTMAN’S POSTULATES

  1. Profanity is the one language understood by all programmers.
  2. Not until a program has been in production for six months will the most harmful error be discovered.
  3. Interchangeable hardware isn’t.
  4. If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction.
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Two more tips for vacation slideshows

Divide and conquer

Picture of a calendarFor multi-day, and especially multi-destination trips, making multiple small shows works well. Even if it’s just family, it’s hard for people to stay interested in a slide show of more than 10 minutes, maybe 20 at most. One way to keep to that is to break the trip into pieces, maybe by day or location, whatever makes sense and keeps the length reasonable. Just remember that each of those shows is now a story, too, with a beginning, middle and end.

Picture of sheet music and guitarMusic to set the mood

One of the coolest things we can now do with slide shows is easily add music and sound effects. Like everything, if it’s overdone it can be horrible distraction, but done well it becomes a powerful reinforcement for the story. It works for movies, it will work for your slide shows, too.

Side note with a little brain science.
There are good reasons why music enhances our experience with a movie or a slide show. Our brains process music very differently than the visual input. While visual input is most important* the sound is a powerful reinforcement for memory and connects very strongly to emotional responses. Exactly why that’s so isn’t well understood, but the truth of it is something nearly all* of us feel immediately. Be careful with the selection of music–picking the right track will reinforce the emotion but something else might set up conflicting emotions. Just trust your own brain, if it feels right, it probably is.

Cover from CD Wild AustraliaWhen I do a slide show I always work out all the visuals first then add the music as nearly the last step. Adding the music is, for me, one of the hardest parts of the whole thing. I rarely use vocal tracks because I find the words distracting, but sometimes I’m sure it would work great. Finding just the right piece to use, the right length, pace and mood is tricky and rather time-consuming. Sometimes the general idea is obvious–no surprise what I kind of music I used for big pieces of the show about our trip to Hawaii, or the one to Australia either. But even then, a lazy, quiet scene on the beach needs something really different from what I’d want behind pictures taken at a sports event even if it was in Hawaii.

Sound effects are, for me, used very sparingly. But somehow that shot of the kids in the go-kart just has to have a proper sound for it! I tend to use them to reinforce something surprising or amusing in the pictures and otherwise avoid it. You might feel differently about it and that’s okay, too, it is after all your show and you’ll get the kudos or suffer the ‘slings and arrows’ of your audience. ;)

Go make some slide shows!

I hope this will inspire you go get some vacation photos and make a slide show. If you’ve never done it, give it a shot. It’s not hard and it can be fun–the only danger is that some folks find the whole, highly creative experience rather addicting!

And if you’re not a ProShow user and decide to try it, you should also know that there’s a fantastic by-users, for-users forum all about it that I think is one of friendliest places on the net and a big reason I stuck with ProShow after I tried it a few years ago.

In any case, have fun!

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*Note: for some very readable material on brain science, I highly recommend Dr. John Medina’s book, Brain Rules, it’s on my bookshelf. For some fascinating material about music and the brain don’t miss Oliver Sacks’ book, Musicophilia, where you’ll learn that there are a few people who can’t hear music at all.

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Four tips for better vacation slide shows

Think about the slide show as you shoot
Two digital camerasFor what I’ve done lately, I don’t have this option—the ones I’ve been using are often decades old. But fortunately, as we traveled I often did think ahead to the slide show, though it was the other kind. Then and now, I often think about the slide show and taking some pictures specifically for it: “Oh, that sign will be good as a title” or taking a picture of a road sign so I’ll know where we were. And don’t forget to take a couple shots as you’re getting packed, on the drive or at the airport perhaps. The story of the trip doesn’t start when you get there.

Save and scan “stuff”

Pictur with Alaska cruise map

Alaska Cruise Map

For some of the trips I saved maps, postcards, and descriptive brochures–I wish I’d saved more of them. At the time, I had no idea just how useful they would be once I had the ability scan them. The maps are obviously useful, but the brochures are useful, too, because tell me more about what’s in the pictures and scans of the covers make good transition slides from scene-to-scene and place-to-place.

Picture of ticket and money from Disney WorldThings like ticket stubs or program booklets can do exactly the same thing—yes, a blank slide with a caption works, but creatively adding a few scans of those things makes it a lot nicer.

Simplify and stick to the story
While looking at the pictures and sorting through them in preparation for building the slide show, I’m thinking about the story line(s) that I want to have in the show. What are the little stories inside the vacation trip? What happened that will be fun to show people?   I’m also thinking about  how I’ll structure the show:  time sequential is the most obvious, but might not be best, maybe reordering them to keep certain places or activities together would be better.

Vacation snapshot ArubaA crucial lesson I’ve learned is that I have to think about what stories I want to tell and aggressively remove anything that doesn’t support this show’s story. This is hard! It’s natural to want the audience to see all the wonderful pictures you took, but no matter how fantastic the picture, if it isn’t needed to tell the story, then it doesn’t belong in the show (make another show where it does belong).  Likewise, no matter how good they are, it’s rare that two, similar pictures are better than one in telling a single story point.

Did I mention that this is hard?!  But I’ve learned that I have to be ruthless to get the best story and the best slide show.

Let the pictures be the story not the slide show software
Let the story come through by keeping the slide show itself in the background. Yes, ProShow (and some of the rest) can do some really cool stuff—but if it doesn’t help the story, then it’s just showing off and probably a distraction.

So, what tips would you offer when it comes to vacation picture slide shows?

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Next, one more post with two more vacation slide show tips

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Vacation pictures and digital slideshows.

As I’ve related here, last summer I launched into a huge project scanning four decades of our family pictures. That story was the subject of a series of posts all  about getting the scans done.

Picture of slide projector and slide carousels.

Slide shows the old way

Lately I’ve been working through our vacation trip pictures and turning some of them into slide shows. That used to be something that lots of us did back in the days of shooting film, my personal favorite being Kodachrome 64. I’d come home with a bunch of rolls of film, send it off for processing and hope they turned out. Then there was the process of sorting them, labeling them and, eventually, loading up a carousel or three. Much of that process has changed, but it hasn’t gone away.

Once the carousels were loaded and ignoring the protests from some family members, I’d gather the audience (victims?) and we’d look at pictures and some of them got a nap.

Like the cameras and the pictures, slide shows have gone digital and the software to create them let’s me do things with the pictures that are amazing.  But if I’m not careful, some of the audience still gets a nap.

Vacation memories
Making and viewing the shows can be a lot of fun, especially as a way to use all those great pictures we take on vacation–whether from last month or decades ago. Having learned a few things (mostly the hard way) and finding a few things that seemed to work for me, I thought I’d share and that’s what the next couple posts are about.

But I’d really like it if you would add to the thread with your own “lessons learned” and tips for this kind of show.

Software
So, you’ve got a big library of  vacation pictures, maybe collected over many years. To turn those into slide shows, what’s needed?  Actually, the choices are many and you may well already have one or more. Most picture editing packages now have at least a simple slide Image of the ProShow Gold box package.show capability built-in. I use PhotoShop Elements as my main editor and it’s got one and it works. But as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, my main tool for slide shows is PhotoDex’s ProShow software.  The power and flexibility in that software is pretty amazing and it can help you make very cool slide shows. But, at best, that’s all it can do–help you–it can’t tell your story for you, but adding the creativity in the process is a major part of the fun for me.

No matter what software you use to create the show, you can still end up with a boring show and an audience nodding off. Making interesting shows isn’t particularly hard, but I’ve made the other kind, too, so sharing a few tips here just might help you steer around a few of the potholes in the road to a show that was fun to make and fun to watch.

Next post will be 4 specific tips for doing just that.

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Plan for success!

In my current “day job” I’m a systems engineer helping my customers get stuff done.  Before that, I led and managed software projects.  In both these roles I was, and still am, amazed at the number of times people fail to plan for success!

photo with signs reading success and failureWe often spend a huge amount of effort planning for failure. Everyone talks about risk management, contingency plans and imagines all the ways things could go wrong. Documents are written, presentations made, time and money set aside. Now all of those are good things—not many projects I’ve ever been involved with went exactly to plan and having a “Plan B” is a very good thing.

But what baffles me is the number of times I see a huge hole in all their plans—what happens when it’s successful?

  • When the project is complete, what’s the next step?
  • How will that next step get done?
  • Who does it?
  • What resources will they need and will they have them?

All too often I find customers and fellow managers so focused on preventing short-term failure that they almost completely overlook the need to plan for long-term success!

And that could ultimately be the one failure mode that can “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

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Why I’m not using the online scanning services.

This post is a continuation of the series I started a few months ago recounting my adventures, frustrations and successes while digitizing my pictures at home. I mentioned that I’d investigated places online that do this a service and that I intended to try one or more. I did some more investigation, tried one of them and concluded that for my slides, I’m going to have to do it myself <sigh>. Here’s why it’s the right answer for me-but ‘your mileage may vary’ and one of the services might fit your needs just fine.

Back story

Picture of Canon scanner

Canon9000F

In June I blogged about getting a new scanner (a Canon 9000F) and 3rd party software (VueScan) to use with it. Since then, I’ve scanned thousands of photo prints, lots of other paper items, a couple dozen negatives and over a thousand 35mm slides. lt’s been a huge amount of work, but I’ve completed the prints and I’m about 25% of the way into the slide collection.

Scanning services
The alternative to investing the time it will require to finish the slides is to invest money-pay one of the many (many!) places that will do the scanning for a fee. I don’t pretend it was exhaustive (though it was somewhat exhausting), but I investigated a bunch of the candidates. Essentially all will do film, prints and video tape. I only evaluated slide scanning. To greatly simplify, they fall into three rough groups:

1. Local companies, for example Wal-Mart, Costco, and others.
These have the sole advantage of being local–go to the shop and turn in the stuff, pay for it and go get it. They tend to be very basic in the service options offered and you’ll get a very basic all-automatic scan. Cost is variable but tends to be low. Most, if not all, ship the material out, there’s no way to know where but no good reason to care very much.

Pros: local, no shipping costs; cost.
Cons: by all accounts I found, scans are mediocre at best.

2. Internet big guys.
There are 3-5 on the net that seem to dominate in terms of volume of scanning they do. These include ScanCafe, Digmypics, and ScanDigital (in order of increasing price). All of these offer a variety of options (resolution, type of file saved, level of human involvement) and associated cost. Turnaround times vary widely from a couple of weeks to several months. All offer volume discounts (typically at 1000+). Several offer online previews of the scans and lots more. Prices start low $.22-.39 each for really basic scans, but rise to around $.75 each for scans that should equal what I normally do. Each of these places has advantages and disadvantages, all of them have lots of favorable reviews and some really bad reviews.

Pros: lots of options; scans generally rated as good to excellent; lots of satisfied customers.
Cons: turnaround; some ship your materials overseas (ScanCafe goes to India); cost can be
high; lots of ways their services can, and occasionally do, go very badly.

3. Internet little guys.
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of shops out there of every size and type that offer these services. Each has some claim to fame: price, quality, speed… whatever they can claim to be different. Prices range from low ($.25@) to very high (well over $1@). Services range from very basic to very sophisticated. It’s hard, and probably not fair, to generalize this group because they represent such a broad spectrum.  The good news is that no matter what you want done, there’s someone out there who will do it–for a price.

Pros:  price sometimes, expert scans sometimes.
Cons: other than their ‘testimonials,’ few reviews online; price sometimes; turnaround
usually.

My experience

My scan

In doing the research I ran across one of the larger of the ‘little guys,’ Oldphoto.com in Wisconsin. Uniquely, they offer a try-before-you-buy deal: send in 10 slides (or prints or negatives) and they’ll do the scans and return a CD at no charge. The only risk is losing the 10 slides, so I sent them a selection of slides I’d already scanned, some easy ones and some hard ones, portraits and landscapes, indoor and outdoor. They were fast (10 days) and returned everything fine. The only cost to me was the cost shipping to them, they even paid the return shipping. Unfortunately, the scans were worth only slightly more than what I paid for them and would not have been worth their normal $.39@ price. Although the resolution is pretty high (3200ppi), theirs are basic, automated scans. A major issue is that they don’t use any dust/scratch processing (not an option for them at all) and that’s a killer problem on 6 of my 10 slides.

Oldphoto scan

Based on the metadata in the images, it appears they scan into Adobe PhotoShop CS2 and I’m guessing they run an automated script for sharpening and color adjustment. I suspect that script is the reason for the fact that all were over sharpened and 7/10 had increased contrast resulting badly blocked shadow details. To really appreciate the differences click on the images to enlarge them. In the example, notice how in their scan the detail in the dark blanket is missing and the lighting now has a harsh, over-exposed and contrasty look to it. Resolution is better in their scan, but there’s a lot of lint and scratch noise–possible, but time consuming to fix.

Of the 10 slides, color was significantly off for 3, 5 were okay and 2 looked nice. Overall, of the 10 scans, 7 failed to make my acceptable level and only two compared favorably with the scans from my Canon flatbed.

Lessons learned
Getting some slides done elsewhere showed me that I’m not going to be satisfied with the basic, automated scans. As in many things, good and cheap appear to mutually exclusive in this. The other thing this showed is that getting the most out of these services will still require a fair amount of time sorting through the slides to eliminate the hopeless ones and organize them before sending them. More time is then needed to organize the resulting scans so they have meaningful file names and metadata. Yes, the scanning service will save time, but not as much as I’d hoped–the time doing the actual scans is significant, but the time I spend before and after the actual scans is also large and much of that is required no matter who does the actual scanning. And getting another 4-5 thousand slides scanned is going to cost roughly $3000 to get scans I have a reasonable chance at being happy with.

Conclusion
For now anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to press on myself. I’ve gotten “the hang” of doing the scans so I’m getting the close to the best results the combination of user, software and equipment will allow. I’m finding that I’m a value-added step here by adding metadata and identifying a few really nice slides for special handling. Maybe l’ll change my mind later but after doing about 1500 slides, I at least know what I’m signing up for. >sigh<

Final thoughts
If you want to try one or more of the services, my advice would be to avoid the Wal-Mart type of place for this and I’d try one or more of the ‘big guys.’ None of them are without issues, but there are at least three that seem heavily used and generally well reviewed. But the Venn diagram of quick, cheap and good is a null-at best, you might get two out of three.

One place I’ll probably use one of the services is getting digital transfers of a few 8mm video tapes (late 1990′s era) I’ve got in the closet. The fees seem reasonable and I’ve no experience there, so l won’t be a “value added” step and don’t want to bother–none of the tapes are all that important to me, but it would be nice to have digital copies for the kids.

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Is perception reality? …really?

I mentioned in the prior post how John Medina’s Brain Rules helped me get my brain in the right frame of mind to connect with It’s all invented in the Zanders’ book. It’s not exactly the point that the Zanders’ were getting at, but the issue of visual perception is really fascinating.

Visual illusion of colors.

Squares A & B are the same color!

There are many books, articles and video available all talking about visual perception. A  fun corner of that science is the area of visual illusion and what they can tell us about how our brains actually work.

There are many great sites on the ‘net full of material like this, search for “visual illusion.”

There are also several excellent TED talks on the topic of visual perception and visual illusions. Some of them that I like are:

I find the final illusion that Lotto does simply mind-blowing. Right in front of our eyes, he constructs an illusion, describing exactly how it works and both what we expect to see and what we will actually see. He knows that we’ll see the illusion regardless of what we’ve observed or been told, because he knows we can’t help it. He also has a great comment:

The brain didn’t actually evolve to see the world the way that it is, no it can’t, instead it evolved to show it to us in a way that is useful…

Stylized image of the brain. Our brains have evolved in specific ways to deal with the fact that our senses can send more information per second into the brain than it actually has the ability to deal with.  It has to prioritize what to process and what it ignore.

We’re actually pretty darn good at it–after all, we survived in a very hostile world with few natural defenses, except that marvelous brain.

But the shortcuts we’ve developed can lead to strange things like visual illusions. It can, in the modern world, also lead to traffic accidents where one driver will swear he didn’t see the other car–and be right.

John Medina’s Brain Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses, covers some of this and is the specific piece of his book that really helped get over my initial obstacle with Art of Possibility. Neuroscience tells us that we literally don’t know what’s real around us–we can only know what our brain builds as the picture it has decided we need. In other words, our brains invent this stuff we call reality–our senses can be fooled.

As a kind of extension of that idea, the Zanders’ point out, our perception of reality is not only just an invented-by-the-brain picture, it’s also emotional–how we feel about what we perceive. Indeed, “It’s all invented” and if we want, we can take charge of it, or at least how we react what we perceive.

Illusions are fascinating things created by our amazing brains. Equally amazing is the realization that if we choose to live in the world of possibility, those perceptions don’t have to control us, we can choose how we react to what we perceive and in doing so, we create a new reality for ourselves.

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Book review: The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility
by Roz and Ben Zander, Harvard Press (c) 2000.

In my life there have been a handful of books that made a major, lasting impact on me.  A couple of them truly changed my life-they altered my thinking at fundamental levels.  This is one of them.

Book cover, Art of PossibilityIs this a book for you?
In the introduction, the authors state their belief that this book could benefit virtually everyone. I agree with that, but I don’t think it will work that way. It came close to doing nothing for me and explaining why might help you judge whether it should be on your reading list and, perhaps, also help you better appreciate what you’re getting into if you do read it.

The first issue with this book is that it’s hard to put a category label on it. You’re likely to find this book on the “Self Improvement” shelf and while I don’t have a better label, that’s an uncomfortable fit. As Roz puts it, “This isn’t any of the usual kinds of self-improvement books.”

Perhaps that’s part of why I found it so hard to get ‘into’ this book. On my first attempt, I got through the introduction and the first chapter. I didn’t get much out of it and put it down. Weeks later, I threw it in my bag because I had nothing else to read on a cross-country flight. On the flight I started over. This time I connected with the first chapter, parts of the rest, and finished the book. One big difference was the fact I had just finished Brain Rules (Medina). Suddenly, the first chapter, It’s all invented, made complete sense.

Photo of Roz Zander

Roz Zander

Zander and Medina were, in different ways, making the same point:  we don’t experience reality, we can only experience the version our brain constructs for us. Two authors making essentially the same point but from very different perspectives really helped me. Having read Medina’s neuroscience angle moved my reaction to the Zanders’ perspective from “I don’t get it” to “It’s obvious.”  Yes, it was that dramatic.  Now, I cannot imagine how I couldn’t connect with that 1st chapter.

Once I’d connected with that piece, somehow that stretched my brain enough that most of the entire book hit home. The Zanders’ It’s all invented contribution is, in essence, this: not only do our brains construct that experience-the thing we call reality–but we can be in active, conscious control of our experience and how we feel about it. Perception really is reality and you have the ability to alter that perception. That’s one aspect of the ‘possibility’ in the title—opening your world view up to see possibility in the world, not limitation; doors, not walls.

The point of the above isn’t that you have to read Medina’s book before this one (it wouldn’t hurt though), or that this is an esoteric, hard-to-read volume. No, just that if you choose to read this book, don’t be surprised or discouraged if you have difficulty getting “into” it. I did, and so have others I’ve talked to. Stick with it, some of the concepts are likely to take some “brain stretching” to fit.

What can you expect in the book?
So, what can you expect if you do set off into this realm of possibility? Structurally, the book is set up as a series of 12 practices–Roz uses that word both in the sense of ‘habit’, something you do that’s a normal part of your life, and in the sense that these are things that you’ll need to practice, i.e., consciously do until they become a part of you. They are:

  1. It’s all invented
  2. Stepping into a universe of possibility
  3. Giving an A
  4. Being a contribution
  5. Leading from any chair
  6. Rule number 6
  7. The way things are
  8. Giving way to passion
  9. Lighting a spark
  10. Being the board
  11. Creating frameworks for possibility
  12. Telling the WE story

In a post on my other blog, I talked about one of them: Rule #6: Don ‘t take yourself so $#% seriously.  I briefly described the first:  It’s all invented above. Each practice represents an aspect of living, a way of looking at life, and a context for viewing yourself and those around you.

Possibility
The common thread running through all twelve is that powerful word in the title: possibility. It’s hard for me to easily explain it, but the essential element here is being able to be mentally and emotionally open to the world, and to see it as a world of abundant opportunity. Each of these 12 practices is a facet of that, a specific way of looking at things that opens up possibility in ways, places and circumstances you might not expect it.

Ben Zander on the web

photo of Ben Zander

Ben at TED 2009

Ben’s profession and passion is music, but he also does powerful talks on leadership, creativity and communications in the workplace (link). A search using Ben’s name will turn up videos of some of Ben’s talks to various groups. All I’ve seen were worthwhile, but I’d especially recommend his TED talk.

In fact, both authors have given TED talks, but so far as I can find, only Ben’s is available on the web site.  And what a talk it was! Independent of the book, it’s a favorite on the site and well worth your time. Personally, I think it’s a “must see.” Ben’s topic for the TED talk was music, but you’ll get a unique insight into this book by listening to him–we’re watching him put the lessons of this book to work and show us what it’s about. In a way, Ben’s talk is a better way to understand the book than anything I can write, unforgettable really does apply.

Bottom line
So, am I recommending the book?  Well, so far I’ve purchased 14 copies and given away 12 (I’m keeping the one I marked up and the one they signed for me) to friends and family. Get it, read it, stick with it to the end.

Possibility and change
Unless you’re Roz or Ben, I suspect that you’re not going to live all of these–I know I can’t. But that’s not the point, this book will be of huge benefit if you truly absorb and adopt even one of these. Let some of this book sink in and change you. Live the possibilities and it will change your life and the lives of those you touch.

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(Note: in the TED video the woman in front the camera frequently pauses on is Roz.)

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