Job Change: Heading To The Mothership

It’s is with great pleasure that I post about a change of role and company. I have had a phenomenal two years working as an SE at Veeam, but I am now making the move from VMware eco-system partner, to VMware itself.

I’ll be moving to VMware in the role of Senior SE and expanding the scope of my day-to-day work beyond just data protection. VMware has posted some fantastic results in recent weeks, including double digit growth (almost unheard of for a company of it’s size). The new role will give me the opportunity to work with customers in a wide breadth of areas with a killer product range covering Software Defined Data Center, Cloud and End User Computing.

If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, why would you want to work at VMware?, here are some key facts, VMware is:

a $5Billion+ company currently […]

Echoes From the Past, The Mother of All Demos – Douglas Engelbart (1968)

We tend to envisage modern desktops with keyboards and mice as something that appeared in the early 1980’s. Microsoft did a great job of commoditizing this for the masses, but they did of course get the idea (or copied the idea, depending on your point of view) from a Xerox research project that never quite made off the ground. Anything prior to the arrival of Windows stirs up visions of large mechanical devices with green text consoles and paper punch cards for input/output.

The reality is that the embryonic beginnings of the current desktop stretch back closer to 50 years ago, even before the Xerox project. I wasn’t aware of this until I heard about a 1960’s demo on a recent podcast (thanks Speaking in Tech). The video below is of Douglas Engelbart, who unfortunately passed away in recent weeks. This is probably the first ever large scale demo of this […]

Book Review: Life’s A Pitch, What the World’s Best Sales People Can Teach Us All

This is a really cool book by Philip Delves Broughton:

What struck me about this book was that it didn’t try to position itself as some new scientific methodology for improving your stats as a salesperson. Nor did it evangelically preach someone’s view of sales and how life should be if you want to achieve your full potential. The book takes an objective observatory stance, where the author simply seeks out people who excel in the field of sales and attempts to understand what drives them, how they do what they do and why it is working for them. Personality traits are explored from a qualitative angle to give a broad sense of character and what may or may not be similar across different successful sellers.

From Moroccan souq rugs, through USA teleshopping to Japanese Life Insurance, the author takes a very broad and international sample of successful […]

Book Review: Big Picture Investing

Big Picture Investing, When The Market Moves Will You Be Ready by Professor Peter Navarro is a course on stock market investing. The course comes as an audio book with an accompanying 90 page course guide providing all relevant diagrams and data.

Big Picture Investing

Have you ever wanted to understand the stock market? From time to time, I have. This historically has amounted to turning on Bloomberg TV, being barraged with stats, figures and jargon for an hour then deciding to come back later to try again. Not anymore. This 8-9 hour audio course takes most of the mystery out of what is being said on Bloomberg TV and any other business channel for that matter.

Over the past couple of decades, I have invested in the occasional stock. In the late 1990s, this was directed by investing approaches such as those promoted by The Motley Fool. Unfortunately, […]

Book Review: Brilliant Selling 2nd Edition – What the best salespeople know, do and say

Brilliant Selling by Jeremy Cassell and Tom Bird takes a one inch deep, one mile wide look at selling skills, activities and results. If you are new to selling or just need to step back for a refresher this is a great book to get you started.

The book takes you through a journey to understand all aspects of selling. Starting with views on your personality as a salesperson, moving through processes and planning to effective to communication for understanding buyer needs and motivations. The journey is a well structured one where each chapter builds nicely on the previous nuggets of wisdom. Although lacking depth in some areas it does provide an excellent springboard to give a wide view of the topic and also stirs lots of different ideas for you to think about. I found the content associated practical exercises very useful to help me understand and analyze my […]

Introduction to Studying Economics at LSE

I have been researching some private investment strategies in recent days and have inevitably encountered a need to refresh my understanding of Economics. As part of this research I came across this video. The video is the a London School of Economics (LSE) kick-off day back in 2011. It shows Professor Witztum giving an introduction to what the prospective students may have in store when they embark on learning economics at the institution.

It’s really very insightful, so I thought I would share. Something that stuck with me was the differences between “learning” and “training”, where by training you are really only repeating what someone else has already done and repeating their process. Learning can be defined as a much more philosophical experience. This guy is a very engaging speaker and worth listening to.

If you don’t want to watch the full video, you can skip the content […]

Can You Spot A Fake Smile?

I found this psychology test recently on the BBC science website. A prominent, everyday and recognizable body language behaviour is the smile. Smiles are generally associated with positive communication and can send clear signals about positive states of mind. They can, however, be faked.

Can you spot a fake one?

Click this image to test yourself:

18/20 for me, but I was duped by 2 subjects.. it’s the crow’s feet that got me. Not to worry if you’re a low scorer here, fake smiles don’t necessarily mean something deeply devious is occurring and even when recognized we, for the most part, all accept fake smiles. Even a faked smile can indicate a positive intention.

Book Review: Book of Tells

Book of Tells by Peter Collett is a book based primarily on body language, but also includes some linguistic and vocal insights. This book is best described as an attempt to categorize and catalogue non-verbal communication. It is essentially attempting to isolate and document individual behaviours and their associated meanings. It conceptualizes these distinct behaviours as “tells”. The term “tell” is borrowed from the poker playing sub-culture and popularized in various Hollywood films.

On starting this book, I was surprised to find that the author was a resident psychologist on the TV show Big Brother. I read and reviewed another body language book back in 2009 called Visible Thought – The New Psychology of Body Language. That book was written by a previous Big Brother psychologist who Collett also makes reference to in this book, Geoffrey Beattie. This link between reviews was a pure co-incidence, so I’d like to make […]

Book Review: Sun Tzu’s – The Art of War

I have had this book on my shelf for many years now. Having been deeply into martial arts and their associated eastern philosophies in my youth, it is no surprise that I have encountered this 2,000 year old piece of literature. As a young martial artist, I was more concerned with being warrior than general and therefore didn’t give it much more than a cursory glance and read through. As time progresses, I have developed much more interest in strategy as opposed to tactics.

Sun Tzu was a mystical Chinese warrior-philospher of times long past. This text is written in the form of a general’s manual for war and battle. In recent times, many business leaders have bought into the philosophy of Sun Tzu and use it to draw parallels between modern day competitive business challenges and the ancient battlefield of China. In fact, it is easy to see references […]

Book Review: Millionaire Upgrade

Millionaire Upgrade: Lessons in Success from Those Who Travel at the Sharp End of the Plane by Richard Parkes Cordock is a self-development book examining the millionaire mindset.

This is an interesting book, it takes a fictional approach to telling a real life story. The whole premise of the book is that the main character Tom is upgraded to first class by a kind and wealthy millionaire, who has a spare seat next to him in Business Class. The Millionaire protagonist usually books two seats for himself for comfort, but given that the plane is full, he agrees via the check-in staff to give up one of his seats to Tom, who would otherwise not be able to travel on the full plane. The millionaire chats with Tom and throughout the flight coaches him to develop a millionaire mentality.

There are some good nuggets of information […]