Negative comments

Marian Rainer-Harbach - Spring Cleaning, Negative

I think there’s a lot of value in negative comments.

They tend to offend me, but I tend to learn from them.

It’s a form of feedback, from which I can grow.

Sure, if a comment is a personal attack, or it doesn’t use polite words, I’ll delete it, but, generally, if someone tells me something bad, I try to learn from it, although that’s not my initial reaction (which is to feel offended, even if that’s not the case).

One guy on an online forum, long ago, told me something similar to: „Olivian, you wrote above that reading books helps with intelligence. Everybody, does it look to you that Olivian says smart things?”.

Boy, that comment really hurt me, I got so offended for it. But it was true, on multiple levels: I wasn’t a big reader (so I wasn’t speaking from direct experience), and I didn’t practice thinking about tough subjects that much. When I look at various messages written in those times (this happened almost 20 years ago), I feel rather ashamed on how silly I used to write.

That person was right.

Did the message motivate me? You bet.

I don’t think that there’s an upper limit on how much you should learn (Why You Don’t Need to Be Exceptional – YouTube).

You always need to learn a lot of things, there’s always a need to grow.

Still, since that message was posted, I tried to improve myself in various means.

It may be paradoxical, but I don’t think that just by reading books you can get very smart. So, I tried various means.

I’m not saying I’m a genius/wise man, I’m just saying that I think I’m a bit smarter than in ~2004, when that message was posted.

And the message was a motivating factor to me, all these years.

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Newsletters and Black Friday

Schub@ - passive aggressive

I created a fake account and subscribed to a lot of newsletters, just for Black Friday.

Two opposite problems – too many emails or too few emails. At the same time.

A shop selling watches with almost daily emails is way too much.

Other stores, a bit too little (I forgot to which I subscribed, so if they don’t email me, I don’t even know about them).

Then, a lot of aggressiveness in some emails. Can-can emails, full of Spam, begging for attention, no care for the long-term, every pressure put on „Now! Now! Now!”.

Few questions to personalize the emails. Very little personalization based on my actions – do I click an email? Yes or No. Based on this answer, I’ll get lots or fewer emails.

Forcing people to also leave their phone numbers when subscribing to an email newsletter. (this might lead some people in not subscribing at all)

Yes, you need to sell today, but you also need to sell 10 years from now.

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The result of a business is a satisfied customer – Peter F. Drucker

Prime Day Arrives on June 21 & 22—Two Days of Epic Savings on More than 2 Million Deals Globally | Business Wire

Finally, the single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer. The result of a hospital is a healed patient. The result of a school is a student who has learned something and puts it to work ten years later. Inside an enterprise, there are only cost centers. Results exist only on the outside.

Peter F. Drucker – Management and the World’s Work, Harvard Business Review.

When you make a sale, you shouldn’t stop when the package leaves your store, you need to make sure your client is happy using the product.

If someone visits your medical practice, you don’t need to only solve that particular issue the patient came to you, you need to make sure the person is healthy, overall.

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Some very *personal* notes from Karl Gilis’s presentation at GPeC, November 2021

Karl Gilis

I like watching Karl Gilis‘s presentations. He’s both an entertainer and a brain trainer. I learn a lot of things watching him, and do this while laughing. He has a lot of courage for showing so much vulnerability when he talks.

This year, on November 2021 GPeC event, he gave a presentation about user experience – Make it personal – Personalisation that really works.

Below, some personal notes. (note – don’t take this as 100% accurate quotes, but some things I wrote)

Try to catch him next time he comes in Romania at GPeC, he’s a very good speaker, in my opinion.

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Serendipity și întâmplările

heights.18145 - Miracle cub's first veterinary exam (SNZ link below with video)

Întâlnirile întâmplătoare – Adrian Stanciu:

Eu nu sunt mare fan de făcut planuri, mai ales planuri elaborate și pe termen lung. Nu sunt pentru că în viața mea nu prea mi-a ieșit mimic așa cum am planificat în schimb mi-au ieșit multe lucruri pe care nu le-am planificat deloc. Am învățat, cu timpul, să apreciez și să caut întâlnirile întâmplătoare.


Rand Fishkin: Investing in Non-Measurable Serendipitous Marketing – Moz
I think it’s critically important, if you’re going to do some serendipitous investments, that you have no penalty whatsoever for failure. Essentially, you’re saying, „Hey, we know we’re going to make this investment. We know that it’s the one out of five kind of thing, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. We’re going to keep trying again and again.”


Rand Fishkin: Manufacturing Serendipity – SparkToro

This manufacturing serendipity business breaks down pretty much like this:

  1. Go to places that are not your office (conferences, events, meetups, trains, etc)
  2. Participate in things, learn things, and be generally game for new experiences
  3. Meet interesting people in the process
  4. Build relationships
  5. Be generally awesome by helping the people you’ve met and doing good deeds with no expectation of a return
  6. Repeat 1-5 hundreds of times

Notă personală: Îmi place să fac lucrurile întâmplător. În general, sunt o persoană destul de prezentă în spațiul public. Merg la multe evenimente, mă bucur să întâlnesc oameni, încerc să postez lucruri în online.

Nu totul îmi iese, nu toate întâlnirile mă ajută, dar, la finalul zilei, asta face viața frumoasă.

În facultate, preferam să merg la un ONG (LEADERS România) decât să merg la toate cursurile de la școală.

Preferam amicii din cămin, majoritatea de la alte facultăți decât a mea, pentru perspectiva parțial diferită.

Încerc să fiu parte din comunități online, pe tot felul de planuri, de la forumuri la bloguri și rețele sociale și alte asemenea.

Viața e absolut uimitoare.

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„[…] the key to your freedom… was inside of you the entire time” – The Life of David Gale (2003)

ababhastopographer - bamboo forest path

(spoiler alert!)

„You’re handcuffed, forced to swallow the key.”


„[…] you’re left there to suffocate. The Securitat did it to Romanians when they wouldn’t inform or confess.”

„Otherwise, you died knowing that the key to your freedom… was inside of you the entire time.”

Source » The Life of David Gale (2003)

It’s always the case, isn’t it?

100% of the time, you’re accountable for what happens to you.

You can find excuses, external factors, reasons to fail.

But, in the end, it’s all you.

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How to avoid errors online?

junaidrao - #Design The imposing “Atomium”, designed by Belgian engineer André Waterkeyn to depict nine iron atoms in the shape of the cubic cell of an iron crystal. While long clad in aluminium, it is now more appropriately clad in steel. [4833 x 3254][OC]

There are multiple solutions to various online aspects:

  • To avoid typing something wrong, try to copy & paste it – a bank account, an URL, a name.
  • Use a Password Manager for passwords.
  • Also, use a Password Generator, in order to generate an almost truly unique password.
  • When you actually need to type something, double-check. Then, triple-check. If it’s very important, check one more time.
  • If someone gives you a photo with a banking account of a State account (Treasury, for example), Google that account. Type it, then Google it. Most likely, that account should be online, since it’s used by lots of entities.
  • When someone dictates a phone number, tell them to dictate it again, for double-checking.

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Proving God exists

If you’d find a way to prove God exists, would you present it? I think God doesn’t want itself to be discovered by logic & demonstration, but by faith.

I would tell the world I found God, that’s for sure. But show the demonstration, logically?

I think God is mostly about emotions and love, not a mathematical demonstration.

If such a demonstration would, indeed, be possible, I don’t think I’d agree with it.

I think that if God wanted to give us a big sign, He would have.

Let’s keep our minds small, and have a big leap of faith.

That’s the thing.

Trust, love, a leap of faith. Don’t have these? Don’t do it.

Perhaps I’m wrong, and the solution to the dilemma – „Does God exist?” – is, actually, a paradox.

I’m thinking of a lot of Saints, who were, most likely, almost 100% sure that God exists. What did they do? Did they go to cities and start yelling – „Look, God exists?”. That’s not a good option, in my opinion.

„Ar trebui sa incercam sa traim in asa fel incat, daca s-ar pierde Evanghelia, numai privindu-ne cineva, ea sa poata fi scrisa din nou”. Mitropolitul Antonie al Surojului

Approximate translation – „We should live our lives in such a way that, if the Bible was lost, just by looking at our lives, the Bible could be re-written” – Metropolitan Anthony of Suroj

I think this is more important than trying to persuade others. Live your life as if God exists.

“If you want to change the world, start with yourself.” — Mahatma Gandhi


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How to have success, without the skills?

I liked this blog post on How to Become Rich with No Talent – Rich Life Habits:

1. Being on Time
2. Work Ethic
3. Effort
4. Energy

(the list continues)

This is how I get ideas for blog posts – I write them down.

When I try to post a joke on 9Gag, I don’t have any good ideas.

But I wrote down a lot of ideas, and, out of them, I posted a few jokes on 9Gag. I kept doing so. I’m still learning, though, I’m not up in the clouds with my success on this.

Why? I tend to insist on solving issues, both for myself and for others.

Also, I used to have difficulties being funny. I read a lot of jokes, I watched comedies, and my sense of humor improved.

More than this, I had difficulties communicating. I did theatrical plays, went to conferences, challenged myself to speak, and most of the issues were solved by themselves.

My belief is that you can have success without an initial talent, but with a lot of work.

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What to do when a telemarketer calls your phone?

When a spammer telemarketer calls me, I have two scenarios:

  • I abruptly get to the point and tell that person I’m not interested.
  • I let them speak while doing something else, to waste their time.

You can really learn a lot while listening carefully to a seller’s speech. The attitude, the way they frame their speech („What do you choose, A, B, or C?” – although I didn’t want any of these; „Give me the name of 10 friends interested in this. You have to give me at least 5 names”)

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