9 tricks to appear smart in brainstorming meetings

The following is an excerpt from Sarah Cooper’s new book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings (October 4, Andrews McMeel)

In a brainstorming meeting, the pressure of coming up with incredible new ideas can be debilitating. Luckily, the last thing most corporations want is new ideas.

During these largely pointless exercises, the point is to contribute using the mere gravitas of your presence, make other people’s ideas seem like your ideas, and look like a true leader by questioning the efficiency of the whole process.

Here are 9 tricks to make you look like you’re the creative force on your team.

  1. Leave to get water and ask if anyone needs anything


Just before the meeting starts, get up and ask if anyone needs anything. People will think you’re so thoughtful, kind, and giving, plus you’ll be able to disappear for 10 minutes no questions asked. Even if no one wants anything, return with bottles of water, soda, and snacks.

Your colleagues will feel compelled to start drinking and snacking, and your foresight will make them think you can really predict the future.


  1. Grab a pad of sticky notes and start drawing


While the topics are being introduced, grab one of those sticky note pads and start drawing meaningless flowcharts. Your colleagues will look over at you with worried interest, wondering how you’re coming up with so many complex ideas even before you know what this meeting is for.


  1. Make an analogy that’s so simple it sounds deep


When everyone is trying to define the problem, make an analogy about baking a cake, or something just as completely unrelated. Your colleagues will nod their heads in agreement, even if they really don’t understand how what you’re saying is related to what they’re talking about. Talking completely over their heads will make you seem wildly transcendent and intimidatingly creative, even though the truth is you really just like cake.


  1. Ask if we’re asking the right questions


Nothing makes you seem smarter than when you question the questions by asking if they’re the right questions. If someone responds by asking you what you think the right questions are, say you just asked one.


Sidebar: How to strategically shoot down small ideas

Wonder if an idea seems too small so your colleagues see you as a big thinker and a gamechanger.

Use one of these phrases:

  • But how is it disruptive?
  • Is this 10x?
  • Is this the future?
  • I thought that was dead.
  • What’s the big Win?
  • But isn’t Apple doing that?


  1. Use an idiom


Using an idiom to question an idea is a subtle, smart way of questioning it. Here are some idioms to choose from:

  • Isn’t that gilding the lily?
  • Isn’t that putting lipstick on a pig?
  • Seems like we’re polishing a turd.


  1. Develop a quirky, creative habit that ‘gets your juices flowing’


Develop a quirky habit that ‘helps you think’ and ‘gets your creative juices flowing.’ This could be anything from showing up in your pyjamas, meditating on the floor, jogging on the spot, throwing a ball against the wall, air drumming with your favourite drumsticks, or all of those things at the same time. Even if you’re not actually coming up with any ideas, your colleagues will be intimidated by your uncontrollable creative energy.


Sidebar: How to strategically shoot down big ideas

Wonder if an idea seems too big so your superiors see how much you care about company resources.

Use one of these phrases:

  • Is it too disruptive?
  • How does this fit into the roadmap?
  • This seems like a pivot.
  • Isn’t that a non-starter?
  • Isn’t that out of scope?
  • But how would you test that?
  • Will that work internationally?


  1. Say how you think the CEO would respond


Make your colleagues think that you have a very close relationship with the CEO by bringing up how you think she would respond to an idea. Mention your CEO by her first name. Say you might run this by her during your next powwow. Congratulate everyone for coming up with something she’d like. By associating yourself so closely with the CEO, people will start to think of you as some kind of CEO-in-training.

  1. Ask if we’re creating the right framework, platform, or model


You will always appear as if you’re thinking bigger than everyone else by bringing up a framework for moving forward, or a model of thinking, or how we can turn this into a platform. It’s a very meta way of blowing everyone’s minds and masking the fact that you have no idea what everyone’s talking about.

  1. When everyone seems to like an idea, yell out ‘Ship it!’


There’ll come a point when everyone seems to be really excited about an idea or direction. At this point you should try to be the first person to yell out ‘Ship it!’ Sure, it’s a funny thing to say that will make people laugh, but doing this will also convey some authority on your part to both end the meeting and make a final decision, even though you have no power to do either.

100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings will be released October 4th. Pre-order it here and read more at 100Tricks.com.


via TechCrunch
9 tricks to appear smart in brainstorming meetings

Google opens up its machine learning tricks to all

There may now be an easier way to implement advanced machine learning models in your projects. Google has opened up its Cloud Machine Learning to all businesses in a public beta, after a few months of testing it in private alpha. The tool makes it easier to train models at a much faster rate, and is integrated with the Google Cloud Platform. This has applications for businesses in areas such as customer support (learning how to automate responses to a variety of queries and complaints) or any kind of repetition-heavy task.

In a blog post, Google described how its customer Airbus Defense and Space used the tool to automate the detection and correction of satellite images that contain imperfections such as cloud formations. According to the blog, an Airbus employee said Google’s tool "enabled us to improve the accuracy and speed at which we analyze the images captured from our satellites. It solved a problem that has existed for decades."

That speed and ease of use are what really stands out about Google’s algorithms. To facilitate adoption, the company also launched a Machine Learning Advanced Solutions Lab that gives companies access to a Google engineer to help solve complex problems. It also debuted a Cloud Start program for businesses to learn the basics of the public cloud and how to identify opportunities to implement machine learning.

Google is also introducing a certification program to teach people how to "design, train and deploy accurate machine learning models." The curriculum will be taught by Googlers, and is based on internal education methods.

While this news may mean more to startups and other enterprise users, Google’s apparent efforts to mainstream machine learning will affect a far larger audience. The company also announced today that it will implement the advanced learning method in its popular Docs, Drive and Calendar services to make them more productive. It also isn’t the only tech titan to be trying to simplify artificial intelligence adoption. Facebook has already publicly shared its AI bot-building code, as well as its similarly smart image recognition tech.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Google

via Engadget
Google opens up its machine learning tricks to all

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The post How to Keep Your Employees Happy Without Giving Them a Raise appeared first on Business Pundit.

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How to Keep Your Employees Happy Without Giving Them a Raise

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Content marketing is “the way forward” in the digital age. The idea is simple – create content and keep your audience consistently engaged with your brand. The trouble is that in practice; this isn’t so simple and there are a lot of brands delivering content… Read More

The post Content Marketing Sins and How to Avoid Them appeared first on Business Pundit.

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Draw: The Best Free to Use Flowchart Software for Small Businesses in 2016

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“Patents are bulls–t,” says Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng

(video link)

Lee Cheng is one of the few attorneys to fight back against patent trolls and prevail. And at the latest Ars Live event, we talked to him about his most famous case, how people can fight patent trolls today, and what the future of patent abuse will look like in coming decades. His answers, as expected, were incredibly candid and hilarious.

In 2007, a patent troll known as Soverain had already gotten millions of dollars out of The Gap and Amazon for their online shopping cart patent when they hit Newegg with a suit. Cheng’s colleagues in the legal community said you’d better just pay up—this patent is legit. Cheng didn’t see it that way. Newegg had just reached a billion in sales, and he thought this piece of litigation would be the first of many lawsuits brought by companies that wanted a piece of Newegg’s success. And sure enough, soon after the shopping cart claim, Newegg was hit with patent claims on several aspects of online search. Cheng decided he wasn’t going to lie down and take it. He thought he could win on appeal if he could just make it through the courts in the Eastern District of Texas, where 40 percent of patent infringement claims are brought.

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via Ars Technica
“Patents are bulls–t,” says Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng

Donald Trump Jr. Talks Second Amendment


SilencerCo. sat down with Donald Trump, Jr., son of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, to talk about firearms and firearms-related issues.

According to SilncerCo’s CEO Joshua Waldron, meeting with Trump Jr. is a risky move for his company but it’s something they felt compelled to do because of the need to protect the Second Amendment.

“The Second Amendment for us – for me, the Second Amendment isn’t just a passion and a hobby that I do every weekend,” Trump Jr. says. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s the thing that they thought of—that our Founding Fathers thought of—after Free Speech and religion… It’s a basic right of an American.”

Check out the full video:


The post Donald Trump Jr. Talks Second Amendment appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Donald Trump Jr. Talks Second Amendment

Striker TRiLIGHT Garage Light

Striker TRiLIGHT Garage Light

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A screw-in lightbulb replacement designed to illuminate dark places like garages, unfinished basements, sheds, and more. With its adjustable LED panels, and 3000 lumen output, it can illuminate every corner of the room, and turns on and off via motion sensor.

via The Awesomer
Striker TRiLIGHT Garage Light