The 5 Minute Christmas Tech Break : Dec 20


We are unabashed, celebratory, Christmas enthusiasts ... the tree was purchased on Dec 1st, the advent calendar has arrived at day 21 and we can hardly contain our boyish excitement about the days ahead ...

Before then, we're signing off the '5 minute tech break' year with a few, final thoughts to close out 2018 ...

Jason & Andrew

Books we plan to enjoy this Christmas

Some light reading, in between the mince pies ....

Financial History : "The Spider Network : How a math genius and a gang of scheming bankers pulled off one of the greatest scams in history"

Cyber Threat : "Dawn of the Code War : America's battle against Russia, China and the rising global cyber threat"

Bad Science : "The Angry Chef : Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating"

A Tome For Our Time : "Everybody Lies"

What Makes A Start Up Successful?

We've been involved in multiple start ups down the years and  we know that many CTO Academy users (and subscribers) are going through the different gears and uncertainties involved with start ups and early stage companies.  Involved in that process of probing, experimenting and validating the product:market fit that will unlock the path to exponential growth, success and exit.

What makes a start up successful is a recurring theme and popped up this week in my Quora feed .... what is the magic sauce required to make it work?

There is no secret sauce, if there was we'd have bottled it.  The Levi Roots of start up success!

Indeed many do try and bottle what success looks like, within a legion of often risible self help books where the success of some, is promoted as the secret for others.  

What this type of survivor bias fails to illustrate are the massed ranks of failed start ups who followed exactly the same and often cliched path.

There are clearly some consistent themes ... great idea, resilience, luck, team, timing - all play a crucial part in start up success but from my experience - and I've been through a serious roller coaster of start up journeys - one of the most important pillars for success, is self awareness and picking a path that suits you.  

The start up scene suffers badly from a 'fake it to make it' and 'smoke and mirrors' culture - both in terms of the corporate and the individual. Too many founders are delusional about their chances of success and what success should look like. 

Key for any individual embarking on their start up journey is to 'know thyself'.  Without that core ingredient, you're at risk of picking the wrong concept, co-founder, lifestyle ... Becoming more self aware, understanding what really matters, immersing yourself in that world will provide a much greater chance of finding happiness, fulfilment and personal success.  

Be it start up or otherwise.

Ever Been Blackmailed By A Developer?

We're not talking here about any acts of criminality ... though that would make an interesting story.

I wrote a blog post this week that looked into the risks of becoming over reliant around one or two developers.  

I've been involved ion companies big and small where an imbalance of power within a development team has caused significant problems in terms of dynamics and productivity.

Having had my fingers burnt in the past, this article looked at how to mitigate against it happening in the future.[JN]

Always Skeptical, Never Cynical

Can't claim this slogan to be original but it's certainly one that sums up our approach to "new technologies" and the latest millennial fad.

You might have guessed from our recent book selections .... "Disrupted" and "Social Media is Bullshit".

It certainly is the case that we're intrigued by the potential of Blockchain, whilst skeptical about many of the existing claims.

That's why we found an article by CB Insights .. "50 Big Industries Blockchain Could Transform" an interesting read to see out 2018.

You get a sense that if some of the hype is to be believed, then 2019 could be the breakthrough year.  

We've been exploring some Blockchain opportunities ourselves so can't say we're not invested in the outcome.

Video : What's In The Box?

In the UK this year we lost a well loved TV entertainer called Dennis Norden.  

His primary claim to fame was hosting a programme called "It'll Be Alright On The Night" ... which included out takes and ridiculous moments from TV.

To recognise the passing of our Dennis .... here is my favourite clip, as a quiz show host tries in vain to help a contestant guess ... What's in the Box

Happy Christmas!

Quote for 2019 ...

..... as an uncertain 2019 approaches, time to get romantic!

That's it for this year.

If you've got an insatiable appetite for more '5 minute tech breaks', you can review all the old ones here

Love to hear from you about anything and everything so feel free to contact us or tweet @ctoacademy

Have a wonderful, happy and peaceful Christmas and the very best of luck for all your plans in 2019.

We love you all.

Don't forget .... anyone who purchases a course during 2018, receives lifetime membership to all future CTO Academy courses and significant discounts against other products.  

We have great plans for 2019 and beyond so get on board now and enjoy the ride!!