Persistence Pays Off

Jason Motivation

There are two ways to ensure you always get what you want, in business and in life, be strategic on the front-end (via rule of reciprocity, giving people what they want first, etc.) and being extraordinarily persistent on the back-end. This lesson involves a case study showing the level and depth of persistence that it sometimes will take to succeed as we look at one of the best cases of it in the past several years: Nick D’Aloisio, a 17 year old high school student who sold his mobile app, Summly, to Yahoo for $30 million. The real story here isn’t Summly, Yahoo, the …

Writing Quickly

Jason Advice

Even with all the talk of books dying and people not reading anymore (both misconceptions), by far the best way to get credibility quickly in any area is to write a book on the topic. I did it and my book helped get me into Harvard and onto the speaking circuit. Many others have done it and have had tremendous success with it as well. I recommend this method over anything else when trying to establish yourself among the experts in your field. When it comes to writing essays, articles, and books, the name of the game for the first draft …

Psychology, Persuasion, and Manipulation

Jason Motivation

It’s critical to understand psychology when trying to succeed in anything. Do you think great leaders achieved their greatness because they were just so much more skilled than everyone else? Of course not. Real success in life is similar to playing a game of chess. It’s extraordinarily strategic and the psychological moves behind it are played flawlessly by the rich and powerful. The thing is that they don’t want the rest of us to know that, because then their tactics would no longer work. This is why psychology isn’t exactly pointed to as a subject related to extreme success. They would …

How to Send Effective Emails

Jason Advice

This is the real deal on sending effective emails to people with power and influence– who will not normally email you back unless they know you. Forget all of the other crap you hear about sending good emails, this is down and dirty way to ensure you get a reply every single time. Drop a name. Being referred by someone they know increases reply rates dramatically. If at all possible you want this. This does not mean the referrer must make the introduction, but that you just need permission from the referrer to use their name so that you can reach …

Learn to Fail– A Lot

Jason Motivation

It’s critical that we learn to fail and fail a lot. In fact there is no real success without failing. It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow and get better. You should not avoid failing, but encourage it, both for yourself and for those around you (employees, students, family members, etc.). My colleague, John Couch, Vice President of Education at Apple, told me in my first meeting with him that, “We fail a lot here at Apple and we encourage it. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” I agree. When I speak I talk a lot about this, …

Addictive Learning

Jason Motivation

In my second semester at Harvard I did an independent study that looked at the intentionality of addictive mechanisms built into games like World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, etc. That study culminated in this presentation for Professor Star called Addictive Learning. My theory was that if designed and implemented properly, we could make educational games just as addictive as entertainment-focused games and instead of getting kids hooked on uselessness they would be hooked on learning. Here’s the PowerPoint copy of the presentation:  Addictive-Learning.

Everything is Relative

Jason Videos

This video from 1977 is one of the best examples of teaching perspective to kids. It starts with a simple shot of a couple on a picnic, then the camera zooms out ten times every ten seconds until we are on the outskirts of our entire universe. Then it zooms back in (quickly) and then goes into the skin of the man, right down to DNA itself. Anyone even remotely interested in science or anything cool will love this 9 minute video.

Rule of Reciprocity

Jason Incentives

While I have implicitly understood this rule for most of life, it wasn’t until I read the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, about 5 years ago or so. While I recommend the book as a whole, it’s the very first chapter, Reciprocation, that’s the real game-changer. This “rule” is probably the single most important factor to any success I have had thus far. I highly recommend reading, studying, and practicing it frequently. More on this in a future post. If you just want to read chapter 2 you can do so here.

Do We Have Time?

Jason Inspiration

Many of us believe that we are already “too busy” and don’t have time to do the other things in life that we really want to do (travel the world, write a book, adopt a child, mentor, etc. But saying we’re too busy is the easy way out, plus it’s actually not that true either. The fact is that we waste a lot of time on mundane things that, if we managed our time more efficiently, would add up to an enormous amount of free time. We only live once and our time here on Earth is very short. Do …

Define Success

Jason Motivation

I want you to succeed. I by no means mean to imply that success is related to money and wealth, in fact, I personally feel that those are simply one possible means of measuring success. While money is certainly great to have, it should be thought of as simply a tool, like any other tool, that will help you to become more effective or efficient at reaching a larger, more impactful goal. Thus, these lessons will cover a wide-range of topics with only one thing in common– they will hopefully make you think and, preferably, think differently– or “outside of …