Sưu tầm – The 3 Keys to Becoming Irresistible

What the people I adore all have in common.

There’s a routine question asked in job interviews, first dates, table games and so on: What is the most important thing you look for in other people?

There’s variations on this format (i.e. “What’s the most attractive quality you look for in a potential partner?” Or, “What’s your greatest strength?” And so on) but, in general, the answer remains the same: The character trait you hold above all. When pressed, I’ve often stumbled and resorted to something trite and probably not true: honesty, humor, confidence, charisma, etc. Those are fine answers but they’re not in my estimation the correct ones.

And so one day I sat down on my pleather couch, brewed some holy basil tea, queued up some Anderson Paak on the Spotify and really, truly tried to whittle down the essence of what makes truly admirable, special people exactly that. I analyzed people I looked up to, people I was attracted to, and people I just couldn’t dream to be without. And I found that the answer could never be just one thing, and that many of the things I think I admire are manifestations of other, deeper things I admire more. Here are the three components that, when taken together, create a spellbinding supernova of a person — one who can command a room and control their destiny, one who can be both altruistic and intelligent. And so I give them to you and make a case for each.


This trait is the root of all growth, learning and kindness. It’s the belief that you are not yet so great that your mind cannot be opened, and it’s the presence of mind to remember that we are all interconnected equals, and that injustice against one is an injustice against all. It is, flatly, an absence of entitlement. People who exhibit humility let their work speak for itself, they remain stoic in the face of their own suffering, and they remind themselves — and others — that life is fragile and therefore valuable. Humility quells ignorance and cultivates grace. I want this in the people I hold dear.


Without curiosity, you cannot be enthralling or even engaging, nor — most rudimentary of all — successful. It is frankly impossible. Curiosity drives an insatiable quest for knowledge, culture, novelty, experience, beauty, art and connection. It is the bedrock upon which you can build a life filled with stories, memories, accomplishments and relationships. People who exhibit curiosity can become masters, or polymaths, or auteurs — but they must first always have an open mind. They first seek to listen, to absorb, to immerse, to traverse. The world is too large and their time on it too short to ever remain fully satisfied in their pursuit of whatever new ideas pass in front of them. I want people around me to remain curious, routinely examining the world through fresh eyes, and using their eyes to find fresh corners of the world.


This trait is the miracle drug of humanity (and elephants, and dolphins). It is the simplest, sweetest attribute one can possess, and the most worthwhile one worth cultivating for social success. Empathy brings people closer, and makes others feel understood and less alone inside. And if there is one thing we’re all looking to become a little less of, it’s alone. When I see truly empathetic people, I see people who genuinely care, but also people who remind us that sometimes it’s okay to be still with someone else and not invade their space or encroach their boundaries. This unique ability to understand the world through others’ eyes and cut to the heart of what others are feeling and experiencing. Empathy breeds compassion, connection and love. It is an important precursor for honesty.

You may have noticed the three are closely related. This is no mere accident. In fact, when you stack humility, curiosity and empathy, you can easily see how they amplify each other.

Humility is the soul. Curiosity is the mind. Empathy is the heart.

Humility is how you value yourself. Curiosity is how you value your others. Empathy is how you value the bonds between yourself and others.

Humility is the soil of knowledge. Curiosity is the water that helps it grow. Empathy is the sunlight that shows us which way to bend.

And if you take any two without the third, you’re missing a crucial component: Humble, curious, apathetic people are slothful. Humble, disaffected, empathetic people are sensitive but not very interesting. Brash, curious, empathetic people are exhausting. But when you bring them all together, you create a benevolent triad.

These three traits are the key to becoming warm, smart and memorable. They’re irrepressible and irresistible. They’re my favorite qualities in others: the most attractive, the strongest, the most admirable. And whether I’m hiring them, dating them or learning from them, these are the qualities I look for above all others.

By John Gorman

Full link: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-3-keys-to-becoming-irresistible-d2f689ea4bf1

Sưu tầm – Accountants and AI: adapting to the digital future

Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain would “cut out the middleman” in financial services, leaving the accountants of the future to focus less on compliance and more on strengthening relationships and delivering insights to clients, the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) heard today.

What will accountants do when compliance work is taken away? CPA Australia policy adviser, reporting, Ram Subramanian asked a WCOA 2018 panel discussion “How is the changing digital landscape impacting your business?”

Subramanian asked the panel speakers how the future would look for accountants in a world where much of their compliance work would be performed through AI, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain and other technologies.

“As accountants we have a challenge to enhance our profession,” he says.

“So much of what we do is compliance work, so what will we do when that is taken away?”

Blockchain cuts compliance work

Panel speaker James Evangelidis, author of the “What do Clients Really Want” series of books and podcasts, agreed that while blockchain technology would eliminate a significant amount of compliance work, it would help accountants but not replace them.

“I imagine that accountants want to do less compliance, not more,” he said.

“All blockchain will do will be to eliminate some roles and create others. The message is keep calm and don’t freak out, because it will make your job easier.”

Evangelidis said that blockchain based on distributed ledgers was on the cusp of changing business to the same extent as the internet in the late 1990s.

“Smarter Contracts” in transactions such as real estate purchases had the potential to eliminate banks, lawyers and real estate agents from the process, cutting time down to less than a week and costs from an estimated $30,000 per transaction to under $900.

He quoted the example of the World Bank, which in August 2018 used blockchain technology developed by the Commonwealth Bank to issue and price a A$100 million bond at only 5 per cent of the cost of a traditional manual bookbuild process.

Reducing fraud

For accountants, Evangelidis said blockchain would have a major impact on the taxation system and help boost compliance and eliminate fraud.

“If the Australian Government announced that they were moving the tax system onto blockchain, every transaction through an account would be tracked, compliance would be a whole lot easier and tax would be more straightforward and hard to avoid,” he said.

Fellow panellist Alan FitzGerald, a technology consultant to accountants through his firm PracticeConnections, disagreed with Evangelidis on the maturity of blockchain technology, which he believed was several years away from having a significant impact.

Rather, FitzGerald focussed on RPA and AI as technologies that would impact accountants and the finance functions of organisations much sooner.

See CPA Australia’s full WCOA 2018 coverage here 

This would be increasingly enabled by 5G mobile networks which would transmit larger volumes of data at much greater speeds than current 4G and 3G networks.

“RPA is automating what can be automated, so it is a dumb technology, but when you put AI on top of that it can read the information and perform tasks such as cross referencing papers in a tax return within thirty seconds,” said FitzGerald.

“RPA is the brawn, and AI is the brains.”

Accountants as anxiety transfer experts

In this digitised environment, accountants should always remember that they would remain the “anxiety transfer experts” for clients, allaying fears and concerns and delivering insights into their business.

To promote this, accountants needed to harness the power of social media to “capture attention, develop relationships, make clients want to work with you and convert them to clients.”

Through social media, the goal was to “identify a problem only you can fix,” give people some information about the expertise of the accountancy practice and attract a fresh audience.

The message to accountants who feared the world of digitisation is that RPA and AI were not taking their jobs, but rather doing parts of the job which “no one likes anyway” such as data entry.

“The AI is clever but it won’t replace human oversight or verification,” says FitzGerald.

“Machines are tools, but do people trust them implicitly? The answer is no.”

By Lachlan Colquhoun

Full link: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/11/05/accountants-and-ai-adapting-to-digital-future?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=email&utm_term=INTHEBLACK%20Opt_in&utm_content=https%3a%2f%2fwww.intheblack.com%2farticles%2f2018%2f11%2f05%2faccountants-and-ai-adapting-to-digital-future&utm_campaign=INTHEBLACK+-+Edition+26+-+30+November+2018+-+Opt+in_29-November-2018

Sưu tầm – It’s Always Been This Way, Always Will Be

We like to think that we’re so advanced. That things have changed so radically since the ancient days of tyrants and barbarism. But have they?

Here’s a photo of Jamal Khashoggi’s son, whose father was brutally executed mere days before, being forced to shake the hand of the alleged mastermind of his father’s murder: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. There’s a television camera in the background, and each man probably has an iPhone in his pocket, but it’s a scene reminiscent of the story told by Seneca straight of the reign of Emperor Caligula; one in which Caligula kills a man’s son and forces the man to have dinner with him).

Marcus Aurelius is often criticized for some of his depressing observations about the brutality of human nature and its excesses. He seems to take almost a perverse pleasure in pointing out how evil and pathetic man has been. He reminds himself that in the age of Vespasian (a forgotten emperor) people were killing and lying and stealing just as readily as they were smiling, raising children, and writing books. The age of Trajan, which came a half century later, was the same. “Survey the record of other eras,” Marcus points out, “and see how many others gave their all and soon died and decomposed into the elements that formed them.”

Today, thousands of years later, things are inarguably better…and yet they are still in many ways inarguably the same. Injustices happen. Tyrants exist. Bad luck befalls us, evil lurks in the shadows. We are tested. We are challenged. We wish it could be otherwise, but that’s just not the way it is or will ever be.

So what do we do with this knowledge? First, we return to first principles, to humility. We are not all that different or superior to the ancestors we so casually judge. Man’s nature is deeply ingrained and, despite our best efforts, very difficult to change.

Second, we prepare ourselves for the very worst. The security and progress that surrounds us is an illusion. A couple days without food or water, or a couple years of rising unemployment, and you’ll see how uncivilized civil society can get. To think that we are past any of this merely because times are currently prosperous is profoundly misguided.

And finally, we cultivate dignity, self-respect, and endurance as the most important traits in our lives. Whether we are called to shake hands with a killer or live through the reign of a divisive, petty, and unqualified leader, all we can do is struggle onwards, doing the best we can, with what is in our power to control.

Sưu tầm – How to Create an Ebook From Start to Finish [Free Ebook Templates]


At age 11, I dreamed of being an editor at a major magazine. I even put together my first publication, Teen Scene Magazine, using colored construction paper, yarn, and in-depth feature interviews with … my dad.

Flash forward to today. I’ve swapped my colored construction paper and yarn for PowerPoint and InDesign. I’ve replaced my dad with marketing experts and influencers (in the office, that is). And week after week, I have the satisfaction of being an ebook creator.

What Is an Ebook?

Ebook is short for “electronic book,” and uses either a computer, mobile device, or ebook reader to display long-form texts in book form. Ebooks have multiple digital “pages” that people can navigate through, and are often packaged as a PDF document so they can easily be sent from one user to another.

Click here to download our collection of customizable ebook templates.

How Is an Ebook Structured?

There’s no set rule for organizing your content into an ebook. It generally mimics the structure of a novel or textbook (depending on what it is you’re writing about). But, there are some aspects of an ebook you should be sure to adhere to.

Ebooks have some system of chapters and supporting images. Similar to a blog post, they also do well when further segmenting their text with subheaders that break down the discussion into specific sections. If you’re writing about professional sports, for example, and one of your chapters is about Major League Baseball (MLB) in the U.S., you might want to establish subchapters about the various teams belonging to the MLB.

What Can an Ebook Be About?

Anything. Well, within reason. Ebooks are simply a marketer’s way of delivering lots of critical information in a form their potential customers are most willing to read it. An environmental company might write an ebook all about water conservation. They also might focus an ebook entirely on how their water-saving product is used, or how it helped a customer solve a problem. Discover more ebook ideas at the end of this article.

No matter what subject your ebook takes on, research is a significant part of ebook creation. Unlike short-form content like articles and videos, the content of an ebook is predicated on trust and evidence. A user who obtains (or requests access to) your ebook wants the full story, not just the bullet points. That includes all the content and testing you went through to produce the ebook.

In What File Formats Can You Save an Ebook?

Ebooks can be saved in one of several formats. Depending on your end user, though, you might find a use for any of the following file types:


PDFs are likely the most well-known file type. The “PDF” extension stands for “Portable Document Format,” and is best for ebooks that are meant to be read on a computer (digital marketers, you’ll want to remember this one). We’ll talk more about how to save your ebook as a PDF later in this article.


This file type stands for “Electronic Publication,” and is the more flexible ebook formats. By that, I mean EPUB ebooks can “reflow” their text to adapt to various mobile devices and tablets, allowing the ebook’s text to move on and off different pages based on the size of the device on which a user is reading the ebook. They’re particularly helpful for viewing on smaller screens, such as smartphones as well as the Nook from Barnes and Noble.


This is an ebook file type designed for the Kindle, an e-reader device by Amazon. However, users can also open this file format on smartphones, tablets, and computers.


ODF stands for OpenDocument Format, a file type meant primarily for OpenOffice, a series of open-source content creation programs similar to Microsoft Office.

Can You Edit an Ebook?

Nope. An ebook can’t be edited once it’s been saved in one of the file formats described above, so it’s best to ensure you have an editable version saved in a program like Microsoft Word.

But why would you want your ebook to be uneditable? Making ebooks uneditable ensures the content remains unchanged — both the format and the information — as it’s shared between multiple uses.

You can edit ebooks if they’re saved using an editable PDF, a feature that is specific to Adobe Acrobat — the founding program of the PDF file type. Learn how to edit PDFs in this blog post.

How Do You Read an Ebook?

You can read an ebook on many different devices: iPhone, Android smartphones, a Macbook, PC, and e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle. The latter two devices are typically used to read novels in digital form. Nook and Kindle owners can store thousands of books (literally) on a single Nook or Kindle.

But making an ebook can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to write the content, but you also need to design and format it into a professional-looking document that people will want to download and read. With lead generation being the top goal for content marketing, however, ebooks are an essential part of an successful inbound marketing program.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of creating an ebook by, well, creating an ebook. And if you’re worried about your lacking design skills, fret not …

Got your free ebook templates? Ready to make an ebook? Great — let’s get to it.

1. Choose a topic that Matches your audience’s needs

Remember: The goal of your ebook is to generate leads for your sales team, so pick a topic that will make it easy for a prospect to go from downloading your ebook to having a conversation with your sales team.

This means your ebook shouldn’t deviate much from the topics you cover in your other content marketing channels. Rather, it’s your opportunity to do a deep dive into a subject you’ve only lightly covered until now, but something your audience knows they need to learn more about.

For example, in listening to sales and customer calls here at HubSpot, I’ve learned ebooks for use in content marketing is a huge obstacle for our audience, who are marketers themselves. So if I can provide not only this blog post, but resources to make ebook creation easier, I’m focusing on the right topic for opening up a sales conversation.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some example ebook titles to consider. (Note: Replace “x” with an appropriate number.) You can also use our free Blog Topic Generator tool to come up with more ideas. Most blog topics can be made comprehensive enough to serve as longer form ebook topics.

  • X Best Practices for [Insert Industry/Topic]
  • An Introduction to [Insert Industry/Topic]
  • X Common Questions About [Insert Industry/Topic] Answered
  • X [Insert Industry/Topic] Statistics For Better Decision Making
  • Learn From The Best: X [Insert Industry/Topic] Experts Share Insights

For this blog post, I’m going to use the PowerPoint version of template two from our collection of five free ebook templates. Through each section of this post, I’ll provide a side-by-side of the template slide and how I customized it.

Below, you’ll see my customized cover with my sales-relevant ebook topic. For help with writing compelling titles for your ebooks, check out the tips in this blog post.


2. Outline each chapter of your ebook.

The introduction to your ebook should both set the stage for the contents of your ebook and draw the reader in. What will you cover in your ebook? How will the reader benefit from reading it? For tips on how to write an effective introduction, check out this post.

Some ebook creators say that an ebook is simply a series of blog posts stitched together. While I agree you should treat each chapter like an individual blog post, the chapters of your ebook should also flow fluidly from one to the other.

The best way to outline your ebook is by thinking of it as a crash course on the sales-relevant topic you selected. In my example of creating an ebook, I know I need to cover how to:

  1. write effective copy
  2. design an ebook
  3. optimize ebooks for lead generation and promotion

While my example has a few chapters, keep in mind that your ebook does notneed to be lengthy. I have one golden rule for ebook length: Write what is needed to effectively educate your audience about your selected topic. If that requires five pages, great! If that requires 30 pages, so be it. Just don’t waste words thinking you need to write a long ebook.

With that, let’s move on to the actual copy you’re writing.


3. Break down each chapter as you write.

Get writing! Here, you can approach each chapter the way you might write a long blog post — by compartmentalizing each chapter into smaller sections or bullet points, as shown in the picture below. This helps you write simply and clearly, rather than trying to use sophisticated language to convey each point. It’s the most effective way to educate readers and help them understand the new material you’re providing.

Be sure to maintain a consistent structure across each chapter, as well. This helps you establish natural transitions between each chapter so there’s a clear progression from one chapter to the next (simply stiching blog posts together can rob you of this quality).

These practices should hold true for all your other marketing efforts, such as email marketing, call-to-action creation, and landing page development. “Clarity trumps persuasion,” as Dr. Flint McGlaughlin of MECLABS often likes to say.

Want to make sure you’re keeping your ebook exciting for readers? Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Use keywords in the title that emphasize the value of your offer. Examples include adjectives like “amazing,” “awesome,” or “ultimate.”
  • Keep your format consistent so you create a mental model for readers and enhance their understanding of the material.
  • When appropriate, make use of formatting — like bulleted lists, bold text, italics, and font size changes — to draw people’s eyes to your most important content or emphasize certain points you want readers to remember.


4. Design your ebook.

Our downloadable ebook templates are offered in both PowerPoint and InDesign. For this example, we’ll show you how to do it in PowerPoint, since more people have access to that software.

You’ll notice we only have one “chapter page” in the template (slide three). To create additional chapter pages, or any pages really, simply right click the slide and choose Duplicate Slide. This will make a copy of your slide and allow you to drag it to its proper place in your ebook via the sidebar or Slide Sorter section of PowerPoint. You can then customize it for any subsequent chapters.


5. Use the right colors.

Ideally, our free ebook templates would magically match your brand colors. But, they probably don’t; this is where you get to truly personalize your work. However, because ebooks offer more real estate for color than your logo or website, it’s a good idea to consider secondary colors within your brand’s color palate. Ebooks are where this color scheme can truly shine.

To learn how to add your brand’s colors to PowerPoint, check out this blog post. That way, you can customize the color scheme in our ebook templates to match your brand!

6. Incorporate visuals.

Images and graphics in ebooks are hard to get right. The key to making them fit well is to think of them as complementary to your writing. Whether you add them during or after you’ve finished writing your ebook’s copy, your visuals should serve to highlight an important point you’re making or deconstruct the meaning of a concept in an easy-to-understand, visual way.

Images shouldn’t just be there to make the ebook easy on the eyes. Rather, they should be used to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material you’re covering. If you need help gathering visuals, we have three sets of free stock photos that might help you along the way:

And if you’re compiling a data-heavy ebook, you might want to download our free data visualization ebook for tips about designing compelling charts and graphs for your content.


7. Highlight quotes or stats.

Another way to enhance your ebook is by highlighting quotes or stats within your design. Just be sure the quote or stat you’re using genuinely adds value to the content.

Whether you’re emphasizing a quote or adding a visual, keep all your content within the same margins. If your copy is consistently 1-inch indented on your page from both the left and right side, keep your designed elements aligned using that same spacing.


8. Place appropriate calls-to-action within your ebook.

Now that your content is written and designed, it’s time to optimize it for lead generation, reconversion, and promotion.

Think about how you got here — you clicked on a call-to-action (CTA) in an email, on a social media post, or somewhere else. A CTA is a link or visual object that entices the visitor to click and arrive on a landing page that will get them further engaged with your company. Since your ebook readers have probably converted into leads in order to get their hands on your ebook to begin with (more on this in Step 2 below), use the CTAs within your ebook to reconvert your readers and propel them further down your marketing funnel.

For instance, a CTA can lead to another offer, your annual conference’s registration page, or even a product page. Depending on what this next action is, CTAs can be an in-line rectangle or a full page teasing the next offer (see both images below).

To hyperlink the CTA in your ebook (or any image or text in your ebook) to your destination URL, simply go to Insert >> Hyperlink in PowerPoint.



We’ve even designed 50 customizable calls-to-action in PowerPoint you can download and use in your ebooks. You can grab them here.

Now, we don’t have a dedicated CTA template slide in the PowerPoint ebook templates for you to customize … but it’s still simple! All you have to do is duplicate slide four (the Header/Subheader slide) and customize copy or add images as needed. You can also go to Insert >> New Slide and work from there.

9. Convert it into a PDF.

Once you’ve finished writing your ebook — CTAs and all — it’s time to convert it to the right file type so it’s transferrable from you to your recipient.

To convert your ebook to a PDF, click File >> Save As in the ebook template you have open. Under File Format, select PDF and select a destination on your computer for this new file.

Why can’t you just attach what you have to a landing page and be done with it? Word documents, PowerPoints, and similar templates are perfect for creating your ebook, but not for delivering it. Because these templates are editable, the contents of your ebook are too easily corrupted, distorted, or even lost when moving from your computer to the hands of your future leads. That’s where PDFs come in.

You’ve seen these letters at the end of files before. Short for Portable Document Format, the .PDF file type essentially freezes your ebook so it can be displayed clearly on any device. A popular alternative to PDFs is the .EPUB file type. See a comparison of EPUB to PDF here.

10. Create a dedicated landing page for your ebook.

Your ebook should be available for download through a landing page on your site. A landing page is a web page that promotes/describes your offer and provides a form that visitors need to fill out with their contact information in order to access your ebook. This is how you are able to convert your visitors into business leads that your sales team can ultimately follow up with.

For instance, you went through this landing page in order to access this ebook template. To learn more about how to optimize your landing pages for conversion, download this free ebook.


11. Promote your ebook and track its success.

Once your landing page is all set, you can use that destination URL to promote your ebook across your marketing channels. Here are five ways you can do this:

  • Advertise your new ebook on your website. For example, feature a CTA or link to your offer’s landing page on your resources page or even your homepage.
  • Promote your ebook through your blog. For instance, consider publishing an excerpt of your ebook as a blog post. Or write a separate blog article on the same topic as your ebook, and link to it at the end of your post using a call-to-action to encourage readers to keep learning. (Note: This very blog post is the perfect example of how to promote an offer you created with a blog post.)
  • Send a segmented email to contacts who have indicated an interest in receiving offers from your company.
  • Leverage paid advertising and co-marketing partnerships that will help you promote your ebook to a new audience.
  • Publish posts to social media with a link to your ebook. You can also increase social shares by creating social media share buttons within your ebook, such as the ones at the bottom right of this ebook. Here’s a blog post that shows how to hyperlink them.

After your content is launched and promoted across your marketing channels, you’ll also want marketing analytics in place to measure the success of your live product.

For instance, you should have landing page analytics that give you insight into how many people downloaded your ebook and converted into leads, and closed-loop analytics that show how many of those people ultimately converted into opportunities and customers for your business. Learn more through HubSpot’s Landing Pages App.

And with that, we’ve built an ebook, folks! You can check out the packaged version of the example I built through this post here:


After your content is launched and promoted across your marketing channels, you’ll need to have marketing analytics in place that measure the success of your ebooks. For instance, having landing page analytics that give you insight into how many people downloaded your ebook, or show how many of those downloaders converted into opportunities and customers for your business.

Ebook Ideas

So, what should you write about in your ebook? I’ll answer that question with another question: What do you want your readers to get out of this ebook? To identify an ebook idea that suits your audience, consider the type of ebook you’re trying to create. Here are a few ideas.

New Research

Conducting an experiment or business survey? This is a great way to develop proprietary knowledge and become a thought leader in your industry. But how will you share your findings with the people who care about it? Create an ebook that describes the experiment, what you intended to find out, what the results of the experiment were, and what these findings mean for your readers and the market at large.

Case Study

People love success stories, especially if these people are on the fence about purchasing something from you. If you have a client whose business you’re particularly proud to have, why not tell their story in an ebook?

Ebook case studies show your buyers that other people trust you and have benefited from your product or service. In your ebook, describe what your client’s challenge was, how you connected with them, and how you were able to help your client solve their challenge and become successful.

Product Demo

The more complex your product is, the more information your customers will need to use it correctly. If your product or service can be used in multiple ways, or it’s hard to set up alone, dedicate a brief ebook to showing people how it’s done. In the first section of your ebook, for example, explain how to launch your product or service. In the second section, break down the individual features and purposes your product is best used for.


Interested in interviewing a well-known person in your market? Perhaps you’ve already sat down with an influencer to pick their brain about the future of the industry. Package this interview into an ebook, making it easy for your customers to read and share your inside scoop.


A “playbook” is a document people can use when taking on a new project or concept that is foreign to them. Think of it like a cheat sheet, full of tips and tricks that help your customers get better at what they do.

When done right, a playbook equips your customers with information they would need to excel when using your product. For example, a software vendor for IT professionals might create a “virus protection playbook” that makes support teams better at preventing viruses at their respective companies.

Blog Post Series

Sometimes, the best ebook for your business is already strewn across a series of blog posts. If you’ve spent the last month writing articles all on the same subject for your business, imagine how these posts would look stitched together?

Each article can begin a new chapter. Then, once this ebook is created, you can promote it on a landing page, link to this landing page from each individual blog post, and generate leads from readers who want to download the entire blog series in one convenient ebook.

Ebook Creation Resources

Do you have any other tips or resources for making ebook creation easier? Apply them to your content marketing strategy. I’d be remiss not to admit every company’s ebook will come to fruition differently. It all depends on the needs of your brand.

By Anum Hussain

Full link: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-create-an-ebook-free-templates?utm_campaign=Marketing%20Blog%20-%20Daily%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=67894291

Sưu tầm – What Startups Really Mean By “Why Should We Hire You?”

…and other non-technical questions.

While whiteboard interviews may catch heat from some people for being impractical or indexing for the wrong qualities, they are not deceptive. Even with the most labyrinthian Leetcode exercise, you don’t have to guess at what the interviewer is “really” asking.

The non-technical interview, however, is more of a puzzle. Hiring managers are trying to dig into your personality, assess your fortitude, and understand your core values. Every question they ask has a subtext, and if you can’t translate it, it’s likely you’ll give a terrible answer.

To help, we’ve taken three of the most common non-technical interview questions, translated what they’re really asking, and given you a framework for answering. Just for fun, we included examples of terrible answers we’ve heard in interviews.

1. Tell Me About A Time You Failed

Translation: Can you stomach failing until we figure things out?

It’s awkward to talk about a legitimate failure during a job interview, where you’re trying to project the most competent version of yourself. Don’t think of this question as a test of your competency or resourcefulness. It’s designed to gauge whether you have the nerve to withstand the stress and uncertainty of a startup.

Answer this question by talking about the most beyond-your-control work situation you’ve been part of. If you’ve ever been a part of a company that was running out of money or worked on an initiative that was doomed from the start, now is the time to talk about how you handled the stress.

Trevor Brosnan, head of technology at Plastiq—a startup that allows users to pay their bills with credit cards—said the best answer to this question comes from candidates who have been through a startup failure.

“Going through that process builds up the muscles of resiliency to deal with very difficult challenges and obstacles,” he explained. “We need people to be comfortable with uncertainty in the particular areas they’re working in, where we may need to build something, and we don’t know exactly what the final answer is.”

Terrible-but-popular answers include: “I didn’t get along with a coworker.” “I struggled to balance work and life.” “All I do is win.”

2. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

Translation: Are you ambitious enough for a startup?

Startups are high-risk, high-reward propositions. They take small groups of people, initially with very little money, and bet that they can solve a problem that impacts a large base of people better than any other company—including tech giants.

To really buy into this type of mission, you have to have ambition in your DNA. Ambition is not bravado or rah-rah nonsense about how hard you hustle. It’s the desire and will to do something that nearly everyone else fails at—like building a unicorn.

When asked where you see yourself in five years, be nakedly ambitious. Talk about your dream of starting your own company, of building new technologies, of helping a company exit for $1 billion. Startups need people who have enough energy and ambition to carry the company forward. Now is not the time to come off as conservative in your goals.

This advice is especially true if you’re interviewing at early-stage startups. As AngelList founder Naval Ravikant said, “When (early-stage startups) are hiring early employees, they’re really just hiring late founders.” And a founder needs ambition above anything else.

Terrible-but-popular answers include: “Managing the role I’m interviewing for.” “Somewhere where I get to work hard with people I like.” “In your job.”

3. Why Should We Hire You?

Translation: Do you really understand the problem we’re solving?

Nearly every role at a startup—especially an early-stage one—is responsible for independently solving new business problems. Keith Rabois, an executive at PayPal, Opendoor, LinkedIn, and Square, refers to these people as “barrels”—you can point them at a problem, and they can devise and implement a solution with little oversight. People who can only do work explicitly assigned to them are called “ammunition” in Rabois’ framework.

Startups need as many barrels as possible, so you’ll want to speak directly to how you can solve the company’s immediate problems.

The key here is to do your research. For example, if you’re interviewing for a front-end role, dive as deeply as you can into the company’s product. Thoroughly review any open source repositories it has, document performance issues you find, and research every interview or blog post you can find that hints at the vision and product roadmap.

Armed with that information, speak to the person interviewing you like you already work there. Tell them how you’d contribute immediately, what problems you’d fixed, and how you’d advance the company’s vision.

Do not, however, simply give yourself adjectives. Everyone is a “scrappy self-starter” in an interview.

Terrible-but-popular answers: “I’m a high-energy thinker with a growth mindset.” “I have a track record of success in similar roles.” “I have a degree from <>”

Make Your Questions As Good As Your Answers

The final question in non-technical interviews is almost always “What questions do you have for me?” This is your opportunity to judge the company’s potential, and to prove your business competency.

You should be asking questions that help you understand the business, particularly the areas you’ll be working in. You should not, however, be asking questions simply to prove how smart you are. For instance, if you’re interviewing for an operations role, asking questions about burn rates and costs is good. Asking detailed questions about the decision to use NoSQL, particularly if you’re not knowledgable about engineering, could comes off as insincere and signal that you’re more worried about proving intelligence than you are understanding the business.

Act as if you already have the role, and these are questions you’re asking in your first strategy session. What would you need to know to start solving business problems today? You’ll leave the interview with a thorough understanding of the business, and your ability to impact it. You might just leave with a job offer, too.

By AngelList

Full link: https://angel.co/blog/what-startups-really-mean-by-why-should-we-hire-you?email_uid=864250346&utm_campaign=platform-newsletter-112918&utm_content=keep-reading&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter-newsletter&utm_term=

Sưu tầm – The State of Fashion 2019: A year of awakening

The industry as a whole is embracing new opportunities—even as dangers lurk.

The year ahead will be an awakening after the reckoning of 2018—a time for fashion companies to look at opportunities and not just at surmounting challenges. The ones that will succeed will have come to terms with the fact that in the new paradigm taking shape around them, some of the old rules simply don’t work. Regardless of size and segment, players now need to be nimble, think digital-first, and achieve ever-faster speed to market. They need to take an active stance on social issues, satisfy consumer demands for radical transparency andsustainability, and, most important, have the courage to “self-disrupt” their own identity and the sources of their old success to realize these changes and win new generations of customers.

They also need to invest in enhancing their productivity and resilience, as the outlook is uncertain. External shocks to the system continue to lurk, and growth cannot be taken for granted.

These are some of the findings from our latest report on The State of Fashion, written in partnership with the Business of Fashion (BoF), which explores the industry’s fragmented, complex ecosystem. Our first two reports, last year and the year before, laid the foundation for rigorous in-depth research and analysis, focusing on the themes, issues, and opportunities affecting the sector and its performance. The State of Fashion is now the largest and most authoritative overview of the industry, surveying more than 275 global fashion executives (approximately 30 percent more than last year) and interviewing thought leaders and pioneers. We also highlight the ten trends that will define the fashion agenda in 2019 (interactive).

The report includes the third readout of our industry benchmark, the McKinsey Global Fashion Index. This database of more than 500 companies allows us to analyze and compare the performance of individual companies with their peers, by category, segment, or region.

Sunny intervals but storms ahead

For fashion players, 2019 will be a year of awakening. External shocks to the system continue to lurk around the corner, and growth cannot be taken for granted: the McKinsey Global Fashion Index forecasts growth of 3.5 to 4.5 percent, slightly below 2018 figures. By geography, the most optimistic about the coming year are executives in North America. By segment, the most positive are executives from luxury brands, reflecting their strong growth trajectory in 2018. In all other regions and segments, executives are notably pessimistic, reflecting the potential challenges ahead (Exhibit 1).

Sales growth is projected to slow slightly for the fashion industry in many regions and segments.

All this comes against a backdrop of the fashion industry having turned a corner in 2018, with increased growth justifying the optimism expressed in last year’s global fashion survey. The caution in the economic outlook is also reflected in the BoF–McKinsey State of Fashion Survey, with 42 percent of respondents expecting conditions to become worse in 2019.

The rise of the ‘superwinners’

Polarization continues to be a stark reality in fashion: fully 97 percent of economic profits for the whole industry are earned by just 20 companies, most of them in the luxury segment. Notably, the top 20 group of companies has remained stable over time. Twelve of the top 20 have been a member of the group for the last decade. Long-term leaders include, among others, Inditex, LVMH, and Nike, which have more than doubled their economic profit over the past ten years (Exhibit 2). According to our estimates, each racked up more than $2 billion in economic profit in 2017.

Twenty companies—the ‘superwinners’—dominate value creation in fashion.

Ten trends for 2019

This caution is one of our ten trends to watch in 2019. Another is that India is on the rise—its growing middle class, powerful manufacturing sector, and increasingly savvy tech have made it an essential destination for fashion companies. Our third trend is Trade 2.0: a warning that companies should make contingency plans for a potential shake-up of global value chains. The apparel trade could be reshaped by new barriers, trade tensions, and uncertainty. However, there may also be new opportunities from growing south–south trade and the renegotiation of trade agreements.

Download The State of Fashion (PDF–3MB).

On the consumer side, we foresee the end of ownership, as concerns about sustainability grow and consumers and companies alike worry about how to alleviate their impact on the environment. Sustainability, which breaks into our respondents’ list of the most important challenges for the first time, is evolving from a tick-box exercise into a transformational feature. And “woke” consumers are also pushing for greater transparency into supply chains—and rewarding their favorite brands for taking controversial political stands. At the same time, they are demanding ever-quicker and more seamless fulfillment, from mobile shopping to drone delivery.

In response, wise companies are self-disrupting before upstarts do it for them, engaging in a digital landgrab to diversify their ecosystem, and using automation and data analytics to produce on demand to reduce waste and react rapidly to trends.

The speed of change

Overall, the industry continues to hover in a state of flux, and the fortunes of individual players can turn with frightening speed. As our ten trends indicate, new markets, new technologies, and shifting consumer needs present opportunities—but also risks. We predict that 2019 will be a year shaped by consumer shifts linked to technology, social causes, and trust issues, alongside the potential disruption from geopolitical and macroeconomic events. Only those brands that accurately reflect the Zeitgeist or have the courage to “self-disrupt” will emerge as winners.

By Imran Amed, Anita Balchandani, Marco Beltrami, Achim Berg, Saskia Hedrich, and Felix Rölkens

Full link: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/the-state-of-fashion-2019-a-year-of-awakening?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1811&hlkid=f6bc570e0c024647acb81e9856568c20&hctky=2618809&hdpid=b63100a7-3a15-4944-a5db-92f6c2577f29

Sưu tầm – Uncovering Chinese Espionage in the US

A detailed look into how, why, and where Chinese spies are active in the United States.

Uncovering Chinese Espionage in the US

Twenty years ago, I testified before a U.S. congressional committee on China’s espionage operations in the United States. I left the Members with what I thought was an ominous warning: “Do something about this now or you’ll be calling me back in 20 years screaming: ‘My God, how did this happen?’ ” Well, they never called me back, but if recent FBI arrests are any indication, the problem has gotten worse — a lot worse.

On October 30, 2018 the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of 10 Chinese intelligence officers and cyber hackers from the Ministry of State Security (MSS), China’s main civilian espionage organization. The United States charged the group with stealing airline engine technology from French and U.S. companies. The alleged scheme ran from 2010 to 2015 and targeted turbofan engine technology developed through a U.S.-French partnership. The objective of this espionage was to steal intellectual data and confidential business information about the engine. China’s defense industry is working to develop a comparable engine.

Weeks earlier, on October 10, the FBI announced the arrest of Mr. Yanjun Xu, alleged deputy division director of the Jiangsu Province Office (sixth bureau) of the Ministry of State Security, China’s main civilian spy agency. The FBI’s affidavit describes luring Xu to Belgium to illegally purchase General Electric commercial aviation technology. Belgian authorities placed him in custody on arrival and put him on a plane to the United States (most likely with an FBI escort). It is probably not a coincidence that FBI also arrested Mr. Chaoqun Ji, a PRC national in Chicago, on espionage related charges. The FBI indictment alleges Ji was tasked by his spymaster — a senior MSS officer in the Jiangsu Province MSS office.

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For the United States, the problem is not these recent cases. Nations have been spying on the United States (and us on them) since the American Revolution. The problem is that these recent indictments and arrests are only two of hundreds, if not thousands of cases. These activities support a national concerted effort to expand China’s economic and security interests. Most of China’s espionage activities are not “traditional espionage,” yet they are having a profound impact on America’s economic wellbeing, national security, and potentially our political and governance processes. U.S. intelligence, security, and law enforcement apparatus is just starting, 20 years later, to catch on.

Key Highlights

This report presents initial findings from analysis of 274 documented cases of Chinese worldwide espionage since the year 2000. High-level findings are as follows:

  1. China has expanded its espionage efforts considerably over the last 20 years.
  2. Chinese entities conducting espionage include government agencies, the military, state- owned enterprises (SOEs), private companies/individuals, and select universities.
  3. Nearly half of China’s espionage efforts target U.S. military and space technologies. Almost 25 percent of cases target commercial interests.
  4. China is unlikely to significantly curb its espionage efforts, as they provide a cost-efficient means to expand the economy, advance research and development, project military power, and meet China’s stated goal to become a world power.

Types of Chinese Espionage

One cannot simply look at a single or even several espionage cases and hope to understand if, and how, a nation state is conducting espionage. That type of understanding takes evidence based off detailed analysis of a sufficient body of data. Over the last five years, I compiled and analyzed 274 cases of Chinese espionage that have occurred since the year 2000. Detailed analysis of these cases provides ample evidence that China is conducting espionage, as well who is responsible, their information objectives, gaps in their knowledge, and operational “tradecraft” techniques.

There is a wide variance in what the media, public, and U.S. legal codes define as “espionage.” Four U.S. statutes and administrative regulations encompass those definitions:

  1. Traditional espionage (18 USC 792-799): The practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about the plans and activities of a foreign government.
  2. Economic Espionage Act of 1996: The theft of trade secrets that includes the intent to benefit a foreign entity or at least know that the offense will have that result.
  3. Illegal Exports: Export Administrative Regulations (EAR) deals with the illegal export of sensitive dual use technology and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) with the more serious act of illegally exporting Munitions List armaments/technology and Missile Technology Control Regime and technology.)
  4. Covert Action, or Foreign Agents Registration Act (18 USC 951): FARA passed in 1938 and requires that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” must disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about their activities and finances. Covert Action is carrying out these activities without disclosure and is intended to create a political effect and conceal the identity of, or allow plausible denial by, the sponsor.

For the purposes of this study, all the aforementioned legal definitions of criminal acts are categorized as “espionage.” This espionage definition considers media and common public usage, and similarities in the acts, i.e. conducting illegal covert or clandestine acts at the direction of, or for the benefit of, a foreign government or entity. When divided into the aforementioned categories (Espionage, Economic Espionage, ITAR, EAR, Covert Action) the 274 espionage cases show the percentages of operations as follows (Figure 1.).

Chinese Espionage Entities

Espionage activities correlated to their sponsoring organization (the “customer” receiving the information or technology) showed four distinct clusters of Chinese organizations engaging in espionage. The governing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses government, quasi-government, academic, and commercial entities as mechanisms to conduct all forms f espionage abroad.

China’s preeminent civilian intelligence agency is the Guojia Anquan Bu, or Ministry of State Security (MSS). The MSS was formed in June 1983 by combining the espionage, counterintelligence, and security functions of the Ministry of Public Security and the Investigations Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee.

On the military side, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Headquarters, Second Department is responsible for collecting military information, including related foreign technology. PLA collection capabilities include military attachés conducting overt and clandestine collection and collectors under other government and commercial covers.

State-owned enterprises are also engaged in espionage. There are 150,000 SOEs in China, 50,000 of which are owned by the central government and include aerospace and defense companies, research institutes, technology transfer organizations. The central government directly manages 102 of these firms considered critical to national and economic security. The CCP’s Organization Department makes all senior personnel appointmentswithin these business organizations. CCP embedded committees manage all actions within directly managed SOEs. In 2018, CCP leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping directed all SOEs to amend their bylaws to ensure the concepts of service to the CCP as well as national and economic security are placed above profit.

In approximately 60 cases I reviewed, Chinese companies or individuals were acting unilaterally for commercial benefit only. In some of those cases (perhaps 20 percent), there was a clearly identifiable Chinese government or SOE as the ultimate customer for illegal exports or trade secrets. This was often the case in illegal export of military technology, source code, large-scale agricultural and industrial production and manufacturing techniques.

Other Chinese government elements that collect intelligence (information) include the PLA Political Department Liaison Office (targeted against Taiwan), United Front Work Department, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China-Based “Customers” Conducting Espionage Activities

The distribution of Chinese espionage cases worldwide illustrates the magnitude of CCP controlled businesses, research entities, and government organizations involved in espionage activities (see Figure 2). There is a near equal distribution of espionage activities between the four major organizational clusters. This distribution indicates a concerted effort to use all mechanisms of government and the economy to collection foreign information and technology. Beijing has stated its intention to advance industry, technology, and military capabilities to become a world leader by 2025. At a minimum, there is no indication that the CCP or Chinese government have taken any measures to impede the illegal activities (illegal in the United States) of their state corporations and citizens.

The statistics show Chinese private companies adopt an aggressive posture in conducting economic espionage activities, resulting in 60 cases prosecuted just in the United States. Similarly, SOEs are aggressive in conducting or supporting espionage (72 acts total), stealing primarily advanced military technology. Espionage activities involving the People’s Liberation Army reflect primarily illegal arms or military technology transfers where the PLA was known, or believed to be the end user – for example, the PLA was assumed the ultimate end user or “customer” if a TOW anti-tank system (tube-launched, optically tracked, wireless-guided weapon system) was being illegally shipped to China. The PLA was involved in 61 such cases.

Distribution of Chinese Espionage Activities in the U.S.

China’s main espionage activities against the United States are focused on the illegal export of military and dual use technology. Together, they make up 54 percent of cases. Economic espionage, which is mainly conducted by private companies or individuals, makes up 23.5 percent of cases. The category of “traditional espionage” can be seen at 18 percent; but is considerably lower when Taiwan is removed as a PRC intelligence target. The venues for prosecution show where the target company or organization was located (see Figure 3.) The distribution pattern shows activity concentrations occurring in high-tech sectors, manufacturing hubs, and business centers. Victims of China’s espionage efforts include major defense and aerospace companies, pharmaceutical firms, technology research companies, manufacturers, and universities.

Intelligence Information Objectives

In intelligence terminology, information objectives identify the specific information (or technology) that is tasked for collection. These can number in the thousands and reflect the organization’s knowledge gaps. Simply put, if a country is continually trying to collect information on specific components of the F-35 aircraft, it is because it lacks the required information for its planned purposes.

China’s information objectives are focused in priority sectors and technologies. The Director of National Intelligence report, Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace (2018) identifies key industries and technologies that are frequent targets of foreign espionage. The text in bold (see Figure 4) reflects multiple, concerted attempts by China to secure specific U.S. critical technologies.  Each of these technologies is identified as a priority requirement in China’s State Council 2015 strategic plan “Made in China 2025.

More than 60 percent of China’s attempts to illegally export U.S. critical technologies are targeted at military technologies or space systems.  These information objectives include systems, designs, components, radiation hardened chips, integrated circuits, software, manuals, precision optics, thermal imaging systems, production techniques, etc.

Espionage Tradecraft

The final aspects of Chinese espionage activities are their use of specific clandestine collection techniques commonly known as espionage “tradecraft.” Chinese government agencies, SOEs, companies and individuals employ varying levels of sophistication of espionage tradecraft. An analysis of operational activities reveals a wide range of tradecraft practices (see Figure 5):

  1. No tradecraft, with parties using open communications and true names;
  2. Use of false names and/or third parties to transmit information and ship materials; Public and commercial encryption, hosting meetings in China to avoid detection; Tailor made devices or techniques, use of third countries, use of in-country cutouts to transmit information.

As illustrated, the most frequently employed elements of tradecraft include using false names or documents to ship information or technology. These techniques were used approximately one-third of the time. In nearly 25 percent of cases, individuals employed encryption for communications and/or hosted meetings in China to avoid detection by U.S. law enforcement. In 54 cases, entities used no tradecraft or substantive attempts to hide the espionage activity. Individuals used true names and open communications including emails, text messages, and phone calls. Lastly, in 27 cases, roughly 9 percent of the total, case officers and/or agents displayed a more sophisticated level of tradecraft. These elements of tradecraft included specially designed smartphone software for secure covert communications (U.S. vs. Kevin Mallory); third country meetings, or use of third parties (cutouts) in the United States for communicating information between the in-country ‘handler” and recruited asset, or the in-country handler and Chinese intelligence services.

Tradecraft Islands of Excellence

The wide variance in sophistication of espionage tradecraft implies the idea of “Islands of Excellence” (see Figure 6)  — meaning China employs espionage tradecraft with varying degrees of sophistication and effectiveness. One might expect poor tradecraft from nonprofessional intelligence entities such as individuals, companies, and SOEs. However, cases attributed to the Ministry of State Security show an astounding nine cases where case officers and recruited agents demonstrated no discernible tradecraft. In these cases, persons conducted agent recruitment, tasking, communications, and data transfer openly, with no significant attempt to hide the activity. In another 22 cases, MSS operatives employed only simplistic or limited operational tradecraft. In only eight cases was there a sophisticated higher level of tradecraft employed.

This wide variance in professional tradecraft likely indicates MSS suffers from lack of standardized training, security awareness, operational oversight, and case management. In addition, the same erratic performance by recruited agents illustrates nonstandardized agent training, protocols, and practices. The poor performance in oversight and case management is possibly due to the highly politicized nature (CCP management) of Chinese intelligence. If this is in fact the case then MSS performance is not likely to improve anytime soon.

Analysis reveals several other interesting data points on the application of tradecraft. Private companies (and individuals) are most likely to employ no or minimal tradecraft. In these cases no (23 cases) or minimal tradecraft (21 cases) was employed. The minimal application of tradecraft is expected, as these cases typically do not involve professional intelligence operatives (either case officers or agents).

SOE espionage activities show a wide variance in tradecraft. The operational details revealed in individual cases implies this phenomenon is due to the following factors: no training program for handlers or recruited assets, differences in the various SOEs, and the variables of espionage targets to include military, space, dual use, or industrial technologies.


Several high-level conclusions can be drawn from the cases representing the last 20 years of Chinese espionage operations. Espionage operations have expanded dramatically, increasing in the number of operations, personnel, government and SOE’s, and foreign targets sets. There is also a national construct in place (however redundant) to ensure intelligence information objectives are satisfied by collecting foreign information and technology. These information objectives are also tied to national defense and economic priorities. The only notable area in which China has shown minimal advancement has been in applying sophisticated espionage tradecraft. Lastly, China’s espionage activities continue unabated despite a large number of arrests, public exposure, and most recently, U.S. trade sanctions.

By Nicholas Eftimiades

Full link: https://thediplomat.com/2018/11/uncovering-chinese-espionage-in-the-us/