Invacio Pulse

William James D West

Founder/Chairman at Invacio Research Analytica

Why Mark and Elon are wrong

Composed by Michael J Aumock 

Mark and Elon have been slowly ratcheting up the rhetoric and tweets on Artificial Intelligence, and it's impact on the world at large.

Elon says its the end of the world.

Mark says there's nothing to worry about.

But I say it's neither.

Both are obviously geniuses in their own right, although I'm told neither of them are master coders (in fairness, I can't code a thing). However, without having an understanding of the nuts and bolts of a thing, it's hard to truly understand the impact it will have on the environment. The larger the thing, the larger the environment, the larger the impact.

A.I. may be the largest thing since... well, the wheel?

The first flight? The first boat? Scotch?

It will affect everyone on planet earth. Everyone who ever lives in a colony in space or on another planet. It will have an impact on the entire future of we know it, or can even begin to imagine it.

But there's the rub.

Can we imagine it?

Can our regular old organic, singular brains even begin to imagine what a true, self-learning, self-correcting A.I. can come up with?

I don't think so.

A true A.I. will be able to process data (thoughts) at least 40,000 times faster than a human. With photographic memory. And without emotion to shade at any data.

So, hypothetically, if you start learning on your 5th birthday, remember everything, and learn for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will be around 215 years old by the time you know as much as Invacio A.I.

When it's been on for one day.

And even that is a gross oversimplification, because A.I. will be able to learn in different languages.

All of 'em.

And Invacio, A.I. will be able to self-teach itself to see trends and epidemics before they even happen. Solve irrigation problems and food shortages years in advance.

A.I. will almost be able to see the future. The predictions that A.I. makes will make millionaires and billionaires around the world, but also solve problems that mankind has struggled with for years, because it let's us off the hook as individuals. It will see things in 20 hours that would have taken a team of scientists 20 years to discover. And by the next day, it will have improved on those findings exponentially.

As humans, we are taught that "every decision we make is the best decision we could make based on the knowledge we had at the time". That doesn't often change over the course of a day for us, but if we use A.I. to guide us, we can point to a much larger, un-impeachable source for our major policy answers. Nobody has to save face when their opponent solves a problem, or un-does something they worked hard to implement. We will in fact KNOW right from wrong.

This will eventually lead to a blind faith in A.I. which could be dangerous, only because it will eventually limit human decision-making ability.

Which is why Mark and Elon are both wrong on this... or are they both right?

William James D West

Founder/Chairman at Invacio Research Analytica

Secret Shuts Down

[Update: Secret has confirmed it will shut down and give investors back their money]

Anonymous sharing app Secret will shut down soon, according to sources close to the company. The announcement could be made as soon as today or tomorrow, and there’s some talk of current employees receiving modest severance packages. Having raised $35 million, it’s unlikely that the company is out of money.

But after a major redesign sterilized the app’s identity and made it look just like its much more popular competitor Yik Yak, and its co-founder Chrys Bader-Wechseler left, Secret may see shutting down as the best outcome. Many employees, including top talent like Sarah Haider, Safeer Jiwan, and Amol Jain have left the company over the past month or so. One source says the company has been whittled down to under 10 employees from over 20 several months ago and has been in “maintenance mode.”

Requests for comment to Secret’s employees and CEO have gone unreturned.

It’s probable that Secret will hand its remaining cash back to investors, which include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, S-Cubed Capital, Index Ventures, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Fuel Capital, and Ceyuan Ventures.

[Update 12:40pm PST: Secret’s CEO David Byttow just announced that “With a heavy heart, I’ve decided to shut down Secret, wind-down the company, and return the remaining money.” This confirms our report.


In the farewell post where he mentions 15 million people used Secret, Byttow explains that “Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company, so I believe it’s the right decision for myself, our investors and our team.” As for criticism about cyberbullying, Byttow writes “I believe in honest, open communication and creative expression, and anonymity is a great device to achieve it. But it’s also the ultimate double-edged sword, which must be wielded with great respect and care.”]

Secret’s app lets you post short snippets of text, like confessions or rumors. The posts are “anonymish” in that your name doesn’t appear, but other details like your general location might. The startup garnered tons of press when it launched in early 2014. Along with Whisper and Yik Yak, it was part of a wave of interest in anonymous apps. It rode the hype to massive funding, which allowed the two founders, David Byttow and Bader-Wechseler to each take $3 million off the table. They essentially traded stock for cash, putting money in their pockets though the business wasn’t earning any.

Unfortunately, Secret’s slow response to criticisms that it facilitated cyberbullying gave it a rotten reputation with some. At SXSW 2014, I did a fireside chat with Byttow that you can watch below, where I hammered him about the potential risk of cyberbullying on Secret. He seemed incredulous, and I’m not sure he ever took it seriously enough.



After a year of slow growth, it ditched its highly visual design and background photos in favor of a minimalist text-only design that made it seem like a clone of Yik Yak. While it’s experimented with hyper-local backchannels for events like Sundance and CES, one source says the numbers weren’t growing.

Last month, TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden spoke to Byttow, who denied reports that Secret was shutting down or pivoting into becoming an app studio. He cited strong usage by the youth during spring break as a vote of confidence.

But according to App Annie, that spike of interest was short-lived, and Secret has since fallen back off the top 1,000 overall US apps chart since.

Shutting down and handing the money back to investors could keep Secret from going down in Silicon Valley history as a $35 million disaster.


William James D West

Founder/Chairman at Invacio Research Analytica

Tech Companies Line Up Behind Surveillance Reform Bill

A wide range of companies today released their support for a surveillance reform bill that would effectively end the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Reform Government Surveillance, a lobbying group representing many tech companies including AOL (they write my paychecks), came out backing the 2015 version of the FREEDOM Act.

“We support the bicameral, bipartisan legislation, which ends existing bulk collection practices under the USA Patriot Act and increases transparency and accountability while also protecting U.S. national security,” Reform Government Surveillance said in a statement.

“We thank Representatives Goodlatte, Sensenbrenner, Conyers and Nadler and Senators Lee, Leahy, Heller, and Franken, as well as other Members, who have worked hard over the past several months to draft a common sense bill that addresses the concerns of industry, the Intelligence Community, and civil society in a constructive and balanced manner. We look forward to working with Congress to pass this legislation by June 1st.”

The bill comes as a provision of the PATRIOT Act that authorizes the most controversial of the NSA surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden is set to sunset at the end of next month. Though the bill bears the same name as the legislation Congress failed to pass last year, it appears to include concessions to lawmakers concerned about national security that make it weaker than previous proposals.

Lawmakers backing the bill are advertising it as stronger on privacy and national security than a measure that died in a narrow procedural vote on the Senate floor in November. It’s impossible to do both, and critics say this bill goes too far on compromises.

Like the last bill, the FREEDOM Act would effectively end the government’s bulk collection of telephone metadata by allowing phone companies to store those records. The new version requires that the NSA use more specific selection terms, so that it can not search for records from an entire state or city. The new bill would also increase the amount of information American technology companies can disclose about their responses to national security orders.


But even with these new privacy and transparency measures, the bill makes concerning concessions on that front when it comes to national security. The last FREEDOM Act failed with a string of Republicans taking the Senate floor and warning drastic reforms would hinder the fight against ISIS.

Critics say the bill is better than a clean reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act, but worry about some of the changes made. Civil liberties groups are particularly concerned about a component of the bill that would increase the statutory maximum prison sentence to 20 years for providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

“The bill does not go nearly far enough,” said Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU. “This bill would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision—the material-support provision—would represent a significant step backwards. The disclosures of the last two years make clear that we need wholesale reform. Congress should let Section 215 sunset as it’s scheduled to, and then it should turn to reforming the other surveillance authorities that have been used to justify bulk collection.”
Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy, sent an email to the press criticizing the bill’s transparency requirements. He said though the bill was a step in the right direction, it lacked many of the transparency compromises that were negotiated in last year’s bill.
“The House bill introduced today left a lot of those changes on the negotiating table. Under this bill, the government won’t have to say how many people had their communications collected under the law that authorized the PRISM program,” Bedoya wrote. “It also won’t have to say how many Americans have had their communications data collected under the PATRIOT Act. “

Additionally, this bill will allow foreign nationals to be monitored for up to 72 hours upon entering the United States. It also preserves the intelligence-gathering authorities. According to the literature distributed by the Judiciary Committee, this bill will reauthorize Section 215 and roving wiretaps to 2019.

Although such provisions are far from ideal, it is expected that, with the changed landscape since Congress last took up NSA reform, any measure would have to do more to address national security concerns than the bill last year. It is promising that the bill’s backers met those changes with additions to the privacy and transparency language, and it goes much further than the measure we saw introduced in the Senate.

Libertarian groups are calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to change course on surveillance reform. Last week the Kentucky senator introduced a bill that would cleanly reauthorize the PATRIOT Act until 2020.

As Congress rushes to address surveillance before the PATRIOT Act provision expires, the New York Times reported over the weekend the government has little evidence the phone record collection program has been effective. But even with that report, there seems to be little support from lawmakers to let the PATRIOT Act provision expire. Compared to the bill on the table in the other chamber of Congress, the House bill is the lesser of two evils. The FREEDOM Act will be marked up in the House tomorrow.

Graham S West

at Invacio

How Do You Think About Innovation?

Last weekend, I attended ProductCamp RTP 2015.  During the conference, there were 12 topics about all related to innovation.  The  agile marketing, IBM Watson, data analytics, neurological marketing, developing mobile, and market research (ok, I was biased on that one since it was my topic).

The keynote speaker was Dr. David Pulman, Former President Global Manufacturing & Supply GlaxoSmithKline.

The theme for this year was Innovation!

However, while I was listening to all of the speakers, I started to wonder about that word...innovation.  What do people think of when they hear it?  Do they just think of the latest technology?  

Dr. Pulman suggested that anything new is innovation, regardless of the industry.  Examples he discussed included combining multiple technologies into something different, like the Solar Impulse 2, thin crust pizza, and Clash of Clans.

Up until this weekend, if someone would have asked me my thoughts on innovation, I think I would have said it needed to be something newly created with a perceived better outcome (of some form) that was based in science or technology.  However, after the weekend, I have a very different perspective, a true paradigm shift.  

Innovation is still something new with a better outcome.  However, it does not need to be created and it does not need to be based in science or technology.  It could be a modification or transformation of something we already know.  Innovation could be the new Apple Watch.  Innovation is thin crust pizza when the world was used thick crust pizza.  Innovation is an efficient change in an office process.  Innovation is a better bolt and nut for deck construction.

What do you think innovation is? Let me know by putting in your comments.


J. Nolfo works as a strategic marketing, market research & analytics strategy guy for a large international chemical company. He also occasionally moonlights as adjunct professor at a local community college. The topics he writes about run wild based on whatever he is thinking about at the time and do not reflect the opinions of anyone he may be professionally associated with. All of his post can be found here and if you would like to read his regular posts then please click 'Follow' (at the top of the article under his name).

You can also follow J. on Twitter and G+.

Graham S West

at Invacio

12 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

In a study conducted at UCLA, subjects rated over 500 adjectives based on their perceived significance to likeability. The top-rated adjectives had nothing to do with being gregarious, intelligent, or attractive (innate characteristics). Instead, the top adjectives were sincerity, transparency, and capacity for understanding (another person).

These adjectives, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in the social side of emotional intelligence. TalentSmart research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin.

We did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable. Here are 12 of the best:

1. They Ask Questions

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost.

A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.

2. They Put Away Their Phones

Nothing will turn someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all of your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.

3. They Are Genuine

Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.

Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.

4. They Don’t Pass Judgment

If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.

Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.

5. They Don’t Seek Attention

People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.

When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.

6. They Are Consistent

Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.

7. They Use Positive Body Language

Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.

It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.

8. They Leave a Strong First Impression

Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.

9. They Greet People by Name

Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.

If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.

10. They Smile

People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

11. They Know Who To Touch (and They Touch Them)

When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.

12. They Balance Passion and Fun

People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.

Bringing It All Together

Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and watch your likeability soar!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, andThe Harvard Business Review.

If you'd like to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence (EQ), consider taking the online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal test that's included with theEmotional Intelligence 2.0 book. Your test results will pinpoint which of the book's 66 emotional intelligence strategies will increase your EQ the most.

Graham S West

at Invacio

Google's Most Important Business Has A Huge Problem

Google stock has been flat for a couple of years, and we've decided to take a closer look at why.

One metric that people who are pessimistic about Google like to talk about is the declining amount that Google can charge for each click on its search ads.

When Google reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014, it said that cost per click was down 3% from the same quarter a year before.

Worse, Google said the rate of decline was accelerating.

Why is this happening?

We asked two experts on the intricacies of Google's search advertising business: Danny Sullivan, the founding editor of Search Engine Land, and Ginny Marvin, one of Search Engine Land's reporters.

The following is what they told us, in paraphrase.

After the iPhone came out in 2007 and Android came out in 2008, Google executives realized that the number of people connecting to the internet on mobile devices would soon surpass the number connecting on desktop computers.

The trend was bad news for Google, because at the time it made almost all of its money from selling desktop search ads.

So in March 2013, Google made a decision. It told advertisers: If you buy ads from us, they will show up on desktop and mobile — we aren't going to distinguish between the two platforms. It was a quick-and-dirty way for Google to become a huge player in mobile advertising. For the most part, advertisers took in this news and continued to run their normal campaigns, and soon Google dominated the market.

But eventually Google had a new problem on its hands.

Most of Google's advertisers are companies trying to sell products to users who are looking for those products via Google. When a user clicks on one of their ads, that user goes straight to the advertiser's online store.

Because Google told its advertisers not to worry about creating campaigns specifically for mobile or for desktop, Sullivan and Marvin say that most of them continued using the same online stores that they had when their ads appeared only on Google's desktop search-results pages.

These stores were not very easy to use on mobile. As a result, shoppers who came to them via mobile search ads were not completing as many transactions as they had when they came through desktop search ads.

For advertisers, the value of a person who came to their online stores through a click on a Google ad was lower. The price that advertisers were willing to pay per click also came down.

Down went Google's cost per click.

Marvin says that for the past few quarters, the value of traffic from Google's mobile search ads has slowly been increasing, but that the number still stands well below desktop.

The scary fact of the matter for Google is this:

The company can have the most modern and mobile-friendly apps and software on the planet (some say it does, citing Android and Google Maps as proof), but as far as Google's business goes, it won't matter until Google's millions of advertisers develop online stores that people want to use in the smartphone era.

The threat for Google is that, while Google's millions of advertisers slowly modernize, consumers will learn to shop on the internet in ways that do not include Google at all.

There is already plenty of evidence that they are happy to skip web search altogether and go straight into apps or to And that may be enough of an explanation for why Google's stock price has been flat for so long.

But there are other questions about Google that need to be answered.

Is the company's CEO, Larry Page, interested in attacking these kinds of problems?

More on that soon.

We're taking a closer look at Google, which seems to have gone flat as a company. We'd like to hear from Googlers and ex-Googlers. Email [email protected] or [email protected]

See Also: Snapchat is paying college grads almost $500,000 to work there

Linleeya West

Shareholder at Invacio

The Musky Awards: Readers Get the Last Word on Tesla's New Idea

Earlier this week I mused about what Elon Musk would be announcing on April 30after he teased us on Twitter about an announcement of a new product.

I thought it would be fun to think about not necessarily what Musk would unveil, but what the daring entrepreneur, who seems limited by his own imagination, should be working on.

I thought it would be fun to think about not necessarily what Musk would unveil, but what the daring entrepreneur, who seems limited by his own imagination, should be working on.

The possibilities were limitless, I thought, so I didn't feel bound by science (perpetual motion) or practicality (a chain of space hotels) or common sense (a smartphone). Though, in fairness on that last idea, Tesla itself pranked that it would be coming out with an Apple Watch killer, so I wasn't all that far off.

Readers also appreciated that there were no rules to the game. Suffice to say, there were lots of Iron Man references and calls for space elevators.

Mark Scott could barely contain himself. “Self peeling potatoes? Submarine drones? A genetically modified cat that purrs but is as loyal and consistent as a dog? A proper flying saucer? A faster than light hat? Teleportation? Humanoid robots that are useful and practical? Fish-carrot hybrids? We know that Musk's favourite meal is a carrot stuffed with chub or hake. Anti-gravity underpants? An end to all wars and everlasting peace? I could go on."

The comments were so good that I thought it would be a shame not to single out the best in some meaningful way that would burnish the author's professional reputation.

Since that's out of the question I'm doing this: Handing out totally unofficial, no-cash-value Musky Awards.

None of these coveted not-statuettes will be going to the sizable number of commenters who noted that Tesla had telegraphed a battery to power homes and concluded that this was what all the fuss was about. Special mentions to all who moaned at the prospect of what might be the next Segway, a form of transportation that got lots of hype and didn't change the world.

But one reader predicted Musk would market a form of transportation that is way, way overdue.

"Duh, it's the jetpacks we've been waiting for," wrote Jason McKenzie, winner of theMusky for Best D'uh.

Lots of readers seized on Musk's "not a car" aside to suggest it was about other kinds of vehicles, mostly a motorcycle. Derrick Knight thought it might be "a pickup truck" and Joe Parks an 18-wheeler. "The Tesla motor has enough torque and power for one," Parks wrote. "Add thin film flexible solar cells to the roof and side of the box car your towing to extend the range. Think of how much diesel that could be saved."

But the Musky for Most Creative Not-A-Car Award goes to Paul Veitch for "A... bus?"

Also stretching the definition: A flying car (Thomas O'Leary) that is autonomous (Andrew Chin). Anthony Esposito went pure aviation. "Bring back the SST, Elon. But that was too slow. Make it the Super-SuperSonicTransport. You know they want it."

However, competition for the Higher Than Blue Sky Musky wasn't even close.

“A flux-capacitor," wrote Dan Schwarz. "Now the Tesla-S can travel through time.”

Like me, Russell Robert is hoping Musk will take on the laws of physics. “Perhaps it's a quantum battery, almost 100% efficient, a postage stamp sized version could power your iPad for life..." Eric Miller (like me) might have watched too many Star Trek episodes. "Replicator technology would be awesome and almost render the need for food production obsolete," he wrote. "...[H]ow cool would it be to just get what you are craving from home." (In the meantime, check out Amazon Dash Button, Eric.)

My personal favorite came from Christian Bliss.

Mr. Musk, as the name suggest, will now venture in the fragrance industry. Combining elements of genetics with forensic serology to create a new, dare I say, Musk that is bioengineered with his own sweat. Elon will succeed where Michael Jordan, Justin Beiber & Taylor Swift have all miserably failed! Haven’t felt too imaginative lately? No problem! A few spritz of Musk by Elon will take care of that. Have a serious case of writer’s block? No sweat! A copious mist of Musk by Elon is the cure-all for your troubles.

Congratulations, Bliss, on winning the Über of Tesla of Cologne Musky Award.

Some commenters took the opportunity to gripe. "Elon should try making a profit," wrote possible shareholder Jesse Delaney. "Another egocentric revelation?" askedHenry Cruz.

I appreciate take downs as much as the next person, but the Musky Mic Drop goes to John "The Cork" Corcoran.

“After reading the outpouring of snark and ill-disguised jealousy from so many contributors here," Cordoran writes, "I would hope he's come up with a cure for Schadenfreude."

Linleeya West

Shareholder at Invacio

Small Business Growth Strategies: Upsell Hyper Growth

The greatest majority of marketers include the value of “up sells”, "down sells" into their long term forecast of revenue. A $47 purchase leads to a numbers of offers resulting into a value of several THOUSANDS of dollars.

Oddly enough, a great number of entrepreneurs KNOW that upselling is vital, but often times, they are not sure how to go about it and pass that initial sell.

The actual value of a customer can be 10x, 100x, or even a 1,000 times what comes from the FIRST purchase, if you upsell effectively.

The more you upsell, the more bottom dollar you add to your business. That money is what makes your HYPER GROWTH ROCKET TAKE OFF!

GREAT Upsell Strategies: Just Do It!

Linleeya West

Shareholder at Invacio

The One Sign Your Boss Fears You

will remember at least two people from my career until the day I die. The best boss I ever had and the worst. No matter how good or bad your memory is, I promise that you will too. A great boss makes every day terrific. And few things are more demoralizing for someone with ambition than a manager who stifles their potential.

Over the last two years as the CEO of Aha! (product roadmap software), I’ve thought a great deal about what makes some managers so rotten. And I have thought about the people I worked for, including George (name changed).

For most bosses like George, management is often just the next rung on the ladder. But the skills required to get a career going are very different than the ones that are needed to be a great leader. The transition is not easy and can create self doubt. And if your manager begins to doubt his abilities, fear will take over and strangle good judgement.

Fear is one of the most powerful of all human emotions. Even the most well intentioned manager will completely change his behavior in an attempt to compensate for fear.

Fear often leads to panic over being "found out" as someone who is in too deep. Once that happens, your manager will spend lots of energy ensuring that he does not look weak to his boss or peers. I am sorry, but that makes you a threat. Instead of enabling you to reach your highest potential, a manager who is gripped with fear will be nervous that you may expose him.

We all have theories about where fear starts and ridiculous stories to tell about the fearful manager. But if you have lived through this before, you know that the one sign your boss fears you is more obvious than most people might think. It's easy to spot when you think about it.

The one sign your boss fears you is that he asks you to send everything to him first.

When your manager wants to stand in the way of you getting work done and building work relationships, it's a frustrating challenge. But rather than become demotivated, you should remember these three things when dealing with managers like George:

The most successful professionals have taught themselves to master their emotions during times of stress. And since your own boss is unable to do so, it's up to you to show him how it's done. Cooler heads prevail when it comes to dealing with a fearful manager.

Find perspective
Don’t take micromanagement personally. Chances are that if your boss acts this way, he fears more than just you. Don't gossip, but seek a trusted mentor internally who can help you keep your own head up and continue to be your best. Ask for advice, and be willing to see where you can improve your own actions. Make sure that you are not actually the one handicapped with fright.

Trust me, there will come a day when you are not subject to a fearful leader. Take a moment and remind yourself that you are in your current role for a reason. Think about it deeply and learn from it. This will help you anticipate your manager's reactions, alleviate his worries, and not make others feel the same misery when you are a leader.

Even the best employees have endured fearful bosses. The good news is that they can be some of your best teachers if you study what motivates them.

After 20 years on the job, I've had my share of lackluster leaders. George and others like him teach you what you won't tolerate. But I've also managed to glean a few lessons from them along the way. They influenced the leader I have become, and I am thankful for that.

Have you had a boss that was full of fear?

Also, if you would like to read my regular posts then please click 'Follow' at the top of this article and feel free to connect via Twitter