How to get a Google wave invitation

There are 3 ways to get a Google Wave invitation:

- Apply for a job in Google.
- Bug a Google worker to get you one

Enjoy it !

The most effective call to action for ads

I have been working in Google for a while and we studied different call to action words/sentence in order to make ads more effective.

One of the best call to action is : "buy now". You should use it when planning an advertising campaign to generate sales. But why does it work ?

The reason lies in a study conducted by four Princeton psychologysts aimed at scanning subjects' brain as they were presented with a choice: short term gratification versus delayed rewards. The "Buy Now" option caused an unusual flurry stimulation in the limbic areas of students - a whole grouping of brain structures primary responsible for our emotions, as well as for the formation of memory. The more the students were emotionally excited about something, the greater the chances of their opting for the immediate.
Most of our brain is dominated by automatic processes, rather than deliberate thinking. A lot of our decisions (to click on the ad in this example) are driven by emotions, not by rational thoughts.

Earthquake in Italy

Today there was a terrible earthquake in the hearth of Italy. Here some pictures reminding us of the crude reality of life.

Creative advertising

I have worked in Google for more than two years and I enjoy the world of advertising. Unfortunately, I live in a country (Italy) where creative advertising is associated with pictures of naked women. This is how creative Italian ad agencies are. Therefore I am extremely happy when I come across some well written ads and funny ideas, like the ones below from Miele, a German manufacturer of high-end domestic appliances.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Miele appliance:)

Enjoy them below:

Miele silent Vacuum cleaner

The "sucked" dog

How to be happier

The thing about being optimistic is that it takes a lot of hard work. It's an active process, say psychologists, through which you force yourself to see your life a certain way. Indeed, the leading optimism and happiness experts consider themselves born pessimists. But if they have learned over time and with lots of practice to become more hopeful, so can you.

Tal Ben-Shahar is a Harvard professor who taught the university's most popular course, Positive Psychology, from 2002 to 2008.

In his own life, Ben-Shahar uses three exercises, which he calls PRP. When he feels down--say, after giving a bad lecture--he grants himself permission (P) to be human. He reminds himself that not every lecture can be a Nobel winner; some will be less effective than others. Next is reconstruction (R). He parses the weak lecture, learning lessons for the future about what works and what doesn't. Finally, there's perspective (P), which involves acknowledging that in the grand scheme of life, one lecture really doesn't matter.
I think it is a great way to cope with reality and it will definitely make us happier in life.

Read full "Time" article here

World web 2.0

The World is changing, people are changing.

When you post a video to YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school. When you write a blog, no one cares whether you have a journalism degree. Position, title, and academic degrees—none of the usual status differentiators carry much weight online.

On the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute.

Skype on iPhone : the killer application ?

Finally Skype has arrived on the most expensive and trendy phone on the planet. Who cares?
A lot of us actually care, because we are all eager to make free or cheap phone call to everyone, everywhere...but is it really worth ?

There are two main issues that make me think this is just half of a great project. You can only make calls while you are on a wi-fi network. Apple's restrictions on the use of its software development kit mean that Voip applications cannot use the 3G network. This is not a minor limitation.

The other main issue is that all iPhones, by default, do not allow you to have more than one application open at the same time. This means that your Skype friends will not probably be able to get you on the phone unless you happen to be in the app exactly when they call.

What might make it into a killer application is free video calls - which aren't available on any device right now, according to my knowledge. But for that to happen on an iPhone, it would need a new camera on the front of the phone and I do not think Apple is going to build it only for us to enjoy free video calls.

Prioritize your tasks now !

No matter how good you think you are - you can only work on one single thing at any one time. And that one thing you decide to work on is the highest priority item to you at that time. Somehow in your decision making process you have come to the conclusion that the particular item is the highest priority possible. I

Get a notebook and do the following:

i) First thing in the morning, take 5 minutes and write down all your outstanding tasks on a piece of paper

ii) Rank each task with the following letters
a. A - is the urgent and important items that need to be taken care of
b. B - is the medium and semi-important tasks
c. C - is the low priority items that are not urgent nor important.

iii) The "A's" are the tasks that need to be completed first.

iv) Rank all the A's with a number 1, 2, 3, ... And down through the B's and C's too.

v) Your Priority list is now ranked as A1, A2, ...An, B1, B2, .... Bn, C1, C2, ... Cn.

vi) Complete you tasks in order throughout the day in the order they are in your list, and add new ones as they come up

vii) Always carry your paper task list with you to meetings etc to have it handy.

viii) The next morning, start over. Take 5 minutes and write down all outstanding tasks and rank them as A, B and C, etc...

Enjoy it and be more productive from tomorrow !

Better manage your inbox

In order to better manage with your full inbox you need to know the 4 Ds of Email Management.

For each email you receive you have to do one of the following 4 actions:

1) Delete it = it isn't relevant to you or should be deleted after a quick scan

2) Do it = Do it now - before you read the next email. Any item that takes less than 2 minutes to complete should be done now.

3) Delegate it = Have somebody else do it - so forward on the request

4) Date/Time Action it = This is the most difficult scenario to manage! Not all emails can be actioned immediately, nor should they be. It may be an email related to checking on a status of something a month from now, or will take a significant amount of time that needs to be reserved in your calendar. Most people take the approach that outstanding mails would be marked as "Unread" and hopefully checked again tomorrow (I am one of them). But most become buried in the sea of incoming emails the next day and lost or not actioned. To deal with these emails read the next posts.

Glasses for poor countries

Like the "one laptop for a child" campaign, this is a fantastic, disrupting, useful innovation.

Professor Joshua D Silver, while studying mirrors, discovered a new way to change the curvature of lenses. He applied this to create a new form of liquid-filled corrective lens, that could be easily adjusted by the wearer to correct the vision of over 90% of people requiring correction. This is particularly useful for people in developing countries where specially trained optometrists are not available.
This kind of glasses cost as much as 20 US$, but when in production their cost could go down up to 1$.
Check out the video on YouTube.