AZTALK : ASU Clinton Foundation Event $500,000

AZTALK: SHOULD ASU HAVE PAID THE CLINTON FOUNDATION $500,000 LAST YEAR FOR A 3-DAY EDUCATION AND PROMOTIONAL EVENT?

The event was probably excellent for the students in attendance.  Certainly the Clinton’s should be compensated for their appearance.  However, $500,000 seems like an awful heavy price tag for a 3 day event affecting a small portion of the student body.  Verdict “buyers remorse”.

AZ Central Story

AZTALK: Educational Infighting Ducey and Douglas

AZTALK

AZTALK: WHO IS MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR EDUCATION INFIGHTING: DOUG DUCEY OR DIANE DOUGLAS? WHY?

Educational institutions should be spending more time revamping their approach to education and less time playing victim. Ducey is doing exactly what he said he would do if he were elected. Douglas is doing what she said she would do while adding a fair amount of drama. In that sense, I suspect Douglas is pushing more infighting than Ducey. Ultimately, the focus is in the wrong place.

AZTALK : Snowden Hero or Criminal

AZTalk Snowden

AZTALK : IS EDWARD SNOWDEN A HERO, A CRIMINAL OR OTHER FOR EXPOSING NSA PHONE RECORD COLLECTIONS?

Hero: Snowden is a man with conscience.  Someone who exposed an unpopular truth to the American people.  Suffering greatly to do so.  The court system is starting to show why he was right to leak this information.  The NSA’s surveillance operations are starting to show up as unconstitutional.

AZTALK : Baltimore Riots Lead to Soul Searching

aztalk : baltimore

AZTALK: DO YOUR AGREE WITH BARACK OBAMA THAT THE BALTIMORE RIOTS SHOULD LEAD TO NATIONAL SOUL-SEARCHING?

The Nation has to admit that there is something going on that isn’t right.  The number of instances of police work gone wrong is escalating.  It tends to be exceptionally bad in communities where poverty is present.  If something (including the dialog) doesn’t change soon, it will only continue to escalate.

AZTALK : Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

aztalk - marijuana

AZTALK : DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF REGULATING MARIJUANA THE WAY WE DO ALCOHOL?

Yes.  It is a less dangerous drug than alcohol.  It is resulting in incarceration of non-violent criminals.  It would be a nice boost in tax revenue.  Ultimately, it gets dangerous when government gets in the business of regulating morals.

 

Sunday Book Review: The Art of Doing by Camille Sweeney

The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So WellThe Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well by Camille Sweeney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was surprised by this one. I expected it to be a bunch of science around how to get more done. Instead it was a collection of thoughts from successful people about what made them successful. The variety of people, all at the top of their field, was inspiring.

The interviews give a taste of experience, wisdom and perspective about what makes the best tick. It was inspirational to hear many of the stories. I really enjoyed Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra and Martina Navratilova (I mentioned the diversity of the interviewees right?)

A theme that seemed relevant to me. Self-Awareness. To be great you have to be hyper aware of who you are, what you want and your surroundings.

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Sunday Book Review: Hitmaker by Tommy Mottola

HitmakerHitmaker by Tommy Mottola

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love music history. Tommy is full of great music stories. That alone endeared me to this book. I expected it to be much more about the music industry and less stories about Tommy and the artists he worked with at Sony. Imagine my delight that not only did it have a unique take on the music industry, but also all these great insider views about artists I grew up loving.

I am glad to report while there was some chatter about his relationship with Mariah, it didn’t dominate the book and was always in a good context. Oddly there was some interesting insight from Tommy into the life of Michael Jackson. Mottola and Mellencamp are decidedly not friends. :) Mottola worked with so many great artists and was at the top when the music industry and sony were at their crest.

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Sunday Book Review : Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest ProductsJony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A rare look into the life of Apple’s star designer and right hand man to the genius of Steve Jobs during Apples rise to the top. Leander Khaney does a good job of putting as close to the inside of Apple with out being an insider as possible. Khaney highlighted Jony’s early life and decisions that landed him his role at Apple.

It was interesting to see a divide between design and engineering expressed. Rumored in the book to even lead to the departure of more than one executive employee. I enjoyed the stories, but wish that they would have been from Jony’s voice instead of just assembled from anecdotes. This is a good read for designers and product people.

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Sunday Book Review : Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert I. Sutton

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for LessScaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert I. Sutton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grabbed this interested in Sutton’s take on scaling. I am already a fan of greatness/excellence as a path to magnificence. This book re-enforced that there are no silver bullets and that everyones journey is a bit different. It did a good job of laying out what others have experienced and what it looks like. Scaling isn’t about simply more. That more has to be excellent to scale. Additionally an organization is really a collection of individuals and having great ones is pre-requisite to scaling. I am reminded again that illusion, impatience and incompetence are sure fire traits that will kill scaling in it’s tracks. If you are serious about scaling the work you are doing, you should check this out. If you feel that it is the role of someone else or you aren’t attempting to scale I would skip this one.

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AZTALK : Discourage American Aid Workers from Dangerous Locations

AZTALK : Ebola

AZTALK : Should the U.S. government do more to discourage American aid workers from going to the most dangerous places in the world?

No.  It isn’t the governments place to dictate, incentivize, etc where or who it’s citizens choose to give their time / resources to.  Unless doing so would constitute some treasonous behavior.  Ex: funding weapons for our enemies.  However, the government shouldn’t make exceptions for those that choose to make decisions that put them in danger.  Going to a region and catching a disease (think Ebola) or being taken as a hostage (think Middle East) might put you in a position where the United States government can’t (and shouldn’t) put itself at harm in helping.