Zoo Zajac is a 130,000 sq ft (120,77.4 sq m) pet store in a small town in Germany. The owner, Norbert Zajac, got his first pet, a golden hamster, when he was 4 years old. He started breeding and selling animals at 8 years old. Today his pet store is officially recognized as the largest in the world and has a selection of animals better than many zoos. They stock 250,000 individual animals of 3,000 different species.
The most recent episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast — #179 Accountability and Diversity with Meagan Waller — is a treasure trove of insights and info about unconscious biases, diversity, employment, culture, tech, and more. The podcast page features a timestamped topic outline of the discussion, as well as many links to the Ruby community websites, projects, studies, conferences, and controversies they discuss… [more inside]
Darius Kazemi: Every Talk Ever Given by a Successful Creative Person (SLYT) Note: It's worth watching to the end.
Hiring, rewarding, and empowering top performers Compared to most fast-food chains, Chipotle favors human skill over rules, robots, and timers. So how did the Mexican-style food chain come to be like this while expanding massively since the 2000s? In part due to promoting from within instead of hiring culinary graduates.Today nearly 96% of hourly managers are the result of internal promotions.
Game of the Year. Some words and a comic on success, depression, insecurities and validations by the writer of The Stanley Parable
Twenty-five years ago, David Raether was a successful comedy writer -- a member of the writing staff of Roseanne. Five years ago, he was homeless. This is his story.
Take the twitch out of platforming with Bump, a delightful new little turn-based randomly-generated roguelikelike by clever game dev and creative fellow Aaron Steed. Jump at or on or over things! Collect diamonds with head-bumping! Avoid and/or destroy spikes and bad guys! Try not to die! Die anyway! It's a good time. [more inside]
While at college I yearned to feel connected, to be a part of something larger, something that involved more than bricks and mortarboards. I never managed it. Now, two decades later, I felt a familiar ambivalence. Those bright college years are so influential, so much a part of who we become, that revisiting them brings up a host of conflicting, tumultuous emotions. Going back stirs the pot. Maybe that’s a good thing.Author and columnist Rachel Toor on mixed feelings about going to a class reunion when you haven't exactly become successful in the traditional sense. (This essay also appeared in a 2004 issue of the Chronicle Review, the essays and opinions insert of the trade periodical The Chronicle of Higher Education.)
Excellence is mundane. Excellence is accomplished through the doing of actions, ordinary in themselves, performed consistently and carefully, habitualized, compounded together, added up over time.: An Ethnographic Report on Stratification and Olympic Swimmers (1989) [more inside]
Elizabeth Warren has been one of few public figures famously willing to put actual rhetorical force behind the notion that behind every American success story lies a web of civic and personal support, and probably a million small kindnesses as well. John Scalzi takes this notion and runs with it: he's written a thorough and eloquent accounting of how he's gotten to where he is, from a very humble background, and how that made the duty to pay it forward obvious and inescapable.
Eugene Ahn, AKA Adam Warrock, on quitting being a lawyer to become a full time rapper.
Brené Brown: Listening to shame. Filmed this month at TED in Long Beach, CA. (YouTube) Also see: The Power of Vulnerability (yt, previously on MeFi), and The Price of Invulnerability. [more inside]
...Failed Simulations & the Surprising Psychology of Impressiveness: "Accomplishments that are hard to explain can be much more impressive than accomplishments that are simply hard to do", posits Cal Newport of Study Hacks ("Decoding Patterns of Success" - at work, at school). (via AskMeFi) Also from the blog: The Passion Trap ("How the Search for Your Life’s Work is Making Your Working Life Miserable") and Beyond Passion ("The Science of Loving What You Do"). [more inside]
Milton Glaser on fear of failure "This is the way to professional accomplishment: You have to demonstrate that you know something unique that you can repeat over and over and over, until ultimately you lose interest in it. The consequence of specialization and success is that it hurts you. It hurts you because it doesn't aid in your development. The truth of the matter is that understanding development comes from failure." [more inside]
In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism - We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it's not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?
What makes a great teacher? Analyzing more than twenty years of data, Teach for America has found that great teachers had trained in their subject areas rather than in education, and had high "life satisfaction." They also demonstrated five tendencies: they
"constantly reevaluate what they are doing... they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."This last trait is measured by the Grit Scale, which has been shown to predict good outcomes in both teachers and West Point cadets. (Do you have grit?) [more inside]
Getting tired of fail, fail, and yet more fail? SUCCEED Blog chronicles that which is made of win. Leave your schadenfreude at the door. [more inside]
Lenny Dykstra was lauded for his heroics with the Mets and Philles. After his career, Dykstra became well-known as a post-career athlete success story. Then the truth started coming out... [more inside]
Innovation, Ideas and the Global Standard of Living by Charles Kenny: "The Success of Development acts like a sword through many of the Gordian knots plaguing the development community, especially those surrounding the rate of economic growth in many developing countries. Put that question to one side, says Kenny, and suddenly a lot of much more interesting questions, about issues like education and healthcare and clean water and human rights, come into a lot more focus. And if you use those metrics, rather than GDP growth, to judge the success or failure of developing countries, then things look rather more optimistic than you might think." (pdf) Glenn Hubbard's review, cf. Technological Creativity and Economic Progress [more inside]
The internet loves it when things go wrong, anything from photoshopping to cakes. And while your personal failure might turn out to provide enjoyment for others, Adam Savage tells about the importance and upsides of colossal failures at Maker Faire. [more inside]
How designers fail — "During college at the University of Arizona in 1992, I learned with other design freshman that revisions were part of the discipline; if you cried at critique you were a wimp, and the computer was just a finishing tool. . . . But something has happened since I was a college student in 1992: students just don’t believe these things."
DIY Portal Gun on flickr, with a few other pictures and build notes. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
Fortunes are rarely won by playing it safe. On the contrary, the biggest fortunes have been won by those willing to step outside the box and change the way the game is played. Following are twenty-five business innovators of the past, present, and future whose stories are different in many respects, but all point to the same truth: Ingenuity, improvisation, and daring are more important than following the rules (even though you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law once in a while). Via Fortune. [more inside]
'In defense of film critics' posits that 'Film critics [unlike food critics, etc] are expected to be cheerleaders.' I guess we're not supposed to think it's odd that the piece was written by paper's resident film critic. He does ask at least one good question, though: why have so many truly awful [and poorly reviewed ] films done so well at the the box office this year?
The 'Acting White' Myth. When smart black kids try hard and do well, they are picked on by their less successful peers for 'acting white.' But it isn't true.
How Will we know America is winning? Thomas Friedman poses six questions against which to judge US success...
What makes for a successful life? Luc Ferry, French minister for education, recently released a best-seller which aims to work out what is success today and what makes for a successful life. So, what do MeFiers think - what is success? Who today is successful? What makes for a successful life?
The Secret of W's Success.....Could it really be this simple to stymie the Dems?
Bob Metcalfe on how to be a startup millionaire. I love Bob, ever since he left 3com, he's been a prolific writer on the tech industry. This time he tells how to grow a successful company in 8 easy steps.