Tag Archives: confidence building

Sanjeev Nanda on Pod Slurping

19 Jul

Pod Slurping – An easy technique for stealing data

The problem with uncontrolled use of iPods, USB sticks and flash drives on your network. A common misconception is that perimeter security measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software are enough to secure corporate data residing on the corporate network. In this white paper, we explore how the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices such as iPods, USB sticks, flash drives and PDAs, coupled with data theft techniques such as ‘pod slurping’, can lead to major security breaches.

Pod slurping: How can insiders steal your data?

Sanjeev Nanda How to Guides

iPods - if in wrong hands can do more damage

Developments in portable device and data storage technology are escalating. The latest versions of MP3 players and flash memory devices have huge storage capabilities; yet these gadgets are small enough to easily conceal and sneak in behind the corporate line of defence. Further to this, easy connectivity and high speed data transfer has become increasingly more widespread – a user may simply plug the device into a USB or FireWire port and they are up and running – no drivers or configuration required! In practice, this means that a data thief can get away with even more precious data, and a negligent employee can dump more viruses onto the corporate network even when connecting for only a short time. iPod is just one example of such portable contraptions. At a glance it is an innocent-looking portable audio device. However under the hood it boasts up to 60 GB of portable storage space; practically large enough to store all the data found in a typical workstation. This means that a malicious insider can use an iPod to covertly take out (i.e. ‘steal’) proprietary data and millions of financial, consumer or otherwise sensitive corporate records at one go!

Gartner analysts Contu and Girard (2004) warned of the security risks associated with the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices within corporations. Today, information theft has become a plague on modern society; data leakage, data ciphering, and data disclosure incidents are all but some of the terms used by security experts to refer to information theft. However, the most original term so far is probably the term ‘pod slurping’ that was coined by US security expert Abe Usher (2005).

Pod slurping: An easy technique for stealing data

Usher uses the term ‘pod slurping’ to describe how MP3 players such as iPods and other USB mass storage devices can be easily used to steal sensitive corporate data. “There are dishonest people in the world”, says Usher, “many of them work at many companies – and these USB devices make it rather trivial to steal huge amounts of data” (Schick, 2006). To demonstrate the vulnerability of corporate security, Usher developed a “proof of concept” software application that can automatically search corporate networks and copy (or “slurp”) business critical data onto an iPod. This software application runs directly from an iPod and when connected to a computer it can slurp (copy) large volumes of corporate data onto an iPod within minutes. What’s more is that slurping is not limited to iPods and MP3 players alone. All portable storage devices can be used to slurp information; digital cameras, PDAs, thumb drives, mobile phones and any other plug-and-play devices which have storage capabilities! Data slurping is a very simple automated process and does not require any technical expertise; a user may plugin the portable storage device to a corporate workstation and by the time it takes to listen to an MP3, all the sensitive corporate data on that workstation is copied to the portable storage device.

Insider information theft is a real problem

Information theft has now become a major concern for every organization and thus data leakage prevention is slowly taking up a bigger portion of the IT budget. This drive is attributed to two factors: The wave of malevolent threats that is hitting every industry and the increase in regulatory requirements which demand more protection and tighter controls over client records and other confidential information. More stringent controls and severe penalties are forcing organizations to address regulatory compliance more seriously. In January 2006, the Federal Trade Commission charged commercial data broker ChoicePoint Inc. a settlement fee of 15 million dollars for leaking consumer data and violating consumer privacy rights (Federal Trade Commission, 2006). A misconception shared by many organizations is that security threats mostly originate from outside the corporation. In fact, countless dollars are being spent every year on firewalls and other solutions that secure the corporate perimeter from external threats. However, statistics show that internal security breaches are growing faster than external attacks and at least half of security breaches originate from behind the corporate firewall. Unfortunately, corporate insiders are the first and easiest route to evade perimeter security. The trusted position of corporate employees and their constant exposure to corporate data makes detecting and stopping of data theft an enormous challenge – especially in environments where corporate data is largely distributed!

Why would insiders want to slurp information?

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Is your computer safe from insider theft.

Corporate data can be profitable in various ways; blueprints, engineering plans, tenders, pricelists, source code, database schemas, sound files, lyrics and much more – all this valuable intellectual property may be exploited
by individuals or corporations to gain economical and business advantage over their competitors. The 2006 CSI/FBI survey indicates theft of intellectual property as having the fourth highest economical effect over organizations (Gordon et al., 2006). Malicious perpetrators may also steal sensitive consumer information such as medical and financial records from a company and divulge it to the public. This would damage the company’s reputation as well as make it liable to legal prosecution for violating consumer privacy rights. In a nutshell, malicious intent, monetary gain and curiosity are probably the major motives behind information
theft. Anyone is an enemy for a price and thus perpetrators can be various. Disgruntled employees that believe they are disrespected or exploited by their employers may take advantage of their trusted position and sell
corporate plans and other sensitive information to direct competitors. Former employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed may use their inside knowledge or exploit internal relationships to access, steal and
publicly expose consumer information and damage the company. Trusted insiders can also turn into paid informers and engage in industrial espionage, data warfare or other extensive fraudulent activities such as
‘identity theft’. The term ‘identity theft’ refers to crimes in which someone obtains and uses the personal details of another person (e.g. social security or credit card number) to commit criminal acts, usually for financial gain. To date it is the fastest growing crime in the United States. It was estimated that identity theft victims amounted to around nine million adults in the U.S. in 2005 (Johannes, 2006).

How can corporations mitigate the risks of information theft?

The key advantage of iPods and similar portable storage devices is easy access. In theory, this may be of great advantage for corporations. However, it is a well-reported fact that access and security are at opposite ends of
the security continuum. The reason is that you never know what users may be doing with their portable devices. An employee might appear to be listening to music on his iPod, but actually he or she might be uploading malicious files or slurping gigabytes of valuable corporate data. A possible solution to avoid information theft is to implement a corporate-wide portable storage control policy. To mitigate the security risks, some experts and researchers suggest conventional courses of action such as the physical blocking of ports, stringent supervision as well as drastic actions such as the total ban of iPods and similar devices from the workplace. However, this is not the best practical approach. Portable storage devices can be beneficial tools for the corporate workforce and a blanket ban would be counter-productive. In addition good practice dictates that you must never rely on voluntary compliance.

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Sanjeev Nanda Tips for Massive Arms

14 Jul

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Arnold : Every body builder's idol

Upper arm development is probably one of the most sought-after bodybuilding goals. I have yet to meet an elite pro bodybuilder pleased with his upper arm development, even though that arm development exceeds the 20-inch circumference.

If you’ve been frustrated recently with your lack of progress in upper arm development, follow any one of the seven tips given here and you are surely going to experience new growth in record time.

1. Don’t train biceps with back and triceps with chest

Training biceps after doing your back routine and training your triceps after a chest workout are antiquated training concepts. For example, when one does a full back workout, there’s plenty of residual fatigue in the elbow flexors from all the chins, rows and pulldown exercises that drastically reduce the training poundages in all curling exercises, thus falling short of optimal loading for the elbow flexors. At this point, you are using loads that fall short of the optimal training zone for overloading properly the contractile proteins. I strongly suggest that in order to improve the strength and size of your upper arms, they should be trained alone as a training unit. That leads us to point number two.

2. Train using the double station system

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Double workout your biceps

For every elbow flexion exercise, you should alternate an elbow extension exercise. Even though you may be thinking I’m just talking about supersetting biceps and triceps, I beg to differ on a subtlety. With a superset, little or no rest is taken between the agonist and the antagonist muscles. In the approach I strongly endorse, I prefer to use longer breaks between the two stations for the following reasons.

By having the antagonistic pairs contracting alternately (e.g. flexion followed by extension) as opposed to agonist contractions alone (precontraction of antagonists), the ability of achieving full motor unit activation (MUA) in a muscle contraction may be enhanced when immediately preceded by a contraction of the antagonists. This has the added benefit of allowing you to double the workload per training unit. It is important to alternate exercises working agonists muscles with exercises working antagonistic muscles together, while respecting long rest intervals. For example, after doing a 3RM set of close grip triceps presses, rest two to three minutes, perform a heavy set for the antagonist muscle (i.e., 3-4RM set of dumbbell curls for the biceps), rest another two to three minutes and repeat the procedure for the required number of sets.

With double station training, you get the added benefit of making sure both sides of the joints are equally loaded with optimal training loads, while in classic supersets, endurance levels may at times make the trainee compromise on utilizing the right amount of weight to overload the contractile proteins.

3. To gain arm strength, pause between reps

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Pausing between reps giving you strength to pull off more reps

Too often, trainees fail to make mass gains in their upper arms because their strength in biceps and triceps exercises has been stagnating for awhile. But, there is another way out. Research by Canadian exercise physiologists has shown that for a given submaximal force of contraction, motor unit activation is greater for repeated (intermittent) than for sustained contractions. Pausing between reps helps offset the oxygen debt associated with sustained contractions by various mechanisms, one of which is allowing the removal of waste products from the muscle cell that block the optimal neural drive. This type of intra-set rest allows for the recruitment of higher threshold motor units, which is essential for strength gains. Make sure these pauses are no more than 15 seconds in length and are taken where muscles can rest, such as when your arms are outstretched.

4. Don’t neglect the forearms

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Working your forearms will give you strength

When a bodybuilder complains of stagnation in mass and strength gains in the elbow flexors, I often recommend adding some direct grip and forearm work. When you include direct forearm and grip work, your curling poundages go up because a few forearm muscles, such as flexor carpi radialis, contribute to elbow flexion; this leads to furthering biceps and brachialis development. As you know by now, heavier weights mean greater overload on the muscular structure, and greater overload on the muscular structure means greater hypertrophy.

Elite bodybuilders of the sixties, Chuck Sipes and Larry Scott, were known for handling Herculean weights in curling exercises. They were very strong proponents of complementary forearm training for upper arm development. The other added benefit is that the aesthetics of your upper arms will also be enhanced.

Frequently, doing three sets each of wrist flexors work, wrist extensor work and grip work, jolts one’s progress to new levels. A sample tri-set could look like this:

  • A-1 EZ-bar handle low palms up – Wrist Curls 3 x 15-20 reps on a 2010 tempo; rest 45 seconds.
  • A-2 EZ-bar handle low palms down – Wrist Curls 3 x 15-20 reps on a 2010 tempo; rest 45 seconds.
  • A-3 Gripping Machine 3 x 10-12 reps on a 2013 tempo; rest 45 seconds.

As you can see from the tempo, you’d isometrically hold the contraction for three seconds when the hands are closed. For the two types of low pulley wrist curls, the Tribar company makes a very interesting handle with rotating sleeve. The shape of the grip makes for a more ergonomic and comfortable position. Recently, Dorian Yates visited my training site for soft tissue work and he was quite intrigued with the Tribar handles.

When doing grip work, stay away from choppy reps. When you are lowering the grip handles, make sure on every rep that the handles are at the very tip of your fingers so it will feel like you’re just about to lose your grip.

This will insure a greater range of motion, thus greater development. Once the handles are brought back together, squeeze with all your might. Keep in mind that one of the fastest ways to improve your forearm size and gripping strength instantly is to forego the use of lifting straps when training the upper body.

5. Train your traps

If the arm’s muscle mass is not balanced with the trapezius and deltoid development, the sheer weight of the arms will block its neural drive because the proper alignment of the upper extremities will be faulty. Adding some direct trap work on upper back training day should do the trick. Best choices for exercises would include one arm shrug with dumbbell or low pulley, which permits greater range of motion than raising both scapulae at the same time. Another great exercise for trap development is the power snatch from mid-thigh.

6. Give the 6-12-25 method a try

It consists of doing a heavy set of six reps. Take a 10-second break, switch the exercise and do 10-12 reps. Take a 10-second break, switch to a new exercise and perform an agonizing 25 reps with it. After this, a much needed two-minute break is required before the cycle is repeated once, and at most, twice. One should expect to have to decrease the load between 10 to 20 percent for the second cycle to meet the desired repetitions brackets.

For the six rep sets, I prefer exercises in which the muscles are in a pre-stretched position, as in incline curls for the biceps and overhead low pulley extensions for the triceps. For the 10-12 rep sets, I prefer to use exercises that overload the mid-range of the strength curve, such as barbell curls for the biceps and dips for the triceps. For the 25 rep sets, machines or pulley devices that offer a more uniform tension on the muscles throughout the range of motion work very well. It will take some experimenting at first to determine the right load, but once you have dialed into it, it’s extremely effective for building large muscular arms.

7. Specific brachialis training

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Most important muscle to workout for aesthetic appeal

The brachialis muscle is a widely neglected muscle in the bodybuilding world. However, every single bodybuilder who has phenomenal arm development sports a pair of fully developed brachialis muscles. When you see Ronnie Coleman do his back double biceps pose, his brachialis muscles are the tennis ball-shaped muscles you see between his triceps and biceps muscles. The brachialis muscle is better known among kinesiologists as the workhorse of elbow flexion. That is, it works in all elbow flexion movements, whether the forearm is pronated, supinated, or in between. When the forearm is supinated (palms-up grip), the biceps have an effective line of pull. However, when the forearm is pronated (palms-down grip), the biceps is rather ineffective in flexing the elbow. When your forearm is pronated, the brachialis takes the toll and pulls the resistance almost alone.

In order to objectively measure your brachialis muscle, you need specific work. Go on the Scott bench and curl five or six reps with maximum weight on the barbell curls with a supinated grip. After a 10-minute rest, you should be able to reverse curl with an EZ bar 76 percent of that weight for five or six reps. If you cannot do so, your brachialis muscle will need specific muscle work. If you don’t already do one of the various forms of reverse curls as part of your workout, adding it could surely result in 1/2 to one full inch of arm growth in a month’s time!

Make sure to always perform at least one specific brachialis exercise when training your upper arms. Your arsenal of brachialis exercises in the arms race include: reverse Scott curls (wide or narrow grip, low pulley or EZ bar), hammer curls, Gaspari bar curls, Zottmann curls (seated or one arm at a time on the Scott bench).

Sanjeev Nanda TIP

If you have neglected your brachialis muscles, here’s a very good program to pack size on them. This program involves what is called a post-exhaustion system. That is where you do a compound (multiple joint) exercise that recruits a lot of motor units, and follow it immediately with a superior isolation exercise that also taps well into the motor unit pool. Just by the amount of delayed onset muscle soreness you will get from this routine on your first go at it, you will be convinced of its efficacy at building large muscular arms. The routine looks like this:

Post-Exhaustion Cycle

  • A-1 Narrow Grip Pronated Pull-Ups 4 x 4-6 reps @ 4010 tempo
  • A-2 Pause Standing Reverse Curls 4 x 6-8 reps @ 3210 tempo
  • Rest 10 seconds between A-1 and A-2
  • Rest three minutes between A-2 and A-1
  • Rest 10 seconds between B-1 and B-2
  • Rest three minutes between B-2 and B-1

Sanjeev Nanda Tips to Control Your Temper

13 Jul

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Anger Management is important for healthy living (clipartguide)

10 Ways to Tame your Temper

Controlling your temper isn’t always easy. But these effective anger management tips will help give you the upper hand.

Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child won’t cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion, but learning how to deal with it in a positive way is important.

Uncontrolled anger can make both you and other people feel lousy. If your outbursts, rages or frustrations are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers, it’s time to learn some anger management skills. Anger management techniques are a proven way to help change the way you express your anger.

Sanjeev Nanda tips to help get your anger under control

  1. Take a ‘timeout.’ Although it may seem cliche, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper.
  2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you’re angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.
  3. Once you’re calm, express your anger. It’s healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.
  4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
  5. Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, you’re likely to say something you’ll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you’re angry, it’s easy to get sidetracked.
  6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.
  7. Use ‘I’ statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful — and increase tension. For instance, say, “I’m upset you didn’t help with the housework this evening,” instead of, “You should have helped with the housework.”
  8. Don’t hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
  9. Use humor to release tensions. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it’s can hurt feelings and make things worse.
  10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as “Take it easy.” Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.
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Anger Management (2003) movie

Getting anger management help

You can practice many of these anger management strategies on your own. But if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationships or makes you feel physically violent or destructive, you may benefit from some help. Here are some ways you can get help to keep your frustrations in check:

  • See a psychologist or licensed counselor. Seeing a therapist can help you learn to recognize your anger warning signs before you blow up, and how to cope with your anger. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a counselor specializing in anger management. Family and friends also may give you recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also may offer recommendations.
  • Take an anger management class. An anger management class can teach you what anger is, how to recognize anger triggers and how to keep your anger under control. These courses can be done individually, with spouses or families, or in groups. In addition to the search methods for a psychologist or counselor, you can find organizations offering anger management courses on the Internet and through your district court.
  • Read a book. There are a number of helpful books on anger management. A number of them focus on particular situations, such as anger in teens, anger in men or anger in couples. Many of them are workbooks, with exercises that teach concrete skills.

Anger and irritability can be signs of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or bipolar disorder. If your symptoms don’t improve, or you have signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression, see a mental health provider for help.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Paint Car Rims

6 Jul
Sanjeev Nanda how to paint your rims

Color Your Rims, Define your style

Paint your own Rims?  Who would have thought something previously done by professionals could be done in your own home. While, the concept of painting your own rims has been around a few years now, many questions pop up of how to do it and I(Sanjeev Nanda) thought I would share my own experiences with painting. I have read up many examples of how to do this, but my first time trying was last year.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Colored Rims on Volkswagon (not my car)

All you need is Duplicolor. hey offer paint colors to match your style coming in white, gunmetal, classic silver and bronze as well. I chose to do mine in gunmetal leaving my lip the stock polished style look.  I call my car NandaCar.

Sand down your rims

Why? This gives the surface a rough texture so the paint has something to adhere to.  I simply sanded down the surface with 300 grit sandpaper ensuring to make everything sanded equally. This gives the rough surface required for the paint to adhere, and as long as your rims had no damage it should be good enough. Your rims are sanded; you have your paint and now are ready.

Make sure you clean all sanding dust off the rims

Ensure a totally clean surface so the paint will stick and not flake off after your first drive out with your newly painted rims !!!

Completely dry off the rims before painting

Water can dilute the paint making it look inconsistent.

Mask the rims with newspaper and masking tape

Of course you want to do this so you don’t turn your tires into the color you are painting. You dont want gunmetal painted tires. Carefully apply the masking tape on the lip to protect it from being painted as well. Also, you know the little thing you pump your air into, mask that off as well unless you want that to have a color change as well 🙂

Put some newspaper on the ground and place the rim on top of the newspaper.

You don’t want to paint the concrete underneath the rim so keep it clean with the newspaper.

Now apply your first coat of paint.

Let the paint dry well and next day admire your hardwork and results.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Speed up on a New Job

2 Jul

Asking for Help When You’re New to the Job

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Start a new job with a positive attitude

When you transfer to a new division or start a job with a new employer, it’s natural to want to demonstrate mastery of your position from day one.

Many bosses make the irrational assumption that by merely breathing the air of the cubicle farm, you’ll absorb all the information you need.

Against that daunting background, how can you meet the challenge of getting the help that’s required to get up to speed on a new job?  Approach the task the way a journalist would get the story — by asking the five W’s.

Why?

If your company has effective training and orientation programs, why do you have to ask for further help?  The only way to become a savvy journalist or to succeed at your hedge-fund firm is to ask a lot of questions.

You also must demonstrate the rationale for your inquiries to the people whose time you take up. Your attitude and presentation are key; you must project confidence that your requests for information and guidance are reasonable and necessary.

Do ask about training, documentation and other resources you can use to educate yourself without taking up people’s time.

What?

You can demonstrate your respect for other people’s time by being careful about what you ask. When you ask, you want to be very specific and share what you already know.

But don’t confine your queries to the procedural; seek out what makes your new workplace tick. Ask a peer, “What are some things that you wish you’d known before you started working here?’ Try to get at the subtle culture issues. “Is this an email culture or an IM culture?”

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Ask questions like you were born to ask them

Who?

You will quickly build a reputation as a thoughtful worker if you carefully consider who in your organization is best-suited to answer your questions and otherwise render aid. Create your own map of who does what in your organization, a sort of annotated version of the standard organisation chart.

You’ll also need help in your initial efforts to jump-start your information-collection system. A key tactic is to pose this meta-question to your boss or other ranking manager: “Who else could I go to with this sort of question (so that I don’t have to take up your time)?”

Where (and How)?

Just as important as asking the right questions of the right person is choosing the optimal communications medium for your inquiries.

Ask your coworkers and boss what typically goes out on email; you just want to know what the norms are. That email is never the most effective medium when a dialog is required.

When you ask a question of a superior, let them know that you’ll be happy to take their response in whatever form is easiest for them. If they choose to answer your detailed email with a brain dump to your voicemail, just be grateful for the information.

When?

One way to alienate coworkers and superiors from the get-go is to ask too many questions too soon, before you need the answers and can absorb them.

Of course, you’ll still have plenty of legitimate questions in the early going, and that’s a good thing. Ask early and often. “If you ask often, people will see you as curious.”

As you move past the first stage of your tenure in a new position, consider giving back to your company’s next generation of newbies by volunteering to put together documentation of key information for new hires, whether it’s a company glossary, a guidebook or an intranet page that indexes internal resources.

Finally, if you ever get discouraged by any friction you create by asking for help, look at the big picture. You have to remember that you’re asking questions not just for yourself, but to advance the goals of the organization, So you can be as forceful as you need to be.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Write a Good Report

1 Jul

This post describes how to write a good report. This is based on common mistakes I have observed over a period of time. While most of the following apply in general, they have been written with management and engineering students in mind.

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Report writing is nothing short of an Art

Structure of a report

The following should roughly be the structure of a report. Note that these are just guidelines, not rules. You have to use your intelligence in working out the details of your specific writing.

  • Title and abstract: These are the most-read parts of a report. This is how you attract attention to your writing. The title should reflect what you have done and should bring out any eye-catching factor of your work, for good impact.The abstract should be short, generally within about 2 paragraphs (250 words or so total). The abstract should contain the essence of the report, based on which the reader decides whether to go ahead with reading the report or not. It can contain the following in varying amounts of detail as is appropriate: main motivation, main design point, essential difference from previous work, methodology, and some eye-catching results if any.
  • Introduction: Most reports start with an introduction section. This section should answer the following questions (not necessarily in that order, but what is given below is a logical order). After title/abstract introduction and conclusions are the two mainly read parts of a report.
    • What is the setting of the problem? This is, in other words, the background. In some cases, this may be implicit, and in some cases, merged with the motivation below.
    • What exactly is the problem you are trying to solve? This is the problem statement.
    • Why is the problem important to solve? This is the motivation. In some cases, it may be implicit in the background, or the problem statement itself.
    • Is the problem still unsolved? The constitutes the statement of past/related work crisply.
    • Why is the problem difficult to solve? This is the statement of challenges.
    • How have you solved the problem? Here you state the essence of your approach. This is of course expanded upon later, but it must be stated explicitly here.
    • What are the conditions under which your solution is applicable? This is a statement of assumptions.
    • What are the main results? You have to present the main summary of the results here.
    • What is the summary of your contributions? This in some cases may be implicit in the rest of the introduction. Sometimes it helps to state contributions explicitly.
    • How is the rest of the report organized? Here you include a paragraph on the flow of ideas in the rest of the report. For any report beyond 4-5 pages, this is a must.

    The introduction is nothing but a shorter version of the rest of the report, and in many cases the rest of the report can also have the same flow. Think of the rest of the report as an expansion of some of the points in the introduction. Which of the above bullets are expanded into separate sections (perhaps even multiple sections) depends very much on the problem.

  • Background: This is expanded upon into a separate section if there is sufficient background which the general reader must understand before knowing the details of your work. It is usual to state that “the reader who knows this background can skip this section” while writing this section.
  • Past/related work: It is common to have this as a separate section, explaining why what you have done is something novel. Here, you must try to think of dimensions of comparison of your work with other work. For instance, you may compare in terms of functionality, in terms of performance, and/or in terms of approach. EAlthough not mandatory, it is good presentation style to give the above comparison in terms of a table; where the rows are the various dimensions of comparison and the columns are various pieces of related work, with your own work being the first/last column.While in general you try to play up your work with respect to others, it is also good to identify points where your solution is not so good compared to others. If you state these explicitly, the reader will feel better about them, than if you do not state and the reader figures out the flaws in your work anyway :-).Another point is with respect to the placement of related work. One possibility is to place it in the beginning of the report (after intro/background). Another is to place it in the end of the report (just before conclusions). This is a matter of judgment, and depends on the following aspect of your work. If there are lots of past work related very closely to your work, then it makes sense to state upfront as to what the difference in your approach is. On the other hand, if your work is substantially different from past work, then it is better to put the related work at the end. While this conveys a stronger message, it has the risk of the reader wondering all through the report as to how your work is different from some other specific related work.
  • Future work: This section in some cases is combined along with the “conclusions” section. Here you state aspects of the problem you have not considered and possibilities for further extensions.
  • Conclusions: Readers usually read the title, abstract, introduction, and conclusions. In that sense, this section is quite important. You have to crisply state the main take-away points from your work. How has the reader become smarter, or how has the world become a better place because of your work?

Refinement

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Start Writing early don't wait for the last moment

No report is perfect, and definitely not on the first version. Well written reports are those which have gone through multiple rounds of refinement. This refinement may be through self-reading and critical analysis, or more effectively through peer-feedback (or feedback from advisor/instructor).

Here are some things to remember:

  • Start early, don’t wait for the completion of your work in its entirety before starting to write.
  • Each round of feedback takes about a week at least. And hence it is good to have a rough version at least a month in advance. For a good quality report, it is good to have a rough version at least 2 months in advance.
  • Feedback should go through the following stages ideally: (a) you read it yourself fully once and revise it, (b) have your peers review it and give constructive feedback, and then (c) have your advisor/instructor read it.

Recommended strategy for producing a high-quality report

Based on the above, I recommend the following strategy for students who want to produce a high-quality report, which would then have a high potential for being turned into a publication:

  • Think through the outline of the report even as you are working on the details of the problem. Such thinking will also lend focus to your work and you will end up optimizing the returns on the time invested.
  • Two months before the actual deadline, you have to have at least a paragraph-level outline of the report, with all details worked out.
  • After one round of critical analysis by yourselves (or by your group), have another student or another group review it, perhaps in exchange for you reviewing their work. Have them check your flow of ideas. While it may be good to get someone working in the same area, for much of the feedback, this may not really be necessary.
  • Now you are probably about 6-7 weeks from the deadline. At this point, have your advisor/instructor give feedback on the paragraph-level outline. Getting this early is important since, based on this, you may have to reorganize your report, rework your theorems, or rerun your experiments/simulations.
  • Have a pre-final version of the report ready 2 weeks before the deadline. Again, go through one round of self/peer-feedback, and then advisor/instructor feedback.
  • With these 3-4 rounds of revision and critical analysis, the quality of your report is bound to improve. And since many of the student theses are of good quality, quality of writing dramatically improves chances of publication.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to do Wheelies

23 Jun

The wheelie–the granddaddy of all street freestyle stunts–can be both the simplest and the most complex trick for a biker. While a standard sit-down wheelie is almost elementary in execution, the more incredible variations–skyscraping High Chairs, 12s, creeping No-Handers–leave us mortals tugging our chins and wondering, “How’d they do that?”

I’m no stunt rider, but ive performed quite a lot of wheelies (on my 500cc Royal Enfield Machismo and Bajaj Pulsar 200cc), be it to impress girls or just showing off to friends, ive done it all. Here I share some of the most trickiest wheelies and how to pull them off.

Basic Sit-Down

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Sit Down Wheelie

“Sit-downs are the easiest wheelies to do, but the hardest to explain. There are so many different ways to wheelie a sportbike, and some methods work better than others depending on the rider and machine. I’ll explain what I do–but keep in mind, other riders might be lifting it up differently.

“There are two kinds of wheelies: power wheelies and clutched wheelies. A power wheelie uses the bike’s motor to get the front wheel up. You get the revs up near the bike’s torque peak and goose the throttle to snap the front end up. A smaller bike such as a 500 needs a little help. On these, I’ll roll the rpm up higher, then chop the gas and snap it on again. Chopping the throttle will cause the front end to dive for an instant, and the rebounding of the fork will help the front end come up when you snap the throttle back on. On a 500, you almost have to open the throttle all the way to the stop to get the front end up under power. A very powerful bike needs much less throttle–snap a CBR954RR to the stop and you’ll be on your ass instantly. That’s why I don’t like power wheelies–you’re dealing with a lot of power, and the possibility of looping the bike is greater.

“I prefer clutched wheelies; the front comes up quicker and you’re lower in the rev range when you bring the front end up, so you’re not going as fast and you’ve got more time to find the balance point before you hit the rev limiter. For a clutched wheelie, I’ll pull the clutch in, just enough to cause the rpm to rise up to the torque peak, and then let it out quickly. I’m pulling the clutch in just slightly, just into the friction zone. The revs rise for a split second, and then I drop the clutch–don’t ease it out–and back off the throttle incrementally as the front end comes up. The higher the front wheel goes the less throttle is needed to keep it up. Backing off keeps the bike from going over.

“Either way, on power or with the clutch, I keep my arms stiff, squeeze the tank with my legs and always cover the rear brake. If things get ugly, you just tap the rear brake and both wheels are back on the ground. If you’re looking straight ahead, when you can’t see over the bike you know you’re getting close to the balance point.”

Standup Wheelie

Sanjeev Nanda How to Guides

Valentino Rossi Performing Stand Up wheelie

“Same as a sit-down, you can do this one either on power or on the clutch. I’ll also bounce the bike a bit to help it up. Bouncing down on the handlebars preloads the front suspension. The energy of the fork releasing, combined with the throttle input, pops the wheel up. I’ll stand up first, then lean forward and bounce it by pushing down on my arms, causing the fork to compress. When the fork comes back up I’m on the gas (not as much as a sit down–standups take less power to lift up!) and pulling on the handlebars to bring the bike up.

“As the front wheel comes up, I’ll drop my butt back a little bit to help it along. I bend my knees when I’m pulling the bike up, and once it gets up to about 10 o’clock I’ll straighten my legs and lean back. With a standup you can hold the throttle in one spot and use your body language to control the wheelie.

“Because body language makes it so easy to balance a standup, it’s easy to ride one through the gears. To shift during a wheelie, I’ll blip the throttle just a touch right before the shift. When you fan the clutch to shift, it kills power to the wheelie, and if you don’t blip the throttle a touch this can cause you to drop the front wheel. So I’ll blip it, causing the front wheel to float a bit higher for a split second, then shift as quickly as possible. Preloading the shifter and just nudging the clutch lever will help you shift faster. I generally shift as early as possible. If you shift when you’re hard on the gas or your revs are up, you’re more likely to miss the shift. The sooner you shift, the less likely you are to miss the gear. But not too soon, so you don’t bog the revs! Incidentally, these shifting rules are the same for a sit-down wheelie.”

Can Can

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Can Can Wheelie - Very Tricky

“To do a Can Can, I start just like I would [with] a regular standup wheelie, and as soon as I get the wheelie to where I’m comfortable, I take my right leg off and stick it between the tank and my left leg. You have to be careful getting your foot through there. There’s not much room between your leg and the tank, so you have to know where you’re going without looking and get it through there quickly.

“During a Can Can most of your body weight is to the left side of the bike, so you need to counterweight yourself by rocking your shoulders over to the right side of the bike. It’s all about keeping your balance centered. Whenever I’m moving around, I make sure to do it slowly, so I can feel which way it’s going to go. Moving around really fast will cause the bike to get out of control.

“If I ever do get out of control, or to where I feel like I’m making a mistake, I just let off the gas or tap the rear brake and put the front down–it doesn’t really matter where I’m standing on the bike, once both wheels are on the ground I’m safe.”

High Chair

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

High-Chair Wheelie

“For this one I start by sitting on the gas tank with both legs out to the side. The easiest and safest way is to kick out one leg at a time; that way you still have at least one hand on the bars.

“Starting out with High Chairs, it’s a good thing to dig your ankles to grip onto the headlight so you don’t go flying off the back. Denting in the tank here really helps too because it gives you a flat surface to sit on. High Chairs (or anything where you are sitting on the tank) take more throttle because you have more weight over the front of the bike. But because your weight is so far forward, and because you’re using more throttle, you have to watch and be smooth on the clutch so you don’t get wheelspin. Leaning back helps, too, and so does blipping the gas to bounce the bike a little bit.

Frog

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Frog Wheelies - Most difficult

“Frog wheelies are a lot like High Chairs–I get up on the tank first, then clutch it up. Just like the High Chair, you have to be smooth pulling it up because you’ve still got all your weight over the front. Plus, you don’t really have anything to hold onto, so when you drop the clutch your body weight wants to go backward. That’s going to make you wanna hold onto the bars even more tightly, which can cause you to twist the throttle more than you should. So to avoid unwanted throttle inputs, you have to grip tighter with your left arm than your right.

“The hardest part with a Frog wheelie is putting it down. When you set the wheel down it throws all your weight forward, and when you’re standing up on the tank and just holding on to the handlebars, there’s not much to keep you from just flipping over the front. Not for amateurs, this trick.”

No-Hander

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

No Hander Wheelies are fun to do

“For a Standup No-Hander, you’re standing with your foot on the 12 bar and you’ve got your idle turned up, so you’re basically using your foot to balance the bike and riding the wheelie with no hands, controlling the height of the front tire with your body and also with the rear brake.

“Sit-down No-Handers are a bit harder because you don’t have the leverage of your foot out on the bar to balance the bike. Again, I’m doing this with the idle turned up. I get the bike up to about 11 o’clock, then let go of the bars and just lean back and control the front tire height with a combination of body lean and rear brake. To keep myself on the bike, I’ll squeeze the tank with my knees and sit back against the passenger seat. If I work my body position just right, I don’t even have to use the rear brake.”

12 O’Clock

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Vertical or 12'o'clock Wheelies - SUPER DANGEROUS

“A 12 O’clock is all about brake control. You bring it up in first gear, and you have to get on the gas really hard to get the wheel up as high as you can, and then use your rear brake to stop the bike at 12 o’clock. Once you get it up, instead of using the throttle to control the height of [the] front wheel, you’re actually using the rear brake. You’re on the gas more than normal, and using the brake to keep from going over.

“Twelves require a lot of body language, using your shoulders to rock the bike from side to side to keep it from tipping over sideways. I use my knees and legs like outriggers to balance the bike, and mostly hold myself on with my arms.

“On the scrape, a lot of people think you just fall back and ride the bar, but the bike still wants to sway from side to side. If you want to ‘park’ a 12 O’clock, you use the rear brake to slow down–but not too much. If you use too much, it’s just going to cause the bike to fall down.”

BIKE STUNTS ARE DANGEROUS, KIDS DO NOT IMITATE, THESE IMAGES ARE OF PROFESSIONAL BIKERS/STUNT BIKERS. PEOPLE WILLING TAKE RISK SHOULD DO SO WITH PROPER SAFETY GEAR. BE SAFE !!

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Quit Smoking

18 Jun Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Relapsing was strongly associated with the length of time an individual had quit. Approximately 1 in 5 men and women who had quit smoking for two years or less had started again. By contrast, approximately 5% of former daily smokers who had quit for three to five years had started smoking, and among those who had quit for more than five years, the figure was 1%”. Conclusion, the longer you stay quit the less chance you have of starting again. Understanding relapse prevention and recovery may help you to avoid relapsing or it may help you to recover quickly.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

Instantaneous Relapse

Instantaneous relapse occurs when you start smoking because something unexpected occurs. The unexpected situation can occur while on vacation, in the midst of having a great time, or it can be during a new and unusual stressful situation. An example of this is where you are out with friends having a great time, maybe alcohol is involved and out of nowhere someone offers you a cigarette and you take one. Or you come home from work and find your pet is very ill and needs immediate attention. You remember you kept a pack in the cupboard and light one up.

Planned Relapse

You finally did it; you stopped smoking, got through the craving, withdrawal and habit stages and have been smoke free for some time. But lately and for no apparent reason you have been thinking about cigarettes. Then one day you decide to buy a pack, you know they aren’t good for you, but you buy them anyway. In the back of your mind you have convinced yourself that by now you can control it or maybe you convinced yourself a few won’t hurt or maybe you will be able to ration them and have a few at a time. You bought the cigarettes and now you are playing a mental tug or war game. Part of you say’s don’t do it; the other part says a few can’t hurt. Finally you lose the tug of war and give in; you have the first one and all bets are off.

Latent Relapse Potential

Latent relapse potential is something you need to be aware of because it can sneak up on you when you are least expecting it. You just found out you are pregnant or your wife is pregnant and you instantly quit smoking and can’t believe how easy it was or you stopped smoking before you took a long vacation and you feel great about beating smoking. When something as exciting as a pregnancy occurs you can be so excited you stop instantly but the day after the baby is born some wo/men find themselves right back at it wondering what hit them. The same goes for a long vacation or a hospital stay. While on vacation or in the hospital you didn’t miss smoking. You are away from your normal routine and have been smoke free all along, you return home only to find everything was just as you left it. Knowing that latent relapse potential exists will help you to develop your reentry strategy after giving birth or returning from a vacation or a hospital stay.

Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Cut down your craving for cigarettes

Relapse Recovery

Relapse recovery is all about stopping again quickly. The sooner you stop again after that first smoke the higher the probability you will return to being smoke free. When you decide to have one you are at a fork in the road and you have a very important and timely choice to make. One fork is where you continue to smoke. The other fork is where you stop right then and don’t have another one. If you happen to have one don’t panic, don’t give in and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can control your intake of cigarettes. Get right back onto that horse don’t light up another cigarette and never look back, the sooner you stop again the more likely you will succeed again.

People who convince themselves that they will quit again some time in the future may find they are still smoking a decade later.

Relapse Prevention

When it comes to quitting smoking and relapse prevention an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To protect yourself against relapse:

Expect the Unexpected

Mentally preparing yourself for unexpected or unusual events and situations can prevent you from relapsing. Weddings, family and school reunions, buck and does are events that don’t occur everyday and are events that increase vulnerability.  If you are planning to attend one of these events just think ahead or back to what normally happens. At some point smokers will go out for a smoke and you need to have your personal plan in place before you get there. If someone invites you out for a smoke, simply reply, “No thanks I don’t feel like one“.


You can’t control it

Sanjeev Nanda on how to quit smoking

Smoking is injurious, Stop it Before it stops you

The tongue in cheek definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. When it comes to thinking you can have one or that you can manage and control your cigarette consumption, you are deluding yourself. If you are smoking again after quitting you know this to be the case. Some people relapse because they start off with just one cigarette, thinking they can control it, but usually don’t stop there.  Statistically the odds are against you controlling your smoking to one or two a day.

Get rid of cigarettes.

Your personal relapse prevention strategy should include getting rid of any remaining cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia in your own way. Some plan their quitting by getting rid of ashtrays, detailing their car or work vehicle and smoking the last one the day they stop. Some wrap their cigarettes in shipping tape so they can’t get at them. Some bury them in the back yard. Do what feels right for you, but make sure you have a plan to say good-bye once and for all to your cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco and smoking paraphernalia.

Manage chronic stress

Sudden and unexpected stress can catch you off guard, while chronic stress can make the job of quitting smoking tougher. Chronic stress occurs where you have something, somebody or a job that is constantly causing you to feel uptight and maybe out of control. When it comes to chronic stress you have two choices, eliminate the cause or learn to cope and manage your stress.

Eliminating the cause is the preferred solution but is not always possible. Chronic stress can cause you to secrete cortisol a stress hormone. Normally a good thing, when cortisol is present over a sustained period of time it can be damaging to your health, compromise your immune system and can lead to serious disease. If you can’t change the cause of the stress in your life you will need to find news ways to mange or reduce the effects of chronic stress to your body and mind.

Managing stress involves finding healthy outlets that allow you to temporarily get some relief. For some people this means going to a gym and working out the frustrations with weights and cardio exercise. Some people find yoga, or mediation will give them relief while other people turn to a new hobby or learning to play an instrument. Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy it.

Sanjeev Nanda On How To Find A Job

16 Jun

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough, yet there are opportunities if you know where to look. Your best bet for finding these opportunities is not through online job boards, the classifieds, or employment agencies—it’s by talking to the people around you. Your network of friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances is the most valuable job search resource you have.

Sanjeev Nanda how to find a job

Networking is easy

The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships.

Networking is the best way to find a job because:

  • People do business primarily with people they know and like. Resumes and cover letters alone are often too impersonal to convince employers to hire you.
  • Job listings tend to draw piles of applicants, which puts you in intense competition with many others. Networking makes you a recommended member of a much smaller pool.
  • The job you want may not be advertised at all. Networking leads to information and job leads, often before a formal job description is created or a job announced.

Tip 1: You know more people than you think

You may think that you don’t know anyone who can help you with your job search. But you know more people than you think, and there’s a very good chance that at least a few of these people know someone who can give you career advice or point you to a job opening. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Yes, you do have a job network, and it’s more powerful than you think:

  • You already belong to many networks (family, friends, colleagues, fellow civic club members, etc.) and your job search network can be natural outgrowth of these primary contacts.
  • Each network connects you to another network (e.g., your child’s teacher can connect you with other parents, schools of education, and school suppliers).
  • Each member of a network may know of an available job or a connection to someone who will know of one.
Sanjeev Nanda on how to find a job

You know More people than you think

If you’re nervous about making contact—either because you’re uncomfortable asking for favors or you’re embarrassed about your employment situation—try to keep the following things in mind:

  • It feels good to help others. Most people will gladly assist you if they can.
  • People like to give advice and be recognized for their expertise.
  • Almost everyone knows what it’s like to be out of work or looking for a job. They’ll sympathize with your situation.
  • Unemployment can be isolating and stressful. By connecting with others, you’re sure to get some much needed encouragement, fellowship, and moral support.
  • Reconnecting with the people in your network should be fun—even if you have an agenda. The more this feels like a chore the more tedious and anxiety-ridden the process will be.

Tip 2: Reach out to your network

All the connections in the world won’t help you find a job if no one knows about your situation. Once you’ve drawn up your list, start making contact with the people in your network. Let them know that you’re looking for a job. Be specific about what kind of work you’re looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. Don’t assume that certain people won’t be able to help. You may be surprised by who they know.

Sanjeev Nanda on how to find a job

Reach Out To Your Network

Start with your references

When you are looking for a job, start with your references. Your best references—the people who like you and can endorse your abilities, track record, and character—are major networking hubs.

Sanjeev Nanda on how to find a job

Figure out what you want before you start networking

  • Contact each one of your references to network about your possibilities and affirm their agreement to be your reference.
  • Describe your goals and seek their assistance.
  • Keep them informed on your job search progress.
  • Prepare them for any calls from potential employers.
  • Let them know what happened and thank them for their help regardless of the outcome.

Tip 3: Focus on building relationships

Networking is a give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, and asking questions. It’s a way of relating to others, not a technique for getting a job or a favor. You don’t have to hand out your business cards on street corners, cold call everyone on your contact list, or work a room of strangers. All you have to do is reach out.

  • Be authentic. In any job search or networking situation, being you—the real you—should be your goal. Hiding who you are or suppressing your true interests and goals will only hurt you in the long run. Pursuing what you want and not what you think others will like, will always be more fulfilling and ultimately more successful.
  • Be considerate. If you’re reconnecting with an old friend or colleague, take the time to get through the catching-up phase before you blurt out your need. On the other hand, if this person is a busy professional you don’t know well, be respectful of his or her time and come straight out with your request.
  • Ask for advice, not a job. Don’t ask for a job, a request comes with a lot of pressure. You want your contacts to become allies in your job search, not make them feel ambushed, so ask for information or insight instead. If they’re able to hire you or refer you to someone who can, they will. If not, you haven’t put them in the uncomfortable position of turning you down or telling you they can’t help.
  • Be specific in your request. Before you go off and reconnect with everyone you’ve ever known, get your act together and do a little homework. Be prepared to articulate what you’re looking for. Is it a reference? An insider’s take on the industry? A referral? An introduction to someone in the field? Also make sure to provide an update on your qualifications and recent professional experience.

Don’t be a hit-and-run networker

Don’t be a hit-and-run networker: connecting, getting what you want, and then disappearing, never to be heard from until the next time you need something. Invest in your network by following up and providing feedback to those who were kind of enough to offer their help. Thank them for their referral and assistance. Let them know whether you got the interview or the job. Or use the opportunity to report on the lack of success or the need for additional help.

Tip 4: Evaluate the quality of your network

If your networking efforts don’t seem to be going anywhere, you may need to evaluate the quality of your network. Take some time to think about your network’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Without such an evaluation, there is little chance your network will adapt to your needs and your future goals. You may not notice how bound you are to history, or how certain connections are holding you back. And you may miss opportunities to branch out and forge new ties that will help you move forward.

Taking inventory of your network and where it is lacking is time well spent. If you feel your network is out of date, then its time to upgrade! Your mere awareness of your needs will help you connect you with new and more relevant contacts and networks.

Tip 5: Take advantage of both “strong” and “weak” ties

Everyone has both “strong” and “weak” ties. Strong ties occupy that inner circle and weak ties are less established. Adding people to networks is time consuming, especially strong ties. It requires an investment of time and energy to have multiple “best friends.” Trying to stay in touch with new acquaintances is just as challenging.

But adding new “weak tie” members gives your network vitality and even more cognitive flexibility—the ability to consider new ideas and options. New relationships invigorate the network by providing a connection to new networks, viewpoints, and opportunities.

Tips for strengthening your job network

  • Tap into your strong ties. Your strong ties will logically and trustingly lead to new weak ties that build a stronger network. Use your existing network to add members and reconnect with people. Start by engaging the people in your trusted inner circle to help you fill in the gaps in your network.
  • Think about where you want to go. Your network should reflect where you’re going, not just where you’ve been. Adding people to your network who reflect issues, jobs, industries, and areas of interest is essential. If you are a new graduate or a career changer, join the professional associations that represent your desired career path. Attending conferences, reading journals, and keeping up with the lingo of your desired field can prepare you for where you want to go.
  • Make the process of connecting a priority. Make connecting a habit—part of your lifestyle. Connecting is just as important as your exercise routine. It breathes life into you and gives you confidence. Find out how your network is doing in this environment, what steps are they taking, and how you can you help. As you connect, the world will feel smaller and a small world is much easier to manage.

Tip 6: Take the time to maintain your network

Maintaining your job network is just as important as building it. Accumulating new contacts can be beneficial, but only if you have the time to nurture the relationships. Avoid the irrational impulse to meet as many new people as possible. The key is quality, rather than quantity. Focus on cultivating and maintaining your existing network. You’re sure to discover an incredible array of information, knowledge, expertise, and opportunities.

Sanjeev Nanda on how to find a job

Maintain Your Network

Schedule time with your key contacts

List the people that are crucial to your network without regard to your current relations with them—people you know who can and have been very important to you. Invariably, there will be some you have lost touch with. Reconnect and then schedule a regular meeting or phone call. You don’t need a reason to get in touch: you connect because you need to and want to. It will always make you feel good and provide you with an insight or two.

Prioritize the rest of your contacts

Keep a running list of people you need to reconnect with both old and new. People whose view of the world you value. People you’d like to get to know better or whose company you enjoy. Prioritize these contacts and then schedule time into your regular routine so you can make your way down the list.

Take notes on the people in your network

Take notes on the people in your networkCollecting cards and filing them is a start. But maintaining your contacts, new and old, requires updates. Add notes about their families, their jobs, their interests, and their needs. Unless you have a photographic memory, you won’t remember all of this information unless you write it down. Put these updates and notes on the back of their business cards or input them into your contact database.

Find ways to reciprocate

Always remember that successful networking is a two-way street. Your ultimate goal is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. That means giving as well as receiving. Send a thank-you note, ask them about their family, email an article you think they might be interested in, and check in periodically to see how they’re doing. By nurturing the relationship through your job search and beyond, you’ll establish a strong network of people you can count on for ideas, advice, feedback, and support.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How to Start a Company

8 Jun

Filled with the spirit of entrepreneurship, you want to take charge and launch your own business idea. However, before you start your company, you can benefit from lining up several important elements. Be armed with an excellent product idea that will weather the competition and appeal to a majority of customers. Have funding to sustain your operations long enough until your sales become self-sufficient. Finally, acquire the regulatory and government rights to operate a business.

Money

Sanjeev Nanda Money

Money is the backbone of any business

A frequent joke mentioned when people talk about starting their company is that money takes the first 10 slots of the top 12 things required for a successful business. This resonates true as the launch of a product idea consumes more resources than expected. You will need enough funds to cover your salary, compensations for teammates that are essential to the success of the product, prototype development, regulatory testing, and the overhead expenses of the business. Funding takes several months to gather and comes from gifts and loans from friends, or grants, or banks and venture investors. Banks and venture firms will expect the investment to be repaid with interest whereas grants extend the funds with no returns required.

Legal Setting

Each state carries its own requirements of business incorporation and legal compliance with the regulatory requirements of the industry around the product. Typically, the economic development department sponsored by each state can guide an entrepreneur with setting the business within the state’s guidelines.

Product Idea

The product being launched needs to stand above what the market can offer. The competitive advantage ought to be significant enough that customers will abandon any current competitor or practice to adopt this new solution.

Sanjeev Nanda Idea

One Great Idea is all you need

Hence, a product idea should not fuel an entrepreneurship adventure without having been vetted through interviews with future customers to understand the reasons that would convince them to buy your product. Then, with this insight into the customers’ preference, you can run a market analysis to establish how many customers will most probably buy the product.

Expertise

Running a company requires expertise in development, marketing and sales know-how, and legal and business development wisdom. Even though you may think that you can wear all these hats, you will benefit most from surrounding yourself with experts who have taken the road of launching a company before. By leveraging the wisdom they have acquired in the past, you will save time and increase your chances of succeeding. In your financial budget, do include funds to hire experts to complement your expertise.

Business Plan

A Business Plan represents the strategy that you will deploy to take the company to success. A business plan becomes necessary for soliciting funding or attracting experts. It fosters a platform from which to organize your thoughts in a strategic manner. Finally it projects what you should expect financially from launching your product idea and highlights gaps that need to be filled before starting the company.

Board of Directors

If you incorporate your company, you will be asked by the state to create a Board of Directors who hold legal and fiduciary responsibilities for the company. If you plan on being the Chief Executive Officer of the company you will most probably report to the Board of Directors and therefore need to think about who you would like to see in this overseeing function.