Tag Archive: Review


Hey guys,

I wanted to test out this new online presentation tool called “rvl.io” so I created a deck on a topic of interest…the NBA!

The software is great. It allows you to create a presentation using HTML, but you are not constrained by having to know how to code in HTML. There is of course that option to edit HTML for those who are more advanced or want to enhance/modify their presentation.

rvl.io allows you to progress through your slides either RIGHT or DOWN using the directional arrows on your keyboard.

—->     CLICK HERE for the Presentation

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Hey guys,

A friend of mine made a video comparing the MacBook Pro vs MacBook Pro with SSD. The video offers a good comparison of the boot up times between a MacBook Pro with a traditional 5400rpm hard drive and one with a solid-state drive (SSD). All the other factors were kept the same.

 

The conclusion: the boot time is approximately twice as fast on a Macbook Pro with a SSD.

Upgrading to a SSD may be a better choice for those who need or want a faster boot up. I hope this video helps in deciding whether to go with a SSD or a traditional hard drive.

Cheers!

My curiosity about the world of management consulting led me to this book; The McKinsey Way. It was written by Ethan M. Rasiel, a former employee of McKinsey & Company, the most prestigious consulting firm in the world. I found this book to be quite valuable in that it helped me paint a picture of the world of management consulting and also provided me with helpful tips and advice for a career in management consulting.

The introductory chapter provides some background information on the prestige of the firm, both past and present. It is a firm that hires the “cream of each year’s crop of business school graduates” and has a very long list of highly accomplished alumni; a list that includes names like Tom Peters, a management guru, and Harvey Golub, president of American Express. What better way to learn about the management consulting industry than through the eyes of someone who has worked with the best of the best, through the eyes of a McKinsey-ite.

The book is broken down into five main parts. First, the author introduces you to the McKinsey way of thinking about business problems; how to build the solution, how to develop an approach, as well as how to apply concepts such as the 80/20 principle. The 80/20 principle really clicked with me since I was already familiar with it and I had applied it to many aspects of my life. The 80/20 principle states that 20% of the input is responsible for 80% of the output. For example, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.

Rasiel then takes you through the McKinsey way of working to solve business problems. This includes everything from selling a study and assembling a team to conducting interviews and methods of running a brainstorming session. When a solution to the problem has been formulated, usually after many, many hours of hard work, the next step is to sell the solution. This section covers making presentations, displaying data charts, managing internal communications, and dealing with client relationships.

The fourth section of the book provides advice on how to survive at McKinsey. I felt that it was very thoughtful of the author to include this section since this type of knowledge and advice is not easy to find. The management consultant lifestyle is not for everyone and the strain from this type of job can greatly impact many other aspects of your life. Rasiel provides advice on finding a mentor, surviving on the road, the importance of a good assistant, among other relevant matters that can only be enlightened with experience. Finally, the book concludes with a section on life after McKinsey. Most former McKinsey-ites go on to lead lives of high accomplishment and success. One of the most important things that McKinsey-ites take away with them is the network that they have developed.

Among the many valuable lessons contained within this book, one thing that I am sure every reader of this book will take away with them is the concept of MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). It is a technique used by McKinsey consultants in building the solution to a business problem. To put it simply, it means to be complete and thorough while avoiding confusion and overlap. A personal example of how I used this concept, while actually reading the book at the time, would be how I applied it to a Project Charter I was creating for my Foundations of Project Management course. I used the concept of MECE,along with the McKinsey way of always grouping lists into categories of three, when writing the Requirements section of the Project Charter. These two methods helped me in creating an exhaustive list that had no overlap and was broken down into three distinct categories.

All in all, I found this book to be of great value and I would recommend this book to not only professionals interested in consulting, but to anyone who works within an organization as many of the ideas in here are transferable.

Hey guys,

These are my personal favourite top 10 movies so far with regards to business and career interests. The criteria I used when choosing these movies include the entertainment value, the message of the movie, the motivational factor, and the value of lessons learned.

I hope you take the time to watch and enjoy them!

Entrepreneurship

Pirates of Silicon Valley

History of Apple and Microsoft.

The Social Network

A chronicle of the founding of Facebook, the social-networking web site.

Finance

Boiler Room

A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Inside Job

Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown.

Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Too Big To Fail

Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Wall Street

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

To take down a merciless finance executive, a young trader agrees to a disgraced Wall street legend’s proposal in exchange for the man to be reunited with his daughter, the trader’s fiancée.

Law

Antitrust

A computer programmer’s dream job at a hot Portland-based firm turns nightmarish when he discovers his boss has a secret and ruthless means of dispatching anti-trust problems.

Twelve Angry Men

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

 

* Source: movie description/tagline taken from IMDb.com

A few months ago, I considered starting my own blog, however, I did not start blogging until after I started reading Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel. I want to thank my good friend, a Public Relations student (http://babatundesblab.wordpress.com/), who recommended this book to me. Reading it was really the tipping point for the creation of this blog and also for the successful launch of it (500+ views within the first week, 1000+ views within the first 15 days). A large part of the success is because I created my blog with the intention of creating value, a message that is emphasized throughout this book.

bookThe tagline of the book really justifies the overall message of the book: Everyone is Connected. Connect your business to Everyone. It emphasizes the importance of online presence and online participation using medians such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google. One of my favourite lines in the book is “Your brand is not what you say it is…it’s what Google says it is” – Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief at Wired magazine and best-selling author of The Long Tail).

Written by a digital marketing expert, this book captures the essence of communication in the modern day. It integrates digital marketing, social media, personal branding, and entrepreneurship in a way that I find to be easy to understand and apply. The application value of this book cannot be overstated and I personally know this because I applied the concepts and ideas presented in this book in the early developmental phases of my blog. Everything from the creation of value, the importance of search engines, the use of SEO techniques, the value of targeting a niche, to the importance of trust online has influenced what type of content my blog contains and the way in which the content is written, shared, and marketed.

In my opinion, this is a must-read for anyone that wants to be knowledgeable about the present state of communication, social media, and the internet. It contains many valuable ideas and concepts with great application value.

Hidden-Gem-logo_thumb1

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Sup guys. I thought I’d do a review on these great speakers that I’ve been using for quite some time; Bose Companion 2 Series II Speaker. The first thing that pops into mind is how good looking these things are. The gorgeous, sleek design works well with almost any setting and compliments whichever laptop or desktop you may be using.

BOSE Companion 2 Series II SpeakerAlso, the sound is simply amazing for the price that this product is offered at ($119.99 at BestBuy at the time of this post). You can enjoy the world-renowned Bose sound quality with these great, affordable speakers.

The main thing that attracted me to these speakers other than the fact that I wanted to try out Bose was that these speakers were 2.0, which meant that it was a two-piece; it was just 2 speakers and I wouldn’t need a subwoofer. Some of you may be thinking “I need a subwoofer!” but once you listen to these babies, you’ll think otherwise. The bass is more than adequate and the sound can easily fill up an entire room which is great for parties. Also, because it’s a two-piece, it was easy for me to find a place to put them and also easily transport them. Overall, I am very happy with these speakers and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to buy a great speaker system.

Check out my sound quality demonstration video below:

Hey guys what’s going on?

So I`m living in Toronto for the summer and I`m super psyched! I`ve always wanted to live there and there`s no better time than summer time!

*** Check out my video tour of Woodsworth College Residence by clicking HERE ***

So when looking for housing for a 4-month term, there were two options I considered:

   Sublet         OR            Residence

Why I chose not to sublet

First, I looked into subletting with the preconception that it would be cheaper than residence. However, I came across many problems. The first problem was that it was hard to find nice apartments for a reasonable price. Even though they were summer sublets and prices were low, it was hard to find a low priced apartment in a good neighbourhood. The second problem was that people were being unreliable; I would reply to ads and only half of them would reply back and most of the time the reply was “sorry, the apartment is no longer available“. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming process of subletting. The last problem was that I was living in Ottawa so I wasn`t going to drive all the way to Toronto just to view an apartment. I had to make a judgement call based on photographs, the apartment description, talks with the subletter, and Google Maps Street Viewer.

Some of the sites I used to find sublets:

Kijiji:   http://toronto.kijiji.ca/f-housing-W0QQCatIdZ34

Craigslist:   http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/hhh/

Facebook Marketplace:   http://apps.facebook.com/marketplace/

Roomster:   http://www.roomster.com/

Why I chose to live in residence

After looking into subletting without much success, I thought I`d give residence a shot, specifically the University of Toronto residences. The location was great for me since I was planning on taking summer courses at UofT so being on campus was a huge benefit. Also, I knew that the neighbourhood was relatively safer of course, since it was a university campus. Residence would also allow me to easily meet new people and make new friends. Being on campus meant being around other like-minded individuals who were my age, so, in other words, party time!

So I contacted the University of Toronto Housing department and they sent me a great brochure with all the information I needed to choose a residence. You can check it out here. It provides a really nice comparison chart with all the features of the THIRTEEN different residences! The prices were also very reasonable and in fact, there was one residence, University College, that had really great pricing; around $1,900 for the entire summer term. However, since I was looking for an apartment-style residence, I chose to live in Woodsworth College. The cost was $2,575 and the duration was May 5th to August 22nd. I was sold after seeing the pictures of the residence, the common areas, and the individual rooms. It even had a pool table! So between subletting and residence, I think residence was the best choice for me. I`m really looking forward to life in Toronto!

*** Check out my video tour of Woodsworth College Residence by clicking HERE ***