Shellshock – Worse than Heartbleed?

published on October 3, 2014

You’ve heard of it and you’re probably googling about it and wondering whether it affects you or not. It’s Shellshock – a bug they say is probably bigger than Heartbleed. What is Shellshock anyway? Here’s what you should know.

Shellshock, also known as Bashdoor, is a security bug in the widely used Unix Bash shell which was disclosed on 24 September 2014. Many Internet daemons, such as web servers, use Bash to process certain commands, allowing an attacker to cause vulnerable versions of Bash to execute arbitrary commands. This can allow an attacker to gain unauthorized access to a computer system. (source: Wikipedia) What exactly does it do?

  • On September 12, Stephane Chazelas discovered this vulnerability in Bash, the GNU Bourne-Again Shell, related to how environment variables are processed. In many common configurations, this vulnerability is exploitable over the network, especially if bash has been configured as the system shell.
  • The bug could affect any network or website that relies on Unix and Linux operating systems, including Mac OS X. This means that the Shellshock bug puts untold millions of computer networks and consumer records at risk of compromise.
  • An attacker can essentially have full access to that server. Since the attacker could take any action that the web server itself could take, the consequences could be disastrous: the compromise of a database, access to files, access to source code, data being deleted, data being changed, running programs, and/or, deploying malware to compromise the system.
  • “…this thing is clearly wormable, and can easily worm past firewalls and infect lots of systems. One key question is whether Mac OS X and iPhone DHCP service is vulnerable — once the worm gets behind a firewall and runs a hostile DHCP server, that would “game over” for large networks.” – Robert Graham, Errata Security
  • According to Waylon Grange, senior malware researcher at Blue Coat – “Any organizations or users with unpatched Linux servers are vulnerable to hackers running unauthorized code, so it’s very important that organizations download and apply the patch immediately. Blue Coat is already seeing DDOS botnets trying to utilize this vulnerability in their attacks and we expect that traffic to only continue to increase.”
  • According to reports, it could affect your computer even if you’ve never heard of it. The flaw affects embedded devices and systems. That includes things like digital watches, MP3 players and traffic lights.
  • “From an end user perspective, there will not be much impact. Apple will release a patch, but this is more about systems and servers that may be vulnerable. It is about shopping and banking providers and are they doing everything to patch their systems which can impact your data.” – IT Security Guru, Jason Steer, director of technology strategy at FireEye
  • Avoid using open, unsecured WiFi if using Mac OS X, until Apple releases a patch. Linux desktop users should update their systems as soon as possible. Windows desktop users are unaffected.
  • Many software developers have already issued patches and more are being released by the hour. Two of the most popular Linux distributions, Red Hat and Ubuntu, already have patches available.

More updates and patches are being issued on a regular basis so watch out for those to make sure your data is safe.

Searchable, Crawlable, Optimized Content – The SEO Fix You Are Looking For?

published on September 29, 2014

Website owners are constantly looking for that one SEO formula or template that will assure them of that coveted top spot on the search engine pages. Many webmasters have retracted from their black hat ways and are cleaning up their acts – deleting link building campaigns, url redirects, keyword stuffing, etc. – and are turning to more Google-friendly methods to avoid being penalized. One of the many SEO strategies that people are investing in is CONTENT – good, relevant, easily crawlable content. But is it THE magic SEO formula that people are looking for?

Imagine ordering a decadent looking 3-tier specialty cake baked by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro himself – intricately designed and made with absolutely the finest ingredients. It’s got everything in it to definitely make it a conversation piece among the guests. But, what if someone forgets to display this wonderfully made cake and it stays in the kitchen where no one gets to see it except the kitchen staff. No doubt it’s a wonderful and probably the best tasting cake your guests will ever taste but unless they see it, admire it, slice it, taste it – they will never know what they are missing. Same thing goes with your wonderful, relevant, crawlable, well-written content. Out of sight, out of mind.

But hey, you can have your cake and probably eat it too if you take a wholistic approach to SEO. Yes, by all means, go ahead and build relevant, optimized, searchable great content. But don’t stop there. Make sure that you get it out there and give your audience a taste of it. Get people engaged enough to share it, link to it, and make them want to come back for more. Use and maximize social media. Add that tested and reliable SEO plugin. Market your brand. Plan your public relations campaign. Grow your audience. Junk those outdated SEO concepts. Analyze and study your statistics. Realize that it’s not a one-time event but it’s something that needs to be maintained constantly. SEO is not a one-template fits all type of thing. It is anything and everything that contributes to your website’s visibility and helps you land on that top page in the SERPS.

For more on this topic, check out this helpful article on

Wearable Technology and Its Impact on WordPress

published on September 26, 2014

Believe it or not, wearable technology has been around longer than you think. Think about all those old James Bond movies, the Mission Impossible series, or the Get Smart series. We all marveled at those nifty gadgets – pens that become bomb detonators, shoes that turn into phones, virtual reality or augmented reality gadgets, etc. The novelty of ordinary items turning into high tech gadgets that do more than what is expected of them is always a crowd drawer. And if they are all that they claim to be you’ll probably want one too.

But not all wearable technology survive the acid test of customer approval. In the past, some have, although a lot more turned out to be duds that have long faded away. Hence, the wary and lukewarm response to these types of products. That is until recently. Times are changing. Technology is way better than it ever was. People are more interested in wearable technology today more than ever. Companies are putting out wearable gadgets focusing on health and lifestyle, content, and even education.

Google Glass, Apple Watch, Pebble, OpenGo, etc. – Is Wearable Tech The New Frontier?

It’s daring. It’s risky. It’s experimental. But that’s what trailblazers are made of. You’ll never know if you don’t dare. Wearable tech is interesting but it’s still early stages. People are definitely interested but not necessarily buying, yet. However, if we are to consider the future of the “internet of things”, it’s just a matter of time before people get warmed up to it.

On Wearables — According to analysts at ABI Research, over the next five years businesses will integrate into their wellness plans more than 13 million wearable devices with embedded wireless connectivity. Wearable tech also ties into the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. Today, it’s estimated there are nearly 10 billion devices in the world connected to the Internet, a figure expected to triple to nearly 30 billion devices by 2020. The inherent versatility of Atmel’s microcontrollers and radio chips have made our silicon a favorite of Makers and engineers . Atmel is right in the middle of the wearable tech revolution, with a comprehensive portfolio of versatile microcontrollers (MCUs) that power a wide range of platforms and devices.

source: Atmel and the Internet of Things

Wearable WordPress?

Did you know that there are WordPress plugins that allow you to publish using Google Glass? True! Who would have thought that you could manage your content using a pair of glasses? But it does exist. You can actually take a picture or a video using Google Glass and upload it on your WordPress site straight away. Some notable Google Glass WordPress tools, apps, and plugins include:

  • wpForGlass is the first plugin that allows you to post to your WordPress blog from Google Glass.
  • Umano for Google Glass allows you to read your posts from your favorite sources to you. You can also get in touch with Umano to have your content included on Glass.

The recent release of the Apple Watch received mixed responses. Nevertheless, for a company like Apple to invest in such a product means that they will provide the support and infrastructure to make it succeed. How it will affect the way content providers and publishers (WordPress users included) deliver to their audiences remains to be seen. It is however, worth taking note of.

As in the early stages of Cloud Computing and everything being stored “above our heads”, so is wearable tech at this point. Developers need to be able to show consumers how they can integrate daily activities seamlessly using these wearable gadgets. The novelty is good for a while. It is, however, the long-term benefits of these gadgets that will determine whether it will once more get buried in the gadget graveyard.

Consumer or Contributor? Growing Up on the Internet

published on September 22, 2014

It is almost impossible to imagine life without the Internet. It is, clearly, one of the most powerful networking tools that transcends location, distance, geography, language, race, and culture – reaching millions of people faster than you can say the word Ping. Well, in some places that is. But, there is absolutely no turning back to life before it.

Millionaires have been built online. Fame and fortune have become accessible to even the remotest ends of the earth. If you have a smartphone and internet access, the next online sensation perhaps could be you. The world is flatter than ever. The new land of great opportunity is no longer a specific country. It is right there at your fingertips. A swipe, a like, an upload, a post, a tweet away.

Distraction or Tool?

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

There are legitimate reasons why we spend so much time online. The thirst and quest for information is like swimming in a bottomless pool of answers that just gets deeper and deeper and deeper. It can be addicting. Really. And before you know it, minutes, hours, or even days have already passed while consuming and gobbling up “information”. There is no “mouth” wide enough that can fit all that brain food all in one blow. Guilty? Uhm, Maybe. Productive? Well. The question is, in the search for more and more knowledge, “Are we searching ourselves to death?”

Today’s generation is constantly looking for “the next big thing” to devour – latest music, latest video, latest gadget, latest app, latest download. For some, it is a legitimate tool for learning. To others, it is a mindless distraction that keeps them preoccupied and amused. In the novel Brave New World, a book written by Aldous Huxley in 1931, the author shares some interesting insights (considering that this was written almost 83 years ago) that could very well apply to what is going on today. Makes you stop and think about how this generation is being raised.

To maintain the World State’s Command Economy for the indefinite future, all citizens are conditioned from birth to value consumption with such platitudes as “ending is better than mending,” “more stitches less riches”, i.e., buy a new item instead of fixing the old one, because constant consumption and near-universal employment to meet society’s material demands, is the bedrock of economic and social stability for the World State. (source: Brave New World, Wikipedia)

Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, shares this interesting insight regarding Huxley’s book :

“…in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.

Interestingly, in the book The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to our Brains, author Nicholas Carr points out a few observations that seem to say the same thing.

“Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster the better,” he insists.

Carr worries that the volume of information which we are able to access along with associated practices of multitasking and skimming are resulting in “a reversal of the early trajectory of civilization: we are evolving from being cultivators of personal knowledge to being hunters and gathers in the electronic data forest”.

On the other end of the spectrum it is not all gloom and doom. Clay Sharky, author of Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators, presents a different perspective on how the Internet affects us, its possibilities, and its challenges. Here are a few excerpts from his book.

Cognitive surplus is “ treating the free time of the world’s educated citizenry as an aggregate”.

The harnessing of our cognitive surplus allows people to behave in increasingly generous, public, and social ways, relative to their old status as consumers and couch potatoes. The raw material of this change is the free time available to us, time we can commit to projects that range from the amusing to the culturally transformative.

If people are using their surplus time and talents in generous and public ways, then we assume the cause is new tools: the web, mobile phones, new software, everything that didn’t exist in the past. These kinds of technology-centric observations locate the surprise in the new tools.

Today people have new freedom to act in concert and in public. In terms of personal satisfaction, this good is fairly uncomplicated— even the banal uses of our creative capacity (posting YouTube videos of kittens on treadmills or writing bloviating blog posts) are still more creative and generous than watching TV. We don’t really care how individuals create and share; it’s enough that they exercise this kind of freedom.

The fusing of means, motive, and opportunity creates our cognitive surplus out of the raw material of accumulated free time. The real change comes from our awareness that this surplus creates unprecedented opportunities, or rather that it creates an unprecedented opportunity for us to create those opportunities for each other. The low cost of experimentation and the huge base of potential users mean that someone with an idea that would require dozens (or thousands) of participants can now try it, at remarkably low cost, without needing to ask anyone for permission first.

In conclusion, Sharky notes:

The world’s people, and the connections among us, provide the raw material for cognitive surplus. The technology will continue to improve, and the population will continue to grow, but change in the direction of more participation has already happened. What matters most now is our imaginations. The opportunity before us, individually and collectively, is enormous; what we do with it will be determined largely by how well we are able to imagine and reward public creativity, participation, and sharing.

At the end of the day, what we do with what we have all depends on what we value most. Personal motivation and goals determine why we do what we do offline and online. Consumer? Contributor? Knowledge is power and Information empowers. What we do or not do with it will determine its value and impact – to ourselves, to the world around us, and to the generations after us.

SEO and Digital Marketing Trends for 2015

published on September 16, 2014

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a must for any online business. However, SEO professionals, practitioners, gurus, and experts have taken a serious beating from Google this last few years because of the many SEO tricks, tactics and practices that did not sit well with the mighty search engine giant.

This has set off a shift in the way SEO and other search engine visibility efforts are being done today. More and more websites are making an effort to comply with Google’s requirements to avoid penalization.

Alongside with all that is the evolving habits of internet users and how they search for information. Today,

Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know.

Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well.


These factors are changing and challenging the existing SEO and Digital Marketing business models and practices. In view of all this, here are some of the things we think will set the rudder for SEO and Digital Marketing in the next few years.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is marketing that makes use of electronic devices (computers) such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones, tablets and game consoles to engage with stakeholders. Digital marketing applies technologies or platforms such as websites, e-mail, apps (classic and mobile) and social networks. (source: Wikipedia)

Here are a few of the focus points that will be characteristic of Digital Media in 2015

  • Words are our currency.
  • Focus on boosting content consumption.
  • Augmented reality and wearable technology.
  • Empathy, customer care, connection, relevance.
  • Integrated digital marketing strategies across social, mobile, advertising, marketing, communication platforms
  • Digital and Visual Storytelling.
  • Paid media and Owned media
  • Marketers with coding skills.
  • Humor and “human-ness”
  • Mobile data and removal of barriers between message and action.
  • Big data. Personalized experience.
  • Video will be the preferred communication style for customers with the best ROI.



2015 and beyond will be the year of the small screen. Search engines are also going to be smarter. It will be harder to manipulate results and more focus will be on quality results.

  • Content – Creative, innovative, participatory and entertaining content will rule.
  • Branding – Brand search volume will matter more. User citations and sentiments count (Negative and Positive).
  • Mobile – Speed is important. Navigation must be simple and easy. Mobile traffic needs to be routed to the internal page being searched by the user and not just the homepage. Content must be easy to read without pinching or zooming.
  • Social – Your social audience will enhance your SEO. Google+ is a plus to your website.
  • User Experience – User experience affects ranking.

Achieving success in both SEO and Digital Marketing efforts requires immersing oneself in what consumers are into. The deeper your insight into customer behavior and customer preferences, the more likely you are able to respond to their needs, the better it will be for your site’s ranking as well.

The Year Without Pants Gets You Putting on Your Thinking Cap (Part 2)

published on September 11, 2014

If you haven’t gotten a copy of Scott Berkun’s “The Year Without Pants” yet, now is the perfect time to get one. The book is filled with nuggets of insight and wisdom applicable to today’s modern businesses.

For those who are hearing about it for the first time, check out a previous article to get you started. For those who have been following this article, here are a few more interesting excerpts from the book we think will get your creative thinking juices flowing.

The Future of Business

The Advice Paradox

  • No matter how much advice you have, you must still decide intuitively what to use and what to avoid. Even if you seek meta-advice, advice on which advice to take, the paradox still applies as you make the same choice about that advice too.

Modern Work vs Traditions

  • The problem with modern work, and one that sheds light on the future, is how loaded workplaces are with cultural baggage. We faithfully follow practices we can’t explain rationally. Why is it that work has to start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.? Why are you required to wear a tie if you’re a man and a skirt if you’re a woman?
  • We follow these practices because we were forced to when we entered the workforce, and over time, they became so familiar we’ve forgotten they are merely inventions.
  • A central element in Automattic culture was results first. Nobody cared when you arrived at work or how long you worked. It didn’t matter if you were pantless in your living room or bathing in the sun, swinging in a hammock with a martini in your hand. What mattered was your output.
  • Every tradition we hold dear was once a new idea someone proposed, tried, and found valuable, often inspired by a previous tradition that had been outgrown.
  • The responsibility of people in power is to continually eliminate useless traditions and introduce valuable ones. An organization where nothing ever changes is not a workplace but a living museum.

On Managing Human Resources

  • 4 Freedoms practiced in Automattic:
    1. Hire great people.
    2. Set good priorities.
    3. Remove distractions.
    4. Stay out of the way.
  • The hardest part of work is what goes on between your ears and between you and your coworkers.
  • The trends and gadgets that make up most conversations about the future of work miss the point. Instead of vice presidents seeing the problem as a lack of a tool or a secret method, they should realize they’re in the way more than they realize. Granting authority is more powerful than any software, device, or method.
  • Remote work is merely physical independence, and the biggest challenge people who work remotely face is managing their own psychology. Since they have more independence, they need to be masters of their own habits to be productive, whether it’s avoiding distractions, staying disciplined on projects, or even replacing the social life that comes from conventional work with other friendships.

On Leadership

  • Being a good lead is all about switching hats: knowing which level of abstraction to work at to solve a problem. It’s rarely a question of intelligence; instead, it’s picking the right perspective to use on a particular challenge.
  • To understand who people really are, start a fire. When everything is going fine, you see only the safest parts of people’s character. It’s only when something is burning that you find out who people really are.

The Data Paradox

  • All metrics create temptations. Even with great intentions and smart minds, data runs you faster and faster into a stupid self-destructive circle. Data can’t decide things for you.
  • No matter how much data you have, you still depend on your intuition for deciding how to interpret and then apply the data.

On Creativity

  • At Automattic, the traps of trying to make things safe are resisted, although people are motivated more by their sense of independence than an awareness of a grand philosophical principle. The basic notion is that if people are smart and respect not blowing things up, too many safety measures get in the way. Instead, employees are trusted and empowered to release things fast.
  • Employees were treated like adults. By not having too many safeguards, we were trusted to pay full attention. Keeping things a little dangerous made things safer.

If you want more of Scott Berkun, make sure to get a copy of his book, “The Year Without Pants”. You won’t want to put it down.

Life begins at 4.0

published on September 1, 2014

WordPress 4.0 debuts as scheduled August 27, 2014. In a sneak peek video conducted by Morten Rand-Hendriksen, he gives a rundown of the latest features that can be expected in this latest iteration. Here’s what he shared:

  • Language Selection Screen – Option to choose language aside from English upon install.
  • Sticky Post Editor Toolbar – Toolbar stays or “sticks” on top even while editing or scrolling down through your post. Extra panels like SEO, Excerpts, etc. can be dragged and dropped into the sidebar for easy access. Spellcheck can be added via a plugin or by Jetpack’s Spelling and Grammar. Extra buttons or meta boxes can also be added via plugins.
  • Ability to add videos and actually watch it in the Post Editor (oEmbed).
  • Media Library Grid Enhancements: filter, search, toggle display options.
  • Enhanced Install Plugins experience – instead of a vertical list new grid pattern layout somehow similar to the Theme Installer experience with emphasis on the plugin ratings.
  • Widgets can be edited in the Customizer with a live preview where you can see what goes on before actually publishing.

If you’d like to learn more about what to expect in WordPress 4.0 before its official release, you can watch the whole video presentation event of Morten Rand-Hendriksen including answers to real-time questions by viewers posted on Google+.

Integrated Marketing Can Maximize Social Media Success

published on August 19, 2014

Companies that want to make a heavy splash on social media should consider taking an integrated, or blended, approach in how they market. Integrated marketing takes a coordinated approach to spreading a message, using different formats and media.

A well-balanced approach uses content in many forms — blogs, photos, video, events — to extend the reach of a business website. It also means devoting serious resources and time to do it well. For business to consumer (B2C) firms, this means strategic and regular posts on Facebook and Twitter, where consumers are most likely to be found. According to Social Media Today, more than 70 percent of consumers will make a purchase based on a referral from a social media site, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Social Media is an Extension of the Website

Website traffic is notoriously brief, while social media, particularly Facebook, is a true “time suck,” to borrow Betty White’s famous phrase. While the bulk of website visits last for a minute or less, the time the average American spends much more time on social media. Business Insider recently reported the average time spent on Facebook is just under one hour per visit. Therefore, it makes complete sense to focus as much on Facebook as you do on your website.

Most Facebook business pages link to specific website content to encourage visitors to stay a bit to read or watch, browse the site, and make purchases or request more information that can lead to a purchase.

What type of content should you produce? It really depends on what appeals most to your target audience. For any content to resonate with a Google search, it must obviously be relevant. The Content Marketing Institute also suggests some consistency in output for items like blogs, but less so for more time-consuming efforts:

  • Written and spoken content (blogs, articles, podcasts) should be frequent and regular
  • Projects like videos, white papers, webinars, and ebooks can appear less often
  • Special events like webinars, contests, and guest posts can be occasional; in fact, too many of them may start to feel gimmicky.

Mobile Customers and the Twitter Advantage

Twitter acts more like a website outreach tool, particularly for the mobile market. While it doesn’t have Facebook’s market dominance, it’s less of a time suck and feels more like a business tool. People who primarily use their smartphones to access Twitter do so more often than those glued to desktops, and they visit the site several times a day, according to Twitter’s in-house research. If your customers are more likely to be on mobile, invest in a mobile site; Business Insider notes 60 percent of social media time is through smartphones and tablets.

Twitter is designed to be compact; if a particular tweet catches a person’s eye, it can expand. Here are a few examples of of Twitter pages that deliver useful information in one glance, on a small screen:

  • Fans of the Arizona Cardinals will see training camp has begun and the team has signed wide receiver Reggie White.
  • LifeLock customers or others interested in online security services, will see (a) a sweepstakes is almost over, (b) the service now offers roadside assistance and legal services, and (c) link to a blog about avoiding ID theft while traveling.
  • Content writers and marketers who depend on Search Engine Land‘s intelligence will find (a) a nice quote about investing in human care, (b) how a Google update solved a Yelp issue, and (c) that Google is working on voice search. How cool is that?

The Year Without Pants Gets You Putting on Your Thinking Cap

published on August 18, 2014

When we think of the workplace, we have this stereotype idea of what it should be like. Office hours, office attire, a work desk, a cubicle, the water cooler, and so forth and so on. It’s the typical scenario. It’s tradition. But, times are changing. The work environment is changing. The “acceptable” workplace is changing.

In the book, The Year Without Pants, author Scott Berkun shares what it was like to work for a company that isn’t traditional at all. He worked for more than two years with Automattic – the company that runs and and there is much to glean from his personal experiences and the insights he gained while he worked there. Here are a few excerpts taken from the book to whet your curiousity.

The Work Place

On Hiring,

“There are no formal interviews for positions at the company. No one asks trick questions like why manhole covers are round or how many Ping-Pong balls fit on a 747 airplane. Instead they hire by trial. This means you are asked to do a simple project. You get access to real tools and work on real things. If you do well, you’re offered a job. If you don’t, you’re not.

The many phony parts of hiring, from inflated résumés to trying to say what you think the other party wants to hear, disappear.”

On Corporate Culture,

“No technique, no matter how good, can turn stupid coworkers into smart ones. And no method can magically make employees trust each other or their boss if they have good reason not to.”

“The best approach, perhaps the only approach, is an honest examination of culture. But culture is harder to understand than a meeting technique or a creativity method. ”

“Product creators are the true talent of any corporation, especially one claiming to bet on innovation. The other roles don’t create products and should be there to serve those who do.”

On Meetings,

“There is nothing wrong with the concept of a meeting. If the people in a meeting think it’s a waste of time, then either they’re the wrong people or what’s being discussed is not important enough to justify a meeting. I knew if I kept our meetings on important decisions and little else, we’d do fine, whether in person or online.”

On Company Retreats,

“The big bet of many retreats is the location. The hope is that a resort in the woods or a trip to a special city will provide a fresh environment away from the daily routines, a change that stimulates new thinking. But they forget the most important thing that location cannot change: the company culture. No matter where they go, they take dozens of forgotten assumptions about how work is done along with them. The more an event is driven by the people in power, the more it will reinforce the status quo. This is why these big meetings start with promises of growth and innovation and end with a vague sense of disappointment. ”

On Innovation,

“The fundamental mistake companies that talk about innovation make is keeping barriers to entry high. They make it hard to even try out ideas, blind to how much experimentation you need to sort the good ideas from the bad.”

On Team Dynamics,

“There are many theories about why teams of four to six work best, but the simplest is ego. With about five people, there’s always enough oxygen in the room. It means on average that every person gets to speak once every five times, which is enough for everyone to feel they are at the center of things. At this level of participation, their pride can be invested in the team instead of focused inwardly on themselves.”

“How do you know if you’re doing a good job? They (Team Social) all shrugged simultaneously and I laughed. Unlike most corporations that emphasize performance evaluations, none of them were particularly concerned. It had never been an emphasized part of their experience at the company. It seemed to them like an odd question to even ask, given how rarely it came up with Mullenweg or Toni, or in the company at large. It was not a promotion-oriented culture. Instead they cared mostly about how much value they were getting out of the work. ”

The Year Without Pants, an Amazon Best Book of The Year released in September 2013, was written by best-selling author and sought after speaker, Scott Berkun. Scott Berkun has worked at Microsoft from 1994 to 2003, mostly on Internet Explorer 1.0 to 5.0 (not 6), and has worked as a team leader for Automattic on from 2010 to 2012.

His other works include Confessions of a Public Speaker, The Myths of Innovation, and Making Things Happen. His work as a writer and public speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio.

Leave us a comment if you want a part 2 to this article.