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Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Is There Any Motivation To Succeed In Business Stronger Then Coming From Nothing?

I wouldn’t say so… studies show there are 2 kinds of motivation prevention focused and promotion ..

Post by Sam Joel:

I wouldn’t say so… studies show there are 2 kinds of motivation prevention focused and promotion focused – Read more: Are You Promotion or Prevention-Focused?

People with promotion focus are motivated by achievement… if they do well, they try harder, if you praise them they get extra boost.

People with prevention focus are motivated by preventing failure… if you remind them they can fail they work harder and if you criticise them they get extra boost.

Studies show that both perform equally well.

So a person with a better starting point (successful parents etc.) might be motivated to achieve more or prevent being failure … as well as the person who started from nothing.

However, it’s not the motivation that determines the success… it’s your work ethic and discipline… motivation burns out fast and most people quit when that happens. However discipline and work ethic keeps you going and with the progress the real motivation builds up. It looks like this:

From my experience, I have learned that people who had successful parents (regardless of are of success) or grew up in a favourable environment generally have a better work ethic.

Likewise, from my experience, if your parents were underachievers you are more likely (not always) to have inner self-doubts that hold you back… E.g. some friends of mine whose parents were entrepreneurs find it much more easy or natural to start a business or cold-call a customer as they’ve observed it’s a normal thing… my parents were the ones happy they have jobs and very risk averse, so naturally there was a much higher fear element when I started and much more self-doubt to overcome… (but I did)

So I would say, environment matters… but not so much whether your parents are wealthy but rather having positive models around you when you grow up is what matters.

PS: I am not a big fan of calling others ‘privileged’ – you either believe external factors determine your success or you determine it…. whatever is true the latter will get you further in life…

Is there any motivation to succeed in business stronger then coming from nothing?


How large is the market for face recognition and object recognition?

How large is the market for face recognition and object recognition?

Answer by Benoit Maison:

It used to be the case that the most important applications of face and object recognition were security and copyright tracking.

However, the surge in mobile applications has changed the landscape.  Image processing apps have been among the best sellers on the various app stores, for example:

  • Barcode readers (RedLaser, pic2shop, and now most shopping/brand apps)
  • AR Translation (WordLens)
  • Object/Landmark recognition (Google Goggles, SnapTell)
  • Leaf Recognition (LeafSnap)
  • Face Transformations (FatBooth)

The combination of  camera + personal mobile computer + internet access creates entirely new possibilities, which go far beyond the traditional image recognition applications.

Also, each copy of the app may only sell for a few dollars, but the sheer size of the market makes up for it.

How large is the market for face recognition and object recognition?

How Large Is The Market For Face Recognition And Object Recognition?

How large is the #market for face recognition and object recognition? #appstar

Answer by Pierre Moreels:

Some products from your daily life already use computer vision – for example, all recent digital cameras have face detection, and almost all checks read in the banking industry use advanced check readers based on neural networks. Face and object recognition is difficult and still in early stages – challenges are the variety of faces and expressions, changes in hairstyle / makeup etc,, difficult lighting conditions. Right now reliable object recognition is more or less limited to flat objects, like books/CD covers, movie posters, and other stuff with written text or patterns with good contrast. Recognizing age, ethnicity and smile vs. angry are fairly well established techniques. Recognizing identity reliably under variable lighting conditions will still take many years.

How large is the market for face recognition and object recognition?

How Do Check Readers Work?


Post by James Murray:

How Do Check Readers Work?

How Do Check Readers Work?

What is involved in Check21’s processing services?

Post by Sam Joel:

Check21 (as it is called in the US), is essentially a cheque truncation system and methodology. Other name that is used is remote deposit capture.

Rather than the physical paper cheque traveling to various places in order to be cleared, a cheque truncation system will take digital copies (i.e. photographic snapshots) of the front and back of the cheque. Specialized cheque scanners are used for this purpose:

Example of a Canon CR55 Desktop Scanner.

The scanner will also read the MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) Code on the cheque (the computerized numeric code at the very bottom row of the cheque):

In addition to this, the scanner will read the LAR and CAR. LAR or Legal Amount Recognition is the amount written in words. This is the legal amount of the cheque. The CAR or the Courtesy Amount Recognition is the numeric amount "2.56" in the example above, that is written in the box. Should there be a discrepancy between the LAR and CAR, LAR would prevail.

In addition to the MICR Code, LAR/CAR, other pieces of information are stamped on the digital image (this varies from territory to territory),

  • Date
  • Time
  • Scanner Number
  • Scan Station Number
  • OK image code
  • Station of Capture
  • Depository Institution Name
  • LAR/CAR amounts are Stamped
  • ABA/Routing #
  • Check #
  • Account Number
  • Name as read on the cheque (optional)
  • Pay to (Optional)

The input process varies depending in which country you are, but the basics of any scan is something like this:

The output file is something like this:

The file is then sent forward for onward processing and the image is now the cheque, with the paper cheque having been truncated. Specialized software & network connectivity between/within the banks and processors allow the movement of such a file and its onwards processing and payouts, etc. In the US this is the ACH network. Information retrieved from the scan is then populated into the ACH file for processing by the ACH processor.

What is involved in Check21’s processing services?

Why is failure good?

Answer by James Altucher:

Failure is not good.

Failure is the worst thing possible. You feel sick. You feel like you're going to die. You feel like if you don't die you might kill yourself.

There is absolutely nothing good about failure. And there's nothing you can pretend to learn from failure.

Lately, we've been living in the Golden Age of Failure Porn.  Everyone wants to share their story. Everyone wants to "fail forward".

You can't learn anything from failure because don't forget that every single moment in your past has added up to that one moment in your present – where you are lying on the floor moaning your painful and abysmal failure.

Stop whining. And stop using the word "failure". Blah!

Here are better things to learn from. Failure has many cousins. Learn from one of the cousins:

Curiosity: When something happens and you don't understand why, then ask, "Why?"

Keep asking questions. Clearly, something confusing happened. Ask and ask and ask.

Guess what will happen: you will get answers.

Experiment: Sometimes people say Thomas Edison failed 999 times before he finally came up with the lightbulb on the 1000th try.

This is a total lie. It is normal in a lab to experiment with many many materials before coming up with the right one.

Oh! You're experiment didn't work? Ok, change something and let's try a new experiment.

Persistence: I get asked: how do I market my book? Or my app? Answer: write another book. Write another app.

The best way to get better, to get more known, to learn the subtleties of your art or your field or your sport, is to simply do it again.

Persistence + Love = Abundance.

Forgiveness: I used to live in regret. One time I sold a business for $15 million. Within two years I had lost almost all of the money.

And it wasn't money on paper. It was money in "real life". If I tell you how I lost it you would hate me forever. That's ok. But it's not important for this answer.

"Failure" is a word used to label a past event. That's 100% up to you how you label a past event.

When you label a past event "failure" it prevents you from moving beyond the past. You get stuck there. You keep time traveling to the moment of failure under the excuse that there is something to learn there.

The thing you learn first is forgiveness. Then you move back to the present. Get healthy. Be around people you love. Start being creative again.

Study:  When you get a question wrong on a test, a good student doesn't call it a failure.

It's a pointer to one single question wrong on a test. Study a bit more next time and you won't get that question wrong anymore.

Understand and study and remember the correct answer. Don't keep living in the past where you remember the wrong answer.

Athletes always go over their losses. They study videos. Go over games. Get advice from coaches. The coach doesn't say, "here's where you failed!"

He says, "here's where you should turn right instead of turn left."

Botvinnik, the World Chess Champion in the 1950s, noticed he often lost chess games to people who smoked.

So he would play practice games against people who would smoke in his face.

He didn't say "I fail against smokers". He became the World Chess Champion because of smokers.

"Failure" is not a detail you can learn from. Again, it's a label that describes nothing except a feeling inside of you.

Details are what you can study and learn from.

Hard Problems:

The key to success is to solve hard problems. Searching the Internet is hard. Google does it better than anyone.

Making an electric car is hard. Tesla does it better than anyone.

Figuring out a market for post-it notes was hard. The inventor tried for over 20 years. Now it's 3M's most successful consumer product.

Writing a book is hard. Maybe your last book was bad. That's ok. That happens to everyone's first book. Now read a lot of good books so you can solve the hard problem of what makes a good book. Then write.

Failure is not a hard problem. It's a label. Failure is in the past. Hard problems can be solved right now.

Don't Care:

When I thought I had failed, what I really was worried about was: would other people think I was a failure?

Yes. Yes they did.

When I stopped caring about that, when I took the word out of my vocabulary, I suddenly stopped caring what people thought.

Then what happened? Only good things.

My dad failed. He had a company that went bankrupt. He went broke.

Then he got depressed. He couldn't stop thinking about the failure.

Then he got sick. He was always sick. Because his body broke down from obsessing on the failure.

Then he got a stroke. Depression + stress + sick = stroke. Then he never recovered and for two years he never moved and could only blink.

Then he died.

I've started a lot of businesses. Some worked. Some didn't. Over a period of many many years. MANY.

I hope I've solved a lot of hard problems. Maybe not the best I could've but I tried. And then tried again.

I've slipped on the ice rink and got up. I've cried and wished I were dead but then I started asking questions.

Lots of questions. Lots of studying. Lots of learning. I've never failed.

I am still alive.

Why is failure good?

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