Category Archives: Links

Cool links

A great human

Movie critic Roger Ebert has lost his voice, his ability to eat and drink and most of his jaw to cancer, but as this fantastic interview in Esquire shows, the man still has a lot to say.

Towards the end of the article, he sums up his life philosophy:

I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts.

We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

That’s it – we’re here to be happy and make others happy. That’s the meaning of life.

Also, you can tell from the article that Ebert is still happy at work – indeed that writing is a large part of what keeps him going.

Go read the whole interview – it’s great! It had me in tears by the end.

Happy links

LinksHere are some great, recent, happiness-related links. There are many more at my happy link collection.

London based innovation agency ?What If! talk about the importance of good food at work.

We also believe that good food helps create good ideas – not only is it hard going trying to work without a good breakfast in your tummy, but there’s the fact that new and exciting foods can act as another great piece of stimulus to get your those brain cells pumping!

They believe in it so much that they have a team called Food is Love that provides catering for their customers. You can also get their recipe for cup cakes at the linnk above – I’ve tried them, they’re delicious. And I could not agree more: Food is vital to all human activities and it’s no coincidence that all our major traditions have food at their core.

A Dutch study shows that taking people down a peg impairs their thinking.

Study shows that simply putting someone into a weak social position impairs his cognitive function. Conversely, “empowering” him, in the dread jargon of sociology, sharpens up his mind.

Oldie-but-goodie from Fast Company and Terese Amabile: The 6 myths of creative thinking.

The 6 myths are:
1. Creativity Comes From Creative Types
2. Money Is a Creativity Motivator
3. Time Pressure Fuels Creativity
4. Fear Forces Breakthroughs
5. Competition Beats Collaboration
6. A Streamlined Organization Is a Creative Organization

Way cool: Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit

After a week Zappo says to its newest employees: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit!

Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on the offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment they are looking for.

Bonus link: I defy you to watch this video of dancing NASA employees without smiling.

You can find many more happy links here.

Some ridiculous quotes from some stupid book about (get this) happiness at work

Happy Hour is 9 to 5Jørgen Larsen just finished reading my book and has blogged some of his favorite quotes from it. Thanks Jørgen!

Also, Billy Waters just updated his fantastic mind map of Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick. Mind mapping an entire book is an excellent way to preserve the salient points for yourself and Billy gets all the important stuff in there.

Semler’s two books Maverick and The Seven-Day Weekend are some of the best and most important books I’ve ever read about happiness at work and they’ve been a huge inspiration to my work.

Billy has also promised to do a mind map of my book and I can’t wait to see it.

And there’s more great news on my book:

Eu-phoric and other -phorics

Johnnie Moore and Rob Paterson have come up with a podcast interview format they call phoric in which the interviewee picks three youtube videos to set a theme for the conversation.

I immediately jumped at the chance to participate, and here are my three clips:

The opening from Love Actually.

A fantastic Coca-Cola ad.

Randy Pausch’s last lecture.

Try and guess what my theme is :o)

You can hear the resulting conversation here – there’s a short 10-minute version and an extended director’s cut.

Happy link collection weekly roundup

Links by you!Here are this week’s highest rated links from the Happiness at Work Link Collection:

25 Ways to Improve Your Mood When People Around You Are Miserable. Includes 2: Make friends, 3: Do things you love, 6: Take a walk, 11: Smile, 25: Get out of the office

Learn How to Take Criticism. “Criticism is your friend. Love it, embrace it, cherish it, cultivate it, and most importantly, never fear it.”

2008 Sick Day Calendar. “A new year is upon us and that means it’s time for the Official Sick Day Calendar from your friends at Jobacle. Get your excuses ready now! Remember, only a sucker loses days at the end the year!”

Do What you Love and Money Will Follow. A study of business school graduates tracked the careers of 1,500 people from 1960 to 1980. From the beginning, the graduates were grouped into two categories. Category A consisted of people who said they wanted to make money first so they could do what they really wanted to do later after they took care of their financial concerns. Those in category B pursued their interests first, sure that the money eventually would follow. After 20 years, there were 101 millionaires in the group. Only one came from category A, 100 from category B.

Work-Life Balance: A Conspiracy of Optimism. “Work-Life balance is, at best, a fabrication. At worst, a cruel hoax. It’s time to stop believing all the hype. As adults, we well understand that it’s never been a question of balance. It’s always been a question of choice. As the Spanish proverb reminds us: “Take what you want, says God, just pay for it.”

You can find more great links about happiness at work here – and you can vote for your favorites. You can also contribute great links yourself.

Revyr: Rating workplaces

Happy at work

What if you could figure out what a workplace is like – before you even apply for a job there?

Revyr is a new website that just launched in beta – and Revyr lets you do just that. Employees can rate their workplaces and potential job candidates can then see what a company is like, based on metrics like pay, culture, benefits, csr and others.

In my opinion this is a great idea – and a wonderful tool that will make it easier to find jobs we’ll love! I had a chance to tinker with the site a little, and while it is obviously still a beta, the user interface is excellent and the vision behind it is solid.

I recently interviewed Jake Taylor of Revyr about the site and his dreams for it.

I think an employee rating site is a great idea – one whose time has well and truly come. What brought you to this idea?
In Australia and most developed countries, there is a massive shortage in quality staff at the moment this has meant that employees now have more power in the relationship simply because of scarcity. This has lead to extreme wage inflation but also companies realising that they need to treat their staff well, otherwise they will simply walk to a competing firm.

The idea was founded because we realised that key stats about the culture of the business where not available. We think its important, both on an employee and employer level that there is transparency. At the present, new employers are being sold a blackbox and this can lead to incompatibility between these two parties.

What is your biggest hope for the site? What do you dream of achieving with it?
We have big dreams for Revyr. We want it to become the one and only destination for people researching prospective employers and also when looking for a new job.

Our main hope for the site is to put pressure on companies to better their workplaces, to make people happy both inside and outside the office.

Bringing transparency to the employment market, letting job seekers see what a company is like before you start work there, is obviously a great idea for potential employees. What do you think your site can do for the companies?
We will add value to employers, so they can see in real time the opinions of their workplace. This can be used by firms to add a competitive advantage so that they can be ahead of the ball and attract the best possible candidates.

In addition to this, each company listed on Revyr has every job available at the company (from a database of 5 million jobs) therefore we provide free advertising of these open positions, which will increase the number of candidates applying.

However due to the nature of Revyr, the companies with the better overall score will receive more of a benefit (in terms of free exposure of job ads)

You rank companies on ten factors including Autonomy, Benefits, Pay and CSR. Why those ten? Were there others that you considered, but which didn’t make the cut?
We originally only had Culture, Benefits, Pay and CSR. However we realised that this was an insufficient gauge as to the quality of the employer – so we added the others.

We used informal research by asking friends and family – what makes a good workplace? With this, we noticed that there where many attributes that make up a good workplace. The 10 we decided to use where the 10 most frequently referred to by the people we asked.

I’m delighted that CSR, the degree to which a company is socially responsible, is in there. How come you included that one?
One thing that we realised when doing our informal research was the importance people placed on the companies negative impact on the environment. We included it not only because people believed it was an important factor but also because it signifies that the company is progressive in nature. Companies such as and Google are examples where companies can proactively lessen the impact they have on the environment.

You know, I tried to search for Revyr on Revyr, but I couldn’t find it. Is it that bad a workplace? :-)
We are a pretty small team here, with a workforce that is globally dispersed. We at Revyr don’t think of it as work :)

And finally: What makes you happy at work?
I think what really makes me happy is when I look back and realise that what we have created has had a positive impact on other people.

Check out Revyr or read the Revyr blog.


Please join me on C4

C4I previously wrote about my good friends on C4 and how they’re helping Africa by letting people like you and me invest in small African businesses.

They are now moving into an open beta and are looking for more people to use the system. Won’t you join me there?

I’ve been using it for a while now and have already invested in a group of 6 women who want to sell auto spare parts and in Sulaiman Bulega (shown in the picture) who is going to expand the selection of office stationery in his store.

The really cool thing here is not only that helping people in the third world feel great – I also stand to get my investments back, with interest. So far, all the investments on the site have been repaid in full, meaning the default rate on the loans is lower than in banks in developed nations.

It’s really simple to join the site and to use it – but you will have to put at least 150 Euro (about 200 USD) in your account which you can then immediately invest in Africa.

In my opinion, THIS is how we will help the third world. Not by giving away money and aid but through investments and trade.

I urge you to join C4 – read all about it here and join here.


CreteI’m enjoying a week’s wonderful vacation in Greece. We’re talking warm weather, lots of sights, great beaches and time with my family and wonderful girlfriend. Wooo-hoooo!

In the meantime, why not check out the happy links collection, where you can:

  • Find great links, stories and blogposts about happiness at work
  • Vote on the stories you like
  • Submit your own stories or links about happiness at work

There are lots of great stories on there already – and more are always welcome :o)

Go to the Happy At Work Link Collection.

Happy links roundup

CraniumHere are the best recent stories from the Happy Link Collection:

Being nice saved this McDonald’s. A McDonald’s owner feels the squeeze when a Taco Bell opens next door. Instead of cutting costs, he fights back by going nice: “Bigari started giving no–interest loans to employees to cover things like new tires, rental deposits, medicine and emergency babysitters. He worked with a local church to help employees get daycare, and he started buying inexpensive cars at police auctions and selling them to employees at cost.”

Why growth no longer makes us happier. “The formula for human well-being used to be simple: Make money, get happy. So why is the old axiom suddenly turning on us?” (txh Kareem).

Small company hires a happiness manager. “The owner decided to only hire people who where happy! That’s right if she didn’t feel that you weren’t a really happy person, you didn’t get the job. She went even further and hired a Happiness Manager. His job is as you might expect, is to find ways to keep her happy employees….HAPPY!”

Also: Happy at work in South KoreaThe science of lasting happinessWhy happiness at work is like marriageSchedule play at workA 10-second experiment in negative thinking.

And finally, you gotta see this video from game company Cranium, a truly happy company whose office is laid out like the board of their first board game:

Find more links, vote on your favorites and submit your own stories, articles or blogposts at the happy link collection.

And have a spectacularly happy weekend :o)