How to Use Your Brain (According to Neuroscience)

This post is part of our Summer Scale Up series. We’re helping you accomplish more.

What do neuroscientists have to say about how we should use our brains? Let’s dive in!

The OG Power Processor
Currently, the top-of-the line Mac Pro (not a MacBook–Apple’s $4,000 desktop machine) tops out at around 7teraflops per second in processing power. The human brain is estimated to be able to process almost 350x faster–closer to 1 Petaflop per second. Our brains are great at evaluating information. See how the Harvard researcher came up with this estimate.

Storage Problems
Our brains aren’t so good at storing information–especially short-term storage. Researcher George Miller showed that when we have more than 7 items in our short-term memories, our ability to make good decisions drops significantly. See his findings and learn about Miller’s Law.

So what does this mean for you and how you use your brain? First, try to delegate memory and project-management like duties to software. Take pressure off yourself to remember everything you’re working on. Instead, spend your brain power processing information and using logic to find pathways forward. You’ll be much better at that than a machine will be.

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Productivity: MIT’s Research on Being More Productive

This weekly Brain Boost is part of our Summer Scale Up series.

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What do the best researchers in the world have to say about productivity? Funny you ask… we found out! Here’s what a team of 3 MIT economists learned will help you be productive:

Increase Your Betweenness Centrality
Betweenness Centrality is a fancy way of saying that you benefit from being in the middle of many discussions. For example, knowing a little bit about a lot of projects benefits you. It also benefits you to have one foot in many different social groups rather than knowing everyone from one social group. Learn more about betweenness centrality here.

Learn to Use People Databases
People who can use people databases like LinkedIn are much more productive. For example, learning how to use Boolean search techniques to navigate your LinkedIn network is a high-value skill that we teach in our Career Hacking course.

Learn to Signal
The MIT research also shows that learning to digitally signal other people about your work enables you to be much more productive. For example, sending automated emails, chat notifications, or social network updates about your work are digital signals. Three great automated signaling tools are: –
BufferApp
MailButler
Yet Another Mail Merge

Here’s a discounted link to Eazl’s Advanced Management Training Program: http://bit.ly/eazlss15yt

Here’s the original research from MIT’s team.

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Facebook Advertising 101: The Basics of Facebook Ads

Learn the Building Blocks of Using Facebook’s Ad System (new course coming soon to courses.eazl.co)

Everything in Facebook’s ad ecosystem is about what you want people to do when they see your ads. The campaign OBJECTIVE is important because it will impact how your ad is delivered to Facebook users. For example, if you select “Traffic” Facebook will target users more likely to click your link and if you select “Engagement” it will use data to target people who are more likely comment, like, and share.

Facebook sees ads as a three-part funnel: Awareness → Consideration → Conversions and each of the 10 objectives is centered around one of these three steps (these change often so forgive if they’re not the exact same when you see this video).

Once you pick your campaign-level objective, you’ll define an audience, budget, and schedule in an AD SET that’s part of that campaign.

Then, you’ll design the ADS in your ad set, which can be in one of five formats:
1. Photo Ads
2. Video Ads
3. Carousel Ads
4. Slideshow Ads
5. Collection Ads

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LinkedIn Tips: Give People Public Recognition for Good Work + Get Profile Views

When I think about how professional social networking is evolving, it makes me happy. More and more, I see people who used to be silent observers speaking up. I see them giving thanks, talking about causes they believe in, and responding to other people’s ideas. In this past, it was only the outspoken people and the crazies who were active on social media. I like to see these networks–especially LinkedIn–getting more SOCIAL.

☞ Are you on LinkedIn? Let’s connect! Send me a request!

Recently, I publicly thanked a group of people through a LinkedIn post. These people helped me develop an international marketing strategy and I felt like our MBA program–the way we were connected to one another–deserved a shout-out on LinkedIn. So I took advantage of the tagging feature on LinkedIn and tagged each of them plus the people who run the program in the post. Man, it worked!

Within a few days, the post had more than 3,000 views and nearly 30 post engagements. That’s a pretty successful post! Looking back on it, being friendly, giving people a public “thank you,” and tagging your own business in the post is a win-win-win.

So next time you want to let your network know that one of your colleagues, clients, or peers did something worth sharing take the time to be kind, be public, and tag them in your post.

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How Startup Funding Works

Let’s talk about 💰 and new business ventures. The most important thing for a new venture is that has a product or service that people really love. The second most important thing is that the team is able to get the money they need to be able to tell people about what they’re doing. They need to grow their audience. So, how did this usually work?

Funding Rounds
Usually, each time a business receives investment from outside people (not banks) they’re selling some kind of ownership stake in the company. For example, if your dad invests $25,000 to help you get started with the understanding he’ll get an ownership percentage later, that would be a funding “round.”

If a year later, a group of 3 angel investors got together and each put in $50,000 to buy some of the company, that’s a “funding round” too. And if you did really well and a venture capital fund invests $2 million later, that’s a “round” too.

Most people would call your dad’s investment a “Friends & Family” round, the angel investor funding a “Seed” or “Angel” round, and the venture capital investment (the third step) a “Series A” round.

Angel Investors
Angel investors are usually the first people to invest in a company after the founder herself or the founder’s friends & family gets things moving. Angel Investors usually put in relatively small amounts of money and often work actively to help the company make progress.

In the real world, you’ll often run into “Angel Groups” like the North Bay Angels who were involved with Eazl in the early days. These groups are clubs for angel investors who look at companies together and sometimes partner up to make investments in startups. The individuals in the groups usually like to ask the other angel investors what they think before they make an investment.

Venture Capital Funding
Once the company shows that people really interested in whatever it has created, the company might be able to get venture capital funding. The Series A round usually means the first time venture capitalists invest in a company, and usually they make an investment of $1-5 million.

If the company successfully grows using the Series A money, it can raise a larger amount of venture capital money which would be the Series B round and so fourth.

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Direct Brain/Computer Integration is (Really) Close

How soon will human brains and computers be one? The technology is advancing fast. Faster than you might think. Interestingly, advanced human/machine integrations seems to have built a lot of momentum by helping people with disabilities overcome their disabilities and even be stronger by augmenting their human capabilities with machine capabilities.

Modified Humans
Rob Spence is blind in one eye and is a filmmaker so naturally, he decided to replace his eyeball with a camera. Now, he’s one of the many humans who are getting modified. Also, a team at Stanford has successfully enabled a paralyzed woman to type by building direct connections with her brain.

What’s Going on at Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook has been leading the charge in the human/machine integration area and the person leading this effort is a former head of the US Department of Defense’s Innovation squad. Her name is Regina Dugan and you can follow her on Facebook. Currently, they’re building systems that enable people to type at 100 wpm by decoding brain activity, decoding it into “virtual speech,” and deploying it as text. They’re also working on a way for humans to *hear through their skin*!

Towards Computer/Human Oneness
Here are some ways to keep up with what’s happening with computer / human integration:

Follow Facebook Building 8’s Regina Dugan
Connect with Dustin Tyler, an engineering professor who is at the front lines of developing physical objects that can feel, on LinkedIn
Follow Rob Spence, the guy with the camera eye who is working actively on this stuff at and check out his work and TED Talks

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Ethereum is more important than Bitcoin

On June 6th of 2017, people owned $23.4 billion worth of Ether. That’s the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum ecosystem–a system that claims that it will be the “new internet.” The people building this ecosystem aren’t crazy, either. Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and Toyota are just a few of the 100+ enterprises betting big that Ethereum is the future of contracts, money, and business management.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin
Ethereum is a blockchain-based technology like Bitcoin but while Bitcoin is primarily used for transferring money between individuals, Ethereum’s technology includes one huge evolution: Smart Contracts. Smart contracts are basically the combination of agreements between people and automatic flows of money based on the rules of the contract. So, for example, a marketer, a developer, and an investor could all enter into a smart contract that says that each person gets ⅓ of the money created from a new piece of software that the developer builds, the marketer sells, and the investor funds… and all of these distributions will be made automatically… and maybe even outside country-specific financial systems. This dramatic lowering of transaction costs has huge implications for banks, insurance companies, workers, and governments.

Big Companies are Paying Attention
Already, companies like Accenture, JP Morgan, Microsoft, BP, and more than 100 other enterprises have formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which is is connecting these huge companies with startups to find ways of using their technologies at scale. Toyota is even working on using an Ethereum system to manage a fleet of self-driving cars.

How to Learn More 
1: Follow Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, on Twitter
2: Read a post on Ethereum and the DAO or “decentralized autonomous organization” to get familiar with some of the early successes and obstacles of this area of innovation
3: Learn more about the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
4: Buy yourself a little bit of Ether at Coinbase — just try it out with as little as $5 to get yourself familiar

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How Blockchain will Revolutionize the World’s Data

🎥 Ludell Jones, Eazl’s Marketing Director, has been publishing some awesome vlogs about the day in the life of a modern marketer. Check out her latest installation here 🎥

Big Blockchain Data
We live in a world where owning data is the way that companies compete but as more industries–from finance to insurance to ecommerce–transition to more secure and scalable blockchain-based systems, things in the world of data will change. Some people are calling this “the industrialization of data.” Read more here.

Facebook’s Data Factory
Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organizations in the world and Serbian CS professor Vladan Joler has been leading a massive project to map the massive Facebook data collecting machine. See tons of beautiful maps and original articles about his team’s findings here.

AI-proof Jobs
The new mantra in the labor market is that robots and artificial intelligence are going to take over everything. But for those who don’t want to work in artificial intelligence or robotics, there are some “robot-proof” careers, at least for now. According to some experts, they are: creative folks, healthcare practitioners, child care workers, engineers, teachers, human resources executives, and traditionally blue-collar jobs like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Read about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’s take here.

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There are Big Opportunities in Craft Products

Big brands like Coke, Budweiser, and FritoLay are seriously vulnerable to locally-made craft competitors. I think that there are big opportunities to take market share and then either hold it or sell a craft brand you’ve built on to big firms for large amounts of money. This Brain Boost is all about these big opportunities for smart, locally-focused, craft entrepreneurs.

The Craft Beer Takeover
In 2006, around 8m barrels of craft beer was shipped in the US. A decade later, in 2016, nearly 24m barrels of craft beer was made–nearly triple in just 10 years. Meanwhile–who was losing out? It was Budweiser. During the same period, Budweiser’s US shipments halved. That’s why AB InBev, Budweiser’s Europe-based parent company, has bought 10 American craft brewers in the last 10 years.What we’re seeing in beer makes sense to replicate in many other product categories: a locally-made, craft production takeover.

Craft Producers Have a Sustainable Advantage: Authenticity
Stanford MBA professor Glenn Carroll recently ran a massive survey which found that what drives sales in advanced economies like those in Europe, Australia, and the US is authenticity. He said “consumers are buying on the basis of their interpretation of the product and its story.” Craft products will always have a better story than industrial products because people want to feel a connection to the creators of a product.

Many Sectors with Opportunities
There are so many vulnerable product categories that it’s basically a menu for local teams ready to capture market share in their cities. Sodas and sparkling water is the fastest growing category and others include beer, liquor, and cider, snack foods, healthy packaged foods, dishware and ceramics and many more.

Our staff here at Eazl would be interested in helping your team take market share with locally-made products. Reach out to us any time at care@eazl.co–let’s talk!

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Three Ways to Build a More Supportive Family and Friend Network

You might like Eazl’s new course on giving great feedback. Here’s a link that will save you $5.

When you’re trying to launch something new, it’s critical to get some early momentum. Many of us hope that our family and friends will be the first people to support our work and if they don’t it can be hard. Recently, I launched a campaign to raise awareness about how we can use new laws to shift more than 1% (the current percentage) of the United States’ $1.4tn of personal savings to local communities (find out more at www.thebigdeal.us).

The campaign is making steady progress but I’ve been disappointed with the support I’ve received from some of the people in my close personal network. Part of that is my fault and in this Brain Boost, I’ve shared 3 recipes that have helped our family network learn to be more supportive of one another. I thought I’d share them with you.

Strategy #1: Build the habit of celebrating small wins. You can find Harvard’s research behind this here.

Strategy #2: Teach your family and friends how to use social media well. Specifically, using hashtags and profile tagging will make their social media support much more effective.

Strategy #3: Build a culture that supports progress. When you’re doing something that will take a while to build, you need people to help you stay focused by reminding you of your progress. You should do the same for them.

Have you had an experience when your family and friends network didn’t support you?

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