Tuesday, 3 June 2014

New Preface to My Book

Ever since I wrote the Art of Influencing Anyone, I have been giving out free copies of the book to friends and their friends. One day, when I was in a gathering, a stranger suddenly came to me and asked, “Are you the bloke who wrote the Art of Influencing Anyone?”

“Yes, I am.” As I replied, I scrutinised the chap who spoke to me. He was a good-looking young fellow in his early twenties. I didn’t think I had ever met him before though.

“It’s nice to meet you. My name is John,” he said. “I read your book. It was given to me by a friend. I must say I’m very impressed by your ideas.”

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Stone Soup: How to Turn NO into YES

Stone Soup - In the Portuguese city of Almeirim, many restaurants serve a very special dish known as the sopa de pedra, or "stone soup" in English. Literally, it is a soup in which you can find some hard, inedible stones along with other ingredients. So why do the Portuguese have such a strange soup on their menu? There is actually a story behind it.
Once upon a time, a monk travelled to a village during horrible weather. He had no money with him, and he was very hungry. When he came to one of the houses in the village to ask for shelter, a woman answered the door, and when she saw the poor traveler, she said:

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Robot that Everyone Loves to Talk to

A Surefire Method to Talk to Anyone - In 1960s, an MIT professor invented a "chatting robot" that could start a conversation with any human. Most people fell in love with the robot just after a few interchanges, and some even treated it as a good friend, and shared their personal secrets with it. However, the program actually couldn't comprehend any human speech. It just used a silly trick to fool people into thinking it was listening.
In 1966, Professor Joseph Weizenbaum of Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) wrote a little computer program called ELIZA. It was essentially a "chatting robot" - its only function was to start a conversation with a human user. For example, if the user typed "I'm sad today" into the program, then the program may respond with something like, "Why are you sad today?" And the conversation goes on from there.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Motivating People with a Magic Symbol

A Sigil That Increases ProductivityOnce upon a time, there was a factory where the workers just wouldn’t produce. Even though the company had already tried everything on the workers, they just remained lazy. Many capable managers came and went, but things just didn’t improve. Suddenly, a business maestro came up with a brilliant idea. All he did was draw a strange symbol on the floor, and the productivity shot up immediately.

American steel magnate Charles M. Schwab (1862-1939) was renowned for his brilliant management skills. During the early 1900s, one of his steel mills was always producing much less than it were supposed to, and even though Schwab had already switched a couple of managers of the mill, there wasn’t any sign of improvement. Therefore, Schwab decided to visit the plant personally.

Friday, 28 March 2014

How to Rob a Bank with Simple Phone Calls

A Computer Fraud Without A Computer - In the Guinness World Records book, there is a certain record known as the "biggest computer fraud." Most peculiarly, even though the record holder did steal a substantial sum of money, it actually didn't involve any computer hacking at all. The fraud was made possible with just some impersonation tricks.
Stanley Mark Rifkin was a computer contractor who worked for the Security Pacific National Bank in Los Angeles. His job was to develop a backup system for the wire room's data, which gave him access to the transfer procedures inside the bank. Soon, he was familiar with the way it operated, and he found himself a chance to make a fortune.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Predict Market Turns with Contrarian Wisdom

Euphoria Brings Disaster - In 1720, everyone was buying the shares of the South Sea Company, a symbol of British domination, New World imagination and economic prosperity. However, the company management knew that the share price was no match of its dismal earnings, so they sold them secretly in summer and hoped no one would notice. Sadly, the news ran wild and sparked a panic selling. The once-expensive certificates became worthless pieces of paper overnight.
History repeats itself, especially in the stock market. Every bull market starts and ends in an almost identical fashion. The price rises as people rush into buying shares, hoping that the price will go even higher. Then, after everyone has exhausted his last penny, there are suddenly no more buyers left, and the market collapses in no time.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Magic Touch: Get People to Like You Upon Contact

A Strange Negotiation Tactic - When a police negotiator has finally convinced a dangerous person to give up and surrender, they usually do something very strange: they touch the shoulder or arm of the target. Even though it may sound a little trivial, the negotiator is actually encouraged to do this in training. Why is it so important for a police negotiator to touch their targets physically? 
A long time ago, there was a woman on my sales team called Flora. She was not particularly attractive, and her selling skill was just average. However, her performance was always one of the top in the team, and it got me curious. In order to find out how she achieved that, I secretly observed her for a period of time.