Friday 27 February 2009

Where does inspiration come from?

What inspires us? Or, simply put, what makes us happy, or for that matter, unhappy?

It is things? As in, material things, or is it all about people?

I am often intrigued when you see an interview in a newspaper and they ask a question like "What would make you happy?", and you see an answer like "If I won the lottery." Yes, I know I am treading into tricky territory here but I have simple point to make, so please don't shoot the messenger just yet.

Many cynics are quick to shout out that it is easy to say "money doesn't buy happiness" if you are rich. And so the argument also applies to a happily married person, where the cynics would say again, and I think, rightfully so, that "money can't buy love". I don't really have a clear answer here but I do know this, that when it comes to inspiration it comes from people. And that is my view on happiness too. People inspire us, or uninspire us. People make us happy or unhappy. So, I guess there is some argument then that it has nothing to do then with material things, or cold cash.

Have you ever banged your car? A real pain! When you accidently reserve into a pole and smash up your boot it can be a real downer. But, it is soon fixed up and forgotten. But if someone lets you down it is not something you forget quickly. In the same way, if you get a new car, there is that initial buzz, and you are excited, but soon the novelty wears off. But, have you ever spent time with an energized, positive, confident, inspired person. You always look forward to spending more time with them. They inspire you! And conversely, when someone is arrogant and obnoxious you generally can't wait to part ways.

There are a bunch of other considerations, like when you read a gripping book, or when you watch a magical film, you often feel inspired afterwards. But again it all boils down to people, fictional or non-fictional. Character inspires us! And characters give us a lift! But, don't confuse character with personality - remember, personality opens doors but character keeps those doors open.

Inspiration comes from people, not from anything else.

So, if you find a good person then stick with them, because a good person is like gold!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 20 February 2009

Too cool for school

My friend Stephen in the US sent me this - it was good too good not to share

Sit comfortably and be calm. In other words, put your thinking process aside - i.e. put your brain in neutral gear.

1- Find the C below. Do not use any cursor help.


2- If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.


3- Now find the N below. It's a little more difficult.


This is NOT a joke. If you were able to pass these 3 tests, you can cancel your annual visit to your neurologist. Your brain is great and you're far from having a close relationship with Alzheimer.


Oh. One more test... Find the 44th USA President.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 14 February 2009

There are no bad businesses, only bad people

We invest in people, not in plans or ideas!

A mentor friend of mine said to me a week ago "There are no bad businesses, only bad people."

I responded with "You can pay people to come to the office, but you can't pay them to work".

Yes, you can pay people and they will indeed rock up at work each morning, and they will even look busy all day. But, good work, inspired work that is, comes from the heart. You are either into it, or you are not.

Another mentor once said that there is not one thing you can name that you can't make money out of, if you are the best at it.

Not that money is the only thing that matters, but for a business to grow and thrive it needs to make a return, and this happens because of people, and not because of some fancy idea. Sure, a good idea is important, but you can take the best idea and give it to lazy and arrogant people and they will mess it up. And, conversely, you can take the most average idea, and give it to an inspired and hard working team and they will shoot the lights out!

I have always said that I would rather be in business with someone who has a good attitude as opposed to someone who is super smart and knows it all. You can teach people to be smart, but you can't teach them to have a good attitude.

Good attitude = good business

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 7 February 2009

The banking crisis explained in simple language

I just read this on the Web:

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100.00.
The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, 'Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.'

Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'

The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.'

Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'

The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with him?

Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'

The farmer said 'You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'

Chuck said, 'Sure I can Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00.'

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'

Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him back his two dollars.'

Chuck now works for Goldman Sachs.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Buy, er, buy America

A friend of mine from America sent this to me - it was too good not to share.

This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs.
If you purchase a computer it will go to India.
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan.
If you purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan.

And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America.

You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spending it on prostitutes, beer and wine (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Sunday 1 February 2009


Can you believe it - the first month of the year is already over - wow - this is going to be one fast paced year, again!

On the Vottle side our biggest milestone at present is on the Google front - we have been approved as a Google Premium customer - we will now have the ability to customize Google ads for search so that the results are more specific to a user's search results and more attractive to click on. We have just implemented this and will be watching the results in the coming months. We will also be looking at a few other features and rolling out some further recommendations from Google in the next few weeks to hopefully push the click rate up even higher. Google estimates that we should earn some steady revenues from our Adsense efforts. If this is the case then it would mean that besides our upgrades and graphic banner advert incomes, we will have a steady stream in from Google. We will find out soon enough. All of this means that you can expect some more cool Vottling coming your way! Search engine optimization south africa is now moving forward and making moves into the search space.

Also, we had a sad loss early this month when our faithful old development server finally gave up on its duties. While this put a big dent in our development schedule for the month, it turned into a big positive with us upgrading to a big new powerful server that will no doubt improve our development abilities in the year to come!

Posted by the Vottlers