Hiring the right people for your Startup

Note: You can jump to Personality Plus Test here if you are already familiar with the four temperaments that are discussed below.

More and more companies are using Personality Tests to get the right people for the right positions. For example, if you are Technology Startup and hiring Developers, would you rather hire someone who is very talkative, extrovert, forgetful, not detail-oriented, doesn’t like to follow rules and regulations or someone who is calm, introvert, detail-oriented, persistent, thorough etc? I think the answer is obvious. But let’s say you were hiring a Sales Manager, I think again the answer would be obvious.. you wouldn’t choose an introvert for a Sales position.

The problem is, interview setting is a professional setting, so you don’t really see the real personality or the temperament of a person at interviews. Therefore, more and more companies are now starting to give Personality Tests to the candidates prior to the interview session. Knowing which temperaments are dominant in candidate’s personality will give you a better understanding of the candidate during the interview itself.

Personality Plus

One of such personality tests is Personality Plus which was created by Florence Littauer. It’s one of the popular ones among others, probably due to its straight-forwardness and easily understood nature.

She has divided people into four groups:

  • Choleric – considered to be leader and commander types, being dominant, strong, decisive, and occasionally arrogant. They tend to be good leaders because they are driven to get things done, however they might offend some people along the way. Cholerics are also known as the “Powerful” type. 

    Some famous examples are Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, Phil Donahue, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Bill O’Reilly.

  • Melancholy – described by Littauer to be the mental types, with their personality displaying a strong emphasis on thinking, evaluation, and assessment. Their typical behaviour involves thinking, assessing, making lists, evaluating the positives and negatives, and general analysis of facts. They love maps, charts and graphs. They are usually the most intelligent of the four types, however they tend to dwell on details. A Melancholy is a planner, making sure things happen, although sometimes they can paralyze themselves with over-analysis. Lists and “doing things the right way” are characteristics of this personality type. Melancholies are also known as the “Perfect” type. 

    Some famous examples are Hillary Clinton, Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh and Beethoven.

  • Sanguine – is a social personality type, displaying characteristics such as a predisposition to socialize and entertain. They enjoy fun, socializing, chatting, telling stories – and are fond of promising the world, because that’s the friendly thing to do. A Sanguine gets on well with people and can get others excited about issues, but cannot always be relied upon to get things done. They love interacting with others and play the role of the entertainer or center of attention in group interactions. They have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver. Sanguines are also known as the “Popular” type. 

    Some famous examples are Bill Clinton, Robin Williams, Kelly Ripa and Richard Simmons.

  • Phlegmatic – described as having a flat-type personality, being laid back and desiring a peaceful environment above all else. They are easy going, laid back, nonchalant, unexcitable and relaxed. Desiring a quiet and peaceful environment above all else. They tend not to actively upset people, but their indifference may frustrate people. They try not to make decisions, and generally go for the status quo. They are good as mediators because they don’t usually have many enemies. They also have a “dry” and quick sense of humor. Phlegmatics are also known as the “Peaceful” type. 

    Some famous examples are Calvin Coolidge, Tim Duncan, Sandy Koufax, and Keanu Reeves.

Four temperaments can further be grouped into two: Extroverts and Introverts. Sanguine & Cholerics are naturally extroverts, and Melancholy & Phlegmatics are naturally introverted people.

personality_plus

It’s important to note that, normally each person will have two temperaments, one dominant and another slightly less dominant. For example, your primary temperament could be Choleric, but your secondary temperament could be Melancholy.

Before you use personality tests in your hiring process. Go ahead and test your own personality with this Personality Plus Test that I have created. If you like it, please share it with others. Enjoy!

Zapier – Automate the Obvious

If you are a fan of IFTTT, then you will love Zapier too. Zapier is like an advanced version of IFTTT that is primarily targeted on power users and web developers.

Below is a recipe of mine that I created, it does the following; when I forward particular email to Zapier email, it creates a new card in my Trello account, in the predefined Dashboard, under the “To-Do” column. Attachments of the email is also passed on to Trello card as attachments. You can also tag particular default users to the newly created card. It just saves tons of time..

zapier

Continue reading

Usability: Delete Confirmations Done Right

Here is a great way of implementing delete confirmations in web app interfaces. It’s intuitive and usable. It’s done within the same “delete” button but with an extra click. This is how it works, you click once on the button and it will change its state to confirmation button, you click again to confirm deletion.

It’s way better than the overlay popups in the middle of the screen or other too creative ways that go counter-intuitive to the usability of the web app.

delete action done right

It’s from Zapier.com, kudos to them for making their UI user-friendly.

OhLife Alternative

It’s a shame that OhLife is shutting down. If you didn’t know what it was, it was a service where it periodically (eg; daily, weekly, monthly, depending on what you choose) sent you an email asking “How was your day today?”. You would just reply back to the same email describing your day, week, month, and it would save it in your account in OhLife.com.

And one of my favorite bits of the service was, it would include a random post from your life, saying; “Oh snap, remember this? 175 days ago you wrote…” (see above screenshot).

What I liked about the service was, it was not a burden, it was very easy to use, it didn’t force you to write. If you didn’t want, you would just ignore the reminder email and just enjoy the random post from your life.

Well, now that the service is shutting down, how can you record your life in a similar fashion?

OhLife Alternative via IFTTT

If you are not familiar with IFTTT (if this then that) service, then please check this post first. I have created a recipe in IFTTT that will do the following: Everytime you send an email with the subject #OhLife to trigger@recipe.ifttt.com it will save that email in your GoogleDocs. New entries will be added as a new row in the spreadsheet. Date and email content will be saved in the document.  Continue reading

How to Find Pro UI Designers for Your Startup

Say, you have an idea for a startup which you would like to build MVP (minimum viable product i.e most basic version) of it but don’t know any decent UI designer who can visualize your idea and turn it into this amazing User Interface; the likes of Instagram and other similar cool apps.

If you have done web or mobile app projects of your own before, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – it’s a challenge to find pro User Interface designers.

Most of the time, prior to deciding if you should hire full-time developers and designers for your startup, optimal and cost-effective thing to do would be to outsource MVP version to freelancers. Hiring of full time staff can come later, once the app achieves product/market-fit.

For this reason, you would normally want someone who is pro and available for freelance work. Many sites like oDeskFreelancer, Elance, DesignCrowd etc have these kind of resources. But it’s really a pain to find the right person.

Melting pot for Great, Pro Designers

But there is a great platform where all the professional designers hang around, and that is on Dribbble. It’s a place where designers showcase their work and peers feedback and “like” each others’ work. It’s also a great place to find the right designer for your startup idea.

Continue reading

How to Watch Netflix and Hulu Outside of US

Netflix and Hulu are popular VOD (Video On Demand) services in the United States. Unfortunately it takes ages for these services to come to countries like Malaysia. Spotify took more than a year after it launched its services in the US in July 2011.

Luckily, with little bit of tweaks here and there, you can watch these US restricted services anywhere in the world. In this post, I will cover how this can be done. You don’t have to be technical person to do this.

1. Get a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

What this means is that, you connect to a server that is based in the US, and all your connections to sites like Netflix and Hulu and the internet in general will be treated as if your computer is located in the US. That is because, you will be connecting to internet via the US server and not directly from your own computer which has a Malaysian IP address for example.

Free vs Paid VPNs

There are a lot of free VPNs out there. However you need to be cautious when you are using these free services. Because you wouldn’t know if they are really secure and private as they claim to be. Or some of the services could be setup with a malicious intent – that is to steal people’s data. For this reason, while you are connected to VPN, never ever do online banking or check your emails or login to Facebook etc. Especially, when you are using the free services.

Another disadvantage of the free VPN services, since they are free, many people will be using them. Therefore, the connection might not be very stable as the bandwidth gets clogged and connection might get disconnected often. This will definitely spoil your Netflix experience.

Below we will cover three types of VPNs; Continue reading

How to Backup All Your Instagram Photos

In light of the latest brouhaha over the Instagram Terms of Service, this might be a good time for you to back up all your Instagram photos. Just to be safe, you know!

Below I will address two ways to backup your Instagram pictures; 1 – your existing Instagram pictures and
2 – a way to auto-backup all your future Instagram pictures as well.

Backing up all your existing Instagram photos

Instaport is a great way to backup all your existing Instagram photos. It’s very simple to use, all you need to do is to connect using your instagram login and all your Instagram pictures will be zipped and ready for you to download.

Website: http://web2.instaport.me

How to auto backup all your future Instagram Pictures

Using two great tools, IFTTT and Dropbox, you can auto backup all your future Instagram photos to your Dropbox as they are posted by you in your Instagram account. I have previously blogged about ifttt here. Continue reading

Tweet links to your Delicious.com account

Problem

Often times I come across a great resource on the web and I want to bookmark it. I usually use Delicious.com to save and manage all my bookmarks. However, sometimes when I’m browsing the web via mobile, I can’t really save the links to my Delicious account, especially when I’m using a specific app, so normally I will do one of the following:

  1. Send the link to myself via email, so that I can bookmark it later when I check my mail on my notebook.
  2. Send to Readability app, if it’s something I want to read later.
  3. Tweet the link (if it is something that will benefit my twitter followers) so that I can favorite it and it will be thus bookmarked on my Favorites list. Yes, I use Twitter’s Favorites list as my bookmark page :) That’s why I suggested to @twitter to do something about it.

The Solution

Luckily there is a solution from Delicious’ side that they have introduced few months back. Basically what it does is that, it connects to your Twitter account via oAuth, and pulls all the tweets with hashtags #d. You can also select few other options, such as pulling all favorited tweets etc.

To set this up, login to your Delicious account and go to Settings > Continue reading

IFTTT – Automate the obvious

Ifttt (if this then that) is one of my favorite online tools. It’s a free automation tool for popular online tools and services. It can do a lot of stuff, below screenshot should give you some ideas on what it can do. These are some of the ready ‘recipes’ that you can use right away.

ifttt if this then that

But you can also do a lot of custom recipes of your own. If you like Google Alerts you will love Ifttt, because it can do a lot more than Google Alerts.

Website: Ifttt.com