It’s Not About the Chocolate

In his podcast, Akimbo, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

  • A question that society often wrestles with is “What is culture and how do we define it?” Back in the 1930’s, economist John Maynard Keynes came up with a thesis that, for humans to be happy, they have to do everything they can to get more. With our abundance of productivity today, does that thesis still make sense?
  • The researches on many cultures tell us that culture can be defined as the common story we tell ourselves. If we tell ourselves a story that we view as normal, that is the culture. In culture, we do it because we think it makes us happy. We do it because we think it makes us fit in or stand out. Culture is what people do, people like us. If the story we tell ourselves is not making us happy, we need to tell yourself a different story.
  • There are two ideas at work here. First, we can change the story we tell ourselves. If we are open to finding a new story, one about participation or sufficiency or meaning and we can surround ourselves with ideas or even better people, we can build a new culture. That culture can make us happier, more productive, more engaged.
  • The second idea is about “having more.” Shawn Askinosie’s chocolate story is not about “having more.” Rather it is about achieving “enough” and use it as a lever and opportunity to create a new culture, a culture where it’s more likely all participants are going to be happy with this story.
  • Some might say the capitalism is enabling culture. Instead, we should think about using capitalism to enable a culture. A culture where the purpose of capitalism is to leverage trade, productivity, and engagement to make us happier.
  • We have a dilemma as people who want to influence the culture because a lot of changes that we would like to make cannot be learned or happen overnight. All the things that are important to us, that we pay for, that we wait in line for, that we remember fondly, are things that were hard-won. Those things involve nuance and sophistication. Often, they required a bit of a leap of faith, trial and error, and digging in deeper. If we are going to try to change the culture, we must make a choice; the choices are race-to-the-top or race-to-the-bottom. The problem of the race-to-the-bottom is you might win, or, worse, come in second and never mattered.
  • We do not need everyone. We do not even need a lot of people. We just need a few people who care, a few people who will enroll in the journey who need to be seen and are willing to see. If we can produce that work gradually, drip-by-drip and day-by-day, maybe we can get under people’s skin. If we can transform them, we can raise the standard. Fortunately, there are people in the world who care enough to be meaningful and specific and focused and difficult as opposed to simply chasing more.

Updated Machine Learning Templates for Python and R

As I work on practicing and solving machine learning (ML) problems, I find myself repeating a set of steps and activities repeatedly.

Thanks to Dr. Jason Brownlee’s suggestions on creating a machine learning template, I have pulled together a set of project templates that can be used to support regression ML problems using Python and R.

Version 3 of the templates contain several minor adjustments and corrections to address discrepancies in the prevision versions of the template.

You will find the templates in the Machine Learning Project Templates page.

You can also check out the sample HTML-formatted report here on GitHub.

Python Templates and Reports

R Templates and Reports


(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀











Structure Plan, Part 2

In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.


A structure plan describes how the organization is put together to support the change. The plan includes:

How to organize: To support a change, everyone in the organization needs to know what his/her part of the organization needs to do. If an organization’s basic structure is not consistent with the change we are hoping to install, it will prevent the change from taking place. This component of the plan addresses two key elements: a clear organizing strategy and the specific reporting relationships.

There needs to be clear organizing strategy. Some examples of organizing could be by product, customer segment, size, demographics, sector, channel, or function. After we make the basic organizing decision, we need to define the reporting relationships. The relationships decision can have two folds: 1) flat or deep, and 2) realign, reorganize, or integrate.

Some firms celebrate victory right after the reorganization, but that is too early. A reorganization is not the same as making the change happen.

Facilities: With the organization changes taking place, we will need to plan for the movement and positioning of the people. This component lay out the physical nature of the workplace – who sits near whom and which departments and workgroups are in proximity.

Governance: Every organization has a culture, and the culture defines how we make decisions. This plan component describes both the official process and the informal ones that precede it and surround it.

Accounting: The accounting system tracks the ownership of which expenses and revenue attributed to the change. Bob recommends doing everything we can to keep all political considerations out of the accounting changes.

Compensation: This plan component puts considerations around two concerns: whose compensation has to change, and how evaluation criteria need to change. The behaviors, attitudes, skills, and intangibles the company values for the change must be expressed through training and awareness campaigns.

Multi-Class Classification Model for Faulty Steel Plates Using R

Template Credit: Adapted from a template made available by Dr. Jason Brownlee of Machine Learning Mastery.

Dataset Used: Faulty Steel Plates

Dataset ML Model: Multi-Class classification with numerical attributes

Dataset Reference:

One potential source of performance benchmarks:

INTRODUCTION: This dataset comes from research by Semeion, Research Center of Sciences of Communication. The original aim of the research was to correctly classify the type of surface defects in stainless steel plates, with six types of possible defects (plus “other”). The Input vector was made up of 27 indicators that approximately the geometric shape of the defect and its outline. According to the research paper, Semeion was commissioned by the Centro Sviluppo Materiali (Italy) for this task and therefore it is not possible to provide details on the nature of the 27 indicators used as Input vectors or the types of the 6 classes of defects.

CONCLUSION: The baseline performance of the seven algorithms achieved an average accuracy of 69.69%. Three algorithms (Bagged CART, Random Forest, and Stochastic Gradient Boosting) achieved the top three accuracy scores after the first round of modeling. After a series of tuning trials, Stochastic Gradient Boosting turned in the top result using the training data. It achieved an average accuracy of 77.78%. Using the optimized tuning parameter available, the Stochastic Gradient Boosting algorithm processed the validation dataset with an accuracy of 77.20%, which was slightly below the accuracy of the training data. For this project, the Stochastic Gradient Boosting ensemble algorithm yielded consistently top-notch training and validation results, which warrant the additional processing required by the algorithm.

The HTML formatted report can be found here on GitHub.


(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀




很多時候,我們非常關注能不失誤,或者在我們達不到的時候會充滿羞愧和責備,因為我們不能分配足夠的情緒勞動來做最重要的一部分 – 那就使事情處理的正確。失誤後,不是只靠著退款或是一籃水果的禮物,而是通過真正看到了對方,了解發生了什麼,並努力往前進。

Permission and Trust, Part 2

In the podcast series, Seth Godin’s Startup School, Seth Godin gave a guided tour to a group of highly-motivated early-stage entrepreneurs on some of the questions they will have to dig deep and ask themselves while they build up their business. Here are my takeaways from various topics discussed in the podcast episodes.

  • A blog is an extraordinarily, inexpensive, and low-risk tribe building tool. If we commit to writing something for the benefit of our tribe every day, we will increase the footprint we have with our tribe over time. Those footprints will lead to more trust given to us by our tribe. Over time, these interactions, which are free, will scale.
  • At some point, we might decide there is something we want to do for these people and to leverage them. With the interactions we have been building, the business ideas will come to us and keep presenting themselves.
  • When people follow closely on what you do and support your work, Kevin Kelly calls these people the one thousand true fans. We need to think hard about what story we want someone, who hears us, to tell others about what we do.
  • The key to what we are building is “can we build something that would be missed if it was gone?” Can we become the speaker, or the impresario, or the connector that, if we were not there, our tribe would have to scramble before finding someone who could do what we did?
  • How do we make what we are making significantly more inexpensive? The key thing to think about is the assumptions we have built into our business. For components that might not contribute to the core of our offering, critically scrutinize them and see whether we can do it cheaply or not at all.
  • One of the big advantages we have for being small and being new is the things we do not have. We do not have a committee and complicated processes. Not every customer wants the agility or nimbleness, but that is an interesting place for us to start. We can create things with people who value the things we do, as opposed to pretending to be someone else that we are not.
  • When it comes to shipping, it is so easy to become paralyzed in the pursuit of perfection. We are so worried about launching in this spectacular way that we never launch. Launching big in the connection economy is overrated. We may only be able to engage a few people, but that is enough to get started. These early adopters understand the value, and, if they trust you to deliver the value, they will pay you for it.

Permission, SEO, and Blogs

In his podcast, Akimbo, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

  • Anticipated, personal, and relevant messages are more likely to resonate with people than spam, day by day and week by week. The goal is not to reach a lot of people, but rather to reach the right people. To reach them in a way, they are glad that you showed up.
  • An anticipated, personal and relevant message also means that they would miss you if you did not show up. That is the definition of permission. Permission is where you earn the privilege of showing up with a message that people want to get, drip by drip and day after day.
  • Ideas that spread win. What we can do is to serve a small group of people with the idea that they want to share. They would want to share because we were telling them something they already believed, that they already wanted to be true and wanted to share. Our job is to deliver the idea in a way that makes it cogent and easy to share. If that shared idea resonated with some other people, they will likely join in.
  • The Internet is the biggest haystack in the history of the world, and each of us who wants to be found was a needle. We cannot trust that our needle is going to get found in the haystack. We cannot trust that any generic word or term we can seek to own. If we are not on top of the generic term search list, we might as well be invisible.
  • The alternative is to win when someone searches for us specifically. As we enter this post-Google age, the answer for standing out is to make changes. By making the changes, the people we engage so much with will want to tell other people. They will want to tell other people in a specific way and not in a generic term.
  • The mission, therefore, is to write things, to create things, to post things, and to engage with things that people choose to share. We need to earn the permission from those people and those they shared, with the permission to follow up, the permission to teach, and the permission to engage. Subsequently, we share some more and do it in a way that people will share it again, thus earning more permission each time. Trusting the middlemen on the Internet is a dangerous game.
  • Also, we must figure out how to engage with a platform that has an obligation to us. The platform needs to be run by a party who had our interests at heart. We need to pay for it as a customer, not as a product. Our job on that platform is to make it easy for people to find us. The people will look for us specifically, allowing us to earn their attention, their trust, and for us to keep a promise.
  • Have a blog not for exposure but because of the discipline. By blogging day by day, we will begin to think more We can make predictions and assertions, and we can begin making connections. We want to take the narratives inside us and make them external for others to see. They may or may not choose to share the narratives, but we have demonstrated that we have cared enough to share.
  • Someone needs to win at every single noun anyone could search on, but it might not be us. It probably won’t be us because the odds are against it being us. We must figure out how to bypass the generic Google search, and instead reach the smallest viable audience. That is the group of people we seek to serve and to connect those people with each other. By connecting the ideas and the people inside the tribe, we become the specific, not the generic.