Multiple Return Addresses for Mac Mail

It’s handy to have multiple email addresses if you have multiple contexts in which you interact with people.  You could create separate mailboxes, but that both prevents you from mixing emails if you want to, and requires extra administration.

It’s easy to configure this with Mac Mail in Yosemite.  In the “email address” field on Accounts | Account Information, just separate multiple email addresses you want as possible return addresses with commas.

You’ll then get a dropdown list of choices for from which email address you want to send when you email.  Of course, you’ll have to make sure that those addresses are actually forward to your email box by creating email aliases with your mail server, or using a catch-all.configure-Mac-email

Dave McClure’s AARRR: Startup Metrics for Pirates

Dave McClure’s Ignite Seattle talk on metrics is worth the five minute and 14 seconds it takes to watch.

“There are five steps…

Acquisition – where users come from.  What are high volume channels, what are low cost channels, and what are best performing conversion channels?

Activation – a happy first experience.

Retention – they come back

Referral – they tell other people.  Don’t try to do viral marketing campaigns until your product doesn’t suck.

Revenue – you make money”

What I Wish I’d Known About Amazon’s AWS S3

While S3 standards for Simple Storage Service, there are a number of configuration options for rights management that are somewhat complex, and not presented in the same way through the console as are available through either the API or the AWS console.  Had I known these things earlier, I would have been saved time.

1.  An Amazon Retail Account is Linked to an AWS Account

2. The set of rights shown on the console does NOT align with the rights through the API.

As shown, the available rights for the Grantee are only:




Edit Permissions

This is a dramatic oversimplification of the control available through bucket policies and the API.  For example, upload and delete rights are separate privileges, allowing you to create an account which can provide new files to S3 in a bucket, but doesn’t the right to delete anything, even files uploaded through that account.

3.  The rename function requires delete privileges

I can’t find this documented, but renaming any resource, including a folder, requires that delete privileges be granted.  That’s an unfortunate limitation, since it might be useful to doanything but remove data.  Still, better to plan ahead, knowing you can’t rename.

4.  Renaming a file through the console without permissions fails silently

This seems like a bug, but rename simply doesn’t succeed.  Your only indication of failure is that the file is not updated to the new name in your browser.

5. S3 Doesn’t Support Directories, But…

Creating a “directory” doesn’t behavior as it does on an operating system, but neither is it merely a simulation.  You can create a “directory” that’s empty and something is there on the system.  But you can also change your mind about what character separates virtual path elements.BucketProperties_PermissionsPolicy_0

How I Read Business Books

Plowing through piles of business books is a valuable way to read them. Most books on business follow a similar structure, and they typically only present one new Big Idea.  Here’s how I review them.

But also a shout-out to this great approach by Tom Searcy.  He uses a pre-created template with room for Title, rating, key 3 points, and quotes.

Because the public library is a good source for books, and most books are only worth a single read, I make a point not to highlight or otherwise mark up what I read.  Instead, I have a pen and paper handy to jot chapter and section titles, noteworthy quotes, ideas, and applications to my own business problems.

This takes a little bit of extra time, and slows reading down.  But it slows reading exactly where it should be slower– at the points in the book that are relevant, interesting, and noteworthy.  The chapter and section titles are to create an outline for a quick review later.  One could argue that writing down chapter names for less relevant chapters isn’t a good use of time, but I’d counter that reading a book which doesn’t even have chapter titles worth noting is not a book worth reading at all, and I’ve aborted a handful of lackluster titles by considering this standard.

Finally I’ll recapitulate my written notes into a blog entry with overall thoughts, a rating, a Big Idea restatement, and notable quotes.

Review: Singletasking

The successful man is the average man, focused.


You would not believe how difficult it is to be simple and clear. People are afraid that they may be seen as a simpleton. In reality, just the opposite is true.


Dr. Earl Miller at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “You cannot focus on one [task] while doing [an]other. That’s because of what’s called interference between the two tasks.… People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves. The brain is very good at deluding itself.

Chapter 2

Singletasking is characterized by high energy and sharp focus … yielding exceptional results and respect.

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.

The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.


Part II

Focus and simplicity. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean, to make it simple. It is worth it because then you can move mountains.


…the fact that we are hesitant to be alone with our thoughts.

The prefrontal cortex shrinks from the stress of constant overload. The amygdala takes over, flooding the brain with negative emotions such as fear, aggression, and anxiety. As gray matter shrinks, we become cognitively impaired.2

Lewis Cass: “People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.”

When I conduct 360-degree feedback assessments, one of the most shocking and common results for executives is that they are perceived as untrustworthy. This does not mean they are unethical. It usually indicates the leaders don’t prioritize their staffs’ needs.

Receiving undivided attention for five minutes seems universally preferable to being held hostage in someone else’s hectic office for forty-five minutes, while scores of other tasks take precedence over the meeting itself.

One technique that may help you to integrate Dr. Kross’s advice is to use third-person pronouns or your own name when writing, thinking, or speaking about challenges you face. Practicing self-reflection to work through life’s challenges is one of the most beneficial applications of singletasking.

Always do one thing less than you think you can do.


Review: Winning

It turns out there’s a lot in common between books by successful sports coaches on how they achieved what they did and books by business professionals who’ve reached the upper echelon.

The first is that to get someone to read your book, you have to have objective accomplishments that your prospective reader can understand.  You might read a book on the Jamaican bobsled team, for example, but it would be because you expect the story to curious and entertaining, not because the Jamaican bobsled team won a gold medal and made you wonder how you could do it as well.  That would be true even if the skills they acquired were actually greater than those of a team who had the advantages of, say, snow.  Similarly,  a book written by Steve Jobs after NeXT computer ceased being a company wouldn’t be read for insight on how to be Steve Jobs, even if Steve Jobs turned out to be, say, Steve Jobs.

The second similarity is that the skills required to succeed at sports or business are definitely not the same set of skills needed for teaching nor writing books.

The most significant similarity is that there is not a long list of prescriptive instruction for success.  It’s neither clear that the decades that sports coaches and entrepreneurs can be conveyed with a sit of prescriptive tasks, nor even that the writers are fully aware of the steps they took to success.  Is “Neutron Jack” Welch who he is because he invented a reproducible formula for management?  Or is his good fortune in having experiences that honed him to be the head of GE?  Is it the respect and intimidation others feel around him as a result of his personality?  His inherent skill in understanding and directing people?  His innate understanding of the nature of business?

Ultimately, there’s only so good an autobiographical business book can be.  We can gather insights into the thinking and behaviors of someone successful, but we can’t know whether their own understanding of the origin of success can be conveyed in even the slightest way through a book.

But on the other hand, there’s only so bad such a book can be either.  Getting any insight from someone who’s had extraordinary success, including their own view, and even their indulgences is worth the time it takes to read on of their books.

Review: Using Microsoft Project 2010

Sometimes a book is limited by its subject.  I was hoping for evidence that Microsoft Project can be used in a modern software environment to save time and make things easier.  Instead, I got something better.  This book, in its careful and politically correct detail, convinced me that Project is less useful for software, but could be of utility to users managing bridge building or other huge projects.

In short, the overhead of a tool like Project is enough that it’s not worth the time unless project management is your full time job, and even better if you’re not the only person managing projects.