Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => 2514 [inc_title] => Outsourcing Don'ts Learned From Apple [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => Outsourcing Don'ts Learned From Apple [inc_homepage_headline] => Outsourcing Don'ts Learned From Apple [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => Outsourcing Don'ts Learned From Apple [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => 3181 [inc_deck] => The company's latest supplier responsibility report is out. And it's something every entrepreneur wanting to outsource should read. [inc_homepage_deck] => The company's latest supplier responsibility report is out. And it's something every entrepreneur wanting to outsource should read. [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => TRUE [inc_pubdate] => 2012-01-19 07:26:00 [inc_promo_date] => 2012-01-19 07:26:00 [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => erik-sherman/what-you-can-learn-about-outsourcing-from-apple.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => FALSE [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => TRUE [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => FALSE [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => FALSE [inc_clean_text] =>

Few companies are as secretive about their plans and operations as Apple. The consumer electronics giant has even been known to use shell companies to apply for trademarks. And yet, Apple released details of its supply chain, including names of 97 percent of its vendors.

Apple has been issuing reports on supplier responsibility since 2007—years before the run of suicides at Foxconn, one of its main vendors. Apple management has done far more concrete work in exerting control than other companies in its industry. Still, one of the wealthiest, most effective companies in the world continues to run into problems. This latest report revealed that only 38 percent of its suppliers comply with its code stipulating that factory workers must not work more than 60 hours a week.

The good news is management at Apple has invested significant money into these reports and they show some of the big issues that could trip you up if you're considering outsourcing overseas. Here are some entries at the top of the company's list:

Of course worker health and safety are concerns. Not only is treating others right an ethical imperative, but from a pragmatic public relations view, bad treatment of workers leads to terrible press. Just ask Nike. In recent years, Apple has also felt the sting.

Notice the other concerns a company must also have. Environmental impact is a concern that has spread around the world. Last year, Chinese environmental groups criticized Apple for being unresponsive and uncommunicative regarding questions about pollution and occupational health hazards. Other companies, such as HP and Samsung, received praise from the groups for their cooperation. The story wound up in the Financial Times. Talk about high-profile bad press.

Some of the other topics are not just the subject of political correctness; they provide evidence that a company has the operational wherewithal to deliver what it promises. Ethics are a concern because they are keys to good business partnerships. For example, Apple's auditors found some companies falsified records. If they do that regarding worker salaries or environmental practices, can you trust that they would do otherwise on product quality, specifications, or ship dates? Similarly, management systems that are developed enough to ensure compliance are also more likely to deliver the results that a western partner might need.

Apple's experiences and actions also show that outsourcing is a more complicated and potentially expensive issue than many companies think. Seemingly low prices on goods are fine, but if you haven't calculated the costs of ensuring that you get what you need from partners, you haven't seen the true cost of getting the bargain.

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[end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '69278' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2015-01-29 12:54:15 [time_updated] => 2015-01-29 12:54:53 [id] => 49127 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => [inc_title] => Turning the 'Bulletproof' Coffee Craze Into a Big Brand [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => Turning the 'Bulletproof' Coffee Craze Into a Big Brand [inc_homepage_headline] => 'Bulletproof' Coffee Creator Sets His Sights on the Mainstream [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => [inc_homepage_deck] => [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => [inc_pubdate] => 2015-01-29 06:00:00 [inc_promo_date] => [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => jill-krasny/dave-asprey-bulletproof-coffee-cafe.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => [inc_clean_text] => [inc_code_only_text] => [inc_notepad] => [inc_toolbar_text] => [inc_read_more_override] => [inc_show_read_moreflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar_head] => [inc_sidebar_adcodeflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar] => [inc_custom_footer] => [inc_full_width_footerflag] => [inc_show_pinboardflag] => [inc_staid] => 7 [inc_premiumflag] => [inc_newsworthyflag] => FALSE [inc_standoutflag] => FALSE [inc_evergreen_contentflag] => [inc_homepage_riverflag] => [inc_comment_alert] => [inc_copyeditedflag] => TRUE [inc_activeflag] => TRUE [inc_hide_bucket_imageflag] => [inc_hide_article_sidebarflag] => [inc_hide_commentsflag] => [inc_show_social_linksflag] => [inc_prtid] => [inc_canonical_url] => [inc_serid] => [inc_registration_requiredflag] => [inc_use_narrow_navflag] => [inc_no_cacheflag] => [inc_eopid] => [inc_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_custom_adzone] => [inc_imu_style_image_overrideref] => [inc_imu_style_image_override_ab_testref] => [inc_tile_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_alchemyupdatetime] => [owner_admid] => [inc_f1temp] => [inc_alchemyentityxml] => [inc_alchemykeywordxml] => [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '68856' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => [time_updated] => [id] => 68856 [sortorder] => [tbl] => article [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [rubric] => [sort] => 1 [largeformat] => FALSE [baseurl] => http://www.inc.com/ [timestamp] => 6:00AM ET [homepage_headline] => 'Bulletproof' Coffee Creator Sets His Sights on the Mainstream [homepage_headline2] => 'Bulletproof' Coffee Creator Sets His Sights on the Mainstream [homepage_deck] => [lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [49038] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => [img_reference_name] => coffee beans [img_caption] => [img_alt_text] => coffee beans [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => 872 [img_ityid] => 1 [img_bucketref] => [img_bucket_dimx] => [img_bucket_dimy] => [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => coffee-beans.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 970 [img_pan_dimy] => 450 [img_light_imageflag] => FALSE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => [img_tags] => coffee beans [img_notes] => amelafjr76971 [img_gettyflag] => TRUE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '68856' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2015-01-28 17:49:05 [time_updated] => 2015-01-28 17:49:46 [id] => 49038 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => [inc_title] => 7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Business Negotiations [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => 7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Business Negotiations [inc_homepage_headline] => [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => [inc_homepage_deck] => [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => [inc_pubdate] => 2015-01-28 12:30:00 [inc_promo_date] => [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => jayson-demers/7-critical-mistakes-to-avoid-in-business-negotiations.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => [inc_clean_text] => [inc_code_only_text] => [inc_notepad] => [inc_toolbar_text] => [inc_read_more_override] => [inc_show_read_moreflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar_head] => [inc_sidebar_adcodeflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar] => [inc_custom_footer] => [inc_full_width_footerflag] => [inc_show_pinboardflag] => [inc_staid] => 7 [inc_premiumflag] => [inc_newsworthyflag] => FALSE [inc_standoutflag] => [inc_evergreen_contentflag] => [inc_homepage_riverflag] => [inc_comment_alert] => [inc_copyeditedflag] => TRUE [inc_activeflag] => TRUE [inc_hide_bucket_imageflag] => [inc_hide_article_sidebarflag] => [inc_hide_commentsflag] => [inc_show_social_linksflag] => [inc_prtid] => [inc_canonical_url] => [inc_serid] => [inc_registration_requiredflag] => [inc_use_narrow_navflag] => [inc_no_cacheflag] => [inc_eopid] => [inc_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_custom_adzone] => [inc_imu_style_image_overrideref] => [inc_imu_style_image_override_ab_testref] => [inc_tile_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_alchemyupdatetime] => [owner_admid] => [inc_f1temp] => [inc_alchemyentityxml] => [inc_alchemykeywordxml] => [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '69195' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => [time_updated] => [id] => 69195 [sortorder] => [tbl] => article [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [rubric] => [sort] => 2 [largeformat] => FALSE [baseurl] => http://www.inc.com/ [timestamp] => [homepage_headline] => 7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Business Negotiations [homepage_headline2] => 7 Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Business Negotiations [homepage_deck] => [lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [48922] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => 176558909 [img_reference_name] => getty_176558909_97064797045000.jpg [img_caption] => [img_alt_text] => Businesswoman Discussing With Colleague In Office [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => 872 [img_ityid] => 5 [img_bucketref] => [img_bucket_dimx] => [img_bucket_dimy] => [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => getty_176558909_97064797045000.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 970 [img_pan_dimy] => 450 [img_light_imageflag] => TRUE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => [img_tags] => [img_notes] => [img_gettyflag] => TRUE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '69195' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2015-01-28 12:22:45 [time_updated] => 2015-01-28 12:22:45 [id] => 48922 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. 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Few companies are as secretive about their plans and operations as Apple. The consumer electronics giant has even been known to use shell companies to apply for trademarks. And yet, Apple released details of its supply chain, including names of 97 percent of its vendors.

Apple has been issuing reports on supplier responsibility since 2007—years before the run of suicides at Foxconn, one of its main vendors. Apple management has done far more concrete work in exerting control than other companies in its industry. Still, one of the wealthiest, most effective companies in the world continues to run into problems. This latest report revealed that only 38 percent of its suppliers comply with its code stipulating that factory workers must not work more than 60 hours a week.

The good news is management at Apple has invested significant money into these reports and they show some of the big issues that could trip you up if you're considering outsourcing overseas. Here are some entries at the top of the company's list:

Of course worker health and safety are concerns. Not only is treating others right an ethical imperative, but from a pragmatic public relations view, bad treatment of workers leads to terrible press. Just ask Nike. In recent years, Apple has also felt the sting.

Notice the other concerns a company must also have. Environmental impact is a concern that has spread around the world. Last year, Chinese environmental groups criticized Apple for being unresponsive and uncommunicative regarding questions about pollution and occupational health hazards. Other companies, such as HP and Samsung, received praise from the groups for their cooperation. The story wound up in the Financial Times. Talk about high-profile bad press.

Some of the other topics are not just the subject of political correctness; they provide evidence that a company has the operational wherewithal to deliver what it promises. Ethics are a concern because they are keys to good business partnerships. For example, Apple's auditors found some companies falsified records. If they do that regarding worker salaries or environmental practices, can you trust that they would do otherwise on product quality, specifications, or ship dates? Similarly, management systems that are developed enough to ensure compliance are also more likely to deliver the results that a western partner might need.

Apple's experiences and actions also show that outsourcing is a more complicated and potentially expensive issue than many companies think. Seemingly low prices on goods are fine, but if you haven't calculated the costs of ensuring that you get what you need from partners, you haven't seen the true cost of getting the bargain.

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With the advent of text messages, emails, and other technology-based forms of communication, the way in which we--and our employees--read has more to do with both individual and business success than ever before. Do you read every word and pay close attention to the details and nuances, or do you fly through the information in front of you for the main idea? See what your reading style says about your chances for success.

Speed Reader. You blow through emails and pride yourself on your rapid response time--no one is faster than you. Sure, but have you ever gone back and double-checked to make sure you have not let any of the email's specific points fall through the cracks? Rapid readers may get through information quickly, but they often miss important details in their "read with speed" technique. The real estate agent representing the sellers of a property a friend of mine was buying surely thought she did well by her clients when she drove their property into a bidding war, but her rapid response style of reading cost her clients $25,000 when she did not carefully read the offer contained in my friend's agent's email and transmitted the wrong figure to them.

Skimmer. Your eyes skip a word here and there, so your email exchanges have some back and forth, but you eventually get done what needs doing. Chances are, your contacts and colleagues view you like they would a C student. You frustrate them with your hit or miss attitude, so you are not likely to inspire enough confidence to win a new deal or get a raise or promotion. Contacts will end up bypassing you when possible and relegate you to the pile of last resorts. When I recently reached out to our health insurance broker, she did the opposite of what I asked in my email, and ended up costing herself (and me!) a lot of time and hassle that could have been avoided if she had read my request as it was written in the initial email. In the process, she made sure that when it comes time to renew our policy, I will go directly to the health insurance company itself and cut her out.

Scrutinizer. Read, reflect, respond. You take the time to read an email in its entirety and then send one succinct reply. It takes a bit longer than you would like sometimes, but being thorough minimizes the clutter in your inbox, helps you stay organized, and ultimately shows the person on the other side of the communication that he can trust you with his business. A prospective customer recently sent me a list of questions about our products, and I carefully answered each point with a clear explanation and concise technical information about our products. A week later, the customer placed a large order and told me that he had chosen our company because, unlike our competitors, I was the only person who had addressed every concern he had raised, so he felt comfortable giving us his business.

Don't let your reading strategy sink your chances at success. If you want colleagues, contacts, and customers to feel they are in good hands with you, slow down, stop scanning, and start reading like your life depends on it--because professionally speaking, it does.

 

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In February, Dave Asprey will cut the ribbon on his first-ever Bulletproof café. After nearly five years, it seems like a logical step for a guy whose butter-infused coffee inspired a cult following. Read on for the story of how Asprey went from experimenting with "biohacking" his own body to building a thriving business. (And check out more stories in our Built From Passion series.)

Where the Idea Came From 

At 20, Dave Asprey was depressed, overweight, and eating to cope with his emotions, which veered from clear and decisive to stricken with fear. After buying disability insurance, "because I got to the point where I wouldn't hire myself," he told Inc. last summer, the former project manager and software entrepreneur became obsessed with his health, from the quality and duration of his sleep to the fat content of foods he consumed. 

The more he studied himself, the more he realized he wasn't after a quick pick-me-up but the feeling of being on, all the time. At a friend's suggestion, he began taking so-called smart drugs--a broad term for compounds that heighten cognition--and he says then his hazy world came into focus. After shedding 50 pounds in three months, "I fired my doctor and started taking smart drugs without supervision," he said. He went on to lose 50 more. 

Asprey, who is 41 and lives in the Bay Area, spent 15 years and more than $300,000 to "hack" his biology. He claims he upgraded his brain by more than 20 IQ points and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently. He says that learning to do these seemingly impossible things has turned him into a better entrepreneur, husband, and father. This premise became the foundation for Bulletproof Executive, the self-funded performance-coaching company Asprey started in 2010. 

Experimenting with smart drugs eventually led Asprey to toy with that most quotidian of energy boosters--coffee. In 2009, he first posted a recipe for Bulletproof coffee, the coffee and butter beverage that he now says was key to his transformation. By 2012 he began selling Bulletproof-branded low-mold coffee beans online. (Toxins from mold are "performance-robbing," he told the Times.) Soon he added supplements like Brain Octane (his own medium-chain triglyceride oil, an easily digestible fat). Since the Food and Drug Administration doesn't review supplements, Asprey continues to roll out his own; the latest, called Unfair Advantage, is intended to grow mitochondria--i.e., cells in the muscles and brain--in order to slow down the process of aging. 

How the Business Took Off 

As word got around, Bulletproof coffee gained a cult following. It became popular among tech types in Silicon Valley, New York City, and Seattle, and won over celebrities such as music producer Rick Rubin, who introduced the drink to British singer Ed Sheeran, and Dr. Frank Lipman, an integrative doctor who treats Gwyneth Paltrow. The 450-calorie drink is ideal for "mind clarity and a bit of pep," Lipman told the Times.

Making the coffee is simple: You start with some low-mold coffee beans; add at least two tablespoons of unsalted butter (grassfed, which is higher in omega-3s and vitamins); and dump in one to two tablespoons of MCT oil. Put the whole thing in a blender and mix until smooth. Your energy levels will go through the roof, Asprey says, and your hunger will fly out the window. 

Now, nearly five years after its launch, Bulletproof Executive is a 20-person company endorsing the biohacking lifestyle (the company declined to provide revenue numbers). Last year, the website drew some six million unique visitors, and 11 million people have downloaded Asprey's health podcast on iTunes. His book, The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life, was published in January. The Bulletproof shop and cafés are up next. 

After running a "quantitative analysis" to see where Bulletproof coffee was most popular, Asprey settled on Los Angeles for his first standalone café, which he says will be anything but a regular coffee shop. Noting he has "several of the early people from the Starbucks team" on board, the focus will be on getting customers to try the coffee. "The idea is that people still say, 'Butter in coffee?' and there's a disbelief that it can taste as good as it does or make you feel the way it does," he says. Clearly, he wants to convert them. 

"It's an experience; it's more than just coffee," Asprey continues. "We're building the whole store to have the Bulletproof principles in mind as we go through the day." This means lighting that's compatible with circadian rhythms, a Whole Body Vibration platform (like astronauts use to strengthen muscles on missions), and a small seating area where furniture and flooring "connect to the earth."

"It's the indoor equivalent of being outdoors in the park with bare feet," Asprey says proudly. "Studies have shown there are reductions in inflammation and stress when people are able to discharge and walk around." 

The coffee shop is the biggest sign Asprey thinks this is more than a fad. When asked why, he offers this anecdote: "Last night, I did a book signing in New York City, and a guy in the front row said, 'I've been drinking Bulletproof coffee every day for a year and a half. I've lost 50 pounds and started two companies.' Feeling this way isn't a fad," he says bluntly. "Once you do this, it's priceless to have your brain work all day and not have food cravings all day."

But how do you grow a business nontechie types may view skeptically? To hear Asprey tell it, you sell what the coffee does for you instead of the coffee (though that should taste great, too). "I care about the person coming in even more," Asprey says, contrasting his approach to other roasters like Stumptown Coffee, "not the estate or where the beans are grown." 

This year, Asprey plans to open two or three shops, gather data on their performance, and then "go substantially faster after we know what's there." The first store will be funded internally, and over time he'll expand the roast profiles of the coffee, in addition to brewing methods. "We want something that tastes creamy and delicious," he says of the drinks, whose prices will compare to Starbucks'. "We're still working on the menu and testing things." 

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Whether you're negotiating the price of a massive contract, or a salary raise that comes with a new position, negotiating skills are essential in the business world. If you're unable to negotiate fairly, logically, and persuasively, you could jeopardize your career, or at least miss out on significant opportunities as a result.

When trying to argue persuasively, participants sometimes rely on logical fallacies, or illogical arguments that seem rational at first glance, to prove their points. It's critical to avoid the emergence of such fallacies, as they can immediately weaken your argument. Likewise, it's important to observe the other party's arguments carefully, and point out any fallacies that may form the crux of his/her argument.

The key to most successful negotiations is planning, and you can avoid the pitfalls of logical fallacies by brainstorming about what possible fallacies could come up during negotiations. Preparation allows you to chart a course for your position, plan for possible rebuttals, consider possible alternatives and compromises, and determine the consequences of the negotiation's outcome. Seeing ahead this far should give you the opportunity to analyze your own argument for any potential weaknesses, and look for potential weak points in the other party's argumentative course.

As you prepare for the negotiation, keep the following dangerous logical fallacies in the back of your mind.

1. Straw man argument.

A straw man argument is an instance of one party misquoting or deliberately inventing a false version of another party's argument in an effort to make their own argument seem more appealing. For example, let's say your potential client claims that they can't engage in your services because they don't have enough available funds. You distort that argument by saying, "You say you don't think our services are worth the money, but I can prove objectively that we'll increase your ROI."

This is a straw man argument, because the argument you're trying to counter is not the same argument they initially presented. While the two arguments (real and distorted) are somewhat similar, you aren't actually addressing the point at hand. This could weaken your position or make the other party frustrated.

2. Appeal to consequences.

This type of fallacy is usually a sophisticated form of appealing to emotion, but sometimes it just cuts an important argumentative corner. Appealing to consequences is a way of asserting that an idea is true by arguing that the consequences of the idea's not being true are undesirable. A traditional example of this is arguing that free will has to exist because if it didn't life would have no point.

You may find yourself stumbling into this type of logical fallacy in a business negotiation. For example, if you're trying to negotiate an increased rate to your customer, you could say, "We are responsible for keeping your sales up. If we weren't, we wouldn't be in business." You can make the claim that you are responsible for their increased sales, but you need to back that argument up with objective data--not a hypothetical argument of what would happen if you weren't.

3. Ad hominem.

Ad hominem is a type of fallacy that involves attacking another person's character rather than his/her argument. You see this type of fallacy often in the political circuit; rather than diving into the logistics of the issue at hand, one candidate will accuse the other of being a liar.

While you wouldn't dare make such an obvious attack in the business world, this logical fallacy does have a tendency to pop up from time to time during negotiations. Let's say you're a candidate for a promotion, and the opposing candidate has argued that he is better educated than you. It's a logical fallacy if you try and refute this argument by saying something like "he probably didn't study as hard as I did." Instead, opt to argue that your experience means more than education, or find some other way to overcome the argument without undercutting the opposing party's character.

4. Slippery slope.

You see the slippery slope fallacy all the time during political debates. One person argues against the proposition of a new law or regulation simply because there's a chance that it could lead to more significant laws or regulations in the future.

Put this into a business perspective. Let's say you want your employee to take on a new responsibility, and he/she is resistant. It's a logical fallacy if he/she resists because he/she is afraid that by saying yes to this new responsibility, it will open the door to many new unwanted responsibilities. It's not logical because the argument is for only one additional responsibility, and the future is entirely hypothetical.

5. Correlation equals causation.

This argument is an especially tempting trap to fall into. Correlation is an observation that one action was taken and one result was obtained. It doesn't necessarily prove that the action was what caused the result; arguing that it did is a logical fallacy.

For example, if you're negotiating for a pay raise, it's illogical to argue that an increase in productivity was due solely to your own efforts. Let's say you're in marketing and your company's social media following increased since the time of your last evaluation. You can't tie your performance to those increased metrics unless you have a causal link. Otherwise, they could easily be attributed to a new company announcement, or an outlier in your data.

6. False dilemma.

The false dilemma fallacy starts with an assumption that there are only two possible answers to a solution, and those possibilities are at extreme ends of the spectrum. For example, if a co-worker is arguing against one of your plans for a given project and you argue, "You're either on board with this, or you're trying to sabotage the project," you've immediately created a false dilemma. The world is seldom black and white, and in this particular example, it's entirely possible that the co-worker is interested in the idea but is only trying to raise some possible concerns. Don't assume there are only two options for any scenario.

7. Red herring.

In detective stories, a red herring is a clue intended to lead the audience to one conclusion while the correct conclusion is different. In the context of negotiation, a red herring is a way of manipulating an argument instead of trying to address it. For example, if you and your boss are negotiating a pay raise and the subject of company budget comes up, it's a red herring if you keep changing the argument to the strength of your performance. You may have more leverage with performance than with budgetary concerns, but if you aren't addressing the budgetary argument, you're approaching the argument illogically.

Logical fallacies are a kind of poison that can infect an otherwise valid, valuable argument and render it completely useless. If you can spot and identify any in the other party's persuasive argument, you'll have the upper hand in crushing their argument totally. Likewise, you'll have to pay attention and keep them from encroaching on your own persuasive words. Doing so will put you in a better position, and strengthen your arguments.

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For as long as I can remember, the saying, "you just got lucky" or "that person is so lucky" has always made me cringe. I've never believed in luck--let me explain why.

Everything that happens in life can be traced back to some amount of effort. Or, in many cases, it's a boatload of effort.

When someone hits the game-winning 3-pointer in basketball, it's not luck that makes the shot go in. It's the 500 3-pointers that athlete has shot every day for months or years. It's the muscle memory that athlete has developed over thousands of painstaking hours. There's not some miracle wisp of wind (luck) that floats the ball into the hoop.

When someone's business starts to take off, people immediately jump on the luck bandwagon. (In this scenario, luck is the exact same thing as overnight success.) Even if a company goes viral at launch, there's still an immense amount of planning, preparation, coordination, and previous successes (and failures) behind the scenes. It's not luck. It's organization and execution.

Look at any best-selling author ever. Not one of them sat down and wrote a book in a week. Got it published the next week. And then sat back and watched as it became a New York Times bestseller. Yet people call authors like Seth Godin, J.K. Rowling, and many others "lucky." Seth and J.K. (we're on a first-name basis because we're author buddies) both got rejected by publishers countless times. Heck, Seth Godin got rejected a staggering 900 times by publishers. 900! And he's lucky? Hell no, he's not. He's a hard-working author who got what he earned from persistence and effort.

I could go on and on and on with examples. Maybe the only people who truly could be deemed lucky are lottery winners. However, the majority of lottery winners (a high majority) have played for years and invested thousands of dollars to win. Many lottery winners have strategies, systems, and complex buying patterns. Sure, there are a few people who've bought a single ticket and won the lottery, but that's unbelievably rare.

Luck has this amazing ability to show up after all the hard work has been put in, and oftentimes, after someone has lost hope that their effort will pay off. I believe that the only time so-called luck shows up is after you've gone far enough in whatever you're working on that you deserve recognition on some level.

That's exactly what luck is to me: recognition of hard work.

For me, this came on November 3, 2012, when I launched BuyMyLastName and asked the world to bid on my last name. In the first 24 hours the bidding hit more than $30,000. A lot of people called that luck. LUCK? I'd been working 14-16 hours every day for the previous four years with IWearYourShirt to build a following and a community that gained attention in the media. Luck didn't have anything to do with it. About 5,000 hours of effort and the balls to put a crazy idea out into the world--that's what made the difference.

The illusion of luck can consume you if you're not careful. If you buy into it, you'll end up sitting idly on the sidelines, while the dedicated, hustling, hard-working people pass you by on their road to success. It's like Coleman Cox said in 1922:

"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have."

Don't sit around waiting for the luck train to show up. Luck is for leprechauns and cereals with marshmallows in them. For the rest of us, it's just hard work, patience, and persistence that will get us to our dreams.

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We're not big on setting resolutions only in January at Pluralsight. We believe it's important to strive for excellence year-round, rather than just once a year. That said, there's value in using the year's starter months to reassess your current skill sets and identify areas for improvement, growth, and learning.

Technology is one area that no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about--tech is changing so quickly that skills you mastered last year may already be outdated. In such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to Research in Labor Economics, rendering nearly a third of last year's tech-related knowledge irrelevant.

But don't panic--there's a solution. Staying up-to-date with emergent technologies and trends--as well as the skills needed to master them--will help you offset the lightning-fast pace of skills disruption and keep you ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is the key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage, both for individuals and organizations.

On that note, here are the top six tech skills that Pluralsight has identified as not just "nice-to-know," but "need to know," in 2015:

1. Coding.

As I've written recently, coding is the number-one skill in demand today worldwide. Although coding and computer science are still marginalized in the K-12 education system, it's clear that the ability to code has become as important as other basic forms of literacy like reading and math. Fortunately, no matter what your age or current comfort level with technology, there are ways to pick up intro coding skills--and many of them are free. Start with Code School, which provides interactive learn-to-code challenges along with entertaining video instruction, or Hour of Code, which offers a free one-hour coding tutorial that's available in over 30 languages.

2. Big data.

According to Forbes, big data will continue to grow in 2015, due in part to the rise of the Internet of Things, which has the power to embed technology in practically anything. As ever-larger volumes of data are created, it's vital to know how to collect and analyze that data--particularly when it's related to customer preferences and business processes. No matter what industry you're in, you'll miss out on key marketing and decision-making opportunities by ignoring big data. You can brush up on big data concepts, technologies, and vendors with these courses.

3. Cloud computing.

TechRadar reported this month that 2015 will be the year that the cloud becomes the "new normal." The reason, writes Mark Barrenechea, CEO of OpenText, is that costs can be slashed as much as 90 percent through digitization of information-intensive processes. Barrenechea predicts that by year-end, we'll see "a world of hybrid deployments in which some information and applications reside in the cloud and the remainder resides on-premise." Learning to utilize the cloud's flexible power can improve everything from your data security to your collaboration ability. Learn cloud-computing basics with this hour-long online course, which you can view in full with a free trial from Pluralsight, or try this free intro course on the topic from ALISON.

4. Mobile.

As Six Dimensions states, "If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a future strategy." This has never been truer than in 2015, the year in which The Guardian predicts an increasing number of companies will learn how to mobilize their revenue-generating processes, like making purchases and depositing checks. This is also the year that we'll hit critical mass with the fusion of mobile and cloud computing, according to Forbes. That means many more centrally coordinated apps will be usable on multiple devices. Here's a list of beginner-level courses related to mobile technology from Pluralsight, as well as options for mobile apps courses from Lynda.com.

5. Data visualization.

Data keeps multiplying, which means whatever message you hope to communicate online must find increasingly creative ways to break through the noise. That's where data visualization comes in, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs. Creative Bloq notes that this technique can reveal details that poring through dry data can't. Fortunately, you don't have to be a web designer or developer to create compelling infographics. Here's a list of 10 free tools you can use to visually enhance your data.

6. UX design skills.

User experience (UX) designers consider the end user's ease of use, efficiency, and general experience of interfacing with a system (such as a website or application). Smashing Magazine notes that while user experience has long been important, it has become more so recently in relation to the diverse ways that users can now access websites, including mobile and apps. "The more complex the system, the more involved will the planning and architecture have to be for it," writes Jacob Gube. But it's not just professional designers who can benefit from understanding UX design--anyone can. Check out this animated video from UXmastery on "How to Get Started in UX Design."

These six tech trends are reshaping the way businesses in every industry function internally and connect with their customers. Get smart in these areas, and you won't have to worry about being left behind--at least not this year.

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Few companies are as secretive about their plans and operations as Apple. The consumer electronics giant has even been known to use shell companies to apply for trademarks. And yet, Apple released details of its supply chain, including names of 97 percent of its vendors.

Apple has been issuing reports on supplier responsibility since 2007—years before the run of suicides at Foxconn, one of its main vendors. Apple management has done far more concrete work in exerting control than other companies in its industry. Still, one of the wealthiest, most effective companies in the world continues to run into problems. This latest report revealed that only 38 percent of its suppliers comply with its code stipulating that factory workers must not work more than 60 hours a week.

The good news is management at Apple has invested significant money into these reports and they show some of the big issues that could trip you up if you're considering outsourcing overseas. Here are some entries at the top of the company's list:

Of course worker health and safety are concerns. Not only is treating others right an ethical imperative, but from a pragmatic public relations view, bad treatment of workers leads to terrible press. Just ask Nike. In recent years, Apple has also felt the sting.

Notice the other concerns a company must also have. Environmental impact is a concern that has spread around the world. Last year, Chinese environmental groups criticized Apple for being unresponsive and uncommunicative regarding questions about pollution and occupational health hazards. Other companies, such as HP and Samsung, received praise from the groups for their cooperation. The story wound up in the Financial Times. Talk about high-profile bad press.

Some of the other topics are not just the subject of political correctness; they provide evidence that a company has the operational wherewithal to deliver what it promises. Ethics are a concern because they are keys to good business partnerships. For example, Apple's auditors found some companies falsified records. If they do that regarding worker salaries or environmental practices, can you trust that they would do otherwise on product quality, specifications, or ship dates? Similarly, management systems that are developed enough to ensure compliance are also more likely to deliver the results that a western partner might need.

Apple's experiences and actions also show that outsourcing is a more complicated and potentially expensive issue than many companies think. Seemingly low prices on goods are fine, but if you haven't calculated the costs of ensuring that you get what you need from partners, you haven't seen the true cost of getting the bargain.

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With the advent of text messages, emails, and other technology-based forms of communication, the way in which we--and our employees--read has more to do with both individual and business success than ever before. Do you read every word and pay close attention to the details and nuances, or do you fly through the information in front of you for the main idea? See what your reading style says about your chances for success.

Speed Reader. You blow through emails and pride yourself on your rapid response time--no one is faster than you. Sure, but have you ever gone back and double-checked to make sure you have not let any of the email's specific points fall through the cracks? Rapid readers may get through information quickly, but they often miss important details in their "read with speed" technique. The real estate agent representing the sellers of a property a friend of mine was buying surely thought she did well by her clients when she drove their property into a bidding war, but her rapid response style of reading cost her clients $25,000 when she did not carefully read the offer contained in my friend's agent's email and transmitted the wrong figure to them.

Skimmer. Your eyes skip a word here and there, so your email exchanges have some back and forth, but you eventually get done what needs doing. Chances are, your contacts and colleagues view you like they would a C student. You frustrate them with your hit or miss attitude, so you are not likely to inspire enough confidence to win a new deal or get a raise or promotion. Contacts will end up bypassing you when possible and relegate you to the pile of last resorts. When I recently reached out to our health insurance broker, she did the opposite of what I asked in my email, and ended up costing herself (and me!) a lot of time and hassle that could have been avoided if she had read my request as it was written in the initial email. In the process, she made sure that when it comes time to renew our policy, I will go directly to the health insurance company itself and cut her out.

Scrutinizer. Read, reflect, respond. You take the time to read an email in its entirety and then send one succinct reply. It takes a bit longer than you would like sometimes, but being thorough minimizes the clutter in your inbox, helps you stay organized, and ultimately shows the person on the other side of the communication that he can trust you with his business. A prospective customer recently sent me a list of questions about our products, and I carefully answered each point with a clear explanation and concise technical information about our products. A week later, the customer placed a large order and told me that he had chosen our company because, unlike our competitors, I was the only person who had addressed every concern he had raised, so he felt comfortable giving us his business.

Don't let your reading strategy sink your chances at success. If you want colleagues, contacts, and customers to feel they are in good hands with you, slow down, stop scanning, and start reading like your life depends on it--because professionally speaking, it does.

 

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In February, Dave Asprey will cut the ribbon on his first-ever Bulletproof café. After nearly five years, it seems like a logical step for a guy whose butter-infused coffee inspired a cult following. Read on for the story of how Asprey went from experimenting with "biohacking" his own body to building a thriving business. (And check out more stories in our Built From Passion series.)

Where the Idea Came From 

At 20, Dave Asprey was depressed, overweight, and eating to cope with his emotions, which veered from clear and decisive to stricken with fear. After buying disability insurance, "because I got to the point where I wouldn't hire myself," he told Inc. last summer, the former project manager and software entrepreneur became obsessed with his health, from the quality and duration of his sleep to the fat content of foods he consumed. 

The more he studied himself, the more he realized he wasn't after a quick pick-me-up but the feeling of being on, all the time. At a friend's suggestion, he began taking so-called smart drugs--a broad term for compounds that heighten cognition--and he says then his hazy world came into focus. After shedding 50 pounds in three months, "I fired my doctor and started taking smart drugs without supervision," he said. He went on to lose 50 more. 

Asprey, who is 41 and lives in the Bay Area, spent 15 years and more than $300,000 to "hack" his biology. He claims he upgraded his brain by more than 20 IQ points and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently. He says that learning to do these seemingly impossible things has turned him into a better entrepreneur, husband, and father. This premise became the foundation for Bulletproof Executive, the self-funded performance-coaching company Asprey started in 2010. 

Experimenting with smart drugs eventually led Asprey to toy with that most quotidian of energy boosters--coffee. In 2009, he first posted a recipe for Bulletproof coffee, the coffee and butter beverage that he now says was key to his transformation. By 2012 he began selling Bulletproof-branded low-mold coffee beans online. (Toxins from mold are "performance-robbing," he told the Times.) Soon he added supplements like Brain Octane (his own medium-chain triglyceride oil, an easily digestible fat). Since the Food and Drug Administration doesn't review supplements, Asprey continues to roll out his own; the latest, called Unfair Advantage, is intended to grow mitochondria--i.e., cells in the muscles and brain--in order to slow down the process of aging. 

How the Business Took Off 

As word got around, Bulletproof coffee gained a cult following. It became popular among tech types in Silicon Valley, New York City, and Seattle, and won over celebrities such as music producer Rick Rubin, who introduced the drink to British singer Ed Sheeran, and Dr. Frank Lipman, an integrative doctor who treats Gwyneth Paltrow. The 450-calorie drink is ideal for "mind clarity and a bit of pep," Lipman told the Times.

Making the coffee is simple: You start with some low-mold coffee beans; add at least two tablespoons of unsalted butter (grassfed, which is higher in omega-3s and vitamins); and dump in one to two tablespoons of MCT oil. Put the whole thing in a blender and mix until smooth. Your energy levels will go through the roof, Asprey says, and your hunger will fly out the window. 

Now, nearly five years after its launch, Bulletproof Executive is a 20-person company endorsing the biohacking lifestyle (the company declined to provide revenue numbers). Last year, the website drew some six million unique visitors, and 11 million people have downloaded Asprey's health podcast on iTunes. His book, The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life, was published in January. The Bulletproof shop and cafés are up next. 

After running a "quantitative analysis" to see where Bulletproof coffee was most popular, Asprey settled on Los Angeles for his first standalone café, which he says will be anything but a regular coffee shop. Noting he has "several of the early people from the Starbucks team" on board, the focus will be on getting customers to try the coffee. "The idea is that people still say, 'Butter in coffee?' and there's a disbelief that it can taste as good as it does or make you feel the way it does," he says. Clearly, he wants to convert them. 

"It's an experience; it's more than just coffee," Asprey continues. "We're building the whole store to have the Bulletproof principles in mind as we go through the day." This means lighting that's compatible with circadian rhythms, a Whole Body Vibration platform (like astronauts use to strengthen muscles on missions), and a small seating area where furniture and flooring "connect to the earth."

"It's the indoor equivalent of being outdoors in the park with bare feet," Asprey says proudly. "Studies have shown there are reductions in inflammation and stress when people are able to discharge and walk around." 

The coffee shop is the biggest sign Asprey thinks this is more than a fad. When asked why, he offers this anecdote: "Last night, I did a book signing in New York City, and a guy in the front row said, 'I've been drinking Bulletproof coffee every day for a year and a half. I've lost 50 pounds and started two companies.' Feeling this way isn't a fad," he says bluntly. "Once you do this, it's priceless to have your brain work all day and not have food cravings all day."

But how do you grow a business nontechie types may view skeptically? To hear Asprey tell it, you sell what the coffee does for you instead of the coffee (though that should taste great, too). "I care about the person coming in even more," Asprey says, contrasting his approach to other roasters like Stumptown Coffee, "not the estate or where the beans are grown." 

This year, Asprey plans to open two or three shops, gather data on their performance, and then "go substantially faster after we know what's there." The first store will be funded internally, and over time he'll expand the roast profiles of the coffee, in addition to brewing methods. "We want something that tastes creamy and delicious," he says of the drinks, whose prices will compare to Starbucks'. "We're still working on the menu and testing things." 

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Whether you're negotiating the price of a massive contract, or a salary raise that comes with a new position, negotiating skills are essential in the business world. If you're unable to negotiate fairly, logically, and persuasively, you could jeopardize your career, or at least miss out on significant opportunities as a result.

When trying to argue persuasively, participants sometimes rely on logical fallacies, or illogical arguments that seem rational at first glance, to prove their points. It's critical to avoid the emergence of such fallacies, as they can immediately weaken your argument. Likewise, it's important to observe the other party's arguments carefully, and point out any fallacies that may form the crux of his/her argument.

The key to most successful negotiations is planning, and you can avoid the pitfalls of logical fallacies by brainstorming about what possible fallacies could come up during negotiations. Preparation allows you to chart a course for your position, plan for possible rebuttals, consider possible alternatives and compromises, and determine the consequences of the negotiation's outcome. Seeing ahead this far should give you the opportunity to analyze your own argument for any potential weaknesses, and look for potential weak points in the other party's argumentative course.

As you prepare for the negotiation, keep the following dangerous logical fallacies in the back of your mind.

1. Straw man argument.

A straw man argument is an instance of one party misquoting or deliberately inventing a false version of another party's argument in an effort to make their own argument seem more appealing. For example, let's say your potential client claims that they can't engage in your services because they don't have enough available funds. You distort that argument by saying, "You say you don't think our services are worth the money, but I can prove objectively that we'll increase your ROI."

This is a straw man argument, because the argument you're trying to counter is not the same argument they initially presented. While the two arguments (real and distorted) are somewhat similar, you aren't actually addressing the point at hand. This could weaken your position or make the other party frustrated.

2. Appeal to consequences.

This type of fallacy is usually a sophisticated form of appealing to emotion, but sometimes it just cuts an important argumentative corner. Appealing to consequences is a way of asserting that an idea is true by arguing that the consequences of the idea's not being true are undesirable. A traditional example of this is arguing that free will has to exist because if it didn't life would have no point.

You may find yourself stumbling into this type of logical fallacy in a business negotiation. For example, if you're trying to negotiate an increased rate to your customer, you could say, "We are responsible for keeping your sales up. If we weren't, we wouldn't be in business." You can make the claim that you are responsible for their increased sales, but you need to back that argument up with objective data--not a hypothetical argument of what would happen if you weren't.

3. Ad hominem.

Ad hominem is a type of fallacy that involves attacking another person's character rather than his/her argument. You see this type of fallacy often in the political circuit; rather than diving into the logistics of the issue at hand, one candidate will accuse the other of being a liar.

While you wouldn't dare make such an obvious attack in the business world, this logical fallacy does have a tendency to pop up from time to time during negotiations. Let's say you're a candidate for a promotion, and the opposing candidate has argued that he is better educated than you. It's a logical fallacy if you try and refute this argument by saying something like "he probably didn't study as hard as I did." Instead, opt to argue that your experience means more than education, or find some other way to overcome the argument without undercutting the opposing party's character.

4. Slippery slope.

You see the slippery slope fallacy all the time during political debates. One person argues against the proposition of a new law or regulation simply because there's a chance that it could lead to more significant laws or regulations in the future.

Put this into a business perspective. Let's say you want your employee to take on a new responsibility, and he/she is resistant. It's a logical fallacy if he/she resists because he/she is afraid that by saying yes to this new responsibility, it will open the door to many new unwanted responsibilities. It's not logical because the argument is for only one additional responsibility, and the future is entirely hypothetical.

5. Correlation equals causation.

This argument is an especially tempting trap to fall into. Correlation is an observation that one action was taken and one result was obtained. It doesn't necessarily prove that the action was what caused the result; arguing that it did is a logical fallacy.

For example, if you're negotiating for a pay raise, it's illogical to argue that an increase in productivity was due solely to your own efforts. Let's say you're in marketing and your company's social media following increased since the time of your last evaluation. You can't tie your performance to those increased metrics unless you have a causal link. Otherwise, they could easily be attributed to a new company announcement, or an outlier in your data.

6. False dilemma.

The false dilemma fallacy starts with an assumption that there are only two possible answers to a solution, and those possibilities are at extreme ends of the spectrum. For example, if a co-worker is arguing against one of your plans for a given project and you argue, "You're either on board with this, or you're trying to sabotage the project," you've immediately created a false dilemma. The world is seldom black and white, and in this particular example, it's entirely possible that the co-worker is interested in the idea but is only trying to raise some possible concerns. Don't assume there are only two options for any scenario.

7. Red herring.

In detective stories, a red herring is a clue intended to lead the audience to one conclusion while the correct conclusion is different. In the context of negotiation, a red herring is a way of manipulating an argument instead of trying to address it. For example, if you and your boss are negotiating a pay raise and the subject of company budget comes up, it's a red herring if you keep changing the argument to the strength of your performance. You may have more leverage with performance than with budgetary concerns, but if you aren't addressing the budgetary argument, you're approaching the argument illogically.

Logical fallacies are a kind of poison that can infect an otherwise valid, valuable argument and render it completely useless. If you can spot and identify any in the other party's persuasive argument, you'll have the upper hand in crushing their argument totally. Likewise, you'll have to pay attention and keep them from encroaching on your own persuasive words. Doing so will put you in a better position, and strengthen your arguments.

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For as long as I can remember, the saying, "you just got lucky" or "that person is so lucky" has always made me cringe. I've never believed in luck--let me explain why.

Everything that happens in life can be traced back to some amount of effort. Or, in many cases, it's a boatload of effort.

When someone hits the game-winning 3-pointer in basketball, it's not luck that makes the shot go in. It's the 500 3-pointers that athlete has shot every day for months or years. It's the muscle memory that athlete has developed over thousands of painstaking hours. There's not some miracle wisp of wind (luck) that floats the ball into the hoop.

When someone's business starts to take off, people immediately jump on the luck bandwagon. (In this scenario, luck is the exact same thing as overnight success.) Even if a company goes viral at launch, there's still an immense amount of planning, preparation, coordination, and previous successes (and failures) behind the scenes. It's not luck. It's organization and execution.

Look at any best-selling author ever. Not one of them sat down and wrote a book in a week. Got it published the next week. And then sat back and watched as it became a New York Times bestseller. Yet people call authors like Seth Godin, J.K. Rowling, and many others "lucky." Seth and J.K. (we're on a first-name basis because we're author buddies) both got rejected by publishers countless times. Heck, Seth Godin got rejected a staggering 900 times by publishers. 900! And he's lucky? Hell no, he's not. He's a hard-working author who got what he earned from persistence and effort.

I could go on and on and on with examples. Maybe the only people who truly could be deemed lucky are lottery winners. However, the majority of lottery winners (a high majority) have played for years and invested thousands of dollars to win. Many lottery winners have strategies, systems, and complex buying patterns. Sure, there are a few people who've bought a single ticket and won the lottery, but that's unbelievably rare.

Luck has this amazing ability to show up after all the hard work has been put in, and oftentimes, after someone has lost hope that their effort will pay off. I believe that the only time so-called luck shows up is after you've gone far enough in whatever you're working on that you deserve recognition on some level.

That's exactly what luck is to me: recognition of hard work.

For me, this came on November 3, 2012, when I launched BuyMyLastName and asked the world to bid on my last name. In the first 24 hours the bidding hit more than $30,000. A lot of people called that luck. LUCK? I'd been working 14-16 hours every day for the previous four years with IWearYourShirt to build a following and a community that gained attention in the media. Luck didn't have anything to do with it. About 5,000 hours of effort and the balls to put a crazy idea out into the world--that's what made the difference.

The illusion of luck can consume you if you're not careful. If you buy into it, you'll end up sitting idly on the sidelines, while the dedicated, hustling, hard-working people pass you by on their road to success. It's like Coleman Cox said in 1922:

"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have."

Don't sit around waiting for the luck train to show up. Luck is for leprechauns and cereals with marshmallows in them. For the rest of us, it's just hard work, patience, and persistence that will get us to our dreams.

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A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => 85597 [inc_title] => The Top 6 Tech Skills You Need in 2015 [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => The Top 6 Tech Skills You Need in 2015 [inc_homepage_headline] => [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => Top tech skills for 2015 @pluralsights [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => To stay relevant, you must master the skills behind this year's hottest technology trends. 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We're not big on setting resolutions only in January at Pluralsight. We believe it's important to strive for excellence year-round, rather than just once a year. That said, there's value in using the year's starter months to reassess your current skill sets and identify areas for improvement, growth, and learning.

Technology is one area that no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about--tech is changing so quickly that skills you mastered last year may already be outdated. In such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to Research in Labor Economics, rendering nearly a third of last year's tech-related knowledge irrelevant.

But don't panic--there's a solution. Staying up-to-date with emergent technologies and trends--as well as the skills needed to master them--will help you offset the lightning-fast pace of skills disruption and keep you ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is the key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage, both for individuals and organizations.

On that note, here are the top six tech skills that Pluralsight has identified as not just "nice-to-know," but "need to know," in 2015:

1. Coding.

As I've written recently, coding is the number-one skill in demand today worldwide. Although coding and computer science are still marginalized in the K-12 education system, it's clear that the ability to code has become as important as other basic forms of literacy like reading and math. Fortunately, no matter what your age or current comfort level with technology, there are ways to pick up intro coding skills--and many of them are free. Start with Code School, which provides interactive learn-to-code challenges along with entertaining video instruction, or Hour of Code, which offers a free one-hour coding tutorial that's available in over 30 languages.

2. Big data.

According to Forbes, big data will continue to grow in 2015, due in part to the rise of the Internet of Things, which has the power to embed technology in practically anything. As ever-larger volumes of data are created, it's vital to know how to collect and analyze that data--particularly when it's related to customer preferences and business processes. No matter what industry you're in, you'll miss out on key marketing and decision-making opportunities by ignoring big data. You can brush up on big data concepts, technologies, and vendors with these courses.

3. Cloud computing.

TechRadar reported this month that 2015 will be the year that the cloud becomes the "new normal." The reason, writes Mark Barrenechea, CEO of OpenText, is that costs can be slashed as much as 90 percent through digitization of information-intensive processes. Barrenechea predicts that by year-end, we'll see "a world of hybrid deployments in which some information and applications reside in the cloud and the remainder resides on-premise." Learning to utilize the cloud's flexible power can improve everything from your data security to your collaboration ability. Learn cloud-computing basics with this hour-long online course, which you can view in full with a free trial from Pluralsight, or try this free intro course on the topic from ALISON.

4. Mobile.

As Six Dimensions states, "If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a future strategy." This has never been truer than in 2015, the year in which The Guardian predicts an increasing number of companies will learn how to mobilize their revenue-generating processes, like making purchases and depositing checks. This is also the year that we'll hit critical mass with the fusion of mobile and cloud computing, according to Forbes. That means many more centrally coordinated apps will be usable on multiple devices. Here's a list of beginner-level courses related to mobile technology from Pluralsight, as well as options for mobile apps courses from Lynda.com.

5. Data visualization.

Data keeps multiplying, which means whatever message you hope to communicate online must find increasingly creative ways to break through the noise. That's where data visualization comes in, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs. Creative Bloq notes that this technique can reveal details that poring through dry data can't. Fortunately, you don't have to be a web designer or developer to create compelling infographics. Here's a list of 10 free tools you can use to visually enhance your data.

6. UX design skills.

User experience (UX) designers consider the end user's ease of use, efficiency, and general experience of interfacing with a system (such as a website or application). Smashing Magazine notes that while user experience has long been important, it has become more so recently in relation to the diverse ways that users can now access websites, including mobile and apps. "The more complex the system, the more involved will the planning and architecture have to be for it," writes Jacob Gube. But it's not just professional designers who can benefit from understanding UX design--anyone can. Check out this animated video from UXmastery on "How to Get Started in UX Design."

These six tech trends are reshaping the way businesses in every industry function internally and connect with their customers. Get smart in these areas, and you won't have to worry about being left behind--at least not this year.

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a no-nonsense place. The 13-step patent submission process not only seems daunting, but also can take years to complete. If you're considering patenting a new invention, don't be discouraged: The U.S. Patent Office has approved some truly strange products before. We've dug into the archives to find some of the nuttier patents on file at the USPTO, with the hope that maybe—just maybe—they'll inspire courage to file your own patent. (Or at least make you smile.)

Tired of cleaning kibble bits out of Fido's ear? This device, developed in the late 70s, provides a way to "protect the ears of long eared animals, especially dogs, from coming into contact with their food or drink while they eat," according to the issued patent. Resembling two plastic paper towel tubes attached to a headgear, the device effectively pigtails each of the dog's ears for complete protection against the onslaught at dinnertime. Just watch out for narrow doorways!

People are easily dazzled by displays of both fire and water, so it's unsurprising that one inventor combined them to create a mega display of elemental art. Intended to be an upgrade from an existing fireplace, this 2002 patent calls for a trough to be installed in front of a firebox for a pool of water. The water circulates through special plumbing and funnels out of the front of the fireplace to create a "fountain-like" effect. Just add fire!

Most hunters and wildlife photographers like to dress in camouflage to blend into the surrounding area to get close to the target animal. But sometimes, that just isn't enough. Enter this 2004 patent for a game bird decoy coat, which "provides a hunter, photographer or other naturalist close proximity to game birds...while permitting rapid reaction to such birds once proximity access is gained." Complete with feather patterns, a birdlike shape, and detachable tail, the bird will never see the hunter coming. They'll just see a really enormous lumbering bird.

If drinking water upside down or holding your breath aren't enough to soothe your hiccups, this device might just shock them out of you. The 2003 patent's summary explains, "Hiccups lasting longer than 48 hours are called ‘persistent.' Those lasting longer than a month are called 'intractable.'" Thankfully, this device is made to zap hiccups away with a friendly shock of electricity. As the user drinks water, electrodes along a metal rod send an electric current to the vagus and phrenic nerve in an attempt to stop the hiccup "arc."

After a favorite sports team scores a winning point, it's understandable to want to give out high-fives. But, what if no one is there to receive them? Enter the high-five machine, which "allows a user to simulate a 'high-five' in celebration of a positive event, thereby providing the user with a convenient outlet for the release of excitement," according to the 1993 patent. Simply affix the high-five machine to a wall or set it on the table, and improve hand-eye coordination and mood by giving the plastic arm high-fives at your convenience. No friends necessary!

The mysophobe in everyone can cringe at the idea of catching an illness from a well-meaning kiss. Enter the kissing shield, which if handled properly, "will help people who want to do whatever they can while kissing to practice 'preventive medicine,'" according to the 1995 patent. A flexible thin membrane is stretched over a heart-shaped frame, which folds for easy storage and attaches to a handle for quick use. According to the patent, the kissing shield could even "be used especially by a politician who kisses babies."

It's a challenge to have everything handy and available while on the go. It's an even bigger challenge to be productive and have all of your things in order while wearing a neck brace. This carry-all device, a combination neck-wrap and belt holder that attach to one another, has pockets for a cell phone, pencil, a pad of paper, and much more. The two separate wraps connect to each other, creating a whole-body apparatus. The neck brace is only "one embodiment," according to the 2005 patent, so even those without neck problems can store all of their belongings near their head for safekeeping.

Protecting skin from harmful rays is essential, and products like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat are all necessities when out in the sun. This 2006 patent adds a new device to the sun-defense regimen: the sun mask towel. The standard-sized towel has, "at least one eye slit permitting unobstructed vision through said towel and at least one breathing slit," according to the patent claims. Simply lie down, match up the slits to your eyes and nose, and enjoy all the benefits of having a towel on your face without having to worry about breathing or seeing freely.

Finally, a mode of transportation for the avid bicyclist who is also a die-hard sailing fiend: This wind-harnessing bike relies on the massive sail attached to its back wheel to move forward instead of conventional peddling. According to the summary of this 2004 patent, "no one prior to applicant has succeeded to devising apparatus including a sail attachment connectable to a bicycle for harnessing wind to drive a bicycle forward in a controlled manner." Go figure.

Does this device look familiar? This 2004 patent for a burial structure bears a striking resemblance to the Great Pyramids at Giza, and even employs the same methods that were used thousands of years ago to bury the dead in ornate tombs. However, this patent makes minor changes to the design to "prevent vandalism," according to the patent summary: by building the blocks of the pyramid in a certain order, it can be sealed off entirely rather than have vulnerable spots. And, yes, that was enough differentiation to get a pyramid patented.

High-pressure hoses quickly and efficiently clean the dirt off of a sidewalk or driveway, so why not use it to clean your teeth? This 2002 patent is for a rotating apparatus that connects to any faucet and creates a high-pressure stream to blast away any of that leftover plaque that is found on teeth. Stronger than a regular water pick, the device is also meant to be used to clean the back of the teeth, so the power of a restricted garden hose can cleanse even the most stubborn of molars.

Carnivals and amusement parks are always in the market for a new and unique attraction that can bring in customers. Why not dazzle children with a life-sized interactive bowl of soup? The large bowl includes, "a fog layer at the top of the bowl-shaped member; and an imaging device producing an image," according to the 1999 patent. The soup attraction is designed to fill small children with excitement and delight as they inch near a seemingly full pot of boiling water. The interactive activities of the soup are vague, but the thrill of being close to scalding water…eh, forget it. —Lauren Hockenson

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[lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [45862] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => [img_reference_name] => inspiring pano [img_caption] => [img_alt_text] => [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => [img_ityid] => 1 [img_bucketref] => [img_bucket_dimx] => [img_bucket_dimy] => [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => most-inspiring-pano.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 970 [img_pan_dimy] => 450 [img_light_imageflag] => FALSE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => [img_tags] => [img_notes] => [img_gettyflag] => FALSE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '66920' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2014-12-11 16:16:36 [time_updated] => 2014-12-11 16:16:59 [id] => 45862 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => [inc_title] => New from CES: A 3D Printer for the Masses? [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => New from CES: A 3D Printer for the Masses? [inc_homepage_headline] => New from CES: A 3D Printer for the Masses? [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => [inc_homepage_deck] => [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => [inc_pubdate] => 2012-01-11 11:22:00 [inc_promo_date] => [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => erik-sherman/makerbot-debuts-3D-printer-for-consumers-CES.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => [inc_clean_text] => [inc_code_only_text] => [inc_notepad] => [inc_toolbar_text] => [inc_read_more_override] => [inc_show_read_moreflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar_head] => [inc_sidebar_adcodeflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar] => [inc_custom_footer] => [inc_full_width_footerflag] => [inc_show_pinboardflag] => [inc_staid] => 7 [inc_premiumflag] => [inc_newsworthyflag] => FALSE [inc_standoutflag] => FALSE [inc_evergreen_contentflag] => [inc_homepage_riverflag] => [inc_comment_alert] => [inc_copyeditedflag] => FALSE [inc_activeflag] => [inc_hide_bucket_imageflag] => [inc_hide_article_sidebarflag] => [inc_hide_commentsflag] => [inc_show_social_linksflag] => [inc_prtid] => [inc_canonical_url] => [inc_serid] => [inc_registration_requiredflag] => [inc_use_narrow_navflag] => [inc_no_cacheflag] => [inc_eopid] => [inc_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_custom_adzone] => [inc_imu_style_image_overrideref] => [inc_imu_style_image_override_ab_testref] => [inc_tile_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_alchemyupdatetime] => [owner_admid] => [inc_f1temp] => [inc_alchemyentityxml] => [inc_alchemykeywordxml] => [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40011' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => [time_updated] => [id] => 40011 [sortorder] => [tbl] => article [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [incid1] => 40164 [incid2] => 40011 [sort] => [largeformat] => FALSE [baseurl] => http://www.inc.com/ [timestamp] => [homepage_headline] => New from CES: A 3D Printer for the Masses? [homepage_headline2] => New from CES: A 3D Printer for the Masses? [homepage_deck] => [lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [13095] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => [img_reference_name] => __DO NOT USE__makerbot replicator [img_caption] => A LITTLE PIECE OF STAR TREK: Makerbot debuted its new 3D printer for consumers at the Consumer Electronics Show. [img_alt_text] => Makerbot unveils The Replicator, its new 3D printer for consumers [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => [img_ityid] => 1 [img_bucketref] => makerbot-bucket.jpg [img_bucket_dimx] => 336 [img_bucket_dimy] => 336 [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => makerbot-pano.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 575 [img_pan_dimy] => 270 [img_light_imageflag] => TRUE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => Makerbot unveils The Replicator, its new 3D printer for consumers [img_tags] => makerbot, replicator, 3D printer, new technology, ces [img_notes] => [img_gettyflag] => FALSE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40011' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2012-01-11 14:30:24 [time_updated] => 2014-09-30 16:46:28 [id] => 13095 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => [inc_title] => Does Your Online Business Have a Privacy Problem? [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => Do You Have a Privacy Problem? [inc_homepage_headline] => Do You Have a Privacy Problem? [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => [inc_homepage_deck] => [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => [inc_pubdate] => 2012-01-17 13:28:16 [inc_promo_date] => [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => erik-sherman/does-your-online-business-have-privacy-problem.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => [inc_clean_text] => [inc_code_only_text] => [inc_notepad] => [inc_toolbar_text] => [inc_read_more_override] => [inc_show_read_moreflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar_head] => [inc_sidebar_adcodeflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar] => [inc_custom_footer] => [inc_full_width_footerflag] => [inc_show_pinboardflag] => [inc_staid] => 7 [inc_premiumflag] => [inc_newsworthyflag] => FALSE [inc_standoutflag] => FALSE [inc_evergreen_contentflag] => [inc_homepage_riverflag] => [inc_comment_alert] => [inc_copyeditedflag] => FALSE [inc_activeflag] => [inc_hide_bucket_imageflag] => [inc_hide_article_sidebarflag] => [inc_hide_commentsflag] => [inc_show_social_linksflag] => [inc_prtid] => [inc_canonical_url] => [inc_serid] => [inc_registration_requiredflag] => [inc_use_narrow_navflag] => [inc_no_cacheflag] => [inc_eopid] => [inc_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_custom_adzone] => [inc_imu_style_image_overrideref] => [inc_imu_style_image_override_ab_testref] => [inc_tile_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_alchemyupdatetime] => [owner_admid] => [inc_f1temp] => [inc_alchemyentityxml] => [inc_alchemykeywordxml] => [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40079' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => [time_updated] => [id] => 40079 [sortorder] => [tbl] => article [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [incid1] => 40164 [incid2] => 40079 [sort] => [largeformat] => FALSE [baseurl] => http://www.inc.com/ [timestamp] => [homepage_headline] => Do You Have a Privacy Problem? [homepage_headline2] => Do You Have a Privacy Problem? [homepage_deck] => [lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [13199] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => [img_reference_name] => __DO NOT USE__online security [img_caption] => [img_alt_text] => Do you have a privacy problem? [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => 819 [img_ityid] => 1 [img_bucketref] => web-security-bucket.jpg [img_bucket_dimx] => 336 [img_bucket_dimy] => 336 [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => web-security-pano.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 575 [img_pan_dimy] => 270 [img_light_imageflag] => FALSE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => Do you have a privacy problem? [img_tags] => online security, padlock, lock button, keyboard, security, internet [img_notes] => [img_gettyflag] => FALSE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40079' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2012-01-17 14:32:17 [time_updated] => 2013-08-23 16:25:38 [id] => 13199 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Article Object ( [inc_foreignid] => [inc_title] => How Google’s Search Changes Affect Your SEO [inc_headline_prefix] => [inc_headline] => How Google’s Search Changes Affect Your SEO [inc_homepage_headline] => How Google’s Search Changes Affect Your SEO [inc_homepage_headline_ab_test] => [inc_lander_headline] => [inc_sharing_headline] => [inc_twitter_headline] => [inc_column_name_override] => [inc_reference_name] => [inc_custom_byline] => [inc_typid] => 1 [inc_autid] => [inc_deck] => [inc_homepage_deck] => [inc_lander_deck] => [inc_sharing_deck] => [inc_image_caption_override] => [inc_show_feature_imageflag] => [inc_pubdate] => 2012-01-18 07:05:00 [inc_promo_date] => [inc_custom_pubdate] => [inc_meta_keywords] => [inc_custom_additional_description] => [inc_filelocation] => erik-sherman/how-googles-search-changes-affect-your-seo.html [inc_override_url] => [inc_custom_header] => [inc_custom_css] => [inc_custom_javascript] => [inc_display_videos_as_playlistflag] => [inc_autoplay_videoflag] => [inc_display_video_at_bottomflag] => [inc_hide_video_prerollflag] => [inc_clean_text] => [inc_code_only_text] => [inc_notepad] => [inc_toolbar_text] => [inc_read_more_override] => [inc_show_read_moreflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar_head] => [inc_sidebar_adcodeflag] => [inc_custom_sidebar] => [inc_custom_footer] => [inc_full_width_footerflag] => [inc_show_pinboardflag] => [inc_staid] => 7 [inc_premiumflag] => [inc_newsworthyflag] => FALSE [inc_standoutflag] => FALSE [inc_evergreen_contentflag] => [inc_homepage_riverflag] => [inc_comment_alert] => [inc_copyeditedflag] => FALSE [inc_activeflag] => [inc_hide_bucket_imageflag] => [inc_hide_article_sidebarflag] => [inc_hide_commentsflag] => [inc_show_social_linksflag] => [inc_prtid] => [inc_canonical_url] => [inc_serid] => [inc_registration_requiredflag] => [inc_use_narrow_navflag] => [inc_no_cacheflag] => [inc_eopid] => [inc_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_custom_adzone] => [inc_imu_style_image_overrideref] => [inc_imu_style_image_override_ab_testref] => [inc_tile_tracking_pixel_url] => [inc_alchemyupdatetime] => [owner_admid] => [inc_f1temp] => [inc_alchemyentityxml] => [inc_alchemykeywordxml] => [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40092' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => [time_updated] => [id] => 40092 [sortorder] => [tbl] => article [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [incid1] => 40164 [incid2] => 40092 [sort] => [largeformat] => FALSE [baseurl] => http://www.inc.com/ [timestamp] => [homepage_headline] => How Google’s Search Changes Affect Your SEO [homepage_headline2] => How Google’s Search Changes Affect Your SEO [homepage_deck] => [lightfeatureimage] => FALSE [imagelist_primary] => Array ( [13217] => Image Object ( [img_foreignkey] => [img_reference_name] => __DO NOT USE__Google plus [img_caption] => [img_alt_text] => How Google's search changes affect your SEO [img_custom_credit] => [img_custom_meta_data] => [img_phoid] => [img_ityid] => 1 [img_bucketref] => google-plus-bucket.jpg [img_bucket_dimx] => 336 [img_bucket_dimy] => 336 [img_f1imageref] => [img_panoramicref] => google-plus-pano.jpg [img_pan_dimx] => 575 [img_pan_dimy] => 270 [img_light_imageflag] => FALSE [img_tile_override_imageref] => [img_skyscraperref] => [img_sky_dimx] => [img_sky_dimy] => [img_super_panoramicref] => [img_gallery_imageref] => [img_full_screen_ref] => [img_custom_cropref] => [img_full_text] => How Google's search changes affect your SEO [img_tags] => google plus, google, arrows, internet, search window, browser, search [img_notes] => [img_gettyflag] => FALSE [dbObj] => MDB2_Driver_mysql Object ( [string_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ' [end] => ' [escape] => \ [escape_pattern] => \ ) [identifier_quoting] => Array ( [start] => ` [end] => ` [escape] => ` ) [sql_comments] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [start] => -- [end] => [escape] => ) [1] => Array ( [start] => # [end] => [escape] => ) [2] => Array ( [start] => /* [end] => */ [escape] => ) ) [server_capabilities_checked] => 1 [start_transaction] => 1 [varchar_max_length] => 65532 [db_index] => 1 [dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connected_dsn] => Array ( [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [username] => inccom [password] => b4Fjf2jaFLfc [protocol] => tcp [hostspec] => MYDB [port] => [socket] => [database] => [mode] => ) [connection] => Resource id #7 [opened_persistent] => [database_name] => sitecontent [connected_database_name] => sitecontent [connected_server_info] => 5.5.38-35.2-log [supported] => Array ( [sequences] => emulated [indexes] => 1 [affected_rows] => 1 [summary_functions] => 1 [order_by_text] => 1 [transactions] => 1 [savepoints] => 1 [current_id] => emulated [limit_queries] => 1 [LOBs] => 1 [replace] => 1 [sub_selects] => 1 [triggers] => 1 [auto_increment] => 1 [primary_key] => 1 [result_introspection] => 1 [prepared_statements] => 1 [identifier_quoting] => 1 [pattern_escaping] => 1 [new_link] => 1 ) [options] => Array ( [ssl] => [field_case] => 0 [disable_query] => [result_class] => MDB2_Result_%s [buffered_result_class] => MDB2_BufferedResult_%s [result_wrap_class] => [result_buffering] => 1 [fetch_class] => stdClass [persistent] => [debug] => 0 [debug_handler] => MDB2_defaultDebugOutput [debug_expanded_output] => [default_text_field_length] => 4096 [lob_buffer_length] => 8192 [log_line_break] => [idxname_format] => %s_idx [seqname_format] => %s_seq [savepoint_format] => MDB2_SAVEPOINT_%s [statement_format] => MDB2_STATEMENT_%1$s_%2$s [seqcol_name] => sequence [quote_identifier] => [use_transactions] => 1 [decimal_places] => 2 [portability] => 127 [modules] => Array ( [ex] => Extended [dt] => Datatype [mg] => Manager [rv] => Reverse [na] => Native [fc] => Function ) [emulate_prepared] => [datatype_map] => Array ( ) [datatype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [nativetype_map_callback] => Array ( ) [lob_allow_url_include] => [bindname_format] => (?:\d+)|(?:[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z0-9_]*) [max_identifiers_length] => 64 [default_fk_action_onupdate] => RESTRICT [default_fk_action_ondelete] => RESTRICT [DBA_username] => [DBA_password] => [default_table_type] => ) [wildcards] => Array ( [0] => % [1] => _ ) [as_keyword] => AS [warnings] => Array ( ) [debug_output] => [in_transaction] => [nested_transaction_counter] => [has_transaction_error] => [offset] => 0 [limit] => 0 [phptype] => mysql [dbsyntax] => mysql [last_query] => SELECT * FROM article_image INNER JOIN image ON article_image.imgid = image.id WHERE article_image.incid = '40092' ORDER BY article_image.sortorder [fetchmode] => 1 [modules] => Array ( ) [destructor_registered] => 1 [_debug] => [_default_error_mode] => [_default_error_options] => [_default_error_handler] => [_error_class] => PEAR_Error [_expected_errors] => Array ( ) ) [time_created] => 2012-01-17 17:34:59 [time_updated] => 2013-08-23 16:25:38 [id] => 13217 [sortorder] => [tbl] => image [fields] => [application_path] => /public_web_sites/www.inc.com/reflex/ [core_application_url] => http://www.inc.com/ [error] => Array ( [0] => Problem initializing. A method for "incid" does not exist. [1] => Problem initializing. A method for "imgid" does not exist. ) [sort] => ) ) ) Outsourcing Don'ts Learned From Apple | Inc.com