Success Synonyms, Success Antonyms, What causes so many companies that once dominated their industries to slide into decline? In this article, two Harvard Business School professors argue that such firms lose their touch because success breeds failure by impeding learning at both the individual and organizational levels.

success quotes pinterestAnother study found that people also have trouble adjusting for the difficulty of the situation when judging successes. (See the sidebar The Challenge of Discounting Easy Successes.”) In business this bias can affect many critical decisions, including whom to hire or promote, which products to launch, and which practices to spread throughout the organization. Someone who has led a thriving business in a highly profitable industry, for instance, often appears more attractive than a similarly skilled or even more qualified candidate who has struggled to lead a firm in an industry in which most companies are failing.

The inability of people to adjust for degree of difficulty when assessing accomplishments was clearly demonstrated in a study that one of us, Francesca Gino, conducted with Don Moore of Berkeley and Sam Swift and Zachariah Sharek of Carnegie Mellon. Students at a U.S. university assumed the role of admissions officers for an MBA program and were presented with information about candidates’ grade point averages as well as the average GPA at their colleges. In their decisions, the participants overweighted applicants’ nominal GPAs and underweighted the effect of the grading norms at different schools. In other words, they didn’t take into account the ease with which grades were earned.

We repeatedly observed pharmaceutical companies making these kinds of attribution errors in choosing which drugs to kill or push forward. They selected drugs whose initial tests were successful as potential winners and allocated more money to them for further testing and development. But often managers assumed a success was due to the unique abilities of their in-house scientists and didn’t consider whether it could be due to greater general knowledge in that particular scientific area, which competitors might have, too.

In addition, we found that long lead times can blind executives to problems with their current strategies. Again, consider the pharmaceutical industry. Because it takes 12 years, on average, to get a drug from discovery to market, a company’s performance today has relatively little to do with its most recent actions and decisions. Yet both managers and investors often attribute today’s high performance to the company’s current strategy, management, and scientists.

In another study, similar feelings of confidence experienced by a team leader caused the leader to do most of the talking during the team discussion and, as a result, to fail to discover critical information that other team members had.

Overconfidence inspired by past successes can infect whole organizations, causing them to dismiss new innovations, dips in customer satisfaction, and increases in quality problems, and to make overly risky moves. Consider all the companies that grew rapidly through acquisitions only to stumble badly after biting off one too many; the countless banks that made ever-riskier loans in the past decade, sure of their ability to sort good borrowers from bad; and all the darlings of the business media that had winning formulas but did not try to update or alter their strategies until it was way too late.

success quotes pinterestIn a recent study we conducted in a controlled laboratory setting, students from U.S. universities were asked to work on two decision-making problems. Learning from experience on the first problem could help them perform well on the second. After submitting their solutions to the first problem, the participants were told whether or not they had succeeded. They were then given time to reflect before starting the second problem. Compared with the people who failed at the first problem, those who succeeded spent significantly less time reflecting on the strategies they’d used. This had a cost: Those who succeeded on the first task were more likely to fail on the second. They had neglected to ask why.

To avoid the success-breeds-failure trap, you need to understand how experience shapes learning. Learning is, of course, a highly complex cognitive and organizational process, and numerous models have been developed about it in the academic literature. Drawing from those, we present a simplified model that highlights the effect that success and failure have on learning.

We start with the premise that individuals and organizations at any point in time hold certain theories, models, principles, and rules of thumb that guide their actions. Your choices about the people you hire, the projects you fund (or terminate), the features you include in new product designs, and the business strategies you pursue are all influenced by them. Sometimes theories are quite sophisticated and rooted in science or decades of practical experience. But in many other cases, they are pretty informal—and we may not even be aware that they are swaying our decisions.

Posted in General Discussion

European Adventures Section

Updated this section with more cities from Italy and now the trip to Berlin.  As always please remember that this Section is not edited.  There are minor adjustments to color and exposure but that’s it.  This section is to share the adventures I have in Europe with friends and visitors of this site.  Thanks and I hope you all continue to enjoy.


I really hope to return to Berlin soon.  They were standing up stages all over the place for the New years Celebration there and it really limited my pictures.  In some of the pictures of the Arc you can see the tops of the scaffolding.  Some roads were just shut down for construction.  I hope to return and add some real quality images soon.


Michelle Hodges

Posted in General Discussion, Shared Photography

New Sharing Capabilities Installed

Updated the capabilities for users to share their posts to different Social Media Sites.  Pinterest Functionality added.

Hope you enjoy the features.


Stephen Hodges

Posted in General Discussion, Website and Technical Forum

Total Revamp of the Site

I figured since we were starting a new section of the website dedicated to Website Help and Technical Issues I would start by totally updating the site.  Hope you all enjoy.  Let me know if this version gives any of you issues.


Stephen Hodges

Posted in Website and Technical Forum

Website and Technical Section

We are creating a section for Website and Technical Advise.

Hopefully this is will create a place for photographers to go to get assistance on creating their own online presence.  I am by far no expert but have learned an amazing amount in the few years we have been running this site.


Hope to see you get involved


Stephen Hodges

Posted in General Discussion, Introduce Yourself, Website and Technical Forum

Wow, It’s been a while

First let me apologize for not updating the page.  Since I left VA and photography has returned to being a hobby versus a career the page has become more of a second thought.  I am still out doing what I love but the labor of updating the page has become a rare occurance.  I had sincerely hoped that the page would be semi self sufficient at this point.  This has not occurred on the blog side of things.  The original goal was to have the site be run by the users not an administrator.  Photographers discussing photography and occasionally I would throw an article out.  Seems the only people writing articles or posts for approval are spammers.  Those I discard immediately.  So here are a few updates since my last post.

Visited the following places

  • Strasbourg France
  • Munich Germany for OktoberFest
  • Italy for a second time.  (Will be going to Tuscany on the 29th, so here comes the 3rd time)

Steve has always helped me with lighting equipment and the website.  He has now really started using the equipment and doing his own Photography Projects as well.  Seems this has become more of a family thing than a Michelle thing.  My oldest son has been my assistant on several jobs as well.  I really hope they will start working on the website as well to try and get this thing kick started.

Regardless, I am staying busy and taking a lot of photos.  I hope to have time to parse through them and post to the website soon.  If you have photography you would like to share please join the site and get involved.


Anyway until next time,



Posted in General Discussion

Roles on Website

Effective Immediately all members new and old can submit their own articles for the Blog.  I had inadvertently made the site so secure the default was comment on existing posts only.   If you join the site you have the right to submit articles for publishing.  Hope all of my photography peers new and old take advantage of these new rights.



Posted in General Discussion

Let’s kill a myth real fast

Your subject won’t sit still or your moving between different lighting quickly…  do not be afraid to use auto!

Sometimes I run into issues shooting in manual when I’m doing candid shots of children or people in groups. They’re constantly running in and out of the light, and up and down and around and through and over and under and. . .you get the picture. I can’t switch my settings fast enough to catch them before they’re on to the next adventure. When that’s the case I click over to automatic and thank my lucky stars! She’s so good to me!! Sure if I had time and patience I could fiddle and faddle around to get the precise setting, but generally I’m working against the light.  I’ve gotta be quick so that I have a broad selection of photos.

Example: I was working an event just yesterday where there were many children running and playing.  As well as adults holding an event under a pavilion.  So in order to catch moments I saw occurring outside the pavilion and still snap shots of things under the pavilion I switched to auto.  This is a common thing for me to do under these types of events.  In this instance, there was another photographer in the area taking photos and noticed what I did.  This started a discussion and I explained the kids are just running in and out or the shots so fast I can not adjust to them and still catch the official event.  The photographer then simply gave me a, “That’s Interesting” comment, followed by a “I look forward to seeing how those turn out”.  Now I am used to other photographers, and have met some rude ones.  So instead of letting this bother me I decided to let it inspire me to give a short blog space to this. I might also mention this was a free gig my spouse’s employer.

Now let’s kill this rule real fast.  I know when to use Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and how to adjust every setting on my camera to use manual when needed.  But why should a photographer in a difficult situation be required to avoid the little green shape on their camera when the situation and lighting demands become unmanageable.  Also why do other photographers seem to jump at the opportunity to call you on it.  Being a professional photographer obviously does not mean you have to act professionally but it sure helps your cause.  Now like I said before I had some other great talks with this guy throughout the day.  We might actually work together at some point. This one comment just inspired me to kill a myth. So if the said photographer reads this I hope it is not taken negatively.

What do you think?  Do you instantly discount another photographer’s skill if you see them switch to auto or do you judge it based on the composition of the photography?  Again I have stated in the past, I see photos taken with cell phones that look more professional than some DSLR toting professionals.  I assure you they were on the only the setting the camera has (Auto).


Michelle Hodges



Posted in Equipment Related, General Discussion

With the demise of Aperture and iPhoto… Is Photoshop my only option? Nope, here’s a list of others for free.


As many of you have heard Apple is replacing Aperture and iPhoto with a less capable photo toolkit.  Read the link from wired below to get a bit more informed and understand the inspiration for this article. Count me as one of those Aperture users that is very disappointed.  Yes, I use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for Portrait Photography and the more artistic work but in the end Aperture was faster and much easier interface to work with.  Since most of my recent photography is landscapes and Travel Photography in the European Adventures section,  I was living in Aperture, and honestly living quiet happily.


So now to begin my article on your options.  While the obvious option is to pay the $9.99 per month for the Creative Cloud Photography License, you do have other options.  I will be the first to tell you the Creative Cloud option was my choice in this adventure.  But the transition and the difficulty with the Photoshop Interface made this extremely trying.  Quiet honestly, more than the average user or hobby photographer will be willing to put up with.  So here are some low cost highly capable options you could also look into.

Let s start with “Old Faithful”

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) – GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.

COST: Free!


For you people who own Canon DSLR’s this one comes free with every Camera on your CD…

Digital Photo Professional (DPP) is a high-performance RAW image processing, viewing and editing software for EOS digital cameras. Using DPP you can easily perform basic and advanced editing and printing of RAW images. An example of the available editing functions are image rotation, white balance adjustment, dynamic-range adjustment, colour adjustment and fine-tuning of tone curve characteristics.

DPP supports sRGB, Adobe RGB, Wide Gamut RGB and Colour Management System (CMS) using the International Colour Consortium (ICC) Profile.

You can download the latest version of DPP or an update for your current version by selecting your product from the EOS camera range page. A helpful user manual for DPP is also available for download.

Digital Photo Professional is included in the initial software setup for your EOS camera.

COST: Free!


I am unsure if Nikon has a similar Software but I have seen their NX-D Software and it seems very robust. It is NOT free like the prior two options.  To find more info here is the link.

COST: $179.95

And now I will post the link to the Creative Cloud page incase like me you just go to the “Dark Side”.  I say that jokingly because for years and years I refused to pay $700 to edit photos.  My business was not consistent enough to justify it.  Lightroom and Essentials were no better than Aperture in my opinion so I went native on my Mac.  But Adobe now offers monthly licensing at $9.95 per month and Aperture is dying.  Here is the link:


So what do you use?  What are your plans post Aperture?  I was talking to another photographer today and they use a web service I had never heard of.  Had this discussion with someone today and they used an online system for editing.  Look forward to your comments.




Posted in General Discussion

Photography 101 Cheatsheet from Photography Degree Online


So you bought your first DSLR and your lost.  Now you need to learn what all those settings do.  I found this Infographic at Photography Online Degree and what do you know it is a Creative Commons License Graphic.  So as a thank you to the people over there for being a CC user I will be linking this over there and hopefully one or two people will visit them after being here.  So go check them out, the link is below.



Posted in Equipment Related, General Discussion, Photography Tips