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Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.

This was in the Times last Sunday and is an awesome summary of how to think about motivating and retaining great employees. It highlights simple but critical points like taking breaks to avoid burnout, helping employees gain a feeling of mastery by providing specific and customized challenges, and maintaining a constant feedback loop.

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AT&T and ChallengePost are announcing the Connected Intersections Challenge, a three-month-long competition aimed at designers and software and hardware engineers. Entrants to the challenge are tasked with “[re-imagining] software and hardware technology to keep pedestrians in NYC safe and alert while remaining connected on their smartphones.”

“AT&T Is Offering $50K To Engineers To Make New York City Safer For Pedestrians” via TechCrunch

One experience I would love to see is route mapping based on the quality and accessibility of the bike lanes. When Google Maps puts together a Bike route between two points in NYC, half the time I follow it most of the bike lanes are closed and/or inaccessible due to construction.