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For Indigo CEO, it’s time to think outside the book
Nov. 09, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | by MARINA STRAUSSMARINA STRAUSS

Ms. Reisman has made a $315-million (U.S.) deal to sell Indigo’s majority stake stake in e-reader maker Kobo Inc. to Japanese e-commerce player Rakuten. Ms. Reisman is in a stronger position to make acquisitions and expand non-book ventures, to offset Indigo’s shrinking book business. She will invest heavily to shore up her new product design and development studio in New York City, which is focused on home decor and gift items....Ms. Reisman must reinvent the book store as consumers increasingly opt for mobile readers over physical books. She’s being forced to branch out ever more into gifts, toys and home decor merchandise, even as competition gets tighter. By 2013, savvy U.S. discounter Target Corp. (TGT-N51.69-1.36-2.56%) will launch its stores in Canada, carrying many of the same types of products.

Book sales, which now make up about 75 per cent of Indigo’s business, will fall to 50 per cent in a couple of years, according to Indigo’s forecast.
Marina_Strauss  Indigo  Heather_Reisman  retailers  reinvention  books  CEOs  New_York_City 
november 2011
The hits and misses of history
Nov. 5, 2011 | The Financial Times. p7 | Simon Kuper.
Assassinations are rare occasions when the fate of nations can seem to hang on a sandwich, a briefcase or a roll of fat - in other words, on chance....some assassins do genuinely seem to change the course of events. In their 2009 paper, "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War",Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken identified 298 serious assassination attempts against leaders worldwide since 1875. They found: "A country whose autocrat is assassinated is 13 percentage points more likely to move toward democracy in the following year than a country where the assassination attempt on the autocrat failed." In democracies, the authors say, assassinations didn't make a noticeable difference, so perhaps Oswald really didn't change history. Jones and Olken also argue that assassinations can affect the course of conflicts.

In short, many assassinations matter. And because leaders are so well-protected, chance often determines whether the assassination succeeds.
history  targeted_assassinations  assassinations  chance  autocrats 
november 2011
Pinstripe Greens
Nov. 5, 2011 | The Financial Times. p14.| by Pilita Clark
cleantech  alternative_energy  solar  green 
november 2011
FASTech: What Peter Thiel Looks For In Start-Ups - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJ
OVEMBER 9, 2011, 6:10 PM ET
FASTech: What Peter Thiel Looks For In Start-Ups
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By Zoran Basich
Peter_Thiel  start_ups  venture_capital  angels 
november 2011
Snip and Save or Put a Pin in It: Two Ways to Share Web Faves - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 9, 2011
Snip and Save or Put a Pin in It: Two Ways to Share Web Faves
By KATHERINE BOEHRET.

focused on two websites made for people like me: Pinterest and Snip.it. If you see content on the Web, you can opt to "pin" those things to a pinboard on Pinterest, or "snip" them to a specific collection on Snip.it. There are plenty of companies that save websites or lists, but Pinterest and Snip.it display content in a pleasing, easy-to-digest manner that can be shared with others.
tools  Pinboard 
november 2011
Forstmann's Not So Little Idea - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Forstmann's Not So Little Idea
Ted Forstmann put his money behind the missing element in inner-city education: committed parents.
By DANIEL HENNINGER
Daniel_Henninger  private_equity  philanthropy  moguls  parenting  benefactors  Ted_Forstmann 
november 2011
A Guide for PC Buyers Not Looking for a Tablet - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 10, 2011
A Guide for PC Buyers Not Looking for a Tablet
By WALTER S. MOSSBERG
Walter_Mossberg  laptops  recommendations 
november 2011
Searching for hedge funds: the dark matter of the electricity universe
November-December 2006 | Electric Light & Power. 84.6 : p56. | Tanya Bodell
hedge_funds  utilities  electric_power 
november 2011
Due diligence
Apr. 1997 | CMA - the Management Accounting Magazine. 71.3 (): p17.| James G. Webster.

...Woodgate's own process of due diligence started with market conditions and customers, and then worked back through the product line to manufacturing and technology issues and, finally, to detailed financial information, which he believes was the right sequence for someone coming in from the outside.

They conducted an in-depth analysis of the market, sales history, channels of distribution, competition, customer base, and growth opportunities. The profitability and cash flow generated by each product line was analysed, as was the need for product rationalization and investment in technology....After comparing the company's products with those of the competition and interviewing four of Allanson's customers, it was concluded that the company's products were competitive in terms of quality, cost and technology. In fact, Allanson dominated the Canadian market and had a significant share of the U.S. market....Analysis of the size and dynamics of the electric sign industry was based mainly on a detailed report contained in Woodgate's business plan. The report's findings indicated that the market for the company's electric sign products had stabilized and there was reasonable growth potential for Allanson. The statistics and premises of this report were confirmed by independent sources....Woodgate says his most important asset throughout the process was his team of consultants. "Perhaps the greatest test of their skills lies in the last five per cent [JCK: i.e. last_minute] of the due diligence process when important problems sometimes arise with the potential to kill the deal. The buyer, at this stage, has become emotionally committed to the deal and is in no position to assess danger in a balanced, thoughtful way.
buying_a_business  cash_flows  dispassion  due_diligence  emotional_commitment  emotional_connections  howto  last_minute  product_portfolios  product_profitability  RoyNat  unsentimental 
november 2011
Wave Accounting acquires Small Payroll | StartupNorth
November 2nd, 2011 | Startups | by Jonas Brandon. Emboldened with financing from OMERS Ventures and Charles River Ventures, Wave Accounting is consolidating their position as a leading provider of SaaS business applications, expanding from accounting into payroll with the acquisition of Small Payroll
Wave_Accounting  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A 
november 2011
Growth through acquisitions: A fresh look
MAY 1996 | McKinsey Quarterly | PATRICIA L. ANSLINGER AND THOMAS E. COPELAND

LBOs outbid corporate buyers and then produce extraordinary returns. How do they do it? A study of over 800 acquisitions shatters some myths about the value of timing and leverage. Don’t do the deal if you can’t find the leader.

Making acquisitions work

But making this type of acquisition work is not easy. Our research found that successful corporate and financial buyers adopt seven key operating principles. These principles affect almost every stage of the acquisition process, from the identification of candidates to postmerger management. They are:

* Insist on innovative operating strategies.(The lesson: Don't look for growth only in high-growth industries.)
* Don't do the deal if you can't find the leader.
* Offer big incentives to top-level executives.
* Link compensation to changes in cash-flow.
* Push the pace of change.
* Foster dynamic relationships among owners, managers, and the board.
Hire the best acquirers.

MAY 1996 • PATRICIA L. ANSLINGER AND THOMAS E. COPELAND
financial_buyers  incentives  LBOs  McKinsey  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  private_equity  value_creation 
november 2011
LVMH Bottles Up Champagne Market - WSJ.com
JANUARY 2, 2008 | WSJ | By CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO

LVMH Bottles Up Champagne Market
To Win Long Contracts From Grape Growers, Firm Helps Farmers.

The conglomerate, controlled by French billionaire Bernard Arnault, has managed in recent years to lay claim to the largest share by far of the Champagne region's limited grape output. LVMH has done that by cultivating the independent growers who raise most of the grapes -- including by offering them free farming help....LVMH's offer to these reluctant grape growers is a formula used in industries from autos to software makers: an after-sales service. Technical services such as determining the presence of mildew and parasites and identifying which grapes are maturing the fastest are provided free. By law, champagne houses have to charge for field services, including grape picking; LVMH provides those at cost.
LVMH  farming  Champagne  liquor  France  vineyards  loyalty  JCK  after-sales_service  customer_loyalty 
november 2011
Investment Strategies in Private Equity
Summer 2003| The Journal of Private Equity | Varun Sood
Adverse selection arises in a market
where buyers cannot accurately gauge the
quality of the product that they are buying. It
suggests that in such a case, the marketplace
most likely will contain generally poor-quality
products. This concept, also referred to as the
“hidden information” problem, is well known
in areas such as insurance and banking. In
simple terms, the theory is that there will
always be a seller for a poor-quality good,
because a seller of such items will always want
to sell. Therefore, by “self-selection,” poor quality
goods will be overrepresented in offers
made to buyers as well as in those accepted for
purchase.
private_equity  asymmetrical  moral_hazards  investing  strategies  overrepresentation  self-selection  adverse_selection  latent  hidden  Gresham's_law 
november 2011
Cover Story
Sept. 2000 | Inc. magazine pg.70.| Martha E. Mangelsdorf
term_sheets  start_ups  venture_capital 
november 2011
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011
The new masters of the universe - Bain & Company - Publications
July 27, 2005 | The Wall Street Journal | By Hugh MacArthur and Dan Haas.

Blueprint the path to value:
Hire hungry managers:
Measure what matters:
Make equity sweat:
private_equity  KKR  Bain  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  value_creation  blueprints  what_really_matters 
november 2011
Why Should Anyone be Led by You
September-October 2000| HBR | by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones
leadership  HBR  myths  tough_love  tough-mindedness  empathy  mindsets 
november 2011
Creative Capital
April 3, 2008 | BusinessWeek |By Spencer E. Ante

When Georges Doriot shepherded Digital Equipment's IPO in 1966, he changed the rules of entrepreneurship and laid the groundwork for tech giants like Apple and Google
Georges_Doriot  Spencer_Ante  venture_capital 
november 2011
Invest With A Thesis
Posted: Aug 27, 2007 | investopedia | Ryan Barnes.

Tough truths, on the other hand, are things like when and where you invest and under what circumstances.
investment_thesis  value_creation  goal-setting  investing 
november 2011
John Ivison: Harper may let Canada’s spy service conduct foreign espionage | Full Comment | National Post
John Ivison Nov 6, 2011 – 9:57 PM ET | Last Updated: Nov 7, 2011As the Harper government prepares to re-introduce the anti-terrorism measures that were allowed to lapse because of opposition concerns about privacy and Charter rights, there are whispers Conservative plans to expand the role of Canada’s spy service to operate overseas are being dusted off.
security_&_intelligence  Canada  CSIS  China  espionage  Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms 
november 2011
Teach the 4 Ps
October 2009 (volume 1, issue 1)

A Newsletter to Support Users of Basic Marketing and
Essentials of Marketing Prepared by Joe Cannon and Bill Perreault
marketing  Junior_Achievement  newsletters  teaching  tips  howto 
november 2011
Tracking China's Consumers - WSJ.com
MARCH 2, 2004 | WSJ | By KATHY CHEN and JAMES T. AREDDY.

Soaring Personal Debt Triggers Need for Credit-Check System.

With Chinese rushing in ever-greater numbers to buy on credit, banks and businesses are making their own dash into the credit-reporting industry.

With loans available to purchase everything from cars to homes to computers to a college education, growth in consumer lending has kept to a pace of about 50% in each of the past two years, far faster than the annual rise in total bank lending. In 2003, personal-credit lending totaled 1.56 trillion yuan, ($188.5 billion) more than 4.5 times the 2000 level. International companies are seeking to get in: China recently gave initial approval for General Motors Corp. and two other multinationals to offer auto financing, while credit-card giants such as Visa USA Inc. International and MasterCard International Inc. also are eyeing the market.

The problem is that without a national credit bureau or credit-check industry, lenders often know almost nothing about their borrowers. That has contributed to high default rates for both auto and student loans, now estimated to be as high as 30% in some areas of China, industry executives say....Now, some banks and companies are setting up their own credit-check systems, either for their own use or to sell to others.
consumer_credit  consumer_finance  China  credit  credit_cards  credit_management  credit_scoring  credit-analysis  credit-ratings 
november 2011
How to Fire People the Right Way
– Meridith Levinson, CIO

October 31, 2011
Rebecca Heyman, a human capital consultant with HR outsourcing company TriNet, notes that filing a discrimination claim with a local EEOC agency as part of a wrongful termination claim costs nothing for an employee, but causes significant disruption to the employer's business. "The employer has to respond to the employee's allegations. They often have to work with an attorney to prepare a response to the claim. That can be costly," she says.

How costly? Mimi Moore, a partner in the labor and employment practice with Bryan Cave LLP, says that each legal claim an employee brings against an employer in court could cost the company between $50,000 and $250,000 in legal fees and potential settlement payouts.

With the economic recovery faltering, companies are once again turning to layoffs to cut costs. In September, employers announced plans to lay off 115,730 workers, which made it the worst month for job cuts in two years, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Companies that mismanage terminations may see more litigation, says Moore. She notes that in the current climate, when employees are terminated, they're more likely to consider filing a legal claim against their employer because they know how difficult finding a new job will be, and a potential legal settlement could ease their transition.
howto  layoffs  litigation  Octothorpe_Software  firings  EEOC  wrongful_terminations 
november 2011
Steve Jobs’s Real Genius
November 14, 2011 | : The New Yorker|by Malcolm Gladwell
Steve_Jobs  Malcolm_Gladwell 
november 2011
Know Your Cuts of Meat - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com
November 1, 2011
Know Your Cuts
A new wave of butcher shops offers cuts of meat rarely seen at supermarkets. Below are six of those cuts, with suggested recipes.
butchers  meat 
november 2011
The Lost Art of Buying From a Butcher - NYTimes.com
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
: November 1, 2011

Butcher shops, once a vestige, are opening in many New York neighborhoods where buying meat has often been reduced to staring down a sea of plastic-wrapped foam trays....Buying some pork or most other meats is not as simple or as cheap as picking out an apple....How you plan to cook the meat determines the cut. And the quantity for a serving will be based on how it will be trimmed, and what else you are serving. If the meat you think you want is not available or too expensive, the butcher can offer alternatives, including cuts you never see in a supermarket...It’s a major turnaround in the way meat has been bought and sold. Some 40 or so years ago, beef was shipped to New York’s meatpacking district in the form of whole carcasses, or “rail beef.” Then the big Midwestern packing houses started shipping what was called “boxed beef,” primal cuts packed in Cryovac. Now, butchers like those at Cannibal are carving whole animals again, and not just for beef.
slaughterhouses  snout-to-tail  offal  butchers  meat 
november 2011
Peter Munk: Recipe for success? Learning from failure
November 5, 2007 | The Globe and Mail | Gordon Pitts.

It's hard to think of Peter Munk as a failure. This is, after all, the man who built Barrick, the world's
largest gold miner, as well as a property empire, a philanthropic legacy and a reputation as a shootfrom-
the-hip tycoon. Yet in the 1960s, he was tarred with the collapse of Clairtone, a Canadian
manufacturer of cutting-edge stereo equipment and colour televisions that he had co-founded. Now approaching his 80th birthday, he considers the strange alchemy of failure and success, and how
entrepreneurs are formed.
Peter_Munk  Gordon_Pitts  failure  Barrick  mining  entrepreneur  moguls 
november 2011
Rules to Live By, and Break, According to Staples Founder Thomas Stemberg - Knowledge@Wharton
January 14, 2004 in Knowledge@Wharton

Thomas Stemberg, founder and executive chairman of Staples, an office products retail chain, doesn’t buy one piece of advice that is often given to aspiring entrepreneurs: Follow your passion.

These words have spawned a stream of bankrupt restaurants and golf companies. “I think following your passion is a really dumb idea. I follow a great market that provides an opportunity to satisfy customers and to make money.”....Most of the dozens of business plans Stemberg sees each week propose marketing improvements of products or services that already exist. “None of these are good ideas,” he said. “Great ideas are [based on] identifying a true need in the marketplace and then finding a way to service it.”
Thomas_Stemberg  Staples  entrepreneur  problem_solving  market_sizing  passions  large_markets 
november 2011
For Ex-Nurses, Real Money's in Takeout - NYTimes.com
By Louise Kramer
Published: April 4, 2004

Restaurants are notoriously challenging to run. An owner must juggle customer service, logistics, management, accounting and other tasks. In franchising, entrepreneurs buy into existing concepts and follow strict guidelines for operation in exchange for a fee and royalty payments on sales.
immigrants  franchising  Second_Acts  fast-food  New_York_City  owners  restaurants  Brooklyn  nursing  Caribbean 
november 2011
What You Need to Succeed - Thomas Stemberg - Highland Capital Partners
By Thomas Stemberg | Jan 1, 2007

business plans are interesting chiefly as indications of how an entrepreneur thinks. Here at Highland Capital Partners, the venture capital firm I'm part of now, we spend most of our time talking about what really matters: management and market. If you have the right management team and an exciting market, the rest will take care of itself. I suspected that was true before I came here--it had always been true for me. Now I know it for a fact.

(1) The right people: Folks who have been there and done (something like) that.
(2) The right market: Preferably, it involves an absolute mob scene.
(3) The right answers: Sometimes you need an outside perspective.
Staples  entrepreneur  business_planning  venture_capital  Lululemon  Highland_Capital  fresh_eyes  large_markets  outsiders  the_right_people  what_really_matters 
november 2011
Fine tuning for the perfect pitch
August 3 2005 18:49 | Financial Times | Fergal Byrne.

The pitch is the business plan distilled to its essence: a 10- to 20-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. In some cases, particularly when facing venture capitalists, the Q&A can take place during the pitch....“The business plan is the all-encompassing thesis on why the business is a good opportunity, the pitch is the entrepreneur’s defence of the opportunity,”...
The odds of pitching success are not high: one study of Canadian business angels, for example, suggests almost three-quarters of opportunities were rejected at this stage before the business plan was given serious consideration.
(1) Passion wins hearts and minds.
(2) Less is more. A pitch needs to be concise to whet investors’ appetites. Guy Kawasaki, from Garage Venture, encapsulates his approach in his “10/20/30 rule”. He recommends entrepreneurs present no more than 10 slides, speak for no more than 20 minutes and write in 30-point font size. “The brevity forces an entrepreneur to purify his or her pitch.
(3) Become the product. Entrepreneurs need to apply the same discipline to sell themselves as they do to sell their product,
(4)Solve a problem – segment the market. Products need to solve a specific problem. Too often investors see ideas that are “solutions looking for a problem” or solutions trying to address too many problems.
(5)Master the domain – be candid. Answering investors’ questions during the Q&A is a vital part of the screening process. Entrepreneurs need to respond intelligently, to show they can read people, listen and interact...It is vital that presenters do not become defensive or aggressive during the presentation but respond in a calm, conversational manner.
industry_expertise  entrepreneurship  start_ups  pitches  business_planning  angels  Guy_Kawasaki  Communicating_&_Connecting  presentations  problem_solving  passions  specificity  concision  brevity  product-market_fit 
november 2011
"The bruises of the bandwagon: ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Reality television is revealing how desperately some people want to break into business. But many fail to analyse their ideas,
Apr. 25, 2005 | Financial Times pg 16.| by Paul Tyrrell

Everyone wants to run their own business. But many fail to prepare thoroughly before scrambling on to the bandwagon. Among the television hopefuls, the most widespread and humiliating trait is a failure to appreciate that an entrepreneur's personal qualities are just as important as their ideas.

It is a salutary warning. Venture capitalists and business angels have always been more inclined to back a great team with a mediocre idea than a mediocre team with a great idea. They attach a lot of importance to what they term "scar tissue" - evidence that the person has learned from experience.

"People who are enamoured of their own idea can be great, but only if they listen really hard,"... "Nothing goes to plan, so you're looking for people you can trust off-plan." ...Entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed if they can come up with an idea that exploits their experience. This is particularly clear in product development situations - for example, where an engineer takes the knowledge he gains at a large company and uses it to set up a rival.

Research suggests that "spin-outs have a survival edge in the market over other entrants as the result of a combination of entrepreneurial flexibility and inherited knowledge"....what distinguishes successful entrepreneurs is their ability to spot commercially exploitable patterns where others cannot. Herbert Simon, winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, suggests this process is intuitive: a good business idea stems from the creative linking, or cross-association of two or more in-depth "chunks" of experience - know-how and contacts.
Infotrac_Newsstand  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  pattern_recognition  personality_types/traits  television  spin-offs  entertainment  venture_capital  angels  cross-pollination  tacit_data  knowledge_intensive  scar_tissue  teams  team_risk  off-plan  Plan_B  tacit_knowledge  nimbleness  combinations 
november 2011
Be prepared for when opportunity knocks
Oct. 24, 2000 | The Financial Times p4.|Daniel Muzyka.
Business opportunities are becoming more fleeting and difficult to grasp.

Daniel Muzyka explains why and what you can do to prepare for them
Daniel_Muzyka  opportunities  preparation  transient  impermanence 
november 2011
SAOIRSE32 :: Bill Cullen: self-made Irish millionaire :: June :: 2005
Bill Cullen: self-made Irish millionaire
Filed under: an príomhbhóthar

Telegraph

Born in the slums, reaching for the stars
(Filed: 08/06/2005)

Elizabeth Grice meets the self-made Irish millionaire who believes poverty is no barrier to success
Irish  entrepreneur  automotive_industry  dealerships  self-made 
november 2011
The Founders Dilemma
February 2008 | HBR | Noam Wasserman.

Most entrepreneurs want to make pots of money and run the show. But Wasserman reveals that it’s tough to do both. If you don’t figure out which matters most to you, you could end up being neither rich
nor in control. Consider: To make a lot of money from a
new venture, you need financial resources to capitalize on the opportunities before you. That means attracting investors—
which requires relinquishing control as you give away equity and as investors alter your board’s membership. To remain in charge
of your business, you have to keep more equity. But that means fewer financial resources to fuel your venture. So, you must choose between money and power. Begin by articulating your primary motivation for starting a business. Then understand the trade-offs associated with
that goal. As your venture unfolds, you’ll make choices that support—rather than jeopardize—your dreams.
HBR  entrepreneur  start_ups  tradeoffs  founders  challenges  managerial_preferences  investors  boards_&_directors_&_governance  equity 
november 2011
Have Fun. Start Companies.
December 10, 2006 | New York Times | entrepreneur Kenny Dichter's life story as told to ABBY ELLIN.

We founded Alphabet City Records in 1996, producing music compilations for professional teams.

We became a national company that worked with all the major leagues. Two years later, in 1998, we were purchased by SFX Entertainment Inc., where I met my second mentor, Robert F. X. Sillerman. Bob taught me my second important business lesson: “Have fun. Make money. Have fun making money.
celebrities  aviation  apparel  entrepreneur  private-jets  concierge_services  serial_entrepreneur  mentoring  SFX  music_labels  college_moguls 
november 2011
THE HIP HOP GENERATION
Rev. Al Sharpton Friday, December 27, 2002

These rappers and "hip-hop impresarios" weren't worried about unemployment or the financial conditions of those who support their records and made them stars. They weren't worried about the education system that keeps too many of their fans and families in poverty. They weren't worried about voting rights. They didn't have any conferences on any of that. There wasn't one seminar entitled "Economic Empowerment" or "Jobs for the 21st Century."...Unfortunately, much of what they're selling is a fraud. They spew hedonism, misogyny, and self-hate. They glorify the prison culture, the pimp culture, and drug culture. They tell the young that they're not worthy unless they're "rocking" Chanel, Gucci, or wearing platinum and diamonds. Not only is this message immoral, but it is also flawed. It's a lie.

The most ludicrous thing in the world is to see a former rapper walking around Broadway with gold teeth and a tarnished ring, his career is gone and he has nothing else. That's how most of these stories end, but nobody is rapping or singing about that.

These artists get huge advances from the record labels, and the first thing they do is run out and buy a big, fancy car. They buy, buy, buy what they wanty, and beg for what they need, and end up with nothing. I think that projecting these images to young people - the bling-bling and the showpieces - and not talking about real estate and land and the fundamental things in life, is almost criminal. These so-called artists are leading our youth down a road that will ultimately lead to their destruction.
Al_Sharpton  hip_hop  rappers  African-Americans  profanity  misogyny  conspicuous_consumption  hedonism  thug_code  personal_finance  young_people 
november 2011
The 'H' Word - WSJ.com
APRIL 12, 2007 | WSJ | By LIONEL TIGER.

The coercive trend is that ordinary African-American males earn decreasing amounts of money compared to women of their community. They are more accident-prone, more imprisoned and have frailer family lives than women do. Is this why they smoothly call them whores, out of desperate resentment at their own ineffectuality?

There are structural reasons for this beyond the craven crumminess of popular culture. When African and Arab slavers captured people for the New World, they preferred to break up families. Subsequent slave-owning policies sustained that pattern. As well, many slaves were taken from West African societies in which biological mothers and fathers didn't necessary share child caretaking but mother and her brother did. When I lived in Ghana years ago, Christian families with father and mother in the household were called "same muddah same fadduh" in the street. It's likely that continuities persist, as they certainly do in Caribbean societies.

There's also a massive contemporary reason for the invidiousness many African-American men feel in the presence of women -- their relative failure in a school system which broadly favors females. By college age, there is a sharp fall-off of male enrollment in general and of African-American men specifically.
Colleges_&_Universities  slang  basketball  women  family_breakdown  athletes_&_athletics  race  languages  profanity  misogyny  African-Americans  gender_gap  slavery  masculinity  Afro-Caribbeans  disrespect 
november 2011
Mike Mayo's Exile on Wall Street
NOVEMBER 5, 2011 | WSJ |By MIKE MAYO.
Why Wall Street Can't Handle the Truth
Longtime bank analyst Mike Mayo tells the inside story of why it's so hard to yell 'sell' in a crowded room—and lays out how Wall Street needs to change to avoid the next financial collapse.
investment_banking  Wall_Street  banking  excerpts  investment_banking_research  investment_research 
november 2011
Scott Adams: What If Government Were More Like an iPod? - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 5, 2011 | WSJ | By SCOTT ADAMS

Dilbert's Scott Adams on bringing democracy out of the age of wax candles and into the age of touch screens
Dilbert  democracy  satire  funnies 
november 2011
Playing Matchmaker For Drivers and New Cars
NOVEMBER 2, 2011 | WSJ |By JOSEPH B. WHITE.

Idea for Brian Makse.

Taking a cue from romantic matchmaking services, several leading auto-shopping and advice websites, including Edmunds.com and KBB.com, are experimenting with online tools designed to help car shoppers choose a new car. Some of the most popular vehicles sold in the U.S. are the Ford F-series pickup, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But for people whose needs aren't met by any of those, the new online tools might be worth a try.
automobile  tools  match-making  competingonanalytics  data_driven 
november 2011
Warm Salads, Dressed for Fall - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 5, 2011 | WSJ |

(1) Roasted Pumpkin Panzanella With Chili Croutons
(2) Lamb and Romaine Salad With Cauliflower and Egg
(3) Fried Oysters With Spinach Salad and Herbsaint Dressing
(4) Curly Endive, Apple and Celery Root Salad With Pork Belly
(5) Artichoke Salad With Fried Mushrooms, Hazelnuts and Yogurt Dressing
salads  recipes  salad_dressings  lamb  pork  mushrooms  yogurt 
november 2011
Exit planning For Entrepreneurs
April 30, 2007 | National Post | Jonathan Chevreau.

Business succession planning may be a $10-trillion market in North America, according to Perry Phillips, coauthor of a new book titled just that: The $10 Trillion Opportunity: A Guide for Professional Advisors.

Phillips cites studies that show 70% of Baby Boomers currently running small and medium- sized businesses will want to exit by 2015.

In Canada, the opportunity should be worth $1.3-trillion, he estimates
exits  business_planning  entrepreneur  books  succession  JCK 
november 2011
I'll Be Back -- Delaying Retirement -- Future Planning | Inc.com
Feb 1, 2008 | Inc. Magazine | By Leigh Buchanan |

Business owners may dream of kicking back, all the way back, after years of full-throttle company building. Yet many return to the fray, suffering adrenaline withdrawal and lured by new opportunities. No one has quantified this breed's failure rate when it comes to permanent retirement. But numerous entrepreneurs tell the same tale: "I sold the business and figured I had it made, so I retired. That lasted about three months."...Running a company leaves scant opportunity to personally assist immunization programs in Africa or build irrigation systems in rural Latin America. Yet those are the sorts of experiences that change people and supply direction for meaningful lives, according to Marc Freedman, founder and president of Civic Ventures and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. "Join the Peace Corps. Live in a part of the world where there's tremendous need," advises Freedman. "This is your chance to lift yourself out of your comfort zone....For more ideas and insights on creative ways to recharge, take a look at the following books: Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, by Marc Freedman; Don't Retire, Rewire!, by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners; and Retire Smart, Retire Happy, by Nancy K. Schlossberg.
entrepreneur  books  serial_entrepreneur  midlife  serial_entrepreneurship  retirement  accessories  seniorpreneurs  Second_Acts  purpose  mission-driven 
november 2011
What's Next? Ever wonder what you'd do if you sold your business? These six entrepreneurs have some surprising answers. - April 1, 2004
By Anne Fisher
April 1, 2004

The entrepreneurs mentioned here can easily afford to do whatever they want, including nothing. Yet especially among this group, it seems that the word "retirement" itself needs to go find a rocking chair someplace. There are no statistics on what small-business owners do after they sell their companies--no one is counting, for example, how many launch another startup. But among boomer entrepreneurs, now in their early 40s to late 50s, who built thriving businesses and then sold them or took them public, the idea of idling away the hours is anathema. Instead, most start or buy another business or set out to save the world (or just a small corner of it) through nonprofit work. Or they pursue some combination of the two--often with time left over for that morning tennis match and Tuesday night Hold 'Em....Says Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles, an executive-development firm for small to midsized companies: "With the mergers-and-acquisitions market sizzling and big companies trying to buy innovation, right now is the perfect moment to sell a business and go and do something else." ...The answer for most of those type-A personalities is not whiling away time on the beach. (For an exception, see the profile of the retired management-training entrepreneur who, after some difficulty and with practice, has adapted to a life that includes skiing at least 80 days a year.)..."When people ask what I do, my wife tells them I'm a private investor,"
exits  serial_entrepreneur  retirement  Second_Acts  gazelles  small_business  personality_types/traits  seniorpreneurs 
november 2011
Natural-Born Entrepreneur - Lessons of a Serial Entrepreneur -
10/22/2001 | HBS Working Knowledge |by Dan Bricklin
Are entrepreneurs born or made? "Both" says Dan Bricklin, the inventor of VisiCalc and creator of four startups. "Sure, training, talent, and that most elusive component, good timing, are essential. But they are not enough. You need to have a true passion for what you're doing." Bricklin describes his formative experiences and lessons he's learned along the way: Know your true talent, don't wait to get started, be frugal, and recognize that you are not your business.
HBR  serial_entrepreneur  entrepreneur 
november 2011
The Door-To-Door Billionaire Daryl Harms knows how to turn dull businesses into big profits. But can he really do it with your garbage? - May 1, 2003
By Ed Welles
May 1, 2003

Harms spots trends sooner and bears down harder than most entrepreneurs--a combination that has made him wildly wealthy, if not exactly famous. But his next venture--more on that later-- just might transform him into a household name on the order of, say, Warren Buffett. Like Buffett, Daryl Harms, 51, patiently trolls for perfect businesses in which he can build long-term value via his Masada Resource Group, based in Birmingham. He hunts down overlooked opportunities that don't trade on trendy brand names or cutting-edge technologies...When selling cable service, Harms went block to block, zeroing in on houses with the tallest antennas. Other salesfolk reflexively bypassed such homes because they assumed that better reception wasn't an issue for them. Harms targeted those customers first. "I told them, 'I can see you stand tall. Of all the people on the street you understand the value of TV,' " he recalls saying. " 'If we put cable in, you can compare it with what you have now. If you don't like it, we'll come back and take it out.' " Such "influencers," in Harms's lingo, made it easier for him to convert whole blocks....Spurred by a poll that showed that 92% of Americans considered themselves "environmentalists," Harms and his employees spent a year studying the recycling market only to decide that the real money lay in garbage. From there they sought out the best ethanol conversion technology. Having found it--at the Tennessee Valley Authority--they worked for five years to tweak the science, an effort that has earned Masada 18 patents. "Today's risky business climate warrants thoroughness," Harms says..."The theme is that there is always a consumer need to be addressed," explains Wheeler. "People will always talk on the phone, watch television, and produce garbage."...Asking the right question, it seems, comes naturally to Harms. Entrepreneurs fail, he believes, because they "get too microscopic in their thinking. In business it's very easy to get the right answer to the wrong question." According to Wheeler, Harms failed to ask the right question when he set up a venture called Postron, which allowed cable TV subscribers to receive their bills via cable and print them out on a printer attached to their TVs. What Harms didn't ask, says Wheeler, was "whether consumers wanted another piece of hardware." They didn't...Harms finds customers where no one else thinks to look. When he started selling burglar alarms in 1985, he didn't target high-crime areas. Instead he identified places where the perception of vulnerability was greatest--which he determined by calculating how much space the local paper devoted to crime. The first cellphone license he sought was for a desolate stretch of highway between Lincoln and Omaha rather than in a major population center. Why? Because, as Page says, "what else were people going to do in their cars but talk on the phone?" Aside from overlooked customers, Harms seeks another component to every business: recurring revenue of roughly $25 a month per user. "That's a bite that most people can get used to paying," he reasons. For him it translates into healthy cash flow, which fosters predictability and enables a business to survive hard times. Besides, "the more reliable the cash flow, the higher a multiple of that cash flow you can get for your company," he notes.
asking_the_right_questions  cash_flows  consumer_needs  counterintuitive  entrepreneur  hard_times  hidden  latent  moguls  overlooked_opportunities  missed_opportunities  predictability  questions  subscriptions  thinking_big  trend_spotting  unglamorous  wide-framing 
november 2011
Building Wealth - 99.06
J U N E 1 9 9 9 |The Atlantic | by Lester C. Thurow. The new rules for individuals, companies, and nations.

Rule 1 No one ever becomes very rich by saving money.
Rule 2 Sometimes successful businesses have to cannibalize themselves to save themselves.
Rule 3 Two routes other than radical technological change can lead to high-growth, high-rate-of-return opportunities: sociological disequilibriums and developmental disequilibriums.
Rule 4 Making capitalism work in a deflationary environment is much harder than making it work in an inflationary environment.
Rule 5 There are no institutional substitutes for individual entrepreneurial change agents.
Rule 6 No society that values order above all else will be creative; but without some degree of order (institutional integrity??), creativity disappears.
Rule 7 A successful knowledge-based economy requires large public investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development.
Rule 8 The biggest unknown for the individual in a knowledge-based economy is how to have a career in a system where there are no careers.
Lester_Thurow  wealth_creation  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  deflation  career_paths  Managing_Your_Career  cannibalization  disequilibriums  anomalies  JCK  unknowns  high-growth  change_agents  individual_initiative  technological_change  digital_economy  messiness  constraints  knowledge_economy  public_education  new_rules  capitalism  personal_enrichment  ROI  institutional_integrity 
november 2011
Humanity´s Greatest Achievement
2 October 2006 | Wall Street Journal| Johan Norberg.

The people we should thank are the innovators and entrepreneurs, the individuals who see new opportunities and risk exploring them -- the people who find new markets, create new products, think out new ways to handle commodities commercially, organize work in new ways, design new technology or transfer capital to more productive uses. The entrepreneur is an explorer, who ventures into uncharted territory and opens up the new routes along which we will all be traveling soon enough. Simply to look around is to understand that entrepreneurs have filled our lives with everyday miracles.

Entrepreneurs are serial problem-solvers who search out inefficiencies and find more practical ways of connecting possible supply with potential demand.
entrepreneurship  problem_solving  entrepreneur  innovation  uncharted_problems  new_businesses  inefficiencies  explorers  exploration 
november 2011
The cable guy: David Campbell
Mar. 31, 2005 | The Globe and Mail| Doug Steiner.

Most great entrepreneurs I know are successful for one simple reason: They combine their observations of the world with their particular skill set....I asked Campbell years ago how he managed to find these business winners time after time. He said he imagined what he could do with something new, and then considered all the benefits that product or service would bring to customers. By doing so, he took his mundane skills as a radio engineer and parlayed them into a fortune.

The lesson I see in Campbell's experience: Innovators don't really innovate. Rather, they see a future that incorporates their view of the present. That might be a shock to those of you who think you can come up with a great idea and put it into action all by yourself. I believe that innovation and the development of new markets begins with customers....I asked Campbell years ago how he managed to find these business winners time after time. He said he imagined what he could do with something new, and then considered all the benefits that product or service would bring to customers. By doing so, he took his mundane skills as a radio engineer and parlayed them into a fortune.

successful entrepreneurs don't just have a snappy new invention, talent or concept that they want to sell. They don't just see a trend developing and have a vision of the future. They also see things that lots of people might actually need or want. The best of those entrepreneurs have the practical skills to run an organization themselves or to pick the right people to do it for them. And the very, very best of them, like Campbell, repeat the process over and over.

Let's carry Campbell's business acumen forward to today. If I were thinking like him, I'd be imagining how to reduce people's reliance on expensive internet access through regular cable and phone companies. I'd research the industry for new communications technologies--Mesh Radio, WiMax 802.16REVd or broadband wireless phones. Parks Associates, a Dallas-based telecommunications research and consulting firm, thinks that Asia will adopt this potentially ultracheap new technology before the U.S. What form will it take? I'd study various scenarios, form my own view of the future and imagine how a spanking new technology might fit the bill.
Doug_Steiner  entrepreneur  CATV  innovation  creativity  books  far-sightedness  business_acumen  the_right_people 
november 2011
Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn Has Become the Go-To Guy of Tech - NYTimes.com
November 5, 2011 | NYT | By EVELYN M. RUSLI.

Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.

According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them....“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly.”...Today, LinkedIn, the professional social network, is a rising giant, a monument to the emergence of the social Web. Founded in 2002, the company has ballooned to more than 1,700 employees. It has more than 135 million registered members across 200 countries. It has turned a profit in six of the last seven quarters. ...In the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon.

This one, he believes, will be driven by data. Mr. Hoffman has been investing in companies that are data-driven or starting to work with data in interesting ways. For instance, even though two Greylock investments, Shopkick and Groupon, focus on retailing, both aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable.
Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  profile  entrepreneur  Silicon_Valley  data_driven  analytics  data  massive_data_sets  Greylock  scaling  searchable  network_effects  habits  spending  customer_adoption  seismic_shifts  Archimedes  Greek 
november 2011
In sickness and in health
September 20, 2005 | Globe & Mail Page A20 |By CATHY SOSNOWSKY
marriage  relationships  dating  illness  injuries  temperament 
november 2011
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