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Monday, 30 November 2009

CDFA home page

CDFA home page

Important resources for SMEs in UK..

preview below (from above website), suggest you visit!

===

CDFIs are independent organisations which provide loans and support to businesses and individuals. They help people who have had trouble getting finance from the usual sources such as banks and building societies. They are helping to create opportunity and prosperity in disadvantaged communities. As the trade association for CDFIs, the cdfa's mission is to grow, support and strengthen the sector.

Back our campaign for the Government, banks and other stakeholders to boost their support of CDFIs: www.moneyforchange.org.uk

===

Sunday, 29 November 2009

BBC News - First China milk scandal legal claim reaches courts

BBC News - First China milk scandal legal claim reaches courts

Indeed very sad news.

However, due to the constant change at the national, regional and local level, typical officials and in fact some unscrupulous entrepreneurs are very short sighted (not sure how long the good time lasts!).. and do some things which they do not even have time to think regarding potential consequences..

Sadly, even with the harsh sentences like this, would it really serve as deterrents?

Some might argue that it might not change much, as otherwise, he/she might still be waiting for temporary jobs.. somewhere in a queue.

We should all be glad that we are in countries with a proper rule of law but most importantly some medium and long term horizon which we can plan for and work towards..

..

May we live in interesting times!
and yes, do good business but be safe (for yourself and others) ..

(am I doing a Jerry Springer?)




AXbo Sleep Phase alarm clock review - Pocket-lint

AXbo Sleep Phase alarm clock review - Pocket-lint

Sadly price point totally wrong..

but could be brilliant product that can take over the market.. probably 1/4 or 1/5 of the price..

oh well, it will come but sadly when the affordable (by mass market) equivalent comes to market, sadly probably be a copy cat..

great product if it works and of course get the pricing right!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

WWII in Colour and HD on Discovery Channel.co.uk

WWII in Colour and HD on Discovery Channel.co.uk

What can I say, one of the better prog. documenting the best monumental history of the WORLD!

perfect for those (like me) didn't study much during the secondary school (in HK).

Illustration of WWII planes

Hong Kong Citizens Are Living in Cages… Literally

Hong Kong Citizens Are Living in Cages… Literally

Don't forget, we had huge numbers of 'tin shacks' shanty town also... guess they were the 'luckier' type of people..

But in general, people are much more 'driven' to earn and strive, where the 'benefit culture' was unheard of. Which could have been part of the reason for the Hong Kong success.

Sadly, now with the advent of new arrivals from China and due to better benefits (& afraid of losing out) more HK Chinese are now receiving 'benefits'..

Lets hope it does not become another UK, where it might means being a single mum with several kids means working would make her family poorer!

Very sad situation indeed.


Friday, 20 November 2009

"20. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!"

Untitled Document: "20. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!"

I particularly like:

"20. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!"


"remote commerce" Elephant in the room [RCEiTR]

Elephant in the room - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Had a short but interesting conversation with a 'investor' at Nesta event yesterday (gr8 event, see my other sporatic tweets/blog), typical no card which means I will (have already)forget him..

the conversation was about 'search' and early stage investing, but a fraction of it I would like to draw one's attention here, it is the big remote-commece "elephant in the room".. [RCEiTR]

Like the agency world, startup world (valley) included which a good proportion of them mostly focus on building followings (monetise via advertising!?) but mostly via trade sales (typically due to opportunity cost/bid & give astronomical but unjustifyable multiples)..

everyone forget [RCEiTR].. that is, most people STILL DO NOT transact remotely, either via online, mobile or interactive TV..

yes, the web, mobile web and i-mode and everything has become pervasive.. most, including Nokia (unlike Apple) has not cracked it yet..

mostly because the trust/education/business model (of the value chain) is not yet matured AND communicated (& educated) ...

So, lets keep on playing the build up and sell it before they realise/prove the value game.

[talking from a not yet multi-millionaire sour grapes point of view of course] ;-)

@GarethWong

Question I did not manage to ask: NESTA - Social media with Stephen Fry (Great Video!)

NESTA - Social media with Stephen Fry

Great event indeed.
Some of the photos & videos I took here on Flickr.

Sadly the guys where ushered away and I could not even shake hands (I was at the front like groupies) with @Biz or Reid.. but I did manage with @StephenFry (whom we do DM each other, as 1 of his 'trillion' followers, he is kind 2 respond when he can!)

Question I had for Biz & Reid from the social media world is this, hope they can answer, as it touches on a lot of CXOs' concerns..


Question to Reid & Biz are these:

1.) Are you guys not trying too much to increase 'reach' by doing cross distribution deals that might be running the danger of 'scaring' off potential new users (e.g. the user interface on LinkedIn is now very BUSY!).. what are you doing to as Biz put it, make it simple? twitter is simple, but very noisy (me included)

and the group is so much for popularist now that most become an email address farmer's dream (thats why most groups are run by consultants & recruiters) {declaration: main group I run is for my business school}

2.) Exit strategy (for us users): What happens with our network of contacts/trusts/good will/ endorsements etc.? if/when you guys exit (Twitter don't mind much for me, but no doubt for top guys like ChrisB, GuyK, etc. same question to Biz/Ev)?? what can we do as users to capture and export that?? have you guys got some API/expert standards agreed with other social networks?? I would hate for my years of time/energy investments to lay wasted..

3.) what can Twitter do for those of us who are not fame seeker and would like to engage but only mostly with qualified individuals? (not just verified celebrities/bloggers, there are more common people who's voice need to be heard etc.)

=== more reasons for asking below:

Namely, the "potential danger" of Convergence of Social media/network.. one example is my personal experiences and reason for 'choosing LinkedIn' .. which I am a firm supporter/user since 2000 (if not before? could you check for me from your system?)

I chose to use LinkedIn back in 2004 as the platform of choice for the creation of MBA alumni group (for Cass Business School, we were first few batches of group trials) was that I saw LinkedIn was the better system where the Quality of people were much higher and more pervasive (across different industries & countries) than others (like ecademy, OpenBC/Xing, AsmallWorld etc.)

Reason for choosing LinkedIn was that it was simple, non invasive/busy, but value adding, essentially, 'linked' and qualified CVs and experiences/endorsements between others.. which was main benefits I tried to convince my senior business contacts to start using it.. since 2004.

My business had always been Business to Business (B2B), and so, do not need /care much about the blogging world (for me black art), nor Twitter. I had a twitter a/c for one year before I started using it properly towards end of 08.. I am an earnest user but still prefer my privacy, and use it mostly to keep in touch with my existing contacts but limited way reach out to some new contacts (properly only 20% if not less).

My personal goals of networking is focus on mostly quality over quantity when I can, based on years of networking experience so far, the typical response from senior executives (who rarely use internet[other than emails], let alone social networks) would take them 2-4years to respond/accept and start using social network like LinkedIn.

[It is hard work, as even fellow MBAs don't join, Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of Nesta who interviewed you guys is a fellow Cass MBA, but we are in contact, but he does not use social network, most CXOs I know (say 80+%) don't as they are too busy, some even have schedules down to 15min slots! probably like Reid]

Twitter I find useful personally (read filtered/recommended blogs & short communication) but majority of B2B people do NOT, in fact, they see it as self indulgence and looking for glory (yes, they said that we are)..

Danger I see with the latest integration/convergence of Twitter into LinkedIn, Open-APIs like those of Facebook might make likes of LinkedIn too busy for not yet converted senior business executives.. or lose those that already have signed up..

Do you guys have any plans/works in understanding the needs/wants for those that are not yet part of the 'mash-up' world??

Seems to me everyone is trying to do their own thing in the silicon valley and focusing on how best to next exit (secretly), as no, everyone is NOT thinking about exit, but sadly thats what is happening, typical turnaround as I see it is 2/3 years (LinkedIn excluded)..

It is only sustainable if the system & mash-up will entice/encourage new established people to join (rather than people that change roles/jobs/startup on a bi-annual basis)..

what can us normal bricks & mortar people do? my years of investment of time & connections and good will/ endorsements.

Of course, this is my personal point of view, despite I have over 2,000 connnections on LinkedIn, I have met every single one of them and we are in conversations etc. one way or another,but my capacity is already maxed out.

So, really respect @StephenFry for being our role model to lead 1m people.. but hey, he is super intellectual major celebrity.. (whom I managed to shake hands with.).. cheers to you Stephen (not that I can do what you do in a million years!)

I hope above make sense.. if not, it is not my fault but please help me to rephrase them.. gotta rest now, and getting up as usual in 4hours..

BR
@GarethWong





Monday, 16 November 2009

What Makes Them Click � Blog Archive � 100 Things You Should Know About People: #8 — Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information - Applying

What Makes Them Click � Blog Archive � 100 Things You Should Know About People: #8 — Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information - Applying Psychology to Understand How People Think, Work, and Relate


Many thanks for this post. loved it. so glad that after a year, I finally started using twitter in 08, as otherwise, I would have never come across gem blog/posts like yours. It also explains the 'mechanism' of why we love mystery box like JJAbrams explains!? http://www.ted.com/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html definitely a lot of food for thought.. now how do we 'apply' that into the business.. that would be an interesting artform. BR @GarethWong


Saturday, 14 November 2009

working in the print media industry today

working in the print media industry today

many LOL moments.. strong language, parental guidance..

It shows that power skewed towards 'enterprise'.. but surely contractors should know that they should NOT rely on enterprises for jobs/contracts..

get out there and 'network'..

its very sad situation but it is true that joe-blog with a semi-decent camera can call themselves are camera-man now..

it is tough out there!


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Joke(s) of the day

don't miss the corporate days myself, remember on daily basis, tonnes of these 'fun' jokes get sent & received..

but this is one of the few that I still receive but thought it was fun:



1.)This one really touched my heart!

"Dear God,

This year please send

clothes for all those poor ladies in

Daddy's computer.

Amen."



2.) Look very carefully at the picture below:


cid:18B45643D14C493484E442B5E782063A@dellpc


See a girl with an exposed ass at the back?


If you answered “Yes”, …….. scroll down.

Then make an immediate appointment with your eye doctor and your spiritual advisor.

(You have both very poor vision and a very dirty mind.)

The “exposed ass” that you think that you see is actually the shoulderof the girl taking the picture!!



Sunday, 8 November 2009

Despite Slump, Venture Firm Sets Up $575 Million Fund - NYTimes.com

Despite Slump, Venture Firm Sets Up $575 Million Fund - NYTimes.com

Brilliant stuff.

we need more people like Reid in Europe.. in some ways, we are seeing that with Brent Hoberman & Michael Birch's ProFounders.. but sadly these are exception to the rules..

We need desperately more 'Scaled friendly competitions'.. between big boys.. not just talk and talk.. or entertainment (mostly) like dragon's den.

We need grass root work, rather than the exceptions.. future of the multi-country, multi-language, multi-cultural challenges across Europe would also means it could pose great opportunity!

Just hope that those people that exited their multi-millions or tens of/hundreds of million companies can join forces and do something great and re-invest..

fingers crossed.


What Startups Are Really Like

What Startups Are Really Like

this is one of the best article so far in this subject. ;)


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Robots that show real emotions! | Freaky! � Bit Rebels

Robots that show real emotions! | Freaky! � Bit Rebels

Indeed..

So, does it means I.Robot/BladeRunner/even Terminator's scenario might become a reality?

Personally I think unless and until there is a concerted efforts, not purely from research point of view, or military, but something real in front of corporations like "utility for profit".. then there would be more effort and most importantly investment to 'make it happen'..

We are waiting to see some real 'consumer' benefits of the annual DARPA Grand Challenge (aim to have best 'driverless cars) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the most prominent research organization of the United States Department of Defense. ..

We probably need something more in the Robot field, but it might already exist but a little guy like me just do not know about it (yet!)!

@GarethWong

Friday, 6 November 2009

Digital Games for Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Health | SharpBrains

Digital Games for Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Health | SharpBrains

This might be for some business purpose.. games industry would be overjoyed if this was the case.. ;-)

Same type of investments should also be used for media & entertainment world, surely? there is no data nor research on how grand theft auto and in fact die hard films might affect/change people's behaviour?