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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Real danger of "surface water flooding" for London, London Assembly report on For a Rainy Day | Greater London Authority

For a Rainy Day | Greater London Authority:

London Assembly's report on Flooding for London! watch below video of Darren Johnson, Deputy Chair of Environmental Committee, London Assembly:



"Recommendations
The Committee says the Mayor should:
Ensure surface water flood risk information is publicly available, alongside information for householders of what they can do if they are in a flood risk area.
Extend a funding scheme for green roofs to include other forms of sustainable drainage and use sustainable drainage, if possible, in GLA group property.
Retain and show a plan to achieve his target to restore 15km of rivers in his Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
Support a call for water companies to be able to work directly with householders to correct misconnected drains.
Take steps to identify and secure funding for work to reduce flood risk in London."

finding something positive & delivering from prison education..? @PBS How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying | PBS NewsHour | PBS Video

How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying | PBS NewsHour | PBS Video


George perez, after serving 12yrs of drug dealing & homicide "apply same negative energy & revert it & change into positive energy for anything!"

Max Kenner, BRAD Prison Initiative, "Its not a good thing we find such extraordinary talents in this situation, it is a tragedy"...

Maybe something can be learnt from this positive story for UK & Europe??



Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My comments, 3KSFs (Key Success Factors) re peHUB » TALK BACK: Will Google+ Displace Facebook?

peHUB » TALK BACK: Will Google+ Displace Facebook?:


As promised to @laragon /Lawrence, I will comment to one of the PeHub post soon... hope this fulfils my promise. ;)

I think to adopt the Buddhism motto, "everything is meaningless" could be a good approach, .. let me explain:

especially in the online/startup world (hight capital expenditure world of telecommunication is different), due to their nature, even likes of google, facebook and even microsoft could change their business/direction/products/T&Cs on a drop of a hat... what does that mean to users and or loyalty??

as the Google+ might just be the favourite new baby daughter now (& google labs!?) how soon would the public sentiment/expectation change (and boy they do!) and then the new service becomes the ugly sister that no one want to know?

Therefore, unless and until one of these system/product(s) become so integrated with our OFFLINE lives that we cannot live without them (literally), then, that product/services would be the winner..

As otherwise, everything is meaningless.. as the barrier to entry is not that high (in the online world), loyalty is limited (especially for startups or even subsidiaries of big corporates, Apple excluded), and there will ALWAYS be the next favourite daughter of the month..

Ultimately, winner probably exhibit all of the following:

1.) when the taxi /cab drivers are talking about the product, NOT ONLY as a fad but USING such service actively/daily

2.) service move closer to the money/cash flow (guess google checkout is one? more powerful than buying virtual goods via facebook for example, yes hardcore gaming live or die by their virtual lives but that is considered as 'addiction' which is typically single % of target audience)

3.) networking effect sets in that target NOT only online communities but also rest of the population, including the old ladies in the mall /local markets (who probably do not yet use internet but has a mobile only..)

but then again, thats only from my tinted boring glasses (my typical medium to long term view..), as I don't look at short term sadly, a good example, I observe each start-up a year before I use them (blogger.com , twitter etc.) .. not sure if I should be proud to say that I joined facebook using my business school email address before the free for all now.. (I did wait!)

Based on my above thought process then, I would probably bet on Google+ though (despite i do not use it yet!)

@GarethWong


"Now, we’ll watch over the next 24 months as each of these Internet titans slug it out for the title of most dominant social network. The brewing brouhaha also leaves plenty of questions, and that’s where you come in, dear readers: Who will win? And, is the title of “top social network” a permanent role, or one that is bound to shift every few years to the “next big thing?” Also, what is the impact that will be felt by businesses dependent on Facebook’s and Google’s reach for their advertising and subscription revenue — who will be winners and losers?"

Monday, 25 July 2011

My comments re: Real Business - Dragons' Den 2011: seven facts you didn't know

Real Business - Dragons' Den 2011: seven facts you didn't know

One need to look at this as 'entertainment', and take everything with a pinch of salt.

If you look at company house, there are hundreds of entrepreneur/companies that are bigger than the so called dragons.. and if you take into account of the rest of the europe, and worldwide, this is definitely a small fish in a small pond.. but hey it is great entertainment for some, and why not!? (thankfully for us, most just focus on doing & growing their own businesses!)

I was approached when the first season to pitch, but it was limited to max £25k and I already told them that it would be self selective to lifestyle business..

Dragon's den certainly serves its purpose:

1) raise profile of potential companies that has thought through business/product plans (most sadly have not, and no doubt for 'fun' of the ruthless panelists)

2) message egos for the dragons, some needed more than others

3) create a great format for rights owner/producer(s) in the appropriate countries..

sadly as per mentioned above, if you are a serious business, you might as well follow the normal channels (Angels/VCs/PEs) and they would not be as greedy as the so called dragons.. and they would have more respect for you behind closed doors, and not to dress you down as entertainment for the world to see...

Of course though, it is self selective, as I know for sure given the chance, some CXOs would be confident enough to give the dragons a run for their money & give them right "dress down", but they would not waste their time doing that for sure.. Life is too short, why teach other people's children?

good entertainment for sure, as good as "true blood" of the Business World, BUT without Anna Paquin & other semi-decent babes sadly..



Thursday, 21 July 2011

already has 30% discount! guess no"buy 1 get 1 free!" FSA fines insurance broker £6.9m for anti-corruption failings - New Model Adviser® -Citywire

FSA fines insurance broker £6.9m for anti-corruption failings - New Model Adviser® Edition - Citywire:

Here is Brendan McManus, CEO Willis ltd.'s response.

It is a very competition world.. but sometimes one still need to strike balance between profit/growth vis ethics..

challenge is when it gets to a grey area.. where if a certain country that is the ONLY way of business, what does one do then??

It would be great if all countries/busiensses all play to the same rule.. sadly however, it is never easy nor would people play ball..

tough one this.



"The fine is the biggest imposed by the FSA in relation to financial crime systems and controls. It would have been £9.85 million but Willis qualified for a 30% discount as it agreed to settle with the FSA at an early stage."

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Only one stupid simple question: Why not monitor "present cash flow"? Volcker criticises plans for UK banking reforms | Cass Business School, +video

Volcker criticises plans for UK banking reforms | Cass Business School:


photo see this picture large on black

Got a spare hour? I heartily recommend you invest it listening to, and watching Volcker's excellent speech (pdf). (Volcker video via this link) (I was there, though strategically positioned in the camera’s blind spot. I hope.)

Neither my experience nor intellect are comparable to those of Mr. Volcker, but there is one question, however ignorant, which I was bursting to ask him. I suspect Dean Richard guessed it, and therefore deliberately passed over me, in favour of a woman from Citi.

My question is this: "Why don’t we get ‘back to basics’, and monitor the present cash flow of the regulated companies?"

All capital ratio and stress tests are based on the markets’ consensus of what they 'might need' to prevent another crisis.

Sadly, however, other than all the regulatory proposal studies and limited retrenchments (which still needed to be sorted out, even at Sovereign debt level), it seems to me that in 2011, we’re back to the pre-credit crunch level of finance merry go-around. That includes banks, whether investment or clearing, pension funds, VC/PE, insurance, re-insurance, hedge funds and alternative risk finance firms.

I am not expert on Basel III either, but once again, if the collective brilliance of human minds can predict and manage risk in a responsible manner (which it mostly manages to until disaster strikes), we would not have near market failure events like the credit crunch, nor even the aftermath of Japan’s earthquakes. As natural diasters ARE intrinsically NOT predictable, creating a set of rules (no matter how brilliant) to second guess the likely capital requirements, or deciding how high to build the coast wall to prevent tsunamis breaking through, are nearly impossible tasks.

Some might argue that I am biased, but this is a critical and fundamental question that needs to be answered.

(Full disclosure: I have spent my last 6/7 years working to create an industry default risk insurance/re-insurance sector. The competitive landscape means that most regulators will have to take into account all stake holders' needs and regulate accordingly, but we should take time out to look for "ANOTHER Way".)

Therefore, surely it is now time to investigate, and invest in, an alternative capital market model that:

1.) Shortens the value chain.
2.) Focuses upon the viability of companies as a whole rather than segregating and securitising chunks of companies or operations when, as we know, even the companies themselves do not know how events might unfold.

I am a very boring, stupid person, who doesn't own stocks, and more to the point, doesn't really understand the price of instruments that typically have no relationships with the underlying assets, but purely on counter party demand and supply.

Maybe someone can change my mind. There’s nothing wrong with people buying and selling (though this is not my point), just not when it adversly affects the boring assets I own.

I digress. The event closed with a vote of thanks from very gracious Sir Malcolm Williamson:


====

Paul Volcker: "He told a packed audience of students, alumni and City professionals that 'critical details are lacking' in the proposals put forward by the Coalition government's Independent Commission on Banking (ICB).

'The question will inevitably arise as to the financial and regulatory logic of maintaining a 'retail bank' as part of what in most cases would appear a much larger highly diversified and 'systemically significant' organization,' he said.

'In any event, the nagging overriding question will still arise: how to deal with the imminent or actual failure of such a large, systemically significant, financial institution whether or not it is a 'bank'.'

Mr Volcker, who was chairman of President Barack Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board until early this year, also said he was concerned by attempts to 'resist new regulatory discipline for fear of impairing the markets'.

He said: 'When we count in the enormous economic losses consequent to the collapse of the financial system, the case for pressing forward with thoroughgoing reform should be uncontested.'"

Surely the opportunity is 'reverse' of search"!?? How Does Google Make the Big Bucks? An Infographic Answer | Epicenter | Wired.com

How Does Google Make the Big Bucks? An Infographic Answer | Epicenter | Wired.com

gr8 infograph..

this shows surely who ever that can create the new category of 'reverse of search' which is surely the 'holy grail'!?? ;-)



Monday, 18 July 2011

my question 4 @FDestin: European VC Needs Revolution, Not Evolution

Destin: European VC Needs Revolution, Not Evolution

Lack of competition & transparencies between successful & exited/exiting entrepreneurs also play a role.

e.g. As kings of UK industries typically would retire as tax exiles with few/ tens of millions (likewise for European key cities like Hamburg/Paris etc.) and they rarely have 'healthy' competitions despite bumping into each other in St.Moritz or Saint Tropez...

Unlike the NYC/SFO/Boston bunch where people (as I see it from afar & few I met whilst I was there), seems to be more driven even after becoming multi-millionaire... or maybe because culturally they care more about what other think of them? or have I read that all wrong?

European seem to be too polite and respect each other and respectfully keeping the distance and enjoying (in some cases preferring) the anonymity... (look at Monaco)

Could this all be due to long established European culture?? (outlook of life/business/competitions)...?

Fred, you seem to be expert and I would be keen to have your insights in this!?

@GarethWong

Saturday, 9 July 2011

my short comments on @Loic Needs To Get His Head Out Of His Silicon Valley

Loic Needs To Get His Head Out Of His Silicon Valley

gracious reply Loic, give me more respect and inclination to join LeWeb (sadly not managed yet),

Its sadly a systemic issue, not that the startup 'wanted' to copy but surely

1.) there might be quite a few startup that take a global view but the money man themselves (even HNW/UHNWs or VCs/PEs) take national or even for some regional views mainly, and some might prefer to only fund #safer# copy cat startups (with view for trade-sale), rather than original ideas?? (~funder preference of copy cats)

2.) there might not be enough transparencies AND competitions between VCs/PEs and Super Angels (HNWs/UHNWs) across the EU & RoW/Asia so they take more regional/international views as quite a few of MoneyMan just exit and retire as tax exiles and not like the valley where they are indoctrinated to make the next millions/billions and take some more risks.. (~peer pressure?)

3.) given the 1.) & 2.) above, entrepreneurs that are funded usually would only take the shorter term and national/regional views.. and only handful of them get funded with worldwide ambitions.. but even for those lucky world-view ones: some might have to move to the States as there is a bigger homogeneous market for growth, like @Bandrew Alex Kelleher @alexkelleher etc. (~still migrate to US)

Hence with my broken english, I would like to assert that we need in fact more competitions/transparencies and drives from across the market and across countries/industries, hence creating more opportunities and potential success for funders and the funded..

Keen to see if you agree or not as I would like to learn more.

However, in my B2B world, especially in finance/insurance/re-insurance, sadly I think most have not heard of what LeWeb or even TechCrunch is.. (yet).. which I trust no doubt will be changed. (mind you, some of the CXO levels guys I know do not even carry their own cards, let along use emails! Twitter for them is a different language)

BR
@GarethWong