Sunday, 18 August 2013

My comments re Five dangers the internet poses to a sustainable world | Guardian Sustainable Business |

Five dangers the internet poses to a sustainable world | Guardian Sustainable Business |

so glad to have this post.

My analogy would be to have a swiss army knife, or a tool box, they can be used for both good, or bad. Key is to have a 'reason' and goal/solution in mind.

Sadly most internet enterprises (investment bankers & even public market included) & entrepreneurs are about buying and selling (themselves, companies, other people, or what they don't have), we need much more 'value creating' enterprises, whether it is on or offline.

IMHO, our world's mad chase for profit and 'efficiency' might be mutually exclusive against a sustainable future, people, enterprises & governments (& world organisations) need to think past "the now" and really invest for the future. Who dare and can stand out & lead us all by actions and not by words only?

good luck to us all.


Monday, 12 August 2013

my comments re Government fears fracking 'backfire' over lack of staff and rigs - Business News - Business - The Independent

Government fears fracking 'backfire' over lack of staff and rigs - Business News - Business - The Independent:

In short term government/industry's perspective, it is understandable the long term effects of spillage or 'possible' & long term environmental effects might not come high on the priority list.. you just need to look at the "dead zone" in gulf of mexico, that is without moving the deep earth and fracking deep earth's stones for gas.. that problem is just watering plants and used too much chemical/fertilizer upstream.. who takes responsibilities? some might argue that the typical answer is "not me" from almost everyone. Who suffers? the fishermen & economy downstream that rely on having their seashore just 'being normal'.. sadly it is not! see: (Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" puts seafood industry at risk - CBS News )

We are inn 2013, surely some clause/regulations should be built in as government propose/support the next big thing (brilliant, we need cost effective, and abundance & readily available natural resources for sure), some form of pooled/profit reserve need to be put together for future potential/possible disasters that might happen 2-3 governments down the line.. 

as without this kind of forward planning, who will really suffer and who can really fix the problems arises?? possibly no one as our world economy is still focusing on maximising shareholders (not stakeholders) value. Thus when the sh*t hit the fan, those people that put together the new regime is long gone and might be relaxing in their private island(s) by then. 

Its easy to survive without seafood (comparatively) but if it affects your own water supply or your house's foundation (yes, your own 'castle'), this might not a pretty prospect. 

Therefore, ontop of shortage of people and rigs, this might be much more important area to consider ontop of having cost effective supply of energy (of course it is important but balance need to be drawn somewhere!). 

happy & keen to learn more if there are any lessons learnt from other Fracking pioneers that have these areas addressed. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

my comments for @MartinSchulz for his post re "Did We Really Learn the Lessons of the Crisis?" | LinkedIn

Did We Really Learn the Lessons of the Crisis? | LinkedIn:

Dear Martin Schulz

your insights are impeccable.

even as president of the European Parliament, you may have noticed that you have only limited time in tenure and limited by power to be able to investigate let alone propose a fix that would be acceptable by all, and solution which would bring just and equitable solution to all stakeholders..

Lets be honest to ourselves, the power and money rest mainly with those few hundreds who span multiple jurisdictions and no one government or regulators can in fact pass law that rein them in (whatever industry that might be, let alone looking at the complex and intertwined economic systems worldwide).

I am not a defeatist but since the credit crisis, every key players just played a few musical chairs and now in 2013 regulators point a few fingers.  Sadly, everything stays pretty much normal.  Yes, many big corporations are talking CSR, investors talking about SRI, and much noise talking about new 'integrated reporting'.. sadly no one talks about and act upon finding the "truth that counts": truth about the health of the corporations, government's finances (hidden debts of Greece).  

Our accepted wisdom of a competitive economy still blindingly focusing on maximising "shareholder's value" at all costs (forgetting about everyone else, including behaviours like lets kill the chicken for the eggs) means no one is wiser... (yes as mentioned, we should look at maximising stakeholder's value instead!)

It is time now to accept that nothing much G8 /G20 or EU would be able to do realistically except thinking outside of the box, finding a 'non threatening' solution that might be acceptable by all stakeholders/political factions.

Only then, we could provide genuine economic incentives and transparency to encourage and promote the firms that adhere to what you are suggesting which is essentially "Do the right thing, from the corporations' & governments' perspective".

I would totally recommend the book by Prof. Colin Mayer on "Firm Commitment" that highlights we already have key ingredients in Europe/Western world, just need to re-adjust the firm's commitment and also punish them should they veer off course.. this is congruent to what my company GamBond® is spearheading.. a long way off but at least it is a concrete step towards a new and viable ecosystem that promote firms having long term goals and will stay around doing good & right things (if a guaranteed firm goes bust, we would assume all their liabilities!).

You are right in saying that Europe cannot unilaterally decide key decisions like austerity measures as it does not exists in vacuum and should EU made it too difficult, people & firms with means just move away to adjacent countries or leave altogether!  Policies should be done by using "game theory", in short, think like the firms/people that you are trying to control & the dynamics of others.

Planning for short term & without considering world dynamics and only from EU's perspective is dangerous, as becoming insignificant in a very short period of time may become an unavoidable reality.

Good luck to us, the still hopeful Europeans.



Friday, 9 August 2013

Finally, after more than a year, Thorsten & board listened!? BlackBerry Might Go Private - Business Insider

BlackBerry Might Go Private - Business Insider:

I would like to argue that Thorsten & RIM by going private is being clever and not 'giving up'. Must read above and also the story first broke by Reuters.

Although this does not come as a surprise and indeed after more than a year I suggested Thorsten to do so, and subsequently publicly via this blog post in July 2012:

If Thorsten can pull it off, as mentioned in the blog post, it will only be the first step but at least hopefully he would buy some time (for himself and the new crack team) to fix the issues and re-focus the company.

iPhone and Android maybe the present paradigm that everyone might have to be measured against but that might not be what the business world wants/demand but given the lack of working blackberry (& comparatively cheaper business model of iPhone), they are short of options but to go elsewhere..

selfishly I really wish they fix the platform as my Torch 2 AND the z10 cannot take care of 27,000+ entries on the phone and I am FRUSTRATED!

Good luck in sorting it out Thorsten (& keeping your job longer, or at least until RIM & its fortune get fixed) .. private is the ONLY way to go.. sooner rather than later if you can get it done with enough support.  So glad my suggestion is heeded. ;-)


understatement to say I am not head of a @BlackBerry household (just a selection of devices we brought with us):

Thursday, 8 August 2013

My insights/feedback re 68% of CEOs have ‘no presence’ on any social media (but they like LinkedIn) | VentureBeat

68% of CEOs have ‘no presence’ on any social media (but they like LinkedIn) | VentureBeat:

Given the tenure of major CEOs are typically between 3-5years, it is understandable that they focus on what is needed (whilst they are still in power or has the job), namely offline meetings/gatherings/functions. 

50%+ of all my connections are of the top calibre CEOs mentioned above, my typical observations of them on Linkedin are: 

1.) the more senior/demanded/important they are, more likely they would rely on PA (unless banking/media/tech), thus connecting on Linkedin would take even 3-5years since I invited them (typically when they are about to change job) of course we are in touch meanwhile, and when schedule allows, some do make time to join my non profit private CXO Europe/Asia gatherings

2.) they start actively using social network and status update when they are are on holiday/ or about to change job/looking for jobs/has new investments/JVs

3.) start using personal email address when they are not in their job, but they would typically keep their CEO/Chairman title until they find something. 

4.) only the really media/tech savvy one would be actively engaging via multiple social media networks, and they typically would have their own domains/ blog sites (very small minority)

5.) big percentage of them (I would agree with above, I would say 70-80%) rely solely on emails and indeed they are so important that they already speak in major industry/charitable/foundations events and also host industry functions etc. Therefore, to be frank, they are JUST too busy!! some has their time slot managed down to 15 minute slots.. and therefore no, they would not have time to entertain 'why' they should have a linkedin profile or twitter account.. these are the people that get personal invites from World economic forum and sign off on half a million budget or more for just one WeF meeting! 

Therefore, my thinking is that the study can be improved next time by looking at the use of social media of 'just has been's.. and you may find the % of CEO using social media is dramatically increased (especially on Linkedin). 

Twitter/facebook sadly is still too 'social' and frankly too mis-understood and rather scary, especially for publicly listed firm's CEOs, and I totally understand and respect why they try to stay away... and some might argue rightly so!? 

Fact of the matter is, social media bring huge amount of transparency, potential connections, but at the level of CEOs of firms with US$5m+/£3m+ profit or even in billion dollar+ firms, there is only one way to build trust, that is via face to face (hopefully via trusted contacts' introductions) and it will still be a year or so before any deal is done (unless it is a straight forward/buy &Sell or government backed project). Mutual Trust & personal chemistry can only be built by having more meetings and OVER time. 

How we do business sadly has not changed much, namely we still need to shake the hands (I especially scared of the dead fish hands!), look into their eyes and see how they act with you and other people.. & see how they follow up. 

Saying that, it is not only for top CEOs, even for the tech sector! why else do you see so many meetups /hackathorns and startup events worldwide now? For me it is even harder work as you have to meet with millions of failing/about to failed Zuck to hopefully to have made friends with the future Zuck.. pure number games and deal flow it seems.

IMHO, this trend will persist unless/until there is some market/economic incentive for CEOs to engage via social media like LinkedIn (or even Twitter), so far, most would like to just do their job (might use social media to keep tap of what others are doing).. and stay alive and hopefully will hop into a even better job in 3-5years time... (Reid & Jeff, ping me if you wanted my suggestion to help you get to 50/80%) 

from my personal experience, Twitter need to improve on its private twitter functions before many top CEOs would embrace it. It took me 2 years before I use it, and now I have my private twitter account and public reach out one, rather complicated and I do not see any benefit (yet). 

good luck to us all navigating the maze and hope the social network firms we invested time in using will not go bust and all our connections/data created lost! ;-) 

(see my last blog response: @GarethWong: my comments, indeed! and your present lives in facebook could also be lost! In a Rush to Modernize, MySpace Destroyed More History @ianmilligan1 )


@GarethWong (public twitter a/c: @CXOEurope @CXOAsia )

Friday, 2 August 2013

Must watch & learn from key insights shared by @MartJacques "When China Rules the World" at University of Melbourne @unimelb - YouTube & Professor Rana Mitter on How China's Wartime Past is Changing its Present - and Future at @IIEA

When China Rules the World - YouTube:

Must watch & learn from @MartJacques When China Rules the World - YouTube

I totally agree with Martin's analysis, people cannot think like the western world view anymore, and especially not for very powerful people like Eric Schmidt, who still thinks democracy is the only solution for China (& many other communist countries).  yes, I stupidly (or too brave) to highlight that fact to Eric during his brilliant event/visit to London last year (as I mentioned briefly here when I supported his comments re Taxes highlighting the culprit is in fact 'transfer pricing' practice.)

Based on the short video (sadly not met Martin yet), I would totally recommend Eric and other government ministers and forward thinking power-men/women to watch this video of Martin (even better, engage him in some way):

Hate to paraphrase (you must watch his lecture below!) but for some of my CXO contacts who are just too short of time (& may require reasons to invest time in watching the video), key highlights from my humble opinion from Martin are:

1.) China as a 'Civilisation State' (not just a country but one must consider thousand years of history.  this is absolutely true, as we do consider ourself Chinese!)

2.) Satisfaction: in fact 80-90% of Chinese are extremely satisfied with the goverment, as Chinese State is remarkably successful (in its own term & westerner would not understand)

3.) Democracy is not be-all & end-all, Chinese's paradigm is very different from the western world: One must consider Democracy vs "Competence of State" (he gave India as very democratic but sadly not competent!) Competence is much more important in the China paradigm.
[It is this point that I called out Eric and explained in my question that if Democracy arrives in China, there will be a unstoppable Civil war.  We have to give patience and help to China to ease the transition.. ]

He therefore stressed that: Key task is to understand one another, the West is not important any more, but Asia, particularly China.

Our next generations, take heed, particularly Australian (who has not got into recession since 2008 due to close economic link with China), EVERYONE should & must learn Chinese (I think he is referring to Mandarin).

IMHO, every points are spot on! look forward to meeting Martin now!

Key point Martin raised was the unresolved issues since the war with Japan (hence the political tension),
brilliant explaination by Professor Rana Mitter on How China's Wartime Past is Changing its Present - and Future at @IIEA

Prof Rana's speech below brings out and hightlight/stress on Martin's point, regarding the political tension that will not easily be resolved.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

how to @Be_Champion? learn from Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria - Miranda Wang & Jeanny Yao, others should also emulate, @Be_Champion dare you to put in the effort in whatever you choose to tackle! do they fit @Gladwell 10,000hours rule?

Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria - YouTube: "

These two teenagers are really inspiring, Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao

Winner of the Sanofi Biogeneius challenge "British Columbia, Plastic pollution-eating bacteria",

What if all other teenagers or even pre-teens can learn from them, we can really have our local, national, world problems fixed by tomorrow! yes we all hear about 'cloud computing' surely we need to look at 'cloud intellect'.. how much time is wasted by people just sitting around 'not sure what to do'!?

I personally did grade 13 in Canada in Ontario (does not exist now) and believe me, some students work much harder than others.. ;-)

Therefore, the real question is, how did Miranda & Jeanny got their 'drive' to get out and "do it" and "not give up" and be persistent with their efforts??  Was it due to the up their bringing (by dragon parents?) or role models they set themselves (who?)?? or were they not part of the 'starsuckers' culture and did not have much time watching TVs?? Curious and hope Miranda & Jeanny shed some lights for future generations to learn from!

IMHO, true to spirit, if everyone just challenge themselves, even under-achiever can become expert as long as they find their passion, as Malcolm @Gladwell point out in his brilliant book Outliers, if his assertion is right, all it takes is 10,000 hours of intense practice/working hard at it, to excel in something! Q: did Miranda & Jeanny spend 10k hours on the subject? how many hours altogether? would be fascinating to see if that fits into Malcolm's theory!

Eitherway, their hard work is already paying off with scholarships etc. Brilliant work and many congratulations!

Their Must Watch TED speech: