Friday, 31 January 2014

My response re Orange & RED pill of life, the steps before finding a truly Meaningful (dare I say Impactful) Job

The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:

In response to another comment..

Jeremy Russell

Student at Idaho State University
Sounds like you have a great sense of humor. A very long winded ( but interesting ) way of saying: you become your environment; If you want to change you, then change your interaction with your surroundings. People, places, and things all change when you apply (keyword) the force to change it.

I tried to clarify further what I meant in my previous post on Linkedin:



Meaningful job: nice to have but most are too busy/consumed with "going through the motion", 

and would not take time to 'ask' nor 'search' what 'true meanings' are for them. 

Hence by challenging themselves, and testing/learning more, they should then be able to get to know 

1) what they really want/would like to achieve (meaningful job might just be one of 
2) set goals and concrete steps to achieve them. whether it is new skills to a meaningful job or indeed impactful life,

this would be the Orange pill of life (matrix analogy). 

Of course next step would be to take the RED pill, & (challenge oneself to) learn more about the whole world and its global challenges of Food, Water, natural Resources, & systemic problems of the finance world... 

and get mightily depressed.. 

If there is enough GRIT applied.. then maybe work towards a viable solution.. on that happy note, back to my work. 

Question: Would you dare to take the Orange or RED pill? (Congratulations btw, as its a given that you are not taking the blue pill as you would not have taken the time to read Prof Adam's post and my long-winded reply!) 

Good luck to us all! 


Would totally recommend reading @AdamMGrant 's original post that sparked these comments: The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:

seen this fantastic initiative to help find a meaningful job?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

2 Stupid Simple tests and Actions as first thing to do to get to The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn

The #1 Feature of a Meaningless Job | LinkedIn:

Great insights Prof Adam as ever!  how could we survive without you in all the years before 2013/4!? ;-)

Our reality of life (rat race?) means that everyone need to find a balance between their

1.) physical needs (money for home/warmth/food) &

2.) higher faculty needs:

a.) educating themselves (probably at the same time as 1.)),

b.) for those that are brave enough to self taught or go to night schools (as its much easier to just sit and consume, from junk food or reality TV)

therefore, (terrible generalisation here, pls forgive me) a big proportion of the population would find it easier:

A.) to whine and complaint .. but go back to doing same thing/nothing changed

B.) to consume than asking themselves some higher questions (unless you are religious, or well read, & not only addicted to/feast on tabloids news)..

Therefore, the question of Meaningfulness and Impactfulness of one's life/work would be much easier to chat/think about it than doing something dramatic to change one's behaviour (if it needs to be improved)!

Therefore, some might argue that if there is a well paid job that is meaningful and paid well, they would do it.. just like being served the best meal on the plate when they get to a restaurant or fast food joint.. We know that is not the case as we have to work hard even "to find" the best restaurant.. yup we will travel 1-2hrs or wait in the queue for an hour to join the best restaurant right?

1st Acid Test: have you spent 1-2hours to challenge/improve yourself this week?

You are absolutely right that people need to "search for meaning'.. (thanks for the tip, I shall buy that book to read!) but once again that might be too high a question to ask, and it would just get back to the Wish list.. (alongside with fixing the door/changing the light bulbs or the night school to learn another language or go to do GMAT & wishing to enrol on an Executive MBA course)..

IMHO, I would therefore argue that people should be able to do something simpler, easier to do, just like David Allen Company Dave Allen suggested, something under 2minutes initially..

2nd VERY Simple TEST: take a pen & a piece of paper: Ask yourself this: what did you 'learn' last week!? (compare your written answers again at the end of next week)

Just for fun, for 2minutes daily, challenge yourself to learn a new skills, like learn how to use chopsticks, or if you already know how to, teach the other hand! .. once finished, congratulate yourself and set yourself another challenge. see how you feel!

Therefore, as we discussed Prof Adam, re "Intelligent giving", I would like to argue people need to adopt "Intelligent Self-help", as per my to be launch movement called @Be_Champion, people just need to challenge themselves on a daily basis. WE all need help, from Ultra-high-net-worth (who don't know what mortgage is) to those below the poverty line, and especially the middle class.. We ALL need to challenge ourselves to be more impactful and meaningful.. but need to do something simple first.

Finding our life goals and making our life impactful & meaningful whilst having enough food on the table would be wonderful. Happiness will no doubt follow!

Some food for thoughts maybe.



Friday, 24 January 2014

My comments re "It does matter" but Bitcoin is a Dangerous Non Asset and Non currency! Marc Andreessen tells Why Bitcoin Matters -

Why Bitcoin Matters -

Media coverage does funny things to people, it empowers public but amplifies exponentially that of millionaires and perceived successful people (Marc of course is the former!)... This type of posts is dynamite, and not in a good sense!

We are now in 2014 and trust is at an all time low... People are looking for alternatives... could Bitcoin be that alternative? I would argue NOT. Wisemen say don't get involved with things you don't understand, and this is true for bitcoin! 

Bitcoin means a total lack of what I call the much needed 'TAT' (Transparency, Accountability and Trust) ie the lack of which led to the downfall of the banking system! 

Fact: Even major value adding enterprising firms that are Rated, Listed AND Audited can still go bust by 4:45 pm any afternoon (consequently, their shares mean nothing and all creditors loose out..with no recourse.. directors might get a bad name for a short period of time). Surely it is madness for anyone to argue how some encryption codes are changing everyone's lives as a currency that has no visible people behind it, let alone any supporting 'underlying asset' or any promissory note from any government!? 

Yes, bitcoin may be a great technology and it signifies a major goal posts..I agree with Marc.

But how would this be different (take the much touted technology encryption aside) logistically to using GE shares for transaction, or indeed using our own portfolio of shares.. I would argue using Warren's Berkshire Hathaway shares would be 100x better! 

Note to other Tech Entrepreneurs or eBay mafia: might be an idea to create #StockKASH as a product? paying using shares in escrow but it would have to have some tangible underlying instruments?

Any share price that is highly volatile means that something is wrong with the company/asset... or it's a sign of a bubble. How does one rationalise the volatility of Bitcoin?  How can we be sure that there is only a 'limited' supply of such coins!? We can be sure re physical assets or the issue of money by a Central bank through an official announcements (i.e. QE). But where is the Trust and Transparency regarding Bitcoin?

Why not spend Marc's $50m on something more important and long term, which would help fix the systemic issue of finance (although I appreciate this would take time and huge amount of money), as reported during FinTech City events this week in London. Almost all of the FinTech ventures worldwide are concentrating on doing something better/different, and also mainly towards B2C or B2SMEs.

The crowd lemming bandwagon behaviour of VCs that invest in firms that don't add real value to our world is just astounding. Their shackle of 5/10years return structure means sadly these types of bubble ventures like Bitcoin are perfect for creating firms for exit. 

Strangest thing is that most FinTech firms are not really disruptive at all.  In the most basic form, all the FinTech firms still use banks, payment processors (paying similar fees) and no one (sadly) is working on fixing the broken 'plumbing' of Finance nor fixing the mid-market plus value chain... 

The multi-million, billion, trillion pension/insurance/rating/auditing markets are ripe for disruption and unless fixed there will be many bitcoin type firms that turn up and confuse the heck out of most people, professionals included!

Reality: All these types of 'good press' for bitcoin will hurt those consumers that end up losing badly in such high stake "pass the parcel game", which could 'explode' at any time.

I am glad that China took lead and banned the banks from transacting on bitcoin related trades (Dec.2013).  Let's see which other country has good sense... Kudos that Alibaba follow suit

But don't listen to me, listen to Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller, and Jamie dimon of JP Morganboth calling bitcoin a bubble... 

I just hope the public will not spend all their savings for the supposedly short term gain... $50m might be short change for Marc and ok to gamble, but the rest of us should stop and think twice when it comes to Bitcoin!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

my short blog re Disaggregation of a Bank - Fermi.VC

Disaggregation of a Bank - Fermi.VC:

Hi Zander

great start of a conversation regarding a very important area of startup.

Almost all however are mainly looking at doing the same thing better/different. As many great entrepreneurs have show from Steve to Bill, the biggest opportunity lies with a firm/product that

1.) disrupt a market or

2.) changes the value chain or

3.) create a new business model (ideally all three!)

Therefore, IMHO, biggest potential startup opportunity is area(s) in finance that needs fixing. Banking is one important vertical but there are many other players from insurance/re-insurance firms, to asset managers/pension funds, as they need each others' support in the very complex & intricate finance/capital market. 

First lesson from any entrepreneurial professors and even entrepreneurs turn guru would say what are the problems, and how do you propose to fix them!  Given the dire economic situation of the world right now, no doubt we can all think of something to fix?

a good example is, what "really" went wrong before the credit crunch? is it fixable? some might argue that the real fault lies with the value chain, how information is used, valued and maybe in fact the process of 'securitisation' itself.. ?

e.g. from fund management startup like Nutmeg to any future startups that can augment/change/fix the systemic financial/capital market risks would be the next iPad of finance. (look at it from billion pension funds, Family foundations' perspective)

so, yes, disaggregation is key but probably providing a solution that would fix the broken part(s) of the financial/capital market could very well be the lowest hanging fruit/holy grail.

Technology will play key part but substantial capital will also needed to buy a seat at such a table and sadly the 6/7 figure sums of typical VC investments sadly might fall short; as big corporates would pay more than that per project just for opinions!? equally, likely return would also be substantial and of course barrier to entry!

not a game for the faint-hearted.



Must check out his slides (suggest full screen and download if you figure out how!):

View Disaggregation of a Bank v1.pdf and other presentations by alexander33be.