What is News Worthy

  • Malone's Magic shines on Pandora!
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  • Can MSNBC shake the Liberal media under Comcast and take over?
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  • Not another investigation!
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  • Did May deal a good hand to Merkel?
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  • Bill Gross: without German Umbrella just another Economist trying to get attention?
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  • Qatar and $12B in orders after Saudi Mega deals in Defense Spend: A new business Model?

Re-inventing America!

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Silicon Valley Vibes!

  • Elon Musk Line: Car mover underground in Hollywood!
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  • Would you allow Siri to drive you around?
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  • Google Ventures : the hidden gold mine? From curing death to scissoring and splicing genes?
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  • GS Warriors : Is Oakland ready to be part of High Tech bubble?
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  • Did Ford Make a big mistake by changing their tradional CEO?
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  • Killing Uber Management: Is it a Mistake which will burst the bubble?

FANG News:

  • What ever happened to House of Cards: Its not even 7 seasons
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  • Mother of all AI? Lets Fix SIRI before leaping too high!
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  • Under steady Republican policies - will American Advertising spend go down?
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  • If Waymo is $70 Billion should Uber be $200B?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Funding CDC for an Epidemic?

WHO just raised the alert level to a close to dangerous 5!

Not to trivialize the importance of the current crisis – but couldn’t help but just see how we are handling the current crisis using technology & may be – JUST MAY BE , Google might help in raising money for CDC & healthcare!

Listening to the Live feed from CDC on CNN the Acting CDC Director mentioned among other important things – How they are communicating and keeping up with events happening so rapidly! Some data

4000 Phone calls

2000 emails

6-7 million hits on their website

Started Web-casting

Started Twitting!!

Just upgraded the CDC servers.

Now this is a number any website would drool to get- May be JUST MAY BE CDC should start advertising using the GOOGLE engine with that kind of numbers- and May be JUST MAY BE – CDC might be able to fund most of its requirements very quickly!!

Chrysler: Systemic Risk or Too much of "A Biggest Little Car" Company to Fail?

Warm and cozy in a negotiation table with the outcome pre-determined by the mediating team!

Intervention or Tipping Point?

Chrysler: Surgical Bankruptcy with a imminent protection and backing of Chrysler by the White House and the Administration.

All in the name of National Interest?

Yes, it is a Legacy!

Yes, its that little company that CAN!

Yes, Its that Phoenix that came out of Detroit!

Yes, its that company that once was adopted by Mercedes!

A National Interest?

With the Administration being very vocal about what outcome they are interested in - A Big haircut for the Bond Holders- clearly didn't take the impartial middleman role!

This at a time when the Government participation is heavily criticized and questioned regarding its heavy handedness in how it is handling the Economic Welfare of the country - by way of setting Management standards - from salary structure to policy polarization, is entering a very nebulous area.

Rationality for Chrysler debacle-

Is it National pride or interest?

Is it another Too Big to Fail Syndrome?

Or is it just a little political game being carefully orchestrated which hides the pentup Anger of a few?

What ever it is - we are now in the verge of extending the political participation beyond Government lending a hand!

Attention Business School OWNERS: Time to CHANGE your curriculum!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Please , Please Mr Balmer!

Balmer's PINK needs to be better than the PINK clad supermodels from Victoria's Secret if they have to steal the innovation that is emerging around the cell phone life style created by Jobs and Apple fast followed by Google and Palm.

It is not just a better phone that is selling – it is creating an eco-system around the emerging wireless generation that is redefining the way we communicate, socialize & entertain as an individual/business entity that is winning.

This new way of thinking forms the basis for creating new products from development cycle – packaging – pricing & distribution to support & services – from consumers to corporate corridors – and is getting the attention. Fast fading are the days when applications were spun around device capabilities – we are entering a new era where usability and human interface with emerging social lifestyle will define how the devices will be built. Force feeding a word processor and spreadsheet in every device that is electronics model developed by the previous generation's vision of computer in a home will have a tough time adopting to the new wave of simplified single purpose applications developed by an innovative platform – which is Internet! Please, Please Mr Balmer – Surprise the world for a change!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Economic Calmness!

Another corporate earnings season comes and goes!

Only this time around the fall is cushioned with another expectation mishap - Favorably?

Media headlines are backing up with the usual entertainment driven attention grabbers as they start moving away from interviews of every day economists & financial advisors! Late night comedians are finding political materials easily to divert the economic monotony of the past couple of years.

As China finds its way into loading up with Gold - the bullion market is still less appetizing as an inflation diet!

With Euro and Pound finding a more manageable intermediate balancing act - Dollar looks like it has managed to hold most of its recent reversals. Quantitative Easing - from Developed economies to emerging ones - having less and less meaning for the theorists.

May be the governing agencies of the post Industrial world has found a temporary antidote to appease the force behind the financial revolt that was eroding the confidence of the haves?

A few more weeks of reduced political gaffes between policy makers and public agencies around the world to neutralize the modern economic vigilantes who were close becoming pirates of the technological & synthetic currencies to destabilize the prosperity induced harmony - may be this Economic calmness will be here for some time as it starts leaving room for more understandable economic cycles!

Queen Sends a Messenger

Reproduced from 4th March 2009 Posting during British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit to America.

Queen sends a messenger!

Not since the Imminent End of the End of the British Empire did the Queen send someone to this side of the Atlantic.

Mr. Brown in his address to the US Senate-Congress offered a generous bag of goodies from the Queen-

- A Gratitude for the American Soldiers sacrificed in the European continent-really emotional when narrating the Normandy!

- An acknowledgement for the magnanimity of the American leaders in supporting England and the Good in fighting Evil powers! (Oops must be Germany!)

- An offer to renew the multi-decade marriage between England & America to protect the endangered world from the evil forces, once again!

And aah- the sack was still full of goodies – including a Knightwood to the Great American!
A pence too weak and a pound too rich for the recently Knighted American congressman – Sir Edward Kennedy, as his brethren once said Why did the Kennedys come to America- only the Queen knows and Yes indeed she did drive them out of the continent to reach for the new found land! And talking of economy and the missteps of the world in embracing CDOs and the other esoteric financial weapons- which has the World in this mess, he memory failed to serve him a bit on the details – how for close to a decade Mr Brown himself had the privilege of serving Her Majesty in writing the checkbook for Her Kingdom and overseeing the creation of the very instruments from the shores of Thames!

While comparing Mr O to the Roosevelts, Reagans and the Obamas of the world who made this world a safe and secure place- he did want Mr Obama to Join the Queen to once again fight the Bad!

Its either the Queen was offended from Hillary skipping a continent or the smell from Thames is turning red- that has made this travel a priority for the Queen!Or is it just the Cat fight that is brewing with Ms Merkel and Ms Clinton trying to steal the Throne away from the Queen, either way as any smart person would quip “Indeed we are in an Un-chartered Territory, and Her Majesty Knows it NOW!! Please call Mr.Bond – as Her Majesty needs his service”

Since Mr Q has retired may be Mr Bond could use the services of Mr O thought Her Majesty in sending Mr Brown!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Facebook Conundrum!

Watching news on CNN saw the clip on Obama 100 Days analysis. In that Cafferty file segment requested viewers to post their assessment on CNN website for an incentive of being read on live TV.. My heart started racing. I have been working on the changes that will bring America on top AGAIN.. And I have started collecting anecdotal evidences along with some policy shifts to support that. I have been calling it America 2.0...now suddenly I am seeing an opportunity to push America 2.0 on air..yet I am not ready. Being Opinionated yet opportunistic now I am thinking if I am cute I might be able to get my views aired on air and might get played over and over and over and... ! I go to work. Go get a couple of Blogs going under America 2.0.. Ten minutes later I have my assessment on the subject, decide on what might get the attention and post a crisp four liner - long enough to convey something yet short enough to get the attention! Click! Now its Tick .. Tick .. Tick and Click time to see if it gets the attention. No it is waiting for moderator intervention. Tick..tick.. tick (waiting time) and click ( refresh button time). Nope its still waiting on moderator. Commercial on CNN ... I am nervous to change channel as I don't want to miss that moment when they read my email on TV! And America 2.0 going national!! Decide to see through the commercial... While I tick.. tick..tick..and click again! Now there are 142 responses but mine is still on Tick.. Tick..tick and Click mode..ten minutes later CNN decides to read some mails...anxiously watching. No! No fame this time! A bit disappointment! Go back to website to see..still on Tick.. Tick..Tick and Click mode! Now its up to 300 responses! Well I decide to move on after having wasted about 30 odd minutes!

This morning as I was flipping through channels, again I stop at CNN - only this time the news was interesting.. Its about getting hooked on to and addicted to Facebook. A Medical expert was there addressing how people are addicted to Facebook some extreme cases spending 15 odd hours a day on Facebook and the expert was recommending on how people can address this addiction to Facebook! Now I am really thinking....may be I will go and post this on my Blog!

And thank God for innovation..between interruptions I could actually post it straight from my Blackberry without any computer or waiting through commercial breaks! As I get ready to Click my Blackberry something odd crossed my mind on what I was about to do...I guess the conundrum extends beyond Facebook without labeling and I am stuck in it too!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AMERICA 2.0! Healthcare

MODERNIZING HEALTHCARE – Mr. President’s Prescription?

Is social healthcare all about providing insurance for 50 plus million American people with no coverage? Is this a mechanism to marginalize the compensation for this high stress high skill precision services industry? Or a way to remove redundancy in a complex mostly underwritten yet very regulated insurance driven industry? Or is it about new means of Healthcare Delivery which brings responsibility to a very complex service driven yet thankless industry at the same time bringing capitalistic innovation for a new and cost effective healthcare to all human beings- bringing services to where it is needed and when it is needed without compromising quality, capability or compensation for the services. It certainly looks like one of those too good to believe strategy.
Healthcare Delivery need not be about reducing patient care or money to every provider in the health care system.

Looking at how the current day participants - patient, doctor, employer, hospitals, governments - state and central, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers could change to act responsibly without giving up on free market principles – sheds light on the efficiency a change could bring to this industry.In the current setup If a person is insured either through eligible employment or through dependency coverage or through other state or government programs - most likely the following scenario happens.From dental to vision to any doctor’s or hospital visit the concern is not about what the cure is or the cost of service is - it is more about what the out of pocket expenses are. From a providers perspective it is more about what the individual’s eligibility is and not about what the best available service is.

PHARMACEUTICALS:

Statins- 40B in revenue and growing and there is no reason for them to lower the cost for several years. Avastin - has the ability to extend the end of life by a few months in conjunction with other expensive cancer treatments for a total cost of 50K. Every person eventually gets into a lifestyle drug to address some form of age related degeneration or lifestyle induced ailment. As the cost of administering is paid by a third party - insurance which in turn is either provided by the employer or the government in most of the cases( 90% of total healthcare expenses for an individual is towards the last 6 months of life & most of the people at that stage is covered by government policies) - it is very easy to adjust to a cocktail of pills every day without adjusting or making an attempt for a change in lifestyle.
This relieves the individuals from the responsibility of putting pressure for a cure. This kind of lifestyle encourages the pharmaceuticals to create lipitors and avastins which does not attempt to cure the disease but provide life enhancing mechanisms by curing symptoms and incremental solutions. It is the equivalent of Software As A Service- Drugs As A Service?? Imagine having a Tylenol for fixing blood-pressure or diabetes or cholesterol – or on the other end imagine taking a daily pill for the rest of the life for a head ache?
The incentive should be to find medicines to cure ailments and not to address symptoms on an incremental basis- making lifestyle addiction, both physically and psychologically, to a basket of pills.

EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS

The next element is equipments and tools that are used in hospitals from MRI to EKGs. Every manufacturing industry from automobiles to semiconductors the common theme is increased capabilities and price compression- in medical GEs and siemens of the world have failed in its responsibility in using the same fundamentals like every other industry - if high tech principle is used today an million plus MRI equipment will be a portable device which will be given away for a couple of bucks.
By keeping costs high it limits the applicability of the device. If you take Intuitive Surgical’s Davinci robotics tool which is million plus - in addition to providing cost effective alternate procedures using minimally invasive operations - it actually increases the odds of survival by a huge factor. The cost makes it very difficult for all hospitals and clinics to afford it and also keeps the skills needed at artificially high levels. By expanding the reach of such equipments and devices we can increase the demand and also provide an inexpensive solution – which will reduce the overall hospital care cost.

HOSPITALS & CLINICS

Either by design or by carefully planned public policies – the states and cities are drawn out to have sparsely populated communities extending to the wide corners of the country- excluding a few major cities. This kind of development makes it economically impossible to have a total healthcare package available in every city and neighborhood. The latest in medical innovation is available to densely populated communities – making it either expensive or untimely to offer services in most of the smaller cities. By adopting a combination of connected clinics with sophisticated tele-medicine we can provide most of the latest development in every corner irrespective of the market size- this will enable the prices of newer innovations to come down dramatically and also have more and more companies entering the market as this will actually address the total population irrespective of the size of individual communities.
Looking at a Wal-Mart’s clinic where most of the day to day medical requirements are available by Telemedicine - it is not just the cost that is important –
- Where it is available
- What it takes to provide services
-increase the productivity of specialist and reach of the specialists to every corner without need for size of area or market
- by easy access to clinics with little cycle time most of the ailments can be detected at a very early stage thus reducing cost both from a productivity standpoint and also from a healthcare point of view.

CORPRATE ADVANTAGES

Moving cost away from the company's structure brings reality to actual pay scale for every position in the company. As the insurance premium is based on average age, size of organization and overall health habits of the employees and their families - the average cost becomes a base wage for every position irrespective of the competitive position of the company's product or service offering. This also gives undue advantage for large companies over smaller rivals as smaller companies end up either paying more or offering less choices to its employees. This movement of cost away from the company enables organizations to focus on products and services and attract talent and contain their costs competitively. From an employee’s perspective - they are able to pick and choose their jobs based on their interest and capability. This indirectly reduces discrimination on prospective candidates based on the individual’s health history. In the long run it pushes the responsibility on the individual which brings more awareness and responsibility to develop healthy habits and eventually bring down cost of patient care. This gives more flexibility for companies to provide different ways to educate and provide a healthy environment for the employees.

INDIVIDUAL & CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS

Once the organizations are relieved of the cost overhangs from the insurance subsidies – they have lot of leverage and flexibility to offer better and healthier environment to bring awareness about healthy lifestyles and better medical practices amongst its employees.

Recently Cisco dedicated a huge building for health and exercise with a resident doctor and a full service clinic. At the outset it looks like a PR ploy by the HR Dept. Digging deeper we can see how it can change lifestyle and cost behavior.By offering such a service it enables the employees to use it at the earliest symptoms of any ailments.

This reduces the healthcare costs in several ways-

1- reduces the number of sickness related absenteeism
2- reduces spreading to fellow employees
3- reduces the cure cost as it is found early
4- also reduces the insurance premiums


INSURANCE

Looking at insurance- every person carries insurance from the moment they are conceived. Most of the healthy persons do not start developing any ailments till in their 50s. With a job no issue as the company picks it up. Let us say no job- insurance is impossible to get as the person falls in the high risk category. Now what ever happened to the 50 plus years of low risk period during which the individual carried insurance? Even car insurance offers good driver credit and no accident reduction - doesn't it make sense that if an individual carried a good health for 50 plus years should get something in return?

TECHNOLOGY

As technology is evolving at a rapid clip – from wireless to collaborative innovations – it is very easy to find ways to offer very sophisticated healthcare system that will bring responsibility and accountability to every level of the healthcare supply chain – enabling lowered/affordable yet uncompromising services to everyone without commoditizing and marginalizing the service providers. On an average for every 10 minutes of patient time spent by a doctor 20 plus minutes is spent on non-patient time. BY bringing innovative processes and technology this ratio can be adjusted favorably helping both the patient cost and increasing the productivity of the doctors – without compromising the quality of service or the compensation structure.

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Acting as a responsible regulator the government can ensure free market forces to provide a healthy yet capitalistic and creative services driven healthcare. By being a pioneer in implementing a broad base health system this will expand the American corporate global market share significantly as they will innovate and deliver more cost effective yet revolutionary products and services which will be sought after globally. This would bring back market leadership to most of the companies which have been losing market share to either low cost generics or to low cost manufacturing bases.

By bringing new innovation and bring responsibility to every participant of the healthcare system – it will also reduce the cost of insurance both for patient care and malpractice alike.

AMERICA 2.0! ENERGY

America 2.0! : Energy

Rebuilding Industrial supremacy:

Clean/Renewable energy: Can this really change the competitive position of America in building the 2.0 version of American Industries? Looking at the root of Industrialization we will see if energy is transformed from how we produce, how we use and how we distribute – and have the added capability to store & forward the generated energy – we will bring every manufactured product whether it is consumer or industrial – back to the drawing table – as all products will have to be re-engineered to adopt to the new energy model.

In the last phase of Industrialization – what took a country to be a manufacturing super power depended on capability to produce Industrial Power, Water & labo. Post WWII US and Europe helped Japan & China acquire that capability. In today’s economy America has lost those two competitive advantages & is dragging itself down by moving its base to low labor cost locations. By changing the way we produce & consume energy – this can be brought back to America as every other economy will be forced to license the technology from American companies which owns the technology & IP. This will give way for massive innovation in America and will bring every lost industry back to America 2.0

What changes need to happen, which appear very doable based on how the Obama train is bull dozing its change platform in rebuilding America.


- Generation: How we generate power. In modern Industrial word the most effective form of generation is Nuclear – which is very highly controlled and managed by the select few. Raw material is expensive & dangerous- and need very proprietary technology.

- Capability to generate in incremental quantities: Given the amount of time, money & resources needed to build a plant – it is difficult to quickly plan and have something up and running – if the technology is there to build a generation capability in incremental quantities – the implications are amazing as we would see less lead time to produce… and locations will be a non-issue.

- rebuild the power grid: with incremental power generation a modified grid could enable users to draw or give power based on daily need.

- Incentive to save and forward for money back: This provides motivation for people to conserve energy.

- motivation to localize generation: by localizing power the cost of distribution is reduced.

- Capability to store generated power: today use or lose power technology makes it very difficult to build low cost remote site generation of power using solar or wind. With innovative ways to store and forward for later consumption will bring raw material needed for generation insignificant & affordable.

- Capability to go wireless: wireless is not very far fetched as the other components of new energy foot print takes hold – this will reduce the dependence of complicated grids – from generation to provisioning.

Impact goes beyond lowering power cost

- From automobile to airplanes they need to be rebuilt

- From homes to commercial buildings they need to be retrofitted

- Transportation model will change

- levels any competitive advantages that were exported to low cost manufacturing locations and brings back both innovation and pricing back to American companies

- From consumer durables to consumer electronics everything will take a new shape, form and innovations

- Industrial and manufacturing will change dramatically as the generation, storage, distribution and consumption of power will totally change everything that is being done.

May be Exxon will buy GM and give the cars for free to convince people to use gasoline!

About Economy ....

This is reproduced from a response to the current economic climate I posted on 1st March 2009:

At the risk of being correct (yes- being correct!! Given the current setup this is a low probability case) let me start by hedging my answers with a convoluted but sincere effort in articulating my thoughts on a possible solution for this conundrum before predicting where we are or where we might go from here!

In a society with socio economic imbalances, it is imperative to have a medium of transaction that will accommodate the imperfections exaggerated by technological gaps between various participating economies thus reducing the capabilities of concentrated ideologies to influence and unduly benefit from sheer econometric manipulations!! The authority to define, execute and police this new medium has to be of supreme nature in by in itself being its sole mission. May be we are not yet ready for this change - however there are symptoms that indicate for such a transition to happen in incremental steps which will ease us from this economic slavery- bringing uniformity with conformity in every process (with objectivity) bringing the much needed beacon of hope with a field glass view to every player that defines the scope of economic priorities for every one else. This could possibly bring capitalism to its true intended form bringing equality among unequal
players yet setting aside any possibility for socialistic or authoritarian communistic tendencies.

Now that I have got that out of the way –

I think the US economy has started turning around (market may trail by a couple quarters even longer as common shares as an asset/investment class will be replaced more and more by other types of instruments). USA will be followed by Germany, China and possibly GB. The casualties will be the rest of Europe and possibly Japan.

Reasons:

1.if you believe in Economics as the TRUE WMD - the countries that will recover first will be those with capabilities to influence and benefit from the movement of blue shifted capital.

2. The vultures and the hyenas will move for easier kill in weaker economies (rest of Europe including France Italy Spain and Sweden) leaving the stronger ones to slowly recover.

3. Credit flow will resume once the fixed income players find it difficult to fight the larger economies and settle for lesser return and more glory/power.

4. USA and Germany will emerge into an economic force once again, however temporary they might be, taking advantage of new emerging industries with pricing power while protectionism will be old fashion again with resumption of material and capital flow across the globe- enabling emerging and weaker economies to participate in the recovery with a time lag.

Indications supporting this:

1. US pumping money into areas that will either create new industries or reinvent a lost matured industry to recapture its pricing power.

2. EU and Euro losing its luster

3. The hyenas and the vultures circling Eastern Europe and other weaker economies leaving the stronger ones( US and Germany) to heal.

4. Japan slowly losing its mysterious strength of the past decade with smart money fading away from Yen and Japan.

5. China slowly emerging as the winner in Asia as Japan seems to be willing to settle for a lower medal.

6. Gold buoyant but not too strong as the support is from money leaving euro and yen due to uncertainty of the fabrication of the new currency basket.

7. Federal Reserve emerging as a confident player once again for US after what appears to be a long and hard fought battle with the dark force. Treasury once again taking a more shadow force role with FDIC chairwoman sporting a generous smile in most of her recent appearances. (Even two weeks back - you can see frustration, anger, humiliation and fear in every one of these players).

8. Dollar and US Treasury losing competition in the replacement battle and the rest of the players fighting for silver on downwards as survival is the new mantra, enabling the US Fed to gradually move out their refi window to longer maturities.

Now if this is the half full argument let's look at what will make it a half-empty scenario.

some indications supporting a possible derailment of the above scenario- any one of these taking a larger than its present form in size or shape could have an accelerated reformation that could really destroy the present day lifestyle!

- A neo conservative party emerging in USA removing what appeared to have been the successful duality policy structure in its administration.

- war moving closer to USA mainland making it impossible to distinguish domestic priorities from external dominance fettered with bodybags.

- US shifting away from right brain dominant society to a more globally acceptable thought process with linearity as the defining objective

- fading away from a distinct separation of state and faith removing the improbable distinction of responsibility and poverty.

Events supporting this:

- debasing the republican foundation with fragmented and lack of focus leadership with no clear direction or clarity on party policies or agenda!

- shortage of weapons

- arsons and hate crime jumping

- Mexico becoming another Afghanistan

- faith based organizations getting more donations and support

- emphasis on what others don't deserve is gaining prominence

- less and less people regretting the mistakes they made in this mess and blaming others for their loss

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thin Computer!

Close to 10 Years! Both Sun's McNealy and Oracle's Ellison have been trying hard to move enterprise computing to a thin client model - either using Java machine or through some other form.

So far they looked very far fetched!

May be not so fast!

With Sun dancing in Ellison's Software Juggernaut - may be it is time to look at this seriously.
Between Oracle and Sun they have all the elements that is needed to make enterprise computing a model similar to an Utility model- where the access to corporate data can be very securedly delivered for various end use purpose on any thin device - wired or wireless - from cell phone to any internet appliance!

May be one step closer to Cloud Computing!

Provided IBM does not spoil the party - As there will be pain for both IBM and Microsoft if they let this marriage happen!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Warren Buffet!

Warren Buffet: Posted a Couple of months back on a question about his wisdom on the latest decisions on investments!

From a long term perspective I think owning BRK shares will be the best form of investment to participate in the capital market for the following reasons:

- has over 50 companies almost every one of them profitable

- most of the operating income comes from insurance and reinsurance

- owns a minority yet a large chunks of shares in solid logo companies like coke, PG, AXP etc

- has lots and lots of free cash

- no layers on what to risk or how much to gamble

- recent GS and GE , even though they appear to be ill timed, they are yielding 10% and has ton of warrants for future stocks if the capital market were to appreciate.

In a few years when buffet retires the following possibilities might bring a major windfall to its investors:

- Most of the equity will be owned by the Gates foundation making Bill Gates either a likely successor or a major influencer in how or what directions BRK takes. Obviously one doesn't want to bet against Bill!

- currently BRK is valued conservatively as a hybrid insurance/MF compared to the individual companies if traded separately. Most likely scenario going forward - if the market is favorable either Gates or the new management will gradually spin off several or all (50 plus fully owned businesses) operating companies getting a high multiple individually compared to its low pe in its current form

high probability

Major DOWNSIDE risk is his exposure to derivative insurance on global capital market indexes- if the market is in for protracted contraction (say 12 or more months) the contract in its current form might force BRK to take some adverse actions to meet which additional collateral requirements forcing him to liquidate some or all of his crown jewels at the depressed levels.

America 2.0

This is about building the new America 2.0!!

America 1.0 was built a couple of centuries ago with some very capable people - intellectuals and industrious people who left their natives to build a new society.

It looks like the foundation that was built was so strong that it lasted a couple of hundred years and more. One element that the founding fathers couldn's have anticipated was the evolution of society in a connected world with a compulsive addiction to language and visual inputs to the brain. This technological implosion has dramatically changed the way the society is moving forward - not just how day to day life is being controlled but how the thinking and adoption is being structered as a global society. This is not something that was planned or envisioned by our fore fathers. Looks like this is a society that is moving excitedly and rapidly towards a left brain dominant behaviour. This is a very critical juncture for America and the world in general - as America is the only Industrialised nation that is built for an efficient left brain yet so right brain driven society.

Growth , prosperity & innovation led happiness was possible in America for this very reason - now that is being threatened. In the next few weeks I will expand on the thinking & address what is needed to stop the faltering of American leadership from innovation to industrialization! Accidentaly or otherwise the current administration seems to be stepping into the four critical areas that need re-thinking for this to take place.

- Healthcare

- Utility ( Renewable/Alternate)

- Technology

- Education

If the changes to these four seemingly separate areas are put in place - America 2.0 will be stronger and more powerful than ever - at the same time will make this world a better place to live - both ecologicaly & economically.

Skipping a Year or so in Market time!

Its amazing how time and money vanishes when we dont pay close attention to!

Since the last time I had the descipline to post my ideas/opinions and follow a routine - so much has changed: from politics - local to global ; asset pricing - from real estate to stocks ; outlook - greed to fear to confusion!

Following the events happening at the speed of market - from dramatic policy changes to political gaffes- from spiralling money pits to manipulated capitalism - its very tough to capture a moment and stick an opinion - let alone ride the opinion into an article or life style ambition - as the shelf life for each one has been less than the time it takes the mind to register - even though the impact or implications is more traumatic and long lasting.

Looking at the past several weeks - it appears the general population has settled at unsettling events as a norm - from software piracy to deep sea piracy!

TO summarise the past 18 plus months of events will be like trying to capture a Tornado with a fishing net - but it does make it fun when looked at some opinionated flavors to pick on nuggets and ride it in slow motion - so in the next few weeks - I will post some thing from the past - using my opinions expressed else where - will help me see how I felt at the time of events and how it appears looking at it now!

Will have a new channel - Contemporay History:The Immediate Past!
Slowing to Smell....!

After going through several blogs I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to write about your day to day life!

Fascinating to see how creative people are and how so many people around the world are able to choose a variety of topic and pour their heart out and paint something so wonderful- full of life and color!

Need Humor! Need Depth and more than anything need perspective! I found it is easy to write about something substantial in which a person is well versed in. It made me think - I went around the last few days looking around and paying attention to everything from nature to relationships!

Now curiosity started posing a question - what is more important to writing? Chosing a topic or having the patience to research and articulate about the impressions that every day events brings to a person?

I thought I will try this every day! For 30 Days!

Impulsive and spontaneous
!

No research - just type as the feelings flow and as the words can portray! Thanks to the Blackberry - now I can try doing that the moment the urge happens without waiting!

As I was deciding on this I found myself in a shop - decided to pull my Blackberry and type what I saw around me...so begins my first piece.

PS. Since Blog has major restricitons on how many posting and what kind of flexibility one can have using the standard template I will try to find a work around using a couple of gadgets to display a couple of days posting at any given time till I figure out a way to display the history!

To avoid dilution of this site I have moved the experiment to another blog under

http://dailylifesigns.blogspot.com

The following is a sample on content with no photos- the Daily Life Signs posting will be more of a pictorial experience!






Walking around a woman's shop!

Looking at the colors in a woman's shop is like peeking into a kaleidoscope. However, one doesn't have to change to feel the vibrant mood.

Amazing styles and fascinating fashion! Trying to coordinate gives the several option that is needed to meet the day to day lifestyles of varying moods and differing ages.

Age appropriate colors! Shades for fading moods!

Bold red!

Sober red!

Flashy red!

Bland red!

Blood Red!

Romantic Red!

Decisions! Decisions! and Decisions!

Deciding the color at the time of shopping gives the option to choose and refine to the various rainbow moods that a person possibly can go through in a fast paced connected world!

Sizes and fits to match every form and need.

Having a choice helps in refinement!

And helps!

In Decisions! Decisions and Decisions!

Startup Wisdom!

May be there is a reason they want a Money Man to run the venture- but the following tip will save a buck or two! This will list a couple of grey hairs to keep!

  • Success is contageous- start it immediately!
  • Share the Vision but not Leadership!
  • Smart money is great - but Lucky Money is even better. Get some!
  • Being passionate is essential - but only after motivation to make money.
  • Establish the TRUE Pecking Order!
  • Let Sales be part of your core strategy- everything else can be bought!
  • If you havent done Selling START DOING IT NOW!

Building your 2nd Million!

Skip the first million and go straight to the second- as the first one is the most difficult one to bring home! The second one can be as tough as the first one but is never tougher than the first one! You can make money - working - investing in stocks/etc - real-estate - starting a business - others Choose your area of interest first as this will help you identify the opportunity and make you easily motivated to work on the 2nd million!

Not in any particular Order!

  • First lets know the facts: 1) Your work life is 40 something years (even at conservative estimate) so lets make sure we plan that Properly
  • 2) Lets identify opportunity to make money with out too much effort- living for Today is Good but lets not lose today's free money in the process like - benefits, tax breaks, sale,coupons,etc
  • 3) Lets not try to make ALL THE MONEY in the same way! Lets break the objective into smaller chunks and assign different ways to make them individually
  • 4) Put the 1st Million in Auto-pilot and set a 10 Years plus Time table
  • Convince yourself that you need the Money
  • Set a time line to achieve the goal.

Relationships - Learning to enjoy them!

Do we retain relationships? Expectations out of frienships vary from society to society & age group to age group. How long do we carry them? Some of them bring fond memories- and some not so pleasant! Here you can expect to see nuggets from my experiences and analysis!

Family & Friends: We spend less time with family than with friends- yet we feel more comfortable with family than friends- Why? Is it because we dont have expectations with family members but we have some on friends?

Allowing the other person to finish their train of thought builds a very long lasting relationship - as it makes you understand the other persons point of view fully & also to respond being aware making even an opposing point of view reasonable.


  • Cherry Pick your arguments - Left or Right Brained!
  • Make every encounter a transaction - this will make leaving baggages behind easy!
  • Qualify the type of relationship - however strange it might be
  • Chasing friendship is not always helpful as it leads to compromise.
  • Family circles - define it and accept it whether you like it or not!
  • Its ok to do different activities with different people!
Prof Dr Peik A Monie's Corner

  • if being number two is not enough go to a lower market
  • .
  • proceeds from a street dog dont bark
  • .
  • shooting the papparazi dont break cameras

DIGITAL IRIS - An inexcusable view of the photograpic world!

Let me see if I can add a few lines every week highlighting my 2 cents on photography- my experiences and desires

Things that make good photos -

- excellent and expensive set of lenses; in this digital era spend less on the body and keep investing in the high end lenses as the lenses will not lose value and the body is still under construction!

- accessories and the right tripod; never underestimate your advantage with a tripod

- plan & choose the subject and the location

- know your subject well!

- look and follow the calendars; simple things like a night with a Full moon- we dont realise that it does not happen every day - if you narrow it to the summer when the sky is still blue - I guess it becomes a couple of times a year- and if you factor n the location and your availability at that location and time...so Knowing the calendar and season helps for a good but not so common picture

- Take some luck with you!

  • Print and Enlarge Some Too
  • Delete Bad Pictures from Storage
  • Isolate Subject's color
  • Assess various profile
  • Add a subject to the frame
  • Take Nature after rain - they look better
  • Transparent Objects like flowers have creative effect with light behind them
  • If you want to enjoy the trip - leave the camera behind!
  • Define the subject for the shoot out trip
  • Take a survey trip before the real shoot out
  • Learn & Buy the Best Tripod
  • Always take a handy utility camera
  • Use Multiple exposure & shots in action oriented moments- this will help you pick the ideal snap - as even a fraction of a second makes a HUGE difference in photos.
  • Know your camers settings!
  • Understand Shutter Lag
  • Understand the camera shakes

AfterMarket Pulse- The boring Services Industry!

Keeping it inefficient is good for every one- A success story and why it will be restricted to a handful in the services Industry- A serious look at the Service Industry and my views on improving them. As a society we have accepted that everything breaks down and needs periodic maintenance. We are willing to pay both money and time to accomodate such services. What we have not done is define what is the service level that is needed for every such incident. From household appliances to industrial equipments we are forced to accept the cost and quality that the market offers. In such a sellers market room for mediocracy is enormous- giving way for opportunities. Yes predicatability is not always easy when it comes to failure or repair - or for that matter to identify what is wrong once the item is broke as it is not always possible to run the equipment ot see what is going wrong! And there are companies that can afford stupidity & those that cannot- if you want to change choose wisely!

  • Three steps: 1) Localize Failure 2) Response to Events 3) Time to Life
  • Inter-dependency at a higer level accelerates return
  • Resposiveness is rewarding - even if it is just to show on site of event!
  • Failure Prevention is difficult - yet possible
  • Know your Industry problems: Inventory, Turn time, Forecasting Failure, Estimating Cost, Finding Talent, Automation tools
  • Know your industry Practices- Swapping parts, using refurbished items, penalty
  • Define Quality of service
  • Attract talent - as service industry does not attract fresh talents
  • Innovote service packages

About Me

Seen me go through cycles driven by Age, Money, Deception, Affection, Success, Failure, Fear- etc. The current cycle puts me in a middle aged bucket with sculpted bitterness trying to tame it to embrace the sweet crime of success and affection.