A bit of a warning here. This is probably more personal than my average post. I’m not sure how relevant it is to those who come here looking for business or strategy. But at this time of year, my thoughts turn to the more personal side of life. So in the spirit of “changing the game” – I’m talking about and sharing some intensely personal moments.
I’m not trying to be anyone’s inspiration. I leave that to others. Here’s one.
The hardest part baby is smilin’ when your plans don’t work out, and count yourself – a lucky one…
Willie P. Bennett wrote those words in the 1980’s for his album of the same name. He called it “The Lucky Ones”. From the moment the words came through the speaker of my car stereo, on an early mix lent by a friend, they spoke to my heart. They inspired me then as they do now. At that time in my life, I was myself experiencing a slow awakening. Continue reading
Remember that childhood game, “Hot Potato”? You would take a ball, beanbag or other item and pretend it’s a hot potato. As soon as you got it you’d pass it on to the next person. Then at the end of the music, a timer or just a random announcement from the game master – whoever is holding the hot potato loses.
Child’s game? Or is it how we manage our companies? If it is, we need to find a way out of this trap. It kills productivity, destroys job satisfaction and dooms us to a world of enforced mediocrity. That’s what I was thinking about the other day. Here’s how it started. Continue reading
This is a story about the future impact that Waterloo can have on the country and maybe even the world. But it’s NOT about Blackberry. Crazy, you say?
Today, on a beautiful Friday afternoon in late September – what could be one of the last great summer-like days of the year we did somethign crazy. We said “to heck with that” and headed indoors to a crowded lecture theatre in the Engineering building at the University of Waterloo. It was worth every minute. Continue reading
I am told that the world ended on December 21st. Not a minute too soon.
Not that anyone would miss it. Not after this year!
Oh, yes, it started with great promise. New Year’s Eve came with celebration, with hopes for a bright and wonderful future and of course, with the mandatory resolutions and promises for change. By the next morning, New Year’s Day, throbbing heads and broken vows ushered in a year of faded hopes and broken dreams. Three hundred and sixty-five crappy days to go.
It was a year where hopes were raised, only to be dashed again.
Arab Spring deteriorated into failed states and lost dreams. We marvelled at the courage of the people in the streets. We hoped for their liberation and the creation of authentic democracies. We watched as the dreams faded. We saw the new political order echo the words of the Who – “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.
Not that things were any better on this side of the ocean. The US election was a giant disappointment. Was their ever a time when that nation truly needed to reinvent itself, to have a vigorous debate and contest of ideas? This was truly an opportunity to unite a nation and meet the challenge of a difficult future. Instead, it fizzled into schoolyard name calling where a divided nation electing the person they feared the least and even that by only a slim margin. Deadlocked and leaderless, the once most powerful nation in the world marches lemming-like towards a fiscal cliff of their own making.
Filed under Change, People
A post has been making the rounds on the internet titled, “It’s Becoming Clear That No One Actually Read Facebook’s IPO Prospectus Or Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter To Shareholders.”
I had to admit that I was on the people who hadn’t read it. Of course, why would I? I wasn’t going to be buying any Facebook shares.
I didn’t need the prospectus to know that the hype was not justified. No matter how I looked at it, I couldn’t find a rationale that supported the price.
Where do I start?
If you understand what is going on in the world of on-line advertising — if you did the slightest bit of homework — it would be obvious that it would have taken a small miracle for Facebook to deliver earnings that would justify the sale price. The only people who were going to make money on this deal were the original shareholders and those same people who gave you the mortgage backed securities debacle that nearly torpedoed the US economy.
Or even without understanding the industry, if you looked at the fundamentals alone — earnings versus share price — there was no possible support for the share price.
The only explanation I could find for the price? P. T. Barnum once said, “There’s one born every minute.” I wasn’t going to be part of it. So I paid no attention.
And frankly, I wrote off Zuckerberg.
That, as it turns out, was a mistake. Continue reading
Harvard University’s MBA program made front page news today as Siddartha Gautama, also known as “the Buddha” addressed the graduating class of 2013.
“For many of you, ” Buddha said in his opening remarks, “this day represents a moment that you have anticipated and waited for — the success that you have craved for many years. That, I would humbly submit, is where you have made a grave error. Continue reading