Inflation in America

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both brings temporary prosperity; both brings a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunities.” Ernest HemingwayInflation: The rate at which your currency loses purchasing power over timeThe official inflation rate in the States is…

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The more customers you have, the safer you are

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert FrostIt’s easier to build a business with only one big customer. The alternative is something like Facebook, with a billion customers! Cash flow is easier. Only one invoice to send each…

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The best way to say Yes

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. VoltaireAs a manager, people are only ever trying to persuade you to “Yes” to their request. If your initial reply is “Yes”, they leave the room happy.If your initial answer is “No”, they immediately try to persuade you to say “Yes”.No one ever tries to…

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Creativity creates competitiveness, process creates jobs

Ideally, you want both in your business. Apple is the master of combining these attributes (or at least it was whilst Jobs was around.) It changes the game whenever it launches a new product, whilst the Tim Cooks of the world gives it a virtually unrivalled competitive advantage in logistics (a fundamentally process-driven world). The…

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Business is about money. Businesses do not make money.

In business you must imprint the following on your brain: Business is about making money Businesses do not make money The first point is key for understanding where your priorities lie. Politics is about serving the people, journalism is about the truth, NGOs are about helping the less fortunate.Business is about making money.The second point…

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The danger of discriminating based on location

I’ve just read There’s A Bantu In My Bathroom by Eusebius McKaiser. Highly recommended if you’re comfortable with some unspoken truths in South Africa.In one of his essays he discusses the difference between racialism and racism.Racialism is a belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, and social and cultural differences among races.Racism relates…

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Target market: Location is everything

I’ve been in the field of location-based services since 2003. At Cellfind we launched one of the first cellphone tracking services in the world, and since then I’ve been lucky enough to see the location datasets at a telco (iBurst) and a social network (Mxit).Conclusion:  Location is the single most useful piece of data for…

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4 arguments for less gun control

Here I am, in Arizona, gun country… and, it just so happens that the USA is once again boiling with fear and outrage after a shooting tragedy, this time in a Connecticut primary school where a 20-year old shot six teachers (including his mom) and twenty children, and then shot himself.   His weapons? Three…

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3 ways to deal with mistakes

My uncle is a heart surgeon and he recently explained the orthodox means of training future doctors. In essence, when a trainee makes a mistake the teacher follows this mantra:Shame, blame, retrain.In my uncle’s opinion this is wrong. His method is to rather accept that everyone will make mistakes every day. The job of the…

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The danger of “why”

Asking “why” is a very powerful tool, and some would argue it is the sole reason for humankind’s rise to dominate the world as a species. We seem to be alone amongst animals in our ability to seek causation“Why are the birds not chirping?” “Why are there tiger paw marks on the ground?” “Why is…

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Some perspective on taxes in South Africa

Having studied tax law (against my will), and having listened to many people complain of their taxes around the world, I thought I’d give some quick perspective for my fellow taxpayers in sunny South Africa: Belgium has a 50% income tax rate in the highest bracket. The USA has an “exit tax” for renouncing US…

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A possible sign that the world will be a better place one day…

Someone just explained to me that there is virtually no difference in the number of neurons between a chimpanzee’s brain and a human’s brain. The difference arises when one compares the number of connections between neurons.In that regard, human brains are far ahead of chimpanzee brains. Therefore, intelligence is determined by the number of connections…

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