Friday, September 30, 2016

Getting Real About Getting To Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk deserves kudos for outlining an ambitious plan to get humans to the Martian surface and beyond.  But chutzpah alone will not solve the multitude of research problems that are going to have to be solved before anyone --- NASA, ESA, the Chinese, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, or even the Russians --- successfully land crews on Mars.

6 Scotch Whisky Microdistilleries That Will Change the Industry (Part 1)

Craft distilling is already becoming a hot trend in the Scotch whisky world.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

North Korea Has A Best Friend Forever, U.S. Sanctions Show

Chinese nationals and companies faced sanctions over suspected military support for North Korea, but a broader probe shows one thing for sure: China is North Korea's BFF.

Like Old HP, BlackBerry Is Giving Its Advantage Away, Piece By Piece

Unable to keep up with Apple, Samsung and the like, BlackBerry is making a big strategic mistake: it is giving its advantage away piece by piece to Asian competitors through outsourcing, as old Hewlett Packard did decades ago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why OPEC Cut Should Mean Higher Oil, Higher Stock Market

Oil popped more than $3 from the lows of the day (as much as 7%) on news OPEC has agreed to a production cut.

How To Turn Bylined Trade Journal Articles Into Clients

To find clients, don't waste money on a brochure. Better than any brochure are bylined how-to articles that appear in a publication or website that your target clients read.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How Beijing Can Win The South China Sea Dispute

China fumed in July when a world arbitration court said the Communist leadership lacked a legal basis to claim 95% of a resource-rich, strategically valuable sea off its south coast. The international tribunal of the world's Permanent Court of Arbitration lacked jurisdiction to decide sovereignty over the South China Sea, Beijing had said in refusing to join the arbitration filed by the Philippines. China's foreign minister called the July 12 verdict a “farce.”

How An Apprenticeship Pilot Might Solve Tech's Diversity Problem

Can apprenticeships attract more women, African-Americans, Hispanics, & veterans into the tech sector?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Appeals Court Reverses American Express Antitrust Ruling, Citing Consumer Benefits

The Second Circuit reverses an antitrust ruling against American Express.

What Google, Apple, And The World's Best Ice Cream Stand Know About Customer Service

Providing great customer service requires you to do business on the schedule of your customers: stretching yourself to meet a customer's timing needs even when it means rearranging your workflow in ways that are messy and inefficient.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

China's "Other Sea"

Investors paying too much attention to China's dispute over the writing of the navigation rules in the South China Sea -- one of the world's biggest trade routes -- have perhaps missed China's “other sea,” the sea of debt that is threatening to derail its robust growth and progress in recent years.
But the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) hasn't. 
In a recent report, the Swiss-based institution pointed to the rapid rise of China's credit-to-GDP ratio, which now stands at 30.1, three times the threshold of 10 that indicates an impending financial crisis. 
To be fair, China isn't the only country with high credit-to GDP ratio. So does Japan, the UK, and the Eurozone.
The trouble is that China's debt is a routine political process. China's credit is extended from state-owned banks to state and province-owned corporations. By contrast, the situation is a credit risk management problem in the UK, Japan, and most of the Eurozone. Additionally, some of China's state owned enterprises, which receive the loans, are stockholders of the state banks that provide them.
That's why nobody really knows what the size of China's debt-to-GDP ratio is.
Compounding the problem, parallel government ownership of both creditors and borrowers concentrates and magnifies rather than disperses and diffuses credit risk, leaving the Chinese economy vulnerable to a systemic collapse -- as the Greek crisis so colorfully illustrated.
Worse, parallel government ownership of lending and borrowing institutions complicates creditor bailouts. The reason why the “haircut” of Greek debt had such a pervasive impact on the Greek economy was that government-controlled banks and pension funds were the creditors of the general government and government-owned enterprises. So the haircut shifted losses from one government branch to another.
The situation is even more serious in China, where the outright simultaneous government ownership of banks, pension funds, and common corporations has yielded an odd state in which both the creditor and the borrower are government branches.
Government-owned banks lend money directly to government-owned corporations -- which usually function as welfare agencies -- and to land developers, who are behind the country's “investment” bubble, one of the engines of the Chinese economy.
Could you imagine what would happen to financial markets if China suffers a Greek-style crisis, one day?
That could, perhaps, explain investor skepticism over Chinese equities, which have been underperforming the neighboring market of India in the last year.

Real Time Brain Mapping Platform Secures $10 Million Series A

Stanford spinout secures $10 M in a Series A for its real time brain mapping platform.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Maximizing Revenue: Align Your Selling Season With Your Customer's Buying Season

You must put your foot to the pedal in peak seasonal buying periods to ensure you maximize sales when the buying is good.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How Did F1 Lose $1 Billion Of Value In Two Months?

Two years ago New York Post media reporter Claire Atkinson revealed that Liberty Media planned to buy Formula One auto racing from its controlling shareholder the private equity firm CVC so there shouldn't have been any surprise when it finally announced the deal earlier in September. However, the majority of the sports media was dazzled by the $8 billion price tag which some saw as being as high-octane as it gets. Not everyone.

Lunch Business Is Falling Off, As Many Diners Have Reservations

Higher lunch menu prices appear to be turning some diners away from restaurants, while a rise in working from home may be having an impact as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Rules For Raising Venture Capital

Expect the process to be grueling -- so you need to be prepared.

South Africa's Largest Ecommerce Site Takealot Wins PriceCheck Ecommerce Awards

Takealot.com, South Africa's largest ecommerce site, has won the 2016 PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards, taking both Overall Winner Award and the People's Choice Award.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Forget About Pakistan And India, Myanmar Is The Next Big Market Opportunity

Pakistan and India have been good places to invest your money in the last five years, if you are a frontier or an emerging market investor chasing after the next big opportunity, that is.
In the last twelve months, Global X MSCI MSCI +% Pakistan ETF has been 20%, while India's has been up close to 13%--see table.
The trouble with frontier and emerging market opportunities is that the potential for further gains is tamed, once they are discovered by foreign investors.
Besides, emerging markets suffer big setbacks as crony capitalism catches up with economic growth. Sometimes these setbacks can last decades, and even reverse the progress the country has made towards development (how many times have Mexico and Brazil have been “emerging?”).
That's why investors should look for new investment opportunities in emerging markets that have yet to be discovered by foreign investors -- like Myanmar.

Why It's All In The Name For The Manor F1 Team

Formula One is full of the world's most well-known brands. There's reigning champions Mercedes then the Red Bull energy drinks company's eponymous team followed by Ferrari, perhaps the most storied name in motorsport. Creating a brand to compete with them is no mean feat but one team has more experience than most at doing it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

21 States Sue To Block Labor Department's Overtime Rule

Republican states once again sue the Obama administration, this time over the overtime rule.

The Washington Post Refuses Edward Snowden Its 'Deep Throat' Treatment

Edward Snowden fed the Washington Post and three other media outlets the scoop of a generation,Now the Post, in an editorial, claims its source should be prosecuted for espionage. Cartoon by Kirk Anderson.

Monday, September 19, 2016

5 Extreme Customer Experience Lessons Every Parent Can Relate To

I can't believe the world is over-populated considering how hard it is to bring a human into this world. Or at least as I limped out of the hospital on that bright September day this was the thought that kept going through my mind.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

India's Semi-Soviet, Semi-Latin Model

India has made a great deal of economic progress in recent years. But it has yet to catch up with other emerging economies in per capita GDP, human development, and innovation, including its neighbor and BRICS peer, China.
Markets have taken notice, with iShares S&P India lagging behind the equity market of neighboring Pakistan.
The root cause India's lagging behind other emerging economies is the country's economic model-A Semi-Soviet, semi-Latin model that is backwards – it applies markets and governments in areas of the economy where each institution fails rather than excels.
This has resulted in a large and corrupt government that lacks the resources to execute its multiple roles in the economy. 

Is This 25-Year Old America's Leading (And Savviest) Millennial Influencer And Brand Ambassador?

Generalizing about anyone's age or generation is always dangerous. I know BabyBoomers who still live it up like they just graduated college, and have Millennial friends who are already entrenched with three kids under five in the suburbs.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Taxes, Your K-1 & The 2016 Presidential Campaign

Every four years, someone runs for office and proposes to change the levers of taxation that will help or hinder you. Have you read the plans of this year's candidates?

Why I Love Being Underestimated - And You Should Too

Can't shake the naysayers? Here's how to embrace them.

Friday, September 16, 2016

How Does Corporate Culture Fuel Fraud? Start With Volkswagen And Wells Fargo

Temptation can be high for employees to cross ethical lines when the company's culture gives them the motivation and the means.

It's On: Tesla, Mobileye Spar Bitterly Over What Triggered Autopilot-Related Split

The maker of camera-based vehicle sensor systems and Tesla have differing versions of why their relationship collapsed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016 Trump Takes Issue With 2015 Trump's Tax Plan, Proposes $7 Trillion In Tax Increases

The Presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump was marred by infighting earlier today, with 2016 Trump ripping the tax proposal set forth by 2015 Trump, alleging that the plan favored the rich, unfairly benefitted big business, and recklessly added trillions to the deficit.

The First 10 Shopify Apps To Install When You Setup Your E-commerce Store

Shopify is an awesome e-commerce platform that's affordable, easy to use, and ready to go right out of the box. It's much more than a shopfront. Shopify stores feature fully-secure checkouts that allow retailers to start taking payments instantly, while Shopify Shipping takes the legwork out of order fulfillment (it can manage the whole process for you – seriously). Shopify can even handle your marketing by automating email and creating targeted social campaigns on your behalf.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In A Streaming World, WeTransfer Uses Downloads As Its Secret Music Weapon (For Now)

Do downloads still play a role in the music industry? Dutch file-sharing startup WeTransfer says yes, and it has the executive board and artist partnerships to prove it.

Croissant Wants To Be The Uber For Coworking Spaces

Can the on-demand coworking model make Croissant the go-to startup for commitment phobic millennials?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Weary Of Overly-Studious Asians, This Taiwanese CEO Tempts Them With Sports

Sports can give teenagers recognition leading to university scholarships and something to say when Western schools ask about extracurricular activities.

Eight Steps To Becoming An Angel Investor

If you've acquired some wealth in your life, you may have heard the buzz around angel investing and considered the idea of being an angel investor.  Not only is it a blast to help innovative entrepreneurs, it also offers a chance to make superior financial returns.  Even so, perhaps directly investing in and mentoring startups still sounds scary.  You may wonder: How do people really get started as angels?  And how do you know it is right for you?

Monday, September 12, 2016

The 10-Year Lookback for Tax Liability Overrides State Fraudulent Transfer Law In Kipnis

Nullum tempus occurrit regi is one of the earliest doctrines found in the English common law, and is usually translated as "no time runs against the King". Brought to America, the doctrine has since been codified into various provision of the U.S. Code, to give the United States government either an unlimited time to bring certain actions, or in very long Statute of Limitations for other actions.

What Every Aspiring Start-Up Can Learn From Country Music's Most Anticipated New Artist

Every once in while in every industry someone comes along who you know is about to go viral. 'Personal calculus' is the main reason why venture capitalists back individuals first, and ideas second. The music industry is no different-ever mining for the next Blake Shelton or Beyonce the same way tech angels treasure hunt for the next game changing, Silicon Valley start-up.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

South China Sea: Philippines And Washington Should Give China Some Space

Philippines and Washington should give Beijing some space to save face over its big legal defeat over South China Sea disputes -- to help diffuse the tensions in the region, which are turning into a major geopolitical event, and adding anxiety to already edgy global markets.

How Authentic Is Your Personal Brand -- And Does It Matter?

When I talk with women leaders about the power of a personal brand, I am struck by how often they use the word “authentic.”

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Why Would A CEO Give IT Responsibility To The Chief Marketing Officer?

A common challenge for contemporary companies is to align functions. And it is especially challenging when trying to integrate the engineering, process-oriented IT function with the more agile, market-oriented marketing/sales functions. While companies are testing and trying different structures to drive collaboration, integration, and results, one unique approach that Delta Dental has adopted is to integrate the functions under a trained marketer. To better understand how this shift occurred and the benefits, I spoke with Kristin Merlo, Chief Marketing, Sales, and IT Officer for Delta Dental of Washington.

Wall Street Sell-off: A Scary Chart For Investors

One day's chart doesn't say much about Wall Street's direction. But there's something scary in Friday's sell-off chart: The sell-off extended across several asset categories and commodities. The Russell 2000 and Silver suffered the biggest losses, with iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) down close to 3 percent, iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) down 2.74%, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSE:TLT) down 1.64%, and SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD) down 0.66 percent.

Friday, September 9, 2016

NextCon 2016 - How You Can Improve Your Company's Prospects This Year

Business conferences are important for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. You need inspiration, and you need to look constantly be looking at things from a fresh perspective.
One conference you shouldn't miss this year is NextCon. NextCon16 is bringing together a range of energetic and inspiring speakers. Some of the biggest names speaking this year are Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and tech superstar Guy Kawasaki.
Every smart entrepreneur acknowledges they don't know it all. In fact, 85% of startups fail because of overconfidence. You need to keep learning to grow, and there's no better way than from some of the biggest names in business. You'll look at challenges and obstacles in a completely different way.
What is NextCon?
This is a conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners, tech professionals, and everyone in between. The whole goal of the conference is to teach you how to run a business and how to make sure it turns a profit.  The conference takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona from November 14th through November 16th and is hosted by Nextiva, a unified cloud communications company.
Attendees get exclusive access to some of the most well-known names in the tech industry who are doing unique and creative you can implement in your business.
Identifying Areas for Growth
Growth is ultimately what your business is all about. You need to make sure that you're growing your business, as well as growing as a person. Professional growth requires you to take an honest look at what you're doing and compare it to what others are doing.

Wells Fargo, Volkswagen And Their Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Customer Service

Great customer care stories are all around - why, just today...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sidelining China, Taiwan Turns To Investment In Tough But Eager India

When Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May, she announced plans to direct investment to Southeast Asia and India.

China Won't Solve Pakistan's Biggest Problem

China's purchase of Pakistani assets, like the K-Electric Company, may cheer investors for a month or two, but it won't solve the country's biggest problem --corruption.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Unconventional Career Advice By Christine Bailey

At school when I was 16 I was told that something I wanted to do was only for stupid girls! Luckily I had the support of a great teacher who broke the rules and made it happen for me. That started me on a journey of recognising how important it is to be inspired by mentors.

China Tells Japan To Stay Off Its Second Continent, Africa

After drawing a red line for Japan in the South China Sea last June, China is now telling Japan to stay off its second continent, Africa. Ideologically that is.
In a recent statement, following the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in Kenya, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Japan of “attempting to impose its will on African countries to gain selfish interests and drive a wedge between China and African countries.” 
In essence, China is telling Japan to stay off Africa, its “second continent” (to use Howard W. French's term).
China's and Japan's race to expand their presence in Africa is good news for investors, as it will help Africa's frontier economies like Nigeria and Kenya catch up with emerging markets of Asia and Latin America in a globalizing world. 
Africa's Frontier Economies 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Governor Christie Nixes NJ-PA Tax Deal; Large Increases Looming For PA Residents

Turnover in public accounting being what it is, few people at my firm realize that before I moved to Aspen a decade ago, I spent nearly two years working in our Princeton, New Jersey office. The wife and I lived across the river in Pennsylvania during that time, and once each morning and again in the afternoon, I would waste an hour of my life commuting along a 13-mile stretch of Route 1.

5 Tips To Rapidly Double the Success of Your Instagram Marketing

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or so they say...

Monday, September 5, 2016

PR Trends That Will Help You Dominate 2017: Part II

As you contemplate your budget for the next fiscal year and plan the changes that will improve your PR efforts, here are a few more trends you should consider adding to the mix if you want to adapt and succeed in 2017.

Common Sense: The Key To An Empowered Workplace

If employees don't want to be micromanaged, they need to demonstrate common sense in the workplace.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

PR Nightmares: When Political Correctness Goes Too Far

In some cases, the very organizations attempting to achieve good PR by being ultra sensitive to political correctness risk terrible PR when they take their PC efforts too far.

Avoiding Rifts Within Company Leadership

"Perfect partners don't exist. Perfect conditions exist for a limited time in which partnerships express themselves best." -Wayne Rooney

Saturday, September 3, 2016

3 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From College Football

Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from college football season.

Police Puppies Offer An Adorable Alternative To Scary Police Dogs

Police puppies would be a far safer, and more pleasant way to seek justice. Cartoon by Keith Knight.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Entrepreneurs With A Great Idea Need A Great Partner

It only takes one person come up with a great startup idea, but in my experience as an investor, it's a rare entrepreneur who has all the skills and resources to build a business as well as a solution. Yet I meet inventors and startup founders every week who balk at the thought of sharing the founder position. In my view, it's a key reason that 90 percent of startups fail to launch.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Most Powerful American In Cambodia: The Unlikely Rise of Bretton Sciaroni

How a politically exiled ex-Reaganite wound up working with former Communists in a newly democratic Cambodia over 20 years ago.

4 Things First-time Entrepreneurs Need To Know About Getting Started

Making your first foray into entrepreneurship isn't easy, but there are four key lessons that will set you on the right track.