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Showing posts from January, 2008
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The Perfect Business

One of the oldest and well-tested truisms of business is to be the first in the market. If you are first on the scene with a new product or service not offered by anyone else, you are more likely to succeed.

I was trying to think of a business I could start that would fit this requirement. Then, out of the blue, it came to me during a conversation with one of my colleagues. He said that if he was to start a terrorist organization, he wouldn’t call it something boring (think Al Jihad), he would name it something exciting, like a sports team (think Tamil Tigers).

He is right. Your name means everything – how people perceive your organization is vital to your success. Do you think your terrorist organization would be respected if you called it “Belligerent Bunny Rabbits”?

We live in a world of terrorism, where, like McDonalds, there’s a new group in the industry springing up on every street corner (see the US State Department’s list of terror organizations). Now is the opportune time to o…

Low-Risk Strategies for Buying a Used Car

Someone challenged me to write about how to buy a used car. The simple answer to that is to find a car you are interested in, approach the seller, give him money and drive the car home. But that would be cheating my challenger.

The topic should really be “low-risk strategies for buying a used car”. Although that title sounds more like a management text-book than it does a blog post, I think it more accurately describes the essence of my challenger’s challenge.

So what are the low-risk strategies you can use when buying a used car? The answer is that there aren’t any. You just have to take your best shot. Sometimes you will be lucky and find a good car, and other times you will end up buying a vacuum cleaner that sucks your money right out of your pocket. But there are things that you can do to minimize the risk of buying a four-wheeled-dud.

The first thing to do is to really ask yourself if you want to buy a used car or not. The high risk of wasting thousands on a lemon might be enough t…

The Ultimate Vacation

Where did you go for your last vacation? Disneyland? Hawaii? Europe? Colin went to Mongolia. He wrote about it in his most fascinating blog, creatively titled "Colin's Mongolian Adventure". Let's not knock Colin. He went to a different destination - to a place where he could see something new and exciting, to challenge himself and come back with engaging stories and lasting memories. I hope Colin doesn't mind if I reproduce a small section of his blog:

To summarize, everything in Mongolia can accurately be explained by merely adding the words "Crazy Mongolian" at the beginning of the name. (E.g. Crazy Mongolian bus drivers; Crazy Mongolian jungle birds; Crazy Mongolian construction workers; and Crazy Mongolian liver diseases.)

This is truly the best I can explain the country.

After all the planning, effort and expense he put into his adventure-trip to Mongolia, the best way he can summarize the place is to call the people "crazy"? Whatever would…

How to Open a Coconut

I was surfing the web and came across a very informative site called www.howtoopencoconuts.com. It shouldn't surprise me that such a site exists, but I found it amusing that there is an entire website dedicated to showing you how to open a coconut.

The way this website advises you to open the coconut is by delicately tapping holes in the end of the coconut and then draining the liquid (coconut water). Once the coconut water has been extracted, gently wrap the coconut in a towel and then sledge the thing with a hammer until pulverized. You may wish to bare your teeth, yell and think of something that makes you angry. I call that a bonus.

The funny thing about this method is that at the top of the website are the following words, "but we humans can't just sit around and let monkeys show us up, right?" - yeah, right. Monkeys can crack open a coconut with their bare hands, a banana peel and a pebble, but we use rusty nails and hammers. Sure, we are much smarter than them.

T…

Who's fault is it, anyway?

According to this article in USA Today, the Dolphins' Cam Cameron, was fired from his position as coach. Why? The team finished with one win and fifteen losses. They fired the coach? Don't you think they should have fired the players? Let's see, was it the coach who zigged when he should have zagged? Was it the coach who dropped the ball? Was it the coach who tripped over his shoelaces at a critical moment?

Certainly, the coach has overall responsibility for the players. He directs them where to run and what plays to make. He is the decider. He tells you when to play and when to sit on the bench. He sure does have a measure of responsibility. But if the players stink, they will lose the game matter how good the coach is.

Think of sports as a war. You have the General sitting safely in a tent on friendly territory (the coach). A superior officer (the team captain) directs his men (the players) to carry out the General's orders. If the on-field officer doesn't do a goo…
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