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Showing posts from February, 2012

Start-ups Need Help with Research Before Funding

Billions of $, £ and € are wasted every year by governments, investment funds, charities and individuals on business start-ups that fail or under-perform at best. I believe that if a professional accredited market research phase is completed before funding is agreed, it would: Ensure start-ups have a better chance of survival. Around half of all start-ups fail within their first 5 years. Around 20% fail in the first year. But virtually all will under-perform against plan in the early years. Success is always harder than anyone ever imagines. Prevent businesses from starting, and funders wasting their money, if propositions don't realistically hold water. Professionalise the owners of those businesses faster than if they learned all their lessons 'the hard way'. So if they do fail, they'll stand a better chance of success next time. The people who perform the market research might become a recruitment resource for the start-ups. The project can be funded by taking

Stop Zooming in and Missing the Game

I'm a rugby fanatic. I follow club rugby (Harlequins) and international games with a passion. Ideally watching live games is the best way to enjoy the sport. Of course when I can't see an important game live, I watch it on TV, which can sometimes drive me nuts.....  Rugby is a complicated game. It's simple enough to understand the two ways of scoring (tries and kicks over the post) but in order to score there are many rules to observe, and therefore many rules to break - all of which require careful watching of subtleties on the pitch. WHICH YOU CAN'T SEE IF THE BLOODY CAMERAMAN IS ZOOMING IN ON THE BALL.  You also can't see what the players are looking for when they're running - namely opponents, their own team in support, and gaps IF THE BLOODY CAMERA IS ZOOMED INTO THE PLAYER AND NOT THE GAME. Are offending broadcasters sponsored by Gilbert or Nike? The BBC in England and Wales generally cover rugby matches well. But when we play in Scotland or Italy es

The Practical, Cheap Alternative to New Runways - and a Fast Boost for the Economy

We can easily and very quickly solve our capacity problems at Gatwick and Heathrow in order to boost our economy. But it needs government intervention and imagination. We don't have enough runways for jumbos or immigration processing hubs to make it easy for the people we need to attract to do business here. For example, the UK has no direct flights to and from China's largest city, Guangzhou and its 40m people, let alone all the other places hoping to do business with us. Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris all have many direct flights there for the Chinese to choose from. I expect the same situation exists for most other fast growing cities in India, Vietnam, South Korea etc. The UK is stuck in the past with respect to where we make it easy to travel to and from - and look where this got Greece, Spain and Portugal (once great trading nations). If we are serious about encouraging trading relationships with the world's richest nation (China now has over $3 trillion in reserv

Greece and Portugal Need to Change the Way They Sell Tourism

Greece and Portugal need to market themselves differently. Appeal to our sympathy, not to our hedonism (like everyone else). Our news channels are increasingly showing examples of the very real suffering happening in bankrupt countries - whatever the reasons for their demise. Of course they have to tighten their belts, fix their leaky tax-collection and get real about the future, but these two nations in particular are too small and technologically disadvantaged to find clever ways of growing their economies. It's impossible these days for a small nation to find a niche that can't instantly be copied and offered more cheaply by the likes of China and India - let alone by the UK, Japan and Germany. Every industry they might claim as a niche is either too small to make a difference to their nation's debt or being replaced by something cheaper and probably better (like corks have been replaced by screw tops). All Portugal and Greece realistically have to export is sun and th