Archive for June 2005

Middle East Feeds

June 15, 2005

Middle Eastern Feeds are fascinating.

Via Iraqi Expat: This story really caught me. Things are different over there.

The Abu Dhabi Satellite channel recently ran a live opinion poll on the employment of people with special needs. The majority (53 percent) of people that participated in the survey were against their employment, leaving 47 percent of people being in favor of the employment and social integration of people with special needs. Can our societies really be that hard-hearted? The same societies that are labeled as “emotional voters”, when voting in favour of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, due to their hatred for America and their love of slogans! But the reasons for what seems to be a heartless result may be more complicated than this.

Pictures Worth More Than A Thousand Words

June 14, 2005

This little graphic does an amazing job of summarizing a complex topic. Very well done.

On Condemning Property

June 14, 2005

From Jeff Licquia:

…brings up a practice I despise: the overuse of eminent domain and the practice of condemning perfectly good property as a legal tactic.

I’m no lawyer, but I am a Real Estate Agent, and I don’t think there is such a thing as condemning “perfectly good” property. There is property, which you are allowed to own though a bundle of limited rights. There is “eminent domain,” which allows the government to take property for public use. The process of taking property for public use is called condemning it. That’s it. Condemning doesn’t mean that some building on the land is in poor repair or dangerous or anything. It’s just a funny legal term for “take”.

The article Jeff links to is written by the sad, about the sad, for the sad. I can’t make it all the way though it.

My advice to someone of that persuasion living in a high growth zone is to keep in touch with an agent to monitor the value of your property and sell when it makes financial sense. Even if the money won’t make you happy, fighting city hall and your neighbors will surely make you far less happy.

Strategy Canvas

June 10, 2005

Dave Pollard writes an interesting article about something he calls a strategy canvas.

Twenty years ago, StandPat faced a crisis, one that had plagued it for most of the three generations since it had been founded. The commercial printing business was cutthroat. There were too many players, and now many new immigrants had come into the country and were using newer, cheaper technology to provide a product almost as good as StandPat’s for much less. The company had not significantly changed in size or nature in decades, and they were under enormous pressure to lower prices again.

The company president decided this was a recipe for running the company into the ground, and that something drastic needed to be done. He did an analysis of StandPat’s and competitors’ offerings that would have looked something like the Strategy Canvas shown above. Not surprisingly, he discovered that StandPat’s offerings were misaligned with what the market wanted — fast and cheap. There were some repeat, blue-chip customers that demanded quality, customization and reliable, knowledgeable service, but even they were frequently tempted away by much lower prices of discounters. Worse, many large organizations were doing more and more of their work in-house (small printing presses were a disruptive innovation to established commercial printers), so even the blue-chip customers were giving StandPat only their most demanding jobs. And three well-established printers with strategy profiles just like StandPat’s were fighting furiously over this declining volume of premium work.