Thursday, 26 April 2012

Intellectual Property

Whether you are starting up a business, watching Dragons Den or sat in a Business Studies lesson learning about Entrepreneurship, patents, trademarks and copyright are nearly always mentioned. Intellectual Property is a complex thing which is set up to protect the owner of the innovations and processes but unfortunately does not always work. In some countries in the world it is not enforceable and in other instances it is really expensive to guard against. Just look at all the counterfeit goods sold on markets -fake football tops are one really big example.Counterfeiting is really big business but I always thought it was a low level thing, but when I read this I was shocked. I had heard that there were fake Apple shops but setting up a Primark in Dubai which is actually a fake shop had me shaking my head in disbelief at the brazen attempt to defraud Primark and its customers. Read for yourself

Friday, 20 April 2012


Its Spring break in the US and approaching the summer in the UK, holidays will be planned and foreign destinations may well be visited. Whilst on holiday, people like to stay in touch with their friends and family back home and therefore take their phones with them. Not many know about the pitfalls of leaving their phones on roaming and switched on whilst traveling. I watched an episode of The Idiot Abroad featuring Ricky Gervais. He had sent "the Idiot" to India and if memory serves me right, he sent a message and all it said was 67p. This was the cost of him receiving a text from the UK. Please read this article and save yourself some money.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cat cafe

I had heard a while ago that in Japan, a study was undertaken proving that patting dogs in an office was a good way of de-stressing. Fast forward a couple of years and a little bit of extra thought on that idea and there are cat cafes where people go to drink coffee and pat the cats. Animal rights have now jumped on board and the end may well be near. Make up your own mind whether this is right or wrong. See article

Supply and Demand

This is a great one for Business Students. Marks and Spencer have advertised, proven their worth and predicted their sales. The staff know the product and the message has got across successfully to the consumer. Only problem is that they were short of stock on one of their main lines and thereby undone all their hard work.This causes takings to be lower than like for like sales and as a result the share price has dipped. See article

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Foie gras

Over the years there have been many debates amongst my circle of friends about Veganism, Vegetarianism and every other ism out there. We say we need protein in our diet and I will never turn into a Vegetarian simply because I love the taste and smell of Beef. Having said that the process of slaughtering is far more humane than it has been in the past and there is pressure to ensure that it stays that way.

One thing that I cannot get my head around is the manufacturing of foie gras and how it is reaped. I have seen videos of it and I am appalled by how it is done. Top chefs like to serve it in their restaurants and we often go on about ethics. Where are they now?

In order to manufacture foie gras, tubes are inserted into the ducks and geese throats and force fed. For more information read here

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pound shops

Whether in the UK, shopping at Poundland or in the US shopping at the 97 cents store I have often wondered how they manage to make  profit. I had often thought that it is all about buying in volume, thereby experiencing and benefiting from economies of scale. It also made me think about the mark up of comparable goods being sold elsewhere. Whilst thinking about this I had realised that the shops had huge amounts of stock, a narrow product range, very little room in the isles, products generally poorly displayed and not many tills at the exit.

After reading the article it also made sense that there were other savings in the one price for all strategy, thereby not having to individually price which means you basically need shelve stackers who double up as checkout cashiers. Other similar stores don't provide carrier bags as you are expected to bring your own thereby keeping costs down. For more information, read here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Smartphones are the way forward. You can keep in touch with your friends via Facebook, watch YouTube, operate your burglar alarm and read through your PowerPoint presentations whilst checking your share price.
You have a QWERTY keyboard and a vast array of functions and options available for use on your phone. Computers are potentially on their way out. Tablet sales are increasing. Does this mean the end of the computer? Blockbuster are struggling - should they have invested in a Netflix style company as DVD rentals become a thing of the past with cloud computing and live streaming.

Facebook are in the process of purchasing Instagram, which is an app for your Smartphone which allows you to take superb pictures with different effects jut like you would take with a traditional camera with different lenses and shades. I have used this app and it is fantastic.

I think this is an excellent purchase by Facebook. Technology is moving on and new trends are occurring. Kodak should ave realized this years ago and moved into the digital era. Read all about Instgram and Facebook here.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Commercialism and persuasion

I have just seen this lawsuit which involved a mother taking McDonalds to court saying that the toy in the Happy Meal was persuading kids to eat the "unhealthy food" which leads to obesity.  The judge dismissed the case.
Should parents simply learn to say no? Read article here.

Money or Tradition -a great dilemma

As a golfer in my spare time I have taken an interest in the Masters being played this year. A truly great competition with the best golfers in the world playing for the coveted Green Jacket.

Apart from who will win the competition there is a debate brewing about whether women should be allowed to join the Augusta Golf Club which is all male. I had heard that that the word golf came from the accronyms Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden. Whether this is true or not it seems quite apt for this debate.

The problem is that IBM, one of the sponsors has got a female CEO and in the past all CEO's have been given free membership to this golf club. A pure dilemma. Do you let a lady in and break with tradition or do you spurn a Sponsor and risk losing their support? A tough one. What do you think? Read the article here

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


After Hurricane Katrina, Tulsa and the surrounding areas are reeling from the destruction of a tornado. Nature really does have the upper hand! Watch this video and have a think how this tornado could affect your town if it came to you. Personal life, community and commercially!