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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A reflection on the last post.

Did i say i summary of the interview?

Oh! certainly not exactly that but some important things about his personality.

I think even his critics would agree that we have got a great deal of things to learn from him on the road to development.

I mean at the level of individual behaviour

Well, some would argue that sustainable global development would not be achieved via the Rockefeller style of philanthropic donations to the poor .

Nonetheless, let us not rule out the possibility that a good junk of the donation might be used by the Charity to create enabling institutions and infrastructures for the betterment of the poor.Even as some would argue that we can not separate hand-outs to the poor from their emancipation.

Well, the following could be practically learnt from his life:

>1) Never procrastinate, take action,be enterprising!

>2) No investment is too small.

>3) Be green! Do not waste the world's precious natural resources on things you can really do without.

Just as he can do without chartered flights, you can do without unnecessary indulgence that destroy our bio diversity, emit green house gasses...

Let use preserve our bio diversity!!!.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It was not on my 'TO DO LIST' to blog today and even if I would,perhaps later in the day, certainly not on this topic.But i just got this,a summary of an interview Warren Buffet gave to CNBC from a friend and a colleague of mine on the Venture in Management Programme at the Lagos Business School in Nigeria sometimes 2005.Her name is Tobi.

Please have it...hope you enjoy it!

There was a one hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet, the second
richest man in the US who has donated $31 billion to charity. Here are some very
interesting aspects of his life:

>1) He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!

>2) He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.

>3) He still lives in the same small 3 bedroom house in mid-town Omahathat
he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything
he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.

>4) He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.

>5) He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest
private jet company.

>6) His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one
letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the
year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.

>7) He has given his CEO's only two rules.

Rule number 1: Do not lose any of your share holder's money.

Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1

>8) He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after
he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.

>9) Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5
years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren
Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates
met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee
of Warren Buffet.

>10) Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

>11) His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I wonder if today is that tomorrow i promised in the last post.
Well, please bear with me.Just that i have been working on a start-up that has taken all my time for a while.You know how demanding consulting could be at times.

Yes,I was trying to give a gist of how the Global System for Mobile Communication-GSM is revolutionising the social, cultural and economic way of life of a community somewhere in Nigeria.

Just about 12 months to my last visit the only way to make telephone calls out of that community was through a Thurayah satelite phone -the cost was and infact, is still 'back breaking '- or travel some kilometres away.

I got to know that about 4 months to my visit the closest substitute was to use a TV antenna to receive a fluctuating GSM signal .Of course that meant that the phone could not be used beyond the lenght of the cable tied around a cell phone's Aeriel.

It was only an SMS away to call the young boy who washed and pressed my dresses.The phone was apparently no luxury to that boy since he had access to his Dad's. I can roughly estimate their family income , maybe about the equivalent of $150 a month.

An interesting occasion was when a mother simply sent an SMS to call her son back home from the football field where he had gone to play.

From the economic angle,jobs where created for a good number of youths who would have ordinarily constituted local nuisance or have travelled to an urban centre probably to do nothing but join the pool of a growing unemployed population, at least they are able to operate call centres.

The most significant about this development was for my cousin who got an SMS from a leading blue chip to be present for an interview. He would have missed that chance of a job he later got,thanks to the GSM.

Though relatively expensive, but put 'side by side' with the benefits it delivers, I think the GSM technology would not be a bad idea to be employed in facilitating some community based grass-root development initiatives.Per harps for education use, or something.