Gustavo Ballvé on November 29th, 2010

What took it so long? Now people can get an internationally-accredited MBA using the same platform they’re already so used to. The people behind this initiative claim that it didn’t take a lot of capex $$ to port their Moodle-based e-learning solution to an Facebook app. We’ve studied online education and while it is definitely not just about the underlying tech, going to Facebook can potentially help some schools leapfrog other schools’ sunken investments in proprietary technologies.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 26th, 2010

There’s timing and there’s packaging. The second is easier to control… This WSJ story highlights the success story of GLD, the Gold ETF, and the potential risks caused by its very success. By the way, we’ll have more on “packaging” in a future post.

Read more about The success story of Gold… the ETF, mind you

Gustavo Ballvé on November 24th, 2010

On “the web is dead” debate. The Wired article of the same name pointed out that we’re spending increasing amounts of time on the Internet, but not on the Web – we’re “app-izing” our experiences. Another article argued that it was the natural evolution of the Web in light of how other media evolved. Now none other than Tim Berners-Lee is worried about the Web as we know it, and his article “Long live the Web” in this month’s Scientific American argues that we should protect the web’s open standards and neutrality.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 23rd, 2010

The Economist had a “special report” on smart systems recently and it resonates with a previous post on Figuring out the business models most likely to emerge is interesting, trying to cherry-pick “winners and losers” is tempting, but the hard part is separating the hype from what really matters to investors. We’ll definitely hear more (and post more) on this subject.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 22nd, 2010

Richard Branson turned 60 on July 18th but now he’s posting a series of videos in which he answers 60 questions sent by the staff at Virgin. Nice timekiller, but since he mentioned The Elders in Part 1, we’ve linked to this very interesting and high-profile NGO. The names of the Elders themselves are HUGE, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Aung San Suu Kyi and Jimmy Carter. The “supporters” list is also an impressive roster of foundations and NGOs. Here’s hoping the organization’s achievements can be just as impacting.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 18th, 2010

Strategy and Business is the magazine/ content strategy and branding arm of Booz Allen (Booz Co. nowadays) and has been around for 15 years. Their editors chose the 50 “best” articles in this period. Some we’ve already read and really are worth it, and most are probably interesting. Get them while you can, but just remember the old “there’s only 24 hours in a day” warning.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 17th, 2010

A video by Taleb, who’s getting more and more irritated with QE2. Another video, this one an interview with GMO’s Jeremy Grantham, also strongly argued. And (finally!) a reasonably-toned open letter to Ben Bernanke in the Wall Street Journal, signed by plenty of investment mavericks. Reactions are getting more and more personal, but then again the economic policies are unprecedented. Now also includes Warren Buffett’s open letter to “Uncle Sam”.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 16th, 2010

As we said in the previous post, setting aside some time to read “building block” material is vital. Now for the more serious material: this first article had us thinking about Marketing/ Advertising in the “sooner-than-we-think” future, and how disruptive some technologies can be. It’s one of the most interesting fields these days, but as usual we wonder a lot, ponder a lot but try to do very little, that is, we only act with very strong conviction.

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 16th, 2010

As we return from the November 15th holiday, we highlight a few of the interesting “building blocks”-pieces we’ve read or watched, in this case “watched”. Some more useful and actionable, some to keep in the back of our minds and “ruminate” on and see if later “clicks” with other issues in our minds. “The day only has 24 hours” for sure, and yet we must find the time to expand horizons and read widely as well. We’ll start things lightly with these two videos…

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Gustavo Ballvé on November 11th, 2010

It’s amazing how many times we’ve seen institutions go bust because of back-office details. NEVER underestimate the relevance of knowing every nut and bolt of every transaction, of making sure the deal is closed every step of the way. That costs money and time, but it is something one should always take into account. Ultimately it’s all about studying a lot, knowing a lot and doing as little as possible. As we like to say, risk management is really about so much more than greek letters…

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