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Showing posts from May 17, 2015

Where he once collected food stamps, Jan returned to sign a $19B deal

Jan Koum toiled at Yahoo for nearly ten years. His attempt to get a job at Facebook was turned down. Jan developed WhatsApp. The number of users quickly surged to hundreds of millions. This time Facebook bought his firm for $19 billion – the most expensive acquisition ever for a venture-backed startup. Jan signed the deal papers at the site of the social-services office where he once stood in line to collect food stamps. This only happens in the US!

I watched boxing for the first time -- and look what I learned

Floyd appeared mostly defensive – often simply thrusting his left arm in the air as if he was merely practicing. Manny, on the other hand, appeared to show frequent aggression. I looked for the scoreboard. I thought 3/12 (the only numbers I could see on my TV screen) meant Floyd had scored only a third and I thought it was justified. At the end of 36 minutes though, what the referees unanimously thought confused me: it was Floyd who won, not Manny! Well, my thinking was not too unfair as I later heard of a call for a rematch.

Entertainment? Fight of the century? Floyd won? Also, why does boxer George Foreman, talking about his defeat in 1974, say, "If I watch (that match) 100 times, each time I still think I'm going to win"? Wow! Manny said nearly the same thing: "I thought I won the fight." In contrast, in football for example, players don't say they thought they won.

There's a parallel in business. Managers were rewarding/punishing employees based on …

Singapore success and the US connection

The nation of Singapore is admired the world over. Founding father Lee Kuan Yew (who died recently) envisioned the big picture as well as sweated the details to take Singapore FROM a country of unruly politics, high unemployment, high inflation, and evaporating economy TO a country with the world's busiest port, top airline, and tenfold increase in GDP (between 1965 and 80). Lee had a US connection. He remained – until the end – a fan of American entrepreneurship and ingenuity. To help keep peace in Asia, he provided safe harbor for US warships. Besides, much of the foreign investment that poured into Singapore was from US tech companies.

More: Time, April 6, 2015