Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tornados and Spirals

Spiral Dynamics argues that human nature is not fixed: humans are able, when forced by circumstances, to adapt to their environment by constructing new, more complex, conceptual models of the world that allow them to handle the new problems. Each new model includes and transcends all previous models. According to Beck and Cowan, these conceptual models are organized around so-called vMeme: systems of core values or collective intelligences, applicable to both individuals and entire cultures.

In spiral dynamics, the term "vMeme" refers to a core value system, acting as an organizing principle, which expresses itself through memes (self-propagating ideas, habits, or cultural practices). The prepended and superscripted letter v indicates these are not basic memes but value systems which include them.

Work Life Balance with the Holy Cow

Too much time hunched over that computer requires some alternative pursuits to create some work-life balance, so why don't you try some "Holy Cow" yoga? We offer multi-disciplinary levels and vinyasa flow styles of Hatha Yoga. Our classes run the gamut from light-hearted and relaxing to dynamic and physically challenging. Come to practice in a fun, supportive environment and let the benefits of Yoga permeate your everyday life!

Moodle - My Teacher is a Cow!

Moodle is a free, Open Source Learning Management System, designed using sound pedagogical principless, to help educators create effective online learning communities. You can download and use it on any computer you have handy (including webhosts), yet it can scale from a single-teacher site to a 50,000-student University.

Writin' for the Brand - The Difference that makes the Difference!

Definition of brand - An identifying symbol, words, or mark that distinguishes a product or company from its competitors.

The words, the 'Wisdom of Cows', taken from the 'Wisdom of Crowds' is the brand. To quote Peter Kawalek on his early feedback to the Blog (our product) "Gentlemen, we have a brand!"

Our competitors, the other class Blogs, are by comparison a lower class, because the difference, that makes the difference, is that we are "Writin' for the Brand" - Is this just a one cow race?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Zopa, can you lend me a fiver?

So I have to admit that the Web 2.0 phenomenon of 'social lending' all sounds very nice but is it really working? I am all for cutting out the middle man and stiffing the banks that rip us off but I can't help thinking that this type of lending must only be any good for people that can't get loans the conventional way. Call me old fashioned but I wouldn't lend anyone money over the Internet no matter what interest rate they signed up to. And If I wanted a loan I would shop around on the Internet to get the best deal from a bank.

The people that are going to social lending sites like Zopa and Prosper are surely just those people that can't get credit elsewhere? i.e. The Adverse selection of customers. But it is happening to a degree. There are certainly some (if not as many as the hype would have us believe) social loan transactions taking place so borrowers and lenders must be getting something out of it. So i guess that the returns can outweigh the risk and follows the proven Nobel prize winning concept of micro-credit...but I am still a skeptic.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Does the Internet takes the risk out of starting a new business?

The internet has created a new business model for entrepeneurs where the process for starting a business is turned on its head. The business model is to first launch a website pretending that you are an established business to see if you can establish a customer base before you even think of spending a penny on actually starting a business. This model means that your risk is greatly reduced to just the cost of a website and your time developing it. You can broker the first wave of customers out to other providers for a fee and if there is a sustainable business actually start delivering the service or product yourself. Your bank manager couldn't argue with an established customer base. Or why not start a new 'virtual' business and once you have a customer base, sell the domain name and customers on?

CNN has recently run a story on this very subject. A man called David Carter launched a website called in the UK without having any knowledge of asbestos at all. He gathered information from goverment websites promising companies that he could resolve their asbestos problems within goverment guidelines. When the calls starting coming in he sent the business to a friend who had an asbestos business. Then when the calls kept coming and his friend could no longer handle the business he took the plunge and enrolled himself on an asbestos course.