I’m just finishing off my first draft of a trade book (ie, here’s a small flat fee Tim, give us 50,000 words) on business models.
An idea arises.
So, lots of amputees out there.
Drop shipping is becoming more of a thing. Internet sales are becoming more of a thing.
So, combine the two.
You, the customer, go around these drop shipping sites (or you, the business, sign up to every drop shipping site in the country). Order is paid for, drop shipped to business site.
Seamstress adjusts the clothing according to the specific needs of the amputee. Properly done, well sewn. The amputee having sent in pictures of the state of the limb so that proper measurements are known. Instead of trouser legs being pinned up and the like.
Then adjusted clothing is sent on to customer. Margin charged for seamstress. This should be (note, should be) lower than the cost of taking to a seamstress out in meat world, search costs lower and so on. Margin is gained on the original drop ship plus on the adjustments.
Original marketing to start at least would be pretty simple. There are various organisations aiding amputees after all.
If this actually works you can send me some money.
Have they gone full South Seas?
There’re some 1,500 of them out there. There are exchanges which list some to many of them.
Cross exchange rates are going to have margins in them. Arbitrage.
No one wants to put actual money in of course.
Invent a new currency. Give some of it away. Get it listed on a few exchanges (for some this is a function of giving the exchange some invented money).
The retained portion is now capital to do arbitrage with.
So, why won’t it work?
Brexit, at its heart, is a recognition that Britain has become steadily weaker since it spent much of its empire wealth fighting two world wars – too feeble in the years before the 2016 referendum to sustain an exchange rate of $1.60 and €1.40, just as it was too poor to cope with $4 to the pound in the 1950s and $2 to the pound in 1992.
Manufacturers were unable to make things cheaply, reliably or efficiently enough against the headwind of a high-value currency, forcing many to give up. An economy that boasted 20% of its income coming from manufacturing in the 1980s found it was the source of barely 10% at the beginning of this decade.
Surges in GDP growth in the 70 years since the war can be attributed (and this short list makes the point crudely) to periods when there were cheap raw materials and energy costs; or a growing population; or foreign ownership and management of key industries; or the offloading of vast amounts of state and mutually owned assets; or cheap borrowing. Without these in operation to improve the UK’s performance, a lower exchange rate became inevitable.
So, the 70 years since 1945 were years of bad economic management then? Doesn’t that mean that those years of bad economic management should not be repeated? You know, that puts the kibosh on the entire Corbyn/McDonnell set of plans?
Pension funds should be encouraged to invest in purposeful companies; up to £100bn could be earmarked.
Whose money is that and earmarked by whom?
And when do we get to see the administrator’s report into the Work Foundation?
Average salaries for advertised jobs in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are under £30,000, according to a study by jobs site Adzuna. Jobs near Sloane Square tube station pay an average of £25,686, South Kensington offers £26,447 and High Street Kensington is marginally better with average salaries of £29,367. But statistics show the affluent borough is home to Britain’s top earners. A new study has revealed how Britain’s richest borough has some of the lowest wages in London – but its wealthy residents are the country’s top earners. Figures released by the Office of National Statistics last year show residents of Kensington and Chelsea had the highest income in the country – an average salary of £158,000. In contrast, the Adzuna study found jobs in Tower Hamlets – one of the capital’s poorest boroughs, where residents earn an average of £41,800 – offered much higher salaries. Jobs near Shoreditch High Street paid an average salary of £37,074, those near Tower Hill pay £30,118 on average.
The retail outlets in a largely residential borough don’t pay very much.
The spillover from The City and the tech hub into Tower Hamlets pays a lot.
Who would have thought it?
At around the same time, the former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya held a public interview at Stanford University in which he did not exactly mince his words. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works,” he said. “No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth … So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.”
No civil discourse, no cooperation.
Two billion people actively use Facebook; at least 3.5 billion are now reckoned to be online. Their shared habits, compulsions and susceptibilities will clearly have a huge influence on the world’s progress, or lack of it.
So that’ll be civil discourse and cooperation between some 2 to 3.5 billion people then, eh?
But this is the truly scary bit and the one which is really the point of what is being said:
So we ought to listen to Tristan Harris and his campaign. “Religions and governments don’t have that much influence over people’s daily thoughts,” he recently told Wired magazine. “But we have three technology companies” – he meant Facebook, Google and Apple – “who have this system that frankly they don’t even have control over … Right now, 2 billion people’s minds are already jacked in to this automated system, and it’s steering people’s thoughts toward either personalised paid advertising or misinformation or conspiracy theories. And it’s all automated; the owners of the system can’t possibly monitor everything that’s going on, and they can’t control it.”
And then came the kicker. “This isn’t some kind of philosophical conversation. This is an urgent concern happening right now.” Amid an ocean of corporate sophistry and doublethink, those words have the distinct ring of truth.
No one controls what these 2 to 3.5 billion people do. They get to just discourse and cooperate among themselves as they see fit, with no guidance from government, politicians or a priestly caste.
It’s the classical liberal fantasy come true and the progressive liberal nightmare. For if the people can do it for themselves what need of the caste of progressive liberals to tell them what to do?
Notorious mobster’s daughter hawking Godfather coffee pods
The daughter of notorious Sicilian mob boss Totò Riina has begun selling coffee pods and olive oil in his memory, just weeks after his death.
An unrepentant antithesis to ethical coffee, the “Uncle Totò” capsules are named after the ferocious Corleone-based godfather responsible for dozens of murders who once ordered a 13-year-old boy to be strangled and dissolved in acid.
One of the less dangerous ways she could trade on the family name, no?
Word (or Office 365) subscription. Needs to be paid. I’ve a US credit card. Which I can add to their system, but only for purchases in the US. Sitting here in Portugal I must use a card with a P address.
You know, as if people never move around, never buy stuff outside home, never have, say, a business cc from a different country?
Well done to a multinational there, eh?
Supermarkets are cashing in by selling standard own-label products that are apparently identical to their value range.
An investigation found no difference in the ingredients or nutrition between the two price tiers across a range of products.
Honey, corned beef and UHT milk were all affected – while there was also no meaningful difference in taste between standard and value packs of mild cheddar.
The only way to tell the lines apart was the packaging – and the fact that the price of standard lines is much higher. A probe by Channel 4’s Supershoppers programme found in some cases the standard and value products come from the same factory.
It’s not that the medium stuff is more expensive, it’s that the cheap stuff is cheaper.
Sure, it’s price discrimination, market segmentation. But they do it by making the labels on the cheap stuff garish – and equally, obvious to all that someone is buying the cheap stuff. Those who care more about money than appearances thus get the deals.
This is something we wish to complain about, is it?
Last week Tesla unveiled its electric Semi to great fanfare. The four-motor truck was announced with a 500-mile range and some self-driving capabilities. What Elon Musk failed to provide was a price. Now that’s changed: the regular versions of the 300-mile and the 500-mile trucks will cost $150,000 and $180,000 each.
Bit like moving the belts over from A to B. You pay more for the throughput of the card machine, not the costs of it.
So, continuing to look around for things that can be done. And why not start to think like an economist a bit?
What is it that I know that I can do? What’s a comparative advantage?
Well, after a decade of doing it I do know that I can write stuff that Google picks up. Not necessarily exactly and absolutely the very finest of everything going viral but sound enough stuff that doesn’t violate guidelines an appears high enough in search (especially Google News).
So, perhaps that is what I should be doing?
But I have zero technical skills. And someone with reasonable technical skills would make a site trying to do that work much, much, better.
So, that’s the adventure. I’ll put in all the grunt work of producing material that appeals to search engines. On the tech side I need a site, all the background stuf that aids in search engine picking it up, plus signing up to ad networks an all that.
A little more. I’m convinced that static sites are the way to go here. Django, something like that. The front end should look like a newspaper site. Back end, as far as possible, something like WordPress (or other similar editor). But in the technical sense the site is static, not dynamic, in order to increase loading times. That increases search ranking all on its lonesome. Ads obviously will be dynamic but that doesn’t matter, Google ranks according to the page load, not what happens after that.
Hmm, so, anyone? I’ve a proven ability – on the right platform – to get 500k to 1 million page views a month. Ad rates, when you have a few different ads on a screen, are perhaps $5/000.
Elon Musk, the Chief Executive of electric car maker Tesla, unveiled a surprise new vehicle on Thursday night – a roadster that he said would be the “fastest production car ever” made.
Capable of going from 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, the Tesla Roadster would be the first such car ever to break the two second mark, the entrepreneur said at a launch near Los Angeles.
He also said it would climb from 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds and clear a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds. “This will the first time that any production car has broken 9 seconds in the quarter mile,” he said
With a 200 kilowatt hour battery pack, the Tesla Roadster will have a range of 620 miles on a single charge – another new record.
“The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” he said.
“Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
The solar roof is way behind schedule, the Model 3 is having appalling manufacturing problems, the company’s burning through limited capital – great, upgrade the software and put a bigger battery in!
Fiddling and Rome come to mind.
It’s obviously possible that Tesla’s going to make it but that’s not the way I would be betting at present.
Ambitious graduates are no longer interested in pursuing careers in banking because they are too “socially conscious”, the outgoing head of Britain’s biggest graduate recruiter has said.
Since the financial crash, lucrative graduate schemes in the city have lost their allure as big pay packets alone now fail to motivate young people, according to the founder of Teach First.
Well, OK, I can imagine a change at the margin, certainly.
Teach First has been the biggest graduate recruiter for the past three years, with over 1,400 graduates each year sent to teach in deprived schools. The vast majority – around 70 per cent – of recruits are from the elite Russel Group universities.
How many do graduate each year? 400,000? I’d have thought the graduate entry into banking was still higher than Teach First then…..
EU scrutiny comes as the Government attempts to maintain and capitalise on Britain’s lead in Europe as a digital economy through Brexit. Ministers view improving the country’s broadband networks as vital. While more business is done online in Britain than anywhere else in the EU, its digital infrastructure lags behind France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
If we do more business on a worse network then it’s not the network determining the amount of business, is it?
Amid a battle for orders between Boeing and Airbus, Monarch secured a cut-price deal for 30 new planes — which later rose to 45. The market value of the aircraft was greater than Monarch’s agreed price, so creating a paper profit.
Greybull was able to persuade Boeing to release more than £100m of this trapped equity as cash, pumping it into the airline through Petrol Jersey.
Buy something you can’t afford at a discount, claim the discount as capital. Actually, they managed to go up one notch, manage to persuade the seller to give you the discount as capital.
That really is innovative.
The number of Uber drivers in London should be capped to ensure ‘healthy competition and consumer choice’, the boss of a rival minicab app has claimed.
Kabbee chief executive Justin Peters called for a limit on the proportion of minicab drivers overseen by one company if Uber overturns a decision not to renew its operating licence.
Some 116,000 minicab drivers hold licences in London and Uber says around 40,000 use its app in the city.
An entry for the “Please use the law to hobble my competitors” competition then.
Bosses at Monarch Airlines were given 24 hours to save the low-cost carrier yesterday as officials raced to put together a rescue plan for up to 100,000 holidaymakers who could be stranded overseas.
I was wondering why quite so many emails about seat sales….