November 19, 2008
PE Obama’s 1st Big Mistake
before you think this is a partisan rant, this is a hat tip to Mark Cuban over at Blog Maverick. Mark rightly points out that the economic “advisory team” is chock a block full of academics and big company guys, not a single entrepreneur in the bunch. If we go with their logic we are likely to get alot of protection for existing businesses and not alot of incentive for new businesses. The entrepreneur has always lead America out of economic collapse, not the corporate guys who drove us here. I hope Obama has some of them around somewhere.
Let the auto companies file for bankruptcy
Why? They are poor businesses managed by idiots. Besides that, the prime problem of the US Auto industry is high cost of labor, health care, and retirement costs. Chapter 11 will allow those expenses to be renegotiated. If we just lend them money, they will be back and will not do the hard work to reorganize the businesses into profitable companies. The foreign companies can make money. The US companies make money overseas in buckets. The problem is the expense side in the US. This will ONLY be fixed by a Ch11 reorganization. This is what the process was designed for. GM is NOT AIG. There are not the size of credit default swaps or co-party risk dependent on a GM failure. Let them fail. We will have lots of new startups and a more efficient model. Take the medicine now. This will avert economic collapse by allowing these companies to be profitable again.
November 17, 2008
The web is a crazy place
So in searching for valid interesting free offers, I came across one where a person offered 5 minutes of compliments. Now that is interesting. How would that work? Well I had to reply. The person friended me on Facebook, then sent me this note:
Thats an awesome chair !
Nice hair cut!
Great painting in background!
Love the style that you choose on what your wearing
You seem like an awesome person!
You live in WA! and thats awesome!
You are republican! + :)
You own an awesome website!http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.deepgreencrystals.com%2F
You are a CEO and Chairman of something! That always says something!
And you have a sweet name!
Hey, it was free and put a smile on my face. Now that is cool.
Bike Sharing comes to DC
I have been riding my bike for two years. This is a good trend.
November 16, 2008
Where to have coffee?
Well I have my favorites. And I have alot of meetings in Coffee shops. It is a Seattle thing. I can tell allot about someone by the coffee shop they suggest to meet at. Greg over at Xconomy actually has started a list of the intersection between coffee shops and the Seattle start-up tech community. Interesting list. Check out who drinks where. My favorite is of course Cafe Fiore (and yes I can be seen on my Segway there).
November 14, 2008
Chris Pirillo on barter.
the geek layman’s explanation of barter ala SwapTree.
What is the stuff in my garage worth?
Kijiji recently commissioned a study to figure out if American’s had stuff lying around the house they didn’t use (duh) and what it might be worth (that was more interesting).
Now I have a second observation. What level of cash is your cut-off for “not worth my time”? For me it is < $100. Anything for which I will receive less than $100 it is not worth my time to deal with posting, offers, shipping, etc. Just not worth it. The fourth column that would be interesting there is the tax receipt value. I would bet you that the tax benefit of donating say a Video Game console is greater than $4.
November 13, 2008
Boeing plowing ahead with biojet
They will test fly an Air New Zealand plan on UOP derived Jatropha biojet. Very cool to see this keep building in the light of the overall downturn in the biodiesel market. Remember, Imperium made the first biojet for Boeing under my direction….
November 12, 2008
This has been going around the web. It is attributed to an economics professor. I like how it explains taxes, motivation and the current economic environment and potential reactions to different actions.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten
comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would
go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with
the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to
reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.' Drinks for the ten now
cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes
so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for
But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could
they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the
sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the
bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill
by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the
men began to compare their savings.
'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He
pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'
'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a
dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I got'
'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10
back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'
'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't
get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks so the nine
sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay
the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have
enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors,
is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes
get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much,
attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up
anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the
atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
November 11, 2008
trying out iListhere is their widget
November 10, 2008
Maui Biodiesel continues to unwind
I said the MECO/BlueEarth was a a project that would never happen beginning. Now the lawyers are going to settle it. What a mess. Bummer for the health of the maui residents. They need to keep sucking in diesel fumes for a couple more years.
ROI calculation on “Free” Mike and Ike contest
Mike & Ike Candy
click stock up, spin the wheel until you win
500 given each month
Ok, I went over there and the spinny wheel is kinda cute. It is like a vegas slot machine. But I pressed "spin" 100 times and never won. Lets do the math. 500 winners per month. That would be on average 6 winners per day (assuming a 30 day month), with 24 hrs is about one winner per 4 hours. You can click the button about once a second if you are diligent. That means that there are 60 sec x 60 min x 4 hours =14,400 clicks in the four hour period and they award one of them the prize.
Now this is simple math assuming there is only one person clicking solid for 4 hours. And that the machine awards one every four hours. It also doesn't account for other people clicking. They may not, they may award one every XX clicks. It is impossible to know their algorythm. All these factors just make the odds go up against the player. If the site is playing by the conservative rules, you should be able to sit there and click for four hours and be gauranteed to win a box of candy.
Now what is your time worth? Lets say $20/hr. That means about $.33/minute. $1 of your time is about 3 minutes.
Prize: $1 box of candy
Cost: Up to 4 hours of time and 14,400 clicks of the mouse.
BreakEven Calculation: Click for 3 minutes, if you haven't won, move on, you are loosing money.
November 8, 2008
A Barack O Bottom?
It is no secret that I think the Election of Barack O Socialist is going to create a very dark time in American history. I also am smart/honest enough to point out any positive things that I see happening along the way. There were a couple this week.
First, about 70% of the economic crisis is a crisis of “confidence”. When banks don’t know who to trust of how to value the credit of a co-party they simply don’t loan money. Confidence and “Hope” are close cousins. So when the candidate of “Hope” wins, does “confidence” get a lift? I have to report yes in my little corner of the world. I have three pieces of real estate that are on the market. For the last 3 months I have gotten basically zero interest as everyone hunkered down waiting for the election. The day after the election I received five new inquiries on those properties. Something changed. Something got those people out of their chairs and back into the market looking to put new money to work. Maybe it was “Hope”. I sure “hope” so. Maybe simply electing a new face can create a Barack O Bottom. Lets hope so…
November 3, 2008
Spoke at Social Entrepreneurship event tonight
over at U of W. This is Susan Schreter’s class. nice bunch eh? Talked at some length about software and Energy and how all that led to Kashless. During the Q&A one of the students asked “so what makes you a social entrepreneur?” I don’t think I did a good job answering it there and I don’t think they liked my answer. My answer at the time was “I don’t think of myself as a social entrepreneur, only an entrepreneur.” “You have to focus on money first, anything else is gravy.”
But on the drive back, I started thinking deeper. What is a “social entrepreneur”? Well, someone who works for things in addition to money. I have retired twice. I have a nice house in Hawaii. Why I am I still working? Which is more important, make money or do good? I think the students were looking for a bright line. I am not sure there is one, but I have come up with mine.
A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur first (makes money) and does good second.
If you get the social part right and get the entrepreneur part wrong, you run out of money and have nothing. If you get the entrepreneur part right and the social part wrong, you can always work on it later because you are making money and are sustainable. Non-profit = non-sustainable. Then the question becomes “how much money?” If you wan to be an entrepreneur to make as much money as possible you are probably not a social entrepreneur. If you have already made some money or have come to the point in your life where you realize there is more to life than money and you still want to be an entrepreneur, you may be getting closer to a social entrepreneur. But make no mistake about it, the “social” part without the “entrepreneur” part is just a Socialist.
EnerG2 gets funding
$8.5M for carbon materials for ultra capacitors. this is a deal that went through NWEA and got some funding and I have been tracking for some time. Congrats Rick! And congrats OVP.