MBA Term 2 course result

Wow I passed the Data Analysis and Statistical Modelling exam I wrote about in August. My term result was a solid Credit grade, so I didn’t do too badly given my inability to study for the exam.

One of Corporate Finance lecturers said my trade-off of limited study time for family and a new job was rational and utility-maximising 😀 Nice economist words those.

On with Corporate Finance which is mainly math. There is an optional workshop tomorrow for those who need to brush up on their high-school math skills.

Nicely the trick to this Corporate Finance course is not about the calculations. Any monkey can push buttons on a calculator or type numbers into excel. It’s knowing when and what kind of formulas apply to various similar problems when valuing a cash flow.

My inner geek is beaming again.

URGEN MESSAGE FROM NIGERIA, ER, AMERICA

I received this overnight – what a hoot!

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Snaps to whoever thought this one up.

Update 21 October 2008 Sorry for the error that made this post unreadable to my IE readers. All fixed now

People+Company Connections

I’ve been playing around with the social web for a while now. One of the things I’m interested in is how people are connected through organisations. For examply take the Australian Stock Exchange, there are about 1800 companies listed on the ASX all of which have a board of directors. Many directors sit on more than one board. So how do I find out who sits on what board?

I’ve maintained a private database in the past but I’m thinking of making it publicly available, in which case I should then wiki-fy it so that people can update it.

One place to build it is Cogmap which lets you create and share organization charts in a wiki-like manner. Alternatively there is Jigsaw a collaborative people and business directory with social media elements (invites and points).

I’m not sure which way to jump, but I want to seed my data and then let the users improve it. Then open the data further with to allow interesting and unplanned uses to emerge – like draw a map of 500 most powerful/influential board members in a country ranked by the market capitalization of their companies. This is sort of like They Rule without the Marxist-Leninist slant. They Rule allows you to create maps of the interlocking directories of the top companies in the US in 2004.

I definitely will build this. If you have suggestions I’m all ears.

Fee split etiquette

I am an active networker and I see many requests from recruiters to find a suitable candidate for a role. Sometimes someone replies with a request to split the fee.

Can we talk about good etiquette for a fee split?

If you work as a recruiter then it is quite reasonable to accept a fee split of some sort. However if recruiting is not the finder’s profession should they charge a fee for helping out a friend/acquaintance?
Will the finder participate in the guarantees the recruiter provides? Will we consider sharing expenses? Overhead charge?

What about the friend of the finder who is suitable for the role? Would you not refer a friend to what might be a great role because the recruiter will not split a fee?

Take this beyond recruiting and consider your professional skills or requests for assistance. If you put out a request for an introduction for some new business, how would you feel if an intermediary hit you up for a commission?

We share of ourselves not because there is something in it for us in this transaction. It’s the goodwill generated across a range of favours.

Let me know what you think.

Just start!

Over the years I’ve attended various “… for beginners” Q&A’s for writing, film making, script writing, blogging, and other creative endeavors. I remember a fan asking Harlan Ellison what computer software he writes with and thinking “If you met Shakespeare would you want to know how he trimmed his quill?”.

Sure that’s a but sarcastic, but really you should have some content ready before you worry about the technology. Otherwise there is always a better camera/microphone/software/whatever just accept what you’ve got and get started.

That’s my philisophy and sometimes I forget it. Why wait for something to be perfect? Once the project is underway then spend time perfecting if that will increase results.

This came up mainly because I was coaching a blogger today and they wanted everything perfect before launching into podcasting. Just start!

MBA 2008 Term 3

I’ll be doing Corporate Finance for my next MBA (Executive) course. This is interesting as I’ll be doing a few mergers and acquisitions so hopefully I’ll learn some interesting ways to structure a deal. So far there hasn’t been a lot of M&A focused subjects at AGSM.

Lectures start the week beginning 15 September 2008.

I should be able to post more regularly now.

MSN Clones update

In response to a question on MSN Clones I’ve been using Pidgin for multiprotocal IM on Windows and Adium on Apple Mac’s.

My kids still like aMSN and I like how easy it works for people who just want to connect to MSN buddies. However I have way too many people on Google-Talk to use a single protocol client.

Interestingly I’m using Skype for a lot of IM at the moment. After two or three IM’s it’s quicker to initiate a call. I like that functionality.