Carnival of the Capitalists – Part 1

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists, which is my privilege to host for the second time.

I’ve just come back from a week’s skiing in Austria to find over 50 excellent entries in the carnival’s mail box. While I’ve duly read and mulled over each of them, I can’t help thinking that it’s a daunting task for you, the reader, to give all these great bloggers the attention they deserve in one mega-session.

So I’ve unilaterally decided to break with tradition slightly and publish one batch today and another on Wednesday. Sorry if you hate the idea, but if I’ve made your life a little easier, I’m pleased. Either way, leave a comment below or drop me an email (russell AT mobhappy DOT com) and let me know what you think, so other hosts can take board your feedback.

So, here goes….Carnival of the Capitalists – Part 1:

No Carnival of the Capitalists would be complete without a post from Jay at Accidental Verbosity, not the least because he started the whole idea. This week Jay writes about the horribly familiar problems faced by start-ups with multiple owners. I’m reminded of the quote by the late Giovanni Agnelli, of Fiat who said (I paraphrase); Boards of Directors should always consist of an odd number of members. And never more than two.

The trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship are also covered by Ego. In this instance, Hakan Lans apparently invented a “data processing system and apparatus for color graphics display” used by many computing companies who don’t pay him licenses. Sadly, many legal cases are won by the party with the deepest pockets rather than justice and right on their side. But sometimes the little guy can win – look to James Dyson for inspiration.

Open Source has to be one of the most powerful business and social concepts for the 21st century. PC4Media has been exploring how small businesses can benefit from open source, including a new way to develop commonly required software on a shared risk basis. All that’s needed, it seems to me, is a way of matching companies with similar requirements – a kind of eBay for SME software.

Corporate blogs were the talk of the Blogosphere last year as companies started to experiment with blogging, with varying degrees of success. Good Basic has a run down of the most important, ranging from Yahoo! to Microsoft. Never have “excellent writing skills” been more important for corporate execs than today.

Still on blogging, Will Pate has been writing about his blogging policy. Specifically, he wants to reassure people that he won’t post your secrets on his blog, unless you want him to – a stance shared by most of us I think. This is an important point that’s frequently misunderstood by non-bloggers, so definitely worth clarifying. Don’t assume that every blogger is like this though, so ask before blurting out anything you want keeping secret squirrels.

Jill Fallon of Estate Legacy Vaults has been pondering how marketers can use blogs to reach today’s “multi-minding” women. Jill also includes a list of her favourite women bloggers, which is definitely worth checking out too.

The Enterprise System Spectator has been exploring another new model for companies using software – software on demand. This turns software from a license model to a subscription based one. Pioneered by the likes of Salesforce.com, Webex and Rightnow, this could be the way of the future.

I normally find the world of macro-economics is a bit of a closed book to me, so it was great to read David Foster’s of Chicagoboyz post on whether we currently have a world surplus of capital and what that really means. If I happen to be sitting on a plane next to Henry Kissinger himself this week, as in the old Economist advertisement, I know I’ll be well briefed on at least one area.

Mover Mike has also been pondering economics and the implications of the US national debt. It’s currently a massive $26,347.74 per US Citizen and is increasing at $2.32 Billion per day. In this age of the Pro:Am – where amateurs can often produce work of equal quality, if not better than their professional counterparts, I was amused to see Mike correcting the Sunday Oregonian as to the actual size of debt America faces. The professionals, in this case, seemed to have exaggerated the levels by 300%.

Meanwhile, Individ has been exploring the strategies involved in investing in metals such as copper, gold and molybdenum.

Interested Participant has been looking at Libya’s rehabilitation into the international community, with a series of trade deals with Japan and Korea. Despite warnings from the US government, Libya is actually becoming a booming tourist destination for the adventurous traveler.

Catallarchy has been exploring the argument that welfare payments and positive discrimination actually harm those it’s designed to protect. This is certainly worth looking at further, even though it seems counter-intuitive at first glance.

Slacker Manager (great name) has been looking at better use of email subject lines to help manage our ever expanding email boxes. “911” seems to be a favourite, though the meaning may be lost on non-Americans.

Better working practice is a theme shared by All Business and the author risks the wrath of her publisher by sharing a favourite tool from her book, the Results Oriented Responses Cheat Sheet. Try it and be impressed.

Keeping abreast of bureaucracy is turning into a full time job for many companies. Coyote Blog warns against inadvertently becoming a black market egg rustler in Kentucky by failing to obtain the proper permissions.

Business Pundit has been pondering why recent advances in cognitive science don’t get applied in business. Maybe it’s something to do with people thinking that this stuff applies to “them” and not us. A similar example is that most people think their use of mobile phones in public is entirely reasonable, whereas other people’s is always disgraceful. Ho hum.

WILLisms has been writing and analyzing about social security reform in the US.

Crossroads Dispatches has been looking at that vital component of success in many fields – creativity. Having great marketing is no longer enough, your products/play/book need to be “remarkable” to succeed these days. The post outlines the 4 stages of creativity with a view to joining the blogger in a voyage of creativity over the next month.

Have Wal-Mart lost the plot, asks Mad Anthony. Well, they may well have on the evidence of Target’s Michael Graves electric can opener by Black and Decker!

If you run a US based business, you could be ready to share in a $6 billion tax refund. Scrivener.net tells you why and how to claim your bonanza.

And finally, on a more light hearted note to end Part One, Window Manager has been looking at how we have to break rules in order to actually get things done in corporate life. Oh how true.

See you on Wednesday, unless I get overwhelmed by irate blog readers asking for the second half NOW. Like Harry Potter’s JK Rowling, I have written the final chapter already so I know what goodies there are in store for you.

UPDATE: Click here to go to Wednesday’s Part 2.

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