Archive for May, 2011

Should insolvencies be left to IP’s?

I am not sure whether the above link will work unless you are a member of the Linkedin group in question, but give it a try, it is a very interesting discussion

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Waterstones sale goes through. But is there a future?

Good news for HMV and it would appear that the price was higher than market expectations, but the interest will now be to see where Waterstones positions itself in the market. Having appointed the founder of (the excellent) Daunt Books chain, the natural assumption will be that that the chain will be geared towards quality rather than finding itself in the same battlefield as the supermarkets. Not a bad idea maybe, but that pitches them against Amazon and the dreaded Kindle.

So is Kindle the new I tunes? I have been surprised at how many people I know well have taken to the gadget. That being the case, will we see the demise of the book in the same way as we are seeing the slow death of the CD?

Im not so sure. A large proportion of books are still purchased as gifts or read on the beach and unlike CD’s perhaps, there is a nice tangible quality to a hardcover of bound paper

We shall see…

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Goodbye to Oddbins ?

More stores beings sold off but note that the “brand” has been picked up by someone (confidential apparently)

It is surely still a reasonably strong name? Not so many years ago it was undoubtably the leading off license in the UK and whilst many in the industry will no doubt claim it has lost its way, it surely still has a decent public profile

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Cricket crisis?

I could talk all day about Cricket, but I will try to keep this brief. And you may well wonder what a piece on cricket has to do with credit management and finances? Sadly perhaps, rather a lot. Especially in the county game where there are some fairly serious problems but also some economic lessons
The above is a very good article detailing the problems, but to keep it simple, the real difficulties appear to have been caused by chasing allocation of test matches and heightened expectations for the 20/20 game.

There are seven test matches allocated each year. Three are set for Lords and the Oval which leaves the remaining four to be spread around another seven grounds involved in the “bidding process”. Not an easy fit is it? Also to be capable of making a bid, the counties need the facilities and that is where the problems start. They have invested heavily (and frankly it was badly needed at certain grounds such as Old trafford) but have actual guarantee of income. In effect the market is limited and the entry is high and I am sure that could be represented by one of those curves beloved of economists. Either way, it is creating a potentially dangerous scenario and whilst thats fine in most industries where a overextended failed business is missed by few, county cricket has a wider responsibility. Sport is different

20/20 has been a success but also a novelty. There were huge crowds initially but by expanding the number of games immensely, the crowds have collapsed. Two issues here. First there should always be a little scepticism about sudden public enthusiasm for something they have not shown great interest in before. Second, where was the market research? Didnt they realise that many of the crowd were once a year attendees? Horse racing’s audience is made up of a whopping 80% annual only visitors. Its the annual office trip, not something they are going to return to three times in the following week

I am sure that again there is an economists take on that too…

It is a game I love like no other, so lets hope these lessons have been absorbed

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Many thanks to the ACCA Cambridgeshire

A great audience and whilst lecturing (is that the right word?) for two hours to around 60 people is exhausting, it was a very rewarding experience.

I often believe that when speaking you learn as much from the audiences questions as they do from your own ramblings.

But two pieces of advice for any speakers out there. We couldnt get Powerpoint working and did it make any difference? No. Also watch the audience. I always notice how attention is must greater when an anecdote is used.

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