Five Questions: Bryan Charter

1. Introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, and why is it important? I’m Bryan Charter. I’m a business coach and I run a business coaching organisation along with my business partner. We do both one-to-once and group coaching to enable business owners – support them, facilitate them – to drive their businesses forward and to the next…

Use, repair, copy, make: Tim Harford on bicycles and technological development in Japan

In a recent episode of 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy Tim Harford uses the bicycle to illustrate – among other things – how new technologies and industries grow out of old ones, and how technology and industries develop: The first safety bicycle was made in 1885 at the Rover factory in Coventry, England. It’s no coincidence that Rover…

The hard part: other people

Your work probably has several hard parts, and one of them is almost certainly other people. If only they would… … do their jobs properly / be vaguely professional / relate to each other as grown-ups / take responsibility / have a little consideration / not bring home issues to the office / leave you alone … … you life…

Marc Andreessen: the test

More from Marc Andreessen’s brilliant interview on The Moment with Brian Koppelman. This time: how breaking into the network in order to get funding isn’t so much a symptom of cronyism as a test of fundamental attributes that a fundraiser will need to be successful. Marc: In the financing business, like, we are dying to finance the next great startup.…

Econtalk: Mauricio Miller on Poverty, Social Work, and the Alternative

This is a really interesting episode of Econtalk, and worth a listen. Highlight 1: Accurate description of poor communities A couple of things here really resonated with my experience of living and working in low-income communities in Jakarta: Miller’s descriptions of the resourcefulness of people in poor communities – that many people in poor communities are hard working and resourceful…

Cut it out, or the impossibility of completeness

Nothing is really complete. That story always needs more context to fully understand, that lesson is inevitably missing something important, that job could always be more polished. With some things (like painting and decorating), we face the law of diminishing returns: more effort results in less and less improvement. There comes a point where going beyond ‘good enough’ is wasteful.…

Resources: Software is eating the world

WTF?! In San Francisco, Uber has 3x the revenue of the entire prior taxi and limousine industry. WTF?! Without owning a single room, Airbnb has more rooms on offer than some of the largest hotel groups in the world. Airbnb has 800 employees, while Hilton has 152,000. WTF?! Top Kickstarters raise tens of millions of dollars from tens of thousands of individual…

That little bit extra

… is often what makes the difference, for good or ill. Still going for a run even though you’re taking the kids to the park, so will get exercise later That extra ten percent of time to improve the finish on a piece of DIY – so that it gives you pleasure every time you look at it, instead of…

Resources: Seth Godin on money stuff – cashflow, price, overheads, and finding the right size

And more. This blog post is brilliant, and asks a lot of key questions about what to do when your project isn’t making money. If you haven’t already listened to Money Flows – an Akimbo episode about cashflow – it’s great. Seth talks about cashflow and payment terms, and the importance of setting up your project so that the flow…

On turning off lights with your nose

I take pleasure in turning off lights with my nose.And in opening doors with my toes. I do these sorts of things when I’m carrying more than I reasonably should, and they give me a smug sort of feeling: Look! I’ve made an extra hand! I’ve saved a trip up and down the stairs! I’ve got a sort of pragmatic,…