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The Blue Ocean Value Curve

* I have recently noticed that this post has come to rank quite highly in Google and thus felt I needed to add some clarification, given the fact that a lot of readers do not seem to have understood the underlying sarcasm and the message it is trying to convey. This blog is aimed towards entrepreneurs and as such views this book as a potential time waster – even though larger organizations might benefit from its (however inconcise) message. As it is often talked about in entrepreneurial circles, I thought I’d give it a mention. For a more relevant list of reading material, please look at my list of Recommended Business Books.


Inspired by the terrific insightfulness of Blue Ocean Strategy, I have tried to capture the gist
of the book by comparing its own value curve to that of your conventional marketing business handbook.

Blue Ocean Value Curve

On the x-axis, you see a set of values the books bring to the reader, on the y-axis their strengths.

(read on)

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Ambush Journalism in Davos

At the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, the (in-)famous blogger Robert Scoble was walking around with a Nokia camera phone doing impromptu interviews with people like Marc Benioff, Tim O’Reilly and Rick Warren (who runs the largest church in the US, btw) and streaming the videos live to Qik.

While I do find the way he ambushes people with a “you’re live on the internet” scare quite amusing (look at the video below with Michael Dell), I would rather have him do a quality interview with some of these people using a decent camera – I don’t mind waiting a couple of minutes for him to sync the video to see it online. Continue Reading

Language Learning in 2010

Beispiele deutscher Beschilderungen in Namibia. Collage von Bildern aus Windhuk, Outjo, Swakopmund und Lüderitz. Samples of German signs in Namibia. Collage of photos from Windhoek, Outjo, Swakopmund and Lüderitz.Image via Wikipedia

I’ve just received another newsletter from Transparent Language advertising their Video Immersion Software and it got me thinking.

I’ve always been very interested in language learning and finding new ways of doing it more effectively. What I currently see as the main issues of this increasingly important process are:

  • Time consumption – it takes considerable time to make significant process in learning grammar, scripts, pronunciation and building a solid vocabulary
  • Context switching – learning a new language usually means stopping whatever you are doing, sitting down and starting to think about things largely disconnected from your everyday activities – in my opinion, this is a significant »barrier to entry« for most people

The entire process often consists of the following steps (in this or a slightly modified order):

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Interstellar MMVIII


I’m personally not big on numerology, but:

2+0+0+8 = 10

And according to Larry Niven’s The Mote in God’s Eye (released in the 70’s), there are nice things on the horizon for 2008:

Here’s an excerpt:

1969 – Neil Armstrong sets foot on Earth’s Moon.
1990 – Series of treaties between United States and Soviet Union creates the CoDominion.
2008 – First successful interstellar drive tested. Alderson Drive perfected.

So let’s hope Niven was right and 2008 really does become a perfect 10 for most of us!

Apache+MySQL+PHP on Vista/XP in 3 minutes

I’ve just installed XAMPP 1.6.5 for Windows for PHP development on my Vista machine.It only takes a couple of minutes to get it all up and running with the installation wizard and you get:

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Podcasts I Would Recommend

Amber MacArthurImage via Wikipedia

In the past couple of years, I have stumbled upon a series of useful podcasts I listen to more or less regularly.

Below is a list of the ones I have found most useful.

1. Technology

  • Hanselminutes – a great software development podcast by Scott Hanselman (focusing on MS technologies)
  • TWiT – This Week In Tech – fun and informative weekly updates on what’s new in the tech world (by Leo Laporte & co.)
  • [email protected] – web tech updates by Amber MacArthur and Leo Laporte
  • SecurityNow – IT security by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte
  • Ruby on Rails Podcast

2. Entrepreneurship

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Amazon S3 and Flash widgets

Today, I wanted to load a Flash widget of mine and its corresponding XML configuration file to Amazon S3.

What appeared to be a trivial task turned into 3 hours of struggle with browser cache problems, security issues and other whatnots.

So to summarise what did the job eventually:

*updated to support IE7*

The address of the Flash file is: http://s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/flashfile.swf

<script language=”javascript”>
if (AC_FL_RunContent == 0) {
alert(“This page requires AC_RunActiveContent.js.”);
} else {
‘codebase’, ‘http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0′,
‘width’, ‘220’,
‘height’, ‘200’,
‘src’, ‘s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/flashfile’,
‘quality’, ‘high’,
‘pluginspage’, ‘http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer’,
‘align’, ‘right’,
‘play’, ‘true’,
‘loop’, ‘true’,
‘scale’, ‘showall’,
‘wmode’, ‘window’,
‘devicefont’, ‘false’,
‘id’, ‘flashfile’,
‘bgcolor’, ‘#ffffff’,
‘name’, ‘flashfile’,
‘menu’, ‘true’,
‘allowFullScreen’, ‘false’,
‘movie’, ‘s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/flashfile’,
‘salign’, ”
); //end AC code
<object classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0″ width=”220″ height=”200″ id=”flashfile” align=”right”>
<param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”sameDomain” />
<param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”false” />
<param name=”movie” value=”s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/flashfile.swf” /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff” /> <embed src=”s3.amazonaws.com/bucketname/flashfile.swf” quality=”high” bgcolor=”#ffffff” width=”220″ height=”200″ name=”flashfile” align=”right” allowScriptAccess=”always” allowFullScreen=”false” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer” />

In order to be able to load the XML and other files, I had to add this to Actionscript (at the beginning of the movie):

System.security.allowDomain( ‘*’ );

This allows cross-domain scripting, of course you can substitute the * with a specific domain name.

Some references: link1, link2