A collective crime against humanity – The result of lax gun control in the US.A

Story source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/nov/28/gun-lobby-children-us

The Guardian ran an heart breaking story about how lax gun control in the US.A are taking lives, children and parents are killed. I like to share you two stories that makes me want to shout “this is not right” to all people of the world

Tragic story 1:

“The results of such a lack of regulation are stark. In the last decade, some 29,000 children under 18 have been killed by firearms in the US, making it the second leading cause of death in this age bracket after car crashes. That’s a rate 12 times higher than those in the other 25 industrialised nations put together.

Local papers carry gun death stories with a frequency that is emotionally numbing. “Two young children have been shot by their siblings in the space of 24 hours.” “A two-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot at a wedding reception.” “An 11-year-old boy in Mississippi accidentally killed his nine-year-old brother with a shotgun blast after arguing about a video game.”

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Is it really there? This difference between the gen Y’s and the other generations?

I’ve read some articles (newspaper, mags, blogs, and pieces of books) about the difference between Gey Y (~ 1980-1999), Gen X (~ 1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (~ 1945-1965) in the work place. I wonder whether these articles are really relevant, some parts of it is not, but i found some part of comparison which are somewhat accurate.

The potential fallacies of such comparison

As I read these articles I feel that it somehow has a disconnect with reality due to several things:

1. They have to make some generalities and generalities can be false (the generalities are not representative of a dominant, significant, or important part of the population), unrepresentative (it can only represent one part of the entire population), and incomparable (the segment of Gex Y compared is different to the segment of Gen X compared, you could be comparing qualities of the top 10% of Gen Y with the 50% of Gen X)

2. It’s mostly made by American to explain a piece of social segmentation with the American context. Since different GDP allows access to different level of education (better paid teachers, better class room, better teaching equipments, better museums, better libraries, etc) the portrayal made in these articles might not be relevant for Indonesia.

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How organization can be stiffled by their mindset about people

After working some more and see more workings of other organization, i’m impressed by the extent of the role of people in the organization.

Saying “organization is all about the people in it” make sense, since organization is nothing but a group of people working toward a (supposedly) common goal or purpose.

But to see that all competitive advantage is created or destroyed by people in an organization is…scary, a company could build a dominant business for decades, and then they have the wrong mindset about people and everything could go bust or slowly dies.

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They think all Indonesian are stupid

In a corruption case, the most important object is the flow of money, because corruption is all about the money.

Flow of money, large amount of money, could be easily proven, one would not stash $550,000 in the mattress for a long time, they would want to bring it to a bank, or any other financial system to allow easy and safe transportation of the money.

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Short note on 3 Indikator Kedewasaan

3 indikator kedewasaan (tanggungjawab, penguasaan diri, pengertian)

3 indikator ini dilihat orang lain melalui perkataan, tingkah laku, kasih, kesetiaan, kesucian

Cutting prices by 20% and yet maintain your margin

imagesNews source at:

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/108119/the-accidental-hero.html?mod=career-selfemployment

Business finance flow in a very simple manner, it starts from the top (gross revenue) to bottom (profit).

Now between that two point, there’s cost, cutting numbers from the revenue until they reach profit.

Equation wise, R – C = P (totally simplified)

So, one would suspect that a significant in reduction in revenue would cause similar reduction in profit.

[0.8 R – C] would be far less than [R-C]

Well, that’s not the case with Subway, in a business move bound to spawn pricing case studies, Subway cut prices for some of their 30 cm (1 foot) sandwiches from 6 dollar to 5 dollar.

Again, you cut your price by 20%, all things being equal, revenue drop by 20%, and since you’re selling the same stuff, cost stays at past level, and there goes your profit.

In turns out that all thing are not equal, it turns out that human psychology plays a huge role in pricing (surprise surprise). Customers LOVE the 5 dollar price, 5 dollar is a round number, not cheap, but round. 5 dollar allows you to stuck out one 5 dollar bill, instead of 2 bill (one 5 dollar and one 1 dollar).

Revenue soars and yet margin stays…

Now, the effect of the 5 dollar is great, and is heavily explored on the article above. The 5 dollar explain why revenue soars.

But it didn’t explain why margin stays, because you’re bound to have margin pressure due to cost.

Now, my guess margin stays because 3 things:

1. Subway’s sandwiches has been grossly overpriced all along, so even when they cut prices by 20%, they have a ton of cushion on their margin

2. Subway has a lot of idle capacity in its stores (labor and machine), whether these capacity is running at 10% or 100%, they cost about the same. So, the increase volume allows Subway to optimize resource capacity at its stores. The additional cost is minimal, and margin stays

3. Significant increase in unit volume allows them to reduce cost of goods from their supplier and lower the per unit cost from fixed cost items (this one is very theoriticall)

Interesting right? A key lesson here, is that maybe this strategy can be applied to industries where they have capacity lying around, and costing them the same whether being used at 10% or 100%. This opens room to increase volume (by cutting prices), optimizing the idle capacity, and thus in the end, maintain margin but with higher

Ridicilious mark up by indonesian software distributor

fotolia_1193405Recently i was evaluating a very nice looking visual mining software named Advizor.

The software allows a very visual manipulation of a large data set, it doesn’t provide the deep analysis afforded by SAS data mining tool, or the more automatic approach by SPSS PASW modeler,

but it greatly support business user with some interest in data (like me) to play with the data that i have

Now, the guy who introduce the software was very nice, very nice, he spend time to introduce us to the software, to show what we can do, he even create and test some hypothesis, and you know what? he’s not the guy distributing the software in Indo

He spend all this time explaining something he can’t even sell to us

So, i contact the distributor of the software in Indonesia, ask them for a quote

And they give me quotes ranging from US$ 3,000 to US$ 5,700 for the desktop version of the software (only the software, no maintenance etc)

It was outrageous, it was overpriced to the point where i feel kinda insulted

why do i feel that?  the software is sold online by the developer, i can easily check the price on their website, which i have done before hand (the software is price from US$ 500 to US% 1,000 on the website)

I mean, to release such ridiculous price, what were they thinking? that i’m so stupid i won’t check the price? and it’s out there right on the developer website, and they, as the reseller of all people should know.

Man, this really makes me reconsider all the quotes that i’ve seen and to be very careful about future quotes