Tag Business

McDonald’s leaves a bad taste in the mouth

And we’re not judging the burgers

In the UK McDonald’s has released an advertising video which has been widely judged to be in bad taste. And rightly so, there has been public outrage. McDonald’s has apologized for the “upset” that it caused, yet it refuses to withdraw the advert.

The advert features a boy who struggles to find something in common with his dead father – until his mother reveals that the boy’s favorite meal – a dish from McDonald’s – was also his father’s favorite meal.

Widows have called the video “offensive” and children (many of whom are now adults) who were bereaved in childhood have stated that they are “sickened” and “disgusted.”

McDonald’s has made a massive faux pas here. Read more

Financial regulation and the loss of sovereignty

A global phenomenon, nothing to do with Brexit

Right now in South Africa, President Zuma is being urged to refuse to sign the new Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act.

This act is part of ongoing global tightening of controls to reduce/eliminate money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism. There is plenty of freely available documentation to describe the aims – for example from the IMF and from the World Bank.

So these regulations are centrally imposed by global non-government organizations. Just like the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, right?

Err ….. no. These regulations are different because Read more

onlycoin – only ten years too late

PINning your hopes on an unCHIPped picture of the future

A new startup, onlycoin.com, is attempting crowdfunding for a new credit card wallet. This product, called coin, is the same size as a credit card and stores the details of up to eight other credit cards (or debit cards, or any similar card with a magnetic strip). The onlycoin.com card runs an application that allows you to select which of these eight cards the onlycoin.com card should emulate. This allows you to leave your other cards at home and carry just the onlycoin.com card.

Many people’s physical wallets are bursting with multiple cards, and the onlycoin.com card helps address this problem. But it has a major drawback. The onlycoin.com card does not Read more

The Internet Age Emperor’s New Clothes

A Bit of a long shot

The BitCoin bubble is in full swing. But this bubble started a lot longer ago than most commentators report, and is much bigger than most commentators report.

The main reason is that most commentators give credence to BitCoin, and treat it like a respectable currency. Even laying aside the Silk Road connections, here at Vox Sapiens we have no confidence in BitCoin (or in its cousins such as LiteCoin and NameCoin). Here’s why. Read more

Edictum De Pretiis Rerum Venalium

The rise and fall of the Roman Empire European Parliament

Diocletian, or Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus, a Roman emperor who ruled from 284 to 305, issued the edict on maximum prices (in Latin, Edictum De Pretiis Rerum Venalium) in 301.

In an outburst against a European Union cap on bankers’ bonuses, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said “the most this measure can hope to achieve is a boost for Zurich and Singapore and New York at the expense of a struggling EU. This is possibly the most deluded measure to come from Europe since Diocletian tried to fix the price of groceries across the Roman empire.”

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Bubble 2.0

Wait for the pop!

Yes it’s happened again. Our memories must last about ten years. We have a new bubble in Internet stocks.

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Nok-nok-nokiaing on heaven’s door

Oh, oh, oh-oh-oh

Nokia and Microsoft have announced an alliance whereby Nokia will use Microsoft Windows on its new models of smartphones, beginning in 2013.

Will that save Nokia?

At Vox Sapiens we think Read more

CFOs should put their heads in the cloud

And save some money

As I perform my day job, as a management consultant with a bias towards IT, and the alignment of IT with business, I continue to be amazed at how CFOs are ignoring cloud computing.

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Back to the Future

Swapping credit

Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, or “the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010,” threatens major capital reserve burdens on OTC derivatives traders by requiring that OTC swaps are cleared through clearinghouses that will demand a margin in addition to the capital reserve required by the Regulations.

The Act also determines that Federal support will not be provided to businesses involved in swaps (there are exceptions).

This will have major implications for the financial markets.

Read more

The Fat MAN defense

Fiat mixtura – but which one

The fat man defense is a company strategy whereby an acquisition is made to increase the size of a business so that it is more difficult to acquire. Fiat mixtura is a Latin phrase that can be loosely translated as “let the integration be made.” But will an integration involve a fat MAN? Read more

The end of Open Source ?

The GPL debate will run and run

Over the last few days a debate has flared up over the GPL (the GNU General Public License). Specifically, the debate relates to the refusal of DIYThemes to release its WordPress Thesis theme under the GPL.

The details of the debate encapsulate a major nerdfest, with legal and technical nerds crawling out of their boxes and greeting the world. But beyond this, the debate has much wider implications.

In fact, at Vox Sapiens we wonder whether this debate will be seen as the tipping point that identifies the crest of the Open Source wave. We think that, maybe, the strength of the Open Source movement will wane from this moment because Read more

Brandy excesses

How many brands does a car company need?

The Financial Times recommends that Ford no longer needs Mercury, although it doesn’t speculate on the merits of selling it rather than closing it.

The FT also comments that “a Mercury-less Ford would resemble its Asian competitors with just two brands – mass-market and luxury.” So is that the best option for an automaker?

Read more

Marketing Myopia revisited

What about tobacco?

Recently I was re-reading Theodore Levitt’s epochal Marketing Myopia and considering the basic premise that companies are not defining their markets correctly (by being product-orientated or service-oriented rather than customer-oriented) and therefore not following the market as it migrates to an alternative product or service to fulfil the same underlying desire.

Then it struck me that maybe there is an exception for which a replacement has not been produced, and maybe cannot be produced … Read more

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