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What does Apple, an iDeathStar and an iSatellite have in common?

It’s a great time to be alive.

Apple’s Own Satellite Network, Space Insurance, A Fully Operational Death Star! What I would give to see what the next 10 years will bring.

It has been proposed that Apple needs to produce a more expensive iPhone (http://www.cultofmac.com/207383/why-apple-needs-a-really-expensive-iphone/). The idea behind this proposal is that Apple has made the iPhone SO mainstream that it is no longer a Quality-Differentiated product but rather a Volume product which makes profit based on Sales Volume rather than high margins.

It makes sense since Apple was a company which stood out based on its high quality Customer Service and High End products. Curiously, as its Founder and CEO took his company through his belief of “giving power to the masses”, he inadvertently made the company produce devices available to the general public. This made the iPhone mainstream as well as its iPad, products responsible for over 50% of its sales and profits! At the same time this made their OS more popular and as such, more vulnerable to hackers. Soon, the famous idea that macs don’t need antivirus become nothing more than a fleeting wish.

Finally it’s popularity may have driven quality control down the drain as devices begin to falter (home buttons, power buttons, LCDs) and its software was not left behind (Apple Maps). Now the company is passed on to a CEO who has always focused on Operational efficiency, as that is what he was entrusted to do in the first place. However the pressure to innovate is higher than ever as more competitors enter the marketplace.

As demand for Apple products surges, both QC pressures as well as Innovation pressures mount over a CEO who so far has not had much to show for either. Thus the theory that Apple needs to go back to producing a high end, top quality product which focuses it back on the road of fewer, richer customers instead of massive amounts of windows-like users.

Apple needs a new product to drive its product offering into a niche market again. Yes a new product such as a more expensive iPhone could do the trick. A shiny new service however could also work wonders. How about a space project? Some have proposed a Death Star (http://mashable.com/2012/12/13/death-star-petition/). Why not? iDeathStar? Or iSatellite?

The US has the best space program in the world, at least right now. The Chinese, Europeans and Russians are biting their heels. Its something the US has excelled at and other have failed so far. It’s engrained in the American way of thinking, doubling and tripling up on everything. It has led the US this far and now they are losing everything (jobs, money, ideas) to their competitors oversees. As suggested in this article (https://quique456.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/usa-nasa-mars-exploration-global-recession/), the US is in the unique position to offer their greatest service to humanity so far. The iDeathStar would be a perfect coalition of ideas. Or what about Apple’s own iSatellite?

Apple has a load of cash and some of the best technological engineers on the planet. The US has the unique knowledge. What better combination to save the US economy, save the planet and save the human race! ūüôā

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USA, NASA, Mars Exploration & Global Recession

Did anyone read this?

http://mashable.com/2012/12/13/death-star-petition/

;

The US is in dire straits indeed. Once the beacon of innovation, freedom to create and quality standards creator, the USA has now taken a backseat…all the way to the back, behind developing countries who mass produce anything the USA produces faster, cheaper and without so many obstacles.

CHEAPER

The USA spent the last decade automating every one of there production processes, not as a means of cutting costs so much as a means of improving quality control of their final products. Along came China with a huge starving workforce and put the US machines out of business.

FASTER

US employees are highly productive but quality controls and export politics slow down the produce-export machinery. The USA is a country of honest people and hard workers that respect the detail to their jobs for the sake of respect, not because of the laws. Developing countries have a workforce which has to be controlled in order to produce a high quality product. The end result is an economy that produces faster and has fewer steps towards exporting than does the USA.

OBSTACLES

The US has so many agencies checking imports and exports it really slows the economy down. As efficient as checkpoints are, there are always delays. Think about how many compliances an exporter or importer in the USA must meet just for the Dept of Homeland Security, not to mention FDA, Customs, BATF etc. Not to mention the human rights groups.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Long gone are the days when the USA was the factory of the world. A service economy is fine, but it won’t solve unemployment issues, internal debt issues, deficit issues, medicare issues etc. There is a large population in the USA who cannot solve their labor, credit, health and education problems unless the economy provides for them in someway.

If you consider 100% of the workforce stretched from one side, the white collar workers to the other side, the blue collar workers; the USA has lost a great deal of jobs right in the middle of that spectrum. Now they have immigrants taking up the bottom, blue collar part of the spectrum and a very small amount of people in the upper tier. So the only jobs left are the extremely white collar, service oriented jobs, most of which are stuck in R&D and the USA has no way of monetizing it. Kinda sounds like Facebook. Facebook has 500 million clients not buying anything at the moment. If they could just figure out how to sell something, anything! The USA is stuck in pretty much the same place. NASA’s Mars program is the perfect example of this. Its amazing! Who the heck would have thought we’d be planet hopping by now? No other country even comes close to this.

The amount of knowledge and not just knowledge:

(how to send a rover to mars)

but the mental-rational pre-emptive problem solving expertise engrained in NASA personnel:

(how to send a rover to mars and do it in such a way that we document every step along the way, recording parameters for just about anything, with double and triple backups in most cases, considering all the options and then some, paving the way to future missions while executing the current mission, overshooting goals and expectations in every way and all of this in the greatest of public scrutiny which directly impacts their operating budget every 4 years!)

OMG, if only the US government was 1/100th that efficient.

WHAT CAN THE USA DO?

Well, that’s just it! The USA is sitting on a pot of gold. They just don’t know how or who to sell it to! How do you put a value on the space knowledge the USA has gained over the past 40 or so years!?

Could you sell insurance? World Space Knowledge Insurance which gives the countries the right to access ELE protection when the time comes?

Could you sell raw materials? Space mining will be quite profitable since the US was the first to get to Mars and the Moon and thus will probably be the first to get to other planets and moons, they can claim them as their own…just like ancient super powers claimed colonies and land all over the Earth way back when.

Could you sell the knowledge of how to get to a planet with the desired characteristics and how to populate that planet in the name of your own country should you desire to do so?

I dunno what the answer is, but whatever it is, the USA is sitting on something huge. I hope they stop bickering with the Chinese over cheap computer chips and patent infringements and set their sights much higher, high into the sky!

How do you think the USA could monetize their space knowledge?


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Repocrats & Demoblicans

We are all born democrats. ¬†Its almost like a phase of life. ¬†Some grow out of it, some don’t.

Which is not to say growing out of it is a good thing. ¬†The world needs democrats and republicans just as much as it needs pretty and ugly, good and evil…We all fit in somewhere in the big circle of life. ¬†We all serve a purpose!

But it all made sense the other day when my older sister turned to me in the middle of a discussion and said to me:

“What happened to you? ¬†The last time I remember, you were growing up just fine. ¬†When did you turn republican!?”

 

My theory: “Everybody has a bit of both in them; republican and democrat.”¬†

DEMOCRATS

We are all born democrats. ¬†That is to say, we are all born with the notion that we must help others. ¬†It is instilled in us by our parents; help your brother, go help your mother, can you please help me, help is good. ¬†Its simply called being a good samaritan. ¬†And thats pretty much what the democratic philosophy is based on; let’s help those in need. ¬†Its a very warm and caring philosophy. ¬†Much like the one you are raised with which is why its so appealing right? ¬†We all need a little help some time, right?

We need help getting in daycare, throughout school and getting out of high school. ¬†But then, you realize there are a lot of things you can do on your own. ¬†The whole notion of independence comes into your life like a beacon of light…like lady liberty herself! ¬†By the time college comes around, you start to notice that being independent is not only cool, but there are tons of independent guys out there, trying to make it out of the jungle college. ¬†You start to notice an apple goes a long way in making your teacher be nicer to you. ¬†You begin to realize being nice to friends can earn you explanation of subjects that are not your strong suit or at least rides to parties or bars. ¬†All of a sudden it hits you! ¬†No man is an island.

So now you go out and get a job. ¬†You start working with other people and notice how bosses are “evil” and expect you to work more than play. ¬†You find work etiquette grotesque because you are forced to work for such little pay. ¬†You may even go as far as to criticize your job because he or she punish those who take a little longer to come back from lunch leaving someone else to fill in for them in the meantime. ¬†You think: “Geez, how mean! ¬†He was only late by 15 minutes and besides, she was covering for him in the meantime”. ¬†Then you get your paycheck. You know that feeling when you get your first paycheck and you say to yourself:

“Wow, this is a lot of money! ¬†Ill go buy an iPhone, an HDTV, an XBOX…”

Yes its a lot of money. ¬†And up to now you have probably lived on your parents money so this is quite refreshing. ¬†This is great, for a little while. ¬†Then you realize you want more. ¬†So you start working harder, making more money, you get a promotion perhaps! ¬†Cool! ¬†But working for someone else can only get you so far. ¬†That’s when you turn republican!

REPUBLICANS

This is the fork in the road. ¬†Some people don’t want so much more. ¬†And thats ok. ¬†They believe they have enough and can live fine with that amount for a long time. ¬†Others realize they cant earn more money unless they start their own business. ¬†(Others decided to work for themselves a while back) ¬†So when you do realize you want more independence, complete independence…or when you get married, have a family to support and are forced into realizing you NEED more to survive, you end up having to take care of your own money! ¬†Invest, save, re-invest, spend, control and so on…This is what you need to do when it comes down to investing in your own idea, your own company. ¬†You realize your money is worth a whole heck of a lot more than it was before.

This time you want workers to do a lot more during working hours.  You learn how a meritocracy works.  You learn to reward those who excel and punish those you waste your money by slacking on the job.  You start to realize:

“Hmm, maybe I don’t want everyone to get the same benefits as those who do more. ¬†Why should Bob get equal pay when Suzie is never late from lunch and works extra on Saturdays!”

You realize you DO want to help people (a little bit of samaritan) but only if they want to help themselves! (meritocracy). ¬†Why should you deny Suzie the opportunity to make it to the top or win more commissions if she works harder? ¬†Yes Bob has a family to support, I should be a samaritan and not fire him…but Suzie would love to have a family, if only she could make enough as Bob. ¬†Isn’t it also unfair to deny her the opportunity?

That’s when you start using words like results, opportunity, profitability, the greater good. ¬†That’s when you become a republican ūüôā


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US…World Politics 2012 US Election

Politics is not about liberals or conservatives. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong. If you think that; you are overlooking the real greater good of humanity.¬†

Politics, IMHO, is about picking the best person for the job, simple. And if that means putting your own interests aside in order to choose the guy who will not be so controversial that congress will “cock-block” every move he makes, so be it.¬†

Why? Because in the end, Dems and Reps do good and bad. There is no good and there is no bad party. The American public should not care about political color but rather who will get them a job, education or healthcare. 

Ever heard the phrase: “everyone is selling something”? Life is about sales; if you can’t sell yourself, people will buy someone else. If Dems have the key to healthcare that will solve all those problems, if they can’t sell it, it’s useless. If reps have the key to growing the economy but can’t convince congress, the idea is as good as no idea…¬†

If we can agree the end, not the means, in politics is the common good; we should agree on the fact that we need someone who will be able to implement whatever ideas they have…otherwise we will get another 4 years of the stats you yourself can see in the different government websites.¬†

Honduras had someone who could not sell it and “wanted a little more than a few years” and it caused the worst problem this country has ever seen, with repercussions way beyond the 4 years…

Whatever happens, I just hope the US gets back to the number 1 spot, where it truly belongs. It’s in all our best interests…


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USA – NASA – MARS – GLOBAL RECESSION

Did anyone read this?

http://mashable.com/2012/12/13/death-star-petition/

;

The US is in dire straits indeed. Once the beacon of innovation, freedom to create and quality standards creator, the USA has now taken a backseat…all the way to the back, behind developing countries who mass produce anything the USA produces faster, cheaper and without so many obstacles.

CHEAPER

The USA spent the last decade automating every one of there production processes, not as a means of cutting costs so much as a means of improving quality control of their final products. Along came China with a huge starving workforce and put the US machines out of business.

FASTER

US employees are highly productive but quality controls and export politics slow down the produce-export machinery. The USA is a country of honest people and hard workers that respect the detail to their jobs for the sake of respect, not because of the laws. Developing countries have a workforce which has to be controlled in order to produce a high quality product. The end result is an economy that produces faster and has fewer steps towards exporting than does the USA.

OBSTACLES

The US has so many agencies checking imports and exports it really slows the economy down. As efficient as checkpoints are, there are always delays. Think about how many compliances an exporter or importer in the USA must meet just for the Dept of Homeland Security, not to mention FDA, Customs, BATF etc. Not to mention the human rights groups.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Long gone are the days when the USA was the factory of the world. A service economy is fine, but it won’t solve unemployment issues, internal debt issues, deficit issues, medicare issues etc. There is a large population in the USA who cannot solve their labor, credit, health and education problems unless the economy provides for them in someway.

If you consider 100% of the workforce stretched from one side, the white collar workers to the other side, the blue collar workers; the USA has lost a great deal of jobs right in the middle of that spectrum. Now they have immigrants taking up the bottom, blue collar part of the spectrum and a very small amount of people in the upper tier. So the only jobs left are the extremely white collar, service oriented jobs, most of which are stuck in R&D and the USA has no way of monetizing it. Kinda sounds like Facebook. Facebook has 500 million clients not buying anything at the moment. If they could just figure out how to sell something, anything! The USA is stuck in pretty much the same place. NASA’s Mars program is the perfect example of this. Its amazing! Who the heck would have thought we’d be planet hopping by now? No other country even comes close to this.

The amount of knowledge and not just knowledge:

(how to send a rover to mars)

but the mental-rational pre-emptive problem solving expertise engrained in NASA personnel:

(how to send a rover to mars and do it in such a way that we document every step along the way, recording parameters for just about anything, with double and triple backups in most cases, considering all the options and then some, paving the way to future missions while executing the current mission, overshooting goals and expectations in every way and all of this in the greatest of public scrutiny which directly impacts their operating budget every 4 years!)

OMG, if only the US government was 1/100th that efficient.

WHAT CAN THE USA DO?

Well, that’s just it! The USA is sitting on a pot of gold. They just don’t know how or who to sell it to! How do you put a value on the space knowledge the USA has gained over the past 40 or so years!?

Could you sell insurance? World Space Knowledge Insurance which gives the countries the right to access ELE protection when the time comes?

Could you sell raw materials? Space mining will be quite profitable since the US was the first to get to Mars and the Moon and thus will probably be the first to get to other planets and moons, they can claim them as their own…just like ancient super powers claimed colonies and land all over the Earth way back when.

Could you sell the knowledge of how to get to a planet with the desired characteristics and how to populate that planet in the name of your own country should you desire to do so?

I dunno what the answer is, but whatever it is, the USA is sitting on something huge. I hope they stop bickering with the Chinese over cheap computer chips and patent infringements and set their sights much higher, high into the sky!

How do you think the USA could monetize their space knowledge?


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Apple Revolutionized the Airline Industry?

A stewardess with an iPhone 4, which sports one of the best cameras available on mobile phones, saved a flight from being delayed and my mother was proud to share the story.

Having worked for AA for 25 years, my mother has seen her share of delayed flights. She knows the lengthy and complicated procedures involved in speeding a flights safe departure and the consequences of a delayed flight for the passengers, employees and the airline. A delayed flight also wreaks havoc on other flights, airlines, passengers and even the airport since its passengers must be moved to other flights, planes re-scheduled and luggage re-routed.

It turns out the tire on an American Airlines flight from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to Miami, Florida was found to be less than perfect for a new flight completion. This meant the flight would be delayed until a replacement tire was found. Tires wear out as any other part on an airplane does and the physical appearance can tell a lot about a tire’s remaining flights. But in order to evaluate the tire, the technicians must actually inspect it, right?

There is more than one way to skin a cat! That is exactly what this one stewardess thought when she quickly turned to her iPhone and snapped a couple of pictures of said tire! Te pictures the local station had been sending to the technicians were of such low quality that it was impossible to determine with any level of certainty whether the tire was indeed too worn out to complete one last trip. The iPhone’s picture quality however, was just what the technicians needed to inspect it and clear it once again!

And so the delay was averted, reschedules were unnecessary, no reroutings to calculate and no broken family promises to regret!

And Apple didn’t even need an app for that :). Kudos Steve!


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How our Latinamerican businesses operate…and prosper

I just got referred to these 2 articles. And I got to thinking how the US of A has lost the war since the 2000’s! They were the indisputable champ during the 1900’s but what happened to the powerhouse, the military might, the beacon of liberty and prosperity?

http://latintrade.com/2011/05/the-contrarian-fear-not-despot-nor-devaluation-but-do-fear-your-rival

http://latintrade.com/2011/10/the-contrarian-bet-on-the-hare-not-the-turtle

I have been working with the Chinese since 2007. Thus I follow their economy and their foreign affairs closely. It’s indeed a very complex subject but I ran across an interesting situation the other day. In an auction type website I posted a job (a highly technical design service job). I received posts from Brasil, Argentina, USA, India, Romania and Pakistan. There is something inherent to doing business in all these countries that is common to all except the USA. Haggling! Immediately after the bids poured in, I began haggling to all bidders and the only ones who were offended by the bidding were the “Americans”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the pitfalls of haggling; the lower quality products or services, the worker disdain or lack of loyalty etc. The very thing that made USA great, pride in their work, is now quite possibly a double edge sword digging into their heel.

At some point USA quality was the best. Therefore many people were willing to pay the premium. However, nowadays the global marketplace includes 10 times as many suppliers willing to offer the same product or service for less…for a lot less? What about the quality you ask, equal and in some cases better. Yes there are many crap-quality chinese products, same as with some “american” ones. I agree there are probably more crap-quality products in China than in the USA, but there are great quality products in China nevertheless. Why this happened? The very same foreign affairs attitude of being the world police and having the power to invade any country they wish (overtly or covertly), usually for economic reasons, has driven so many of the world’s countries into poverty levels that forced those inhabitants to settle for less as the USA inhabitants hunger for more.

Put it all together and you’re left with a poker player with no hand whatsoever at a table with many more players holding full houses.

Can the USA turn this around? Can they compete with developing markets that have become black holes for investor capital? Can Peter compete with Pedro or Ping? Remember, you can’t just invade China or Brasil…they’ll kick your ass! ūüôā