Posted on May 9, 2010 by matthewdbenson
Steve Jobs announced the iPad in January as being “a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price. Starting at $499.”
Whatever your views are on the product, whether it is magical or revolutionary, it was quite easy for anyone, anywhere in the world to see that prices (to US customers) started at $499. Fact. Sort of.
Prices were announced just recently for the launch of the iPad in a further nine countries, including some in Europe, and there has subsequently been a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere about whether non-US customers are being abused, or taken advantage of, that an ‘unfair’ premium might be being charged to non-US customers.
While this is not impossible, there are some differences between the prices, and other matters for consideration, which I set out in this post, that need to be taken account of.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: Apple, cost-plus pricing, cross-border pricing, currency under- and overvaluation, Economist Big Mac Index, fixed cost absorption, globalisation, globalization, iPad | 6 Comments »
Posted on January 23, 2010 by matthewdbenson
Hans Rosling, using Gapminder to ‘wow’ audiences with his ability to cross-reference UN and similar data sources
As a practicioner of ‘due diligence’ I consider one of the key skills to be seeing through numbers/data and finding a way to present, in a very succinct manner, a key trend/issue. There are several key elements to this:
- the ability to hypothesise the outcome, and then consequently choose and develop the appropriate data sets and presentation format (without random trial and error, which is too slow);
- analyzing the data to determine key trends, even when the data may not appear to exhibit trends; and
- the communication of the finding in a compelling, interesting and succinct manner.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: Bill Gates, data analysis, due diligence, Gapminder, Google, Google docs, Hans Rosling, killer charts, Malcolm Gladwell, motion charts, Outliers | 11 Comments »
Posted on December 11, 2009 by matthewdbenson
Recent news articles have stated that Germany and France have formally/statisticly exited recession (such as the BBC, on 13 August 2009 “France and Germany exit recession“). During the first half of 2009 equity market swings caused talk of ‘green shoots’ and whether they might be sustainable (Martin Wolf, Financial Times ft.com/economistsforum). Talk of ‘green shoots’ has now been replaced by discussion of economic growth, albeit most projections showing it to be relatively small in the near-term.
For the last 18 months many people have talked about turnaround/recovery possibly occurring in 2010. As we near 2009 year-end there is clearly hope, and some cautious optimism in the market that this might hold true, even if most seem to agree that there is still a lot of hard work to come and the pace of recovery might be slow (for example, the UK Treasury recently announced, here, that independent forecasts for FY10 have UK GDP growth at an average of 1.4%).
Market commentators are now talking about ‘the shape of the recovery‘, and using terms like ‘the new normal‘ to discuss how a looming economic recovery might present itself. Can we have confidence that things are changing for the better?
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: corporate maturity, economic growth, economic recovery, Global economic environment, global economic outlook, green shoots, recession, regulation, shape of the recovery, the Lost Decade, the new normal | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 7, 2009 by matthewdbenson
As we have progressed through the deterioration in the economic climate I observed a trend in how people and stakeholders in different organisations and networks respond. My comments here are principally based on observations from the media, in particular business newspapers such as the Financial Times and the Handelsblatt (a German newspaper) and discussions with friends about what they were seeing in their businesses and through their contacts.
The stages of economic decline could be summarised into three ‘C’s: Cooperation, Competition, and Corruption.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: competition, cooperation, corruption, economic decline, office politics, recession, redundancy, reward and measurement, risk | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 26, 2009 by matthewdbenson
In response to an article written by Nick Coleman in the current issue (Volume 3, Issue 1, Autumn 2009) of The Economist’s “Intelligent Life” magazine (which, by the way, I find to generally be a very good read).
The article by Nick Coleman, titled ‘The i-Decade‘, talks about what styles and items have defined the past 10 years, with the end of the decade almost upon us.
Responses were collected from various people, and while diverse views were presented, ranging from electronics to fashion, from social media to cars, and handbags to cycling, a common theme mentioned by many commentators focused on an observation of an increase in consumption and consumerism. This was defined by one particular commentator as ‘reckless consumption‘.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: From Bubble to Depression?, Global economic environment, Intelligent Life, Interest based ads, internet advertising, Nick Coleman, reckless consumption, The Economist, The i-Decade, Vernon L. Smith | 3 Comments »
Posted on July 7, 2009 by matthewdbenson
Globalization – Who wins, and who loses?
“Globalization”, in particular the increase in trade across the globe, is not a new occurrence. It has been occurring over several centuries already, beginning with the trading of key natural resources and continuing into the last century with international trade (export/import) of, mostly, finished goods.
In the last decade Globalization has become ever more prominent driven by the growth in the role of emerging markets such as China, India, and Latin America, and the trend for producers to source different parts, not just whole finished goods, from different locations depending on their cost competitiveness. These changes have been created by improved technology and focus on reducing trade barriers. Globalization has also become a source of much media attention and raises emotional arguments due to its fundamental impact on the daily lives of people across the globe.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: Global economic environment, globalisation, globalization | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 21, 2009 by matthewdbenson
IPTV (or Internet Protocol Television) should, in my view, be the next major milestone in social habits and consumer choice. Joost, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, youTube and Vimeo all offer online video (as well as others) but there is still so much potential for media organisations to open up their catalogues of existing material to worldwide audiences and extract value from individual consumer purchases.
Consumers are still generally treated on a regional basis due to media organisations attempts to control their market and resist new entrants (yes, I believe this to be anti-competitive).
Click here to read more >>
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: Global economic environment, Internet & technology, IPTV, Media | 2 Comments »