Posted on July 9, 2011 by matthewdbenson
A friend recently shared with me a thought leadership article (cover shown above) from Accenture, a consulting firm. The article shared views and insights into factors determining the adoption of electric vehicles, and future direction in which they will likely develop. These views were supported by a study/survey that Accenture had undertaken.
The article addresses a topic that I am interested in, and so I was glad to be informed of the article. What’s even better, the article was free (but was still comparable in quality to what one might find in leading professional media publications).
This highlighted for me an interesting development. Professional service / advisory firms are generally keen to prove their abilities, highlight their knowledge and expertise, and often do this by preparing thought leadership articles. These articles are often freely available on their websites (sometimes on request or after registration).
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: Accenture, Advisory services, Boston Consulting Group, Consulting firms, Deloitte, education, Ernst & Young, Insights, KPMG, McKinsey, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PwC, Thought Leadership | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 5, 2011 by matthewdbenson
The trend known as ‘globalization’ tends to be the cumulative effect of many small, incremental steps. Once in a while there are technical innovations which result in a step change, or acceleration of globalization – the advent of shipping, flight, etc. Computers have also supported the increasing complexity of business, enabling more complex (but still economically and chronologically viable) sourcing solutions to be developed.
Recently I came across a website which, while relatively simple, appears to me to have potentially astounding consequences for globalization: peopleperhour.com.
Filed under: Global economic environment | Tagged: eBay, Employment, globalisation, globalization, iPhone, Labour economics, smartphones | 1 Comment »
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 »