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Let’s not go down the way of the Crazy Horses Again! – A Lesson in Basics in Business.

Posted by intellisg on August 13, 2007

crazyhorse.jpgYou have no possible idea how I rued the passing of the Parisian inspired Crazy horses show. Only because a perky derriere and a silken mane does wonders for a flagging appetite – these days, I am back to staid Sentosa, whenever I have to entertain my regular troupe of overseas customers whenever they make their way to Singapore. Things just aren’t the same.

Recently there has even been talk of turning our little red pimple into a Monaco of sorts. Yes, I know the Formula 1 is scheduled to make its roaring debut soon. Along with the ear shattering screams and the aroma of burning exotic rubber – it’s enough for me get excited again.

But I am already jaded and there is enough of me to say “we’ve seen it before haven’t we?”, the sort who knows only too well how hatching a smart product is only half the story. The other half of is whether such “great ideas” can sustain and more importantly make money without fizzling out like Crazy horses and packing off like a traveling circus. Whenever I am in one of my famous fatalistic moods, I console myself with sobering thoughts like – have you forgotten the helium filled days of the dot-com era? – didn’t Temasek take a dive with Shin Corp? – Hey remember those Iranian Siamese twins who died?

Yes, we have all seen it before haven’t we –the before, during and sad after when some great idea starts off with all the razzmatazz only to slink silently away with an air of abject embarrassment – I wonder: why do good ideas go so bad? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in B'hood, Business, Policy, Sociology | Comments Off on Let’s not go down the way of the Crazy Horses Again! – A Lesson in Basics in Business.

Whistle Blowing? Just Make Sure You Don’t Blow Yourself Up!

Posted by intellisg on July 18, 2007

whistle.jpgHe saw it, he wished he didn’t, but he did (what to do?) and when you see something like that, it’s like walking through a door you didn’t know was there, a line gets rubbed out, there’s no going back now (cannot gostan! Sorry) – Besides if he doesn’t get it out of his system, he’s going to explode, he’s already got the shakes and a nervous tic is developing on his left bum cheek and its spreading to the other side even his eczema is playing up these days, so he’s like a little Krakatoa, he’s hot and smoking! Ready to spew out the mother of all truths! (cannot tahan anymore). He knows there’s no going back – yesterday, he passed the point of no return – that mythical line that simply says, from this point onwards its from here to eternity, even if it means risking reprisals from his bosses, suffering great setbacks in his career, but he’s ready to run the full length of the gauntlet – it will all be worth it, he tells himself –the moment of truth! When he peels open the whole can of worms, then they will really listen! Then they will know the error of their ways! Someone has to do it! And the great finger of providence is pointing straight at him – he’s the man of the hour…. Who is he? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Government | 12 Comments »

Here’s The World. Take it! – How Successful People Really Think.

Posted by intellisg on June 26, 2007

take-the-world.jpgTHERE’S a story – two salesmen who were sent to the African continent during the 1800’s to sell shoes – the first after spending a period in the Ivory Coast telegrammed the London head office and sent the following message,

“All of them are barefooted here! No point. I am coming back home.”

The other sent the following message,

“All of them are barefooted here, fantastic! Send as many shoes as you can!”

This story embodies a mystery, “what does it take to have good business judgment?”

There are some obvious hallmarks that we all associated with those who have good business sense – firstly, they can all navigate themselves out of sticky situations and all of them seem to have the maturity to remain unflustered when the shit hits the fan. Nothing ever seems to derail their sense of confidence and surefootedness. These winners also seem to have a keen nose for spotting opportunities which usually. When push comes to shove, they all have this uncanny ability to anticipate their competitor’s next move – right down to the minuteness detail.

It raises the question: what does good business acumen actually consist of? Does it have something to do with taking action? Following that mythical line called gut feel, intuition or does it have more to do with just plain good olde luck?

Can I or you develop good business acumen? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Psychology, Sociology | 94 Comments »

When Singapore Inc Simply Means Having to Apologize (Part I)

Posted by intellisg on March 19, 2007

Singapore’s leaders may not be used to watching their effigies burnt on CNN. And yet this was what happened Sept last year. When activists demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Bearing the full toss of the public ire was Temasek Holdings. Having taken up a $3.7 billion equity stake in Shin Corp, Thaksin’s flagship Telco firm, Temasek found itself sucked into the maelstrom.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, Singapore Telecoms one third equity stake in Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) and ST Telemedia’s sizeable stake in Indosat – raised eyebrows in the local press which played the tune:

“Singapore’s domination of key industries poses a threat to national security.”

In the wake of the perfect storm a host of other issues such as the sand embargo and now extending to granite threatens to sour bilateral relations even further. It’s a development that throws out the question:Why are Singaporean firms so susceptible to the perils of being regularly single out as being arrogant and self serving? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Politics | 21 Comments »

The Pen That Didn’t Write

Posted by intellisg on March 18, 2007

Space has its legends – the Space Pen is one of the more enduring ones. It’s neither as outlandish nor as unbelievable as conspiracy theories about staged the Moon landings. Or how; the Vatican has secretly entered into a pact with NASA to convert Martians into Catholics. Even though it seems more credible than a massive government conspiracy, it is probable that fewer people have heard about it.

The story goes like this: in the 1960s, astronauts discovered ordinary ball pens couldn’t write in zero gravity. So NASA (need another stupid astronaut) recruited the best scientist to design a DRWI (data recording writing instrument). With its pressurized hermetically sealed chamber, it performed flawlessly in space. The only problem; it blew the lid off the budget – the pen cost millions!

On the other side of the planet to solve the same problem; the Russians assigned a clerk to the serious business of tackling the writing conundrum. They spent the equivalent of five cents. Their solution: a pencil. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Politics, Sociology | 2 Comments »

When Bio-Technology Spells “IR” – Impossible Research.

Posted by inspir3d on February 10, 2007

“It may work fine in practice,” goes a joke researchers make at their own expense.
“The trouble is, it just doesn’t work in theory.”

In the last 30 years, the global bio-technology (BT) industry has attracted more than $300 billion in capital. Much of this investment is predicated on the belief this new science heralds the next best thing since sliced bread. After all, the world is heading inexorably towards a demographic apocalypse – people are living longer and are getting sick more often. Against this backdrop of human fragility anything to do with handrails, adult diapers, wheelchairs, drug therapy and stem cell research just looks like a sure fire bet.

But, how profitable is the BT business model actually? Can the dream be practically realized? Are there any pitfalls? And, more importantly, how does a country like Singapore which doesn’t have either the hard or soft attributes leverage on this opportunity successfully?

As it is today, the BT industry still looks like an emerging sector, and even then, that is only if you are forgiving enough to believe that past performance is a good indication of future performance. To understand why BT has managed to crave up its fair share of adherents from both the private and public sector, one needs to appreciate its historical contours. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Economics, Science | 8 Comments »

Three Submissions

Posted by inspir3d on September 6, 2006

“Singapore Documentary: Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Kevin Lim produces a video about Singaporean students and whether they would prefer to stay in the U..S. or return to Singapore. Besides the video, he also summarises reasons for staying and leaving. (Theory is the reason)

“The Branding of the Lion” Coffee Banana, “It appears that the Singapore Government has been bitten by the branding bug. It is not enough that we are Uniquely Singapore, the Garden City and the Hub of Everything. It was reported in the Straits Times (2nd September 2006, Saturday, Article Titled: Wanted a Single Brand for Singapore) that the Government of Singapore has decided Singapore needs One Unified Universal Brand. A brand flexible enough to promote Singapore in the Tourism Arena and gets scientist to work in our Life Sciences labs.” (Cobalt Paladin)

“All That Flux about Population and Immigration” Xtralicious, “Know what? I am so sick and tired of this immigration and citizenship loyalty hooha that the whole world that is Singapore is going on and on about.” (Cobalt Paladin)

Posted in Business, Economics, Emigration, Population | 4 Comments »

Tuesday Afternoon Bulletin

Posted by inspir3d on September 5, 2006


“Singapore’s Education System: On the Right Track?” by Dr Huang

“Can we Make Things Better?” by a Singapore Teacher [This link appears to be dead]

“CNA, Fifty Dollar Men” @ Yawning Bread

“The Ching Cheong Verdict” @


Book Review: “The Lenovo Affair” @ SG Entrepreneurs

Posted in Business, Education, Media | 1 Comment »

Something in Common

Posted by inspir3d on August 4, 2006

Bishop bemoans the lack of succession planning at SingTel and NOL …read more


Posted in Business, Economics | Comments Off on Something in Common

Let’s Be Local Company-Friendly Too in Singapore

Posted by inspir3d on August 1, 2006

“MNCs and international companies contribute about 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); …MNCs are also known to be rather realistic about net costs and benefits. If they find a cheaper location for their operations, they have no qualms uprooting.” There are, however, attitudinal and operational barriers that Singaporean entrepreneurs and businesses face if the pro-MNC attitude is to shit towards a pro-local business attitude. …read more

Source: SG Entrepreneurs

Posted in Business, Economics, Entrepreneurship | Comments Off on Let’s Be Local Company-Friendly Too in Singapore

Atychiphobia: Common Fear in Singaporean Entrepreneurs?

Posted by inspir3d on July 25, 2006

There has been much talk about Singapore developing entrepreneurship and local businesses. Bernard Leong walks through the mindset an entrepreneur should have. …read more

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Source: SgEntrepreneurs

Posted in Business, Economics | Comments Off on Atychiphobia: Common Fear in Singaporean Entrepreneurs?

A Common Thread in Singaporeans: Innovation, Outsourcing & Service Culture

Posted by inspir3d on July 17, 2006

Bernard Leong, in a freakonomics approach, talks about the service culture, outsourcing and innovation in Singapore and how they are intrinsically linked to Singaporeans’ cultural mindset …read more

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Source: Sg Entrepreneurs; Submitted by BL

Posted in Business, Economics | 2 Comments »