Thursday, September 29, 2005

FMA on Valuation

FMA on Valuation : Online Archive

A really beautiful compendium of videos and slides on Financial topics from guys like Aswath Damodaran and Stewart Myers.(through FinanceProfessor.com - another beautiful blog)

Oh what a view !

One of the joys of having an office in Nariman Point facing the sea is a breathtaking view of setting Sun. With boats littered across the sea, small outlines of container ships far off, Sun's rays laying a glittering path from the far sea .... its so picturesque.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Amulet of Samarkand

By Jonathan Stroud. Awesome fantasy book - very creative and hilarious. What a hip djinni - Bartimaeus. Absolutely fit to follow Alladin as a fantasy cartoon series.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

See-sawing markets

Today the markets did a see-saw - a bloodbath shedding 200 points in the first half followed by an almost complete recovery in the second. What crazy markets we have these days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two perspectives

... interesting way the IT industry works, the churn and the volatility creates lots of news.

Microsoft - people don't hesitate to jump on it and bash it up on the slightest excuse. Now, Kevin, who works at MS, rebuts allegations that it is past its prime with two posts - Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Microsoft and Enough Already. Interesting to see employees standing up for their company.

And Google - so much of praise in the past and what phenomenal growth expectations in the valuations of its stock; so much potential. And even so, the blogging community has started pointing at a slowly emerging 'dark side'. Dan Gillmor writes in "Google's Hubris, Unbounded": Google's growing arrogance is really something on Google planning to hold a partner forum for bloggers and journalists and prohibiting them from writing about it !

So when does a company really cross over? First IBM, then Microsoft; now Google. And does it really need to happen? should anyone who almost attains an almost commanding presence start to display traits of the dark side. Or is it that they just start getting reviled as the dark side?

Memeorandum

For people (like me :p), who are just overwhelmed by the number of blogs to keep track of everyday - particularly in tech.

Memeorandum (Tech)

Also has a politics part.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Seafarers ho !

One trip not to be missed in Mumbai, as I recently realized, is taking a boat trip off the Gateway. The trip costs 40 bucks and gives an awesome tour of the harbor. Particularly worth taking in the evening after dark, as I did - the harbor is beautifully lit up with huge ships and giant cranes all over - the roller-coaster-type ride, the bobbing bouys, the shipping boats, the glittering Mumbai coastline... its awesome.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Money and Risk

One of the best magazines on personal finance is Outlook Money. Its latest issue has an interesting article on the customization of personal financial services: Your unique nest egg (available for free online!). An interesting point I've begun to realize since I've started working is that structuring and managing personal finance is as interesting an area as corporate finance. And the same principles apply here too, with the added complexity that your emotions come into play (however rational you try to become) in your investment and spending patterns. Just choosing an tax-saving fund to invest in, is an exciting exercise by itself. If you thought the cost of capital is a concept only for companies, just wait till you realize that you could save money by carefully delaying repayments on loans and investing that money in higher income yielding opportunities (as this article rightly points out).

One of the best magazines on (corporate) finance is Risk (it also happens to be one of the least touched magazines in XLRI's library :P). The magazine simply represents the state of the art in finance - it is what slashdot/wired is to the geeks or what MSDN mag is to win-devs. What is unfortunate in finance is that very few people love the field (except for its money) so much as to be its 'hackers'.

Google Hires Vinton Cerf

Google's hired 'the father of the Internet'.

Article from Reuters.

"These people just don't know you can't do that. So they just go out and do it," Cerf said of working with a generation who came of age in the Internet era. "That's the great thing of working with all these new folks."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Crawford market

... in the continuing explorations of the starship enterprise...of ahem, mumbai.

Crawford market or the Jyothiba Phule market lies close to the VT Station. One of the biggest, most diverse and poorly maintained market-spaces I've ever seen (stinkin' dirty I believe, is the expression). A good place to hunt for bargains, if you want to buy in the bulk (Do not, I repeat do not, go asking for 3 apples like I did... unless you want to get wierd looks :D).

Now another interesting thing in this area is the presence of free reading rooms and public libraries. So badly maintained and dust ridden that one would think twice before setting foot in, they house some of the most amazing collection of books I've ever seen (faithfully locked up always though :P). One such 'artifact' lies next to the Metro cinema; and when I visited, crowded with students who use it as a quiet reading room and by old uncles lazing around reading newspapers. Another of this variety is the Town Hall Library - an impressive monument, these days under renovation and whitewash (can you believe it has the complete harry potter series ! :P)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Attention deficit strategy

Concepts of media 2.0 have put the spotlight on attention as a limiting factor or resource. One point usually unnoticed by us students of strategy is that dealing with attention-deficitness is the basis of strategy. Consider, why we strategize: The primary reason is that managerial attention is a valuable limited resource and it needs to be focussed on areas where its effect is the highest. Porter, in his seminal article in HBR - 'What is Strategy' - defines the essence of strategy as 'deciding what NOT to do'. Now note that he does not define strategy as deciding what to do - by defining strategy as the act of ignoring areas which are not important, Porter highlights the importance of focus - the need to concentrate attention on areas that matter.

Most of us totally ignore (or are unaware) of the fact that attention is a scarce resource in our everyday life too. While we could pursue almost everything we are saddled with, what we choose to do defines us.