Sunday, January 30, 2011

Warren Bufffet:Legendary Investor


Born on August 30,1930 in Omaha, Nebraska, Warren Edward Buffet is the only son among the three children of Howard Buffet, a former US Congressman and Leila Stahl. He is often called the most brilliant investor in American history because of his smart investing strategies. 

His legendary rise to fame as world's most intelligent investor is the product of dedication, effort and balance attitude of handling investment and money. He once named by Carson Group as World's Top Money Manager.

His company’s flagship is Berkshire Hathaway headquartered at his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska in the United States and recently named by Fortune magazine as World's third most admired company. Buffet remains the company's Chairman of the Board and CEO and still actively working on its investment portfolio. He also allowed himself to be paid only by $100,000 annually lower than the usual standard of salaries among world's top CEO who are receiving more than $1 million a year. In 2007, he edged out his best friend, Bill Gates, as world's richest person in Forbes Magazine's listing but on the following year, after he donated enormous amount of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he ranked number two after the Microsoft founder.  In 2010 and this year 2011, he is the third richest man in the world, not because his investments are not doing well, but because the large portion of his wealth went to several charity institutions.

But what made him different from other world’s billionaires? It's his devotion to philanthropic activities, and just like Bill Gates, Buffet donated 80% of his fortune to charitable causes. Buffet is known for his frugality despite his enormous wealth, his simple lifestyle became the favorite topic in the business circuit.

While still a child, the third richest man in the world already showed a kin interest in investing and saving money, despite his family’s prominence, he loved to earn money out of his own, he would do door to door selling of chewing gum, Coca-Cola or magazine. He started joining a business when he was still in high school, first working in the grocery store of his grandfather then venturing into a pinball machine and placed it in the local barbershop. He showed interest on stock market early on, he would spend time at the customers’ lounge of a stock brokerage near his father’s brokerage company. When he was 11 years old, he bought three shares of Cities Service Preferred Stock. By the time he finished college, he accumulated more than $90,000 in savings.

Buffet earned a degree in Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and after learning that Benjamin Graham (author of the book The Intelligent Investor) teaches at Columbia University, he traveled to New York to enroll at Columbia where he obtained his Master of Science in Economics degree in 1952. He also attended at the New York Institute of Finance.
Buffet’s own words of investing: “The basic ideas of investing are to look at stocks as business, use the market’s fluctuations to your advantage and seek a margin safety”.

He first worked as an Investment Salesman then as a Security Analyst in New York. Early on, his interest and passion in brokerage intensified his ambition to become a self-made investor. In his high school yearbook he wrote on his dream “future stockbroker” not long after, he made a full blast with this passion. He is self-motivated, drivingly ambitious and determined, religiously followed by heart the investment teaching and style of Benjamin Graham. He returned to his home town in Nebraska and worked as a stockbroker. He also taught classes at the University of Nebraska-Omaha about Investment principles.

He married Susan Thompson in 1952 where he has three children: Susan Alice, Howard Graham and Peter Andrew. Two years later, his favorite author Benjamin Graham offered him a job at his insurance company until 1956, he then founded the Buffet Partnership Limited, an investment company. Four years later, the company grew to seven partnerships, this shrewd tactics in investing, made him a self-made millionaire in 1962, he then merged all the partnerships into one and acquired the dying textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway and slowly converted it into the world's largest investment company which eventually became the flagship of his business empire. His philosophy in partnerships is “unless new partners can bring some asset other than simply capital, I intend to admit no additional partners”.

He had his first investment at Hochschild Kohn and Company, a privately owned Baltimore department store. In 1970 he became Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, by 1979 he was worth $620 million. He began investing in newspaper companies, Washington Post, Buffao Evening News and ABC news. He bought stocks at Coca-Cola which became his most lucrative investment. By 2006, Buffet announced that he would give 85% of his company’s holdings to different foundations most notably to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has shares at some of the biggest companies in the world, General Electric, P& G and Johnson and Johnson.

He separated from his wife in 1977 and remarried only in 2004 to his long time friend, Astrid Menks. Though highly regarded as compassionate and kind, the dangerous streak of Buffet was erupted when his son’s adopted daughter, Nicole, participated in the documentary called The One Percent, detailing the personal story of billionaires. Buffet is known to be a very private man and never partied to anyone. In his letter to Nicole, he slammed a hard-hitting line” I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin." Nevertheless, Nicole admired his step-grandfather as kind, generous and loving recalling several Christmas events where the billionaire played santa claus to his grandchildren.

Buffet's simple house at Omaha, Nebraska

Warren Buffet continues to live in the same modest house he acquired in 1958 which valued only at $700,000 today. Though he has a private jet, he often traveled on public transportation facilities. He is an avid football fan and love to play bridge with close friend Bill Gates. It was also reported that Buffet does not carry a cell phone and does not have a computer at his desk and no driver, he drives his own car, a Cadillac DTS and wore tailor-made suits from the Chinese label, Trands. He also established "The Giving Pledge" with Bill Gates, an organization that encourages America's richest people to donate considerable portion of their wealth to charitable activities. He is the recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, a highest honor a US President can give to a civilian for exceptional civil and humanitarian services. He is also listed as one of The 100 Most Influential People in the 20th Century and named along with Gates as The Most influential Global Thinker.

Amidst the global crisis which forced many countries into recession and more companies  declared bankruptcy, Berkshire Hathaway performed very well in the stock market, climbing its investment income into $3 billion last year and one of the few businesses in America unaffected by the major economic meltdown in 2009, consequently rescuing US economy from going down to the bottom of recession, this event made experts to call him "The White Knight from Omaha". These are just few reasons why Warren Buffet is dubbed as the most brilliant investor in American history.

Billionaire's Wife

Melinda and Bill Gates

Born Melinda Ann French on August 15, 1964 in Dallas, Texas, Melinda Gates is the wife of American Billionaire, Bill Gates. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University and Master of Science in Economics from the same school in 1987.

She met Bill Gates when she worked as a unit manager of Microsoft products (Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta and Expedia). According to Sylvia Matthews, Chief Operating Officer of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there’s a joke in the foundation calling the couple 2 and-a-half-degrees Melinda is 2 while Bill is half referring to their educational attainment.

“But despite what anyone says, it's clear that the big decisions still get made by Bill Gates. At a quarterly review of grants at the offices in Seattle, he sits at the head of the table, with Melinda on his left and his father on his right. Nervous staff members direct their presentations to him, not Melinda--who drinks a Snapple and seems like the most relaxed person in the room. Bill flings out questions in his trademark squeaky voice, with an expression on his face that suggests more curiosity than concern. "How are they going to prioritize?" he asks about a potential grantee. "Are they going to have a theme? Are they heart, lung, cancer, infections--what are they?" he asks, his voice arcing higher with each question” ---Time Magazine’s article From Riches to Rags by Amanda Bower.

In 2006, she and her husband received the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation given by the Royal court of Spain for their impact in charitable works. Melinda Gates ranked by Forbes magazine as #40 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2008. In 2010, she left Microsoft to focus more on her family and foundation. Each year, Bill and Melinda Gates embarked into what they called a “learning tour”, roaming to places which seemed forgotten by the world. 

They often flown with their private jet to visit the most depressed places in the planet and learned from the people’s experience how to live in such depressing situation, they interact with people who ravaged by malnutrition, with Melinda holding malnourished and sickly children. They recorded their discoveries and learning experience by intensifying their foundation to help fund scientific researches on AIDS, pneumonia and other diseases.

William Henry “Bill” Gates III

Bill Gates was born on October 28,1955 at Seattle, Washington as the second child and only son of William Henry Gates Sr. a prominent lawyer and Mary Maxwell, former board of director of United Way America, a nonprofit organization. The Gates family belonged to the upper-middle class. 

He is Microsoft CEO and Chief Software Architect until 2010. He was named richest man in the world by Forbes magazine from 1995 to 2007 and 2009 (in 2008 the richest man in the world was his best friend, Warren Buffet and in 2010 Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico).

MITS stands for Micro Instrumentations and Telemetric System. While studying at Harvard, Bill Gates was reportedly had no definite plan for his studies and would often seen spending precious time at the school’s computer area, he later met his future business partner,Steve Ballmer, at one of his computer hang-outs at Harvard, he also met computer scientist, Christos Papadimitriou. While at Harvard, he remained in contact with his high school buddy, Paul Allen. In 1975, Gates and Allen saw the release of MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, the two saw this as an opportunity to start their computer company.

Gates and Allen started negotiating with MITS offering their innovations. MITS was amazed with their credible presentation that the owner offered Gates a job. While pondering his destiny whether to pursue school or not, his friend, Paul Allen decided to work ahead at MITS headquarter at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates, realizing the great opportunity with this venture, joined Allen in November 1975 and took a leave from school but he did not go back however and established Microsoft with Allen instead.


Rare family photo shown in the media of the Gateses. Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and children: Rory John, Jennifer and Phoebe

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation was established in 2000 with the help of his father, William Henry Gates Sr. now the largest charitable foundation in the world. 

In 2006 he announced to limit his workload at Microsoft to concentrate more on the foundation and transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie (chieft software architect) and Craig Mundie (chief research and strategy officer). 

He married Melinda French on January 1, 1994 and had three children, Jennifer Katharine (born in 1996), Rory John (born in 1999) and Phoebe Adele (born in 2002). Bill Gates family lived in a sprawling estate of 6,100 square feet with a $125 million worth mansion overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Gates also founded Corbis in 1989, a private imaging company, as a computer savvy, Gates has a passion in digital photography which he maximized with the establishment of Corbis. , bgC3, a new think-tank company founded by him.


Family Estate of Bill Gates at Medina overlooking Lake Washington

He sat as board of director of Berkshire Hathaway company in 2004, an investment company owned by Warren Buffet. Together with Buffet, he established The Giving Pledge, a nonprofit organization which encouraged America’s richest people to share their wealth on charitable causes, Gates and Buffet donated half of their fortune to charities. In 1987, at the age of 32, he was declared as the world’s youngest billionaire. 

Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In 2005, he, his wife Melinda and U2 singer, Bono, were named Persons of the year for their dedication to Philanthropic activities. He also received honorary doctorates from Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands, Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Waseda University in Japan, Tsinghua University in China, Harvard University in the US and Cambridge University in England. He was named as the 12th Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1994. 

He is made an Honorary Knight of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire of KBE by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II but because he is not a Commonwealth Citizen, Gates could not use the prestigious title of a “Sir”.

He is also awarded (with his wife) the Order of the Aztec Eagle for his humanitarian works. He also received the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership and honored the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America. He has several investments to other companies, Cascade Investments LLC is controlled by him, Terra Power, a nuclear reactor design company.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Facebook big boss: Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Come face to face with the man who changed and revolutionized the world of communication. Who had helped connect more than half a billion people across the globe. Whose expertise in software development made him one of the youngest billionaires in the world today. With more than 500 million users around the world, if FACEBOOK is a nation, it is the third most populated country next to China and India. For his exceptional communication tool invention, TIME and FORTUNE (together with Apple's CEO Steve Jobs) magazines named him 2010 PERSON OF THE YEAR. As the decade closes, he could easily become the top favorite to bring home the honor "A Person Who Changed the World"...

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born in Dobbs Ferry, New York on May 14, 1984. People may wonder why the site's color is blue, well, the young inventor has a red-green color blindness that makes him difficult to be attracted with other shades other than blue, this explains why Facebook site's color is BLUE.

So just how Facebook was born?

In February 2004, while still on his second year (Computer Science) at Harvard University, Zuckerberg, together with his classmates, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saveren and Chris Hughes, launched Facebook at their dormitory room. Initially called The Facebook, Zuckerberg intended it as an exclusive site for Harvard students to post an individual profile online.

Years later, Zuckerberg and Saveren had a falling out which prompted the latter to sell more than half of his Facebook ownership. But unlike Zuckerberg who did not finish his course, Saveren graduated magna cumlaude at Harvard in 2006 with a degree in Economics. He now lives in Singapore and recently renounced his U.S citizenship.

Zuckerberg’s passion in computer started in his early years. At the age of 12, he developed a software program called “ZuckNet” to be able to communicate with his father while away at his dental clinic.

While at Harvard, he developed a program “CourseMatch” for students to help form a study group and help them pick a class selection decisions online. Then he built Facemash (the parent of Facebook) which allowed users to select a best looking person from photo choices side-by-side. This invention became popular in the campus, but other serious-minded students were very angry at Zuckerberg because the program allowed users to pick photos without the owners' knowledge, of course Harvard was not amused, so the college department shut it down and Zuckerberg was subjected to a disciplinary action.

Months later, the computer genius dropped out and left Harvard and moved with his friends to Palto Alo, California to set up an office. Many corporations wanted to buy facebook, but the young scientist refused, stating that ” It's not because of the amount of money. For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people. Having media corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to me".

By 2010, the social networking site reached the 500 million-user mark making it the number one social networking site in the world today which streamed billions of dollars to Zuckerberg’s account. The billionaire is now into philanthropy, establishing a foundation called “Education Foundation”. In December 8, 2010, Zuckerberg signed on “The Giving Pledge”, a campaign initiated by two richest people in the world—Bill Gates and Warren Buffet-- encouraging American billionaires to make a commitment to share most of their money to philanthropic activities.

Update: On April 2012, Zuckerberg acquired INSTAGRAM, a photosharing and filtering application for iPhone. Facebook now is preparing its first Initial Public Offering which means Facebook would soon become a public company, hmmm I am wondering what is the impact of this to the users' account (I am afraid!).

FYI: Mark Zuckerberg is a Jewish and still single but he has a live-in girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, a Chinese medical student. As of May 2012, Forbes magazine named him the 35th richest person in the world with a personal net worth asset of $17.5 billion.

READ THE LISTING OF WORLD'S BILLIONAIRE HERE

Sources: Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Time Magazine


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MARKETING MYOPIA

Marketing Myopia is an important marketing paper written by Theodore Levitt, a professor at the Harvard Business School. This paper was first published in the Harvard Business Review in 1960 in which Levitt was the editor and won a McKinsey Award in the same year. This is intended as a manifesto and not an analysis, based on the casual interview and observation of the author in the real business environment, Marketing Myopia hopes to correct the constricted visions of some business executives towards their organizations’ goals and their narrow understanding of what business they are really in. Levitt presented several propositions how to rise above myopia in business. One of the author’s purposes is to encourage CEOs to re-examine their corporate vision; and redefine their markets in terms of wider perspectives.

The article focuses more on marketing strategy. It also introduced the most influential marketing idea that business will do better in the end if they will concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products. Levitt presented lots of ideas how to focus on consumers’ needs and expectations. He sighted different examples why business failed to grow in the industry they belonged, had they define their nature of business carefully, for instance the railroad being in the transportation business rather than the railroad business, they would have continue to grow.

Marketing Myopia is such a very in-depth business journal which thoroughly helps businessmen and executives understand better why the business exist, who its potential consumers are and how to foresee its future to avoid being stuck in the middle. Indeed, the paper summarizes one fact in business, that every major industry was seen at the start as a growing industry.

The paper is very concrete in sighting examples on why organizations are missing opportunities because of their short sightedness in predicting the future of the business. It is also clearly emphasized that the major setback among potential industries which failed to grow massively is not because of market saturation but because, in part, there has been a failure of management.

The paper emphasizes the importance of market and stakeholders’ research to be integrated on the company’s goals. This part of planning is very important because it underline greater opportunities in the operations as the industry evolves. Managers and executives should be trained to look beyond their current business activities and should not be confined only in the internal aspects of the business, they should think outside the perimeter to see the competitive changes surrounding them.

Feedbacks following the released of this journal in 1960 include the realization of some business executives what opportunities they had been missing because they are focusing only in selling and not in marketing. Consequently, the paper was influential as some companies began redefining their business classifications, for instance, oil companies, which represented one the author’s main examples in the paper, redefined their business as energy rather than just petroleum.

This journal is essentially useful to companies, especially to managers and top executives because the insights presented carry a strong impact on how to deal with their organizations effectively and efficiently. In order to build an effective customer-oriented company, the organizations should tap a good leader who could formulate a customer-creating system within the establishment.

Osteoporosis Treatments

According to World Health Professionals, Osteoporosis is one of the many diseases that can be prevented; it is just a matter of choosing what kind of lifestyle one must follow. But because of the influence of the modern world where unhealthy foods can be easily attained plus the fact that 10 in every 50 persons suffered from malnutrition, prevention is usually hard to follow. Almost every year, men and women are reported with severe conditions of bone fractures-symptoms of osteoporosis. When a person suffered fractures in most important joints of the body, the onset of osteoporosis is started to surface. This diagnosed is often followed by recommended treatments by doctors.

There are two most common treatments usually recommended to osteoporosis patients: Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT and Calcium supplementations, but these regimens had different effects. There are some studies conducted show that HRT has no conclusive evidence in preventing osteoporosis, in fact some medical professionals are wary to recommend this treatment to women as this will increase the risk of acquiring breast cancer and heart disease. Calcium supplements are not very effective on the other hand as the body sometimes encounter difficulties in absorbing calcium.

Aside from the two above-mentioned medications, there are several options to treat osteoporosis and help relieved pains caused by the disease, these include the following:

Natural Progesterone
This natural process is available in creams and can be applied directly. This has been evidently shows to improve the bone mineral density among women by more than 15% with no reported side effects.

Medical drugs like Evista, actonel and bosamax
Evista has a similar action with estrogen, it may also increase bone mass and no scientific evidence that threatens breast cancer, except that this is noted to cause blood clots. Actonel and bosamax inhibited cells that break down bones, however, health professionals urged the public to consult their doctors first before taking these medications because misused of any of these drugs may cause esophagus ulcer.

Reclast
This is a new medication of osteoporosis and is being infused in veins around 15 minutes, once a year. This is said to increase bone strength and reduced fractures.

Injectable drugs such as Forteo and Calcitonin
Forteo is a medication drug used to treat osteoporosis for post-menopausal women and men who have low testosterone therefore have greater risks in developing osteoporosis. This will stimulate bone formation and increases bone mineral density. This is applied through injections.

Calcitonin
This is a naturally occurring hormone in the body known to inhibit bone loss. This is quite expensive compared to other osteoporosis treatment drugs, this can be administered alone as a nasal spray and injection.

Like any other chronic diseases, osteoporosis is avoidable. Taking extra precautionary measures while young is one of the best solutions, leading a healthy and active lifestyle can be very beneficial to prevent this dreaded disease in the future. Bone mass reached its highest peak between 25 and 35, this is the period to strengthen bones and muscles.

Consuming the right amount of bone nutrients is best recommended by health care professionals to preserve bone strengths, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, Zinc and manganese are just few of the vitamins and minerals noted to increase bone mineral density.

Minimize the Effect of Global Warming

The recent alarming statistics of climate changes and the issue of global warming urged the public to be aware of the environment and help prevent additional damages to mother Earth. Since global warming is partly a man-made phenomenon, only people also could offer solutions to these mounting catastrophes. Government agencies have taken their part also in finding solutions to this growing problem in nature.

In the US, Illinois lawmakers are making steps, through a proposed legislation, to adopt other state’s policy on standard fuel efficiency to effectively reduced pollutions inflicted by vehicles, this legislation will also helps improve health condition and prevent the worsening global warming situation.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), urged the world to cooperate and support clean environment. The IPCC and former US vice president Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize award in Oslo, Norway for its instrumental work in documenting the real risks of climate change. More than any thing, the public and government sectors can work together to save what is left for our environment.

According to a research, highly industrialized countries are the leading contributors of environmental pollutions that increase carbon dioxide, one of the major causes of global warming. These progressive countries developed chemicals and fossil fuels for energy and other usage at the expense of the environment. Fossil fuels include coal, natural gas and crude oil.

Solutions that should be made include development of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Segregating waste materials in different household, recycling the non-biodegradable materials, automobiles must adopt bio-based oil to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Renewable energy includes wind, geothermal, solar and bio-energy; these will help reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The burning of fossils, which releases large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, could be prevented by adopting new technology in renewable energy.

Other solutions can be manually practiced by individuals including planting trees, promoting organic vegetables and stop burning corrosive materials in the surroundings, these little actions will help lessen the major causes of global warming and promote a much cooler and safer environment.

Global Warming

Global warming can be defined as the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, the rapid climate change is the result of massive presence of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. This environmental phenomenon started picking its momentum at the start of the 20th century and rising continuously up to the present days, threatening the future of the earth and the present generation.

This recent phenomenon in nature sends alarm to different world agencies that governments began establishing useful studies and data to prevent the condition from worsening. One of the best sources of scientific information about global warming is IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change), established in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, its main task is to record and investigate the latest scientific information about climate changes.

IPCC, which composed of various scientists and authors, released their initial assessment report in the middle of 1995 that this phenomenon undoubtedly is a human inflicted activity. The irresponsible clearing of forest for business purposes and infrastructures, coal mining, chemicals and chlorofluorocarbon or CFC (a group of chemical compounds that damage ozone layer) are few of these activities that promotes and ignited global warming. Today, concerned individuals are advocating for environmental protections and crusades to help save the world and make it livable for the next centuries.

Statistical evidence of global warming includes:
· Extreme hot temperature during summer
· The melting of glaciers (a large, slow moving of river ice, formed from compacted layers of snow that slowly deforms and flows in response to gravity and high pressure. It is a largest reservoir of water in the Earth’s surface, second only to ocean and the excellent source of fresh water.), and the decrease of snow cover.
· Early flowering of plants and trees and the increasing occurrences of allergies during hot season worsened by extreme temperature.
· Plants and animals are forced to move out from their places and seek refuge to much cooler places.
· Severe storms from other parts of the globe including the mainland US, the hurricane almost doubled in the last 3 decades.
· Death cases are increasing due to intense heat waves.
· The mounting carbon dioxide and the warming temperature stimulate plants to produce more pollen making allergies worst.

These phenomena could double in figure if people won’t show concerns to the environment. The risks are much greater to face in the coming years. Although there are some circumstances that stimulate the production of chemicals, these can be limited by appreciating agriculturally based products, in this sense, we can help save our environment.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Bill Gates really "soft"?

Funny!!!but this topic became our "dessert" last night (Jan.26) in our Marketing Managemet class in the graduate school.

After I presented my journal critique about Marketing Myopia (famous work of Harvard business professor, Theodore Levitt), my Korean classmate took over the floor to do the chapter highlight report and we were amazed with his awesome presentation.

He showed some videos related to "Product Development" topic including separate interviews of three world's most successful businessmen, Steve Jobs (Apple Incorporated founder),Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) and Bill Gates (Microsoft). Interestingly, these three companies topped the list of Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Companies.
Warren Buffet (called the world's most brilliant investor) and Bill Gates. Third and Second richest persons in the world. 2010 Forbes Magazine's richest man is Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico

Unlike the video interview of Steve Jobs, the one with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates was slightly different, it was held in a small theater-like venue with dim light and a little stage. The two billionaires wore simple shirts and pants and just seated on top of the table like high school buddies (these two are known for their frugality despite their immense wealth).

They gamely answered questions from students of the University of Washington. While answering questions, I noticed how natural Warren Buffet is, he is like a typical grandpa with no inhibitions and awkwardness, he injected so many humors, poking fun at Bill Gates most of the time which the latter acknowledged with chuckles.

Unlike Bill Gates who dropped out from Harvard, Buffet has a degree in Economics and went on to finish his Master of Economics degree at the prestigious Columbia University (he studied at Columbia after learning that Benjamin Graham, author of the book "Intelligent Investor" teaches there).

Though for the past 15 years, Fortune and Forbes magazines, made them compete on the number one spot of World's Richest Person, Gates and Buffet remained close friends through all these years and worked together to save many lives through out the world with their devotion to charitable works.

In 2007 and 2008 Buffet is world's richest man, Gates regained the honor in 2009 after Buffet donated $60 billion to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but in 2010 the world was surprised when Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim Helu made a sudden leap to the number one spot, sliding Gates and Buffet to number two and three spots respectively, nevertheless, judging through the interview, I could sense the amount of respect they had for each other. Gates clearly adored Buffet and even followed most of his life's principles
Best friends for life. Warren Buffet, Melinda and Bill Gates

But what disturbed me most (I thought I was the one who noticed it) is Bill Gates's actuations, the way his body moves and the way his hands bend and dance in the air..hehehe..so I wondered if he is "soft"!. At the end of the class, my professor naughtily shared one funny anecdote about Bill Gates.

The story goes like this---after spending their "first night" as a couple (Bill and Melinda married in 1994), it was rumored that his wife jokingly told him "now I know why your company called "Microsoft"hahahhahaa! to which my classmates responded: "he could have name his company "Macrohard" to avoid controversy"..lol!

But of course that's only a round-up joke, a silly anecdote about Bill Gates.

Nevertheless, the Microsoft founder continues to amaze the world, like the rest of world's billionares, particularly Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook), Gates maintained a very simple lifestyle, in a stark contrast to other globe-trotting billionaires, he and his wife began taking a different path, touring the world's slump and most depressed areas to discover what's life beyond their station, they call this "a learning tour".

During the interview with Warren Buffet, Gates shared so many things about his life's philosophy, about his passion, about his business, his devotion to philanthropy and how much he adored his parents. He also shared that when he started his Microsoft business, he never think about "risk" he only think about his passion--developing software. At first, he never think about expansion, so he just picked his closest friends to help him run the business. Today, we all know how Microsoft influenced and dominated the world.

Just this morning (Jan.27) while reading an article from TIME magazine (seriously studying the article because this is part of our midterm exam in Ignatian Leadership for Managers subject) "From Riches to Rags" featuring Bill Gates, I was even more shocked when Gates surprisingly revealed he did not considering leaving the entire wealth to his children to prevent them from being too dependent, he said: "The ones who were the wealthiest were not the most motivated", perhaps he lived with the principles he got from Warren Buffet, "Give your kids enough so that they don't have to worry, but not so much that they don't feel the need to work and contribute". Much of the Microsoft fortune go to the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation which his father, Bill Senior, a prominent lawyer, helped run.

Bill Gates said he and Melinda have not decided how much they will leave to their children. Warren Buffet on the other hand distributed 90% of his wealth to his own foundation. Buffet's children are working in the company to earn fortune for themselves. Now we know why these billionaires continue growing financially with tremendous blessings, their secret---share what you have to others who don't have anything!

Oh wow! that's amazing.

Relieve!

Nothing gave me so much anxiety these past few weeks than Marketing Myopia.hahaha!

When our professor assigned topics early this semester in my Marketing Management subject, I was tensed when I found out I'll be reporting Marketing Myopia because this is really a hardcore journal paper to be reported in class.

Marketing Myopia is a famous work of Harvard professor, Theodore Levitt, which was first published in the Harvard Business Review in 1960 . It became popular later on because Levitt's propositions were very practical. Eventually the paper revolutionized the concept of marketing management. You could just imagine how many pounds of tension and anxiety hit me at that moment.

Since the journal was a famous work of one of the Harvard professors, my tension grew everyday, finally when January 26 arrived, my nervousness toned down, surprisingly, when I discovered that my classmates did not read the journal, hahaha!

I insisted to my Korean classmate (he will be reporting the chapter highlight and suppose to be ahead of me) that I'll do the reporting first so that my tension will subside, luckily, he agreed and was very understanding, he even allowed me to use his sleek, elegant laptop.haha!

So everything went smoothly...and I had a peaceful sleep that night..:-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting on with my nerves!

I know everything is not right at the moment because my desire to spend in writing every minute of the day grew massively. I just want to write and write and hope words would carry my thoughts elsewhere, to a place where nobody could find me. Writing is always a great escape, a peaceful sanctuary when everything turns messy. And right now, I know I am deeply bothered.

Shall I call today a “CLUTTERED DAY”?

I don't know why suddenly things start to sound like curses and flying objects in my horizon, but I really had a terrible, annoying day today. I finally fed up with so many annoying things in my surrounding and wanted to get out from this incredulously goddamn place...somewhere…to a place where nobody knows me...

It started with a simple hope...yesterday perhaps..

I tried reconnecting but the other side wants to bolt me out for good. But why animosity still persists? Why hostility still the name of the game? What had I done so wrong to deserve all the ruthless treatment....again? Why people love to devour on their pride? 

Oh hell...cretins in my surrounding pissed me off with their unreasonable behavior...puff! another triggering point of annoyance, but I tried to appear cool and relax, so I left the house to give myself a break and went somewhere to cool down. 

I went to BPI to make a deposit then went to the grocery to buy something. I bought a big cartoon of Carrot Juice to energize my mind and body because I am on the brink of losing the last strand of my patience. Then I dined at the nearby fast food chain, arggh! I promised a year ago not to eat in a fast food resto anymore but this time, I want to devour a high cholesterol diet to bury my irritation and annoyance.

I went home with a heavy heart. To prevent myself from exploding, I confined myself in the room and do blogging. Well , writing is my great escape, when boredom hits me and depression seems a visible enemy, I tried to write and write to whisk my mind away from disappointment and loneliness.

In deep trouble

I am on the brink of losing my composure with so many anxieties.

Anxiety # 1
I am still struggling how to comprehend better my report about Marketing Myopia, a famous journal of a Harvard University professor, Theodore Levitt. This journal was so popular in 1960 and groundbreaking in terms of marketing strategies that I am so worried I would not be able to live with the expectation of my professor and my classmates!huhu

Since I will present my critique to the class, my nerve rambles underneath as the day comes nearer and still couldn’t make up my mind how to do it. What if I messed up in front of them? Oh God no please!

Anxiety # 2
I don’t know what is it, what disturbing me right now, but it seems there’s something deep inside that keeps banging me which makes my heart pound so fast it feels as though my ribcage is ready to yield. But I could feel this very strange thumping that I frequently breathe to release whatever tension suppressing my brain to think better. What is it? I don’t know God, but it seems there’s something wrong with my emotion. I just can’t figure it out though.

Anxiety # 3
So many requirements, so many task to accomplish. But this is the real life in the graduate school, so I must accept this fact, nevertheless, the megawatt requirements gave me so many sleepless nights, pounds of worries and ounces of anxieties. How would I fit all these tasks in my already incoherent schedule? When I am in the office, the agony and annoyance seem like eternity. I could not breathe and think properly. Sometimes I hate the surroundings but it’s the only place I could turn too at the moment when I am still thinking what career path to think, so I must endure this severe irritation of being in a place where my mind refused to accept as a “convenient place for professional growth”

I will find my own niche somewhere someday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I wrote Five years ago

I created another blog again! This time it's about wedding preparations, how to handle the planning and organizing without resorting to professional planners and organizers.

In 2006, I started writing a wedding script, silly as it was, but I was confident I could take a trip down-the-aisle before the year of the metal tiger will arrive. But as what dark fairytale would have it, destiny decreed otherwise....

So before I would trash my wedding script, I decided to post it to share what I learned from the experts. Well, the idea of planning itself is fascinating, it allows creativity to explore the wonders of daydreaming. To be able to write something unique, much more a wedding idea journal, is always a fantastic gift from God.

Now I will make use with this gift....rather than spend every minute of my life in remorse and frustration why everything turns out badly with my fate (where I am carefully planning what's best for my life), I would focus more on writing....writing stories that are hard to tell...writing as if I am living in a perfect world.

The moment I created a wedding blog, I finally accepted the possibility that I might not be able to materialize the vivid details I wrote in my wedding journal. I might not be able to find a right man who could accept the real me. That I am created alone...that I must face the sunset of my life...alone...nothing more painful than knowing that I couldn't apply the things I read from books and the things I struggled to rehearse and learn half of my life....the things I learned from reading finishing school books for infants and toddlers, the things I learned how to nurture a family...and so on..

Nevertheless I am glad God gave me a peaceful existence, wisdom to accept things wholeheartedly and good health to continue doing the things I should suppose to do. Life is always wonderful...absolutely wonderful even if I will be living it alone.

Some of my wishes in the script I wrote:

Motif --- Cherry Blossoms
Wedding Theme ---- Spring Time
Reception ---- Afternoon Tea Garden Party
Time --- Mid afternoon


Monday, January 10, 2011

Why??

It’s getting too late…halfway past midnight…

But I am still awake, rolling eyeballs on the blank ceiling while listening to the thudding of my heartbeat. What is it?
  
The midnight silence…cold thoughts…distress…pain from deep within…seemed tearing me apart…again.

But why this odd stuff reappeared like a restless ghost?

In the last part of 2009, everything went messy, but towards the first quarter of 2010, I managed to reconstruct my self-esteem. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to forget everything, I wanted to take a different route, away from the thorny road I was traversing for the past three years. I thought it was easy…to pretend that I already buried everything….emotions…whatever you may call it.

But late this year….end of November perhaps….another thing…another name (which sounded like a Russian cosmonaut who made history as the first person to travel into the space…Gagarin more or less) made me choke in despair…again...But Why? Suddenly this question resurface again, like a dreaded ghost…why? I thought I would never ask this question again...but it seems old wounds reopened..but why???

Now I know everything is not well again…that there’s animosity –underneath, I could feel it, but what is it? I don’t know, I am not interested to find the answer, maybe I want to leave it that way and focus to profitable and worthy things in life. But alas! Through all these months that I kept assuring myself that I am okay and had accepted everything…was only a charade…a great deception…to myself.

I figured out…maybe it is still clinging in my system…because I was not completely detach…from the line… or whatever…

Now I want to cut it…to save what is left for my self-esteem….I want to forget everything…I want to change direction…for good.

I've decided to remain silent and “invisible”

…and…“out of coverage”…and hopefully…my mind…this time… will finally stick to the word “Goodbye”


Sunday, January 9, 2011

People of my Year 2010


So how's everyone? How did you celebrate your New Year? 

I'd a terrific New Year celebration with my family in the province of Surigao del Sur and just felt so blessed and thankful to God that both my parents and siblings are healthy and doing great, making my New Year a very fulfilling one.

So while the rest of the world is still under the exuberant mode of the holiday season, I am thinking of something else to start the year positively. I am not one of those people out there who love the idea of creating a new year's resolution because I don't believe on it, usually the idea of writing something about our attitude, practice and views that should be changed for the upcoming year is purely advertisement and part of the hype among the social set but in reality it doesn't sound so realistic.

While you're creating a list of bad habits to change, another habit is about to begin as the year progresses then the cycle of writing a new year's resolution starts again, so it sounds like a continuous cycle that could never be broken and the disease evolves, so, I have never written a new year's resolution in my life.

What I am trying to do now--and hopefully make it a habit every beginning of the year--- is identify the people who have given me influence and inspiration for the past year I think this is more realistic than writing a resolution and trying to resolve all those bad habits that keep repeating each year.

Once, I've read in Bianca Gonzalez's blog about People of the Year where she listed every person she encountered in her life who made her year extra special, her post is similar to the idea of TIME magazine's Person of the Year where inspiring individual is honored due to the massive influence that person had given to the world in a particular year.

So I got the idea also of creating my own list ^_____^

Here are the people of my year 2010:


Helen Montero

Helen is a great friend and she is always be. She is more like a sister to me. We've been friends for almost a decade and even if she's currently working abroad, the bond of our friendship did not break it becomes stronger everyday.

Kathy Dacanay

Kathy is one of those people in my circle whom I can truly relate without hesitations. We shared the same interest, we're both into blogging and food hopping and if there's really one thing that made our friendship extra stronger everyday, it's our common passion towards blogging and French lesson, She had introduced me also to Davao bloggers community and spent several bonding moments with other bloggers. It is Kathy who inspired me also to love photography.

Juvy Panos

Juvy is one of my closest colleagues in the university and we could agree to almost everything. We would talk endlessly about a certain topic that amuses us or things that irritate us. We go out when times allow and spend dinner somewhere else with Kathy or other close colleagues.

Engr. Reynaldo Deypalubos

Sir Rene had been my boss in the engineering department for six years. He retired from the administration last May 2010 and now part of the full time faculty members of the department. I admired sir Rene's very down-to-earth personality, he has a great sense of humor and a wonderful working attitude. A good leader and a very religious man. He never failed to amaze me especially during stressful period in the office, he stayed cool, calm and relax and his mood never erupted. I never witnessed him got mad. He took things slow and never piled me with unimaginable workload.


There you go friends! The People of My Year 2010. See who would make up my list every year and how their influence would change my life.





Sunday, January 2, 2011

Marketing Myopia!

Gosh! I am quite tense because I’ll be making a journal critique about Marketing Myopia, an important marketing journal written by Theodore Levitt of Harvard University, originally published in 1960 at the Harvard Business review where Levitt was an editor. 

Marketing Myopia talks about the short sightedness of most organizations and its narrow understanding in predicting the future of their business. This paper encourages CEOs to re-examine their corporate vision and redefine their market in terms of wider perspectives. The journal was successful in its impact because it was essentially practical.

A very interesting business journal! In fact I learned so many things about how to run a business effectively, but what really made me tense with this paper is that I am going to make a journal critique about this and present it to the class waaah! Why of all cases and journals, this one falls in my palm? When my professor assigned tasks to us, he did it alphabetically and sad to say my name darted on Levitt’s journal..oink!

I am busy researching additional materials related to Marketing Myopia to understand it better, so that I would not falter in front of my classmates when I make a presentation.hehe! My professor is somewhat a great fan of Harvard Business School because he always used materials from the HBS archive for our class discussion in Marketing Management subject. 

The materials are very interesting of course! One time he shared to us the content of the best-selling book, BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY, which talks about market positioning strategies and how to overcome a stiff competition without bleeding the consumers’ interest, eventually swimming in the ocean of success. It was great! I will apply those strategies when I have my own business in the future.hehe!

For the mean time, I will resume writing case analysis first...