Archive for April, 2011

Are You Too Old To Be Innovative?

Apr 20, 2011 –

When it comes to innovation, are you likely to get better results if the people on your “innovation team” are younger or older? I began thinking about this question after reading this interesting post by innovation consultant Gregg Fraley.

Fraley discusses the tempest in the blogosphere that ensued when a hot ad agency named a 55-year-old as its “curator of pop culture.” Outraged commenters blasted the decision, wondering how on earth someone of that age could possibly stay on top of trends or know anything about pop culture.

On the contrary, Fraley contends, being older is actually an advantage in spotting trends: “There are trends, and there is the culture they fit within, and broad knowledge of culture takes years to cultivate.” He goes one step further by saying age is actually an advantage when it comes to being innovative. (Read his arguments here.)

Conventional wisdom holds that enlisting younger people, business novices or people who aren’t familiar with your business or industry is a good way to innovate. People who don’t have a lot of experience in your business, so the argument goes, are more likely to think in unusual ways.



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The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) is delighted to announce that the
Companies Amendment Act was signed by President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
today, 20 April 2011. The signing of the Companies Amendment Act, the Proclamation
and the President’s minute puts into legal force the Companies Act of 2008 on 1 May
2011. The Companies Regulations and all other relevant documents will be published
and also come into force on implementation date.

“The new Companies Act is a major piece of legislation and reform which has a number
of features to it which will certainly improve the environment for business operation in
South Africa”, said Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Rob Davies.

According to Davies, business as a whole will reap the benefits of the Act
“There is a reduction particularly on the regulatory burden on small medium micro
enterprises. The requirement for financial reporting for small companies has been
reduced considerably in that they do not have to produce audited financial statements,
but will need to have financial reporting at an appropriate low level. The major innovation
is the introduction of business rescue scheme which means that instead of companies
going into major judicial management as they do now, which is almost invariably a route
to an eventual bankruptcy; a rescue process will be initiated. Then creditors can be held
at bay while stakeholders work to rescue the company which is a major and very
important innovation”, added Davies.

The signing of the Companies Amendment Act implies that the Companies and
Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), which was launched by Minister Davies on 18
April 2011, will be open for business as of 1 May 2011. The new Act does not allow
registration of Close Corporations (CCs), and therefore no new CCs will be registered
when the Act comes into legal force. However, CCs that are already in the system will
remain active indefinitely, unless they choose to convert into the new corporate regime
of the Companies Act of 2008. “The Act does not apply retrospectively and those
registrants/people who have already applied for CC’s before May 2011 will still receive
their certificates”, concluded Davies.

The Commission will ensure that the regulatory framework for enterprises promote
growth, employment, innovation, stability, good governance, confidence and
international competitiveness. The Act also gives the Commission powers to investigate
companies and to ensure that they comply with the legislation. This include seizing
documents and to address the burning issue of corporate identity hijacking.

the dti looks forward to working with the Commissioner, Ms Astrid Ludin, and Advocate
Rory Voller, Deputy Commissioner, in ensuring that the CIPC achieves greater levels of
performance and ensure that it works for the people.

Issued by: Communication and Marketing, the dti
Director Media Relations: Sidwell Medupe
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
the dti website:

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Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, AmEx And Others Offer Over $400M In Value To Startup America

Unveiled at the end of January, the Startup America Partnership has just announced a slew of new company commitments, in conjunction with President Obama’s Town Hall meeting at Facebook today.

For those uninitiated, Startup America is a White House partnership with AOL co-founder Steve Case and the Kauffman and the Case foundations, with the aim to increase “the number of new, high-growth firms that are creating economic growth, innovation, and quality jobs; celebrate and honor entrepreneurship as a core American value and source of competitive advantage; and inspire and empower an ever-greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great American companies.”

15 companies are upping the ante on their Startup America commitments today, delivering over $400M in value in addition to the original Startup America commitment, derived from partnerships with companies like IBM and Intel. Startup America is also rolling a membership program where companies in various stages (like Startup, Rampup and Speedup) can apply for these resources.

And the resources are impressive. Google is donating over $100 million worth of Google Ads to the cause and HP is offering an estimated $100M in discounts on printers and other products.

Alexia Tsotsis

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Subsea cable to double S.Africa Internet capacity

A new undersea telecommunications cable has landed in South Africa, investors announced Tuesday, saying the link would double the broadband capacity of the continent’s largest economy.

The 14,000-kilometre (8,700-mile) West Africa Cable System (WACS) fibre optic line links South Africa’s Western Cape province to London, giving African Internet providers a direct connection to servers in Europe, its sponsors said.

The $650-million (460-million-euro) system will increase South Africa’s broadband capacity by more than 500 gigabits per second, said South African telecommunications provider Telkom, one of the 12 companies in the project.

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The Corruption-Murder Theory

The Corruption-Murder Theory and its adjunct termed the Human-Life Value Theory run something like this [my theories]:

Money = human lives.

The expending of human energy & time = part of a life less/irretrievable = payment of money.

1 life = p total hours X q Rands/hour = r Rands.

Assumptions:  adult working life of individual = 35 years.

monthly net salary of individual averaged over 35 years = R5 000.

average working year = 11.33 month.

Calculations:   average annual salary of individual = 11.33m x R5000 = R56 650.

lifetime earnings of individual = R1 982 750 = s.

Inferences:      R200-billion/s = R200 000 000 000/R1 982 750 = 100 870

i.e. lifetime earnings of 100 870 people = 100 870 human lives.

Thus when R200-billion is defrauded from the government by unscrupulous public officials, it is removing from public use 100 870 full human productive lives to be used for selfish means. Those 100 870 lives could just as well have not been lived and worked, as far as any benefit accruing to the public is concerned. Those 100 870 lives have in effect been stolen. They have been destroyed, brought to naught, in regard to the public good. It is as good as if they had not been lived. It is as good, as far as the economic benefit to the public is concerned, as if those lives had been snuffed out.

Thus, the Human-Life Value Theory posits that money as a store of value is equivalent to the time and energy (and thus the life) expended by the human being involved.

The Corruption-Murder Theory postulates the concept that acts of corruption are equivalent to murder, in that theft of money is equivalent to irretrievable removal of the life (time and energy) of an individual.

©2011 Topsia

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