Archive for March, 2005

Bo Peabody’s Completed Exercise: Better to be Lucky than Smart

Monday, March 28th, 2005

Found the following on Page 90 of Guy Kawasaki’s book, Rules for Revolutionaries:
Write a an essay answering this question: Why is it better to be lucky than smart (assuming you’re smart enough to know when you’re lucky)?
Amazingly, Bo Peabody’s book (excerpted here) is the completed essay (and the real-life exercise!).

Scary Dot-con saga of Infospace

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Ravneet Grewal reports about never known facts related to Infospace, it’s founders, options which were never given to employees, lawsuits, push-to-IPO, founders cashing out before the bust, employees selling their mansions to founders, lies, SEC lobbying, endless. The original story as part of an investigation done by Seattle Times.

Broadband letter from India

Friday, March 18th, 2005

Om Malik has started a weekly column on the state of Broadband in India.
The ISPs in India have started realizing that the money to be made is in the volume and not the top-tier market and prohibitvely priced premium services. Thanks in part to Reliance InfoComm and the state owned ISP viz. BSNL; High-speed Internet is a reality in India. Atlhough, it is still limited to large ciities/metros. Also, thanks to increased awareness and literacy levels, people are realizing the potential of Internet in India coupled with a hunger for more bandwidth.

Bill Gates Picture: Seemingly Unfamiliar Face

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

[Alt + PrtSc’ed on Mar 09, 2005]

Must have Cash? Pay Cash: The Height of Taxation

Friday, March 4th, 2005

In order to curb the flow of Black Money (it is estimated to be at 20% of India’s GDP or $82 billion), the Government of India is proposing a scheme to tax withdrawals (ATMs, Cashier’s Check/Demand Draft, Cash from Teller, etc.) of more than Rs.10,000 per day. This tax is 0.1% of the withdrawal amount. Looks like the whole Indian Finance Ministry worked for a credit card company in their previous lives.
To justify the tax, The Finance Minister added that the idea was to have a tax trail; citing the example of Brazil.
Wake up and smell the coffee:
1. No hospital in India (except for the ones 99% of Indians could not afford) takes a form of payment other than Cash. So, be ready to tip the ATM on your way to the hospital.
2. How about buying 2 wheelers? Cash is king and the average price of a two-wheeler is Rs.20,000
3. How about wage payment? Every Friday (or daily) pay a tip to the teller for paying your workers.
4. Planning for an overseas trip? Need to buy some foreign exchange? Tip again! Ridiculous
What the Finance Minister does not realize that the hoarders of ‘Black Money’ will never park their illegal funds in Bank. There are better routes like soft money loans to construction companies/builders, finance Bollywood movies, launder it overseas or simply stash away in jute sacks in ordinary looking cupboards. It is totally pointless to cite the Brazil example; Brazil did it to raise revenue. Mr. Finance Minister probably needs some help from the IT bigwigs in order to have an United States IRS like paper trail 1.
On a different note, this sounds like an opportunity for Visa, MasterCard gang. The total spend on personal expenditure using credit cards is less than 1% in India.
1A bank would notify the IRS if there were cash deposit/withdrawal of more than $10,000.