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One-man band better than a conglomerate?

by Bruno Deshayes on 05 Jan 2017 permalink
In business size matters. You've heard the phrase "When our legal team has talked with your legal team we will release our proposal". In other words those guys are spending their time looking for everything that can go wrong. When you focus on something you will eventually find it.

Enters a new dimension in business ethics: trust. Do you realise than in the old days people would perform a real-estate transaction on a handshake? Without going to this extreme the case has to be made that trust and loyalty today are in short supply. Those who can demonstrate these values will gain a lot of kudos.

So how do you establish your credentials with people who don't know you? Simple, let someone else do the talking. Referral business leads are the best form of advertising. Satisfied customers will brag about their purchase with the people they know.

The problem is that people don't take the time to get to know those they want to do business with. It's kind of hard to have a business lunch with a business partner when you are about to subcontract a job across the internet. Would you talk to them on Skype? Would you check out their Facebook page, their blog, follow them on Twitter?

Dealing with an individual has always been and always will be. They are scores of consultants who once cruised the corporate corridors and are now doing fine for themselves - thank you very much.

Dealing with an individual cuts to the chase with poor communication. Since you are dealing with one person you only need to tell your story once and can spend more time putting emphasis where it counts. Since communication is a two way street you can afford to hear out just one person rather than being drowned in corporate cacophony.

At the end of the day you will have made a new friend - not just some business contact but someone who knows you, who understands you and who has done something worthwhile for you. Someone you can trust.


Burning the candle at both ends?

by Bruno Deshayes on 21 Jul 2016 permalink
In a world where the motto is doing more with less, a mental breakdown can bring your productivity to naught.

If you want to last the distance you'd better know how to manage your mount. If people of old knew how to care for their horses how much more should we care for our own well-being?

Super-heroes are for the movies. In the real world those who know how to pace themselves are the true achievers. Have you got any clue where you spent your time last week? Yes, it went like a flash - that's precisely the point. Unless you know where you spend your time you will not reach your goals by accident.

Do you have written down goals? Have you had the discipline to move from wishful thinking to deliberate time management? Have you learned to say no to all those interruptions in guise of urgent take-it-or-leave-it propositions? Do you have any idea how to measure if you are clawing back the lost time or falling further behind?

We are all equal insofar as time goes. We each have been given 24 hours each day. 8 of these should be spent sleeping, 8 of these we exchange for money is something called a job. The quality of where you spend the remaining 8 will make all the difference.

If you commute in transport do you ignore your neighbours or dare to engage in conversation with strangers to further your people's skills and have fellowship with folks from different backgrounds? If you take a lunch break do you gulp down a sandwich in front of the computer while surfing the net or do you seek who you could help and relax with?

The best way to enrich your life and regain control of your time is actually to give it away... weird but it works. Look at a mother how she gives of herself to attend to the need of her infant. See how she persistently tries all manners of non verbal communication - obviously the child hasn't learned any language yet... but their time together is precious.

If you go out and seek who you can bring a smile to, you will find that opportunities to reach your goals will come after you as a by-product. There is a law at work here. The stingier you are with your time and your money - even the little you have left will fly away. The more you seek out how to contribute to society (the people you can reach) the more opportunities will open up to you. That is simply because you will stand out a mile and people just seek someone like that.


Finding the most searched long tail keywords in your market niche

by Bruno Deshayes on 30 Jun 2016 permalink
The age of website directories has long gone. People now just type a clever combination of words and somehow manage to drill down rather quickly to what they are looking for. Miss out on showing up in this kind of search and you are out of existence in cyberspace.

Time is the essence and convenience is king.

So how does a smart web surfer can cut to the chase and land only the results they are after? In a nutshell the answer is: by being specific enough.

Let's try it. You want to shop around for a computer in your area. So you type two words "cheap computer". That will return who knows what so you decide to be a bit more specific. You don't like the cheap connotation so you say low price instead. Then you don't say computer you say laptop. Now you've typed "low price laptop".

Again you find that some of the vendors are on the other side of the world so you add your location. Now we have "low priced laptop in Sydney"

The long tail label stems from the field of statistics where a distribution tapers off in a bell curve shape. A simple tool to try is http://google.com/sktool if you search "long tail keyword research tool" you are bound to return scores of services that will help you keep ahead of the pack.

So where do marketers and consumers meet? The answer: wherever new buzzwords arise. Think of all the lingo that would be unintelligible to someone who was transported in time from say 10 years ago. What would they make of social media, web 2.0, global warming, political correctness, green gas emission, stimulus package, raft of measures, ecommerce, iphone, gforce, handheld device, smartphone, etc...

For search engine advertising, each of these words combinations had become an auction where you bid against whoever wants to show up there as well.

For the savvy internet boffin which we are all becoming, the name of the game is to uncover quickly enough the results that will address our problem, appeal to our senses or just entertain us about our areas of interest.

For marketers the challenge is to pre-empt what tomorrow's jargon will be and to position yourself in front of those people before everyone else catches on.

If you have the mind of an investigator and read the leading blogs and reviews you might pick up what is hot. If you yield enough influence you might start a new trend and see if it takes off.


QR codes

by Bruno Deshayes on 16 Jun 2016 permalink
Have you noticed those ubiquitous black and white squares of dots popping up on travel brochures, billboards, posters, restaurant menus and other consumer venues?

Well, QR stands for quick response and the idea is that you point the camera of your smartphone on it and the advertiser's website somehow just appears on your browser!

Originally invented by Toyota in the mid 90s as a more efficient form of two dimensional barcode it has migrated to other uses.

It is an advertiser's Godsend because Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are notoriously difficult for people to remember. In the past businesses would pay a premium to obtain an easy-to-remember phone number. It was prominently displayed on service vehicles and ads in local papers.

Now the vintage phonebook is having a rebirth. It is not so much a collection of phone numbers anymore but a collection of websites... Same with the regional newspaper. Scan this code and visit our website.

QR codes are found on Chinese train tickets and Japanese visas for passports. In June 2011, the Royal Dutch Mint issued the world's first official coin with a QR code to celebrate the centennial of its current building and premises

Strangely enough a QR codes scanner is not part of the standard smatphone operating system. Instead you have to download an app for android or iPhone like this one Besides URLs QR codes are promoted to save typing an event, a location on a map, somebody's contact details (vCard), forwarding an enail or SMS or just any plain text.

The use of QR codes is free of any license. The QR code is clearly defined and published as an ISO standard. Denso Wave owns the patent rights on QR codes, but has chosen not to exercise them. The word QR code itself is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated.

Just like downloading willy nilly mobile phone apps can get you in trouble, scanning a rogue QR Code can also put you at risk. In shopping malls people could distribute handbills to entice customers to scan a code for a free cappuccino only to land onto a dodgy website which would set a virus on your phone. In Russia, a malicious QR code caused phones that scanned it to send premium texts at a fee of US$6 each.

There you have it. The local business guy spent his good money to get a decent website to detail his product or services. Now comes along the organised crime operator who slaps his own QR code on top of the one on the billboard. Scan it and load a Trojan horse to play havoc on your device instead of being enlightened about an honest business trying to serve your needs...

One saving grace is that you get a chance to vet the URL contained in the code before actually going there with the browser.


Manufacturing comes home with 3D printing

by Bruno Deshayes on 09 Jun 2016 permalink
Medical prosthesis, novelty items, replacement parts for vintage cars, replicas of archaeological artefacts are now all coming out of the desktop manufacturing stream which was once the exclusive domain of industrial prototyping.

Now you don't need to send your manufacturing off to China and have your good ideas stolen before your get a chance to establish your market.

Whether it is a one off or a small production run - it can be all made in-house. No more inventory problems - just manufacture on demand.

Isn't that every small business dream?

We live in a plastic world and for the price of a car you can own a machine that lays the ABS plastic creations of your dreams in a range of nine colours!

Have you ever been frustrated playing with your Lego set and not finding that special part you always needed?

As the curator of the native arts museum have you been reluctant to let go of your special collection for a cultural tour? This type of one to one reproduction (a 3D photocopier if you wish) requires first a 3D scanner This will digitize the outer contour of the object with a laser beam. Then this collection of dots has to be converted into a 3D computer model in the STL file format that CAD software programs produce.

Dr Frankenstein is just one step closer to create the bionic zombie. Hip sockets, bone replacement, tooth implants, dentures are all rolling out of the lab. One scary thought is when stem cells are being sprayed into a 3D model for organ replacement...

One sector quietly using 3D printing under the radar so to speak is the custom electronics sector. The outer casing needed to house the circuit board, batteries and various connectors is kept on a CAD database. A new case is made for each application and then printed in ABS plastic. No more tooling. The holes are all the right size. No adjustment needed!

Some stockbrokers have been accused of over-rating the potential of 3D printing companies. The filing of patents has been rife, even registering English phrases as trademarks so that competitors have to use a euphemism to describe the technology.

Now you can manufacture on your desktop any artistic or mechanical object that can be rendered through a computer design. Think of the possibilities. The tech bubble has passed. Prices have come down. Economies of scale demand new methods. Globalisation had its day. Maybe now is the time to make things at home again.


Cyberspace Mobility

by Bruno Deshayes on 02 Jun 2016 permalink
The growing impact of the internet combined with an increase in mobility is bringing about some fundamental changes in our lives.

People who no longer know where they belong want to have access to various services in cyberspace. I want to review here 4 interesting services Resume Digest, Wise Accounts, Goal Setter and Log Book. This all fits around the new buzzword of cloud computing.

The naysayers brandish the spectre of Big Brother and potential loss of privacy but to no avail. The overwhelming momentum of convenience wins the day. A number of services only know you by your email address and you can change it at will (you may lose some mail in the process but who cares about the spam you missed out).

The one event that established the convenience of cyberspace for ever was the rapid uptake of internet banking. Some diehards maintain they will never use their credit card on the internet yet the rate of online shopping is climbing exponentially.

Mobility in the workplace.

Resume Digest is a software coach to roll out a customized version of your cv for each job you apply for. Because it is a web based applications people use it in a wi-fi cafe to email a PDF resume during their lunch break. They hope to get shortlisted for an interview before applications close to stop the stampede. In job search time is the essence. You may not get a chance to apply for that good job if you wait to get back home.

Mobility in a distributed business model

Wise Accounts is a typical small business accounting package with a twist. It does not run on your PC but is available to you whenever you can get on the net - even with an iPhone! So what's the big idea? Well, if you are a club or a partnership where several people need to do the bookkeeping in a timely fashion that can make the difference between having a good cashflow and having a payment defaulting.

Mobility in life coaching

Goal Setter is a mentoring and goal tracking web application. Once people are motivated to commit to set goals the coach can login prior to their weekly assessment review and discuss why some milestones have been reached and others have not. No need for a trip around town. Having access to a management tool from any location gives clients the discipline and accountability they need to turn their life around.

Mobility in Customer Relation Management

Log Book is a web application where employees can fill their timesheets at the office, at home or on-site. Clients can log in to see who is working on their job and when. The boss has an up to date dashboard of who does what and where. Transparency to customers is a powerful public relation effort. Clients don't fall off their chair when they receive their bill because they are able to monitor the hours charged in a weekly timelog format.


Marketing Plan With Potential to Go Viral

by Bruno Deshayes on 26 May 2016 permalink
What do people say about you? Do they know you actually exist? A marketing plan on the internet could go along the traditional lines of SWOT analysis (detailing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) as well as the four Ps (referred to as Place, Promotion, Product and Price). The catch 22 is that unless people get involved with what you do they will have nothing to say about you.

So what would cause people to stumble across what you do when everybody is mouse trigger happy, clicking aimlessly it seems from one site to another not really knowing what they are looking for? What are the chances of you making it to the front page of Digg? Getting a high score on Stumble Upon? Getting your blog featured on the WordPress homepage?

The stark reality is that you can't do it on your own.

Enters the WOW! Factor. Are you remarkable? Do you offer something so unique everybody will want to have it? (thinking of the iPhone, etc...?)

People will not compromise themselves to promote something commercial on their Facebook page but they will gladly repost, retweet and rehash some stupid stunt on YouTube - because it's cool -

In other words once the ball is rolling a pace already, everybody wants to be in the action and shine amongst their friends for being the one to introduce the idea to them.

How many great ideas died into oblivion with their inventor returning to a 9 to 5 existence after burning all their spare cash? How many articles do you need to write to get some buzz going?

If you then need to enroll folks on the net to promote your widget what incentive can you provide for them to do so? What about sharing some of the profits with those who help you get there? There is a term for this: affiliate programs. How do you connect with people eager to collect a few bucks here and there for republishing your story? How credible is their testimony if they have a financial interest in promoting a given story? What are the chances of mingling with unsavoury characters peddling everything from tarot card reading to tattoo parlours?

The internet pioneers have moved on at the turn of the century. Cyberspace is a crowded and mature marketplace. All the big players have made their claim. A small business or a new internet venture is like a small aeroplane. You need enough momentum to get airborne - otherwise you will crash at the end of the runway.


The eBook Debacle

by Bruno Deshayes on 12 May 2016 permalink
Ever thought of buying an eBook as a gift for somebody? Or maybe sell it second-hand on eBay like you would a paper volume? You would be running foul of the many restrictions of DRM (Digital Rights Management) imposed by dominant players like Amazon, Apple and Adobe.

Their aim is to restrict your freedom in an attempt to build their copyright empires. The fine print in the customer agreement you have to endorse even says that they have the right to delete ebooks from your hard disk! And some would call that progress! Even more worrisome are the big brother implications where a publisher can now know precisely who is reading which book. Marketing intelligence they would say. But think how Big Brother would draft a list of conspirators in a repressive regime. Just pull up a list of all the customers who read a book by Julian Assenge for instance. As you can see, those corporate moguls are a law onto themselves. They used their legal departments to induce the US government into passing the dubious Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

At the same time we have Project Gutemberg where a band of volunteers are turning into ebooks everything they find interesting in the public domain. Mind you, there are some interesting loopholes - for instance in Australia all works of an author who died before 1954 are in the public domain. In the USA it has to be before 1923.

Computer technology makes it ideal to share information. Once a piece of music, a film or a book are digitized - they can be duplicated and shared across the internet at virtually no cost - just like spam email!

So if you are a musician, an actor or a writer - you can get great exposure and quick recognition if you are a master in your art. You would also be down on your luck to prevent one downloaded copy of your work from reproducing like a pair of rabbits...

No wonder the big names in Hollywood see their empires in danger. The DRM strategy is to check with some authority online if a copy of some digital work is genuine or pirated. To that end, each purchase must be recorded at a central server against a given computer, tablet or smartphone where it was originally downloaded. Where things get complicated is when you borrow an ebook from a library, buy an ebook as a gift to be played on an un-registered machine - or when you transfer the digital property from your laptop to your desktop computer for instance.

Publishers have earned the ire of consumers when those authorisation servers go offline or the company operating them goes bankrupt, when eReaders shine in ineptitude because of incompatible standards and so forth. You would think that in the 21st century buying an ebook on Amazon in order to read it on a device other than the Kindle would be child's play - not so.

Just like you can find programs to bypass DRMs that prevent the duplication of DVDs, now you can find programs to strip the DRM from eBooks and to convert them from one format to another.

DRM is an attempt to preserve a dying business model in the digital age and to restrict competition. Contrast that to the success of Wikipedia where collaborative work and knowledge flourish.


Can you ever trust your favourite brand?

by Bruno Deshayes on 31 Mar 2016 permalink
The people you have loved to trust may be just an empty shell. Let us look behind the scenes at some very quiet operators who are the recipients of some many famous brands outsourcing their design and production.

Ideo is a think-tank doing a lot of design work for many famous brands. So if you think a brand you love had a reputation for expertise and know-how - think again.

If you think we live in a healthy competitive market where the best design, the best quality and the best service wins the dominant market share - think again.

If you think that as a consumer you have a choice - think again. You merely have a choice of distribution channels all pumping out the same merchandise repackaged in different flavours to give you the illusion of choice...

Accountants like to set aside an amount under "goodwill" or "industrial property" to quantify the know-how of a given firm. As an investor what do you make of a company who has divested its intelligence and know-how to a third party who also works for your competitors?

The argument behind idea factories like Ideo is that it is very costly to retain the best design brains in the world and keep them busy year-in year-out. So brands have given up being competitive anymore and have surrended to a monopoly of good ideas. Perhaps they take turns in a round-robin arrangements where competitors decide between themselves who will release what and when... Definitively not a good arrangement for consumers...

If you favourite brand can't be bothered to design its own unique products anymore it appears they can't be bothered to manufacture them either. We live in a virtual world, a global village where we are at the mercy of anything happening at the other end of the globe. The following brands are listed as using Flextronics facilities: Cisco Systems, Inc, Eastman Kodak , Ericsson Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony-Ericsson, Western Digital, Sun Microsystems - even Lego toys!

As the Icelandic volcano air travel disruption pointed out we live in an interconnected world where a Japanese car manufacturer can be held-up by parts made in Ireland and shipped by air-freight.

iPad kills

If you think you have a duty of care as a citizen of planet earth and become an environment-conscious consumer have you ever considered the plight of Chinese workers who make your iPad?

How long can companies live a double life through a carefully choreographed marketing campaign? The truth is that when you buy an iPad you are party to a scheme of slavery and mental abuse. Check out the not so glorious record of Foxconn a Taiwanese conglomerate employing 800,000 people in mainland China including those working at the massive Shenzhen complex.

So instead of advertising the virtues of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Cisco, etc... shouldn't we scrutinize the shortcomings of Ideo, Flextronics and Foxconn?


How to negotiate for a win-win outcome

by Bruno Deshayes on 27 Mar 2016 permalink
Almost everything is negotiable except selling your mother in law to a slave trader.

Your strategy should operate on 3 levels simultaneously.

Information Do your homework and give the impression that you know more about the other person's background and needs than they know about your own history and requirements.

Time Give the impression that you have a rubbery deadline especially if you know the other person is caught by a given date. Your opponent can eventually be worn out by an unfinished business and can eventually give in for the sake of having the matter closed at last.

Power Give some vibes that you have more connections and authority than is really the case. If you have to take some risks make sure you are not the only one to carry the can but that some other partners are sharing the risk with you.

Being a consumer gives you ample occasions to practice your negotiation skills. Instead of walking in a store and portraying yourself as a buyer of goods think of yourself as an investor in technology. What's the difference? You are no longer purchasing an item - you are selling money!

Whenever the salesperson tries a test close on you like: "If you were to take this item home, would you like it in red or in blue?" Of course answering that question implies that you have already mentally bought the thing. They are softening you by shifting the major choice down to a minor choice. Introducing competition will drive your money further. Inadvertently mention the fact that you were tossing the idea of buying a new car or taking the family for an overseas vacation. Suddenly the salesperson is dragged out of his comfort zone having to argue the benefits of cruising in style as opposed to the benefits of experiencing a foreign culture and relaxing from the rat race. He might have to throw in a few extras fro free to tilt the balance in the favour of the car.

Playing dumb is a powerful disarming tactic. Pretending you have a poor grasp of the English language does wonders as every migrant knows or you can try stammering. Ask questions even if you think you know the answer. Asking the same question twice over a period of time may trigger your opponent to soften his stance and offer an alternative. When you listen hear what people say and also what is being omitted.

Never finish with an ultimatum. Don't try to corner your opponent with a "Take it or leave it" confrontation. Instead give the alternative of two options - one being so bad they'll pick the one you want them to choose but you don't want them to lose face.

Finally before you walk away with a great deal - ask yourself: "Was it a great deal for them too?" You never know when you might have to meet with those people again. If you leave behind a bad taste chances are you will pay for it the next time around which could be sooner than you think. Getting what you want doesn't need to be at the expense of someone else. Be creative and go for the top prize. Why not do business and make friends at the same time? Now that the power play is behind, you have a unique opportunity to make it right for both parties. Don't miss a chance to do good. Sow goodwill for the future you never know when it might become handy to call on an old associate's favour.


Interrupters interrupted

by Bruno Deshayes on 26 Mar 2016 permalink
In-your-face advertising is on its last leg. If you work in marketing it might be time to un-learn what you knew worked so well for so long and do something else...

Since the sixties magazine, radio and television advertising was based on the premise that you had to interrupt as many people as you could with your wonderful self-promoting message.

Cyberspace is pulling the plug on this cosy arrangement - now consumers are googling for what takes their fancy and the smart operators who offer real value are being found at literally no cost to them.

Marketers who want to keep a tight control on their corporate image risk isolation. What matters is being willing to lose control to let a good story spread.

Savvy consumers care more about what social media says about a given topic or brand than what a political candidate or corporation says about themselves.

People are shopping online in droves. Some may like to go down to the local shopping mall but only after doing their research on the net.

Journalists scan the net for bloggers in the know. The official channels of communications are being challenged.

Stakeholders don't buy your corporate gobbledygook anymore. Instead they send an email to your CEO. Some companies waste millions in market research but fail to capitalise on the wealth of trends and feedback that comes freely in their inbox from interested parties.

God has given us one mouth and two ears. It is time for marketers to use them in that proportion. The era of the marketing corporate monologue is over. Instead companies need to engage with their marketplace and it is being done in full view of everybody including your competitors (gasp!).

Corporations have been caught off-guard for ignoring pesky requests when in fact their customer service policies were being scrutinised in broad daylight unbeknown to them.

Today you can't pick and choose the image you wish to broadcast. Your corporate behaviour IS your image. The net is an excellent medium for investigative journalism. Any passionate blogger can get to the bottom of a corporate misnomer and blast the truth from the rooftop.

Even a champion of marketing like Apple got it wrong when they tried to cover-up issues with the iPhone 4 antenna.

Marketers had it so good for so long. Now it is the turn of consumers to call the shots.


Starting Your Own Home Based Business

by Bruno Deshayes on 25 Mar 2016 permalink
Adversity can be the best motivator but going off at a tangent is a real danger too. In order not to be out of kilter you will have to juggle 3 roles: the marketer, the engineer and the accountant. Most people who venture out on their own have either the first or second bias. Rarely would a beancounter start out into business except to setup a public accounting practice of course.

The questions you have to ask yourself are: Where would my customers come from? What unique product or service can I offer that would make me stand out from the crowd? How long can I last before my first sale? Do I need a second job to keep my cash flow until the business takes off?

Being your own boss requires the ability to critique yourself, question the obvious and investigate alternative routes. Let us review the 3 segments you have to balance:

The world is replete with great dreamers who are starving to death because nobody else caught on to the value of their dream. Unless you find customers - people who are eager to trade cash for what you offer - commercially, you do not exist. Women tend to have an advantage here because they are usually well connected through children at school, etc...Who will spread a good word for you? Will your Facebook friends turn out to be real friends or silly bystanders? Will you erect a sign by the main highway to drive a path to your door?

What is unique about my product or service? If you do not have a bullet proof answer to that question you are just a me-too, competing solely on price. Do what hasn't been done before. Do something people will remember and talk about. In the fast paced western world it's all about convenience and time-savers. People don't have servants (maybe they should) but they are happy to pay for someone to mow their lawn, walk their dog, do minor repairs in the house, wash their laundry, etc... is your business proposition bound to your geographical location or can you generate business from elsewhere?

Finally you are in business to make a profit. Your profit is the difference between what people pay you and what you have to spend to meet their expectations. Unless you keep a keen eye on the figures you have no way of knowing whether you are moving ahead or falling behind. Can you charge more for what you do? Can you spend less on what you have to buy? A sense of accounting will keep the dreamer's feet securely on the ground!

To find an online coach to set your business goals click here To find an online cashflow forecast and bookkeeping service click here


Desperate for purpose and significance

by Bruno Deshayes on 20 Mar 2016 permalink
Have you ever had a job interview only to discover that the employer spent the allocated 10 minutes only to focus on your negatives? The name of their game was 'last person standing' and in order to thin down a shortlist of 10 applicants they were quite willing to waste the time of nine people and humiliate them to pick that so-called perfect candidate who may only stay in the job for a short while...

People question "Can you do this?" or "Can you do that?" really treating you like a gizmo trying to see if you would fit with their style of furniture. I'd prefer if people ask me "Would you like to do this?" or "Would you like to do that?" implying "Would you be challenged and motivated by our corporate goals and would you like to walk some of the journey with us?"

Today's corporate goals pale into insignificance in the light of the values we had some time ago. Today's business ethos is like "Maximizing corporate profits (at the expense of customers, suppliers and employees if we can get away with it)"

20 years ago corporate goals were just like "To release our workforce full potential and be a beacon of strength and reliability in the marketplace as a result". In this by-gone era people had the concept of a social balance sheet. Employers took full responsibility for the welfare and professional development of all those who gave them their working life.

Large companies provided not just employment but also education, housing and health services. The human resources department was planning people's careers from teller to director. Promotion was awarded to acknowledge the good and reliable service of long standing employees. Newcomers had to prove themselves and did not bypass the ranks.

Then greed moved in and strikes took place. The unions demands pushed many manufacturing jobs offshore. Consumers bought foreign goods never questioning why they were cheaper than locally made ones. Nobody dared to say out loud that is was so because labour rates in third world countries were so low it was equivalent to slavery. (Child labour in India is still an issue).

To finish full circle now we are facing significant illegal immigration in the US, Europe and Australia supposing we could offload our labour market issues offshore. Only it's coming back with a vengeance.


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Bruno Deshayes


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