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Simran Gill » Business

Posts Tagged ‘Business’


ArticlesReviewsBook Review: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

I felt this book had some merit, but it was not a particularly enjoyable read:

  • Published in 1923, and considered a Wall street Classic
  • Based on the life of Jesse Livermore, but almost entirely devoid of his personal life.
  • Starts out terribly boring – following his trades through the bucket shops is painful – though it picks up pace as he moves through his career

I’m someone that inherently focuses on fundamentals, and this helped to get an insight into the mind of a speculator. It is worthwhile reading if you are interested in financial markets. This book is part of an enormous and ever-growing body of support showing that nothing is new in finance; all the boom and bust cycles, financial crises, and scandals only prove how short our memories are.

90% of what is written in the book is relevant today(Rules change, game remains the same), though somehow I found the other 10% to be the most interesting. You can definitely pick up on a Gatsby vibe, though, as mentioned above, most of the focus is strictly on the trading.

Rating of 3.0 stars
Book rating: 3.0 of 5.0 stars


ReviewsBook Review: Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

foundersatwork1What makes this so enjoyable is that there are 30 very different stories that are told. I would get to the end of one chapter, and be anxiously anticipating the next.

There is a tech bent to the book (some chapters are quite technical and will bore the non-tech crowd), but if you are interested in what happens at a startup, this is a great place to begin.

Writing this review makes me want to pickup the book again – I highly recommend it.

(You may have noticed that all the reviews showing up are 4-5 stars. It’s because these are the books that come to mind as I populate my review database. Bad books are not memorable, unless they are really bad)

Rating of 5.0 stars
Book rating: 5.0 of 5.0 stars


ReviewsThe Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America


Compiled of excerpts from his annual reports over 20 years – This is an excellent read.

Get the truth on value creation, all flavoured with his Omaha charm.

Rating of 5.0 stars
Book rating: 5.0 of 5.0 stars


ClippingsCharlie Rose with Jamie Dimon

First Post in a long, long time.

An excellent 2 hour interview with the CEO of JP Morgan – A man who seems to be everywhere now due to the purchase of Bear.

Part I:


ClippingsHow to get Rich – From J. P. Getty

John Paul Getty was kind enough to provide three simple steps to becoming wealthy:

  1. Get up early every morning
  2. Work hard every day
  3. Find Oil.

While we’re on the topic of Getty, I’ll include another of his gems:

The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.


ArticlesDarcy Rezac on Networking

Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Wosk Centre for Dialogue

This last Thursday I attended a workshop put on by the Vancouver Board of Trade. It was hosted by VBOT managing director Darcy Rezac. Rezac is the author of “The Frog and Prince: Secrets of Positive Networking“.

First off, I would like to make note of the event’s facility; It was held at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. It is a beautiful facility – by far the nicest conference room I’ve been in before. If i’m remember correctly, it is the same room that housed the recent visit of the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Shirin Ebadi (all Nobel Laureates) to Vancouver. You can’t enter the room without being reminded of the UN.

Mr. Rezac’s presentation was informative – Often when management topics are being discussed, much of the content can seem obvious, but I think the value is in identifying patterns, and actually taking the care to write down the findings. Much of the value is found in actually taking a critical approach to a skill that we may take for granted.

Some of the topics that I found particularly interesting included the concept of “networking buddies”, his exploration of “Social Capital”, and his demonstration of the academic study of human networking, internal networking, and, finally, the imporance of Stories.

Networking Buddies

When heading into a networking environment (conferences, dinners) set explicit guidelines for you and your networking buddy: Create signals for when you want to be rescued from latchers; Make sure the other person knows to introduce themselves if you don’t introduce them first; Use Glowing Introductions as a way to let others know about your buddy (it creates a positive first impression that would seem obstentatious coming from them).

Social Capital

This is a concept that has been addressed quite a bit in blogs I’ve read. Mr. Rezac concluded that successful people are presented to opportunites through their networks, and that the value of their networks

Academic Study of Networking

This lead to the identification of supernodes – those among us that serve as connectors and catalysts. Research has shown that a introducing a small degree of randomness into a ordered network, increases the proximity of the connections throughout the entire network. The randomness was in the form of indivduals that maintained slightly above normal “connectivity” or networking ability. The moral of the story is that you should identify the supernodes, and get close.

Frog and Prince
Frog and Prince

Internal Networking

Networking does not begin outside your own organization – the importance of networking within an organization is often more important that outside. Rezac differentiated between political connections and effective networking.

Importance of Stories

Stories provide fuel for effective networking – People are naturally drawn to those who are good storytellers.


There were more, but you’ll have to buy to book to find out

One of my concerns after the event was Network Maintenance – What do you do when your network is too big too handle? The answer is that it doesn’t get too big to handle.

I’m in Calgary and Edmonton for the next week – see you all there.


ArticlesOprah is not a Business Leader

update: Canadian Headhunter has responded to this post here

I’ve just come accross Harvard Business School’s database of great american business leaders (although I did notice there are some Canadians included) – and I was immediately drawn to the banner on the page.


At the end of the banner, Oprah Winfrey is pictured – and it is her picture in particular that was of notice. I was suprised that they would include Oprah, because I don’t consider her a business leader – I consider her a Brand. This opinion was formed a couple years ago, when I read a Fortune magazine article where Patricia Sellers wrote:

She (Oprah) happily admits that she cannot read a balance sheet.

Is it justified to dismiss her as a business leader because she cannot read a balance sheet? To acheive what she has acheived takes many skills, she definately has ambition, knows how to relate to people, how to sell, and how to manage – she is clearly a remarkable person. How can I logcially dismiss her a business leader?


The thing that I can’t stand is that she is happy to admit her lack of ability. She runs a billion dollar organization, and is happy that she cannot understand the heart (at least in my opinion) of the business. By not knowing the financials, she is unaware, and vulnurable. The worst part, however is that she lacks any motivation to better herself as a business leader, by becoming aware of the financials, and expanding her knowledge of her own organziation. I think a key trait of business leaders is that they are progressive, and want to expand their abilities.

I think that Oprah commands respect for many things (especially getting millions of people to read), but being a business leader is not one of them.

On the other hand, Martha Stewart, despite all the ruckus going on lately, is someone I do respect as a business leader. She has many of the same traits as Oprah, but also has a deep knowledge of how business is run – I think she is paying far too great a price for mistakes, but that is another story. Martha and Oprah might be comparible in terms of the media empires they have built, but as business leaders, they are on a different level.