Three people whose point of view of the world, I would like to see.

In no particular order:

1) Warren Buffett:  You could probably pick any major investor for this one.  I could go on Bing and pick some random one and go against the grain and pretend like I know biographies of other major investors like Icahn, Cuban, or Branson, but I’m not because I think Buffett is a cool guy.   I would like to see the pov of Warren Buffett because this guy can basically change the fate of a company (at least for the short term) at the snap of a finger.  Although I’m sure there are checks, balances, and adviser’s, I think Warren Buffett has the ability to literally say “Here’s 1 billion, 2 billion, 3 billion dollars, I believe your executives have the ability to make me money, so do whatever you want with it.”  Or he can sell all his shares, and drop the value of a company and scare everyone else who had invested in that company because they think Buffet knows something they don’t.

2) Bill Gates:  Gates probably works IN THE FUTURE.  I’ve never had the funds to be using all the coolest new gadgets.  Keep up to date with the best new programming languages.  Nor have the leading forward-thinking visionaries as my friends (or enemies).  Technology that I have now is probably what Bill Gates was using three years ago.  I usually only rotate my phones or laptops every 4+ years, and we all know how quickly these things get outdated.  It was incredible to me when I switched from my old android to a new LG G2, which was still a generation behind since the G3 came out months earlier.  I was amazed at how much faster, and how much more information the phone could handle.  I imagine Mr. Gates workspaces and home to be incredibly futuristic compared to my space.  Chances are, the gadgets the average household uses to him are what flipphones are to us.

3) Li Ka-Shing: He’s been battling Alibaba lately for richest man in China, but still he’s old school cool.  Alibaba could just be a fad, who knows.  But seriously, Mr. Li Ka-Shing basically owns all of Hong Kong.  Can you imagine owning utility companies, and more real estate than anyone else in a city like Hong Kong?  Not only that but Hong Kong is a pretty unique city.  I could pick a real estate mogul like Donald Trump, but it’s just not the same.  I mean Hong Kong is an enormous city that communist China needs to make huge efforts to maintain.  With all of the foreigners in Hong Kong, it’s probably the most Westernized City in China.  People in Hong Kong seem to think more freely, and not be bound by the same restrictions as mainlanders.  This is only going judged by the fact they don’t have internet firewall restrictions, and the fact a majority of Hong Kongers speak English.  This is HUGE for a Chinese city. 

With that said, Trump sees money from the perspective that he can just buy and buy and buy with some politics and good decisions thrown in.  Ka-Shing needs to delicately balance a highly controversial government with economic progress in a drastically changing environment.  On another note, his name just sounds like money going into a cash register… *Kaaa-Shiiing*

Delving into horror fiction: “Beak Breaker.” (Warning 18+, possibly offensive)

Just a note: this is a first attempt at a horror fiction.

—Beak Breaker

The steel cage was rusty gradually stripped away of its’ paint.  Perhaps the paint chips were a cause of the Macaws insanity.  They were trapped together, the Macaw and Amazon.  They were friends once.  Growing up they were about the same size, they had fun together clawing, and nipping at each others digits.  The Macaw was always gentle while the Amazon would constantly harass him for fun.  No retaliation, for the most part.

Something happened one day and the Amazon became more distant.  What was it?  Did something snap in the Macaw that only the Amazon noticed?

The abandoned home is dark, dusty, filled with webs.  They used to be in two cages.  They’re now in one.  The owner visits occasionally to place a handful of seeds in the cage out of guilt.  He doesn’t clean.  Their is a growing pile of seeds below the birds.  Who knows how long it will be before they suffocate in it.

***

The Amazon is clinging on to the side of the stage.  Looking, hoping for help, hoping to escape, to fly away, fearing.  The Macaw sits with its’ fecaled talons, and thinks “I just want to end our misery.  I just want to help, this is good for the both of us.”

The Macaws beak is mangled, destroyed from days of gnawing on the broken down steel cage.  He continues his routine.  He stares emptily into space as he hooks his beak onto the bars.  He’s built strength.  Strength enough to break his beak.  Strength enough to hook on and pull away with so much force that his beak cracks.  He does this daily.  He still feels pain, but it numbs over the hours.  The Macaw does it again.  He latches and pulls and pulls as the beak cracks and dangles. More cracking, crackling, breaking, crunching. He still has more than half of it.  This takes time, it’s not easy.

The Amazon lives in fear.  It wants to live, it wants its’ freedom.  The Macaw knows there will be no light.  He climbs over to the Amazon as it shakes and trembles.  “I JUST WANT TO HELP,” the Macaw blares as he digs a talon into the back of the Amazon.  They’ve become sharper than ever.  It sinks easily into the delicate Amazon’s frail body.  The Amazon doesn’t understand.  It only feels stabbing.  He can only shriek.  Shrieks heard by those nearby animals that can’t help.  Shrieks that scatter them.  Those bystanding animals don’t know what’s happening.  They only hear shrieks, screams, cries, yells.  It’s a sign of danger.  The best thing to do is to run if you’re an animal.

The shrieks end as the Amazon drops into the pile of seeds, and filth.  He’s in a better place now, he thinks to him self, as he hears his last cracking sounds of the beak breaker.

10 Reasons why the food industry should stop harassing Sysco/US Foods about their merger.

****DISCLAIMER**** This material is merely an analysis and opinions of the situation by the author.  The author does not work for Sysco, is not any sort of financial expert, nor does the author gather information from inside Sysco.  This material is not to be construed as assertions from any individual or member of Sysco.

Its no doubt that Sysco and US Foods are some of the top players in the food industry within the U.S.A.  Sysco has potential lawsuits, hate mail, and probably petitions going on trying to prevent them from attaining US Foods. Seriously though, just let it happen.  The fact is, there is much more going on that makes this M&A not to be feared.

1) It is a short term (maybe even medium term) solution to gain more volume rather than greater shares.  Of course the CEO’s goal is to attempt to please shareholders.  Nothing wrong with that.  It’s likely that this will also impact the medium term and long term as well, but will not eliminate certain difficulties in the long term.

In the short term, sales will increase.  But not how those suing Sysco probably think.  Sysco won’t be buying (mostly) new “customers.”  They’re basically buying sales on products they already have from the same customers they already have.  Chances are if a restaurant is buying from Sysco, they probably have US Foods on the side as a way to save on certain foods when Sysco’s prices may be too high. It’s not like they will buy US Foods, then suddenly have new restaurants at their front door buying all their products from them.  It’s more like Sysco already has all the restaurants at their front door, who are also buying US foods, but instead of just selling beef and chicken, they will also add sporks to the list of items sold to that restaurant, but the US foods salesman just happened to be good at selling sporks.

2) Much better off buying an ethnic food company or multiple.  With #1 said, there are plenty of other potentially more dangeous M&A’s.  For example, if Sysco wants a large share of NEW customers who will ultimately buy a great new line of products from them they should buy up a company like Wismettac Trading, and expand their product line to unique Asian goods (or other ethnic ones) rather than just stuff they already sell.  Let’s pretend Sysco already sells to all the American and Asian restaurants in a city, and so does US Foods.  Well if Sysco buys US Foods, they’re basically only getting a few more items, but if Sysco buys up an Asian goods company, they can also grab a huge share of the grocery stores as well, and there are LOTs of Asian food companies.  However Asian food companies still deal with the same issues amongst other Asian food companies.

Basically the tradeoff is whether they want to increase their product line to tons of items they already have and determine which ones they want to cut (see number 8), or increase their product lines to have unique products but need to figure out how to compete in those markets.  But Sysco is a pretty diverse company, it’s not something they would have difficulty in.

3) Still doesn’t change the underlying issue of restaurant owner behavior.  The food industry is difficult to compete in.  The greatest sales come from new restaurants opening up, or getting sales from new restaurants, and the “fad period” when every new restaurant has lines of people.  However this isn’t even reliable because customers lining up for one restaurant basically only means that the other restaurants are doing worse.  Basically if you’re already doing business with a restaurant, the best you can do is MAYBE get a share of sporks, or ketchup here and there increasing your overall sales but barely touching profits.  Not saying the profit doesn’t add up, but a competing company can just take those shares back a few months later anyways.

4) Other industries don’t worry about this.  Watson + Actavis dominating Pharmaceuticals with specialty and generic brands, Facebook and whatsapp dominating social networking, Blizzard and Activision dominating video games.  Seriously those M&As made those companies powerhouses.  I didn’t see lawsuits about that.  I’m sure there was controversy, but they still happened.

5) Better investments out there that would benefit long term.  Perhaps both companies should save their money, and invest in a long term solution that benefits the whole industry.  The huge reason for price competition is because the average restaurant customer doesn’t really care what they’re eating.  They don’t realize that they’re probably eating the same quality meat in their local dive hole in the wall paying 2.50$ for something that their “date night” restaurant sells for 6$.  The goal should be to invest in raising awareness of the general population.  Make a marketing strategy to get the general population to question what they’re eating.  Then maybe the purchasers at the restaurant may stop skimping, and focus more on quality.  This way the battle between vendors will be more about quality rather than pricing.  Of course this doesn’t stand true for ALL restaurants.  The fact is, companies that truly care about quality are probably buying from specialty vendors for products you can’t easily obtain.

6) Jobs will be eliminated creating fierce(r) competitors.  It goes without saying, no business needs two salespeople from the same company unless the restaurant is really THAT huge, and they need two people to handle different categories of products. Those are farrrrrrrrrrr and few between. Salespeople and managers, and drivers, and warehouse workers will undoubtedly be fired.  They will move over to other competitors and create more fierce competition for Sysco + US Foods.  Or they will change industries decreasing overall competition anyways which ultimately benefits the entire industry.

7) Turnover.  Let’s say through this acquisition, Sysco got every share of beef, chicken, and pork in the country, and beat out every local competitor.  Well how long is it before they run out of stock, and restaurants are forced to buy from companies selling at just pennies more?  Let’s say Sysco bought up ALL the local supplier inventories of pork beef and chicken.  What if consumers suddenly stopped eating pork?  Obviously they would lose the money they spent on all that pork.  There’s so much more to consider than just thinking “hey Sysco is going to be able to buy everything at the cheapest price possible.”  Just because they can doesn’t mean they will.  And just because they do doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  If they did buy up all the pork, then other companies just would stop competing in pork, and find another item to compete in.

8) Sysco is really just increasing their product lines to products they already have ultimately cluttering their catalog.  While certain aspects of Sysco may become more efficient (like not having to keep up with market changes brought upon by US Foods), they’re still going to have to invest in cutting workers (see 6).  They may cut warehouses, driving jobs, salespeople, and product lines.  Of course things like selling warehouses and trucks is profit for them, but they had to pay for them with the merger so how much are they really gaining?  To get back to the point of #8, let’s say Sysco right now has 3 sources for chicken in a given area, with US Foods, they’ll have 5 good supplier relations.  Is this really necessary? Does Sysco really want to improve relations with more vendors, then have to worry about which ones to cut out?

They’ll be cluttering their catalogs and there will be costs associated with deciding which ones to get rid of or keep.  Unless they really want to deal with 5 suppliers of chicken.  Or whether they just want to have the ability to buy chicken at .05$ cheaper from their current 3 suppliers that were also supplying US Foods.

9) Sysco has already acquired a bunch of distributors.  Just look at their acquisitions in 2013: http://investors.sysco.com/press-releases/Press-Release-Details/2013/Sysco-Completes-Four-Acquisitions-in-December-Apperts-Foodservice-Buchy-Food-Service-Central-Seafood-Distagro/default.aspx This one will probably have the largest impact, but it’s really not so scary.

10) New competition will arise… It’s just a cycle, let it happen.  Performance foods will probably become number 2.  Then another company will start, and then in 5-10 years Sysco will probably acquire PFG, then another will be acquired, and then another.  Eventually either Sysco will own all food distributors in the world or entrepreneurs will continue to give them a run for their money.

Personally I think people should support the acquisition as it could possibly pave way for greater innovation should other competitors become frustrated and realize a need to do something different.  Now unless Sysco is suddenly acquiring some great new technology that US Foods came up with that made their trucks more energy efficient, or food produced better, or certain highly valuable vendor relations that couldn’t be accomplished in any other way, this deal shouldn’t be getting as much flak as it is.

4 Things you should do before your next job interview.

Here are a few things I think can help on an interview.  There’s all kinds of information on the web talking about needing to dress sharp, firm handshakes, practicing for interview questions, blah blah blah.  Those are all pretty important, but I’m going to reiterate things I think are important.

1) Be grateful even before the interview.  You’ve been unemployed, or underemployed, or employed seeking new opportunities, or bored, or whatever.  Not every company is going to give you the greatest benefit and a huge salary increase.  They are taking time out of their day because there was something specific that caught their eye.  They could be interviewing another MBA student or brilliant scientist, or closing a million dollar deal or something else important.  However, they were willing to take the time out of their day to schedule a meeting to hear you out.  They didn’t need to, they could have thrown out your resume or application, but they didn’t.

2) Visit their website.  There is so much you can learn about a companies products, values, and whatnot on their website.  They tell you what kind of jobs are available, they probably have a huge rundown of what your job will be.  The website will tell you about new and upcoming products, and it’ll even probably give you hints about the type of image you need to possibly have.  Are they a company seeking diversity?  Are they a company looking to expand?  Are they a company that’s more of a laid-back casual company or corporate?  This is stuff you can learn just by visiting the website.  Although there are some exceptions.  Plus this gives you stuff to talk about.

3) Look up their earnings reports on seekingalpha.com.  A friend of mine gave me this advice before I had my first interview with a fortune 500 many years ago (I didn’t get the job, but the experience was interesting speaking to the manager).  It is the one piece of advice that has always gotten me a good “response” from the interviewer regardless of whether I got the job or not.  Basically every 3 months (quarter of a year) all major companies need to put out an earnings report where the big important C-level execs talk about strategies, plans, losses, gains, and every piece of important information you will need to know about their business.  They are presenting these reports to huge investment companies like Goldman Sachs so that they may acquire more funds.

You are going to interview to work for a BUSINESS.  You need to know about the business.  The information in these reports are extremely valuable.  Visiting the website is basically like seeing the cover of a book, and the synopsis about the back.  You know what it’s going to be about, and you can kinda judge the theme.  The quarterly report is basically like reading the highly detailed sparknotes, but they must go hand in hand if you don’t want to look like you just “looked at the sparknotes” like you did for your highschool book report.

4) Read through as many articles on success by your favorite business people.  Branson, Icahn, Mark Cuban, Buffett, Bill Gates.  Whoever your favorite is, is probably going to have an impact on the job you’re trying to get.  Maybe you’re trying to get with a huge film production company, then maybe you’ll be looking more towards James Cameron, or if you just want to be a pitchman, then you could look to a bio with Billy Mayes.  These articles will help you focus on what you want.  You could sit in your room and go over possible interview questions, but those articles will help motivate you to do better, and help you zone in on things that are important to you.  The interview should be as much a learning experience for you as it is an opportunity.

5 Ways Japan can possibly begin turn around its’ aging population.

First, I want to make it clear, I am not Japanese, I only ever worked for a Japanese company, I have never been to Japan, and I have only ever watched a couple Animes, and only know about Japan based on information I find online, specifically as it relates to this topic from Wikipedia.  Basically I’m talking out of my *** on this topic.  Aside from that, I’m sure they’ve already begun executing many strategies that are much better than mine.

It’s no secret Japan has a declining population.  What this means is that there are way too many old people, and not enough young people having babies which means it’s possible that Japan may be one of the first civilizations to go extinct in the next 200 years or so.  Ok maybe not that extreme, but you get the point.  It’s a major concern.
Here are some ideas (some possibly good, some terrible, maybe all terrible, who knows) that may help.  The whole idea is to get more people to have sex and want families.

1) Create more sales jobs.  Sales people need to be outgoing, aggressive, and understanding.  This is great for getting men and women to meet each other.  Keep the jobs requiring high integrity, throw in high commissions with a fairly easy to obtain cap so they don’t need to sacrifice their family life.  If the commissions are high, people may WANT to work 24/7.  The cap makes it so that they can slow down a bit once they hit that easy to obtain commission and focus on other things.  Plus they’re more outgoing meaning they’re more likely to meet other people.

2) Put out more anime focused on marriage.  According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aging_of_Japan it seems that people are shunning tradition of marriage.  From what I’ve read, Japanese children and even adults love their anime.  There has to be some great writer that can write a cool anime revolving around getting married and how great it is to get married and have kids.  I’ve watched very few, and perhaps they may even be out there, but it’s good to have this influence.  If they are out there, or older, try to “respark” interest in that anime.

3) Invest more in “family films.”  Perhaps their needs to be something more romantic in terms of family films.  People may shun it because they don’t like the idea, but maybe if it’s romanticized the youth may appreciate it more.

4) Get businesses to have more “family” events.  It seems common that Japanese work culture makes it seem the employees live in the workplace.  This is probably a cultural/social issue that can’t just be changed easily.  Perhaps try the strategy of using the workplace as an extra place for their families.  Bring their family to work more often, get families involved on business trips, company events.  This may cost companies more money, but the government needs to get involved if the nations people want to multiply.  Those within the company who are single may even feel more pressure.

5) Create a “family e-dating” website.  Perhaps the younger generation isn’t going to go on a dating website.  But maybe their parents who want to force their kids into marriage and dating can play matchmaker themselves.  Sort of like an arranged marriage, where families get to create a dating profile for the child they want to get married.  The families then date each other before telling the kids how great they may be for each other.  Maybe this would make for awkward first dates, or young adults who may refuse, but if the young aren’t “getting it on” and getting married, maybe the adults need to get their feet wet.

Maybe China isn’t so oppressive and anti-capitalism after all?

In the USA, any little form of censorship we have seems to be considered oppression by those who are over zealous about the freedoms we have.

News puts on a story about parents getting angry about a teacher pushing their political or religious agenda?  Oppression, let the teacher say whatever he wants they say.  Person getting arrested for creating a rally disrupting business, families, and potentially stirring violence?  Oppression, it’s our right to protest they say.  Government sometimes harasses potential terrorists to protect the greater good; whom they have collected significant evidence to prove them guilty?  Oppression, they aren’t guilty until they’ve committed the act, they say.

This isnt oppression in my opinion when I think about what other countries face.  Back to the topic title, I used to think China prevents freedom by blocking websites like Facebook, and Google.  I know one major issue is they are limiting information.  Purposefully suppressing what the general population can learn.  I used to think that was the only thing, but then I thought, what if its not all about that?

What if China is just trying to protect its’ own economic interests for their greater good?  Lets say China had allowed Google, Facebook, Yahoo, SoundCloud, Twitter, and the others all these years.  They wouldnt have all of their social media platforms like WeChat, or QQ.  No Baidu, and no Youku.  Maybe Alibaba wouldnt have formed.  Ok maybe they would still have them but I think a huge amount of the users would have switched to American social networks and search engines.  This would greatly impact their domestic and national production (just a guess here).

So maybe China isn’t just an oppressive country after all; looking to keep its citizens from educating themselves.  Maybe they just need to do it to maintain economic strength in the face of powerful western influence. Maybe they are capitalist themselves without even realizing it. I mean, don’t American corporations and businesses also limit their employees internet access? I know there’s a major difference between a business organization of a few thousand employees, and an ancient, evolving civilization, but from an economic perspective, their goals can be linked.

After all, studies have shown that their students are pretty “book smart,” maintaining great test scores. I dont think you should take my word on that by the way, I think you should go Bing it.