One-Way Trip to colonize Mars? How realistic is the Mars-One Project?

 

Mars One project 2017
Mars One Ambitious Timeline and missions to MARS

 

  • Mars One (Official Website) is a non-profit private organization HQ’ed in Haarlem, Holland (CEO and founder, Bans Lanslop & CTO, chief technical officer, Arno Wielders). Their plan is to organize a one-way trip of humans to Mars by 2027. As of 2017, they have selected about 100 finalists from a pool of 20,000 applicants, who will be potential explorers on MARS.
  • They estimate that MARS ONE project will require a budget of $ 6.0 Billion dollars and they plan to raise the funds from investments, sponsorship, and broadcasting rights.  This project is comprised of a wonderful group of people with a big drive for space exploration, an essential part of human survival over the years. Throughout our existence, exploration has been an important part of how humans have survived and maintained life on Earth.

Testing, Planning, and Timeline 

  • Testing will be done in Iceland to mimic the conditions of Mars. Iceland is the best place that comes close to Mars conditions especially the topography and soil content in the country. They plan to get there by using Space X, Falcon Heavy, which is scheduled to land on Mars surface by 2026. From leaving the Earth to Mars surface, it will take about 7-months to make it to MARS. Mars one Project plans to travel in 2027. This means that it will have to depend on Space X’s Falcon Heavy, to even come close to traveling to Mars.
  • Critics from the Experts:
    • NASA scientists and engineers are very skeptical about the timeline and how qualified Mars One Project can accomplish their mission. Mostly, NASA thinks that they are and will not ready at all by 2027.
    • NASA thinks that there should be a choice to come back should explorers want to at some point of their exploration. However, the CEO and the CTO of Mars One Project objects to that idea that it would simply add costs and be counterproductive. Their project aim is to colonize Mars by allowing first settlers to explore and live on Mars forever. They are simply not backing up from their projects.
    • According to the management of the project, the most important thing is to explain and give all the details to the finalists describing all the risks associated with the project so that they can make final decisions about a one-way trip to Mars.

Challenges ahead of this ambitious project

 

Space Mission to Mars 2017
Conditions on Planet Mars

 

  • Conditions on Mars: 
    • MARS has no known water location (as of October 2017), no food, extremely lower temperature ( -63 degrees Fahrenheit average ), low gravity (half of earth’s gravity) and extremely low pressures. Explorers will have to find a way to deal with all these conditions and right now there is not enough knowledge and technology to deal with all the above obstacles. Settling on Mars is going to be a tough challenge because of high levels of U. V. radiations, which can cause cancer to first settlers and shorten their lifetime there.
    • Key to survival: Access to water to sustain life. There is also no oxygen for breathing and they would have to find water so that they can decompose H2O into O2 molecules for breathing. All of these important essentials are still missing and unknown even though the project is 10-years away from launching supposedly.
    • In order to live on Mars, we would need huge advancement in planetary science and genetic engineering to sustain life on Mars. They would also need to warm up Mars to make it habitable.
      • Nuclear option (pump lots of CO2 into Mars atmosphere and wait for it to warm up from -80 degrees Fahrenheit to -25 degrees Fahrenheit).
      • Create a thick atmosphere of CO2 to block UV radiations from the sun and find some form of H2O.

 

Mars One Project Set up 2017
Setting up a human colony on Mars by the Mars One Project

 

  • Overall Assessment (As of October 2017): 
    • This is a very ambitious project and will require lots of funds, technology, and lots of stakeholders to take this project from a dream to a reality.
    • Funding: This project has to raise about $ 6.0 Billion USD, and they have to come up with funding sources. Can Investors, sponsors, and TV broadcasting rights fill the $ 6.00 Billion dollar gap? I don’t think they will.
    • Relying on Space X: Mars One will need Falcon Heavy ( Space X rocket) to transport humans and their gears to Mars. Without Space X, no travel to Mars. Space X plans to have Falcon Heavy ready to land to Mars surface in 2026. Can they achieve this? and even if they did,  will Mars One have enough resources to go the year after? At this point, it does not look like they will have them.
    • One-way mission: The project leaders are quite fanatic and honestly a bit absurd. Why send humans first without an opportunity to return? Why not start with robots and let them do preliminary work such as finding water sources and locations. That way, humans who follow can have a higher probability of succeeding? Do Robotic exploring first and then humans later.
  • NASA Mars Mission 2017
    NASA’s realistic approach and timeline to MARS Exploration mission
    • NASA Skepticism: NASA is the only institution that has successfully landed on Mars Surface with “Curiosity Rover”. Mars One should listen more if NASA tells them that they are not ready from a logical, ethical, and practical standpoint. Mars-One targets to have 8-colonists by 2030. Is this a suicide mission as NASA predicts? We can only count on the future to see how Mars One project goes.
    • From my point of view, this is an extremely ambitious project and they are NOT ready yet. They are very fanatic and don’t seem to have all the needs nailed down to turn this “dream project” into a reality. Maybe they have some serious inspiration, but I highly doubt they will ever make it. If they do a good job, they will send robots there. You would have to be quite #dumb to go on a one-way mission to Mars without a choice of returning. Mars-One 100 finalists seem to have (partially) decided to take on this challenge, but I do not think that they know what they are doing. Lot of them are not even astronauts. They will have to learn and train to be astronauts. As one finalist says, their pride to be “first settlers on Mars” will override any pain. Essentially, claiming that we have one life and it seems to them that it is worth it to use it in order to make this world a better place.
    • For more information about Mars One Project, see their official website and connects with their social media to follow up on their updates. The Guardian published a good article about Mars one Project.
  • For more excellent information on Space Explorations and NASA missions to Mars, check sources below.

 

 

Bitcoin: Is Digital Cryptocurrency rising or is it a bubble?

 

BitCoin 2017
Bitcoin World. Digital cryptocurrency. Is this the currency of the 21st Century or just another upcoming bubble? Combining Internet of Things, technology, and encryption of your personal data.

 

Bitcoin has been making lots of appearances in the news lately. Some people are against it and think it is a complete scam while others think it will be the future of currency around the world in the 21st-century digital revolution. I have spent some time researching about what it is and how it works. Overall, it looks very promising and interesting. Although I still don’t understand it, I like the idea of allowing people to exchange goods and services without relying on third-party banks to facilitate their transactions.; partially or completely phasing out banks and governments.

Will Banks and governments allow it to work? Only the future will tell.

Prominent business CEO’s have publicly opposed to Bitcoin and are very convinced that it is a fraud. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, thinks Bitcoin will blow up and advises people to stay out of it. However, other prominent business CEO’s, who used to be prominent skeptics, have just started investing in Bitcoin. Mark Cuban, another billionaire, just started investing in Bitcoin, which shows that there is potential for this digital currency to work in the future.

For any currency to operate, three main things are very essential.

  1. Trust: People who use the currency have to be convinced that it is worth using it to exchange with the price of goods and services. Right now, Bitcoin is a currency on the internet. As long as people think it is valuable, it will still work. The moment that trust is gone, Bitcoin becomes worthless and all people who own it, lose their money. This is why Bitcoin is extremely volatile, which scares the banking industry.
  2. Financial insurance/backing. Other currencies such as $$ or euros are insured by the central banks around the world. In the States, Federal Reserve ( The Fed) ensures the public that whenever any bank fails, The Fed steps in to reimburse people’s money in checkings and savings accounts. This creates trust with the people and keeps the banking system intact.  In Europe, the ECB ( European Central Bank) plays the same function as the Fed in the States.
  3. Quality and quantity of the money supply. With our regular currency system, central banks regulate how much money can be in circulation and they do their best to make sure that nobody else can print out ” hard cash” except them. Bitcoin has this provision but since it is a digital crypto-currency, any hacking or modification of the source code can cause real danger without a central regulator to avoid “fake bitcoins”.

The main issue with Bitcoin is that it lacks the financial backing from any central banking institution. Thus, the moment people don’t believe in the system or some cybersecurity issue ( hacking, source code error, etc) happens, Bitcoin can easily lose its value overnight, which is extremely dangerous and unsustainable.

What is Bitcoin and how did it come about? Banking on Bitcoin, Netflix series

Bitcoin was invented by somebody who called himself, Satoshi Nakamoto but chose to remain anonymous. To this point, nobody knows exactly who the real Satoshi is. The idea of Bitcoin was conceived and programmed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The inventor, who happens to be a computer scientist interested in cryptography, was frustrated by the failure of banks in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and thought he had a way out. His main purpose was to provide an alternative medium of exchange for goods and services without relying on central governments and banks to issue currency in form of money.

In its infancy, BitInstant was one of the popular companies transferring bitcoin currency into regular dollar money. In the end, the company got into troubles after it was discovered that BitInstant was facilitating drug dealers to sell drugs online and helping drug lords to convert bitcoin money into US dollars. The company’s CEO, Charlie Shrem, went to jail for two years, but he is out of prison ( as of now).

Bitcoin Cash 2017
Translating bitcoin cash into regular cash. A way that traders are using to make $$ right now.

At some point, there was a Bitcoin Center in NEW York City, right in front of Wall Street. This center along with another prominent company, MT. GOX acted as Bitcoin exchange, where people were buying and selling their bitcoin values with real money. In its original source code, interestingly enough, there are only 21 million bitcoins, but each bitcoin can be divided into one million pieces as described by the sole-programmer in the code. To this point, nobody knows who owns the source code. Another key concern for Bitcoin due to hacking. What if some genius hacker discovers the source code, and figures out to increase or decrease the number of bitcoins as they see fit to their interest. What if they wipe the whole system down all-together? The Bitcoin system can collapse overnight. The issue of volatility is of a great concern in Bitcoin exchanges around the world. The CEO of MT. GOX, Mark Karpeles, is serving a 10-year jail sentence for losing about 500 million dollars in Bitcoin transactions.

Challenges with Bitcoin Industry, now and in the future.

Regulation and dealing with failures: 

  1. The New York administration issued Bitlicense application, a set of regulations, intended to regulate the industry. However, big players in the industry disagreed with them and found them too restrictive and overwhelming. This Bitlicense prompted Bitcoin Center to close down its operation in New York City. Luckily, the industry is still alive and well. Its future is both challenging and interesting at the same time.  See the share price of bitcoin from 2012 to 2017 ( graph below).
Bitcoin Share over the years Price 2017
Growing from a nonexistent currency in 2012/2013 from $0 per share to about $ 4,000 per share. Bitcoin is on the move. Wallstreet and Silicon Valley are rallying behind this mysterious currency.

 

  1. When MT. GOX Inc, one of the companies handling more than 80% of all Bitcoin exchanges, filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after losing half a trillion dollars. This was 6% of all bitcoins in circulation. Lots of people “lost trust” in bitcoin, but the industry has rebounded back its good days as shown by the graph above.
  2. Dealing with Banks and governments
    1. Bitcoin Center Foundation was set up to address potential issues with using bitcoin. Abiding by regulations, educating the public and making sure that the bitcoin platform is not a safe heaven for money laundering from the drug industry.
    2. Banks and governments are getting interesting in the Bitcoin platform and it seems like they would want to control it if it emerges an alternative to regular currency ( dollars, euros, pounds, etc). One would assume that they will probably fight against it especially because it will take away some of the financial power that they currently have.

Bitcoin share price 2017

Bitcoin Share Price starting from $1,000.00 in January 2017 to $4,000.00 in October 2017. Is this a bubble or just massive interest in Bitcoin?

Overall Assessment of Bitcoin and its future potential  

Digital Cryptocurrency is going to be involved with the Internet of Things and the next technological revolution that we are going through. We started with hard cash, then electronic cash, and the future will be some form of digital cryptocurrency for sure. This progress is inevitable and it is just a matter of time before cryptocurrency takes over maybe. The good news is that Bitcoin is opensource, so everybody can use the technology and modify it as they see fit to facilitate the needs of customers. This is a block-chain technology that can be incorporated into WallStreet. Governments and Banks want to be in charge and control the system. Wallstreet and Silicon Valley are already embracing it. The government has stepped up with regulations to monitor the system. Silicon Valley and venture capitalists are backing it with their money to make the system better. In this digital and personal data revolution we are experiencing, I have no doubt that some form of digital cryptocurrency is the future of money that people around the world will use to trade with each other, eliminating heavy reliance on banks and central banks. Can they allow it to flourish? or Will they still want to control it? Only the future will tell. 

If you liked this article, share it with your friends. Subscribe to my blog if you want to get a notification whenever a new publication is out. Thank you

Your finance nerd, Didier Champion!

References

JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, on Bitcoin: Bank executives betting on Bitcoin shorting and betting on the failure of Bitcoin.

Mark Cuban, billionaire, and CEO of Dallas Mavericks, investing in Bitcoin: Rich business putting the money where they see potential

Netflix documentary on Bitcoin: Banking on Bitcoin: A comprehensive and a good overview of how Bitcoin came to exist on Netflix.

Bitcoin Center Official website in New York Center: This website will give you a good overview of what is going with Bitcoin around all the exchanges around the world.

MT. GOX, financial troubles and losing a half trillion dollars, big setbacks for the Bitcoin Industry.

Bitcoin Share Price since its inception: Share Prices and trading.

Dave Ramsey on Bitcoin system 

What is Fintech? Early Bitcoin founders along with the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto ( Nick Szabo & Hal Finney)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a pride knowing that my vote counts too!

As a 27-year old, this was my 2nd time participating and voting in the Rwandan presidential election. My first time was in August 2010, and my voting station was in Little Rock, AR in the United States. 7-years later, I voted at Kaiserslautern, Germany. There is a sense of pride that comes with casting your vote and knowing that your voice matters as a Rwandan, regardless of your physical location. I cannot describe a sense of belonging I felt knowing that I am one of the first Rwandans, probably in the top 1% to cast their vote for the candidate who is going to be the president of Rwanda for the next 7-years.

During my time here on earth, there have been 3-presidential elections. The first one was in August 2013, and back then, I was just a little boy. I was just starting out middle school and could barely understand the seriousness of what was happening.  The second election was in August 2010, and I had just finished my first year of college. Although I was mature enough to know what was going on and voted with pride, I don’t think I understood the seriousness that comes with voting and choosing the president of Rwanda as much as I do now. A few days ago, when I voted, I can tell you that for my third election, I understand why I have to vote and what is at stake whenever it comes to voting for the president of Rwanda.

  • Knowing that I am voting for a candidate who is going to lead Rwanda for the next 7-years, and continue to sustain Rwanda economic development in the years to come.
  • Knowing that I am choosing for a candidate who will maintain peace, security, and continue to ensure our nation’s sustainable development.
  • Knowing that I am voting for a leader who will inspire the young generations, lead Rwandans by example, and encourage them to stay united, work together, think big as Rwandans deal with challenges ahead.

My impressions of the 2017 presidential election in Rwanda

The only presidential candidate who fulfilled my conditions was none other than President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Whether you agree or disagree with him on running his third time, what matters most is he is liked by the majority of Rwandans. He has changed the game. He is a visionary leader, and a great CEO of Rwanda, Inc. Under his leadership, Rwanda has gone from being a failed state, politically and economically to a stable and peaceful country, in what the international community calls an “economic miracle“. The truth is that there was no miracle performed, but simply Rwandans inspired by their leader, who came together to build a new nation, a united and peaceful Rwanda.

 

Basically, when his time was getting close, he was asked by the shareholders ( Rwandan people) to stay and continue to be their CEO ( president). Through a national referendum and a constitutional process that took about two years, the shareholders agreed to extend his term and he graciously accepted the offer to continue leading the company ( country ) again. Whether you agree or disagree with him, there is no question that he is loved by the majority of Rwandans. That is the reason why he was able to attract huge crowds of people and won the election by a landslide ( 98.63% of votes).

As a young voter, I am so proud of the participation and the enthusiasm of young voters in this 2017-presidential election.  Previously, young voters used neglect voting and would stay home on the election day. But this time, it was different. All of the sudden, voting became a “cool” and “class” act. I was very surprised to see all social media (Facebook, Instagram, and others) filled with photos of young Rwandans showing their ink, proving that they had cast their vote. The hashtags such as #RwandaDecides were trending all over twitter. This is very important and promising for the future of Rwanda. According to the Rwandan National Electoral Commission, 45% of registered voters were young people under 35. In addition, 26% of all voters were first time-voters. The more involved the youth is, the more they grow up paying much attention to what is happening in their country and wanting to become involved and participating in their nation’s building.

Rwanda has come so far, and every Rwandan should be proud of our amazing country. We voted peacefully ( no fighting, no rooting, no fear of businesses closing down in the wake of elections). In the end, the Rwandan people made their voices heard loud and clear. I am hoping that the next 7-years will bring more prosperity to all of the Rwandans, working together, and striving for excellence in what we do. #RwandaDecides #ProudCitizen

 

Rwanda 02
The Kigali Convention Center, currently the flagship of the nation’s capital. It is a sign that Rwanda is ready for business and represents progress.
Rwanda Business 2017
Kigali-Centre Ville or downtown Kigali.
Rwanda 10
The nation’s capital at night. It never sleeps.

Thank you so much for this reading this piece. I hope you have enjoyed it. Consider subscribing to my blog in order to stay up-to-date whenever I publish a new piece. Feel free to share with your friends if you think they would enjoy it too.

Until then, much love and respect.

Didier Champion

Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

Articles about Rwanda

  1. Rwanda: An economic miracle.( Sources: Talent to Africa)
  2. Rwanda: The unfinished miracle ( Sources: Nytimes.com)
  3. Talk Africa: Rwanda’s Economic Miracle ( Youtube: CCTV Africa)
  4. Rwanda the Heart of Africa ( Youtube): Rwanda U never Seen on TV
  5. Welcome to the beautiful Rwanda 2017 ( Rwanda the heart of Africa)
  6. Rwanda: Africa’s success story or authoritarian state? ( Al Jazeera Youtube)
  7. Talk to Al Jazeera ( Youtube): Paul Kagame, Rwanda has its own issues.
  8. To use on my blog (Rwanda the heart of Africa): Nice Promotional video
  9. Kagame seeks lasting economic miracle for Rwanda ( Source: Financial Times)
  10. Rwanda’s economic miracle ( source: national review)
  11. Business Opportunities in Rwanda ( Source: World Bank)

 

 

The Truth Always HURTS! President Macron Harsh Truth on African Development Issues

I have seen so many reactions from different people about the response that President Macron gave on the best way to develop the continent of Africa at a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. If you have not seen it, I encourage you to watch it, especially if you are African or care about international development in Africa in general.

Many Africans accused President Macron of being racist, sexist, and patronizing when he answered the journalist question about what would the Marshall Plan for Africa look like and what role France would play in that. Below is my 2-cents about what I learned from his response and a detailed analysis of all the ideas outlined.

  • Idea 1. To develop Africa, you need more than a “Marshall Plan”.

President Macron says that Africa needs to fix some of her main issues first before asking more aid. The main issues stated are:

  1. Political instability and unstable governments.
  2. Lack of cooperation among countries with regards to illegal trafficking of people, leading to mass migration, drugs, and illegal arms included.
  3. National fundamentalism and terrorism.
  4. Poor family planning.

His opinion on the Marshall Plan

  • For the Marshall Plan to work, you need to ensure durable peace and security first.
  • Marshall Plan will not and cannot work for African countries if the above issues are not resolved or reduced to a minimum first.

After World War II, Europe was devasted and received the equivalent of about 150 Billion dollars from the United States (adjusted for inflation in today’s dollars) for reconstruction. This plan jump-started the European economy and after a few decades, the European Union and other European countries were back on their feet as a major economic bloc and trade partner of the United States.

Macron points out that throwing money at Africa has never worked and he strongly disagrees with this model that has been used for over 60-years. According to World Economic Forum, Africa has received around 1-Trillion dollars in aid and has done a little to lift African countries out of poverty. Clearly, doing this over again would be a huge mistake. It with will never work.

  • Idea 2. Cooperation between African countries and G20

President Macron acknowledges that peace and development should go together and African countries a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of their population. He points that a few countries who have maintained peace and security have marked outstanding economic growth, which shows opportunities for other countries. Rwanda and Botswana are good examples.

  • Idea 3. What is needed for economic growth and development

On Africa’s side,

  1. Good governance
  2. Eliminating corruption
  3. Democratic and peaceful transfer of power
  4. Better family planning

To ensure sustainable development, we need

  1. To ensure peace and security
  2. Investing in education, and public health system
  3. Infrastructure development
  4. True cooperation between African government and G20 countries
  5. Public and Private sector engagement

Idea 4. Understanding Macron’s response from his background

 

Macron2017
Former Investment Banker, and currently President of France

 

Before becoming President of France, President Macron was an investment banker. What do investment bankers do? They are trained to invest their capital for a profit. Before investing their funds, they have to do a detailed financial risk assessment and hope for a good return on their investment. Unfortunately, the 1-Trillion dollar capital invested on the African continent did not yield much return, and as a good investment banker, he is looking change frauds before investing more of his nation’s capital. Can you really blame him? In my humble opinion, no!

If you were an investment banker and had invested a Trillion dollar capital in Africa and had returned as little or no profit as the aid package given to Africa in 50 years, you would have to be the worst investor in the whole world. In the end, you would not only get fired but also, you would be lucky not to go to jail.

My own assessment

Overall, President Macron gave out the pure harsh truth that many agencies in the international development arena choose to ignore. However, for us Africans, we already know these issues. We deal with them in our daily routines: corruption, insecurity, you name it.

It seems to me that many of my African brothers and sisters seem to be irritated by the rhetoric of President Macron. His “tone” and a few of his “word choice” were simply arrogant. You can sense the complex of superiority that France usually expresses on its former colonies. However, as much as I hate to say it, the underlying message is sadly true. He literally dropped the mic in our faces. What frustrates me, even more, is that we have allowed these countries to talk to us like a parent talking to his/her kids. We have become way too dependent on them, both financially and politically. We better get our acts together before it is too late.

  • How many times do you see African leaders running to France to discuss a peace deal after a presidential election in a lot of former French colonies? We have seen examples in Ivory Coast in 2010, the Republic of Central Africa in 2012, Burkina Faso in 2015, and the list goes on.
  • What message do we send when our African leaders cannot sit together to discuss our own issues but have to run to Paris to plead their cases in front of their master (France)? It is shameful and we have played a big role in feeding their superiority complex.
  • Look at the mass migration that Europe has to deal with because of our African brothers and sisters blindly running to Europe hoping for that “magic” better life? These are the issues, we Africans, should be trying to solve, not relying on the Europeans, ( who have their own issues themselves), “to save us”.

Although I can understand the frustration of many people about a few sentences such as African problems are “civilizational”, whatever that means, or the “7-children per woman statement”, which is untrue and exaggerated in all honesty. I think the overall response is mostly correct and I wish that our leaders would strive to change our continent situation so that NOBODY CAN TAKE IT TO THE STAGE TO HUMILIATE AND LECTURE US ON SOLVING OUR OWN ISSUES.

Honestly, it makes me sick and I am tired of it.

With love and respect,

Didier Champion

Thank you

 

Exploring Luxembourg in the Eyes of a Finance Nerd (Grand-Dutchy of Luxembourg)

After postponing the trip for 3-times, I finally went to visit Luxembourg city, the capital city of Luxembourg. This is a small country situated between France, Belgium, and Germany. It has about 600,000 people and its surface area is approximately 2, 600 square miles.

 

After driving for 2-hours to get there, my plans were to sight-see the city, hang out and relax. To my surprise, I found out that there was a marathon going on upon reaching there. The whole city seemed to be partying and having a good memorial saturday weekend. I did some explorations and visited a few main sites I wanted to check out. I love small cities and Luxembourg made my top list for sure. It is very beautiful topographically and lots of history to explore especially around the summer. What an amazing city, very French and English friendly too.

 

Competitive Economy

The country is visibly very wealthy.  Like any finance nerd with my interests in business and finance, I could not help but learn about how such a small country is able to generate large amounts of money. Luxembourg is the 2nd wealthiest country on Earth when looking at GDP per capita ( the average income per year). After Qatar, Luxembourg comes 2nd with an average GDP per capita of a hundred and two thousand dollars ($ 102, 000.00). However, unlike Qatar, this country is landlocked and does not have any mineral resources.

You have got to admire the people of Luxembourg for their innovation and creativity in the service and financial sectors. Their economy depends on these two sectors heavily. They have attracted remarkable foreign direct investments. Big international banks, and hotels along with the tourism industry have made this small country what is today.

 

  • 86% of the country’s economy comes from the financial and services sector.
  • The European Investment Bank, which is the financial institution of the European Union is headquartered in the heart of the city.
  • The country is one of the international banking centers of the world. After the United States, Luxembourg has the 2nd largest investment fund, with $ 4 Trillion (with T) worth of investment assets. Remember, that is $ 4, 000, 000, 000, 000.00 (serious amount of money!).
  • Luxembourg investment portfolio is rated triple AAA by all the rating agencies (Standard Poor, Fitch, and Moody).
  • As a future investment banker and a venture capitalist, working in this country would offer some good skills in business and finance. Their financial sector is rock-solid and they seem to know what they are doing for sure. What am I waiting for?

 

Education, Healthcare, and Taxes

  • Luxembourg offers free primary and secondary education for all of its citizens. The university education is also subsidized at the University of Luxembourg, the only public school in the country. Students pay about 400 euros in first two semesters and 2, 200.00 for other semesters. All undergraduate students are required to do one semester abroad upon graduating with their bachelor’s degrees. Bilingual education in French/English & Dutch/German are also offered.
  • As many European countries, Luxembourg offers “free” healthcare to all citizens through a single payer healthcare system. They have one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. Apparently, all citizens have the right to choose their doctor, specialist, and hospital. This sounds too good to be true until you notice that they have one of the highest life expectancies in the world too: 85 years old. Their healthcare system must be legit and solid.
  • As you can imagine, they have a big tax rate. Personal income tax is about 42% on average. This sounds very high of course, but if your education and healthcare costs are covered, what else are you looking for? It sounds too high for me, but it works for them. Their social security for retirees is quite generous and with 85 years of life expectancy, they should be fine.
  • Corporate Tax is around 20%. Very generous tax rate probably to encourage big banks to set up their headquarters in the city and attract foreign direct investments.

 

World War II and Horrific Past

Thirty minutes away from the city, there is a National Museum of Military History in Diekirch. Due to its geographical location between France and Germany, this country was the center of some of the most life-threatening battles in world war II: notably the battle of the Bulge in Winter of 1944-1945. Lots of American lives lost in this part of the world, reminding us of a very horrific past. There is also an American Cemetery and Memorial, 3-km away from the city where lots of World War II American troops are buried. Some roads, in the heart of the city, are even named after US presidents and world War II American generals for their help to restore the city in difficult times. Luxembourg was invaded by the Germans in 1940 and was forcibly made part of Germany by 1942. However, in September of 1944, part of Luxembourg was restored and by December 1945, the whole Luxembourg was restored and had become an independent state again. Luxembourg is a member of NATO and is part of the Benelux countries along with Belgium, and Netherlands.


It was fun visiting and learning about Luxembourg. Lots of things to do around the summer if you are an outdoor person. Lots of nice restaurants downtown. By far, the best African restaurant ( outside of Africa) I have been to. I ended up eating too much that the waitress asked me to finish what I had first before ordering more. I will definitely come back. By the time I finished, I was ready for a nap.

 

2017-06-03 12.43.42
West African Cuisine in Luxembourg [Face2face Africa]

 

 

I hope you learned something new today.

Until then, stay on top your ( personal ) finances.

Peace and Love

Didier Champion

 

 

Sam Walton: The Bargain Billionaire

Sam Walton is considered as one of the most influential businessmen in the American History. His business philosophy (from the beginning) was built on selling things cheaper, which changed the way that people shop not just in the Unites States, but also around the world. Born from a poor family, Walton learned from his father how to work hard and make money even in difficult times. Like his father, Walton’s secret was to make a small profit for every transaction that he makes. This biography describes how Sam Walton started from being a small shop owner to a billionaire retail mogul.

 Walmart Founder 2017

Figure 1. What an amazing entrepreneur to learn from: From a small shop owner to a large company owner.

In his childhood, we developed his leadership skills and decided that he was not going to work for anybody. In high school, he played as an outstanding quarterback and he was the vice-president of his junior class. At home, he would help his family in the business and he would sell milk after football practice. After graduating from college with an Economics degree, he worked as a retailer at JC Penny store where he earned only 75-dollars a month. After marrying Helen Walton in 1943, he was called to serve in the army in World War II. When the war ended, he came back at home where he had to figure out how to raise his family.

Walton started his business with 25, 000 dollars (20,000 dollars was a loan from his father-in-law and 5,000 dollars was his own).  He started his own store, “$5-$10)”, in Bentonville and after 3 years, he had already paid off his loan. The secret of his business was to buy goods cheaply and sell them at cheaper prices compared to other stores. His business started to grow quickly and took out a few bank loans to expand his business. In 1962, he started his Wal-Mart store in Bentonville, Arkansas and in only 8 years, he had 32 stores in Arkansas. One thing that helped Walton’s business to grow faster was that he sells goods cheaply and he was very good at competing with his main competitors. Mr. Walton also knew how to build a good reputation of his store because he was involved in different charity work to help the poor get health care and education around different communities that his stores served. He set up a full-scholarship to 180 American Indian students each year and he was involved in various charity programs to help poor people across Arkansas.

In 1970, Walton was heavily in debt, so Walmart went public and offered its first IPO, putting his business on the market to revitalize his company. Many of the shares were bought by his Wal-Mart employees. The stock market boosted his revenues and finances so much that 5 years later; Walmart had expanded to 120-stores in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. Many small businesses started to close their doors since Wal-Mart was a big competitor and they started to complain about Wal-Mart lower wages to employees, but Walton renewed his company wage plan, which helped Wal-Mart to be successful through the courage and hard work of all its employees. His employees describe Walton as a generous, inspiring, but also a very demanding man.

In 1982, Walton started to be involved in politico-economics issues such as buy America, which helped American businesses to compete with international businesses on the market.  Walton was recognized by President H.W. Bush for his outstanding work and won the “Medal of Freedom Award”.

Walmart store 2017

Figure 2. Walmart Store Photo

Walton’s success is not just an amazing story, but a good example of what entrepreneurship is all about. A good entrepreneur must be both hard working and ambitious. Entrepreneurs have to make sure that their businesses satisfy people’s needs and their business needs to care for people’s concerns through social responsibility. In the end, his hard work paid off big time. He left his family with huge sums of money and there is no doubt that his legacy will endure from generation to generation. The Walton’s family is one of the richest family in the United States and in the world, thanks to one man vision to provide for himself and his family after coming back from world war II. In 1962, Walton started with only 25,000 dollars. In 1992, the total revenues were 44-billion dollars across the country with around 700-stores. Today in 2017, Walmart is worth around 230-billion dollars. His legacy will stay around for generations and by using his money as a seed, he sure ripped all the benefits for his family, investors, shareholders, and customers. If you are an entrepreneur or aspire to be one, be like Sam Walton.

Walmart Logo 2017

Figure 3. The company motto.

 

If you enjoyed this brief summary and would like to keep up with many more articles, please subscribe to my blog. Thank you

Didier

 

Private Equity Investment Firms ( Role models)

 

Equity Firms 2017

  1. David Rubenstein: ( Net-worth: $ 2.5 Billion ), Co-CEO and Co-founder at Carlyle Group.
    1. Political Science,  Duke University
    2. Law Degree, University of Chicago
  2. Carl Icahn: ( Net Worth: $ 15.1 Billion),  CEO of Icahn Capital Management.
    1. Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Princeton University
    2. ( Medical School dropout, NYU, Medical School)
    3. Joined the army, and then to Wall Street
  3. Henry Kravis: ( Net Worth: $ 5.0 Billion), CEO of KKR &co ( Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts).
    1. MBA, Columbia Business School
    2. BA in Economics, Claremont College
  4. Stephen Schwarzman: ( Net Worth: $ 12.0 Billion), CEO and chairman of Blackstone Group.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. Interdisciplinary majors, Yale University
  5. Michael Bloomberg: ( Net worth: $ 48.1 Billion ), CEO at Bloomberg.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. Bachelor of Science in Engineering, John Hopkins University
  6. Leon Black: ( Net worth: $ 5.9 Billion ), CEO at Apollo Global Management.
    1. MBA, Harvard University
    2. BA in Philosophy and Arts, Dartmouth College
  7. Aliko Dangote: ( Net Worth: $ 12.0 Billion), Dangote Group.
    1. Business Studies and Administration, Al-Azhar University ( Egypt).
  8. African Billionaires: ( Lots of Nigerians, South Africans, Egyptians, a few Algerians & Moroccans, an Angolan and a Tanzanian).
    1. 25-Africans are billionaires, according to Forbes.
  9. Mohammed Dewji: ( Net Worth: $ 1.2 Billion, CEO at METL Group)
    1. Education: Bachelors in International Business and Finance, Georgetown University.
    2. Tanzania, and East-AFRICA.
  10. Robert Smith (Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners): 2nd richest black American, after Oprah.
    1. Net Worth of $3.0 Billion and about $27.0 Billion under management.
    2. Education:
      1. MBA, Colombia Business School
      2. Bachelors in Chemical Engineering
    3. His Laws of Success
      1. Develop your mind; 2. Trust yourself; 3. Know your self-worth; 4. Act on your intentions; 5. Dream Big; 6. Be committed to your career; 7. Find your drive; 8. Enjoying figuring things out; 9. Perfect your craft; 10. Develop grit.
  11. Kase Lawal ( African-Billionaire and an international businessman).
    1. net worth: $ 3.0 Billion.
  12. Howard Marks ( Chairman and CEO of Oaktree Capital Management ).
    1. Net worth: $ 2.0 Billion.
    2. 40-years of experience in investing.
    3. Bachelors of Arts in Finance from Wharton School of Business, and Masters in Accounting from the University of Chicago.
  13. Didier Champion:  ( Net worth: Soon to be), Unknown as of 26 April 2017.
    1. MBA, with emphasis on international business and Finance
    2. MBA, with Emerging Markets and Finance

As I read about these amazing businessmen who have accumulated lots of wealth during their careers, I am amazed at how successful you can be with your hard-work and determination.  It is true that the majority of these Forbes 400 started in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. However, they all worked hard and got very fortunate in their respective careers as they progressed. Surprisingly, they share lots of similarities with being successful in their careers. Lots of these specialize in leveraged buyouts and private equity.

  1. Education: All of them were educated in their fields. They knew a lot about their ventures before they invested in them through constant learning and past employments.
  2. Diligent and their niche: All of them described that they did not do what everybody was doing. They looked out for what nobody was doing at the time and got really good settling in businesses where they would have a competitive advantage.
  3. Love their work/Enthusiasm: They love what they are and were doing that they were willing to put in lots of more work to be successful.
  4. Being successful takes time: Almost all of them have been in the business for 30-40 years. It takes a good amount of time to make money especially these amount of money.

When asked about the managers that he looks out to hire, CEO Henry Kravis describes what they prefer when hiring:

  1. Smart and intelligent people (not necessary genius, but those who know what they are actually doing).
  2. People with the highest ethical standards: ( Those with integrity, courage, and commitment): The three things he lives by.  very important.
  3. Those who are creative and can stand-up to the CEO: ( are NOT afraid to voice their opinions)
  4. Diligent and are NOT afraid to take tough questions.

As a businessman or entrepreneur ( according to Henry Kravis),

  • You can never use excuses because at the end of the day you have to be accountable for your actions.
  • Always believe in your goals and stick with them: If you cannot trust yourself, who else will.
  • Be honest with yourself and others.
  • Whatever you do, give it your best effort.

My personal homework and takeaways

  1. What is a leveraged-buyout? Every CEO kept mentioning it, but I have no idea what it means. Study and learn about it.
  2. I have a feeling that this is really what I want to do with my life in the long term.  It would be fun to be a venture capitalist and focus on developing countries on the African Continent. Is there a difference between a private equity ( vs venture capital) firm.
  3. If you want to be rich, business is the way to go. You can never be rich while working for someone else. Start working on the roadmap of my career.
    1. May-2017 to June-2020: Learn as much you can about business: finance, venture capitalist, private equity firms.
    2. June-2019 to June-2020: Choose an MBA or business-related programs in the States.
      1. MBA with focus on Corporate Finance/Financial Markets
      2. Masters of Science in Finance on Emerging Markets
      3. Investment Strategy for Private Equity/( Mergers and Acquisitions)
    3. Finish business school by May 2022 and work for others from 2022 to 2030 for 8-years. At 40-years, start a private ( venture capital) firm in emerging markets ( preferably on the African Continent). Invest in the ( African ) Energy Sector.
  4. In the future, it is going to be interesting to see the technological impacts on education, health care, financial services, and Law & Government. The impact of companies such as Uber vs Lyft, and Airbnb.

Private Equity 2017

Doing Business in Africa

  1. African youngest and promising entrepreneurs: ( By Forbes Africa).
  2. Raising money on the African Continent: ( Linkedin).
  3. Successful people in African Business: ( By Forbes Africa).
  4. African top 40 richest people ( As of 2011, Forbes Africa).
    1. More updated lists of Billionaires in Africa.
    2. If you want to become rich, you have to go into business. Check out top 50 richest people on the continent. They are all in business. You never going to be RICH working for someone else. NEVER.

 

Causes and Effects of Land reform policy and expropriation in Zimbabwe

The current crisis that Zimbabwe is experiencing has devastated the livelihoods of its urban population and created extreme poverty in its towns. From the 1980s, housing policies had made it extremely difficult and expensive for low-income residents to comply with the nation’s legal housing requirements. However, during the 1990s, these policies were tolerated as poverty increased and this created a lot of shanty towns and many cases of what the Zimbabwe government calls “informal employment”.  In 2005, the government implemented “Operation Murambatsvina (‘Restoring Order ’)” in order to eradicate “illegal” housing and informal jobs that negatively affected many poor urban residents and the country in general. This resulted in a crisis where nearly 700, 000 people lost the basis of their livelihood: either their jobs, homes, or both. 

According to the state, this drastic policy was necessary to eradicate illegal housing and informal employment, but given the economic stability of a developing country like Zimbabwe, there is no doubt that there were other reasons behind some economic and political. In this research paper, I will present the influence of the authoritarian regime in worsening the living standards of the urban areas by exploring the causes and effects of the land reform policy that lead to the Zimbabwe crisis in 2005.  By focusing on showing how this policy has affected the economy of Zimbabwe and how unjust this policy was implemented and executed in the situation of Zimbabwe, I discuss how lack of collaboration/cooperation between urban low-income people and policy makers can be a dangerous act especially when enforcing policies of planning in urban areas. Indeed, I will suggest a comparative approach of confronting this issue using the example of Rwanda where the similar policy seems to have worked.

Amartya Sen is an economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, and for his interest in the problems of society’s poorest members. In his freedom and development theory, he proposes that the only way to attain freedom is through development. His theory states that the purpose of development should be to sustain growth. According to Sen, in order to achieve of development; there must be the removal of the following: poverty, tyranny, and lack of economic opportunities, social deprivation, neglect of public services, and the machinery of repression. Indeed, he argues that inequality is basis of famines and other severe crises.

In his paper, “The Zimbabwean Crisis and the Challenges for the Left”, published in the Journal of Southern African studies, Brian Raftopoulos analyzed the Zimbabwean crisis by setting up and combining historical aspects of land distribution from the 1980’s from various authors to show how the authoritarian regime of Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, has played a major role in implementing policies that ravaged the economic growth of Zimbabwe since its independence. He attributed the crisis as a result of the lack of democratic and a collection of human rights violations of the regime and dictatorship towards its own people (Raftopoulos, 208). Raftopoulos points out that because of its influence of the ruling party in the liberation struggle that lead to the independence of Zimbabwe in the 1980’s, ZANU PF, has used that pride to represent itself as the only protector of “national interest, patriotism, and authenticity” (212).  This has resulted in a political coalition with other opposition parties such as MDC, regarded as a foreign white creation due to its critics against biased and unprepared policies implemented by Mugabe’s regime. In most cases, these policies were established to punish areas where MDC had a lot of supporters. However, most importantly, a set of these policies have negatively affected the economy of Zimbabwe at the point where unemployment rate was 80% and hyperinflation that resulted in the abandonment of the Zimbabwean currency in 2009 (217).

The outcomes of “the operation Murambtsina” were so catastrophic that the world had difficulty interpreting its negative impacts on the population.  By eliminating illegal housing and informal jobs in the capital of the country, Harare, the government of Zimbabwe thought that it would restore the order in their city. However, this policy worsened the quality of life in Harare. During and after the operation, 700, 000 people lost their homes and/or the livelihood of their resources and 2.4 million people were indirectly affected (217). Moreoever, land distributions displaced approximately one million farm workers and their families (217). In 2000, a large amount of land owned by the minority of white commercial farmers was settled to approximately hundreds of thousands of black Zimbabweans who lacked experience and professionalism in farming. They started selling their farming equipment since most of them were subsistence farmers and the agricultural production reduced significantly (Potts, 214). Therefore, these farmers could not maintain the intensive and industrialized farming of the white owners. The previously large exports of industrial crops such as tobacco, cotton, soya and horticultural production consequently reduced dramatically and the income derived from these sources couldn’t significantly contribute to the national economy anymore (216). Indeed, this leads to a total loss of about four hundred thousand jobs of workers who worked in farms (217). As a result, all these factors resulted into a high depression. According to the World Bank and IMF, from 2000 to 2007, the national economy of Zimbabwe contracted by as much as 40% and inflation was extremely high. There were persistent shortages of hard and fiat currency, fuel, medicine, and food. Indeed, the GDP per capita dropped by 40%, agricultural output dropped by 51% and industrial production dropped by 47% (Potts, 287).

In her paper, “Restoring Order, Operation Murambatsvina and the Urban Crisis in Zimbabwe”, Deborah Potts used results released by different agencies and non-governmental organizations through the ZNAC (Zimbabwe National Vulnerability Assessment Committee) and the PASS survey as well as other research centers to show ineffectiveness and the consequences of the operation and the associated injustice during its execution. Potts briefly discussed Zimbabwean economic history where she acknowledges Zimbabwe as one of the most economically stable countries in sub-Saharan Africa with only 25 to 30 % of people below the poverty line in the early 1990s. 10 to 15 % of the urban population in the HDAs was identified as poor, but they had access to potable water and electricity (Potts, 274). However, by 2003, statistics shows that 51 % of the Zimbabweans are below the poverty line and 57% of urban population in the HDAs is extremely poor without access to clean water and electricity as well as the cost of urban health and education services become extremely expensive (Potts, 274). Therefore, the government established “Operation Murambatsvina” in order to solve disorder in the cities by focusing on focusing on illegal housing, and informal jobs.

Due to the injustice and unfairness of this so called, “restoring order operation”, people’s health was severely compromised. People ended up losing their shelters and jobs, which created extreme levels of poverty and lots of health issues. For example, HIV/AIDS patients were left sleeping outside or forced to move to rural areas and abandon their medicines since doctors could not followed them up (278). Instead of reestablishing the order as the government officials predicted, it created more chaos than before including, violence and extreme conditions of poverty. Statistics showed that only 20 % of those displaced had temporarily moved to rural areas and many others were living by roads or moved into churches (280).

Zimbabwe is not the only country that has recently had to deal with urban land reform. In fact, many developing countries in Africa are trying to build and transform their cities into modern cities. Currently, Rwanda is also dealing with this problem, but so far the process has been excessively successful. This is because through education, the population understands why the city needs to be modernized: attracting foreign businesses and investors for the stable development of the country.  Indeed, those who are misplaced by the city’s policy are expropriated and compensated fairly. While many could ask what went wrong with the land distribution in Zimbabwe, the freedom and development theory of Sen provides a perfect understanding of the Zimbabwean tragedy.  According to Sen, any kind of development plan should be implemented in the way that reduces poverty by creating more economic opportunities as well as involving some kind of negotiation and collaboration with the population. However, in case of Zimbabwe, none of these methods were used during the process of urban reforming. People’s homes were destroyed without fair compensation and they were forced to move into rural areas. Before the restoring order, the government knew that 85 % of city households in HDAs (High density areas) were living off of informal jobs (288). However, they blindly destroyed people’s jobs without setting up strategies to compensate their jobs. Clearly, Sen would criticize the Zimbabwean policy makers since they claimed to establish development by increasing poverty and diminishing the opportunities to the majority. Indeed, Sen would also claim that this so called order was unjust and biased because the government didn’t negotiate with its people in order to reach some kind of agreements. These assertions explain why this policy worsened the situations instead of solving problems it was supposed to encounter.

Indeed, this shows how this policy was implemented with a great deal of injustice. At the beginning in the 1990s, when people were moved into towns of Harare, the capital city, the government did not stop the migration or ban the construction of illegal houses and illegal jobs, which means it wasn’t people’s fault. Therefore, during the restoring of order in 2005, people should have fairly been compensated for their property in order to avoid tragedies in the aftermaths.

Perhaps, Zimbabwe should have adopted the method that Rwanda is currently using to organize Kigali, the capital of Rwanda into a modern technological city. From 2005, the city adopted the “Kigali master plan”, which is a planning scheme to transform Kigali into a modern technological city. This means that the city has to move people in order to make sure that all the construction follows the master plan. Unlike Zimbabwe, the process of expropriation in Rwanda is done in ways that provide fair compensation to the displaced population. In order to do make this possible, private companies buy land to the government, and then, the government negotiates with the population on the prices of their property to receive compensation according to current costs of materials and labor. In many occasions, people are given choice of where they can build their new houses compatible to their economy or they can choose other selected places as long as it matches what they can afford (Ilberg, 5). Therefore, once people are moved, they could find new places, which facilitated the expropriation into a smooth process. In this way, as the government negotiated with people and this created a level of freedom that Sen states in his theory. Indeed, because the government has managed to encourage private real estate companies to be involved in this process, the population gets a lot of benefits and this creates new economic opportunities for the population. This shows how the Rwandan government has carefully implemented this policy to organize the city and to facilitate its development.

Raftopoulos and Potts did a good job at explaining and clarifying reasons for the crisis of Zimbabwe through the evidence of their work and their research on operation Murambatsvina. Their research provides us credible information because they collected data from NGO’s and agencies that researched on the land distribution issues for about 20 years. Initially, this operation established to demolish informal settlements and informal employment in cities ended up sinking Zimbabwe into an economic depression. During their research, these authors found other unfair factors that pushed the government to embark on this policy such as punishing followers of the opposition party, MDC, for voting against the ruling party, ZANU PF. Most importantly, this shows why it is important to think about the capacity of the population when implementing policies. Originally, this policy was not a bad one, but the conditions and the process in which it was executed had extremely bad consequences not only on the policy makers, and the people, but also the whole country in general. High inflation resulted into health issues, education, and the shrinking of the national economy in general. In order to deal effectively with this land reform policy and expropriation, policy makers need to establish strategies to fairly compensate those who are misplaced in order to increase opportunities and maintain development of the people.

Bibliography

[1] Potts, Deborah, “’Restoring Order’? Operation Murambatsvina and the Urban Crisis in Zimbabwe, Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 2006), pp. 273-291

[2] Raftopulos, Brian, “The Zimbabwean Crisis and the Challenges for the Left, Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 2006), pp. 203-219

[3] Ilberg, Antje, Technical Advisor for German Development Service (DED) at Kigali City, June 2005 – February 2008, Introduction beyond Paper Policies: Planning Practice in Kigali.

The Google Boys: Larry Page and Serge Brin

The services that Google, Inc are one of the things we take for granted today. In fact, 20-years ago, you would have had to know every website you want to visit and type in exactly to access it.  There is no day that passes by without using any of the google services (youtube, google maps, google search engine, and many others).  As users, we get to use all these services for free, and Google makes their money from advertising services that they offer to different businesses, companies, and enterprises. Although they have received lots of backlash for tracking our online behavior and invading our privacy, I would say that it is a fair game for most users. I have used google to apply for jobs, internships that have shaped my career so far. I use it every day to search and look up everything I need whether I am visiting a new city, or looking for services  I need. No doubt, without google, my life would be very different and I would be honestly screwed. In this blog, I am taking you to how Google, Inc was created by two graduate students at Stanford University. We can all learn from their entrepreneurial spirit, their inventions, and most importantly their persistence and hardwork.

This video describes the starting of what is known today as Google, which is an internet search engine. The story starts with a research conducted by two P. h D students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their research was focused on data mining, which is a process of analyzing data from a different perspective and summarizing it into useful information.  At the beginning of their research, their purpose as P. h D computer scientists was to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful to the world. Therefore, they ended up building the internet search engine known as Google today.

The two genius brains behind google: Serge Brin and Larry Page

After the completion of their project, they decided to sell their project/software to other companies that existed at that time such as Yahoo and Microsoft, but it did not work because those companies responded that they were not interested and that their method of searching information on internet was good enough. So, Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to start out their own company. The way that Google works is that they have a way of searching and downloading information from all world wide websites and sending information back to their superpower computer, which makes it available to the public. The company started growing because of its fast and easy internet search: in 1998, the company had 38-employees and was receiving 3-million queries a day, a year later; it received 16-million a day.  As the company grows, it started to find other investors putting their money into the company to grow and to stay on the top of other companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft. They started signing deals in China, Japan and Europe to expand their business. In order to improve the company performance, they introduced new methods of making money such advertising and at the same time the company started hiring new P. h D students as employees: By the year 2007, the company had about 10, 000 employees and received 100-million queries a day.  Now, one third of Google’s revenues come from advertising.

I have so much admiration for these two nerds who changed the way we search for information on the internet

In 2004, the company was brought to public (Marketing) and it receives a lot of awards such as the academy’s Golden Award. For competition issues, other companies such Yahoo and Google started buying and introducing new search engines to compete with Google, but Google stayed at the top because of their new discoveries: online advertising, other service like Google map, Google earth, and Google phone. After the company became larger, Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired a new professional CEO to manage Google.

This project of these Google boys has a lot of connections with what I have personally learned in business and finance courses. For example, how Larry Page and his partner developed a research based on the public needs of accessing information easily because the search engines at that time were complicated and ineffective. After the company expanded, the Google boys started to publicize their product (Marketing) in other developing countries and started to find many investors. In addition, when other companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft noticed the progress of Google, they started developing and introducing their search engine to compete with Google (competition). In this video, I was also able to notice the role of ethics and social responsibility in business. In the interview given by Larry Page, he explained that recruited employees are those who not only are talented and intelligent, but also those who can fit the work environment of Google: independent research study and social friendship. In addition, when the company was growing, the founder of Google decided to hire a professional CEO to help manage the company’s wealth. This shows how management is a big part of business.

Finally, Google is now a well-respected company because its influence on the whole planet. The company has been successful since it is making a lot of money. At the same time, it creates jobs not only to founders, but also for Americans: its shareholders, customers, and investors. Today in April 2017, Alphabet, the parent company of google in worth around 550-billion dollars, which makes it the second most valuable company in the world. It also helps the public to get easy access of information on internet thanks to two hard-working computer scientist entrepreneurs Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Thank you to Larry Page and Serge Brin

It is hard to think of my life without google today. All the information I need is just a “search and click away”, thanks to your genius brain of yours. I am and will be forever thankful.

With respect,

Didier Champion