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AMAZON & AIRBNB – CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TO CUSTOMERS

AMAZON & AIRBNB – CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TO CUSTOMERS

Amazon has always had exceptional aspirations about customers, which marks it out from that of ninety-nine percent of companies, which if they are honest regard customers as a necessary evil – a damn nuisance, always expecting the earth, and not appreciating the niceties of company policies and procedures which sometimes get in the way of decent customer service. “One thing I love about...

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TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK, LOOK AT WHAT YOU DO!

TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK, LOOK AT WHAT YOU DO!

When I was coming back from Cape Town to Europe in April I browsed, as I always do, in an airport bookshop, and picked up Jordon B Peterson’s tome 12 Rules for Life.  It wasn’t what I expected. The book’s back cover prejudiced me against it: “He is becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star.”  When I saw Prof Peterson on a TV clip talking about gambling terminals in betting...

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IN PRAISE OF OUR LIMITATIONS

IN PRAISE OF OUR LIMITATIONS

I was struck this week by the juxtaposition of two quotations which are more profound than they appear.  “The difference between genius and stupidity,” said Albert Einstein, “is that genius has its limits.”  “Being of any reasonable sort,” says Jordan B Peterson, “appears to require limitation.”  Despite the intimidating company, I will add a third – “our limitations define...

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARGARET

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARGARET

Memoirs by politicians usually send me to sleep.  Imagine my surprise in finding an exception – and in an unexpected place – Margaret Thatcher’s The Downing Street Years. Oddly, the best, most revealing bit is the Introduction, which stunned me with its non-partisan clarity and audacity.     A Hundred Years of British Decline According to Thatcher, time in Britain may be divided...

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THE 80/20 WAY TO READ A NON-FICTION BOOK

THE 80/20 WAY TO READ A NON-FICTION BOOK

My tutor at Oxford used to set me weekly essays and give a long reading list of books and articles.  My first reaction was “how can I read all this in a week?”  His reply was smooth and fluent: “Read the Conclusion first, then the Introduction, then the End again, then flick through for interesting arguments or examples.  For goodness sake, Richard, don’t read the whole bloody thing,...

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A NEW WAY TO GET RICH

A NEW WAY TO GET RICH

Rarely it is true that there is a reliable new way to get rich.  Perhaps once in a hundred or two hundred years.  But I’m doing it and it seems to be true.  There are excellent intellectual reasons too.  So I’ll tease you with a romp through history – fascinating to me and I hope to you – before getting to the point. Networks have been great benefactors of humanity – but not...

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