Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain 

A Simple Guide to Understand Blockchain with a Real World Analogy

Everyone is talking about Bitcoin these days, from your barber to your friends working at stock market. Don’t worry this article is not about several other articles talking about making money from Bitcoin. However, I will try to help you understand the underlying technology which makes Bitcoin work and how this concept of blockchain can be useful in the coming decades.

Historical Overview

October 31, 2008, a white paper from an anonymous person or organization named Satoshi Nakamoto was published which explained a novel approach to send money from sender to receiver directly without involving any financial intermediaries. The paper gave a name to this concept — Bitcoin. Since, Bitcoin uses some underlying concepts of cryptography, this new way of exchanging money was categorized as cryptocurrency. The only purpose of Bitcoin was for financial transactions but researchers realized that its foundational technology can be harvested to build other secure and robust applications that can revolutionize the way current systems work. “Blockchain” was the name given to this foundational technology. Lots of technical words? Let’s simplify!

What is Blockchain? — A Real World Analogy

Let’s imagine that you live in a city, which has a big parking space to park 200 cars at one time (assume that the parking space just has a ground floor). This parking space has a main gate which stays locked and is only opened when a car moves in or out. Now let’s analyze this single parking building from different points of view —

  • Price: Since some private company built this parking space exclusively for parking purposes and all the maintenance cost will be beared by the owner company, there will be a high renting fee for renting out a single parking space.
  • Security: If thieves get access to the main door, they can easily get to your car (take its wheels, or fuel, or damage the brake, anything!)
  • Limit: What if the number of cars in your city grow from 200 to 300? The parking space will not have enough space for all cars and some other private agency will have to built a new parking space.
  • Trusted: You trust the parking space company and they are responsible for taking care of security and reliability.
  • Centralized: Since all the cars are in one building, we can consider it to be a centralized parking.

Now, let’s modify the current scenario. Imagine that there are 200 houses in your city and all 200 houses have two garages each. However, to simplify our explanation, let’s assume each house just has one car (all cars filling up all the slots of big parking space described above). So, each house has one empty garage out of the two garages available. Now, let’s say people of the city decide to rent out the extra garage to anyone who needs a parking. This model of providing parking space will solve the problem of parking 200 cars or more cars (in case people move in and out of the city) without the need of building any central bigger parking space for the entire city. Similar to the previous scenario, let’s analyze this scenario —

  • Price: Since people didn’t built the second garage exclusively for renting purposes and the cost of maintenance will be little, the cost to rent that extra space will be low comparatively to the big central parking space
  • Security: Each car is locked in a different garage therefore thieves will have to unlock all the garages to get access to the cars, thus providing more security. (Security in blockchain is a bit different but for simplicity let’s consider it this way for now!)
  • Limit: As the number of houses grow, assuming each new house also has extra garage space, the space to keep more cars will keep increasing. Thus, increasing the network of lessee and lessor.
  • Trustless: Since, no central authority controls these distributed parking spaces, we assume that there will be certain rules set by all the participating garage owners for renting out their places.
  • Decentralized: As mentioned in the previous point, these parking spaces are distributed throughout the city, we can consider it to be a decentralized parking.

The above analogy provides the foundation for understanding the actual technical infrastructure of the Blockchain.

Parking Model to Technical Model

The parking model presents a very basic overview of Blockchain in some real world language. Now, let’s try to match the components of our parking example to the actual technical model —

  • The big central parking is a centralized system like AWS, Google Cloud etc. (these cloud platforms are also distributed at some level but for the sake of simplicity, we will assume them to be a single entity).
  • The cars are the data and applications.
  • The distributed parking is a decentralized system — Blockchain.

Wait! We missed something.

All decentralized systems are not Blockchain!! Yes, Blockchain is a particular type of decentralized system that has a unique property. Which property? Let’s talk about it.

“Blocks” make Blockchain

Let’s revisit our distributed parking example and make a small change. Let’s assume that the lock to a particular garage is generated when a car is parked inside it (we assume that the same car goes to the same parking everyday). Also, assume that we have numbered all the distributed garages in serial order. The lock-key pair of garage #50 is based on the lock-key pair of garage #49 and also on the features (like color, weight, engine number etc.) of the car parked inside garage #50 and this process starts from garage #1 and moves till garage #200 or even more.

Each garage’s lock-key pair depends on the garage’s car features and previous garage’s lock-key pair.

Therefore, if a thief tries to break into garage #49 and modifies any feature of the car, say its color or registration number, the features of car in garage #49 will change which means a new lock-key pair for garage #49 will be generated and since lock-key-pair for garage #50 depends on lock-key pair of garage #49, lock-key pair for garage #50 will also change and same goes on for future garages.

Now, let’s make one last assumption that computing a lock-key pair requires lots of computing resources which means if we have to recompute these pairs in case any thief modifies any car feature in any garage, it will be practically impossible to recompute all the pairs again.

What happens if a lock-key pair is changed?

Hope you remember that we talked about all garage owners abiding by some rules? One of these rules is to check for a valid garage. A garage is valid if you can validate its lock-key pair and if any lock-key pair gets changed, the lock-key pairs of all the following garages get invalid because every pair depends on the previous pair. (Process to validate a lock-key pair for a particular garage is very fast as compared to generating one).

This dependence of one pair on the previous pair makes it a chain of garages and in technical world, these garages are “blocks”, thus getting its name — Blockchain (a chain of blocks).

Blocks in Blockchain are tied to the next block by hashes just like lock-key pairs in our example. Similar to garage example, if data in one block is modified, hashes need to be recalculated for all the following blocks and since calculating the hash is a very resource intensive operation, it gets practically impossible to do that and hence the network rules out the invalidated block. The calculation of hash is called mining and we will talk more about it in the next release of this series.

How do the blocks recover from modification?

All the computers on the blockchain network, keep a copy of the full blockchain, so if one block or one complete chain at a particular computer or multiple computers is modified, the whole network tries to compare it with their own copies of the full chain.

If majority of the nodes (or computers) on the network find that the modified chain is invalid, the modified chain is replaced with valid chain from other nodes. This makes Blockchain vulnerable to 51% attack. In simpler words, if more than 50% of the nodes on the network are malicious (or say have a modified chain), then the whole network can be compromised.

Ethereum, Bitcoin or some X-coin

Everyone of you must have heard at least once about any type of X-coin whether its Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether or any other coin. What are these? These are cryptocurrencies, getting their names from cryptography — the concept that powers the underlying technology of your favorite coin. But, why we need these digital coins? Apart from sending money to your friends or receiving some from them, these coins are used to incentivize the computers on a Blockchain network. Woah! To much of technical jargon!! Let’s move back and bring in our parking garage example in to the picture. Smilie: :)

Pay for the Garage vs Cryptocurrency

If you remember from previous article, we mentioned that garage owners will rent their parking spaces to those in need. Now, you might be thinking, how would a lessee pay the lessor? Simple! through the bank transfer. But why would someone share their bank details with a stranger in case they are renting their garage? That’s a valid question.

Let’s solve this problem by using a Paypal (or any other digital Wallet). The garage owner uses their Paypal email address to receive payments. This way they don’t have to share their bank details to strangers. Did you notice something in this situation except privacy? Yes! anonymity. By using an email address to receive payments, the garage owner can stay completely anonymous to the tenant and same goes for the tenants as they will also be paying from their Paypal accounts.

Now, let’s compare this with cryptocurrency. In crypto world, it’s almost the same except with a small difference that instead of using an email address you use a Bitcoin or Ethereum or any other coin’s wallet address, which is unique to you. You send the coins from your X-coin wallet to the receiver’s X-coin wallet. Since, the network is full of strangers so revealing bank details for money transfer would be a big problem. Therefore, using wallet addresses facilitate the users to send and receive payment by staying anonymous to everyone on the network and this is also one of the reasons why some countries have banned crypto or why it is very popular in the illegal world.

If you are with me till this point, I am sure you must be thinking that you can transfer money from bank to Paypal but how does that happen in crypto world? Let’s look in to this!

Genesis of the First Coin or New Coins

Just like transferring money from your bank to Paypal, you can transfer money from your bank to you X-coin wallet by buying coins from some registered Exchange. But, the question here is, how the first X-coin came into existence or how new coins are added to the system? But before we answer this question, let’s take a look at another familiar term “mining”.

WTF is mining?

If you remember, in the previous article, we talked about computation(process to calculate lock-key pair) and validation (process to check if a lock-key pair is correct or not). Let’s assume that all the garage owners participate in the process of calculation of a new lock-key pair, which requires lots of computing power (brain power) and time (Just like those tricky calculus questions you got stuck at during your high school). So, the rule of this game of computation is whosoever calculates the correct value first, wins! (Just like a quiz round in your high school you can say!). This entire process of computing the correct lock-key pair is termed as “mining”.

But why would a garage owner spend time to work on computing a lock-key pair? We need to incentivize them! Let’s assume that the winner gets a cash prize, similar to the cash prize you got after winning the quiz at your high school.

Did you notice one thing here? The prize money is the money that wasn’t with the garage owners before (or you can say it wasn’t a part of the parking system before). It is the fresh or the new money that was introduced to the garage parking system after mining in the form of prize money. Now, let’s use this analogy to understand the mining in crypto world.

Crypto World Mining

As you know from the previous article that all the blocks in blockchain are safeguarded by hashes, which are calculated based on previous block’s hash and current block’s data. Thus, binding all the blocks in a chain. This hash computation is resource intensive because it requires you to hit and trial every possible value to get a correct hash (just like what garage owners did). So, the more values you can try per second, the faster you will be able to compute the correct hash (This is why you might have seen your friends buying big machines to mine Bitcoin or any other X-coin).

But the same question arises again, why would someone lend their computer to the X-coin network to perform these resource intensive computations? Correct! the same answer — incentives. Any computer that is able to calculate the correct hash first is awarded with a new X-coin. This new coin wasn’t a part of the system before. This is how the new coins come into the system.

But why the name “mining”?

Well, all the cryptocurrencies are considered to be digital assets or commodities just like the Gold or the Silver or any other metal or mineral. Since, the process of extracting these metals from their mines is known as mining, the cryptocurrencies computations also got the name “mining” because mining brings a new coin to the system.

Now, let’s move out of the cryptocurrency world and dive in to application development on Blockchain!

Decentralized Applications (DApps) & Smart Contracts

If you remember, I mentioned in the part I of this article about researchers realizing the benefits of the underlying technology of Bitcoin (which is Blockchain) for different applications apart from just cryptocurrencies. This is where smart contracts can be useful. Before we dig in the technical side. Let’s continue with our parking example. For a moment let’s assume that there is no prize money included for mining winners (Why? we will discuss in the next section).

Consider that, you have to pay for moving your vehicle into the garage. So, to simplify that, every garage has a fee collecting machine outside it which allows you to read a barcode using your phone and send in the payment from your Paypal. This machine collects the money and as soon as the garage is closed all the garage owners start computing the lock-key pair (mining) and once that garage’s lock-key pair is generated, the machine sends that money to the garage owner who won the mining contest.

The fee collecting machine in the above scenario is a smart machine because it figured out on its own, whom to send the collected money once lock-key pair was generated. And in case anything buggy happens like, a technical error, the machine refunds you the money and either you can pay again or can take your car out.

Similarly, on Blockchain this smart machine is called smart contract — a piece of code that does everything for you on blockchain. As all garages have smart machine, all the computers on the Blockchain have a copy of the smart contract. So, when you send money, it makes sure that you have enough money to send and the receiver gets the money and in case of any error, it just reverts the transaction.

However, smart contracts are not just for money transactions, you can use them to store or modify data on the Blockchain which can be Youtube like model for videos (such as Viuly), or a dropbox type model for storing files (such as Storj.io or SiaTech) or even games like Cryptokitties. The list of use cases is endless!

What Happens When No New Coin?

Do you remember that in the previous section, we assumed that there is no prize money to the winners for computing correct hash value. This gives birth to a new question — Why would someone rent out their computers in case they will not be rewarded with any new coins? Yes, you know the answer. Just like, the fee collecting machine outside the garage collected money and gave it to the winning garage owner, every transaction on the Blockchain costs a very small fraction of money. This small fraction is deducted from all the transactions. When a block on the Blockchain is mined ( its hash is computed by all the computers on the network), the computer winning the mining contest, gets the money deducted from all the transactions mined in that particular block (each block contains a fixed number of transactions) as a reward or incentive. This keeps the crypto model sustainable even after no new coins are issued. Now you know why your friends are buying big machines!

Conclusion

Bravo! You finally acquired the basic knowledge about the Blockchain and its components. I hope this series of articles helped you strengthen your foundations in this emerging technology. From here on, if you are a tech person, you can start learning about developing applications on Blockchain or even setting up your own Blockchain.

However, if you are a non tech person, you can start looking out for problems that can be solved using Blockchain. This will help you deepen your knowledge about the application part of this amazing technology.

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3RD ANNUAL GASOLINE, NAPHTHA & LPG CONFERENCE

Strong flat prices for inland propane and butane this year due to a strengthening crude complex, paired with relatively thin supply and logistical issues transporting product along the Rhine, have discouraged stock building, according to sources.

“People are always amazed that the price [for propane] keeps going up,” a source in the propane market said.

Fuelled by a rising crude complex, the inland markets for propane and butane are currently sitting at flat prices comparable to January levels, when winter demand typically pushes both markets higher.

On July 25, propane inland railcars and trucks hit $599/mt, their highest level since January 3.

Meanwhile on butane, with winter-blending for gasoline set to start kicking again in September, demand could be stimulated.

“[Demand] will depend on the arbitrage to the US — if that is wide open in September then blenders will pull [butane] hard. At that point we would go to [prices at naphtha] flat or north given the stock levels,” said a market source.

Stocks of LPG across the EU from March to May have remained below stock levels at the same time in 2017, according to data compiled by the Joint Data Organizations Initiative. May is the last month for which data is available.

Over those three months, stocks declined by 462,000 mt year on year, bringing stocks at the end of May to 1.675 million mt.

That includes a decline of 157,000 mt across the Northwest European storage hubs of the Netherlands and Belgium as well as Germany and France. The data does not distinguish between butane and propane.

That period coincided with a late-winter spike in demand for propane, after a relatively weak winter for demand across LPG. A mild winter delayed heating demand for propane, while a closed gasoline arbitrage from Europe to the US smothered demand for butane as a gasoline blending component.

As temperatures dropped suddenly in late March, that produced a sudden run on propane in particular, hollowing out inventories going into spring.

While inventories can usually be subsequently rebuilt during the spring and summer, when LPG prices typically dip on lack of demand, this year the rise in flat prices discouraged that process, said market sources.

The above and much more will be debated at the 3rd Annual S&P Global Platts Gasoline, Naphtha & LPG Conference – a must attend event on November 7-8 in Rotterdamdesigned for the world’s leading refiners, petrochemicals players, traders and terminal, storage and logistics companies.

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Top Fashion Schools in China: Pushing Forward Despite Philosophical Divide

BEIJING, China — Industry leaders outside the country still tend to paint all Chinese fashion schools with the same brush, despite recent strides made by some schools to up their creative games. Institutions like the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), Tsinghua University (TU) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) have nurtured the creative instincts of many graduates, and came 20th, 27th and 43rd respectively in BoF’s ranking of undergraduate programmes.

According to Li Fei, secretary-general of the academic committee of the China Fashion Designers Association, these three are among “the elite [fashion] universities in China.” Alumni of these universities have been nominated for international competitions like the H&M Design Award and the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, where BIFT graduate Fengchen Wang was a semi-finalist for the 2016 edition.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Source: Courtesy

Many more have gone on to top international fashion schools in Europe and the US to pursue a master’s degree. Nevertheless, Chinese fashion schools are still hampered by the fact that they view creativity and marketability as a dichotomy rather than a union. And this approach can be seen in the very essence of the curriculum.

For example, BIFT splits its fashion design programmes into two academic “pathways,” one being “creative fashion” and the other being “ready-to-wear.” This is quite a common separation amongst Chinese fashion schools, where faculty are compelled to either cultivate conceptual, artistic designers or train technical designers for big industry fashion brands.

Traditionally, fashion design programmes in China have focused on womenswear and knitwear.

The split was made in the 1980s when the China Academy of Arts and Crafts (or CAAC, which is now called the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University) launched the first fashion design programme in mainland China. There, the fashion design programme concentrated on artistic training, but another textile university started an apparel design engineering programme.

Ever since, the debate has kept fashion students in different camps and today China’s fashion design programmes are split into two distinctive disciplines: the former being under the discipline of design within the arts fields, or the latter, under the discipline of textile engineering within the engineering department.

Tsinghua University | Source: Courtesy

Tsinghua University | Source: Courtesy

In the pantheon of China’s fashion institutions, Tsinghua University has enjoyed a unique position in that both the present head of the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University, professor Li Dangqi, and the principal of Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), professor Liu Yuanfeng, graduated from Tsinghua’s forerunner CAAC. Since CAAC merged with Tsinghua in 1999, the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University only recruits a small number of fashion students, making it a more desirable fashion school than most of its peers. However, its influence is no longer as great as it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

BIFT is the only comprehensive government-funded fashion school in the country. Its degrees range from fashion design (both the arts and engineering approaches) to fashion communication. BIFT was also one of the first fashion schools to launch programmes in menswear, sportswear, merchandise planning and buying, fibre design and costume heritage and innovation. “Traditionally, fashion design programmes in China have focused on womenswear and knitwear. BIFT expanded the programmes into new pathways [which] again proves BIFT’s spirit of innovation,” said Li Fei.

Since 2010, BIFT fills what it calls an “Experimental Class” each year to nurture its most creative talents. The course recruits the most creative students through an internal competition. Over 50 percent of the graduates of this class eventually go on to world-class fashion schools for further study. BIFT graduates also regularly win the Hempel Fashion Design Competition, which is the most sought after fashion prize in China.

Under such a competitive system, BIFT has cultivated a few influential alumni in the Chinese fashion industry. Examples include Mao Jihong, co-founder of the first successful contemporary Chinese designer label Exception; and Yin Jianxia, the former vice president of Metersbonwe, the largest casual-wear brand in China, who also founded the brand Uooyaa.

Across the fashion education spectrum, nationalism still plays a role in curriculum planning, partly due to China’s government-led education system. For instance, in the final graduation shows, fashion schools often require that design themes be something akin to the ‘China dream.’ And while there is of course a focus on individual achievement, original aesthetics and creative flair, one aim of Chinese fashion schools is still to discover and cultivate top Chinese designers who can create global impact by earning honour for the country.

The post-graduation situation for fashion design students in China still needs improvement. Unlike graduates from international fashion schools who have opportunities to work for well-known, fashion-forward international brands, there are few equivalent opportunities in China. Most big Chinese fashion companies still want designers to be good at copying because these are the skills needed for the price-conscious fast fashion sector.

The consequence is that starting up their own business is now the most attractive career for many young fashion graduates. The government’s motto of “Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (“Wanzhong Chuangye; Dazhong Chuangxin”) may indeed resonate with some, but the reality is that most have no better option.

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The Savigny Luxury Index (“SLI”) continues its rise.

The Savigny Luxury Index (“SLI”) continues its rise, progressing by two and half percent in March in line with the MSCI World Index (“MSCI”), driven by strong results announcements and an uptick in M&A activity.

Big news

The euro’s weakness is benefiting the luxury goods industry, but also creating important discrepancies to which luxury groups are responding with unprecedented price adjustments in a bid to counter a fast developing grey market. Chanel led the charge by lowering prices by more than 20% in China whilst increasing European prices across the board by approximately the same percentage. Similar price increases in Europe and price decreases in Asia are expected of all the major brands, albeit with a lesser quantum as the local European clientele remains fragile.

During Baselworld, Tag Heuer, Bulgari and Gucci all announced partnerships with technology companies to develop hybrid watches that would combine traditional watchmaking with digital know-how and wireless connectivity. These technology deals could be seen as a way for watchmakers to hedge their bets ahead of the release of the Apple watch and the smartwatch phenomenon in general. Traditional watchmakers such as Breguet and Patek Philipe said that smartwatches were incompatible with their brand values and the timelessness of their products.

M&A activity has picked up: Italian private equity firm Clessidra finally acquiredRoberto Cavalli in a management buyout – the company was valued at €400 million, a brutal discount to the €1 billion plus price tag touted a few years back; Interparfums acquired French fashion brand Rochas from P&G for $108 million; and last but not least, the Italy-based fashion online retailer Yoox merged with online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter to create the world’s largest online luxury ecommerce platform, valuing Net-a-Porter between €1.3 and 1.5 billion, a multiple of up to 2x sales. Richemont will retain a 50% stake in the merged entity. Some new kids on the block also received investment: Peter Pilotto opened up its capital for the first time to Megha Mittal and MH Luxe and online retailer Farfetch raised another round of investment, valuing the company at $1 billion.

Going up

Moncler shares leapt up almost 16 percent after it posted a double-digit profit jump, driven by new shop openings. The company also said that it had already secured twenty locations for new shop openings in 2015, making it the only luxury outdoor/ lifestyle brand with a truly global footprint.

Hermès jumped by almost 14 percent after announcing strong full-year results, a dividend hike as well as a one-time additional payment to investors.

Salvatore Ferragamo’s share price rose 10 percent, boosted by better than expected profit growth and a great start to 2015.

Going down

Shares in Brunello Cucinelli slumped almost 12 percent after it forecasted a lower core profit margin for the current year, due to rental costs rising faster than expected.

Tod’s fell more than seven percent as comparable sales in the first quarter continued to be hit by weak Chinese consumer spending and cold weather in North America.

What to watch

The Net-a-Porter and Yoox merger has created an industry leader in the booming online luxury market, with combined sales of €1.3 billion. This deal highlights the strategic importance of the internet in driving future sales, particularly among the so-called millennials. There is still room for growth in sales and in profits amongst the players: the internet only accounts for five percent of global luxury sales and Yoox Net-a-Porter’s operating margin is only 5 percent, relative to 20 to 25 percent for most big luxury brands. However, the merger is expected to lead to a profitability increase for the newly-created online luxury champion, with sales and operating synergies such as warehouse costs, logistical, back-office and distribution costs.

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RTS London Conference 2014: ‘Power, Politics and the Media’ 9 September 2014

RTS London Conference 2014 from Royal Television Society on Vimeo.

With the eyes of the world on Scotland’s impending independence referendum, the BBC charter renewal drawing near and some of the most transforming deals in the media taking place, the television industry faces an uncertain future. On 9th September 2014, the Royal Television Society’s London Conference returns with some of television’s biggest names to tackle some of industry’s toughest questions.

With Keynote speakers including Chase Carey, President and COO of 21st Century Fox, JB Perrette, President, Discovery Networks International and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the event will be influential in the growing debate around the evolving nature of media.

New names have recently been added to the already extensive roll call of speakers, including Matt Brittin, President, Northern and Central Europe Operations, Google, Kevin Sutcliffe, Head of News Programming EU, VICE News and Krishnan Guru-Murthy – all of whom will be joining the likes of Tony Hall, Director-General of BBC, Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive BSkyB and Sir Peter Bazalgette.

Rob Woodward, Chief Executive, STV will be Chairing the illustrious event which will include discussions on whether television is losing power as a medium, job cuts and enabling the next generation.

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Listen to Anna Wintour

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Elvetia’s Dream

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Warren Buffett Shared Some Great Career Advice For Millennials

Warren Buffett served as a mentor to young professionals yesterday during an “Office Hours” session with Levo League, a networking and career advice site.

During the live stream video chat, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO told women to “stop holding yourself back” and shared personal stories — including how he overcame his fear of public speaking — to highlight universal career lessons.

We’ve included a few key takeaways from Buffett’s interview below:

1. Find your passion.

“Never give up searching for the job that you’re passionate about,” he says. “Try to find the job you’d have if you were independently rich. … Forget about the pay. When you’re associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

2. Be careful who you look up to.

“If you tell me who your heroes are, I’ll tell you how you’re gonna turn out. It’s really important in life to have the right heroes. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve probably had a dozen or so major heroes. And none of them have ever let me down. You want to hang around with people that are better than you are. You will move in the direction of the crowd that you associate with.”

3. Learn how to communicate effectively.

While he was getting his MBA from Columbia University, Buffett said that he was “terrified of public speaking,” and signed up for a Dale Carnegie class, but changed his mind at the last minute. After graduating, Buffett saw the ad for the course again and decided to give it a second chance.

“I became associated with the 30 other people in the class. We couldn’t stand up in front of a group and say our own name. I mean it was — we were — it was pathetic.  But that class changed my life in a big way.”

4. Develop healthy habits by studying people.

“Pick the person that has the right habits, that is cheerful, generous, gives other people credit for what they do. Look at all of the qualities that you admire in other people … and say to yourself, ‘Which of those qualities can’t I have myself?’ Because you determine whether you have them. And the truth is you can have all of them.”

5. Learn how to say “no.”

“You won’t keep control of your time, unless you can say ‘no.’ You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.”

6. Don’t work for someone who won’t pay you fairly.

“I do very little negotiation with people. And they do little with me, in terms of it … if I was a woman and I thought I was getting paid considerably less than somebody else that was equal coming in, that would bother me a lot. I probably wouldn’t even want to work there.  I mean, [if] somebody’s gonna be unfair with you, in salary, they’re probably being unfair with you in a hundred other ways.”

7. Become involved with growing businesses.

“I mean, you want to get on a train that’s going to go 90 miles an hour and not one that’s gonna go 30 miles an hour and you’re gonna try to figure out how to, you know, push it along a little faster. So it really does make a huge difference. And there are some businesses that inherently [have] far more opportunities than others.”

8. Learn everything you can about your industry.

Buffett says he reads six hours every day because he believes that growing your intellectual prospective will also help you critically solve future problems that may arise.

“I knew a lot about what I did when I was 20. I had read a lot, and I aspired to learn everything I could about the subject. “

9. Young women should seek male mentors.

Buffett says it’s important for women to have male mentors, because the majority of today’s leaders in the workplace are still men.

“These [mentoring] relationships all just evolve. I never set out to become a mentor … It’s amazing … how the person that really wants to do a terrific job just jumps out. There aren’t that many. You will be perceived as exceptional and as a worthy person for a superior to spend some extra time with if you just do something extra all the time. It seems elementary, but it’s true.”

At the end of his office hour, Buffett told everyone that even if they fail along the way, “the world isn’t over,” because “you are healthy, and bright and have decades ahead of you.”

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Prinses Beatrix heeft dinsdagochtend met het tekenen van de Akte van Abdicatie afstand gedaan van de troon.

NU.nl/Mark Vos

Abdicatie Beatrix en balkonscèneFotoserieVideo

Volg hier ons liveblog van de troonswisseling

In de Vroedschapskamer van het Koninklijk Paleis, ook wel de Mozeszaal genoemd, tekende Beatrix na een korte toespraak de Akte van Abdicatie waarmee zij na 33 jaar koningsschap weer prinses is geworden en haar oudste zoon koning.

Chris Breedveld, directeur van het Kabinet der Koningin, las vervolgens de Akte der Abdicatie voor. Ook Willem-Alexander en koningin Maxima tekenden het document.

Prinses Amalia is vanaf nu troonopvolgster. Zij heeft de titel ‘Prinses van Oranje’ gekregen.

Op het moment dat de handtekeningen werden gezet ging er luid gejuich op op de Dam. Het plein voor het paleis, waar de ceremonie op groot scherm is te volgen, staat helemaal vol. Volgens de politie zijn er 25.000 mensen aanwezig.

Bij de plechtigheid in het paleis op de Dam in Amsterdam zijn naast leden van de koninklijke familie 31 getuigen aanwezig. Die ondertekenen ook de Akte van Abdicatie. Het perkamenten document wordt voorzien van het grootzegel en later in de Nieuwe Kerk tentoongesteld.

​Bekijk het moment van ondertekenen:

Balkon

Koning Willem-Alexander, koningin Máxima en prinses Beatrix verschenen na de troonswisseling op het paleisbalkon. “Gelukkig en dankbaar ben ik u voor te stellen aan uw nieuwe koning: Koning Willem-Alexander”, sprak Beatrix, die zichtbaar ontroerd was.

“Lieve moeder”, begon Willem-Alexander vervolgens. “Vandaag hebt u afstand gedaan van het koningschap. Het waren 33 bewogen en bevlogen jaren, waarvoor wij u intens, intens dankbaar zijn.” Hij bedankte ook de bevolking van Nederland en de aanwezigen op de Dam voor “steun en vertrouwen”.

Na de korte toespraken van prinses Beatrix en koning Willem-Alexander en het volkslied verschenen ook de drie prinsesjes op het balkon. Daarmee herhaalt zich het scenario van de troonswisselingen van 1948 en 1980, toen de jongste Oranjes ook op het balkon kwamen.

Bekijk de balkonscene:

Beëdiging

De nieuwe koning legt dinsdagmiddag in De Nieuwe Kerk tijdens de Verenigde Vergadering van de Staten-Generaal de eed af op de Grondwet en het Statuut en wordt vervolgens ingehuldigd.

In het hele land worden activiteiten en festiviteiten gehouden ter gelegenheid van de abdicatie en inhuldiging.

Nederlandse vorsten op de troon:

Beweeg de cursor over de lijn om het aantal dagen te zien. Bekijk hier een grote versie. – (c)NU.nl/Jerry Vermanen

Kleiner koningshuis

Prins Maurits en prins Bernhard en hun echtgenotes prinses Marilène en prinses Annette zijn sinds de abdicatie van Beatrix niet langer lid van het Koninklijk Huis.

De twee oudste zoons van prinses Margriet en Pieter van Vollenhoven maken ook niet langer aanspraak op de troonopvolging.

De 3 kinderen van prins Constantijn en prinses Laurentien verliezen met de troonsafstand van koningin Beatrix ook hun lidmaatschap van het Koninklijk Huis maar blijven wel troongerechtigd. De wijzigingen vloeien voort uit de verschillende bepalingen over de troonsopvolging en het lidmaatschap van het Koninklijk Huis.

Daarbij wordt gekeken naar de graad van verwantschap ten opzichte van de koning. De kinderen van Margriet en Pieter staan nu op grotere afstand van het staatshoofd. De prinsen Pieter-Christiaan en Floris waren in 2005 door geen toestemming te vragen voor hun huwelijk al uit de lijn van troonopvolging gevallen.

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What the Top 1% of Businesses Have in Common

Schermata 07-2456113 alle 15.49.09

We all know our economic recovery absolutely depends on small businesses. But not all businesses are made equal. It’s high-growth businesses that will be essential to our upswing — a recent McKinsey study shows that 1 percent of US companies that are growing at the highest rate account for 40 percent of all net new jobs.

Every industry has its high-growth entrepreneurs: from construction to energy to financial services to tech. And you’ll find them in every area of the country. These powerhouse businesses — which hire, innovate and expand at disproportionately high rates — make up between 1 and 5 percent of every business sector in today’s market. Too often, good businesspeople fail because they do the right thing at the wrong time.

Praticaly it’s most of all to understand about the right timing to came out in to the action.

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