Newbury Portion

Newbury by the spoonful

Some Dates Are Never Forgotten

When it comes time to make those big plunges into the unknown we are bound to make lasting memories.

We Make the Dates

As I sit here today with a glass of red wine in one hand and my other hovering over the keyboard, posed to pounce like a leopard I can only think of a few things to write about. Let’s choose one of them at random and hope that the wine doesn’t make me too sappy.

There are some dates in life that you just have to remember. For instance, few of us can forget our birthdays, sure we might start forgetting how “old” we are by a few years, but as a whole you will instinctively tell somebody when they ask for it. Then there are the dates that we make for ourselves. At other times they are the ones that just happen to be placed at random, how many of you can recall the date when you finished school, got your degree, or started another one of those new challenged that life as a whole throws your way? But there are others, the special ones that we know are coming, that we choose to set ourselves, these are the ones that become the memorable moments in our lives.

What is a life if not the memories we make? Without them we would have a life that moves along at a base line.

Life’s Special Moments

Savor life’s special moments, the ones we will always remember

The easiest way would just be to tell them, maybe by sending a notification in the mail, you know the old fashioned way. Well, that is exactly what we are doing for my sister’s wedding (and I am filling in for here maid of honor that cannot make it to the rehearsal, though I don’t get the title, nor the fame that comes with being the MoH). The wedding has been sort of on hold for over two years now. But they have decided that this it is the time. After agreeing to help, it was time to pick up the different pieces that had been laying about since it was stop and go in the preparation side of things.

I like the personal touch that it brings with it. I know a lot of couples have been opting for the more digital route, ie. just asking people via WhatsApp if they want to come or not, but that feels somehow fake to me. I mean, sure it is a directer means to an end, but at the same time, it sort of feels cheap and you fall a little bit out of the moment. This is a wedding after all and you want things to be “perfect”. At least perfect within reason. I don’t expect everything to go as planned, things never do, but they can still be perfect.

That is the great thing about planning, you prepare for a situation, then regardless of how it turns out you did you best to make it work. Weddings are like that, I don’t think that any wedding has ever gone off just the way it was planned to. That variation gives you a little surprise, and often makes things better in the end. But since it was planned it will go smoother, no matter what happens. I think that is what makes life fun. Those little surprises along the way. Do I make a grocery list? Sure, but I don’t always get everything that I wanted, and sometimes, just sometimes a few other odds and ends appear magically in the shopping cart.

You could describe the preparations for a wedding in much the same way.

Not everyone who gets a Save the Date card sent to them for our wedding will come. That’s life. Still, this leaves some, my sister’s fiancee included with the question, why. It is hard to explain this to a penny pincher, but thankfully my parent’s are paying for the whole thing so he doesn’t have much say.

Why We Savor the Date?

So why spend money on these cards when you are already going to be sending out invitations for the wedding? My sister’s fiancee sort of asked. Well, there is an easy explanation, for one you can send out the prior anytime, and the latter only really gets sent shortly before the wedding leaving a shorter amount of time for your guests to react and you to plan. That being said, it is also a chance to touch base with some of your potential guests and get a feel for what the guest list really looks like.

For one, not everybody that you send the cards out to will actually come. When DH and I got married we had it go like this, about 10% of the people we reminded to save our wedding date actually touched base with me and let us know in advance that they couldn’t come. This was to be expected because we choose a date when a lot of people are away on vacation and it was clear that they had made plans way in advance. There was an up side to this, we didn’t need to send them invitations with an RSVP, it saved us money and made things slightly easier. Oddly, some of those who did say that they would make it ended up being no shows so I guess you have to plan for that as well. My BiL told me that since we were getting married in shoulder season people would be booking last minute travel options since it was all around cheaper to travel and they might not have had the plans laid out when they agreed to come. Wedding at like that, they are like life, they are full of little surprises.

On a side note, I hadn’t heard the term shoulder season used as an expression before then, and as it turns out, shoulder season really is a thing.

Traveling during shoulder season, the time between the high season and off-season, means moderate expenses and manageable weather.
Thanks Investopedia.

Thankfully her wedding will be in the spring so she won’t be competing with that, but I am sure something else will impede some from coming. Our guest list is pretty long though, her husband has a really big family with a lot of aunts, uncles, siblings (most have children already) and mine is biggish – not huge – but for lack of a better word biggish. That means we will be hosting over two hundred guests. My parents are willing to save on a couple of invitations with numbers like that. When we got married DH and I covered the cost of the wedding ourselves, since we were both established. And before you point out that we wouldn’t be so conscious if we were to have our parents pay, we are both super frugal and wouldn’t want anyone else to have to pay for the extravagance that a lot of people seem to opt for for their weddings.

That’s it from New Berry for today!

Hemingway Revisited

So when I last appeared we discussed Hemingway’s life in Cuba. It was an interesting time, and one that I find perceptually engaging when you look at his life. But there is so much more than that, finding a good point in time is hard. For that reason I have chosen to go into a little more depth about the man’s life over all.

That is why today, we will once again be guest to Ernest Hemingway’s life. Last year PBS ran a documentary about Hemingway that actually encouraged today’s biography. The documentary was a three part work on his life, split into the different stages. Hemingway, covered a lot of material in the six hour runtime which could be described as his life, his work, and his loves. The series was co-produced and directed by Ken Burns who you might have heard about in the last couple of decades. If you know his style then you will have a pretty good idea of how it was structured and how it looked.

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, which is a suburb of Chicago. He was the second of six children (four girls and two boys). His father, Clarence Edmond Hemingway, was a physician and enjoyed hunting and fishing. His mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, had studied music and made begin musical studies at an early age, hopeing to get him interested in music. Ernest’s father owned a small house with land on Lake Bear. There Ernest learned to fish (at the age of three he was already able to handle a fishing rod) and to hunt (at twelve he carried his father’s rifle). He attended Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he learned to play the cello and was part of the orchestra. In his studies he excelled in language, but felt apathy for the other subjects. He showed his literary skills in the school newspaper, using the alias Ring Lardner, Jr. When he finished his studies, in 1917, he did not want to go to university, as his father wanted, nor did he want to perfect his cello studies, as his mother wanted. He moved to Kansas and in October 1917 began working as a reporter at the Kansas City Star, earning $15 a week.

The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, and Ernest did not want to miss the opportunity to follow the American Expedition Corps, as did John Dos Passos, William Faulkner or F. Scott Fitzgerald. But because of a defect in his left eye, he was excluded as a fighter. He managed to get a position as a Red Cross ambulance driver and landed in Bordeaux at the end of May 1918, to go to Italy. On 8 July 1918 he was seriously wounded by Austrian artillery. With injured legs and a broken knee, he still helped Italian soldiers escape to safety. He walked 40 meters until he fainted. The heroism he showed during the attack helped to earn him recognition from the Italian government with the Silver Medal for Valor. During his recovery in the Milan hospital he fell in love with a young nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, who would later leave him for a Neapolitan officer.

He returned to the United States in January 1919, resuming his work as a journalist at the Toronto Star and as an editor for the monthly Cooperative Commonwealth. He married Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, 8 years his senior, on September 3, 1920. The couple moved to Paris in 1922. It was then, shortly after arriving in Paris, his first and only son, John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway, was born, whom he called “Bumby”. In Paris he met the avant-garde literary environments and related to the members of the so-called Lost Generation: Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald among others. The Hemingway family lived in an austere apartment, but when Ernest wrote to his family he told them that they lived in the best area of the Latin Quarter. His literary beginnings were not easy. His first works: Three short stories and ten poems (1923) and “In This World” (1925) went unnoticed. Ernest earned his living as a correspondent and traveled throughout Europe.

The year 1925 marked the discovery of Hemingway for American publishers, and the year he wrote his first novel, Fiesta. The new style he showed in this book, a portrait of the bohemian Paris of the twenties and much of it autobiographical inspiration, left behind a more experimental and obscure literary work, resulting in more of a sudden surprise success. Also in “Death in the Afternoon”, he recounts his experiences in Spain, a country that he was already beginning to worship, and in which there are still testimonies of his presence today. In 1929, he published “A Farewell to Arms”, a novel with autobiographical content, since it is based on his passage through the war and his experiences on the battle front. It was followed by two more optimistic works, which dealt with two topics that he was passionate about: bullfighting, in “Death in the Afternoon”, and Africa, in “The Green Hills of Africa” (published 1935).

In 1928 he returned to the United States with his second wife, but soon left for Cuba. From that moment on there was a curious and definitive transformation in his style. His work moves away from individualism, as can be seen in “To Have and Not Have” (published 1937), which describes the failure of an individual rebellion, and it is here that he engages in the humanitarian struggle and the union of people.

He was more committed to his writing in this new stage, which focused on the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. Through this commitment that he testified to in the script of the documentary film “The Spanish Earth”, in the play ” The Fifth Column” and of course in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, a masterpiece of universal literature. World War II then broke out. In 1944 he traveled to Europe as a war correspondent, participated in aerial reconnaissance missions over Germany and was part of the landing in Normandy, being one of the first journalists to enter Paris. It was not until 1950 that he wrote again. “Across the River and into the Trees,” it is his first publication after those turbulent years of war. “The Old Man and the Sea” was released in 1952. This was a short story commissioned by Life magazine, “The Old Man and the Sea,” was the work which would win him the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. The story tells of an old Cuban fisherman who has had a rough spot in his life and goes fishing determined to end it. A year later he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for all his work.

From that moment forward he tried to write a novel about the Second World War, something that came very difficult for him, and it was a task that he would never finish. Hemingway was left with a longing for the feeling that caused him to be a young dreamer, brave and risky, who not only wrote about events that would one day become part of history, since he was also part of it. On July 2, 1961, perhaps he decided he couldn’t write anymore – a lifetime of alcohol abuse and long-term use of Reserpine and Ritalin left him in a mentally unstable condition, one that was was further complicated by hereditary hemochromatosis, which is a genetic disorder characterized by excessive intestinal absorption of dietary iron – and shot himself with a shotgun he had purchased from Abercrombie & Fitch. Given the absence of a suicide note and from the angle of the gun shot wound, it is difficult to determine if his death was actually self-inflicted or if it was an accident.

The life and times of Ernest Hemingway were often turbulent, often exciting, and often infused with a brand of melancholic normalcy that only he could create. His style is one that has inspired generations since his passing and has earned him a place among the great writers of the last century.

Hemingway’s Life: Reborn In Cuba

When you know me better you will realize how much I love the works of Hemingway. Today though it amazes me how little is known about the man.

For many American's in my generation it went without say that Hemingway was part of your life. At least academically. His impact on our culture and society as a whole is substantial which is why it pains me to learn that my niece; She will graduate next Spring, has never picked up one of his works. Nor was she forced to read one in school.

She didn't even know he visited Cuba, nor the impact it had on his work. He has spent more than two decades there and it was between the walls of the Finca Vigia, or Ferme Vigie. A property that has become a heritage restoration workshop outside of Havana. It is a joint project of the Cuban institutions and an American NGO, which emerged despite the resurgence of tensions with Washington initiated by Donald Trump. that Ernest Hemingway wrote one of his greatest works, "The Old Man and the Sea".

Ernest Hemingway lived on the premises from 1939 to 1960. He left thousands of documents such as manuscripts of his books, but also correspondence, photographs, or annotated works. A page of his life that he toured almost a year after the revolution. A year before his final his days.

Though he is one of the major figures of literature in the United States I fear that we will someday be oblivious to the importance he had.

The Capacity to Care

In the middle of concentric circles, Jesus is introduced to us here: In the innermost circle he stands, the Son of Mary, together with his mother. Interestingly, Marcus does not report anything from Josef. Then Jesus' male kin is listed by name, then the female ones are mentioned across the board. Then the "family," then the father. Finally, it is reported that Jesus enters into the "villages in the vicinity." Concentric circles – the human environment of Jesus.

Jesus is not only the true God, but also true man …

On the one hand, Jesus belonged to a large family.

Many who hear the gospel today are relieved t experience a Jesus who is described from "human conditions."

It makes access to Jesus more tangible, however, it apparently had the opposite effect at the time of Jesus' earthly existence. The fact that one knows Jesus so well and knows about his family makes it impossible for the people believe he is God's Son.

Jesus sums this up in the proverb sentence: "A prophet does not apply anything in his father's city, even with his relatives and his family."

What is true about this sentence (to this day), and why is it true?

Apparently, there is a certain strangeness to the man who wants and should be directing God's word, and one does not want to and should not know so much about him; In the past, the salutary Jesus was known.

Anyone who knows "too much" tends to make the messenger of God smaller than he is – the "stories" only obscure the message.

Is this why we learn so little personal and biographical about Jesus in John's Gospel and with Paul? And by considering this, we discover here a danger of modern piety that Jesus sees as a "buddy." Then Jesus is one of us, but at the same time foreign, the mission of God, is the sacred. Have we not tried by all means to draw Jesus more humanely? Didn't biblical sociology and comparison contribute a lot to this?

I feel like it has.

Even on such issues there is obviously the danger of all the humanization of Jesus if it does not strike clear border. The exploration of the historical Jesus has often succumbed to this danger, suggesting that it had just been or something like "it" could have been.

The result of this Jesus has been seen in literature, yet it often comes across as described in Mark 6: We know Jesus as a Jew, as a peasant revolutionary, as half a Zealot, as a humanitarian, pacifist Jew. And with that, everything in truth is troubling interpreted away.

What would be troubling would be if he had to do with the real presence of God and man.

Since we know all human conditions so perfectly, the impression arises that believing in the divinity of Jesus is superfluous.

Whoever dissolves everything into human conditions cheats on himself and others for the actually exciting, the real and real occasion for all Jesus stories.

That this is about the unfathomable, incomprehensible, mysterious God.

We also have to contend with the same phenomenon in pastoral care. Pastoral care is always a reflection of our faith in Jesus. We have become accustomed to providing pastoral care as a sum of pastoral psychology, sociology, medicine and science.

All cases of earlier "pastoral care" are well dissolved into numerous boxes of human conditions. Only the mysterious remnant degenerates under the puzzle word "spirituality."

But it seems to me that we don't want that [the actual spirituality or piety] at all. For this reason we search out alternatives that give us the feeling of piety, compassion and understanding. But it is only a veil that is held in front. Underneath the actual capacity to care is nowhere to be found.

Jesus had the capacity to feel as a person but to care without limit.

It is time we took his message more to heart!

Inspiration: The Danish Fishing Industry

In Denmark, fishing is undergoing a huge transformation in a small way. But how can a small country make a change?

First a little background into the state of the commercial fishing today.

The fishing industry or fishing sector is the economic activity of the primary sector which consists of fishing and producing fish, shellfish and other marine products for human consumption or as raw material of processes.

Here in most of the western world, it is a big industry with a few major players. This is true for most of the developed and developing markets worldwide. According to statistics from United Nations, Global fish production in 2001 was 130.2 million tons. In addition to commercial catches, 37.9 million tons were produced in aquaculture fish farms.

The largest production comes from the sea, however, where each country has an exclusive economic zone to navigate and fish, of 370.4 km (200 nautical miles) of extension of the coast towards offshore. Beyond that limit, the capture of marine species is free, as they are considered international waters.

In the years between 1990 and 2000 it became increasingly evident that the fishing exploitation severely decimated the populations of certain types of marine fish, such as cod, which could disappear in 15 years if it is harvested at the current pace.

A sector of the fishing industry that seems to remain in good health, though production is confined to a relatively small number of fishermen, is that of freshwater fishing in Canada. The commercial fishing industry in Manitoba is made up of about 3,500 fishermen who produce 25.95% of Canada's freshwater catches.

But how does that related to the danish fishing industry?

In Denmark small fishing boats feed the local community, create jobs and contribute to the preservation of ecosystems on European coasts. But can they compete with the big fishing industry, which has the means to put small boats out of business?

One reason the fish populations continue to be in decline is because of the large fish harvesting factories that can process the fish directly at sea, eliminating a need for a larger workforces through streamlined efficiency.

Many Danish fishermen are born into the work, with their profession, a family trade for generations. Everyday life for the fishermen is hard; with eleven hours on rough seas everyday.

While some give up on their family professions and seek easier more lucrative work elsewhere, others find ways to grow and thrive.

The work is hard on rough sea, confined to small boats. Their, a three-men crew can haul in 1,500 kilograms of fish on the North Western coast of Denmark. At one time a similarly sized crew would have expected large catches. Now large beam trawlers damage the seabed and take in the majority of fish.

Still, a small village is setting an old tradition forward with a twist that modern industrial fishing cannot match.

Landing on a sandy beach would destroy most modern ships but not the small oak boats built in region, constructed even before the Viking Age. Thorupstrand is a fishing village and has only a few hundred permanent residents, with several thousand residents in the surrounding area relying on the small fleet of oak fishing boats that depart from the village everyday for food.

These smaller wooden vessels use nets that only stay on the ground briefly, and are pulled up again before they have a chance to destroy the ocean's delicate ecosystem.

Small-scale fishing has always played a crucial role in many European regions, Denmark is not unique in this regard.

Such operations are crucial to the Mediterranean and Black Seas regions, small-scale fishing accounts for more more than three-quarter of the total active fishing fleet; an industry that accounts for more than fifty percent of the total workforce active in the fishing sector.

The European Union is aware of the importance of these small scale operation which is why in the last seven years alone, small-scale fishing companies received around 210 million euro in public funding to support sustainability and diversification projects in the region.

Unfortunately this was something that came too late for Denmark, which lost many of its independent fishing operations more than a decade ago to larger competition.

At the time, it was decided to assign fishing quotas to boat owners, this was a transferable resource which big companies were willing pay a lot of money to buy. At that time market prices exploded making it hard for small scale operators to enter and many independent fishermen sold their boats and quotas and gave up fishing altogether.

Coastal towns lost their boats and turned into ghost towns. Fearing for their future, Thorupstrand fishermen decided to take action. Through cooperation the local community preserved its fishing rights and traditional methods and cultural heritage including the trade of wooden boat making, which is famous, not just in Denmark but around the world.

The village even managed to expand its sales to the Danish capital, selling fresh fish in Copenhagen.

Through support of the local industry and the embrace of traditional techniques Thorupstrand has proven that small scale can make a big impact for both the environment and provide sustainability for the local workforce a the same time.

To Know Infinity

"The Man Who Knew Infinity" tells the story of the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Ramanujan was born into a very poor family on December 22nd, 1887 but managed to be admitted to the University of Cambridge during the First World War.

He died on April 26th, 1920 in Kumbakonam

Through his childhood and youth Ramanujan showed a great deal of interest in mathematics and was largely self-taught, learning mathematics alone from two books that he obtained before the age of sixteen, showing a drive for independent and original thought. These books allowed him to establish a strong basis in the theory of numbers, on continuous fractions and on divergent series, while creating his own rating system. Through the help of his employer he was able to have very papers published in Indian mathematical journals and they attempted to interest European mathematicians in his work by sending out letters.

One of these letters, sent in January 1913 to Godfrey Harold Hardy, contains a long list of formulas and theorems without a demonstration. This was one of Ramanujan weakest areas, and one that held him back in his attempt to achieve recognition. Hardy first considers this unusual consignment to be a deception, and then discusses it extensively with John Littlewood to convince him that his author is certainly a "genius", a qualifier that is now generally overused and meaningless. Hardy responded to Ramanujan and invited him to come to England; a fruitful collaboration, in the company of Littlewood, results from this collaboration.

Yet it was one that was to be short lived. Affected all his life by health problems, Ramanujan sees his condition worsened during his stay in England due to the cold winters and harsh living conditions he must endure; He returned to India in 1919 where he died shortly thereafter in Kumbakonam at the age of thirty-two. He left behind the books of unsubstantiated theories which, at the beginning of the 21st century, continue to be studied and proven by modern day mathematicians.

Ramanujan worked mainly on elliptic functions and on the analytic theory of numbers; It became famous for his calculations involving constants such as π and e, prime numbers or even the partition function of an integer, which was studied with Hardy. A great creator of mathematical formulas, he invented several thousand of them which practically all proved accurate, but some of which could not be demonstrated until after 1980 when computer models could became more common; some of them, Hardy particularly, was amazed by their originality, he once said that "only one glance was enough to realize that they could only be thought of by a first-rate mathematician. They had to be true, for if they had been false, no one would have had enough imagination to invent them."

The film "The Man Who Knew Infinity" stars Dev Patel as the protagonist Srinivasa Ramanujan. And though it was first released in 2015 I just now had the chance to see it. For an actor to interpret this role must have been a challenge both professionally and personally since Dev makes you believe that these impossible calculations are pouring from inside.

This film tells of a story, the full story, of his success and demise. It is at the same time a very inspiring story, one that people will recognize while at the same time heart wrenching.

I didn't know anything about this amazing man before I watched the film.

But at the same time I realized that this must be true for others as well. For that reason I decided to make him into today's topic. I thought if I could help make his legacy known to just one other person it would be something very positive, indeed.

That's why I am writing this revue.

I found his setbacks so personal, so harrowing. For example once in the United Kingdom, the mathematician had to face rejection and racism.

Outside of the men that knew him at Cambridge, few others were in a position to share much of his life. There are no videos or interviews like there would be today. It is impossible to know how he spoke or how he carried himself. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words and yet they do so little to tell the story of who this man was. Still, the filmmakers tried to capture the essence of a man who died almost a hundred years prior. They looked at him through the lens of photographers, they tried to understand what he read. In the end I think they managed to reflect him in the film so that he felt tangible, real, even though his intellect was anything but.

If you can I would highly recommend watching this beautiful movie.

My Professional Opinion on Business Plans

I am a business consultant, day job, some nights, and weekends on occasion. I like theology and the arts. These are the topics that interest me personally, but today I thought that it was time to share a topic that I know well.

And one aspect of business that cannot in overlooked is the importance of a business plan when going into business.

So what is it? This plan? And what can it do for your?

The business plan is the structured systematic overview of the planned start-up project in written form with a planed horizon of usually three to five years.

It includes, in a holistic way, the idea of the foundation and thus forms the basis for the implementation of the business idea.

In other words, the business plan is this, a document that maps out the company's strategy for success.

Can you see why they are important?

It is understood that future development is only a possibility, thus anticipation of, and actual development, is therefore not a guarantee but a goal. There can be not only deliberative, i.e. deliberate, strategies, but also emergent strategies, that is, those that condense due to unintentional insights. This waste of potential such as emergent strategies cannot therefore be foreseen or planned. They can be neglected, however when we regard the business plan as the only planning instrument that can take into account all possible developments is therefore extremely detrimental.

For this purpose, the planning would have to be supplemented with the scenario analysis, but this is also not possible to take into account strategies that arise over time and due to the compression of unintentional orders.

To get the benefit from a plan while remaining flexible you need to focus on several different functions of business. It is easy to focus solely on planning – this would not make sense when planning the company – there must also be room for exploration and learning curves. A well-founded business plan is the basis for a systematic consideration of the company and thus of continuous control.

This focus is not correct.

Not entirely at least.

The following advantages are often mentioned in literature when shaping a plan:

  • Partial or full review of the business concept, meetings for all Deal/No Deal decisions
  • Improve the range of services in the start-up stage
  • Find other, better market opportunities or founding ideas
  • Anticipate requirements/needs that need a certain lead time
  • Anticipate potential problems of the founding process
  • Preparation and thus accelerating future decisions
  • Inclusion of external suggestions for improvement/feedback
  • Better understanding of common tasks
  • Think about the foundation – how it promotes the learning process

These advantages are juxtaposed with another set, one which is also often mentioned:

  • Opportunity cost of time to gather information
  • Changing environment conditions make existing information obsolete and require planning to be adjusted
  • Danger of reinforcing misconceptions about the future and making bad decisions as a result
  • Risk of being discouraged by emerging complexity/difficulties
  • Labor-intensive activity without real feedback whose effect becomes visible only later
  • Discouragement from external criticism or exposing weaknesses

The important distinction between the business plan and the business model is to recognize that, during the development of the business model, the benefits are put first, while the business plan only serves to help others convince the business model.

So, and this is the crucial thing, the business plan is basically just an instrument for convincing others of the validity of your idea. This is also understandable because the business plan is the document that is handed over. While the founding team should be more convinced of the business model than the actual plan, others need to be more convinced of the business plan. The fact that the business plan is therefore a record of earnings of the business model should therefore be taken for granted.

When professionals collaborate it is the the opinion of the company founders themselves, the knowledge of the industry which is a key factor in the success of the business: When asked which factor they consider is particularly important for the success of the company, industry knowledge weighed the highest on the list. A competent management team came next, followed by innovation, financing, business plan and placement in the market.

Weigh the following considerations following hypotheses that the importance of a business plan determine future business success:

The hypothesis that: An above-average business plan indicates an above-average successful business.

  1. The number of analyses during formation is related to the company's success.
  2. If the competition analysis had a positive influence on the foundation, there are likely to be fewer discrepancies later.
  3. The more intensive the planning, the more successful the company.
  4. The more realistic the planning, the more successful the company.
  5. The more diverse the targets of the business plan, the more successful the company.

All of these have been rejected. And the last has actually proven to create a negative connection. Meaning that the more diversity will lead to a deterioration in the relationship between the plan and success.

The importance of detailed planning of the business results in certain periods where it should be considered less significant than the founders attempt to create a successful business model in the market.

Thus, it is less to follow the approach in order to merely increase access. A business plan should therefore be used as a tool to persuade and strengthen the assumptions of the model since they are subject to a continuous review.

Round 2: Trump vs. China

Trump wants to support farmers here in the US suffering from the ongoing trade war with China with 12 billion dollars. He announced this during his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. In a first step, the U.S. had increased its tariffs on imports from China worth $200 billion from 10 to 25 percent. In a second step, tariffs are to be extended to additional goods produced in China worth $325 billion – which will in essence affect all imports from China.

China, in turn, has announced an increase in tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. As a result, negotiations with China ended without a breakthrough or plan for further talks, stock markets here and China slumped.

The new tariffs where in upped to 25 percent for goods like cotton, machinery and grain. Tariffs on aircraft parts and optical instruments double to 20 percent.

The Price of Coffee

How much does a cup of really good coffee actually cost?

Recently the difference between good and bad cup of coffee with some friends after lunch. We all ordered a cup of coffee and it was delicious. And good, as you know, comes at a cost, either your or somebody else's cost. So can we afford a good coffee?

The average American drinks about 60 gallons of coffee a year. And of course we drink it as cheaply as possible. On average, we pay $10 for a gallon of beer. And brewing a cup of coffee costs just 0.1 dollar.

Really? 10 cents? Can that be true? Sure it is, they have been studying this for a long time, you can find the research on the web. So is let's calculate …

I only drink coffee from large mugs, those cups with handle on them, you know, the large ones. How much coffee do you need to fill such a cup? General recommendations for the so-called Golden Ratio are (using the metric system because I like consistency in my coffee): About 60 grams of coffee for 1 liter of water. So, that makes 12 grams per cup. I like it a bit stronger, so we will agree on 13 grams, and that actually pretty much matches the 2 tablespoons of coffee beans I grind for a cup.

Now to the cost very good, high-quality, fair trade organic coffee costs about 12¢, per cup price comes out to 31¢.

Verdict: You have a choice. Good coffee costs about 10¢ cents good beer, $2.50: Great coffee, around 30¢ cents per cup, however, you are paying for: Great taste, freshness, no pesticides, and fair pay for local small farmers.

Is the choice hard? Not really.

What is the price of a good cup of coffee?

For me personally it could be defined in one word.


I. M. Pei

Abstract shapes and sharp, geometric designs have made Chinese-born architect Ieoh Ming Pei a star in the West. He turned 102 in April.

Pei died in his Manhattan apartment on May 16, 2019.

Pei, famous for, among other things, the design of the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. His handling of simple geometric shapes and playing with light shaped his work.

Sponsored by Walter Gropius, the exiled founder of the Bauhaus at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, and Marcel Breuer, Pei is considered to be its most accomplished classical modernist supporter. Pei had already moved to the USA at the age of 17 for training, the Second World War prevented his return to China.

I. M. Pei was born into a wealthy family. His father was a senior executive at the Bank of China, and in 1927 he was transferred to the bank's headquarters in Shanghai. The mother, an artistically educated woman and practicing Buddhist closer to him than his father, died of cancer when he was 13.

Pei went to school in Shanghai at a boarding school run by American missionaries. North American standards were conveyed there, wearing Western school clothes, the preferred sports being basketball and tennis. Pei experienced a contrast with this environment during the summer holidays in Suzhou northwest of Shanghai with his grandfather, who introduced him to traditional Chinese values, with family sense and the teachings of Confucius.

Later Pei described the early experiences with both worlds as a win.

At that time, the first high-rise buildings were built in the East Asian business center in Shanghai, of which Pei was very impressed. He decided to study modern architecture, which was only possible overseas. In August 1935, Pei traveled to the United States and, after a brief stint in Philadelphia, enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

In 1942, Pei married the Chinese born, Ai-Ling Loon (1920 – 2014), whom he had met four years earlier in Boston. They have three sons and one daughter. Pei never talked about his personal life, nor didoes he talk politics. He was described as an amiable, witty interlocutor who never loses calm even in critical situations. His secretary believed he only cursed once in her presence in the thirty years she worked for him.

Still, he was a figure of controversy; His designs often caused violent resistance at first, but then mostly contributed all the more to his fame. Time and again his special energy was emphasized, which enabled him to perform with a high level of energy even in old age.

One of his partners once said: "He's equipped with a different set of batteries than everyone else." Pei himself said of his motives: "In me I have a great desire to leave something behind. This has nothing to do with ego. I think you owe it to your own existence to leave something that remains."

The last masterpiece is the Museum of Islamic Art in the Emirate of Qatar.

Previously, it was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, USA, from where a disk jockey sent the term "rock and roll" into the world in the 1950s. The design of this building was meant to reflect the energy of rock and roll, the architect once said.

In between, the desire for experimentation would have almost ruined his company – the 240-meter-high John Hancock Tower in Boston, USA, huge discs fell out of the façade during every storm – be it like, the Bank of China in Hong Kong glitters like a crystal once again. This time Pei felt inspired by the bamboo, in Chinese culture which is seen as a positive symbol.

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