Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roland Cattin, 1948-2014

Road biking is dangerous, not just for the falls caused by car traffic or other reasons, but because many a mature rider has lost their life due to the shear efforts the sport demands.

This happened this past Sunday, October 19, when Roland Cattin, CEO and founder of Time Sport International, passed away near his home in Paris, following a bicycle ride. The cause of death was a heart attack.

Roland was my boss for two years when I still was working with Look ski bindings and I remember him as an intensely passionate business person. He landed into the ski business through his first marriage to the daughter of Look founders and did the very best he could to save the company before it was acquired by Bernard Tapie.

He was a good and very fair boss to me. I'll never forget his stark intensity and commitment to his mission. He'll be missed an awful lot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Dongguan, China to Park City, Utah

Yesterday, we received some custom window coverings ordered through Blind.com.

For a week, we've been able to follow their whereabouts from the factory that manufactured them to size, in Dongguan, about 50 miles north of Hong Kong, to Shenzen the border town to that city.

They were flewn to Osaka, Japan before being put on a plane bound to Indianapolis, Indiana. From there, they got to Memphis, Tennessee, the large Federal Express hub, before their last flight to Salt Lake City.

The two parcels left the Dongguan assembly line on October 13 and were in our hands on October 20. That's right, just one week!

The cost was incredibly competitive and shipping was free; a deal very, very hard to beat. The process is called globalization.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Aie ! Svindal sur la touche ...

Un autre top skieur se fait mal, et cette fois, Aksel Lund Svindal ne pourra pas briller sur son théâtre préféré à Beaver Creek en Février prochain. Les accidents arrivent toujours, mais celui-ci n'avait rien à voir avec le ski.

Bien sûr, il n'est pas rare de se casser le tendon d'Achille en jouant au ballon, mais on peut se demander si ce n'est pas aggrave par le fait que les athlètes d'aujourd'hui sont tellement musclé qu'os est tendons ne peuvent plus faire le poids face à toute cette puissance développé par le réseau musculaire qui les entourent ?

Cela pourrait bien être possible et pourrait marquer une limite supérieure dangereuse à ne pas dépasser ...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blinded by too much technology

Yesterday I had another flat while riding my bike down the mountain. I heard a loud “Ffffff!” coming from my front wheel and I stopped; I just had another flat.

Now that I'm getting used to that sort of incident, I thought I could change my inner tube in a snap. Wrong! I couldn't even get my wheel out of the fork. You see, my new bike is equipped with a RockShox “Thru Axle,” and I couldn't figure out how to remove the wheel.

I hand-carried my bike down the mountain and my wife had to meet me on the road below, with the car. I searched online, looked up on Youtube, but still didn't understand how to proceed. Finally, a couple of hours later, tired, desperate and frustrated, I drove my crippled bike to the sport shop and they showed me. I observed, I understood and I won't ever forget.

Embracing modern solutions is also welcoming continued education and becoming a learning sponge!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola and me...

I heard about Ebola during its first and short-live outbreak in Zaire, in 1995. I thought it was a scary thing and that we were lucky when it vanished like it had come. When it returned this summer, I was concerned, but felt that I was the only one.
 
Governments for one, didn't take that seriously at all. Now, that the whole humanity is well aware of it and that the pandemic runs out of control in West Africa, it will take billions to fully address the crisis. Which entity was asleep at the wheel? The World Health Organization, our Governments? It goes to show that the public sector is just good at reacting. Not at planning judiciously.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Innovating isn't for sissies!

In life, there's always the true and tested method to consider before jumping into the new and unknown. The later requires much more research, significant risk-taking and always comes with an uncertain outcome.

Further, even if the end result works, it may not be stunning at all and not worth the extra effort and resources spent. Yet, there are folks who are never content with replicating yesterday's experience and want to turn any opportunity into a stage for some innovation.

It's harder, more expensive and has the potential of yielding something great. These folks are game-changers and need our support, even when their efforts go sour!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Behind stock market volatility

By now, you've heard it all. Emerging markets and Europe down on their luck, overproduction of oil, Ukraine, Ebola and even Hong Kong. All these events seem to be the reason behind jittering markets, in spite of mostly good economic indicators in North America.

No one seems to recognize the malevolent influence of automatic trading that sets threshold for automatic sale orders, also known as “stop-loss”. When the stock market is going down, it will encounter these guard-posts and trigger massive sales spinning a vicious circle or rather a damning fall to hell.

Pretty simple, not recognized and yet hard to dispute. Suffice to say that the more automated stock markets become, the more volatile they'll be. Fasten your seat belts, sit back and relax!