Friday, January 31, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Salute to Mozart

Yesterday was Mozart birthday.  We do not know if we could say anything more about him that has been not said before.  

In our case, listening to any Mozart composition has always been a positive enjoyment.   ... 

It has been said that Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D major is great for increasing one's concentration. Some called this phenomenon as The Mozart Effect.   

Click on either youtube videos.  Listen and enjoy. 

Minor Jottings
From our experience, the best way to build concentration is through the practice of still posturing in a clean, well-lighted and moderately warm room.  ... 

Those who are participate in brainstorming activities , we recommended the listening to Mozart's piano pieces and symphonies before and during the session, 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Magus Carlson Beats Bill Gates in Nine Moves

This past Thursday, Bill Gates lost a televised chess game to Magus Carlson, the reigning world chess grandmaster in nine moves

Bill Gates plays the white pieces.

1.e4 ♘c6 
2.♘f3 d5 
Black plays the Nimzowitsch Defense.  This is an interesting choice. 

3.♗d3 ♘f6    
The efficient book move is 3. e5. Creating an odd pressure in the spacing of the King side. 
Some people preferred to play 3. b5 .

In most opening game scenarios, positioning  the White's king bishop to obstruct the movement of the White queen pawn is not a good idea.  This obstruction is the beginning point for more bad moves.  In real life, the bishop rarely protects the pawn. 

4.exd5 ♕xd5 

5.♘c3 ♕h5 
White should have played  e4 
Developing the positioning of the pieces by chasing the queen is also a good idea.

6.O-O ♗g4 
One should never maneuver their king (castling) into a possible storm.

Black applies more pressure to the White's king side.

8.hxg4 ♘fxg4 
White takes the bait
Black returns the favor and targets extreme pressure on H2 while displaying a simple misdirectional bait.

9.♘xe5 ♕h2
One bad move in the opening (White's third move) usually guarantee the beginning of total chaos.  The road to this category of loss is paved with good intentions and amateurish analysis. Regardless of the game, some people are so focused on the front effect that they cannot see the "subtle duality" of that move.  

Compass Rules
  • Read the entire board before make a decision.
  • Understand the positives and negative of any moves before concluding the next move. 

Side Notes
Regardless of this micro loss, Bill is still a big winner in life.  

If Magus and a bridge partner were playing a game of Bridge against Gates and Buffet, While it would be an interesting match, my money might be on Gates and Buffet.  

In a pseudo-predictable setting like chess, one must focus on the time factor, the space factor, the mobility factor, the force factor and the pawn structure factor (formation) .  ... When playing white, one must stay one move ahead while maintaining spatial control of the center with direct occupation of pawns and indirect control by minor pieces to force black to play reactive defense. 

As mentioned before, castling into a storm (move #6) is not a good strategy. 

Retrospectively, the amateurs are obsessed with their gadget openings while the professionals are focused on playing their games.   The budding chess players consciously decides which route to take/ 

While being fans of the late Robert James Fischer, some of us preferred to play Go (weiqi) or "Texas Hold 'Em" poker. 

Go is to chess as theoretical physics is to arithmetic.  Some people believes that life could be described as a game of Go or a game of showdown poker or a game of chess. We believed that the configuration of the situation determines the game metaphor.   ... Whether the implementer has the awareness to understand it, is a different story. Interestingly, we have seen people using the chess metaphor in a "Go game" type of setting. Strategically, their perspective will only hurt them on a long run.  Without any under-standing of the unknown that could lie in front of them, they will be grounded and pounded by the indirect forces.

Their incorrect use of a metaphor reminds us of novices bringing a penknife to a gunfight.  In most occurrences, their projected outcome will not be real.

The Bottom Line 
To thrive in any settings, the chief decision maker must know how to read the entire situation before deciding on anything relevant. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Profiting Temporarily by Competing Extremely in the Info Economy (The Uber vs Gett Situation)

updated at 3:33 hr
Regardless of the location in our global economy, some companies compete aggressively by doing whatever it takes to prevail. In the case of contracting transportation business, Uber temporaily thawed the plans of their competitor (Gett) by performing the following activities:
Is it illegal? Is it unethical?  The answer could be depended on that region's state of law.
Luckily, some of our other associates do not believe in the practice of competitive darwinism.  ... Our belief is that one should be prepared against the act of competitive darwinism while implementing fair and ethical business practices.   ...  Remember that life is never fair especially competing in an extreme scenario. 

Q: How do you know that you are in an extreme competitive scenario?
A: Ask yourself the question of how well do you know your competition. 

Being Strategic Efficient in the Information Economy
In some parts of the information economy, where some of the elite competitors almost possessed the similar tactical approach and the same set of operational modes.   It becomes a challenge to becoming technically efficient for them.    . . .  Once the strategical efficiency standard of marketplace is met, the majority would compete in their limited terrain by grinding, grounding and pounding.   Based on our research, there would be only a few competitors who are able to innovate successfully.  Whether they are able to compete effectively is a different story.

Having the skill to integrate the various operational modes to the grand approach is the tangible challenge for those who want to be strategically efficient.

If you are interested in our strategic perspective on knowing when to stay efficient and when to be innovative while operating in a strategic competitive scenario, please contact us. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Dao of Competitiveness (New England Patriots and Spygate)

In terms of the professional food chain, spying is supposed to be the second oldest profession.  

The amateurs have a proclivity of claiming that spying is unethical and unfair. Regardless of their view, these people are either idealistically ignorant or quietly being a hypocrite. 

However most historical dynasties succeeded in their endeavor due to their ability to secure "tangible" intelligence about their opposition.

It has been rumored that some NFL teams have cheated by spying on their competition. Catching them in action is a different story.  It was a surprise that the great Bill Belichick was caught for "spygating."  It was a rarity because someone err in their operations.

Bill Cowher, a former competing coach admitted that he ordered some of his staff members to steal the opposition's signals during the game

“We didn’t lose the game because of any Spygate, because of them having any additional things,” Cowher said. “I think if they’re guilty of anything, they’re guilty of arrogance, because they were told not to do something. But it was something that everybody does. The only thing they got caught [was] doing it with a camera. We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game, and everybody attempted to do that.
“Part of the things we had [were] wristbands that we were using to do it. It’s not even an element anymore because of the communications that take place on the field to the quarterback, to the linebacker. So it’s an element of the game that doesn’t exist, and really, what happened when we lost that game is they outplayed us, and it has nothing to do with stealing signals, or cheating, or anything else. They were a better football team on that day.”   - CBS Local
He also didn't think much of Spygate.

At this level of competition, some people do whatever it take to win. 

Side Note 
Bill Parcells (Belichick's ex-boss) also accused Bill Walsh, the great SF 49ers coach of cheating too. Without pristine evidence, his accusation had no grounds.

Know Ahead. Act Before 
In the game of baseball, some teams would have their coaches or their scouts stealing signals between the pitcher and the catcher or the third base coach and the hitter. 

There has been a rumor that Bobby Thomson received some foreknowledge on what was the next pitch from Ralph Branca. It lead to his game-winning home run that helped the New York Giants to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. EST on October 3, 1951.

Other Examples of Extreme Competitiveness 
To compete correctly in the information economy, countries must have their intelligence agencies.

Certain business companies have been known to hire ex-spooks and former law enforcement officials for irregular projects.  We will touch more on that topic later.

Click here for a high tech approach for stealing data.

Compass Prediction
"Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal."  - Pablo Picasso

Those who cannot innovate, will steal or copy. 

In our moderately innovative economy, the non-innovative companies will be building cyber armies of spies to gain the advantage. If caught, they will go to court, work out a deal and everyone might be happy.  ... Life goes on.

Comments From The Compass Desk
If you do not know what your competition is doing, ask yourself if your competition knows what you are doing.

Knowing how to utilize the acquired intelligence and having the resources to capitalize on it, is the name of the game. ... In some instances, some people do not have the audacity to make the big move.

Regardless of what the members of the peanut gallery are saying about the "spygating" incident, we are admirers of Bill Belichick's and his many coaching achievements. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Dao of Competitiveness (The San Francisco Forty Niners vs. The Seattle Seahawks)

To maintain their home field advantage, Seattle Seahawks implemented a strategic move to prevent the fans of their San Francisco from cheering their team on their field this Sunday. Denver Broncos  are also implementing the same decision. 

Is it unethical?  No.  This is what real competition is about. 

At this level, diminishing the psyche of the competition and their fan base at every phase of the "real" game  (before the actual game, during the actual game and after the actual game) is the first step.

In this "do or die" situation, the stakes are quite high. Competitors at this level would do whatever it takes to win.  Losing is not an option.

This extreme gamesmanship also happens in politics, chess tournaments and academic contests. the observing spectators are always mindful of it.

Regardless of the moderately competitive elements, the successful chief strategist reminds the team to stay focused to their script and that the game is always won on the field.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Note on The Latest S.F. 49ers Victory: A Game Won By Inches

An Interesting Quote from Any Given Sunday 
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game
life or football
the margin for error is so small.
I mean
one half step too late or to early
you don't quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast
and you don't quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in ever break of the game
every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us
to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know
when we add up all those inches
that's going to make the fucking difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this
in any fight
it is the guy who is willing to die
who is going to win that inch.
And I know
if I am going to have any life anymore
it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face.

-  Complete text could be found here.

An Abstract of The Final Play
Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House came within a few inches of blocking Phil Dawson’s game-winning field goal in Sunday’s NFC wild card game and sending the game to a frigid overtime session at Lambeau Field.

On the game’s final snap, House broke off the left side, ran untouched toward Dawson and perfectly timed his leap to block the kick. But instead of getting his arms on the ball, House somehow positioned his limbs so that the football snuck through his right and left forearms. It sailed through the uprights and San Francisco left Wisconsin with a 23-20 win. House couldn’t have timed it any better while positioning himself any worse.

Click here for a USA Today's view of this play.   You could also click here for a "clear and exact" clip of that feat.

Comments From The Compass Desk
Click here for our view on how Phil Dawson's, the current SF 49er kicker stays focused while avoiding contentment, regardless of the possible unpredictability of his terrain.

Mr. Dawson's current team profile can be found here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Assessing Minor League Deception in Asia (low)

Storm brews over TWG Tea logo in HK court

A Hong Kong tea company founded in 1932 saw red when a Singapore competitor opened an outlet in the territory using the same abbreviation, TWG.
Tsit Wing (Hong Kong), which is listed in Singapore, and its subsidiary Tsit Wing International took TWG Tea Company to court, arguing a breach of its trademark.
Last week, a Hong Kong judge agreed with Tsit Wing, holding the Singapore-based firm liable for the breach and the additional claim of "passing off" its business as Tsit Wing's by using a sign containing the abbreviation in its restaurant.
Both parties will return to court tomorrow to hear TWG Tea's submissions regarding Tsit Wing's demands and Deputy High Court judge John Saunders' decision on the damages and other remedies Tsit Wing is seeking.
Judge John Saunders had harsh words for TWG Tea for using the date 1837 in its sign, when in fact the company started in 2008.
Company officials explained that 1837 referred to the year when the Chamber of Commerce was founded in Singapore, which was then an important tea trading hub. Its inclusion was meant to celebrate that year, they said.
But Judge Saunders found this was not the "real intention". He said: "There is no doubt that the existence of the date 1837 in TWG Tea's sign has led people to believe that the company was established at that time."
He noted, among other things, that Bloomberg Businessweek had published an online report in October 2011 saying the Singapore-based company was founded in 1837.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!. Here is a Strategic Suggestion For the Strategically Inclined

If you are participating in a highly competitive terrain, follow these three simple steps: 

The Compass Cycle
  • Assess the configuration of your grand setting. 
  • Position oneself by planning and preparation. 
  • Influence the settings with the implementation of the scheme while being mindfully aware of the target's strategic state.
If or when the influence loses its potency, restart the Compass Cycle. Repeat your assessment of your grand terrain carefully.  Be aware of the possible deception.

Assess. ... Position.  ... Influence.  ... 

Follow those steps.  ... You will not regret it.  We wish you good luck in your new ventures.