Saturday, February 27, 2010

Serious funding situation

I'm brewing a lengthy one for this blog around the topic of funding. It's not going to be groundbreaking, more along the lines of exasperation. I don't know where to start right now so I won't. Until I'm ready.

There are a lot of points to consider. I don't want to rock all the boats in the shipyard but something has to be done about the cash situation for small businesses in Ireland.

Too frequently do we hear of micro enterprise being the forgotten group of commercial entities when it comes to this "government" of ours. Truth be told they're not governing at all. They're not working to keep big business here, they're not working any more diligently to intice more multinational business here. They're all talk about creating jobs and that's just it. It's just talk.

Let me stew on this some more. There must be a solution out there. Has to be.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

David McWilliams

He's telling it like it really is, over here on his blog. I haven't always agreed with David and the way he explains things - being a jaron-creator, for example - but his words today are clear and well thought out. I think more people need to read it. Go!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I should start taking my own.

Had the coolest idea for a blogpost at the weekend, and had no pen/notebook with me to jot down my ideas. Which is something I'm always suggesting that people should have with them - especially if they're working on being innovative in their business. You just never know when a good idea will hit!

Maybe I should have Tweeted the reminder to myself and favourited it from Tweetie or something. Sigh.

So here I am, idea-less on a Tuesday. Sorry about that...

Have a Happy Pancake Day anyway :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

WorldVision, Hugh Jackman & Haiti

WorldVision is one of my favourite charities. If you haven't had a chance to donate to a Haiti fund yet, perhaps you could consider theirs. They are located all over the world and their Irish offices happily take donations online here. They don't just do Child Sponsorship (yes, they're THAT charity from the ads on telly) - you can just make a single donation, no problem at all.

Farmville as an Enterprise Learning Tool

Don't laugh, think about it.

How many thousands of online simulation games are there, lots of which surround the idea of running a business or a city or a lifestyle and staying afloat while you do it?

The thought crossed my mind as I was on Facebook recently; a lot of my friends play Farmville so I thought I'd give it a whirl. It's not too taxing on the brain, gets boring after a while yes but it's still a bit of fun.

Whatever about the money making motivations of the developers, I think the application has its merits. It teaches young would-be entrepreneurs about buying and selling, tending a project to make sure it doesn't wither, working a few areas at once to ensure maximum return as quickly as possible... Game Points are ranked on 2 levels - Experience and Coins. There's cash too, but that's more for the developers as it takes real-life cash to get some Farmville cash. Which is a pain because there's no return on the real investment, so we won't go there.

Different crops have different XP (experience) ratings. They will take different times to grow and cost different amounts of money. The user takes the few coins they have and tries to make them into more coins. Simple, right? Just like in business... Start small and grow.

The player competes with their friends to see what level they can get to - the higher the XP the higher the level. It also shows the user about working together - if you give your friends/neighbours a little something, they will give a little something back which will make your farming life easier and maybe even more efficient - e.g. they might give you some fuel for the tractor you just saved up to buy. Which makes ploughing quicker and more efficient.

This is a very simple game and concept for teaching people what it's like to juggle a few areas at once. It's obviously nowhere near as sophisticated as the bike shops, airline games and other retail outlet simulators I've played in the past but there are definite similarities. I think Farmville has the potential to tap into a kid's entrepreneurial spirit which could be further encouraged by fully developed simulators like Mike's Bikes and the Small Business Game.