Twas my week in government I think...
Tuesday I spoke in the House of Lords - Cholmondeley Room - for the International Trade Awards UK final, on how Britain has been doing big throughout its history. ARM microprocessor won the overall award. When I was advising Bob Terwilliger and Jez San on the split off of ARC Cores from Argonaut Software in August 1998, Bob was a bit fixated on Robin Saxby and ARM's success. From my days managing the marketing for PowerPC within the Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector to my ex brother in law's role at Gartner managing semi research, I've always loved the chip industry. One of Ariadne's investors, Jalal Bagherli, has led both Alphomosiac to successful acquisition as well as turning Dialog Semiconductor around. I tipped Dialog as a stock to watch 18 months ago on CNBC, and their stock has gone up 1400% [no typos] over the past 12 months.
Wednesday commented on the Budget on the lawn right after Mandelson on Bloomberg TV. I would have liked to have seen a budget which reflected a strong bet on the UK Entrepreneur. It seems to be that the entrepreneur and high-growth SME is the elephant in the room; everyone just assumes that they will continue to build revenue so that it can be taxed and fill the coffers of the treasury. But if you are running a marathon and have the level of regulation, taxation and general lack of confidence in your back, how can you compete?
Wednesday evening was honoured by INSEAD as one of INSEAD's 50 who changed the world on the 50th Anniversary of INSEAD. I must have filled some sort of quota they had for American women on the list.... Martin Sorrell spoke at the dinner in the Tower of London; he was amazing. Last time I heard him speak was at the Google Zeitgeist in October 2006 in the Valley which I went to with Nikesh. I loved Martin's anecdote about a CFO in one of his operating subs who was fired for theft, and the courts ruled that the theft was not bad enough for him to be fired!! Only in Europe...
Everything always leads back to family... I was living in Paris when at 23 my Uncle Mart of Trinity Lutheran Church put me in touch with Pekka Hietala who was a professor at INSEAD. We had dinner; I went to an INSEAD open day, and thought - wow what great people - if this is business school, count me in. Then the GMAT, and when I sailed through that, I thought - now build the management profile. If I hadn't gotten in to INSEAD, I wouldn't have gone to B school. INSEAD or nothing... the most phenomenal experience of my life ..... living in Montigny Sur Loing, the awful crush, the decision upon graduation that I would stick to my dream and not just get a job but position myself for the rest of my life.... the car crash in the hills... yes, I'm sure I must be filling a quota for them...
Thursday was the SliceThePie- investor day at the Brewery. Ariadne's been supporting SliceThePie since 2008; the are revolutionising the economics of yet to be discovered artists. Scars45 has gone all the way through their process now - from undiscovered to signed and growing a fan base. I love new financing models, and David Courtier-Dutton, founder and CEO of SliceThePie, and now joined with Jonathan Bunis, who Ariadne worked with at Espotting years ago - another supernova exit, have done is to make the economics work in a new financing ecosystem. Their SoundOut product provides real music research, and lots of interest from the 40 or so investors who showed up.
I attended the Edelman Budget Breakfast this past week where Michael Howard and David Blunkett both spoke. David Blunkett - what an incredibly sincere and utterly misguided man. He was lopped off amounts for programs - "children program X - worth atleast a billion". All very nice David, but when you are bleeding in debt, you can't continue to spend. I asked him to defend the billion pounds, and he said - and I quote, "you seem to assume that the state will pay for the volunteer program". Yes, that's exactly what he was putting forth. The problem with the current government is that they assume that if it's worthwhile, and of course, children's program are very worthwhile - then we must find the money somewhere! He said that he was a product of a caring government, and thus wants to help others. But he does himself a big disservice to say that it was a result of government that's he's got where he's got to in his life. Small state = strong individuals; big government = dependency.
And finally, I was the guest speaker at the SquareMile 30 Under 30 awards on Friday afternoon with Will Greenwood as Master of Ceremonies. He was fabulous.
And yesterday, I hung out with my favourite students at the NACUE Annual Conference where I kicked off with thoughts around a World with No Money and the role of the Individual Capitalist.
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