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Gregory Esau
Works at SmartSwarms Management and Consulting
Attended The School of Life
Lived in Vancouver
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Gregory Esau

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The Evolution of Networks
From Social to Markets

A deeper, more purposeful, market specific types of networks. 
"Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10."

I really like the six characteristics the author (An early stage VC) indentifies in the article for successful market networks. 
--> Market Networks target more complex services
However, the highest value services — like event planning and home remodeling — are neither simple nor objectively judged. They are more involved and longer term. Market networks are designed for these types of services.

--> People Matter
With complex services, each client is unique, and the professional they get matters. Would you hand over your wedding to just anyone? Or your home remodel? The people on both sides of those equations are not interchangeable like they are with Lyft or Uber. Each person brings unique opinions, expertise and relationships to the transaction. A market network is designed to acknowledge that as a core tenet — and provide a solution.

--> Collaboration happens around a project. 
For most complex services, multiple professionals collaborate among themselves — and with a client — over a period of time. The SaaS at the center of market networks focuses the action on a project that can take days or years to complete.

--> Market networks help build long-term relationships.
Market networks bring a career’s worth of professional connections online and make them more useful. For years, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook have helped build long-term relationships. However, until market networks, they hadn’t been used for commerce and transactions.

--> Referrals flow freely.
In these industries, referrals are gold, for both the client and the service professional. The market network software is designed to make referrals simple and more frequent.

--> Market networks increase transaction velocity and satisfaction. By putting the network of professionals and clients into software, the market network increases transaction velocity for everyone. It increases the close rate on proposals and expedites payment. The software also increases customer satisfaction scores, reduces miscommunication and makes the work pleasing and beautiful. Never underestimate pleasing and beautiful.
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Thanks, +Shaker Cherukuri ! That's a real compliment coming from you!
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Gregory Esau

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The last band we checked out (of three!) before catching the False Creek Ferry home.
A Canada Day well spent! 
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We are out on one of the False Creek Ferries heading towards Canada Day festivities. 
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The eastern provinces are loath to admit we're part of Canada, +Shaker Cherukuri! ( Although manyvQuebec still wants to leave the federation...) 
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Schadenfreude
One of Life's Small Pleasures

Okay, call me petty, small minded, maybe even spiteful, but admittedly I get a nice tinge of delight whenever I read yet another poor performance by the world's most expensive platypus. Even GM's bureaucratic python couldn't produce something this bad, this expensive, this ill-performing. 
But, you know, this is what you get when a jet has to meet the design specs of the Navy, Airforce, Marines, the Pentagon, and maybe the state of Texas. You get a family sedan, that does a lot of things sort of well, but nothing (nothing!!) really well. Like dog-fighting fer instance. You know, that Top Gun stuff. 

Never mind that we up here in Canada had the good sense to sign up for these pig...dogs...um, jet 'fighters', that meet exactly zero of our own requirements. 
I'll still delight in hearing that the absolute worst way to design anything continues to prove why you don't design it that way. 
 
The F-35 was flying “clean,” with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.

But the JSF’s advantage didn’t actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. “Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the pilot reported.
New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle
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And that's allowing for the fact that the F-16 isn't any good in a dog fight either.
The F-35 is a nightmare, and it needs to be dumped, as a project, a couple of years ago.
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Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Macro Edition

As organizational change expert +Torben Rick well knows, culture eats strategy for breakfast, and other meals. If that is true for organizations, it is more so for the nation state. 

For a currency to work, it needs a certain cultural understanding, a buy in to what having a currency entails. More so for credit. Credit is based on the simple premise that the borrower is optimistic about its future, and ability to grow, so it borrows from that future confident that its growth will more than off-set the interest. The creditor should be equally confident. If you produce something of quality that is in demand, this generally works very well. 
Bubble economies mask who is selling quality, and who is selling smoke. (it shouldn't be, but that's for another post) I don't know what Greece produces. Europe, evidently, didn't know what Greece produces. Greece probably doesn't know what it produces. That for millennia it is in default of debt half the time suggests it isn't stuff of quality and high demand.

Now, starting a union with such vastly different cultures, using the same currency, and...what? Expectations that across the union that the cultures would buy into the premises necessary for a (sort of) stable currency regime  existed? 

Throughout history, the arc of democratization and political development has been marked by conflict and strife. Austerity and financial orthodoxy cannot patch over the fundamental political differences generated by the deep integration that started with a single European market and now encompasses almost all aspects of everyday European life. In the long run, the euro crisis has the potential to create a stronger footing for open contestation and democratic debate, along with broader institutions to support the euro. However, Greece’s sad experience as a member of the euro zone now places that future in serious doubt.

What we see here is a great example of a culture eating a strategy. 
The euro was created without the kinds of strong governance mechanisms and government spending capacities that most currencies has. It has relied on austerity policies as a substitute for real institutions, helping precipitate the current crisis in Greece.
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Maybe, Just Maybe
We Can Use This To Become Better Stewards of the Planet

My favourite? Using this along with drones to track and hunt poachers, and put them out of existence. 

“What I’m looking forward to is combining Google Earth with the kind of dynamic data coming out of Earth Engine—data on deforestation, floods, temperatures,” Moore says. “If you render that kind of information on Google Earth, it becomes a living, breathing dashboard of the planet. You can put in everyone’s hands, not just charts and graphs of what’s going on, but high-resolution information that’s sitting, almost literally, on the surface of the earth.” It’s like Askay’s work at the James Reserve. But on much larger scale.
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It would have to be publicly owned/governed, open source & guaranteed to stay that way - but it's an interesting idea.
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Gregory Esau

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After attending the Jazz Festival on Granville Island, we retreated back to one of our favourite decks in the city, to enjoy a few cocktails, and the views of people and water way activities. 
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Thanks, +Peter Feltham! It was a spectacularly fun day!
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The Story of Bitcoin
This Looks Like A Worthwhile Read
#books  

Even gold is a belief system. 

Why inevitable? Many of the factions that took to bitcoin had been searching for a digital cash solution for a long time. And Nakamoto’s email entered a world shaken and baffled by the global financial crisis of 2008, which was then reaching its depths. When the U.S. Federal Reserve began buying trillions of dollars’ worth of bonds to support and energize the financial system and economy, many people asked, for the first time, where the Fed got the money. When it turned out the answer was that the central bank prints money and injects it into the economy with a few keystrokes, some of those same people began to see the merit of a rules-based system for making and exchanging a new kind of digital money. The same energy that gave force to the Occupy Wall Street movement sent some people flocking to bitcoin as a path to a purer economic existence.
Since its introduction in 2008, bitcoin has enjoyed a rapid and tumultuous rise. Is the digital currency built to last?
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<snort>
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Austerity is Suicide
Why Grexit Is The Right Choice

Appeasing to the Eurozone Mafia troika is suicide for Greece. This piece does a nice job of explaining why divorce is better than staying in the European Union. 
Bravo to Tsipras for calling their bluff, and walking away from the table. 
Via +Giorgio Bertini 

My colleague Martin Sandbu calculated how an adjustment of such scale would affect the Greek growth rate. I have now extended that calculation to incorporate the entire four-year fiscal adjustment programme, as demanded by the creditors. Based on the same assumptions he makes about how fiscal policy and GDP interact, a two-way process, I come to a figure of a cumulative hit on the level of GDP of 12.6 per cent over four years. The Greek debt-to-GDP ratio would start approaching 200 per cent. My conclusion is that the acceptance of the troika’s programme would constitute a dual suicide — for the Greek economy, and for the political career of the Greek prime minister.
So here we are. Alexis Tsipras has been told to take it or leave it. What should he do? The Greek prime minister does not face elections until January 2019. Any course of action he decides on now would have to bear fruit in three years or less.
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The EU is fine, thank you very much.
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Musical Chairs
Eurozone Style

If you don't know who Yanis Varoufakis is, this will give you at least some idea. And idea of grace under the pressure of the rock, and the hard place. If nothing else, I applaud him for returning to help captain a sinking ship. 

Varoufakis has been Greece’s finance minister for only four months, but the story of how he has thrown Europe into turmoil is one many years in the making. After Greece joined the European Union’s monetary union in 2001, the tiny country of 10 million was flooded with money from elsewhere on the Continent. Over the course of the next decade, Greek leaders, whose sclerotic and corrupt economy had long been rife with patronage and tax evasion, borrowed billions from imprudent European banks and then lied to E.U. officials about its mounting debts. When the financial crisis finally rolled into Greece in 2009 and 2010, the country was an estimated $430 billion in debt, a staggering figure that imperiled the economic health of its near and distant neighbors — indeed, all of Europe. The European Commission, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (often referred to as the troika) agreed to bail out the sinking economy by loaning it $146 billion. In return, as Athenians rioted in the streets in protest, the government promised the troika it would reduce state spending by slashing pensions and wages, eliminating jobs and raising taxes, an approach to debt reduction known as “austerity.

Again, I ask: Who did the European creditors think they were lending money to, and on what (?!?!?!?) basis did they think they would get it back???
The defiant stand by Yanis Varoufakis in the high-stakes economic negotiations with the E.U. threatens to tear Europe apart.
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Thanks, +John Richardson , much appreciated!
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Bad Dog! Bad Dog!!
Can You Say Untenable? Sure You Can

Where to start. 
First, let's be clear--there is very very little about Greece's economy that isn't an unmitigated disaster. For most all intents and purposes, it's a black market that had no business (no business!!) being in the Eurozone. Somebody as uncharitable as me (for example) would simply tell the bureaucrats with the European Union that "you got what you bought, you got what you deserved." What the EU thought it was getting into when it accepted (welcomed?) Greece into the club is beyond me. 
What we do know is what Greece knew what it was getting--a credibility it neither earned, nor deserved. (for more, read here: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010 As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks. This was in 2010!)

Austerity is a form a punishment. It is the rolled up newspaper on the snout of the Bad Dog, imploring it not to do what bad dogs do. And it doesn't work. 
For one, much like poor Rex the dog, few of anybody actually understand what they are being punished for. The basic culture that has underpinned the Greek economy hasn't changed much over the millennia, and forcing them into some kind of Max Weber, Protestant work ethic and discipline isn't going to change anything.

For the Euro's part (read Germany and Merkel), punishment must be served, and there is a certain logic to that. If just anyone can default on their debts, then the whole financial world falls apart. That's true. Sorta. But, otoh, the spectre of no longer being able to get credit usually keeps most on the payment path.   

If the goal is, however, to reform an economy, austerity is a piss poor way to get there. If you want to crush an economy, go for it. Reform it? Then you need to understand the patient. 
The current path only kicks the can down the road. Greece won't recover, will be further weakened, and will still have to default down the road. Alexis Tsipras knows this. Which is why it is worth it to him and his government to stall in hopes of a different game plan. 

While we can be sympathetic to (a degree) that the Eurozone creditors needs to save face here, we also cannot ignore that was an incredibly poor decision to bring Greece into the Eurozone, and their own lack of due diligence needs to be accountable here as well.

While not 'right', Tsipras and his government need a clean slate to see if they can even remotely turn their ship around. It's a slim shot, but the alternatives are much much worse.  
Nobel laureate tells TIME that the institutions and countries that have enforced cost-cutting on Greece "have criminal responsibility"
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Shalom 
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The Moral of the Story
Don't Believe Your Own Press

A neat bit of work reveals that it can be all too easy getting caught up in your own hype, at the expense of seeing what's really needed to keep the business moving forward.v
Companies can significantly influence the media visibility of their CEO with certain kinds of press releases — but having a prominent CEO can also work to shareholders’ detriment.
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Education
  • The School of Life
    Experience/ Trial and Error, 1959 - 2011
  • mission senior secondary
    1975 - 1977
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Smart Swarming The Future of Organization
Introduction

SmartSwarm Management and Consulting

Better Perspectives
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Problem Solving
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I use Google Plus as social media, to stay informed, to connect with collective intelligence, and keeping my perspective broad. 
I post to inform, broaden perspective, occasionally amuse, and to offer glimpses into my life and city. 
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I build things.
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Consulting. SmartSwarm Management and Consulting
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Are you kidding? I'm a generalist and continual learner.
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  • SmartSwarms Management and Consulting
    Founder, present
    I use the collective intelligence in business environments and networks to "Swarm" problems, create opportunities, to advance businesses and organizations towards continual adaptation.
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Vancouver - Victoria - Mission, B.C.
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