Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Capitalism is for Those Who Want More

After some careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that capitalism only really functions well if people are striving for something more. If the population is happy with things as they are there is no room for innovation, only room for cost savings; deliver the "Samething" for a few cents less. No need to take risks or even meet new people.

One flaw, every 2nd rate and 3rd rate economy has what it takes to make capitalism thrive. A burning desire for something better. So here we sit   yes sit    with a vast number of our population either protecting what they have or finding a way to adjust to what they have lost.

In any case, the burning desire for something better seems to have evaporated. What do we ave to do to get it back, frankly dunno, but can tell you we really need it.

Our standard of living comes as a result of our community, a community is defined as people with shared values. What do we value?

Good luck out there!

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2 at fox river mall

Just finishing day 2 at fox river mall. Interesting emersion into hardcore retail. Learned a grat deal about what will drive interest. Thinking of offering case study for down load on tkg website. So, thus far we have 25 hours invested. Another 9 hours to go. Could not have done this without the help of Business owner/friends/assocoates. Met some great people so far, looking forward to more on Sunday!

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Just helped a non-profit prep for a major tradeshow

Rj and i just delivered a 6 hour workshop designed to Discover the message that makes networking work. Yep that means converting introductions to interest and interest to sales. It was a thing of beauty, thats what Rj said!

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Monday, September 20, 2010

Project Planning - We do that, really?

Business Growth, more often than not requires investment.  The objective is to invest some of our limited capital, creating a method to save or earn cash to repay the investment and earn enough income to pay back the investment and generate additional profits.  Capitalism, wise investment of capital creates profitablity, for good risk takers.

Yep, we all know that. 

Now for the next level of detail.  How many ideas get abandoned because we cannot generate the necessary return on invested capital?  How many ideas get approved and in the end do not generate the expected return on invested capital?  How much more profit could we make if we were to reduce the capital investment needed?  Now that is an interesting list of questions.

Bottom line, most capital projects (more than 75%) fail to meet advertized objectives.  Business leaders, financiers, and bankers know this.  That is why these experienced people are so unwilling to make capital project investments, that is, unless the margins are absolutely exceptional.  High risk business propositions almost never get authorized, slowing real progress to a snail's pace.

Thankfully, there is a way to reduce the risk associated with capital projects.  By combining team concepts with LEAN problem solving and a variety of adult learning tools, teams can drastically reduce project schedules and costs.  Most significantly, project risks are reduced making the proposed business financials almost certain, and keeping managment distractions to a minimum.  Essentially, transforming bad business opportunities into good business opportunities and greater returns.

The work process is named WOW!  The process belongs to The Knight Group, but the results are all yours.  After approximately 60 projects:  Schedules are reduced by 50%  (more sales),  Costs are reduced by 25%  (better margins),  Risks are reduced by 90%  (more certainty).

WOW! is like a dress rehersal for a major investment.  If a dress rehersal is good for a high school play, why not do something even better for a "bet your business" project?  It has always been done it that way, and it has gotten us to exactly where we are now.  If we want something different, we have to DO something different.  Very simply, contact The Knight Group for details.  920-968-5333

 

 

 

 

 

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why The Knight Group?

What makes us different is our engineering ability. You cannot afford an engineer if you already have a business advisor but you can afford a business advisor is an engineer. You get the talent you need at the price your business can afford.

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting Ready for the October Show

We are busy creating new products that make it even easier to connect with The Knight Group.  We will at Fox River Mall on the weekend of October 22-24 ready to show the world.

Stop by the mall and see us at the Business Expo and say that you saw this post.  We will enter your name in the “Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner Contest.”

Chicken Dinner for TWO at Kim’s Restaurant in Combined Locks, it is delicious! 

Until then stop by www.knightgroupcorp.com and see our new website layout.

As with any website it always under construction.  Comments most helpful and absolutely welcome!

Best Wishes!

Preston O'Connor

The Knight Group, Inc.

Technical People with Excellent Business Skills

101 W. Edison Ave.

Edison Center

Appleton, WI 54915

office:  920-968-5333

fax:     920-968-5308

www.knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Friday, August 27, 2010

The power Of postrerous

Showing Tom K of tk drafting and design the power of today`s social medial.

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SWOT - Continues

As we continue to develop this product offering. We are becoming even more convinced that for most businesses the greatest challanges come from inside the business not from outside. So we are creating an inwardly directed assessment that can help identify things we can actually control. Novel thought, Focus attention on things we can work on and spend less time stressing over things that happen to us.

Now is the time to get going, we are the economy, Lead, Follow or move over and watch others get there first.

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Strategy / Tactics there is a difference

Tactics the skills needed to get yourself out of a problem.

Strategy the vision needed to avoid problems to start with.

Said another way: an ounce of strategy is worth a pound of tactics.

Is your organization best in the world at reacting to problems, or is it best in world at avoiding problems? 

Better question, do you reward people who save the day or do you reward people who make it look easy?

Thoughts?

Preston O'Connor

The Knight Group, Inc.

Technical People with Excellent Business Skills

101 W. Edison Ave.

Edison Center

Appleton, WI 54915

office:  920-968-5333

fax:     920-968-5308

www.knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Swot analysis

The Knight Group has created a SWOT analysis tool tailor made for small to mid sized business. More info to follow. Contact us for details. Confidential@knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Monday, August 16, 2010

1st discover demand - it works

Getting more and more examples of The maGic that happens when you set out to help understand the buyer before providing the product/service. Bottom line be flexible, be helppful. The goal is to provid people what they are looking for. Ask'em then see if you can find a way. Good luck to all!

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

4th Attempt to Post Via Email

This is our first attempt to post via email.  Trying to get the content to the right posterous page.  Also want to post a photo.

Preston

Posted via email from NEWTKG

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lets go fishing

Just met a very nice man that takes people for boat rides, and fishing too. See his site www.lakewinnebagowalleyes.com

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Find the Value of an Invention

 

Not all Entrepreneurs are Inventors but nearly every Inventor needs to be an Entrepreneur.

While no entrepreneurial challenge can be said to be easy,  It uniformly accepted that bringing inventions to market is among the toughest business challenges one can undertake.  The path is complicated, uncertain, and unless one gets lucky will likely be long and costly.

A few of the business challenges the inventor faces:

1.        Finding the balance between sharing enough information so that others can assist in moving forward while keeping quiet and protecting the idea from competitors.

2.       Trying to get others to see the benefits of your innovation.  Most of us cope with problems and prefer not to change and we certainly don’t want to be the first ones to try a new thing.  Makes getting those first sales a real challenge.

3.       Having enough cash to bring the product to market so that sales can happen allowing the skeptics to see the value of the idea.

Why do the business issues matter?  Because in the end, the value of an idea is determined by the idea’s ability of make cash for the owner.  Novel inventions that don’t solve immediate problems, while interesting, won’t generate immediate sales thus have little immediate value.  On the other hand inventions that solve today’s understood challenges can generate immediate sales.  With immediate sales, the invention’s real value can be calculated.

So while it may be comfortable and interesting to imagine, design, improve, fine tune, prototype, and test the idea.  The real and true test of the invention is simple.  Have real people paid their real money to own the product?  If you cannot answer yes to this question the value of the invention is minimal.  That is the cold hard truth of the matter.  For a invention to have real value it must have real sales.

If you wish to be a successful independent inventor you need to be a business person!   That does not mean having all the skills, it does mean understanding the skills that are needed.  Then gathering the right skills in sufficient quantity that real business results can be achieved.  Quickly being able to demonstrate the market value of your invention gives the inventor the opportunity to earn a fair a wage and invent again.  When this happens, it is a thing of beauty.  When it does not, well let’s not go there.

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Monday, July 26, 2010

Trip to Lake Michigan

Had the opportunity to spend Sunday AM on Lake Michigan.

It was beautiful!  Fishing was very slow.  But who says the point of fishing is catching fish?  The company was great and the weather was tremendous.

Some observations,

Two Rivers is the home of NESCO!  A Wisconsin Treasure!

There were over 50 boats on the water and another 50 ready to go in the slips.  Campfires, Families, Tents, you could see up close and personal the standard of living that we are working to maintain.

Coming home there were people in every used car lot from Two Rivers to Appleton.  In Wisconsin car lots are closed on Sunday.  Looks to me like people are getting ready to replace a car.  This is good news for all of us.

It’s days like Sunday, that remind me why I love living in Wisconsin.

Oh yes, Asian Carp, what will they do to this Treasure?  This threat has to be understood and managed!  Please act quickly!

Preston O'Connor

The Knight Group, Inc.

Profitable Balancing People, Business, and Systems.

101 W. Edison Ave.

Edison Center

Appleton, WI 54915

office:  920-968-5333

fax:     920-968-5308

www.knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Ad Campaign

Started a new ad campaign on WHBY.  Radio ad with Cindy Viet from New Flag www.mynewflag.com

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Supporting Your Community

Contrary to most of our radio talk show hosts, our economy and country is driven by sales of consumer products.  Consumer products include tissues, diapers, clothing, food, fuel, transportation, and thousands of other items we use every day.  What consumers buy and who they buy it from is the real driver of our society.  The consumers decision creates sales and gives cash to one company and does not give it to another.  Who you choose to buy your products from determines who has power and who sets the direction of our economy and our country.

Yes it is just that simple, your dollars are the same as votes in our economy.  Choosing to buy products from a large multi-national company allowing that company to remain large and multi-national.  They remain influential and because Washington works like it does, those large companies influence decisions that set the course for our future.  One certain thing, big businesses are predictable, they do what it takes to maintain and improve profits.  That means they continue to make sales.  Bottom line rattle snakes bite, it is their nature.  If you live with rattle snakes you are going to get bit.  No complaints allowed, same is true if you buy your products from large companies.  You personally are agreeing with their tactics, when you get bit, no complaining allowed.

So it’s simple buy products from companies and organizations that act in a fashion consistent with what is best for our country / society.  What does that mean?  Time to really consider your values and select how you want to vote with your money.  Rest assured, if in the end you make your decision on lowest cost at the cash register or on best advertizing campaign you are telling everyone, “I want more low quality, low pay, poor environmental control, and big marketing budgets.”  You are probably also saying, “I don’t really care where the product is made and who gets the jobs.”  If that is not what you believe then spend your dollars differently!

Please stop preaching, yelling, and blaming, spend your dollars differently.  Consider the total cost of the decisions you make.  If we continue to buy foreign products, we will continue with 10% + unemployment and our taxes will continue to rise to cover the cost of helping the unemployed try and survive.  Dunno, not an economist but it stands to reason that the real cost of buying foreign products are ultimately just about 10% higher than the sticker price.  Somehow we have to pay for the unemployment the decision generates.  If I’m wrong please show me why.

Better yet, one could choose to spend 10% more to buy local.  I know it would not make a change immediately but over time we can turn this thing around.  The local businesses would become larger more efficient and have a chance to reduce their costs, while immediately improving the standard of living for an entire community.

Think I’m kidding, this was just on the news.  Now, people won’t eat Gulf Seafood cuz they think it’s damaged.  So the restaurants won’t buy it, so the fishermen cannot sell it.  So sadly, even if the oil spill didn’t put the fishermen out of business.  Doesn’t matter cuz the customer won’t buy and the fishermen are out of business anyway.  The power of capitalism!  You vote with your dollars……   

Preston O'Connor

The Knight Group, Inc.

Technical People with Excellent Business Skills

101 W. Edison Ave.

Edison Center

Appleton, WI 54915

office:  920-968-5333

fax:     920-968-5308

www.knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Supreme Court Keeps Business-Method Patents Alive « On the Docket

The Supreme Court, as expected, dealt the final blow to Pittsburgh inventor Rand Warsaw's dream of patenting a method for hedging energy costs against changes in the weather. In doing so, however, the court didn't upset the foundations of the multibillion-dollar world of "business method patents," which are based less on a particular machine than a process for achieving some practical end.

It was an anticlimactic end to a case whose decision was so long delayed that some speculated the justices were deadlocked over how far to rein in what some see as an out-of-control patent process. Instead, the court rejected a narrow test that would require patents to involve a machine or transformation of matter and merely said patents can't cover an abstract idea.

"It looks like what people actually thought it would be, before it took forever," said John Dragseth of Fish & Richardson in Minneapolis. "Not much has changed from what thoughtful people thought the law should be."

The decision, penned by centrist Justice Anthony Kennedy, says the machine or transformation test is "a useful and important clue, an
investigative tool," but not the sole test of whether something can be patented. The appeals court rejected the Bilski patent in stronger terms that suggested all patents lacking this qualification would be invalid.

By rejecting the narrow approach of the federal circuit, the court is eschewing artificial limits on patentability," said Andrew Pincus, a partner at Mayer Brown in Washington who represented the Business Software Alliance in briefs presented to the court.

Pincus wouldn't offer an opinion as to how the decision might limit future software patents -- he's an advocate, after all. The decision leaves for future litigation questions about whether software that involves an algorithm based on natural laws, for example, or patents on certain medical procedures will survive review.

"When you have something that's more than abstract, but still preempts a law of nature or natural phenomenon, what do you do?" said Dragseth, who represents the Mayo Clinic in a case over a medical procedure that seems to mimic the normal thought processes of a physician.
The Bilski decision is "a cautious effort to limit what they're going to do in a very special case," he said. "They know there's danger out there if they're not careful."

The court went out of its way to avoid saying anything specific about software and other patents that don't specifically involve machines. This statement sums up the majority's refusal to take a firm stand:

"With ever more people trying to innovate and thus seeking patent protections for their inventions, the patent law faces a great challenge in striking the balance between protecting inventors and not granting monopolies over procedures that others would discover by independent, creative application of general principles. Nothing in this opinion should be read to take a position on where that balance ought to be struck."

The Supreme Court first upheld a software patent in 1981, involving software controlling a process for curing rubber, and since then patents have become a vital bulwark protecting the assets of big companies like IBM and Microsoft.

A federal appeals court first approved business method patents in a 1997 decision involving State Street Corporation. That same year, Amazon.com won a patent for its one-click ordering system, which struck many critics as being too obvious and unconnected with machinery to be patentable. Amazon.com immediately went after rivals in the new Internet retail industry seeking royalties for its supposed innovation.

While the patent system is enshrined in the Constitution, Congress has the job of specifying the rules. Current law allows patents on a “process,” unhelpfully defined as a “process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.”

Warsaw and Bilski began working on a hedging system in the early 1990s designed to shelter both consumers and utilities against big swings in energy prices and demand. While the idea is commonplace now –weather derivatives and energy hedging are both booming businesses – Warsaw says he and his partner were at the cutting edge when they designed their system.

“When I started on this concept in early 1990s, it wasn’t obvious,” Warsaw told Forbes last year. “There was absolutely no weather hedging going on.”

this continues to get more muddy. Best bet seems to be to protect those ideas that a core to your business. The cost of loss is just too great!

On the other hand, don't stop innovating just because it seems like someone owns it. Things can and do change and opportunities continue to open up every day! Good luck to all!

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We got quoted in June Market Place

Please read the Market Place article on patents and idea protection.
Lots of good information and maybe even an insight or two that would help business leaders make the very best decisions.

thanks for the story Steve!

A storyƂ© about protectingSM intellectual propertyĆ¢�¢ (Pat. Pend.)
http://www.marketplacemagazine.com/content/567_1.php

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Growing a Business - Discover Demand

OK, so here we are.

Sales off by 50% since this recession started, headcount down by 25% or more. Likely 25% of our suppliers are no longer with us and those that remain are in the same situation. If we only had the customers we could get back in the groove…..

The assessment is absolutely right yet does not yet get to the heart of the matter. Let’s go one layer deeper.

The old customers are no longer there, even if the people are there they now think differently, have different needs, and are under different pressures….The suppliers we have grown to trust have changed drastically. Maybe not from the outside but I can assure you they are different inside. Less experienced, more hurried, apt to look for new solutions rather than honor old relationships. To get back to where we once were, we have to double in size. And we are not going to add employees. You know it and you know why… Oh one last thing, all your competitors are in exactly the same situation. We have to grow by 100% quickly, not add people and not get out of control…

Demand for our product or service is the driver that lets everything else happen. Demand is the foundation of a thriving business. Demand creates the opportunity to make sales. Demand is what creates competitors. Demand is out there. Demand has to be discovered. To find demand one must be an explorer, a miner, a detective. Yes many of the skills are the same as a sales professional however the approach is different. In the demand discovery mode, we are not focused on delivering a product or service. We are focused on understanding how we can help someone else meet their needs. Because of this the communications are different and frankly some people just don’t get it. Imagine, as a customer not having to pick from options rather being able to explain your needs and have someone else work to meet them. If you work in a demand creation role, you are inventing solutions to someone else’s problems.

So for all those who don’t want to be in sales, relax demand creation is not sales. Sales has to be profitable, sales has to find a way to keep the work standard, sales has to find a way to play to our strength. Sales when done well, creates a backlog of work, fair profit margins, and long term happy customers. In the cycle of rinse, lather, repeat. The sales team is trying to repeat, repeat, repeat.

Demand Discovery is the business of finding markets, finding channels, discovering messages that will allow our business to communicate with particular types of customers. Demand Discovery is something that some businesses never had to do….imagine that. Demand Discovery is something that some businesses once knew had to do but after a while they got complacent and forgot …. Lots of sales can do that to you. Demand Discovery for some is a way of life …. These businesses continue to invent products, invent markets, re-invent themselves….. We know who they are.

After a recession, comes an expansion, kind of a law of nature thing. Expansion is the same as increased demand. That is easy. Knowing exactly what will be in demand that is the real question. What are these people looking for, what will they need, what will they buy. Just a few of the questions.

Bottom line, there are two ways to find out what is on the other side of the mountain. One is to sit here and wait for someone to send us a report. The other is to climb up and over and see for ourselves. Those who value Demand Discovery….have already left the building!

Good luck to all of you,

Preston

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thanks to WHBY

Thank you WHBY, appreciate the the help.  Robbie you're getting the word out!

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Knight Group, Inc. - Comments: Just updated our home page

Just updated our home page

www.knightgroupcorp.com As always we value your feedback. Let us know what you think.

also installed google analytics to see % bounces

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Just updated our home page

www.knightgroupcorp.com As always we value your feedback. Let us know what you think.

Honey Bee Ware

Name of a new beekeepers supply company in Wisconsin. Just getting started. Expect more soon. www.honeybeeware.com

Friday, May 14, 2010

WI - Work Force Development - Gets it

Work Force Development is about creating Employment, Employment comes from Sales, Sales happen for those who work hard, are self directed, have a servants heart, and are humble enough to ask for help.

Grow our economy, create a product or service that people need and are willing to purchase.  Sound simple, well it is, but absolutely not easy!  Go entrepenuership!

Posted via email from newtkg's posterous

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Knight Group, Inc. - Comments: Need more cash to grow?

Post a Comment

My thoughts on how to handle a cash crunch. Now is the time to improve efficiencies in sales, marketing, and cash flow.

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Need more cash to grow?

Now that the economy is starting to look-up. Managers will have a new set of challenges. One of the biggest will be finding the operating cash necessary to return the business back to its previous sales volumes.

For most businesses, inventory, wages, utilities, etc. are purchase and paid long before the customer pays for the product or service. The increased business we are looking for will automatically translate into additional inventory, wages, utilities, etc. weeks or months before additional sales income is deposited into the bank.

So where to get cash to fund the growth of my improving business?

The standard response, go to the banker. However, the banker is still reeling from the downturn and the banker is very cautious of risk. Providing you an increased line of credit is tough for them to do even if you stayed current over the last 48 months.

While the bank may be part of the answer, there is more we can do.


Without a doubt, inefficient operations result in wasted materials, time and effort. What inefficient operations really waste is cash. Cash that is absolutely needed to fund additional growth...

Internal improvements can free-up the cash needed for growth.


As a matter of fact, as a banker I may be more inclined to assist you if I knew you were trying to help yourself. Some internal improvement areas that can help reduce waste and in turn free-up cash.

Marketing, track effectiveness, if not generating inquiries/awareness it is not working. Word to the wise, don’t stop marketing, but do get it working. Marketing is still less expensive than door to door sales. It is your message, your geographics, or you demographics. Could be all three.

Sales, create your process, know what is happening and contribute the time. Sales is a verb, maybe a chore but certainly something that has to be done. If done well, it can provide the strategic information needed to transform your business. Listen to the customer. Current customers, past customers, future customers. Knowing their needs will help you be efficient in how your respond. Less expense in keeping a good customer than finding one to replace them. Bad customers are expensive too…..

Order to Cash cycle, in simplest terms the business of your business is to create cash. While we all know that satisfaction, quality, safety, ethics, and the list is long and all play a part. If the business does not create cash it does not exist for long. A poor order to cash cycle will have us slow to invoice, slow to collect, quick to order, slow to pay, lots of unpaid invoices in every area. The time needed to deal with this is a colossal waste. Waste of time, waste of opportunity, waste of talent.

Once have taken steps to improve these areas, now let’s once again ask “Where do I get the cash to fund the growth?”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Knight Group, Inc. - Comments: WOW! Video 2010

this took nick and I less than 2 hours to complete. Incredible how easy it is to get the word out. Followers please forward to those that have a need to know.

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

WOW! Video 2010

Please take a look at this video. We are here to help grow businesses, love to discuss our approach with you! www.knightgroupcorp.com

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Twitter’s New Ad Model Could Mean for Small Business

keeping a close eye on twitter. More like news and less like social media. interesting that they are finding a way to turn the concept into cash.

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Harris: Google's venture funding arm extending its reach - San Jose Mercury News

Venture Capital

When mighty Google got into the venture capital business a year ago with "an aspirational goal" of investing $100 million a year in startups, the initiative was not universally welcomed by the Sand Hill Road crowd. Certainly, Google investors like Sequoia Capital and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and a few other firms were easy to work with, but "...

"There are other firms I won't name" that seemed suspicious, said Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris. He summed up the vibe as: "How dare you. Are you going to steal deals from us?"

Suspicion, sour grapes — just type the phrase "success breeds" into your favorite search engine and see how quickly it comes up with "contempt." With venture capital growing scarce, Google Ventures was decidedly good news for entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley as a whole. But struggling VCs had a special case for resentment.

Even before the Great Recession hit, the venture industry was undergoing a painful shakeout — a kind of lingering hangover from the excesses of the dot-com boom. Many firms and individual partners were fighting for professional survival. Then along comes these Googley VCs who (a) didn't have to hustle up investments from limited partners like pension funds and university endowments and (b) weren't having to practice triage on their existing portfolios in a brutal economy.

As it happened, Maris offered a one-year progress report of Google Ventures this

Advertisement
week on the eve of the annual meeting of the National Venture Capital Association, a shrinking organization that serves as the industry's chief advocate in Washington.

Today, the sense of crisis in the venture capital industry has largely passed, but the shakeout continues. Venture fundraising has plummeted and the recovery is expected to be slow.

Mark Heesen, the association's longtime CEO, said Tuesday that while mergers and acquisitions are generating returns for investors, the market for initial public stock offerings remains spotty. Looking ahead, he predicted that the number of funds won't decrease as much as some predicted, but that some will be run by two partners instead of three.

More than 700 members of the National Venture Capital Association registered for the two-day confab at the Hyatt San Francisco Airport Hotel in Burlingame, which ended Wednesday. Addressing the crowd, Heesen was generally upbeat about the Obama administration's role in promoting technology. He also emphasized that VCs are considered "the lowest-hanging fruit" to be taxed to fund health care reform. And he took a moment to remind members to send in their dues.

Over at Google's campus in Mountain View, money doesn't seem to be much of an issue. Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters this week that he expected the venture operation to branch into Europe and Asia.

Seeking "best of breed" opportunities in a wide range of fields, Google Ventures is now invested in 10 companies — seven involved in the Internet, two in cleantech and one in biotech. (Maris earned a degree in neuroscience before succeeding as a Web entrepreneur and a biotech and health care portfolio manager.)

The staff has grown to 15 partners and associates. Among the full-timers are such notable partners as Android co-founder Rich Miner and Excite founder Joe Kraus. Listed "advisers" include YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Google Ventures, Maris emphasized, is able to also tap into "20,000 Googlers" as a resource. Recommendations from Google employees, he said, have generated about one-quarter of the "deal flow" — startups the venture team has considered. So if you happen to have a startup in the works, you might want to work your Google connections.

Funny thing is, while Google is hugely successful, it's too early to judge the Google Ventures investments. The best-known startup in its portfolio is smartgrid software maker Silver Spring Networks. Maris said he prefers to invest in companies like Silver Spring that already have earnings, but he demurred from commenting on rumors that Silver Spring is headed for an IPO.

Google Ventures, incidentally, is a member of the National Venture Capital Association. Paying the dues shouldn't be a problem.

Changing of the chairman

Kate Mitchell, co-founder and managing partner of Scale Venture Partners of Foster City, on Wednesday was named chairman of the association for 2010-11, succeeding Polaris Ventures' Terry McGuire. She is the third woman to hold that post in the mostly male industry.

Contact Scott Duke Harris at sdharris@mercurynews.com or 408-920-2704.

Google is taking their cash and helping start-up businesses. They help with what they know. Can the New North help with manufacturing? wouldn't that be great?

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Google’s Venture Fund Steps Up the Pace - Bits Blog

very cool, who knew that google is helping to launch new businesses. add cash and talent to get good ideas off the ground. Wonder if NEW could do the same.

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Popular - Google Fast Flip

This thing keeps getting bigger and bigger. who can help us figure out how to apply this properly! who you gonna call. SoMediaBusters?

Posted via web from newtkg's posterous

Officials search Time Square bomb suspect’s apartment

Officials search Connecticut apartment of Times Square bomb suspect

Faisal Shahzad, arrested overnight as he tried to leave the U.S., is due in court Tuesday. U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder indicates more arrests are possible.

By Tina Susman Los Angeles Times

May 4, 2010 | 7:39 a.m.

la-naw-times-square-bomb-201000505


Reporting from New York
Investigators on Tuesday were combing through the Connecticut apartment recently occupied by a Pakistani-born man accused of driving an SUV rigged to explode into the heart of Times Square and arrested as he tried to flee the country overnight.

The man, Faisal Shahzad, 30, was due in court Tuesday, but it was not clear what charges he would face. Shahzad was arrested about midnight EDT as he tried to leave the United States on a flight bound for Dubai. The flight was on the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport and was minutes from takeoff when it suddenly returned to the gate, passengers who were on board said. One of them, Mark Sutherland of South Africa, said there had been nothing unusual on the flight up until then.

In the working-class neighborhood of Shelton, Conn., north of New York City, where Shahzad had lived for several years, neighbor Brenda Thurman said Shahzad had a wife and two children and stayed to himself. "He didn't like to come out during the day," Thurman told The Associated Press. She said Shahzad told her husband he had a job on Wall Street, but that the Shahzad family left the home a few months ago after it fell into foreclosure.


From there, Shahzad apparently moved to nearby Bridgeport, where FBI agents early Tuesday began searching a building in which he had an apartment, looking for clues to determine if Shahzad had links to international or domestic terrorist organizations.

At an early-morning news briefing shortly after Shahzad's arrest, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. indicated more arrests would be made in the case, which erupted Saturday evening when vendors noticed a suspicious vehicle left idling on a busy Times Square corner, its keys in the ignition. Investigators linked Shahzad to the case after learning that he had recently purchased the SUV from its previous owner.

"This investigation is ongoing. It is multifaceted," Holder said. "We will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice." He described the failed bombing as a "terrorist act" intended to kill Americans.

An official in Washington who could not be identified because of the sensitivity of the case said the amount of material inside the car bomb suggested it was the work of at least two people. The components included about 100 pounds of fertilizer as well as a large metal gun box, firecrackers, cans of gasoline and three propane tanks, which would have been difficult for just one person to pack into the SUV, especially in secret, the official said. However, the official described the work as "done with little sophistication" and noted that if the perpetrator had been part of a Middle Eastern terrorist group, the planned attack likely would have been a suicide bombing. Instead, the would-be bomber simply left the vehicle by the curb and walked away.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incident, but administration officials, including Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, insisted Monday it was too early to draw any conclusions as to the legitimacy of the claim. "No leads are being discarded," Napolitano said, but she added, "This is an open investigation that really is in its beginning stages."

Despite the murkiness of the situation, New Yorkers seemed unfazed by the developments as they returned to work Monday. New Yorkers regard terror threats much the way Californians look at earthquakes: They know another one is coming and they prepare as best they can, but they get on with life.

Take Danny Pugliese and Bobby Marshall, construction workers who had plunked down their lunches at a table in front of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Pugliese, 35, and Marshall, 39, said they hadn't thought much about the incident over the weekend. Marshall said he and his family had driven from Long Island to Yonkers to attend the christening of Pugliese's third child.

"If anything, the economy was more of a topic," Pugliese said.

They had talked Monday about the potential of a car bombing in the city, but only briefly. Both electrical workers who specialize in elevators, they had vivid memories of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Before 9/11 you saw something funny and you walked by it," Marshall said. "Now you look and you wonder and you think twice. It's just part of the city now."

It was, in fact, two Times Square street vendors who first noticed the suspicious SUV and alerted police. Marshall said it showed that the city's post-9/11 campaign that urges people to "say something" if they see something suspicious had worked. Pugliese was not convinced. He said it was the would-be bomber's ineptitude that saved the day. "He was an amateur, and his bomb messed up. We were lucky. Again," he said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said the car bomb, made of easily purchased items, including alarm clocks and gasoline, could have sent a "significant fireball" hurtling through one of the world's busiest tourist spots.

The incident, coming months after a foiled plot by Afghan immigrants to blow up New York subways, underscored the vulnerability of heavily policed Times Square, which since the 9/11 attacks has been under close watch by police and scores of surveillance cameras. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday said bystanders' attention and the reaction of police showed the ability of the city to respond to threats, and that the bustling crowds in Times Square showed the city's resilience.

"It's a sick and despicable act, but New Yorkers are going about their normal activities," Bloomberg said.

Vinnie Gorham, a bike messenger who pedals across Manhattan, agreed. Watching out for danger, whether it comes in the form of potholes, distracted pedestrians or terrorism, is all in a day's work for New Yorkers like him. "I'm so caught up in what I do and on the move, I hardly think about the worst that could happen," said the wiry, 45-year-old biker before slinging a silver messenger bag over his shoulder and taking off.

tina.susman@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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