Well, this is a useless post.
From a material perspective (Flowers, do not laugh!)
I just want to express my joy that spring is reaching Lithuania!
Sun is shining, I meet more and more happy people on the streets (when I am there).
My facial muscles are hurting for a second day already from smiling and good emotions.
Thank you to everyone and everything what makes my life so great!
And, thank you, Vox Maris radio station for nice music (Vilnius – 96.8FM, present in Klaipeda 99FM), I am listening them frequently in the background (and I know, it is played in the offices of companies as well 🙂
Spring is the time of changes. I wish Vox Maris website will be live again for you to see what I am talking about (they had two radio stations on internet as well).
And I wish all of you to see greatness in every change you experience – and respond back with a open and good man’s heart!
Finally I got there, Dubai. So different I feel comparing to what I expected!
Constructions are everywhere. I want to be back in 2010 and see it clean and finished.
The size of constructions is shocking. They are EVERYWHERE! And these huge buildings! New materials, designs, style!
Bike infrastructure (biking paths, parking) is missing. Sadly. Not many bicyclists either. Sad again.
Plenty of people are jogging. I wanted to reach one of the Palm Island located 4 km from my hotel during my morning run. I failed just before entering the most interesting place –entering the palm core. Construction sites allow only cars to pass.
I understand that Dubai has a vision where it is going to position itself in 2015. And it executes extremely well. However, who will be these rich businesses and people using entire new infrastructure? Why I would want to leave my home country and relocate there?
One could say that India and China is full of people, why not them moving? I answer – new infrastructure and local services cost more than average person from mentioned areas can afford.
Regarding businesses one scenario would be that after global economy recovers world will become even tighter place for competition. Then fully global villages like Dubai would be a attractive place for all kind of business operations.
I try to comprehend the benefits of being in Dubai vs. London. Taxes? Yes, for sure. How much advantage one would have? Operations would be 50% cheaper? What about production? Singapore lives out of trade mostly.
Saudi Arabia is doing similar activities – complete new cities from the ground, huge projects, but not many high-rise buildings. And nobody is talking about manufacturing. Maybe the focus will be on financial and intellectual products? Trade?
Advertised tourism is a good reason, just would not scale so much to cover such investments, I think. Dubai is not cheap as Egypt coast, where every second family from Lithuania visited last years. Unless all Chinese will come to visit and see two tallest buildings in the world: 600 and 1000 meter into the sky. How high is one floor by the way? Let assume – 4 meters. How many floors these buildings will have? In Singapore 72 floor seemed like close to heaven. Double that – you will feel like in the plane – I want to be back and experience it.
Right now people working in Dubai do not have pension plans as we do have here. Instead, they invest by buying shares and apartments in the buildings which are being built. Who knows, will the price of the real estate increase until people retire? How this is different from any other type of investing? Probably comparable when you think more. Dubai is full of hype and smart people. And nice fireworks in the evenings.
Some words about the Indian people whom I saw so many on the streets waiting for busses after working hours, near construction sites they work at. Local newspapers are writing about construction companies who bought 20 000 tickets for Indians to fly home or other regions for March. First thought – wow, poor people, they are sent away because of slowdown in economy. Second thought – they would need to leave anyway in 1-2 years, when construction boom finishes. Maybe there will be another development region somewhere else, where they would be in need – to work for 100 USD per month and create value for millions – thus allowing development to happen fast and cheap.
What would be if world would not have any more extra-cheap labor? No Chinese, Indian, African for cheap factories? Am I getting these communistic ideas again on equality? J Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury would call for full automating I bet – most production lines would be without people hands, i.e. producing a lot and cheap (per unit). Then our society would prosper.
Coming back to Dubai and the local newspaper I read. Construction costs dropped 71% – from Dh 1200 (266 Euro) for sq. feet in Aug 2008, to Dh 350 (77 Euro) now. That should help economy.
I am a believer in brains. In a good design, good planning, architecture of solutions. What I saw in Dubai impressed me. How well everything is planned, organized. How many train stations are being built at the same time – I counted 6 just by walking. Hopefully, 6 lanes one way traffic jams will finish after rail services are launched in several months.
And I almost forgot – Dubai is known for shopping! My experience was not so good. I went to a Marine Dubai mall, looks like in Norfa is Siauliai, my home city. Half of the shops are closed. Posters tell about new shops opening soon! Will they? I went to the city near creek. One guy brought me into his small shop. I liked the item he suggested. We started negotiating and his first words were – bad business, this is why I will give you best price. In my previous experiences such discussions would not talk about bad business, but rather how special I am as a friend… And the area was really not crowded.
It was a great trip. I want to be back, to visit Dubai and some time in the future – Beijing. Only by comparing we can understand the change.
Most of what I learn is self learning. Then it is either via some form of literature research or via structured training. Such organized training are university textbooks, semi-organized manuals, online courses.
The online courses are evolving in the technical form (from pure HTML into more interactive flash and videos) from the time I started using them in 1990s. However, content-wise the quality does not increase so fast with the years.
I easily differentiate online courses into the following areas:
- Good quality courses for masses. As example, I adore Powered platform, used by HP, Sony, P&G with their portfolio of e-courses in technologies and social topics.
- Focused technology courses leading towards Certification. An example – VMware course site.
- Learning from recorded webcasts mostly based on Powerpoint slide decks, recorded via Webex, Livemeeting, or Adobe products.
- Corporate learning programs with “strange” way of teaching. Often these courses are enforced by compliance, or sales programs and feels like listeners are IQ-challenged.
During my NGO trainer career along with other trainers I was focusing on challenging brains of participants in live environments, our trials to create online trainings for BEST organization was not too successful because of lacking of the platform to start from, not having resources, and mindset to make it great.
Today I found an interesting training which gives quite good framework where and how to create content for people to focus on their learning.
A new thing for me was Readability Statistics (it works for MS Word as well!)
I hope you will enjoy watching the presentation below and understanding exactly what makes us feel that these compliance/sales training are made for dumb people!
BTW, this blog text has readability score of 35 🙂