Jaapani Post versus Eesti Post

Tellisin ühest väga lahedast Jaapani võrgupoest nimega TokyoFlash mõned esemed. Nädalavahetusel, nii et pood vabandas ette ja taha (tuues ära isegi hetke pooleöise kellaja Jaapani ajavööndis!), et kahjuks nad jõuavad mu kauba postitamiseni alles nende aja järgi esmaspäeva hommikul.

Nagu lubasid, nii tegid, saatsid veel e-maili, kustkohast Yubini (ehk siis Jaapani Posti) leheküljel täpselt paki liikumist jälgida saab:


Nagu näha, kestis paki Okinawa-Tallinn reis kolm ja pool päeva. Pole paha.

Tallinn-Viimsi seevastu on täis tiksunud kuus päeva ja lõppu pole näha. Õigemini, pole veel startinudki. No mida??

UPDATE: Viimsi postkontorisse jõudis kaup 1. juuniks, minu kätte 6ndaks.

East Capital Summit

Spoke today (wow, these have been some busy public speaking weeks?) on East Capital‘s summit in Tallinn on the topic of building global Skype from the tiny Estonia. As the organizers introduced, the few hundred people in the audience indirectly represented about a quarter of a million investors who have put their money into the Baltics through East Capital. Hopefully I could help them understand the realities of what their capital can do in Estonia (effectiveness, innovation) and what they shouldn’t expect to happen with it (labor intensive industries).

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Joined the Board of Praxis

I yesterday formally joined the Supervisory Board of Praxis. Praxis is a think tank of about a dozen people doing very thorough analysis for policy makers in Estonia and increasingly elsewhere in Europe. Some of the topics they cover are obviously very close to my heart, such as IT & communications, innovation, R&D, economic development. Others like the public health or social policy are something I know less about, if from the end user / citizen experience.
Check out the recent publications for more. And they also blog, however in Estonian only.
I hope that in my humble role I can contribute to the growth of Praxis, both profile and size wise. I very strongly believe in the role of highly professional and thorough research and analysis, which yet is practical enough in format for a common man to understand, as the basis for conquering the challenges our small society and the world in general have. Independent thought goes a long way before any smart decision can be made. And we all know what some decisions can look like if they are led from day to day politics as opposed to longer term scientific rationale.

Life Up North

Life up north
In response to anyone wondering “Do you still have snow in Estonia?”. Global warming does the trick.
And – no, this is Celsius, not Farenheit.

Perfect swing?

Find ten things different if you can – Magnus in the middle of his trial swing VS him swinging to hit the ball:

Trial swing...... and the real one.

No More Trackbacks

Just a note that led by recent examples of Jaanus and Skype blogs, this blog is now also trackback-free. The precious time I put aside to maintain this site will go into semi-manually sorting through trackback spam no more.

I’ve used the FeedBurner FeedFlares since the beginning and they do add a Technorati referrals count, among other widgets such as the del.icio.us bookmarkings, to entry footers both here as well as the RSS versions delivered to your feed reader. If I didn’t, I’d get the counter provided by Technorati.

Why? I just like to know (and share) if and who builds on what I’ve said.

Branson’s Screw It, Let’s Do It

A few months ago I happened to pick up a few (business) biographies from a bookstore. The stack is still quite high, but I’ve gone through some now and thought I’d share some reading notes.

First off, Sir Richard Branson‘s Screw It, Let’s Do It. Don’t be intimidated the self-help-in-ten-steps-guide style title, it actually is a nice and quick (a few inter-European flights) intro to Branson’s world and Virgin in it.

Why read it?

  • For most of the world Branson = Virgin. The latter actually is an umbrella brand for hundreds of businesses and the thinking behind how and why Virgin has moved into new areas over the years is interesting. And curiously enough, Branson has had a few business adventures before the first Virgin Music store opened on Oxford Street.
  • Speaking of adventures, the book puts his famous boating and hot air balloon record attempts into business timelines and family context.
  • Ecologic and social responsibility. A quick briefing for those who haven’t seen The Inconvenient Truth, followed what’s up with that CO2 thing and climate change or haven’t calculated how small of the share for US spending on the war in Iraq would contain the massive AIDS problem in Africa.
  • Parenting. That was probably the most surprising takeaway. Many of the childhood references and how his dad & mom handled raising him create food for thought if you happen to have a junior around.

Why pass?

  • If you suffer from slogan-tagline allergies you’ll probably dislike the structure the book is built around.
  • The compressed format leaves you behind thinking that you’ve just been exposed to a commercial brochure advertising his full bio book(s). So maybe just start with the real thing? (I haven’t yet)

Happy Birthday, Eesti Kroon!

Estonian kroon - 15
To celebrate, Bank of Estonia held a high-profile conference on Opportunities of Estonian Economy in Global Competition today where I had the pleasure to participate in a panel with a fancy long name: “Competitiveness of Europe and Nordic-Baltic region – private sector view”, alongside with esteemed gentlemen like Microsoft’s European Chairman Jan Muehlfeit, Nordic Investment Bank SVP Gunnar Okk and Stockmann CEO Hannu Penttilä.
I have to admit that for the most part I recycled what I said in Budapest half a year ago. The issues facing the long term competitiveness of European businesses have not really improved recently anyway, have they?
The best speech of the day definitely came from Siim Kallas, our VP of European Commission. He naturally has the colorful first-hand memories of introducing the Kroon, but also shed some light in the political processes behind Euro these days. And shared some criticism to those of Estonian entrepreneurs who have sold their shares off to the West too early, such as the blooming larger banks of late 90s. It was soothing to hear that he gave some relief to Skype, where the Estonian office is still booming along with our global growth and nobody has really retired on the money they made from eBay transaction.

Talking with Computers: video

Duncan’s lecture “Talking with Computers: Short stories on usability, interaction and designing Skype” held yesterday at the IT College is now available for your viewing pleasure. (Fastforward past the first part in Estonian)

Really glad he made it despite of a cancelled flight. And guess if his flight back was cancelled as well?

Golf Season Teed Off

200 yards... right
It took a while this year to get on the green but when it finally happened today… it was sweet.
Teeing off the 3rd hole of the most beautiful Sea Course at Estonian Golf and Country Club in Jõelähtme.
Today’s mobile photoset available here.