Thursday, 30 October 2014

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview

Great interview with Steve Jobs, done in 1995, 19 years ago.

In 1995, during the making of his TV series Triumph of the Nerds about the birth of the PC, Bob Cringely did a memorable hour-long interview with Steve Jobs. It was 10 years since Jobs had left Apple following a bruising struggle with John Sculley, the CEO he had brought into the company. At the time of the interview Jobs was running NeXT, the niche computer company he had founded after leaving Apple. During the interview, Jobs was at his charismatic best - witty, outspoken, visionary. In the  end, only a part of the interview was used in the series and the rest was thought lost. But recently a VHS copy was found in the series director's garage. Now, cleaned up with modern technology, and put into context by Cringely, the entire interview will be screened in Landmark Theatres.


  • Entrepeneurship at its best, Apple built up from the ground.
  • "I never did it for the money", instead the passion for products and the hard work put in.
  • Companies run by product people (like Apple) vs companies run by sales people (like PepsiCo).
  • Jobs being at the right time (invention of the desktop, etc) at the right place (Silicon Valley).
  • Jobs using simple but very powerful words.

Maximizing Shareholder Value is the worlds dumbest idea

James Montier tells it as it is, he is very outspoken about the financial world, the things that are very wrong in his view.

In this extremely interesting presentation he argues that Maximixing Shareholders Value (MVS) is arguably the worlds dumbest idea. The presentation starts at 5:30.

One of his main arguments is wrong incentives, a subject that is also close to people like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, who warned about it many times. Many of the problems in the financial world stem from incentives that are either too much focused on the short term, or are misaligned.

One slide contains a collection of more dumb financial ideas, according to Montier:

Fans of Milton Friedman might want to consider skipping a few minutes from 10:00 onwards, Montier doesn't mince his words, describing the damage that Friedman has caused.

An earlier post on Montier can be found here.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Protasco's Puzzling Purchase (12)

According to this article in The Edge Markets:

.... managing director, Datuk Seri Chong Ket Pen has issued a statement to deny allegations in a legal suit started by Kingdom Seekers Venture Sdn Bhd, a firm controlled by Tey Por Yee.

“Clearly, this new proceedings amounts to nothing more than an attempt to smear and tarnish my reputation, apart from seeking to divert attention away from the earlier on-ongoing legal proceedings filed by Protasco Bhd against Tey and others,” Chong said in a joint press statement.

Chong added that he has appointed solicitors to “vigorously defend” the suit against the civil suit and will lodge a police report in respect of those allegations.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Protasco's Puzzling Purchase (11)

The saga that started about 22 months ago continues to intrigue, a new announcement:

Protasco Berhad (“Protasco” / the “Company”) wishes to announce that it has today been served with a Writ of Summons by Kingdom Seekers Ventures Sdn Bhd (“Kingdom Seekers”) suing in a representative capacity for and on behalf of the Company and or for the benefit of the Company. Kingdom Seekers is suing Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen, Kenny Chong Ther Nen, Low Kian Seng, Edward Khoo Mong Wei, Lim Yew Ting and RS Maha Niaga Sdn Bhd. The Company is named as a Defendant by virtue of the representative claim. Kingdom Seekers is a company controlled by one of Protasco’s director, namely Mr Tey Por Yee and is a substantial shareholder of the Company. The Company had on 22nd September 2014 commenced a suit against inter alia Mr Tey Por Yee for breach of his fiduciary and statutory duties.

Kingdom Seekers’ claims against Dato’ Sri Chong Ket Pen, Kenny Chong Ther Nen, Low Kian Seng, Edward Khoo Mong Wei, Lim Yew Ting, RS Maha Niaga Sdn Bhd is for the return of a sum of RM10 million to the Company and general damages purportedly suffered by the Company.

In this regard, the Company has appointed a firm of solicitors to represent the Company and oppose the foregoing suit. The Company wish to state that the suit filed by Kingdom Seekers have no significant immediate adverse effect on the current financial position of Protasco.

Tey gave a press conference with more detailed information, for instance the following map of the money trail:

After almost two years, bystanders are getting more and more information,  which is always the case when two parties engage in a mud slinging contest and/or are threatening with court cases.

But there are still many questions that I posed almost two years ago that are unanswered as of now.

The most obvious one: who were the shareholders and directors of Anglo Slavic Petrogas Ltd, the seller?

We will have to wait how the company will respond to these allegations. Eventually it might be the work for the judges and authorities to find out the facts and the possible wrongdoings.