Iceland’s president explains why startups are better than bankers.

June 1st, 2012 § 5 comments § permalink


Ólafur_Ragnar_Grímsson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Business Insider has a great interview with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who has been President of Iceland since 1996, and announced last month he would be running for a fifth term.

It is an incredible read, because he is obviously very smart and very ethical person, a rare gift for politician these days. I wish everyone in Slovenia read this and adjust their expectations on how a public leader should behave, react, lead. He makes several super-insightful points, that clearly come from a lot of experience and thought.

For instance, about the importance of the banking sector:

As everybody knows now, we did not pump public money into the failed banks. We treated them like private companies that went bankrupt, and we let them fail. Some people say we did it because we didn’t have any other option, there is clearly something in that argument, but it does not change the fact that it turned out to be a wise move or whatever reason. Whereas in many other countries, the prevailing orthodoxy is you pump public money into banks and you make taxpayers responsible for the banks in the long run, and somehow treat the banks as if they are holier institutions in the economy than manufacturing companies, commercial companies, IT companies, or whatever.

Capitalistic financial markets can exist in many other parts of the world, even without democracy. So in my opinion, Europe is and should be more about democracy than about financial markets. Based with this choice, it was in the end, clear that I had to choose democracy.

… and one positive story on journalism – i wish more media aspired to be this fair when they are judgmental:

One has to hand it to the editorial board of The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, that they supported Iceland’s case all along. And if The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, who have never been special friends of Iceland, saw through this argument by the British and the Dutch government, why on earth didn’t the other European governments do so?

… and a match point for creative industries (which includes startups btw):

the Icelandic banks, like all modern big banks in Europe and America and all the other parts of the world, are no longer banks in the old-fashioned way. They have become high-tech companies. High-ranked engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, programmers and so on and so forth. And their success depends largely on how successful they are in hiring people with this education and capability, not necessarily those trained in business schools or finance, but in engineering, mathematics, computer science and so on.

So the lesson from this is: if you want your economy to excel in the 21st century, for the IT, information-based high-tech sectors, a big banking sector, even a very successful banking system, is bad news for your economy.

… about the inherent problem of all ‘ecosystems’ – clubbing

And I said to myself — I know it’s a mistake now — in early 2007, if all the credit agencies are giving the Icelandic banks a clean bill of health, these pillars of European banking are doing integral business with the Icelandic banks, these critical voices are not really onto what’s happening.

… and an example of true collaboration, going on without the media really noticing it…

Fortunately, during this time when there was very little attention to the Arctic, the eight Arctic countries were able peacefully, almost off the radar, to develop co-operation within the Arctic Council, and to consolidate the peaceful and constructive dialogue among Russia, the United States, Canada, and the five Nordic countries.

Read more:

great debate on how & why linking from media

March 2nd, 2012 § Comments Off on great debate on how & why linking from media § permalink

Français : maison siegler à Bouxwiller (67), a...

Image via Wikipedia

there is a really interesting discussion going on this week, whether online journalists should cite other online “journalists” who “broke” the stories. it’s actually pretty complex question and this article sums it up greatly. it actually touches some points I wrote about a few days ago – the new, self proclaimed “tech journalists” have no idea how the real media ethics works, yet they demand same credit and awe.

Why Journalists Need to Link | Epicenter |

If it was Siegler’s article that caused Vascellaro to call Apple, then Siegler certainly counts as an online resource used in writing the WSJ story, and should therefore, by Stray’s formulation, be fully linked and credited. On the other hand, if Stray agrees with Siegler, that doesn’t mean that Siegler agrees with Stray. Siegler cited no source at all, named or anonymous, for his scoop that Apple had bought Chomp: He simply asserted the fact. “Apple has bought the app search and discovery platform Chomp, we’ve learned.” If every statement in news writing needs to be attributed, then Siegler just failed that test.

it’s great to see journalists are starting to be aware of the need to link outside their own domain.

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