Finance: Amazon Grows as its Shares Fall.

As was discussed in one of our lectures on finance, a company’s performance is not always reflected by its stock value.

Despite the fact that Amazon’ has had a revenue growth of 44 per cent in the third quarter their share price has fell 17 per cent since the last quarterly result and 23 per cent down from the record high hit on Oct 17.

Amazon has also had a 26 per cent increase in active costumer accounts to 152 million. Which is the company’s fastest growth since 2003.

Amazon is also implementing a cloud computing serivce called Amazon Web Services which is expected to grow at about 40 per cent a year. Amazons Kindle Fire tablet is designed to also penetrate the market in the mobile device space and didgital content sector.

Although Amazon is thought to be selling the tablets at a it expects to make up for the loss in the sales of services through and movies.

Four years after introducing the first Kindle Amazon already sells more ebooks than paper books.

ECommerce is exploding and Amazon is one of the biggest ECommerce websites out there. Nevertheless the market is still skeptical. In my opinion the fact that Amazon is doing so well but is having such negative results on the stock markets exhibits the spectulative nature of many of those who trade in the market.


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Organizational Culture: Role of Stress

I’ve stumbled upon an article from Benefits Canada which closely connects to what we recently learned about organizational culture in class. It states that employee absence, stress and disability are creating more and more pressure on Canadian organizations in terms of both cost and workforce productivity.

89% of employers surveyed have stated that excessive workload has become a problem in their organization, compared to just 64% in 2009.

The main concern of employers is the mental health of their employees. Stress in organizations is causing short term and long-term mental disability claims causing in costs to the enterprises.

The article suggests that companies to invest into effective health and productivity programs and demonstrates the significance of a positive and not overwhelming Organizational Culture.

As I read this article I thought back on the Organizational Culture of Zappos. It seemed however that it was not the amount of counselling and lessons on productivity that they received but their intrinsic motivation that separated them from other companies.

So I would suggest  that these companies that are experiencing a downturn in their employees productivity should in addition to effectively investing into  health and productivity programs, invest heavily into developing a very positive organizational culture and creating esteem in the hearts of the employees of the company. This would allow for employees to develop intrinsic motivation.

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The guy with 800 million friends.

A few weeks ago a group of entrepreneurs who were Sauder alumni did presentations at our Commerce 101 lecture. It very inspirational and their entrepreneurial spirit was felt by the whole auditorium. Their visit opted for me to write this post about a person I consider my idol entrepreneur. Time Magazine’s 2010 person of the year: Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg began using computers and writing software when he was just in middle school.  He was taught by his father Atari Basic programming and later was hired a tutor. Half way through his high school years he transferred into the prestigious Philips Exeter Academy. Philip Exeter Academy has an endowment of one billion dollars which is equal to that of UBC.

Even prior to finishing high school Microsoft and AOL tried to recruit Zuckerberg to work for them but Zuckerberg chose instead to enroll at Harvard University. There he studied computer science and psychology.

At Harvard he quickly gained a reputation of a “programming prodigy”. Before creating Facebook he wrote a software called CourseMatch which allowed student to make class selection decisions based on the choices of other students and FaceMash which let students select the best looking Harvard student from a choice of photos.

He cofounded Facebook with classmates Dustin Moskvitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Facebook now has over 800 million users from all over the world. Mark Zuckerberg’s net-worth is estimated to be US $17.5. Not too bad for a 27 year old.

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ASA Global: Microfinance Group for 7 million People

I found learning about social entrepreneurship on November 15 in our COMM 101 class very interesting. One thing that I wanted to look into was micro-financing. I have read about it before and decided to learn more about it.

I stumbled upon ASA Global which is rated number 1 micro-finance institution in the world by I was amazed to learn that ASA has a total number of 3,183 branches.

On December 2009 ASA’s the total amount of money that ASA has lent out was US$ 5,418 million with an outstanding amount of US$ 457 million from the previous year. That is amazing!

ASA Global takes pride in having had financially assisted over 7 million people in Bangladesh and other places around the world. ASA clients are 71 %  female. The rate of recovery of the loans they lent out is an astounding  99.64%.

Their mission statement is: “to support and strengthen the economy at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid by facilitating access to financial services for the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged.”

ASA Global seems to have shown the world that there is a thriving financial market among the poor. By lending the money to the poor ASA does not only generate profit but also allows poor families to start their own businesses, foster financial independence and promote economic growth in the developing world.


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