Ticket Touts, Microsoft, China and Digital Nomads

* “Concert promoters have joined performing artists’ managers in their battle to get secondary ticketing companies to pay a levy from the profits they make on live shows”, says an article on FT.com. In essence this means that they want the likes of eBay to pay a percentage of any profits from tickets sold online. Part of me says this is an important way to start to eat into the “problem” of ticket touts buying up normal price tickets before the real fans can get there, and then selling them on at several times the price. Another part of me thinks we can’t mess with market forces. If I sold a car to a man for a price I’d set, and then found out that he’d later sold it on for more money I couldn’t demand a share of his profits too, could I?

* I’ve been keeping half an eye on the swelling giant of a market that exists in China. There’s so much potential for any entrepreneurs who are willing to take a punt on providing for the burgeoning middle classes in this exciting country. I can’t say I’m much of an expert on consumer goods, but if you can leap the cultural hurdle (if you’ll excuse the metaphor) and find a product or service that captures the imagination of the Chinese nouveau riche there’s plenty of exciting opportunities ahead. I for one would love to spend time out there. It’s a vast, intriguing country that is just asking to be explored. My friend Rob has been out there for the past year and I always enjoy checking out his photos.

* You may remember that I wrote about working from my new local cafe recently. Well, a few days ago Microsoft’s Steve Clayton blogged about the very same thing. He links to some great articles on the subject of “Digital Nomads” (hey, I’m a Digital Nomad. I like the sound of that!). Definitely worth a read if you’re the type who does (or could) work from anywhere.

* I mention Steve Clayton because I’ve really enjoyed reading his blogs of late, and he has really “humanised” the Microsoft behemoth for me. They are often seen as the faceless, corporate flipside to Steve Jobs’ “hip and groovy” Apple. But through reading Steve’s blogs I’ve got a sense of the passion with which Microsoft go about their creativity and innovation. I was lucky enough to meet one of his colleagues, Steve Beswick, recently when I sat on the panel of a Dragon’s Den style event for Make Your Mark‘s “Ideas Igloo”. A really cool event, supported by Microsoft, which aimed to identify and encourage young entrepreneurs and innovators. I really enjoyed the event and it reassured me to see that this bunch of young students had some amazing ideas and tons of energy.

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