Eight Steps to An Effective Dunning Campaign

Welcome to 2020 everyone.

Before I share this, my first post of the year, let me, as a Forensic Audit Consultant, share with you what I got from a friend recently. It goes like this: “While writing a date on any document in this year of our Lord 2020, we should write it in its full format, e.g. 31/01/2020 and not as 31/01/20. That’s because a nefarious person can change it to 31/01/2011 or 31/01/2019 or any year in between. That can render the document invalid. Fraud is close too.”

Now to the post which comes to us thanks to our friends at Tesorio blog.

Eight Steps to An Effective Dunning Campaign

Accounts Receivable

MAY 10, 2019

If you sell to customers on credit, you are probably already using dunning letters. These are simple notes that tell a customer “Hey, you’re overdue. Can you please pay us?” You can send a dunning letter via email or as a paper letter. Sounds simple? Actually, no. To write an effective dunning letter requires great attention to detail and often creativity. The best collections teams are constantly testing dunning campaigns and making changes to try to improve them, and they are measuring their results. While this may require more upfront time and thought, taking a more detailed and creative approach to dunning should yield significant dividends from better response rates to your dunning campaign. Here’s a quick guide to writing a rockstar dunning letter.

Determine Your Dunning Campaign Metrics
What do you want to measure to see how well your dunning campaign is working? This is a key consideration because it allows you to use data to judge your results and compare different campaigns against each other. Some basic metrics you might consider include email open rate, email response rates (meaning, they replied), clicks on links in an email (if you have sent them a payment link, ideally), and percentage of recipients who pay within 30 days or 60 days. Also, receiving your letter as well as the percentage of total invoices paid by recipients who do pay. For paper dunning campaigns, the metrics are more simple; did the customer pay? Often a company will send both, and that’s normal. Yes, the ultimate bottom line is simple: how much cash does your campaign collect? But studying these other metrics might give you directional guidance. For example, if your email open rate is better for one campaign than another, this likely indicates better payment rates and probably indicates better recipient engagement. So you may want to look at how the more successful campaign was different to apply those insights to improve other campaigns.

Email, Paper or Both?
Certainly, email is more convenient. It also allows the inclusion of links to payment options. Email is also easier to track and follow up on. That said, sometimes paper still cuts through the noise and grabs someone’s attention. It feels more serious. We wouldn’t recommend paper as a primary means of sending dunning notices, but you may want to consider sending them alongside emails for greater effect. If so, definitely refer back to the email in the letter in order to guide the recipient to quicker action. (In fact, consider that your dunning email may have been screened as spam or deposited in a low-priority inbox, a common occurrence with Google Mail).

Test the Subject Line and Copy
This goes back to the discussion above about metrics. Dunning campaigns are actually just another type of email marketing. Email marketers have long known that the subject line of their messages can strongly influence the likelihood of recipients to open that email. If you are sending a high volume of dunning emails, then it’s definitely worth your time to test different subject lines. (This is called A/B testing.) The basic rule of thumb in A/B testing is simple. Never test more than two subject lines at a given time in order to make sure you know the true impact of each change. What applies to subject lines also applies to copy in the dunning letters. Try two different versions of a letter to customers in the same segment (meaning size or days overdue or geography). (Here is a link to a good beginner article on A/B testing).

Adopt the Right Tone
Obviously, collecting money is serious business. However, bone dry or threatening dunning letters may perform worse than a dunning letter with a gentle touch or even a little bit of humor. You don’t know what’s going on inside the company; there could be major problems and a lot of stress. The accounts payable team may be under tremendous pressure. While that’s not your problem, you want to treat them with empathy. So for the first letter in a dunning campaign, consider a conciliatory and relaxed tone. For subsequent letters, you may want to adopt a more serious tone with specified negative consequences (i.e. a service cut off or submission to a collections agency) laid out very clearly. To make it clear that matters are growing more serious with each letter, you probably don’t want to use the exact same dunning letter copy for the first, second and third notices. Additionally, there may be cultural nuances for customers in different geographies or from different countries and industry sectors. So factor all of these into the tone and where you are in the collection cycle. If you are very unsure of how to write a good collections letter, you can have an attorney do it for you (or even post it on a legal site like UpCounsel where an attorney can write one for a relatively small fee).

Make It Personal (If You Can)
There is a reason why sales teams increasingly adopt tools that allow for brief personalized notes on outreach emails. Personalization works. It shows the recipient of a dunning email that you have taken the time to acknowledge them as a person. Granted, dunning and collection letters are not the happiest communication but the purpose is very similar to that of a sales email; you are trying to close the invoice, rather than the sale. Personalization is not always possible. For example, if there is high turnover at the debtor company or if all invoices and notices go through a centralized email box, personalization can be challenging. And you probably don’t want to put a personalized subject line because it may appear unprofessional in such a serious situation. But if, for instance, you have a personal contact at the customer company, even a brief mention can humanize the interaction and reframe the request as coming from one person to another. Manual personalization of dunning letters can be very time consuming so you may want to consider using a system that can automate some of the personalization or allow you to quickly add a note to the body of an otherwise standardized letter. In this same vein, if at all possible, make the dunning email come from a personal email (joe@company.com) rather than a system email address (ar@company.com). Personal emails are more likely to be read and less likely to get filtered as Spam.

Make It (Ridiculously) Easy to Pay
This sounds silly but including a link to direct payment options will radically increase the chances that you will get paid quickly. The link should take them to a payment gateway that can ideally handle credit card, ACH/EFT, and Wires. Make it stupid simple for the recipient to pay their debt. For that payment link, as well, make sure that you are sending a secure (https://) domain. With the rise in spearfishing and email fraud targeting company AP departments, it’s important to make the paying feel as secure as possible.

Speed Up the Cadence
Many companies have a practice in collections and accounts receivable management that is to send out the first collections notice when a customer is 15 to 30 days late in paying their invoice. This may be too long to wait. A good amount of research has found that the earlier you notify customers they are late, the more likely you are to get paid. In fact, as often as not, late payment isn’t a conscious decision but an oversight or a reflection of your low priority in the bulging queue of an overworked accounts payable team. With that in mind, you may want to send the first note even if the invoice is a week or even a few days late. Consider, as well, the size of the customer and past customer payment behavior. If a customer pays 30 days late like clockwork, then it may not be worth the effort to accelerate their payment because you are encountering an internal policy of 30 days late payment. (You might be able to learn this information from a quick conversation with your AP team counterpart).

Consider Whether Advanced Dunning Automation Tools Makes Sense
Most of the ERP systems, such as NetSuite, have some automated dunning campaign features. That said, collections teams may want to consider third-party solutions that give greater flexibility and control over dunning. For example, running campaign tests in many ERP dunning systems is not possible, and creating multiple templates is time-consuming and challenging. If your dunning ERP’s default automation system is boxing you in and is hard to use, you may want to consider shopping around for a collections automation product that has modern software features like team assignments, bulk actions, and multiple-templates. Dunning automation tools can also help you ensure that your emails are actually delivered: just like email marketing, blasting out 1,000 dunning emails in a short span of time will trigger Spam filters and significantly reduce the likelihood that your emails are received, let alone read. Recovering from a Spam catastrophe like this can be painful and require weeks of time working with IT teams. So consider the risk you may be taking before you push send.

After reading this, we hope you will have some ideas on how to think about building out a detailed and effective collections campaign structure. Most of what we talk about here can be turned into a repeatable process that your collections team and accounts receivable managers and analysts can fine tune and revise to improve results. You may want to revisit your process and look at the data a quarter or six months after you first implement. You should see positive results that will convert into improved metrics for Days Sales Outstanding, Average Days Delinquent, and Free Cash Flow.

MAY 10, 2019
Koben is the Head of Customer Operations at Tesorio.

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Blackmail Fraud: What is it?

Immunity from Termination

The one distressing development that we at 5wh are witnessing across many of our client organisations in Zimbabwe is what we have come to call “blackmail fraud”. In this situation, the fraudster – either amateur or professional and mostly in administrative or managerial position – commits acts of transactional or systematic non compliance as part of or adjacent to the fraud scheme.

When the fraud is detected, the fraudster calls attention to the non compliance issue. In many instances, because of the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, the non compliance issues tend to peril the employer more than the employee. In the end, employers are stopped from acting against the offender in a way they would have or what the Code of Conduct stipulates.

Though this is not a new phenomenon, we have seen that, with penalties getting so excessive (take tax penalties, for instance), it seems that even the smaller non-compliance issues give rise to this phenomenon of “non-terminability” or “immunity from termination”.

Where to Now?

Internal Control

An organization is a living entity which changes over time. As a result, the organization’s mission, goals and objectives must be regularly evaluated and periodically revised. Thus, internal control is an ongoing process known as the Internal Control Cycle. After an organization analyzes its goals and objectives to determine its risks, management must analyze these risks and evaluate the policies and procedures in the identified high-risk areas. Part of the management process includes monitoring the progress made toward meeting goals and objectives. Monitoring also helps to ensure the effectiveness of the organization’s internal controls and the effectiveness of the policies and procedures. Periodically, policies and procedures should be revised to mitigate risk and eliminate redundancy. They must also be communicated internally and externally, as necessary.

Everyone in an organization has responsibility for internal control.

Tone at the Top

Management’s attitude, actions, and values set the tone of an organization, influencing the control consciousness of its people. Internal controls are likely to function well if management believes that those controls are important and communicates that view to employees at all levels. If management views internal controls as unrelated to achieving its objectives, or even worse, as an obstacle, this attitude will also be communicated. Employees are aware of the practices followed by upper management including those that circumvent internal controls. Despite policies to the contrary, employees who note that their managers frequently override controls, will also view internal controls as “red tape” to be “cut through” to get the job done. Management can show a positive attitude toward internal control by such actions as complying with their own policies and procedures, discussing internal controls at management and staff meetings, and rewarding employees for following good internal control practices. Although it is important to establish and implement policies and procedures, it is equally important to follow them. In the “immunity from termination” scenario, the Code of Conduct is not only perceived to just another worthless document; it is in effect a hollow manuscript.

Management Ethics, Philosophy & Operating Style

An organization’s culture evolves from the values of its members and the culture, in turn, exerts a strong influence on the actions, decisions, and behaviors of all employees.

An ethical culture requires engaged employees and managers who understand why doing the right thing is important for the organization’s long-term viability; and they have the determination to see that in fact the right thing does get done.

What are some of the key attributes needed for an organization to be fully integrity-based?
• Employees feeling a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions and for the actions of others.
• Employees freely raising issues and concerns without fear of retaliation.
• Managers modeling the behaviors they demand of others.
• Managers communicating the importance of integrity when making difficult decisions.
• Leadership understanding the pressure points that drive unethical behavior.
• Leadership developing processes to identify and remedy these areas where pressure points occur.
These attributes touch other aspects of the organization that go beyond the fundamental abilities of making a profit and maintaining high levels of quality and productivity: how well the organization adapts to change, or encourages employees to be engaged in decision making, how well the organization creates a collective sense of purpose around shared values. It is this broader set of skills and qualities that create the foundation needed to support an ethical culture. These higher-level behaviors are no longer “nice to haves.” These are the behaviors now demanded for survival in this economic environment of creative destruction.

Management’s philosophy and operating style affect the way the organization is managed. They determine, for example, whether the organization functions informally with verbal instructions or formally with written policies and procedures. They also define whether the organization is conservative or aggressive in its response to risks. In other words, they define the organization’s “risk appetite” or the level of risk that is acceptable to the organization. To be successful, the organization’s internal controls must be aligned with management’s philosophy.

Our summary advice is:

(a) Tone at the top.
(b) Making certain Internal Controls are operating as they should at all times. This calls for an independent monitoring function.

(c) Periodic Fraud Vulnerability Review (also known as Fraud Risk Assessment) which follow the pretence of “prevention is better than cure”. Here experts assist with the process of risk analysis that proceeds from threat assessment to threat evaluation to the selection of countermeasures designed to contain or prevent that risk.

(d) Effective, conclusive investigations where a fraud is suspected or detected.

About 5wh Audit

5wh is a relationship-oriented professional services company that provides the following solutions to business challenges:
Ø Internal Audits
Ø Forensic Audits
Ø Compliance Audits
Ø Due Diligence Investigations
Ø Business Systems Design, Development and Reviews

We work with business owners and leaders who are set on blowing away those constraints blocking their way to success. We also assist our clients isolate hidden economic assets in their business and determine specific projects to optimize and leverage those assets for greater profit and growth.
We know that the only way to turn your potential for success into actual success is to blow away the constraints that block your path.
© Caleb Mutsumba

Tools for Accountants and their Small Business Clients


in partnership with accountingWEB and receipt bank

Ok so you’re not looking to change much of what you do in your
practice, but you probably realize there are better ways to use your
time, deal with client questions, and stay efficient overall. This
guide will offer you eight very key ways that you can do all of the
above without breaking the bank.

Accountants, if nothing else, are realists; just because you can do
something, doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to. You are
the ones that ask your children, “If everyone at your school ran off
of a cliff, would you do it also?” You also teach them to have the
personal confidence and to stand up and be their own person.
In the same right, you’ve heard the benefits of working in the
cloud, being online in general and having real time information.
But you know this not helpful to every client. For example, a retired
teacher who collects Social Security and receives a defined
benefit pension plan may not need the cloud or have an interest in
using websites to work with finances.

In fact, some industries, like construction, custom manufacturing,
and heavy manufacturing still do not have adequate web-based
solutions to help them with the most difficult accounting problems
– cost buildup and accounting for manufactured items, or
job costing for construction projects. Sure, there are workarounds
(and some hosted versions of mid-range solutions), but not everyone
can get their needs met with web-based tools.

Even so, as mentioned above, there are things you know you could
do better. Even if you’re not interested in making changes to your
business model for future success in real time reporting, there are
many ways you and your clients can embrace web-based technologies
without changing your firm’s internal processes.

It can’t be stressed enough that you need to use technology to
help you practice accounting or bookkeeping, and finally get out
of the business of practicing data entry. Both you and your clients
probably hate entering all of those transactions into a spreadsheet
every year and you both dread the discussions that ensue. You
don’t really want to enter the data for the client (and feel like you
can’t bill enough for doing it), and your client doesn’t really want
to pay the bill for you doing that work at $150+ per hour.
There is a third way – let technology do the grunt work instead of
one of you. Some tools for you and your clients with shoebox accounting
systems to consider include:

Cloud-based accounting products
help micro-businesses (those
with five or fewer employees, and sales less than $1 million) by
automatically downloading their transactions from banks and
credit card companies. Companies in this space include Fresh-
Books, QuickBooks Online, Sage One, Wave Accounting, and Xero
(as well as many others). Some of the leaders in this space are
starting to use predictive analytics to automatically classify expenses
to general ledger accounts, and many firms are counseling
clients who bring in a shoebox of paper to get a cloud accounting
product to handle the data entry, get ready to overpay for the firm
to do the data entry, or get ready to find a new accounting professional.
It doesn’t make sense for a practitioner to work 3,000
hours a year, including 1,500 hours of low rate data entry – it’s a
burnout job, and simply isn’t worth it.

Tools which serve as billing and receivables management tools

to micro businesses like FreshBooks, Harvest, and Wave Accounting
can help the self-employed get their invoices out so they can
improve their cash flow. Wave is a free, ad-supported tool for
doing this, and Freshbooks will even print your invoice on paper,
stuff it in an envelope, and mail it to your customer for a couple of
dollars. These tools also work well on mobile devices like smartphones
and tablets so that you can take advantage of short periods
anywhere (e.g. early morning time at Starbucks or a few minutes
waiting for a sales call) to bill your customers.

Online lenders like Kabbage, Fundera, Sage Payments, Intuit,
and Lending Club make it possible for small businesses to borrow
working capital, and some of them will do some of the underwriting
based on data in the cloud-based accounting applications.

Merchant services companies have also gone through a significant
change over the last decade, with anyone now able to accept
credit cards through services including Square, Intuit GoPayment,
Sage Payments, Wave Payments, FreshBooks, PayPal, and Stripe.
Most of these companies no longer require the formal underwriting,
the monthly minimum activity charges, or the high rates of
the past. Some of these providers have rates as low as 1.6%, plus
$0.35 per transaction, with a relatively low minimum monthly
fee, and others have no monthly minimum fee and a rate as
low as 2.9% of sales. There’s likely no small business today that
shouldn’t offer their customers who are overdue on their receivables
the option of paying on a credit card.

Organizing and scanning your client’s source documents is a
drag, and many services now will let you scan batches of documents
for a single client and let technology do the organization
for you. Solutions in this space include CCH ProSystem fx Scan,
Copanion GruntWorx, SurePrep 1040 Scan, or Thomson Reuters
UltraTax Source Document Processing.

Mobile receipt capture applications
are getting better, and services
like Tallie, ReceiptBank, and Wave Receipts convert the
camera on your smartphone or tablet into a document capture
device which can perform tasks like attaching receipts to the
transactions in your client’s cloud solutions. When combined
with automated recognition of data on these receipts, these tools
can simplify your client’s processes by letting them capture the
transaction at the time it occurs instead of worrying about losing a
small slip of paper (or carrying it around for two months).

Check scanning
(electronic capture and presentment of checks)
has been allowed for many years, but many banks and credit
unions are now letting users take pictures of checks with mobile
apps and then electronically deposit the check by submitting the
picture to the bank. While it’s nice to visit with your banker when
you need to borrow some money, do you really want to stand in
line on a Friday afternoon to make a deposit if it’s not really necessary?

Document gathering services like FileThis Fetch and Hubdoc
download receipts, statements, and other items from thousands
of websites (banks, credit card companies, brokerages, utilities,
cell phone companies, even Amazon) and store the documents
online for you for a low monthly fee. If you want your documents
to automatically be filed in folders online for you without having
to do anything, look into these solutions.

So even if you don’t want to use the cloud for everything, it’s fine,
you don’t really need to. But don’t overlook these tools as a way
to help you practice accounting instead of spending most of your
time entering data. Your clients pay you to solve their problems
and if you can get the work done with less pain (and less expense),
why wouldn’t you at least try some of the products readily available



AccountingWEB is a community of accountants across the United States who
come together for professionally written articles on all technical subjects as well
as advice on advancing their careers and running their firms more effectively and
profitably. AccountingWEB Forums provide our members with an important sense
of inclusion, a connection with a bigger “club” through which they feel affinity
with fellow users.


Receipt Bank’s aim is to remove the burden that bills, receipts
and invoices place on businesses. Working with bookkeepers,
accountants and businesses directly, Receipt Bank has developed its software and
service to make the gathering, storage and processing of bills, receipts and invoices
as easy and as cost effective as possible. Receipt Bank extracts the key information
from your bills, receipts and invoices, removing the need for manual data entry.
Receipt Bank can then publish the data to your accounting software or it can be
downloaded as a spreadsheet or used to create expense reports.

Caleb Mutsumba

My company, Five WH Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited (“5wh”), is a relationship-oriented professional services firm that provides the following solutions to business constraints:

 Internal Audits
 Forensic Audits
 Compliance Audits
 Fraud Investigations
 Due Diligence Investigations
 Design, Development and Review of Business Processes and Internal Controls

I am a Registered Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner with experience in what my company specializes in.

Zimbabwean Technology

New tech to track soil nutrients, minerals in Zimbabwe

By Farai Matebvu

[MUTARE, ZIMBABWE] Zimbabwean agricultural researchers have developed a remote control technique that could enable African farming communities to identify nutrients needed by crops in an agricultural field.
The technology could assist farmers to ascertain the exact quantities of nutrients a crop needs and predict yields using the satellite imagery developed to assess any crop without having to physically visit their farms.
According to the developers from the University of Zimbabwe, the technology could exploit and analyse aerospace-based satellite imagery and geographic information to describe, assess and visually depict geographically referenced features, processes and activities on earth to inform strategic and operational decision-making.

“We have developed this agricultural technology to use it at the university farm on a trial run starting in January 2016 before it is rolled out in other African countries.”

Charles Mutisi, University of Zimbabwe


Charles Mutisi, the leader of the research team and dean of the Department of Agricultural Research at the University of Zimbabwe, tells SciDev.Net that the technology is able to assess land on which all crops including tobacco, soya beans and maize are grown.
Mutisi adds:  “We have developed this agricultural technology to use it at the university farm on a trial run starting in January 2016 before it is rolled out in other African countries. The centre will also soon establish mineral data.”
 “We are also working in the area of exploration and actual quantification of the minerals in the country using the same system. The ultimate goal is to have a Zimbabwe and Africa map of minerals which documents the exact quantities.”
The researchers began developing the technology in September 2014, with funding from Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. It was completed in August this year and commissioned on 28th September, according to Mutisi.
May Mrema, a senior lecturer in agricultural economics at the Zimbabwe-based Africa University, calls upon African universities and other tertiary research institutions to review their science curriculums to meet modern global trends to enhance agricultural productivity and mining.
“The technology developed by the University of Zimbabwe researchers marks the beginning of an agricultural revolution in the developing world, especially in Africa,” adds Mrema, who is a  member of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World, noting that it could help increase yields to quell hunger and poverty on the continent.
According to Mrema, the technology will help African farming communities to tackle climate change, which is affecting agricultural production and farm yields.

Pesanayi Gwirayi, the director of research and postgraduate studies at the Great Zimbabwe University says African governments should prioritise funding science research.
“Africa needs to revolutionise its science information by adequately funding research programmes to spur its development agenda and exploit its natural resources which are central to economic development,” Gwirayi explains.
This article has been produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa desk.

This article was originally published on SciDev.Net. Read the original article.

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Nikola Tesla Quotes

“My brain is only a receiver. In the universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”

“Power can be, and at no distant date will be, transmitted without wires, for all commercial uses, such as the lighting of homes and the driving of aeroplanes. I have discovered the essential principles, and it only remains to develop them commercially. When this is done, you will be able to go anywhere in the world — to the mountain top overlooking your farm, to the arctic, or to the desert — and set up a little equipment that will give you heat to cook with, and light to read by. This equipment will be carried in a satchel not as big as the ordinary suit case. In years to come wireless lights will be as common on the farms as ordinary electric lights are nowadays in our cities.”

— Nikola Tesla

“Making Your Imagination Work for You” (The American Magazine, April, 1921)

Albert Einstein on Spirituality

“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

Albert Einstein


African Energy: Circumventing the Gridlock of the Electricity Grid

“For Africa to avoid the costs and time spent implementing an entirely new electrical grid, but also meet the energy demands of an increasingly connected population, it should begin to look at reimagining the way in which we distribute electricity entirely. A new connected future could also mean a new energy future.” http://qz.com/528438/the-critical-barrier-to-global-connectivity-that-facebook-and-zuckerberg-forgot/

Wireless Power Transmission

The technology for wireless power transmission or wireless power transfer (WPT) is in the forefront of electronic development. Applications involving microwaves, solar cells, lasers, and resonance of electromagnetic waves have had the most recent success with WPT. The main function of wireless power transfer is to allow electrical devices to be continuously charged and lose the constraint of a power cord. Although the idea is only a theory and not widely implemented yet, extensive research dating back to the 1850’s has led to the conclusion that WPT is possible. Wireless Power Transmission, TransferThe three main systems used for WPT are microwaves, resonance, and solar cells. Microwaves would be used to send electromagnetic radiation from a power source to a receiver in an electrical device.

The concept of resonance causes electromagnetic radiation at certain frequencies to cause an object to vibrate. This vibration can allow energy to be transmitted between the two vibrating sources. Solar cells, ideally, would use a satellite in space to capture the suns energy and send the energy back to Earth. This concept would help to solve the major energy crisis currently concerning most of the world. These ideas would work perfectly in theory, but converting the radio frequencies into electrical power and electrical power to radio frequencies are two main problems that are withholding this idea to become reality. This paper will explore the technological applications of microwaves, resonance, and solar cells in WPT and explain the basic technique of transmitting power wirelessly. It will also include problems encountered during experimentation and recent advances in the field. The paper will also include the futuristic applications of WPT and its ability to solve the energy crisis.

The Beginning Of Wireless Power Transmission
Electricity by today’s standards is considered an essential to life. Electricity has been the fuel for technological development since its first applications dating back to the late 16th century. This marvellous phenomenon, however, comes with a price. The cost of making electricity is harmful to the environment. The Energy Information Administration’s records show that nearly 50% of all electrical plants are high polluting coal plants. Major changes in the environment have occurred over the last 30 years that are detrimental to the future of this planet. If this path is left unchanged, scientists have predicted that certain parts of the world could be uninhabitable by 2050. The solution is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into earth’s atmosphere through alternative power generation. One sustainable technology leading this charge is wireless power transfer (WPT).

The concept of wireless power transmission has been around since the mid 17th century. WPT is exactly what the name states; to transfer electrical power from a source to a device without the aid of wires. The founder of AC electricity, Nikola Tesla, was first to conduct experiments dealing with WPT. His initial experiment of lighting gas discharge lamps from over 25 miles away, wirelessly, was a success. His idea came from the notion that earth itself is a conductor that can carry a charge throughout the entire surface. Although his idea of a world system of WPT could never be properly funded, his initial research sparked the scientific world into a whole new theory of power generation. While Tesla’s experiments were not creating electricity, but just transferring it, his ideas can be applied to solve our energy crisis. His experiments sparked new ideas such as applications involving microwaves, lasers, resonance and solar cells. Each application has its respective drawbacks but also has the potential to aid this planet in its dying need for an alternative to creating power.

Today, portable technology is a part of every day life. Most commonly used devices no longer need to draw power from the supply continuously. But from portability emerges another challenge: energy. Almost all portable devices are battery powered, meaning that eventually, they all must be recharged–using the wired chargers currently being used. Now instead of plugging in a cell phone, PDA, digital camera, voice recorder, mp3 player or laptop to recharge it, it could receive its power wirelessly–quite literally, “out of thin air”. http://www.engineersgarage.com/articles/wireless-power-transmission

Who killed Nikola Tesla’s wireless power transmission idea?

“Nikola Tesla was the turn-of-the- twentieth century genius who fathered alternating current technologies, radar, fluorescent tubes, and bladeless turbines. Tesla also presented the first viable arguments for robots, rockets, and particle beams. If society had followed up on the inventions Nikola Tesla envisioned at the turn of the century we wouldn’t have a fossil-fuel economy today. And J. P. Morgan, Rockefeller and a number of others wouldn’t have amassed extraordinary fortunes on the basis of that fossil fuel economy.”

Good Men Don’t Live Long Enough!


Tesla’s wireless transmission of electricity

In 1899, in Pike’s Peak, Colorado, Tesla demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting electricity through the earth without the use of wires….He chose Pike’s Peak because of its remote location, and the availability of electricity from a local power station.

Tesla's Colorado laboratory in 1899.
Tesla’s Colorado laboratory in 1899.

Wireless transmission of electricity to all parts of the earth was the main objective of Tesla in the famous Pike’s Peak experiment.

He also discovered that tremendously destructive forces could be unleashed in the earth by means of uncontrolled electrical resonance.

Tesla with his magnifying transmitter producing millions of volts of electricity.
Tesla with his magnifying transmitter producing millions of volts of electricity.

Tesla discovered that the earth was a very good conductor of electricity and that he could set the earth in electrical oscillation just like the mechanical oscillation that almost caused an earthquake in Manhattan.

Tesla's large scale oscillating apparatus.
Tesla’s large scale oscillating apparatus.

Power was supplied to the primary coil by the local power station.

The secondary coil was GROUNDED to the earth, producing waves which traveled to the opposite side of the world.

The returning waves were discharged through the atmosphere.

Tesla's assistant Kolman Czito prepares to throw the switch during the Pike's Peak experiment.
Tesla’s assistant, Kolman Czito, prepares to throw the switch during the Pike’s Peak experiment.

Here is an artist’s rendition of Tesla’s wireless world power and data system.

From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.
From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.

Construction began immediately on Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower on Long Island, New York.

It was never finished and the project literally bankrupted Tesla.

From the Electrical Experimenter, February 1919.
From the Electrical Experimenter,
February 1919.

When Tesla had demonstrated the feasibility of his wireless power system, he rushed back to New York to begin construction on a transmitter located at Wardenclyffe, Long Island, New York. Morgan stonewalled him and created a panic on Wall St. in 1907. Millionaire John Jacob Astor, Tesla’s close friend and financier, died on the Titanic in 1912.

British spy Marconi is credited with the discovery of radio!!
At the start of 1900, Tesla was just brimming with optimism that he would give the world wireless transmission of electricity and data. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Tesla was virtually broke from losing his royalties on his AC patents and he had to approach his arch enemy J.P. Morgan for funding.

After the War of the Currents, Tesla was bankrupt and Morgan controlled the nation’s finances:

Morgan made inquiries of Tesla concerning his financial structure. There were, in those days, a limited number of strong financial groups who were playing a terrestrial game of chess with the world’s economic resources; the discoveries of a genius like Tesla might well have a profound effect on the destinies of one or more of these groups, and it would be well for an operator in this field to know more of the inventor’s commitments. Undoubtedly, it was a source of surprise and satisfaction to Morgan when he learned that Tesla was a lone operator and now entirely without funds needed to carry on his researches. (O’Neill, Prodigal Genius, p. 197).

Most of the great electrical inventions of the 20th century were the work of Nikola Tesla.

Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
British spy Guglielmo Marconi was used by Morgan to “discover” radio transmission.Marconi’s company was called the British Marconi Company and was financed by J.P. Morgan.After Tesla’s death, the Supreme Court did grant him priority for the discovery of radio transmission.
Marconi Towers circa 1903.
Marconi Towers circa 1903.

Morgan and his backers at the Bank of England realized the deadly military implication of using electricity as a weather weapon. Tesla even mentioned the possibility of using electricity to bring rainfall of desert areas of the planet. A weather weapon is the most diabolicaly clever of all methods of warfare because no nation can prove that it is under attack.

Tesla’s financier John Jacob Astor was drowned with the Titanic!!

Tesla stayed at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and commuted to his laboratory in downtown Manhattan. The hotel was owned by millionaire John Jacob Astor IV who was a close friend and financier of Tesla:

Col. John Jacob Astor, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, held his famous dining-room guest in the highest esteem as a personal friend, and kept in close touch with the progress of his investigations. When he heard that his researches were being halted through lack of funds, he made available to Tesla the $30,000 he needed in order to take advantage of Curtis’ offer and build a temporary plant at Colorado Springs. Tesla arrived in Colorado in May, 1899, bringing with him some of his laboratory workers, and accompanied by an engineering associate, Fritz Lowenstein. (O’Neill, Prodigal Genius, p. 176).

Morgan’s modus operandi was very simple: lure : John Jacob Astor aboard the Titanic and sink her in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeleine.
John Jacob Astor and his
young wife Madeleine.

Col. John Jacob Astor IV was a close friend and financier of Tesla.

He was lured aboard the Titanic and perished on her maiden voyage.

Tesla was now at the mercy of Morgan and his wireless system was sunk too.

Col. Astor was lost on the Titanic.
Astor was lost with the Titanic.

The White Star line was owned by J. P. Morgan. At the last moment, Morgan decided not to sail on his ship….Madeleine survived, and according to John Jacob Astor’s will, Madeleine would have received income from a $5,000,000 trust fund as long as she did not remarry.

All of Tesla’s papers were confiscated by the FBI after his death!!

As Tesla approached his final years, most of his close friends and benefactors were dead. The man who had electrified the planet was almost forgotten by the world….Most of his last days were spent feeding the pigeons in Bryant Park, in front of the public library on Fifth Ave.

The great discoverer went to meet the Creator of electricity on Jan. 7, 1943.

Funeral services were held for Tesla on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
A funeral service was held for Tesla on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Tesla was a U.S. citizen, and of the Orthodox Faith, but his body wascremated, and his ashes sent back to Yugoslavia, where they are on display in an urn in the Tesla museum.

Pagan cremation is forbidden by the Orthodox Church!!

Tesla museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Tesla museum in Belgrade,

Funeral services were held for the great Serb on Jan. 12, 1943, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Tesla was never married, and he had no direct heirs. He left no will, so all his papers were seized by the FBI, and shipped to Washington City, where they were classified as TOP SECRET:

The Washington Bureau of the FBI went so far as to advise the New York Bureau “to discreetly take the matter up with the State’s Attorney in New York City with the view to possibly taking Kosanovich into custody on a burglary charge and obtaining the various papers which Kosanovich is reported to have taken from Tesla’s safe.” New York was also told to contact the Surrogate Court so stops could be placed against all of Tesla’s effects, so that no one could enter them without an FBI agent being present, and New York was to keep Washington advised of all developments. (Cheney, Tesla: Man out of Time, p. 273).

The FBI is a clone of MI5 and responsible for domestic spying and they work closely with their counterparts in Britain.

Most of his great inventions like radar were later developed by the British. His death ray is now used by the Pentagon to shoot down Russian rockets!!

Vital link


Cheney, Margaret. Tesla, Man out of Time. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1981.

Cheney, Margaret, & Uth, Robert. Tesla, Master of Lightning. Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1999.

Garbedian, Gordon H. George Westinghouse: Fabulous Inventor. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1943.

Jones, Jill, Empires of Light. Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to Electrify the World. Random House, New York, 2003.

O’ Neill, John J. Prodigal Genius. The Life of Nikola Tesla. Ives Washburn, New York, 1944.

Seifer, Marc J. Wizard. The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla. Biography of a Genius. Carol Publishing Group, Secacaus, NJ, 1996.

Copyright © 2015 by Patrick Scrivener

You can’t Keep a Good Men Down Forever!

We, at 5wh Corporate Services, are eternally grateful to Nikola Tesla and all the other unsung heroes.

Inclusive Business Model: The Public Role of Private Enterprise: Risks Opportunities and New Models of Engagement

Inclusive Business Model

1. Introduction
2. Criteria
3. Benefits for business
4. Benefits for the poor
5. Constraints
6. Success factors
7. References
8. Further reading

1. Introduction

An inclusive business model is a commercially viable model that benefits low-income communities by including them in a company’s value chain on the demand side as clients and consumers, and/or on the supply side as producers, entrepreneurs or employees in a sustainable way.[1] The concept was first formalized in an early United Nations report called Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor (2008) published by the Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative and guided by an Advisory Board consisting of leaders in the field such as the International Business Leaders Forum, the International Finance Corporation, key bilateral donors (USAID and AFD), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, University of Michigan and Harvard Business School.
Inclusive business models build bridges between business and the poor for mutual benefit. The benefits for business go beyond immediate profits and higher incomes. For business they include driving innovations, building markets and strengthening supply chains. And for the poor they include access to essential goods and services, higher productivity, sustainable earnings and greater empowerment.
The businesses that create and use these innovative models range from multinational corporations to large domestic companies, co-operatives, small and medium-sized enterprises, or even not-for-profit organizations that use business principles—or social business approaches—to achieve their mission. [2]
Inclusive business is not corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility, which have inherent limitations of scope, impact and budget. Rather, it is the search for sustainable business that “do well by doing good” and are part of the companies’ business activities – the key to business having development impact at scale.

2. Criteria
Inclusive business models can be developed and implemented by a wide range of entities, from private corporations (large and small), to state-owned companies, co-operatives, or even not-for-profit organizations, as long as the following criteria are met:
• Human development impact: an inclusive business model contributes to human development by increasing poor people’s incomes, improving their access to basic goods and services such as education, health, housing, water and sanitation, contributing to the Millennium and reaching excluded and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, disabled, ethnic minorities).
• Commercial viability: an inclusive business model can receive start-up funding from different sources (including grants) but it must be designed to break-even and become self-sustainable over time (profits can be re-invested into the business or distributed to shareholders).
• Environmental impact: at a minimum, an inclusive business model does not have major negative environmental impacts and, at best, contributes directly to environmental sustainability (e.g. by saving resources, reducing carbon emissions, conserving biodiversity, etc.).
Additional criteria that can be considered are:
• Potential for scale (i.e. expanding regionally, reaching deeper into poor populations, or extending its activities) and replication (by others in the same region/sector).
• Innovation: many inclusive business models employ new solutions, being based on an innovative product, process or business model, as well as new ideas that can excite and inspire others.
Many examples of inclusive business models have been documented by the United Nations Development Programme and made available on an online searchable database.

3. Benefits for business
• Generating profits. Business with the poor can sometimes yield higher rates of return than ventures in developed markets. Some microfinance institutions for instance have demonstrated their ability to reap significant profits.
• Developing new markets. The 4 billion people living on less than $8 a day worldwide have a combined income of about $5 trillion.[3] They are willing and able to pay for essential goods and services (such as water, energy and healthcare), but too often they suffer from a ‘poverty penalty’ and end up paying more than rich consumers. Business models that offer better value for money—or entirely new products and services to improve the lives of the poor—can reap pioneer profits in return.
• Driving innovation. The challenge of developing inclusive business models can lead to innovations that contribute to a company’s competitiveness. For example, to meet the poor’s preferences and needs, firms must offer new combinations of price and performance. And the pervasive constraints that businesses encounter when doing business with the poor require creative responses. These forces drive the development of new products, services and business models that can catch on in other markets, giving innovative companies a competitive advantage in poor markets.
• Expanding the labour pool. The poor are a large source of labour. The advantages of hiring them as employees go beyond cost savings. With adequate training and well-targeted marketing, the poor can deliver high-quality products and services. Or their local knowledge and connections may place them well to serve other poor consumers in their communities.
• Strengthening value chains. For firms that procure locally, incorporating the poor in business value chains—as producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers and franchisees—can expand supply and lower risk. That allows them to reduce costs and increase flexibility, especially as the local businesses move into more specialized or higher-skill activities such as component production and business services.

4. Benefits for the poor
Businesses can improve the lives of poor people, contributing broadly to what the United Nations terms ‘human development’—expanding people’s opportunities to lead lives they value.
• Creating jobs and Increasing incomes, by including poor people in value chains as customers, employees, producers and small-business owners.
• Meeting basic needs’, such as food, clean water, sanitation, electricity and health-related services all meet people’s basic needs.
• Increasing productivity, through access to products and services—from electricity to mobile, from agricultural equipment to credit and insurance.
• Empowering the poor. All these contributions support the empowerment of poor people, individually and communally, to gain more control over their lives. By raising awareness, by providing information and training, by including marginalized groups, by offering new opportunities and by conferring hope and pride, inclusive business models can give people confidence and new sources of strength to escape poverty using their own means.
As such, inclusive business models can make a significant contribution towards meeting the Millennium (MDGs).

5. Constraints
Although opportunities are great, many businesses are not taking advantage of them because market conditions surrounding the poor can make doing business difficult, risky and expensive. Where poverty prevails, the foundations for functional markets are often lacking, excluding the poor from meaningful participation and deterring companies from doing business with them.
The United Nations Development Programme, in a report titled “Creating Value for All: Strategies (2008), identifies five major market constraints and successful strategies to overcome them:
• Limited market information. Businesses know too little about the poor—what poor consumers prefer, what they can afford and what products and capabilities they have to offer as employees, producers and business owners.
• Ineffective regulatory environments. The markets of the poor lack regulatory frameworks that allow business to work. Rules and contracts are not enforced. People and enterprises lack access to the opportunities and protections afforded by a functioning legal system.
• Inadequate physical infrastructure. Transportation is constrained by the lack of roads and supporting infrastructure. Water, electricity, sanitation and telecommunications networks are lacking.
• Missing knowledge and skills. Poor consumers may not know the use and benefits of particular products, or may lack the skills to use them effectively. Poor suppliers, distributors and retailers may lack the knowledge and skills to deliver quality products and services consistently, on time and at a set cost.
• Restricted access to financial products and financial services. Lacking credit, poor producers and consumers cannot finance investments or large purchases. Lacking insurance, they cannot protect their meagre assets and income against shocks such as illness, drought or theft. And in the absence of transactional banking services, their financing is insecure and expensive.

6. Success factors
Despite these challenges, a growing number of businesses are operating successfully in poor markets. To do so, they use five core strategies:
• Adapt products and processes. Information and communications technologies have created the possibility for many such adaptations, including mobile banking (m-banking),smart cards (for instance, to buy water) and telemedicine. M-banking has freed banking processes from relying on brick-and-mortar branches and machines, infrastructure that rarely exists where poor people live. Customers can now wire money, receive remittances, pay for purchases and service their credit, all through their mobile phones. But businesses are also using other technologies, such as for purification and off-grid electricity production. In addition, some innovative technological approaches are reducing the use of resources—tying the goal of human development to that of environmental.
Restructuring business processes can be as important as using new technologies. For example, the global spread of telephony is driven by wireless technology. But bringing mobile telephone service to poor people has depended partly on a change in the business process—the move to selling air time on prepaid cards. With ‘smart’ payment and pricing methods, an inclusive business model can accommodate the cash flow of its customers and suppliers, who are constrained by low and unreliable incomes and a lack of access to financial services.
• Invest to remove market constraints. Investing to remove constraints is cost-effective for business when it creates—or can be made to create—private value that is tangible and capturable, ensuring sufficient benefits to the company. Investing to remove market constraints can create public as well as private value. For example, when a firm educates and trains its employees it creates a more skilled workforce—a shared resource as workers move on to other jobs and companies. This added social value opens up doors for cost-sharing with socially minded funding sources, such as international donors, individual philanthropists, nonprofit social investment funds and governments.
• Leverage the strengths of the poor. The poor are often an inclusive business model’s most important partners. By engaging the poor as intermediaries and building on their social, a company can increase access, trust and accountability. Those qualities in turn help businesses to nurture their markets and expand participation in their value chains. One model for engaging the poor into one’s sales operations is microfranchising. Firms can leverage local knowledge and trust by employing the poor to gather market information, to deliver, collect and service products and to train others. Furthermore, poor people often have the best ideas for creating new products and services that meet other poor consumers’ needs. Generally, when the poor take over some tasks in a business model, the transaction costs for the business fall—while the poor benefit from rising income, knowledge and skills and social standing.
• Combine resources and capabilities with others. Like many business models, inclusive business models often succeed by engaging other businesses in mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations. They also make use of collaborations with nontraditional partners, such as nongovernmental organizations and service providers. Through such collaborations, businesses can gain access to complementary capabilities and pool resources to work around or remove constraints in the market environment.
• Engage in policy dialogue with governments. Engaging in policy dialogue is an important part of doing business with the poor, where companies are typically first movers and much of the environment for doing business has yet to be built. All market constraints previously mentioned are more or less in the domain of public policy. Policymaking is complex and continual, and businesses can provide good information about the problems and their possible solutions. Sometimes the individual efforts of entrepreneurs and companies to engage with governments can have large implications, such as changing market or even opening new markets.
Businesses can also rely on demonstration effects or engage collectively to inform public policy and promote effective regulations in developing countries. Since business engagement in policymaking can be controversial, companies and policymakers need a space to engage in frank yet transparent dialogue about how to improve the business environment. Collaborative efforts can open such a space. Companies operating in the same industry or region often share policy interests. And if they are doing business in ways that contribute to economic opportunity and human development, organizations outside the private sector may have complementary policy interests. Where business models are inclusive, collective action can give businesses a strong and legitimate voice in policymaking.

7. References
1. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2008). Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor. New York: UNDP.
2. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) (2010). The MDGs: Everyone’s Business. New York: UNDP.
3. “World Development Indicators Database 2007”. The World Bank.

8. Further reading
• Hart, S. 2007. Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Wharton School Publishing.
• Jenkins, B. 2007. Expanding Economic Opportunity: The Role of Large Firms. Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative Report 17, Economic Opportunity Series. Cambridge, Mass.: Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
• Kandachar, P., and M. Halme, ed., 2008. Sustainability Challenges and Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid: Business, Technology and the Poor. Sheffield: Greenleaf.
• Karnani, A. 2006. “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: A Mirage.” Ross School of Business Working Paper 1035. Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, September.
• Karamchandani, A., M. Kubzansky, and P. Frandano. 2009. Emerging Markets, Emerging Models: Market-Based Solutions to the Challenges of Global Poverty. Mumbai: Monitor Group.
• London. T. 2007. “A Base-of-the-Pyramid Perspective on Poverty Alleviation.” Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative background paper. United Nations Development Programme, New York, July.
• Prahalad, C.K. 2004. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Wharton School Publishing.
• Rangan, V.K., J.A. Quelch, G. Herrero, and B. Barton, eds. 2007. Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
• Seelos, C., and J. Mair. 2007. “Profitable Business Models and Market Creation in the Context of Deep Poverty: A Strategic View.” Academy of Management Perspectives 21 (4): 49–63.
• WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development). 2004. Doing Business with the Poor: A Field Guide—Learning Journeys of Leading Companies on the Road to Sustainable Livelihoods Business. Geneva: WBCSD.
• WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development). 2007. Doing Business with the World: The New Role of Corporate Leadership in Global Development. Geneva: WBCSD.
• WEF (World Economic Forum). 2009. The Next Billions: Unleashing Business Potential in Untapped Markets. Geneva: WEF.
• WRI and IFC (World Resources Institute and International Finance Corporation). 2007. The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid. Washington, DC: WRI and IFC.
• Yunus, M. 2007. Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. New York: PublicAffairs, 2008.

The Riot in Ephesus Two Thousand Years Ago and The Riot in the World Today

In the Scriptures, the messages in the story of Chapter 19 of the Acts of the Apostles, which I reproduce below, have formed my worldview in terms of men’s political/economic motivations and the whole bedrock of what we have come to call our civilization. Just go through the passage and thereafter check out what I have to say about some of the salient points.

Acts 19

New International Version (NIV)

Paul in Ephesus

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”

The Riot in Ephesus

23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there.

Artemis of Ephesus (aka Diana of Ephesus) , 1st century CE Roman copy (Museum of Efes, Turkey). With breasts aplenty, it’s easy to tell that she was an ancient goddess of fertility.

25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

The Ruins of the Temple of Artemis

28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

This model of the Temple of Artemis, atMiniatürk Park, Istanbul, Turkey, attempts to recreate the probable appearance of the first temple.

35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

Section  Comment
23 The desgination “”Christianity” came later. Before then the new religion was known as “the Way”.
24 Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is Iconic. It adds flair to my attachment to this story. Check…..
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The historian Herodotus (484 – ca. 425 BCE), and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca. 305 – 240 BCE) at the Museum of Alexandria, made early lists of seven wonders. Their writings have not survived, except as references.
The classic seven wonders were:
1      Great Pyramid of Giza
2      Hanging Gardens of Babylon
3      Statue of Zeus at Olympia
4      Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
5      Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
6      Colossus of Rhodes
7      Lighthouse of Alexandria
The earliest lists had the Ishtar Gate as the seventh wonder of the world instead of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.The list known today was compiled in the Middle Ages—by which time many of the sites were no longer in existence. Today, the only ancient world wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
25 – 27 Here Demetrius sees a threat to not just his business but the entire industry and, therefore, his livelihood and life. In my view, his reaction has become the default template of corporations today: viz. Organise the industry; lobby the city officials, the politicians and citizens. Is it farfetched therefore to say that, today, this is the modus operandi of the global warming denialists. They see the immediate threats to their profits as more ominous than the long-term, all embracing, perils facing the planet.


Let me leave you to extrapolate your own observations. Do leave your comments below. Have fun!


7 Strategies for Identifying Hidden Buyer Requirements – by Ray Collis

These interview strategies that I lifted of a RainToday article can be applied to any interview process where the aim is to identify hidden meanings.


7 Strategies for Identifying Hidden Buyer Requirements

You have read the buyer’s requirements. At first they appear thorough and detailed, but what has been left out? What hasn’t the buyer said that you need to know?

Here are some strategies you can employ to powerfully connect with the buyer’s hidden agenda. These are the unwritten buyer requirements and their more fundamental underlying motivations that can make the difference between sales success and failure.

1. Keep Asking Why

Focus relentlessly on the why of the decision. For every requirement identified by the customer, ask why?


The salesperson says, “The software language used is important to you. Can I ask why?”

The prospect says there is a need for inter-operability. The salesperson asks, “Why is that particularly important to you?”

The prospect says because in the past, systems have been implemented that don’t talk to each other. The salesperson asks, “Why has that happened in the past?”

The prospect says it’s because IT has their own way of doing things.

And suddenly a glimpse into the hidden agenda between stakeholders starts to be illuminated.

2. Build Trust—Show Empathy

The seller needs to make a special effort to uncover the buyer’s underlying motivations. They won’t be found in secondary research in business library reports. They emerge only in personal communication within an environment of trust.

The buyer’s core underlying motivations may not be uncovered by fact-finds or interrogative techniques. Understanding what really makes somebody tick requires an element of empathy, as well as the ability to see the situation from the buyer’s perspective. It requires some of the skills of a counselor or therapist.

3. Make It Personal

Even when we sell to large corporations there can be a very personal dimension to the sale. The same applies for pragmatic and economic business decisions. The buyer often has an emotional reason for buying something:

  • It’s something the buyer cares about
  • The buyer identifies personally with it
  • The buyer’s ego is bound up with the outcome
  • It affects how the buyer is seen or evaluated by others
  • It involves personal or professional risk or reward

Therefore, the seller must make the process personal and connect with the buyer’s sense of self—his self-image and self-concept.

4. Shed Light on Hidden Motivations

Help stakeholders reveal their hopes and fears. Bring them out into the open.

Bring logic and analysis to bear on the buyer’s hidden agenda. For example, a past negative experience with a technology of the type you are selling may impede his decision. As a salesperson, you might help him rationalize the fear by applying numbers and logic to it. For example, in the above situation, you might say:

“The failure rates today are less than 2%, compared to 20% in the early days of this technology. That makes it five times more successful than the other alternatives. We provide a pilot to demonstrate how successfully it can be implemented and a full guarantee, so risk is minimal.”

You must take care in adopting this approach, however, because:

  • The seller can easily come across as insensitive, a poor listener, or even arrogant.
  • Applying logic to emotion can be like mixing oil and water. Underlying beliefs and motivations may be impervious to reason and resistant to change.

5. Look Out for the Messy Stuff

Hidden motivations can sometimes be contradictory and confusing. They may even conflict with the buyer’s stated or on-surface requirements. They may be counter-productive and not in the buyer’s long-term best interests. In particular, this can happen when there is:

  • Un-thinking acquiescence, compliance, or conformity
  • Political tension
  • Unspoken risk
  • Self-defeating behavior
  • A skewed version of history or misinterpretation of reality
  • An unaccepted responsibility
  • A blind shot—an element of self-deception or denial
  • An elephant in the room—an unspoken issue or challenge
  • A previous bad experience or an unaddressed wound
  • Flawed logic
  • Paralyzing fear or limiting belief
  • Complacency or lethargy
  • A short-term mindset

You may or may not be able to change these things. In some cases, you may consider it prudent to “let sleeping dogs lie.” While in other cases, these factors, if left unaddressed, may impact on the potential of the sale or the account. But you need to be aware of them so you can decide how to proceed.

6. Listen to the Language Used

The words the buyer uses may offer a window into his hidden agenda. But more important than the words is the tone of voice, so really listen. Also, pay attention to what they talk about the most—or the least. It may provide a cue to their hidden agenda.

You should also use the buyer’s words in your pitches and proposals. If you take the buyer’s requirements and put them into your own language, something can get lost.

7. Use Projective Techniques

Projective techniques can shed light on hidden motivations. These include asking the person to answer certain questions in stream-of-consciousness mode—without deliberating on the answer.

Perhaps the most effective technique is to help the buyer visualize and imagine the results or the future that he wants to achieve. For example, you could ask, “What does success in respect of this purchase or project look like?”

Other techniques include:

Word associations—For example, “What three words would you use to describe this part of your business?”

Metaphors—For example, “If this project were a sports car, what kind of car would it be? Would it be a Ferrari or a Honda? Would it be going at full speed? Who would be driving it?”

Sentence completion—Some sentences you could ask them to complete:

  • I’d be delighted if…
  • A fantastic outcome would be…
  • When others talk about this decision—project—purchase, they…
  • The worst thing that could happen is…
  • If there is one goal I could achieve this year, it would be…
  • If something were to go wrong, it…
  • In an ideal world…

Unless you uncover your buyer’s true needs and requirements, you are making assumptions that may not be correct. And incorrect assumptions lead to lost business. Use these strategies to make sure you know exactly what your buyer’s wants and concerns are so you can offer the best solution possible.

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Few people know or care as much as Ray Collis about the trends in buying and their implications for deal success. Ray heads up The ASG Group’s Buyer Research practice. He is also co-author of The B2B Sales Revolution™ and QuickWin B2B Sales, and he is editor of Buyer Insights. He is writing a new book (and seminar series) that reveals the latest trends in buying that determine win rates.