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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Art of Pitching ?

One of the best things about hearing business pitches is that there is always a new idea and a new way of looking at things. I hear a huge number of pitches in a wide variety of places – we even had a pitching session while cycling in South Africa recently. But the most impressive pitches all have a few things in common. Here are five simple similarities shared by all successful pitches:

- They explain how the new business will make a difference to customers and provide a compelling alternative to competitors. This means showing a new way of doing things to shake up the market, and explaining it in short, sharp, entertaining fashion.

- They are grounded in expert knowledge of the industry. If you are going to launch anything - a new social network, a new bank, a new fashion line – you need to demonstrate a solid understanding of the market and how you can disrupt it.

- They have a realistic plan. While high concepts are fine, pitches need to illustrate how a company could work practically. This means legal, financial and operational plans. It’s tough to include details in a short presentation, but the most engaging pitches manage to combine passion with pragmatism.

- They are in it for the long haul. Nothing stays the same, and business changes faster than most things. Pitches latching on to the flavour of the month are all well and good, but they need to communicate how the business could grow sustainably and develop in the future.

- They show their strongest hand. Pitching is all about selling your idea and your business as an exciting place to be. Highlight the strengths – especially the talented people who are working on the project – and don’t be afraid to talk up your prospects.

Virgin Media Pioneers have announced the return of our ‘Pitch to Rich’ competition, giving entrepreneurs from around the UK the chance to pitch their ideas to me and win a start-up investment.

The winning company will get a grand prize worth £5,000 including investment and mentoring plus legal, branding and marketing advice for their business. Runners up will also receive £1,000 worth of investment as well as an opportunity to build their network and raise their profile.

What do you think are the most important things to remember in the art of pitching?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gitmo prisoner: ‘We all died when Obama indefinitely detained us’

The situation is getting desperate in Guantanamo with many of the hunger striking inmates prepared to die, federal public defender Carlos Warner told RT, stressing that his client is calling on the Obama administration to either ‘respect or kill’ them.

RT: When did you last speak to your client and how bad did he say the situation was there?
Carlos Warner:  Actually, I have late breaking news from the island. It came in just a few minutes ago from Colonel Wingard. If you are interested I have a statement from Faiz al-Kandari.

RT: What did he say?

CW: Are you interested?

RT: Very much so.

CW: He said:

“I scare myself when I look in the mirror. Let them kill us as we have nothing to lose. We died when Obama indefinitely detained us.  Respect us or kill us. It is your choice. The US must take off its mask and kill us.”

That was his statement as of today.  I saw him last week. I have many clients there but I did see him last week and it was a shock to see what I saw. He was a man who was down more than 30 pounds less than a month ago. He refused all nourishment. His cheeks were sunk in. He was exhausted, weak, he could not stand. It was a scary, scary meeting for me.

RT: And his message is respect us or kill us. Will his wish come true or will he now be prepared to die?

CW: Well, I think many of the men, the ones that are indefinitely detained have zero hope. They have no hope because of the administration. I think many of them are ready die. The question is how and when will they die? They have no hope of being released from that place and unless a human being has some hope, it is very difficult to live. And many of them are prepared to die.

RT: Has this man been cleared for release years ago, and if so why hasn’t he been released?

CW: Faiz is not on the list of 86 innocent men who are cleared for release and those 86 men, it was unanimous decision by the US government, our government to release them. But Faiz is not on that list. But let’s be clear, everyone in Guantanamo is indefinitely detained. No one is being released - cleared for release or not.

Why not?  Clearly the US must have justified legal reason for keeping these people locked up?

CW: Yes. The reason is very simple and it is at the foot of President Obama. Now you’re talking to a federal defender. What that means, I come from the far left. I’m a liberal and I believe in President Obama and I’ve voted for him twice. But this is a broken promise, one he has chosen not to abide by. He looks at the republicans in congress and says it is their fault. Well, as of today, there isn’t one person in the administration I can contact to address these problems. There is nobody in the entire Obama administration I call and say, let’s stop the hunger strike. I’m forced to do that at the base with young officers.

RT: If people do start to die, do you think there will be more attention from the mainstream media?

CW: These are men. They are not animals. These are people that we have grown to know and respect and I do not want to see any of them die. I don’t want to see them die over this or any other protest. They should get processed. They are at the end of their rope. When people die, if the strike has not ended, then sure there is going to be more attention. But let me tell you, as a human being I do not want to see my clients die and the fact that they are in this condition is one of the most heart-wrenching things I have had to experience as a lawyer. 

RT: Will their desperate actions achieve anything?
CW: It is up to the world. The military is telling them to look away from Guantanamo, everything is fine, nobody is striking, there is only 10-15-20, and now I heard it’s over 30 today. The only way this changes is if the world pressures United States, internally as well. We need the citizens of the United States to stand up and demand that the president Obama follow through with his promise. And his promise is to close the Guantanamo. He made that broken promise and as you can hear from the mouth of Faiz, it is killing people in Guantanamo now.
Follow RT's in-depth timeline on Guantanamo hunger strike.



Seperti mana yang kita semua maklum, kebencian DAP pada MELAYU bukanlah satu rahsia lagi bagi kita yang celik akal dan berpandangan jauh. Segala tindak tanduk yang dipamerkan oleh DAP sentiasa mengundang syak wasangka kita. Kali ini, DAP cuba bermain api dengan orang MELAYU.

Kalau dibenci UMNO, saya masih tidak kisah. Tetapi, jangan membawa perasaan benci itu kepada menjadikan sejarah orang Melayu sebagai taruhan politik kotor kalian. Mungkin banyak orang Melayu di sana ditipu dan juga cina yang buta sejarah, tetapi tidak saya pendekar melayu yang sudah bersedia untuk membanting akal mendedahkan betapa BANGSATNYA CINA DAP.

Kepada rakan cina yang tidak sehaluan dengan DAP, saya berharap agar kalian membacanya dengan hati terbuka, sesungguhnya artikel ini bukanlah ditujukan untuk kalian kerana saya yakin kalian juga mahukan hidup yang aman tanpa ada pergaduhan kaum, tetapi dalang 13 Mei ini tidak serik-serik untuk belajar daripada kesilapan yang lepas terutama dajjal kecil yang bernama Lim Kit Siang.

Pertama kali, kalian semua kena bersihkan daripada minda kalian daripada fakta "bahawa kerajaan orang Melayu yang pertama ialah Melaka" kerana fakta itu sememangnya sangat-sangat salah. Sebelum berdirinya melaka, terdapat banyak kerajaan orang Melayu yang bertebaran di seluruh Asia Tenggara.

Sebagai contoh, kerajaan Funan dan Champa di Indochina. Chih Tu di Kelantan serta Langkasuka di utara semenanjung Malaysia serta tidak lupa juga empayar terhebat orang Melayu iaitu Srivijaya. Letakkan di minda anda bahawa kerajaan Orang Melayu bukan bermula di Melaka untuk mengelakkan anda daripada menjadi mangsa penipuan mereka yang berhasat dengki.

Kita mulakan artikel ini dengan saya berkongsi link di mana Lim Kit Siang dan John Doe (seorang penulis upahan DAP yang selalu menulis untuk laman portal pembangkang):’s-missing-from-the-textbooks/

Artikel tersebut diulas dalam english tetapi saya akan tulis ulasan saya di sini dalam bahasa Melayu bagi memudahkan pembacaan pihak kalian. Mereka DAP memulakan penipuan dengan berceloteh panjang lebar mengenai sejarah awal penubuhan kerajaan Islam Brunei.

Kemudian, si kiasu ini mula bermain jarumnya, mahu menyalahkan BTN dan juga UMNO kononnya mencipta sejarah. Mereka mengaitkan perkahwinan antara Sultan Muhammad Shah dan seorang puteri dari Johor-Temasik kemudian terus berkongsi fakta yang bagi saya sudah tidak relevan lagi kerana penemuan baru para sejarawan. Saya petik di bawah ini:

"Sultan Muhammad Shah married a Johorean-Temasik princess in 1363. Now, for all those products of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) out there, what year was Malacca formed? 1403. So, there was a Johor king already in 1363? Are you going to argue with Ketuanan Brunei on this? (By the way, he’s more Melayu than YOU!) The Johor ruler was under the Thais. The entire Peninsular belonged to the Thais! The ‘king’ of Singapore (Temasik), whom Parameswara of the Malaccan Sultanate murdered in cold blood was in fact the brother-in-Law of the ‘King’ of Pattani, who was under Ayodthaya rule."

Apa yang DAP cuba bermain dalam isu ini ialah mereka cuba mengatakan bahawa orang Melayu bukanlah orang asal di tanah Melayu ini kerana Sultan Brunei sudah berkahwin dengan seorang puteri misteri dari semenanjung kerana Melaka belum lagi berdiri.

Apa yang si bangsat ini tidak tahu ialah sebenarnya Melaka telah berdiri lama iaitu sejak 1262 Masihi. Kemudian dakwaan yang mengatakan bahawa Johor di bawah pemerintahan Siam ialah bullshit. Hanya berpandukan kisah Parameswara membunuh pemerintahan Temasik yang dilantik oleh siam.

Tahukah DAP dan John Doe siapakah siam yang dikatakan itu? Untuk pengetahuan kalian ialah Kerajaan Sri Dharmaja bukannya kerajaan Ayutthaya. Kerajaan Sri Dharmaraja ini ialah salah satu kerajaan orang Melayu yang memerintah di Segenting Kera sehingga ke Selatan Thai.

Kena pandai beza orang Siam dan Thai. Orang Siam ini merupakan salah satu daripada rumpun Melayu manakala orang Thai merupakan salah satu daripada rumpun cina yang lari dari negara China dan merupakan pendatang di Asia Tenggara berbanding pribumi Asia Tenggara yang lain seperti Melayu, Khmer dan Mon.

Kerajaan Ayutthaya didirikan pada tahun 1351 dan bagaimana dalam masa 12 tahun seluruh semenajung boleh jatuh ke dalam tangan mereka. Kerajaan ini mengambil masa untuk berdiri bahkan pada tahun 1777 baru mereka berjaya mengalahkan kerajaan Melayu Pattani di Selatan Thai dan bagaimana dia boleh mendakwa bahawa kerajaan Pattani boleh berada di bawah pengaruh Thai?

Cubaan mengatakan bahawa orang Thai ialah pemilik asal tanah Melayu ini tidak boleh dipakai sekadar dengan sentimen seperti itu. Kita mengembara lagi menghayati penipuan bangsat mereka.

Kali ini mereka menyentuh mengenai sebuah kerajaan orang Melayu yang hebat dan boleh dilabelkan sebagai lost kingdom seperti Tamadun Maya dan Aztec. Mereka sekadar berpandukan kepada hujah yang mengatakan bahawa kerajaan itu mengamalkan agama Buddha untuk melabelkan bahawa itu bukan milik orang Melayu.

Bullshit! Bila kalian tidak tahu apa itu sejarah, lebih baik diamkan diri dan jangan tunjuk pandai. Sebelum kedatangan agama Islam, orang Melayu merupakan pengganut agama Hindu dan Buddha. Namun, selepas hidayah ALLAH datang, orang Melayu merupakan bangsa terakhir yang memeluk Islam secara beramai-ramai.

Kerajaan Kota Gelanggi masih terakam kemas dalam Sulalatus Salatin sebagai sebuah kerajaan campuran Melayu-Mon yang saling bekerjasama melalui perkahwinan. Kemudian, kota ini diserang oleh Raja Chola yang datang dari Selatan India untuk menyerang kerajaan-kerajaan Melayu yang berada di bawah naungan Srivijaya.

Kemudian, anjing DAP ini membangkitkan sejarah seorang cina muslim yang mati di Brunei yang bernama Pu Kung Chih Mu. Tiada apa-apa yang salah mengenainya. Kita semua tahu bahawa orang Cina selalu berdagang ke kerajaan-kerajaan Melayu di Nusantara aka Kepulauan Melayu ini.

Saya tidak nampak ada apa yang salahnya bahawa Islam datang lebih awal ke Nusantara memandangkan bahawa Maharaja hebat empayar hebat nenek moyang kami pernah mengirimkan surat kepada kerajaan Islam untuk mengajarkan Islam kepada orang Melayu.

Apa dalam minda kau bahawa:


Istilah bahawa Melayu itu mesti Islam hanya datang pada zaman moden apabila perlembagaan negara digubal. Sebelum itu, Melayu ialah Melayu. Agama mereka ada Islam, Hindu atau Buddha. Bawalah teori bahawa Islam datang ke Nusantara pada era mana pun tidak akan membuktikan bahawa orang Melayu itu pendatang.

Kemudian, bangsat kiasu ini berkongsi gambar Candi Borubudur sambil menolak dakwaan golongan anai-anai dan megat siam yang asyik bermain dengan teori tahap ultraman mereka. Itu membuatkan saya tersenyum sinis. Saya nak petik dakwaan daripada mereka yang BUTA SEJARAH tetapi cuba berlagak hebat.

"In fact, the entire peninsular Malaya had been Buddhist and/or Hindu ever since the second century when Lembah Bujang was built. And since this is the year 1363, all of Brunei and Borneo was also under the rule of King Hayam Wuruk, who was King of the Majapahit empire. And what religion did they have? (I’ll give you a hint… they built the Borobudor. And for those who claim that Borobudor is a mosque in disguise, please learn to recognize temple architecture.)"

Tak payah guna istilah in fact lah padahal fakta pun kau tak tahu. Apa yang cuba katakan? Tiada siapa yang menafikan bahawa agama Buddha dan Hindu merupakan anutan orang Melayu sebelum kedatangan Islam. Tetapi...

Borubudur di bina oleh Majapahit? Kawan-kawan, mari ketawakan mereka ini. KEBEBALAN SEJARAH SUDAH TAHAP DEWA, ada hati mahu menulis mengenai sejarah, terutama sejarah bangsa aku. Mari, aku ajarkan kalian mengenai sejarah bangsa.

Borubudur sebenarnya dibina oleh orang Melayu dari Empayar Srivijaya. Pada 775, candi borubudur ini di bina dan siap pada tahun 792 pada era pemerintahan Maharaja Samaratungga. Kalau hal sekecil ini pun tidak diketahui, janganlah berlagak seakan-alan sejarawan dan mahu menulis sejarah bohong mengenai bangsaku. Aku tidak rela!

Also important to note, that since this is 1363, Parameswara had not yet swum across Pirate-Bay to reach Temasik yet. Hence, the need to locate the earlier kingdoms which pre-date ‘His Royal Pendatangness’.

Siapa kau nak katakan nenek moyang aku pendatang? Hujah kau hanya kerana dia datang ke Melaka? Tahu tak bahawa Parameswara ini ialah putera Empayar Melayu Srivijaya? Apabila Srivijaya jatuh, Parameswara mencari tanah baru untuk menubuhkan kerajaan baru dan Melaka yang pada suatu masa dahulu pernah menjadi sebuah tanah di bawah jajahan dan pemerintahan bapanya. Apakah menuntut kembali tanah milik keluarganya itu dipanggil sebagai pendatang?


Aku tak kisah kau mengarut dengan kisah Laksamana Cheng Ho tak jumpa makanan halal dan jadi marah bila tiba di tanah Melayu. Kau mengarut pada sejarah bangsa kau, itu hak kau. Tapi, jangan menyentuh sejarah bangsa aku. Kepada Lim Kit Siang dan John Doe, masih ramai melayu yang celik sejarah.