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The Importance of Competitive Advantage

Published on February 14th, 2020

As an otherwise idle MBA (Master of Business Administration) there are a lot of times where I hear business plans and see business ventures that make me wonder whether the people involved actually understand the idea of going into business. Most businesses fail. But most businesses fail because they don’t have a business plan or a marketing plan. And I’d add that they need to keep these as Live Documents (continually amended in real time to reflect the changing business environment).

Boring stuff, I know. Who really wants to spend all that time and effort running a business with paperwork. Live documents, phooey. I hear you. My answer… well, a business that wants to compete, survive and prosper. Otherwise, you’re correct… what a waste of energy.

One step in that direction for a business is to sit down and seriously ask yourself what your product/service offers customers. I mean, what does it really offer them above your competitors? What is your Competitive Advantage? Why you and your product/service, instead of your competitor?

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Three Almost Random Vernacular Photographs

Published on January 10th, 2020

I’ve always been an admirer of vernacular photography. That being defined as travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photo-booth images. Photography by the people and for the people, you might say. And, as I’ve aged, the power of this genre of photography has done nothing but be further enhanced by my own stories over time. After all, 90 percent of what we see in a photograph is what we bring to it as the viewer.

The first example (below) is a 1970s photograph of someone I knew rather well in an on/off roundabout villainous manner. On one occasion, totally randomly, on the day I was discharged from the Royal Australian Navy I sat on the plane beside this guy. He just had this way of popping up in my youth. Robert Jeffries died in, if I remember correctly, late 1993 along with someone else I knew quite well back in the day… so he’s long left the earth. Therefore I won’t talk about his villainy. That can rest.

Needless to say this photograph of Rob with a girl named Sylvia Skell (also deceased) is taken on the foreshore of the area of Northern Tasmanian coastline where I grew from a child to an adult. Within this vernacular photograph I can smell and feel the wind (drunken and sober); I have layered memories of these people across time; it’s much like Rebecca Solnit described in River of Shadows as the capture of space and time in a two dimensional frame. For me, at least, this is a powerful photograph.

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2020 Won’t be the Year we Fix Everything

Published on January 1st, 2020

I know people seem to think the catastrophic fires in Australa, the depleting habitat, weather changes and all that shit are going to make a huge difference this decade. I’m sorry, but I don’t have that faith in human beings. We’re going to ride this pony to the end and then some. Most people just want to buy stuff. It’s as simple as that.

How’s that for a negative New Year’s post? And I mean it. Nobody wants to stop having all their stuff. And for as little as possible. Meanwhile, governments fed by lobby groups and companies are getting away with murder and will continue to do so while they all guffaw about the infinite riches of a never-ending consumption driven global economy.

Probably the biggest thing we could do to stop things at this point would be to shut down the Internet. And ban shipping containers. Those two things (computing & standardised form-factor distribution) have been the drivers behind the post-1970s phase of globalisation that sees more business done in a day than was achieved in a single year of the 1960s.

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More Articles on StevenClark.com.au

  1. Three Almost Random Vernacular Photographs
  2. 2020 Won’t be the Year we Fix Everything
  3. Twenty One Years outside Her Majesty’s Shithole
  4. Radical Brewing (Book Review)
  5. The National Clamour to Build more Prison Beds

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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