Author: Jason W. Parsont

Crowdfunding is commonly defined as raising small amounts of capital from a large number of people over the Internet. To avoid the expense of securities regulation, companies often crowdfund by giving away rewards (such as a free t-shirt) instead of selling stock or other securities. In April 2012, Title III of the JOBS Act sought to change this status quo by directing the Securities and Ex- change Commission (SEC) to facilitate securities-based crowdfunding through websites like Kickstarter. Congress and the President believed this would broaden access to sidelined capital and help companies grow and hire. But this “retail crowdfunding” exemption, open to all investors, was not the only means of crowdfunding in the bill. A last minute compromise, which has been largely overlooked, expanded the ability of issuers to use the private placement exemption, as revised in new Rule 506(c), to crowdfund from accredited investors. This “accredited crowdfunding” exemption provides a less regulated capital-raising alternative to retail crowdfunding that is available to the same companies and more.

This article is the first to examine the impact that accredited crowdfunding will have on retail crowdfunding. It claims that accredited crowdfunding is likely to dominate and, depending on SEC action, could render retail crowdfunding superfluous or a market for lemons. But it also claims that accredited crowdfunding—when compared to traditional private placements—may face a similar lemons problem over the longer term on account of rules that discourage investors from fending for themselves. These potential problems threaten to under- mine the social welfare goals of the JOBS Act: increasing access to capital, spurring business growth, and creating jobs. But the SEC can minimize these problems and promote social welfare by strengthening the bargaining incentives of accredited investors and encouraging retail investors to piggyback off of ac- credited investors’ work. The normative section of this Article provides targeted recommendations that balance the need for capital formation against a novel incentives-based theory of investor protection.

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Credit: The Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR)

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What You Eat Affects Your Productivity

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?

When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is simply fuel.

But as it turns out, this analogy is misleading. The foods we eat affect us more than we realize. With fuel, you can reliably expect the same performance from your car no matter what brand of unleaded you put in your tank. Food is different. Imagine a world where filling up at Mobil meant avoiding all traffic and using BP meant driving no faster than 20 miles an hour. Would you then be so cavalier about where you purchased your gas?

Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which…

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At Amazon, It’s All About Cash Flow

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

In a few days, Amazon will report its quarterly earnings. If recent quarters are any indication, there will be a lot of worried talk before and after the announcement about the company’s minuscule or perhaps even negative profits. If its stock price continues to slide downward, the story will probably be that investors are losing patience with Amazon’s persistently low profit margins.

Maybe that’s true. Why stock prices do what they do over the short term is an enduring mystery, and I’m not going to claim to solve it here. But given that the company’s profit margins have never been much to look at, it’s a little hard to understand why that would suddenly be a big deal now.

The far more interesting things in Amazon’s earnings releases, it turns out, can be found on the cash flow statement. Here, for example, are the company’s net income and cash…

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The Internet of Things Is More than Just a Bunch of Refrigerators

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

The Internet of Things is definitely becoming a Thing, in the same way that big data’s a Thing or the sharing economy’s a Thing. And the thing about a thing that becomes a Thing is, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that made it a thing before everyone declared it the Next Big Thing that will change everything.

Got it? Good. We’ll start there. With the hype over the Internet of Things behind us. Because whether or not it’s a Thing, the internet of things is already a lot of things. Here’s a look at a tiny, tiny slice of it:

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Those are a couple of dozen air quality sensors located around Boston, as documented by Thingful, a search engine for publicly available Internet of Things things (including sharks!). Click on a dot to get real-time information on air quality in the area. That alone may…

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Xiaomi, Not Apple, Is Changing the Smartphone Industry

Harvard Business Review:

“On average, a new version of a phone is launched every 265 days in the industry – down from 345 days in 2009.”

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Determining which customer to target first is one of the most critical decisions in the entrepreneurial process.  Customers that are relatively less risky and more predictable can make it easier for new to firms gain a market foothold. One such set of customers is the nascent middle class in emerging economies.

Why? First, as their financial situation improves they are anxious to buy new things. Not quite able to afford the top brands, they’re nevertheless willing to pay a little more for something they perceive might be close. Second, because they can’t yet afford the high-margin top brands, they’re not all that attractive to incumbents worried about generating enough cash to cover their high fixed and variable costs. So they exist in a sweet spot from an entrepreneur’s point of view: rich and numerous enough to fuel a start-up’s growth and also poor enough not to spur incumbents to respond.

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Announcing the Venture Scanner Pulse Metric

Originally posted on Venture Scanner Insights:

One of the top requests from you, our community, is to be able to quickly get a sense for how companies within categories stack up against one another. It is very common for some categories, like Automotive Telematics, Social Media Marketing, and Consumer Lending, to have over 100 companies within them. This makes identifying the short list of companies to meet with and vet for business partnerships a very arduous task.

Today we are excited to announce the launch of the Venture Scanner pulse metric. True to our mission of combining analyst insights with data, we are launching two pulse metrics for companies, the Analyst Pulse and the Data Pulse.

  • Analyst Pulse: An analyst’s assessment of a company’s health as measured by product-market fit, adoption, and business model traction.
  • Data Pulse: An assessment of a company’s health that is derived programmatically through Venture Scanner’s algorithms with input…

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Other Oktoberfest

From the National Geographic book Four Seasons of Travel

Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Expect an authentic taste of Germany from a city that was named Berlin until 1916. Be transported by the merriment pouring from Kitchener’s festival halls and filling steins, plates, and dance floors. Family-friendly events include blunt-tipped archery showdowns, a fashion show, and art gallery romps downtown before the Canadian Thanksgiving parade.

Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio,
Lederhosen-clad locals, thirsty visitors, and even costumed racing dachshund pups raid six blocks of downtown “Zinzinnati” for one of America’s most popular Oktoberfests—nearly 500,000 attendees strong. But the fairgrounds in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus can’t be overlooked, and you’ll want to save room here for a half-pound cream puff from Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus.

Leavenworth, Washington
A Bavarian-style village in the foothills of the northern Cascade mountains brings in millions of thirsty visitors during the first three weekends of October. Don’t miss the traditional keg-tapping ceremony by the small town’s mayor kicking off each weekend.

Colonia Tovar, Venezuela
Called the “Germany of the Caribbean,” this northern Venezuelan community an hour west of Caracas surprises with its unlikely Bavarian architecture and pride. The authentic culture lasts in the wake of immigrants from Germany’s Black Forest who founded the town in 1843. Watch the trunk-sawing competition and enjoy a Tovar beer at one of the tables imported from Germany for the fest.

Blumenau, Brazil
Why not southern Brazil for Oktoberfest? This city is as authentic as many—it was founded in the mid-19th century by a small band of German immigrants. Try beers from local craft breweries such as Das Bier at Latin America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration. Cut straight for the biergarten among the pavilions of Blumenau’s expansive German Village Park reminiscent of Munich’s own 14-tent grounds, or snag a freebie from the bierwagen parading the town.

Bangalore, India
Leading Indian brewery Kingfisher throws an annual multistage music festival at the striking Jayamahal Palace in the heart of the southern Indian city. The musicians are bound to steal your attention, but the flea market is a highlight, too, complete with craft vendors and food stalls. More than 20,000 people attend the festivities each year.

Hong Kong, China
Not to be missed, this bustling Chinese island is home to a rollicking annual bierfest at the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. Listen to traditional oompah bands and sample the roasted pork knuckle from your open-air perch over Victoria Harbour at this German/Asian tradition that’s been going strong for more than 20 years. Get there early for one of the 200 pints of the exclusive Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier served each night.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It’s actually hard to miss Dubai’s October salutes to old Bavaria with so many glittering venues around the city bedecked in German tinsel. A daylong bash is held in the Dubai Sports City complex, while area resorts such as the five-star Jumeirah Beach Hotel host their own. If you miss the October festivities, you can get a taste of Bavaria year-round at the Jumeira Rotana hotel’s Brauhaus German Restaurant.

Brisbane, Australia
Aussies get a balmy Oktoberfest experience on Queensland’s east coast, where temperatures average 70°F (21°C) for this dual-weekend salute to Bavaria. And boasting a spread of entertainment from a Bavarian Strongman Competition and cowbell ringing to music, dancing, and a yodeler named Heidi, the event deserves a prost for still being family-organized. And don’t forget the beer: The festival imports its handcrafted brews from the old Tucher Brewery in Bavaria.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The German Club of Port Elizabeth might have a members-only beer garden, but it opens up its turf to the rest of Nelson Mandela Bay for one celebratory October weekend. The band Viva Bavaria plays classics from the Alps, as well as classic rock and modern hits.

Watch “TR-3B Plasma Torus Anti-Gravity Centrifuge Engine” on YouTube

TR-3B Plasma Torus Anti-Gravity Centrifuge Engine:

Published on Oct 23, 2008

To discuss this video in detail, post links and more, please visit the AlienScientist Discussion Forums:

Multiple corroborating sources have been pieced together to unlock the secret of TRUE anti-gravity. This expose’ of supporting evidence provides a never before seen look at how REAL Anti-Gravity could work! Of course the only way to debunk it is to do the experiment and see!

Maharshi Bharadwaaja’s “Vimaanika Shastra”:

NAZI Bell Experiment – Jakob Sporrenberg

Eugene Podkletnov – “Impulse Gravity Generator Based on Charged Superconducting Crystal”

Edgar Fouche – TR3-b :

Jonathan Weygandt’s testimony begins at 05:40 (Disclosure Project – 62 min)

Additional references:

Liquid Superfluid Hydrogen:

Liquid Superfluid Helium 3a:

Common ferrofluid surfactants

The surfactants used to coat the nanoparticles include, but are not limited to:

* oleic acid

* tetramethylammonium hydroxide

* citric acid

* soy lecithin

These surfactants prevent the nanoparticles from clumping together, ensuring that the particles do not form aggregates that become too heavy to be held in suspension by Brownian motion. The magnetic particles in an ideal ferrofluid do not settle out, even when exposed to a strong magnetic, or gravitational field. A surfactant has a polar head and non-polar tail (or vice versa), one of which adsorbs to a nanoparticle, while the non-polar tail (or polar head) sticks out into the carrier medium, forming an inverse or regular micelle,respectively, around the particle. Steric repulsion then prevents agglomeration of the particles.

Quantum Ferrofluids:

Please note that the drawing I portray of the Anti-Gravity Engine shows superfluid Helium 3 nuclei engaging in cooper pairs. The Black and White sided coin is drawn to illustrate what I call “dual axis rotation” or conical rotation (spin a coin on a table and observe the motion) One idea is to use 2 different superfluids of different density which will cause each other to rotate through displacement. This can also be used to “jump start” the engine (by spinning the craft like a coin and letting it rotate on an edge to get that dual axis rotation going)

Frank Znidarsic’s newest paper:

Podkletnov (1992)