Published, September 29, 2019, on Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, Hon. President of Mincomes
No matter what business analytical tool you choose (or your computer more or less chooses as is the case of GF-ACCORD, www.gf-accord.biz), for a better result and strategy, it should be applicable to a particular business.
In 1960, an American business consultant created SWOT to deliver results in organizational management. Initially, he called it SOFT (satisfactory, opportunities, faults, and threats).[i] In 1962, two delegates of the conference in Zurich renamed SOFT to SWOT and presented to the public. Ever since the word-of-mouth reached the UK and then the SWOT technique became worldwide known. Later in 1982, SWOT was formed into a 2x2 matrix by Dr. Heinz Weihrich.[ii]
There are numerous flavours of business analysis models. SWOT has become the most popular to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for business. SWOT analysis is an essential tool to analyse the internal and external state of the company. Furthermore, a better measurement of the whole picture allows to leverage in the right direction.
For example, in 2015, the Coca-Cola company highlighted main strength points: brand awareness, a vast network, and opportunities of distribution in emerging economies. However, by that time, people have raised concerns about healthy drinks, and it was the most significant weakness. In addition, the currency outside the US was not stable. Thus, the executive decision met the investor's requirements to invest in a high-profile brand.
There is another example of a leading social network - Facebook. According to statista.com, the company's ads revenue hit 55 USD billion in 2018. Nonetheless, Mark Zuckerberg got through the biggest Cambridge Analytical scandal in history to breach his customers' privacy. Herewith, the reputation was heavily damaged and caused a severe weakness. As a result, there is a considerable threat of competition, operational costs. At the same time, Facebook announced to launch Libra cryptocurrency by 2020 as an opportunity to promote the brand on a different level.[iii]
Furthermore, there are other techniques to manage corporate organizational structure.
1. Pestle analysis focuses on political, economic, social, and technological aspects. Pestle is applicable before switching to SWOT analysis to provide an anthropological nature of each component in SWOT. Pestle provides microeconomic points of view, such as trade restrictions, industry growth, customer service, legislation around technology.[iv]
2. MOST analysis is entertained by mission, objective, strategies, and tactics. MOST will assist in building up a decent business plan on the initial stage and in everyday life of the company to focus on strategy. For instance, Coca-Cola kept up the mission of a highly recognized brand.[v]
3. The SCRC analysis acronym stands for strategy, current state, requirements, and solution. SCRC deliver a precise plan of action for the executives. It was the way Netflix launched movies online at a lower price, instead of selling DVDs only.[vi]
To sum up, having seen the alternatives to SWOT, the conclusion is: never hesitate to use the most convenient models to see business clearly and deeply and yes, it is "models" as relying on a single one is wishful thinking.
#strategy #swot #businessanalysis #businessconsulting #gfaccord
[i] Migrator, "SWOT, PESTLE and Other Models for Strategic Analysis," Text, nibusinessinfo.co.uk, November 24, 2011, https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/swot-pestle-and-other-models-strategic-analysis.
[ii] Sidharth Thakur, "SWOT, History and Evolution," Bright Hub PM (blog), December 16, 2010, https://www.brighthubpm.com/methods-strategies/99629-history-of-the-swot-analysis/.
[iii] "SWOT Analysis Example, " Cleverism, July 2, 2019, https://www.cleverism.com/swot-analysis-examples/.
[iv] "PEST Analysis Template - Political, Environmental, Social, Technological," GroupMap - Collaborative Brainstorming and Decision Making (blog), accessed September 27, 2019, https://www.groupmap.com/map-templates/pest-analysis/.
[v] "MOST Analysis, Mission, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics," Free Management Books (blog), November 9, 2015, http://www.free-management-ebooks.com/news/most-analysis-mission-objectives-strategy-tactics/.
[vi] "What Is SCRS and How Walmart and Netflix Should Use It," PESTLE Analysis, September 9, 2015, https://pestleanalysis.com/scrs/.
Published, September 26, 2019, on Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, Hon. President of Mincomes
Blockchain is an emerging technology that does not fit the global financial system yet. There are, of course, many more threats than opportunities at the moment for the worldwide economy. The most obvious one is the money laundering issue and many illegal operations.
Cryptocurrency is not traditionally regulated and a long-lasting phenomenon these days. It is not clear how Libra will have any future potential.
In 2019, Facebook officially announced the Libra cryptocurrency project. The social network has its benefit, which is the database of users. It allows them to operate more safely. They plan to collaborate with WhatsApp. Moreover, they wish to start with 400 million Indian WhatsAppers by 2020.
Why did CEO Mark Zuckerberg believe in Libra? Is he confident to launch his cryptocurrency just because he has access to millions of account holders? Nevertheless, in 2018 he already got through biggest scandal in the history to breach his customers' privacy. At the same time, Libra was designed.[i]
Zuckerberg might have the holiest idea to help people without bank accounts to transfer money with the lowest fee. However, there is an issue with compliance. The cryptocurrency is unreliable as French finance minister expressed it clearly during a conference on virtual currencies. He stated it is not possible to observe Libra on European soil. In addition, the bank of England also warned about the strict regulations to consider before walking through the door, while windows are open.[ii]
Libra is designed to be run by its blockchain and is decentralized. It means that you need to be Libra's Associate member to have access through FB Messenger or WhatsApp. Herewith they call it a stablecoin compare to bitcoin, as they already have the database of potential customers.[iii]
Libra's leverage might be estimated by US Federal reserves. In January 2019, the total amount reached up to USD 17,7 trillion. It is expected that Libra will operate USD 7 billion of interest annually. Therefore, investment token holders are expected to receive a projected important percentage of ROI.[iv] Nevertheless, the Libra Association has chosen Geneva, Switzerland as home, and this can play a key role towards becoming a compliant payment network.[v]
#cryptocurrency #blockchain #FacebookLibra #Libra #stablecoin #compliance #gfaccord
[i] "What Is Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency? [The Most Comprehensive Guide]- Part 1," Blockgeeks, June 24, 2019, https://blockgeeks.com/guides/understanding-facebooks-cryptocurrency-libra/. [ii] Richard Partington and agencies, "France to Block Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency in Europe," The Guardian, September 12, 2019, sec. Technology, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/12/france-block-development-facebook-libra-cryptocurrency. [iii] Gian Volpicelli, "What Is Libra? Facebook's Cryptocurrency, Explained," Wired UK, August 14, 2019, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/facebook-libra-cryptocurrency-explained. [iv] "Billion-Dollar Returns: The Upside of Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency," CoinDesk (blog), July 5, 2019, https://www.coindesk.com/billion-dollar-returns-the-upside-of-facebooks-libra-cryptocurrency. [v] Benjamin Pirus, "FINMA Application From Facebook's Cryptocurrency Libra Might Not Be Good Enough To Satisfy Regulators," Forbes, accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjaminpirus/2019/09/16/finma-application-from-facebooks-cryptocurrency-libra-might-not-be-good-enough-to-satisfy-regulators/.
Published, September 24, 2019, on Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, Hon. President of Mincomes
Swedish chemist Jons Jakob Berzelius, approximately 200 year before the appearance of bitcoin, discovered a new, radioactive, unstable mineral. He named it Thorium which lays in the earth's crust. This element helps to produce a nuclear chain reaction which is essential for electricity or a power plant.[i] Moreover, the UN nuclear agency declared that Thorium is a cleaner and safer alternative to Uranium. This fact is essential in the era of global warming and specially to prevent the planet from disasters such as Chernobyl, and Fukushima.[ii] Unfortunately there are considerable technical and commercial challenges in the adoption of Thorium.
Both Thorium and Uranium can be used to fuel nuclear reactors. Thorium produces less radioactive waste. Uranium was used to make bombs during the war. Nevertheless, there was a high demand to produce nuclear fuel safely. Thus, Thorium has become a great alternative to Uranium.[iii]
Until the end of World War II, Brazil and India were the leading producers of Thorium. Later the following countries started to research Thorium as well: the USA, Italy, Australia, Canada, China, France, USSR, Germany. The main purpose was to develop Fast Breeder Reactors.[iv]
In the past five years, researchers at Thor Energy have been working on fuels with Thorium elements to make it more sustainable for the planet. They have already succeeded in producing a consistency that matches "commercial approval for Thorium-based fuels in existing light water reactors".[v]
Every year more than 30 000 tons of Thorium are mined worldwide. The Thorium market is divided into several segments:
- Gas Mantles;
- Electronic Equipment Coating;
- Refractory Material Manufacturing;
- Camera lens/Scientific Instrument;
- Nuclear Reactor;
- Heat Resistant Ceramics.[vi]
However, Thorium consumption is not high as it is relatively expensive to extract compared to Uranium. The metal is extracted from monazite in India, Brazil, Australia, the USA, Egypt, and Venezuela. It is also possible to mine Thorium as a by-product in China, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Sweden. In addition, France and Britain are researching it at the moment.
Throughout the history of nuclear power, a growing interest in Thorium was continuously abrupted. On the one hand, the extraction is cleaner and safer than Uranium. On the other hand, a large consumption and disposal of this radioactive element are still dangerous for health and the environment. Nevertheless, in the era of human intelligence across the industries such as aerospace, heavy water reactors, and nuclear fuels, there is no alternative yet. Scientists have already made progress in the past five years towards sustainable nuclear energy. There is no doubt that Thorium market will extensively improve within the next five or ten years thanks to the confirmed focus of major research powers. The combination with the blockchain is part of the solution as the pieces are small!
#Thorium #nuclearenergy #radioactive #blockchain #gfaccord
[i] N. Touran, "Thorium As Nuclear Fuel: The Good and the Bad," accessed September 19, 2019, https://whatisnuclear.com/Thorium.html.
[ii] "Is Thorium a Cleaner, Safer and Cheaper Alternative to Uranium?," Miljonytta (blog), July 12, 2016, http://advantage-environment.com/future/is-Thorium-a-cleaner-safer-and-cheaper-alternative-to-Uranium/.
[iii] Marin Katusa, "The Thing About Thorium: Why The Better Nuclear Fuel May Not Get A Chance," Forbes, accessed September 20, 2019, https://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/02/16/the-thing-about-Thorium-why-the-better-nuclear-fuel-may-not-get-a-chance/.
[iv] Milos Rene, "Nature, Sources, Resources, and Production of Thorium," Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry Researches of Metal Compounds, August 23, 2017, https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.68304.
[v] "Third Round of Thorium Test Irradiation Starts - World Nuclear News," accessed September 20, 2019, https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Third-round-of-Thorium-test-irradiation-starts.
[vi] "Thorium Market: Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 - 2025," accessed September 20, 2019, https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/Thorium-market.asp.in
Published on April 10, 2018, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes
Since the end of January 2018 predicting the direction of the market is not the easiest task. Buy and sell side turn to the computers.
1) For starters with common sense, it certainly makes sense to have a look at the fundamentals and pick the stock with the better numbers which by the way change daily:
P/E Ratio (TTM)
Price to Sales (TTM)
Price to Cash Flow (MRQ)
Price to Free Cash Flow (TTM)
Price to Book (MRQ)
Price to Tangible Book (MRQ)
EPS(MRQ) vs Qtr. 1 Yr. Ago
EPS(TTM) vs TTM 1 Yr. Ago5 Year
EPS Growth Sales (MRQ) vs Qtr. 1 Yr. Ago
Sales (TTM) vs TTM 1 Yr. Ago (TTM)5 Year
Sales Growth5 Year
Capital Spending Growth
Asset Turnover (TTM)I
Net Income/Employee (TTM)
Receivable Turnover (TTM)
Gross margin (TTM)
Gross Margin (5YA)
Operating margin (TTM)
Pretax margin (TTM)
Pretax margin (5YA)
Net Profit margin (TTM)
Net Profit margin (5YA)
Quick Ratio (MRQ)
Current Ratio (MRQ)
LT Debt to Equity (MRQ)
Total Debt to Equity
2) That said, stock pickers continue to find that trends matter and they can't be wrong. Let’s search for a consensus in the technical analysis numbers:
ADX (14 / 1D)
ATR (14 / 1D)
Bull/Bear Power (13 / 1D)CCI (14 / 1D)
Highs/Lows (14 / 1D)
MACD (12,26 / 1D)
ROC (1D)RSI (14 / 1D)
STOCH (14 / 1D)
STOCHRSI (14 / 1D)
Ultimate Oscillator (14 /1D)
Williams %R (1D)
3) Candlestick patterns, have brought some success in the past and the algorithm does most of the work. This automatization is attractive.
4) The NEWS come as the fourth element that can signal actually the most dramatic price movement.
5) What will be sweet is a level of frequently automated business analysis for sectors and companies using models like:
de Bono's Six Thinking Hats
Business Analysis Canvas
Porter's five forces
This can be the 5th consensus element.
Is it desirable? Yes as the above 1-4 need additional support
Can it be done?
Yes indeed thanks to Big Data, AI, semantics software.
Georgios Fradelos, PhD
Published on April 6, 2018, Linkedin.com, co-authored by Utsab Pokharel MSc and Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes
We discuss Waterfall, two agile methodologies : Scrum and Kanban with the GF-ACCORD method (developed by Georgios Fradelos, PhD, www.gf-accord.biz ) for software development and expanded to business consulting.
All methods deal with very important variables: packaging of time resources, organisation of teams, hierarchy of process control and identification of elements of the process that have value, definitions of success and failure in the light of time windows, various meetings (type and frequency).
First let’s remember how old-school waterfall development method works. The one directional steps are:
Waterfall typically goes through these steps one after another, and each step might take several months. Next step will start only after completion of previous one.
There are several problems with this method. First of all, the planning must be completed before project cycle begins. In most cases, planning is done without entirely understanding the project and once the development is being done often things are sent back to the planning phase. the product needs to start over or the developers just criticize for not understanding the plan, this cycle can happen many times and, this can also happen in every other step. As a result, it might take years to come out with a product.
In the case of Scrum an implementation of Agile philosophy, the entire process is fragmented into small pieces called Sprints which lasts 1-3 weeks.
After this cycle we end up with potentially shippable product submitted to the judgment of the product owner. This cycle is repeated time and again, each time just doing some planning with incremental features and you end up with several incremental releases. The sprints are repeated until the product features are completed. Sometimes we may end up with shipping the product after the 2nd Sprint or more, but we eventually end up with shipping the product one day.
In scrum there are three roles to work the framework well.
There are three documents or artifacts used in scrum.
There are three ceremonies in scrum
Kanban is a lean scheduling system, coined in Japan by the Toyota Corporation. It also works in conjunction with Scrum.
The visual nature of the board makes it easy to find out: what’s already been done, what’s in progress, and what’s going to be started next.
So, as long as the team keeps finishing work, those cards keep moving to the right.
To help ensure that those items are being completed at a steady pace, Kanban imposes limits on the number of the items that can belong in any one work-flow step at any given time ( this is the most important feature of Kanban). These are called Work in Progress, or WIP limits, the star of Kanban.GF-ACCORD agile hybrid method:
This method is an enriched and evolved scrum.
The GF-ACCORD system also has a digital dashboard with some common sense similarities with the Kanban board. This digital board is personalized for each team member and the member can update the progress on a daily basis (minimum 3 times per week is required).
As you can see this board has 11 columns, much more that a Kanban board has, and is more efficient in uncovering bottlenecks via the two key columns: ambiguity level and certainty that the task can be completed. Priorities are always set and any recent changes of task description are accepted as realistic development.
The GF-ACCORD agile method does not permit the feeling of ambiguity that can cause nervous digital sweating! It is ideal for 2018 projects requiring rapid adaptation to newly accepted technologies (see blockchain) while actively assisting the increase of the sophistication of the team and its self-improvement. The system is also used in business analysis, market research, and business insights detection, where development of software modules is replaced by answers to specific questions.
Georgios Fradelos, PhD
Published on March 7, 2018, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes
The blockchain is a system of verification of records. The records can be practically anything, for example text connected to contracts and transactions. Even though it became synonymous with new, digital money, the Blockchain has many applications, it is not restricted to cryptocurrencies – you heard about bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and at least 10 other; you search online for the weather forecast and on the side you have the “coin” prices …-.
The nice part is that Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), like the blockchain, are applicable to the many industries, for example:
For “security”, there is a system of several types of digital keys: hash, public, private and the digital signatures that supposed to restrict access. Additional reliability is provided by the fact that some computational and mathematical work is required before an entry can be classified as valid. The work can be done by an honest individual or by an attacker and there is a race between the two.
The basis of the belief that the attackers will not practically own the blockchain, and all the financial value it brings, relies on probability theory and originally the gamblers ruin problem. There is uncertainty and it originates from the fact that the proof of work is a result of computational power. Certain rules, for example controlling timing, can be introduced in order to attempt to identify and potentially resist attacks. As the computational power can come from superior sources, for example quantum computing, there is no guarantee at all that the whole chain of records will not be jeopardized at least for the moment. Who can tell? One of the Fields or Turing award level talents can show us the way.
Moving the technology to the banking system is not obvious as possibly everything can be lost from what the public knows today, except if leading supercomputers will be somehow involved and regulated. In addition, we have seen huge oscillations and corrections on one of the applications of blockchain, bitcoin without events of security breach. One can only imagine what can be the result to the prices of cryptocurrencies if there is an announcement of a major security failure. It is very handy to cut the middle man, but can it be done? and until when? Until the next security breach? Another important issue is to what extent the transaction history will be exposed to other members of the chains (the public keys in the wallet can allow access to the transaction history). In the particular case of cryptocurrency as part of mutual funds and exchange traded funds, the high volatility of the majority of the approximately 1500 coins makes very speculative and problematic their inclusion of cryptocurrencies inside the instruments. There are some kinds of solutions to be found in new types of financial instruments and there are already some currently traded (…ETNs).
The value of all DLTs applications is affected by fear, uncertainty and doubt. The first and the third are psychological and can be cured, but the uncertainty is computational in nature and will not go away easily (who has more computational power to provide proof of work?). By the way, we should not make the mistake to believe that the true competition is between GPUs (from AMD, and Nvidia) and CPUs, but between traditional computing and quantum computing. The uncertainty is additionally amplified by the potential changes of specifications of the DLTs (interestingly, the bitcoin did not go into specification changes up to now).
An important observation is that even though DLTs were originally created to reduce the cost of money transactions, one of the main application of DLTs, cryptocurrency, is treated less as money for buying day-to-day goods and more as commodity where values is stored, hopefully, and blocked. It is also used very effectively, due to absence of sufficient regulations, in order to hide black money connected to any imaginable illegal activity and also fortune telling ...
In summary, DLTs, like blockchain via their numerous applications aim to offer several tremendously “nice to have” benefits: cutting the middle man, better protection of the identity of involved parties and increased security thanks to decentralization. For the case of currencies, they can possibly remove the danger of any loss of value specifically due to artificial inflation and they give the opportunity of increasing the value of set of records thanks to wide acceptance and the list goes on.
There is no reassurance that these beautiful benefits can be enjoyed in a secure and sustainable way. The business becomes: how to render this wonderful quantum leap benign.
Published on June 24, 2015, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes
Working with start-ups, they were in search of ideas around green and affordable energy technologies – an international tendency expected to safely match growing energy needs. After considering numerous proposals, they decided to invest in two companies: the first dealt with power generation via osmosis, a technology active in Europe since 2008. The other proposal aimed at further developing biomass energy technology, directed especially to the market of Asian countries.
Start-ups backed their technology proposals with respective business plans. The presence of these seemingly detailed documents, full of numbers, made the investment decision look easy. It turned out, it was not. This is a typical case when a business plan fails to present an understanding of the technology and its applications to a specific market. This analysis was exactly missing in the business plan proposal about the biomass technology.
The scary part is that my friends were aware of the missing analysis for the case of the second start-up. Being in rush to proceed as the deadline for the monthly committee was approaching, they decided to advance the investment on two basis. First, by trusting their gut that biomass technology was still in the developing phase in the Asian market. Second, by being on what seemed to be the safe side with the osmosis technology - the business proposal was highly professional and comprising a detailed analysis including a report on the technology, investigation on the level of opportunity for innovation and power generation, variants of application of the technology and a detailed analysis of the competitors. This last investment was directed to EU and US markets.
As skilled investors, my friends were right. Right, to dilute the risk of the biomass technology investment with the safe positioning of the osmosis technology investment. Because, the rushed decision on biomass technology turned out to be a costly one - the biomass technology was already well established in Asian countries, and the energy need was directed towards other types of renewable technologies. The investment on the osmosis technology turned out to be the saving card – not only the novelty of the technology did it, but also the detailed analysis on applications and possible competitors.
At this moment, osmosis technology is already being considered to enter the Asian market. There is an ongoing process to produce enterprise verdicts on the market perspective, and make sure to find the right approach to successfully enter the market, and justify the investment.