Wednesday, May 19, 2010

South Africa Story from BusinessWeek

Pretty compelling story from the May 17-23 issue of BusinessWeek.

Written by Ken Walls, "South Africa: A Big Bounce from the World Cup" is all about the largest economy on the continent leading into it's time on the world stage starting June 11.  What struck me about the piece is both how fraught with risk / opportunity the event is for South Africa and the description of the place itself.

In terms of beauty, Walls writes of Cape Town within South Africa as being a city like San Francisco, but with the towers of Yosemite there as well.  The overall concept of the country is also terribly interesting in that you have a place that used to be something completely different during the times of apartheid, but is now finding it's way with two different races figuring out how to make it all work as a country.

Really the place sounds amazing to me and makes me think of the descriptions of it (both the land and the apartheid-era conflict) from the excellent Bryce Courtenay (author website here) books "The Power of One" and "Tandia"


A couple of other short pieces of interest to me from an older issue (Apr 26-May 2) of BW...

- "New Legal Protections for Social Entrepreneurs" is about how states are beginning to allow public corporations the choice to register as "benefit corporations"... granting them a level of exception from the public company mandate of all actions needing to be solely towards the goal of shareholder value.  Very interesting concept that seems to make sense both from allowing people to decide how to run operations and investors to opt in or out of that.

- "Innovator: Fred Brooks" is about the 79-year-old computer scientist and technology executive and his new book "The Design of Design"... sounds like a good read.