Uncharted Territory


RSS     Archives




The West Bank Puts Israeli Exports at Risk
By Calev Ben-David February 06, 2014

Oxfam’s differences with Johansson reflect the growing controversy over the occupied West Bank and the Israeli companies that do business there. For a decade supporters of Palestinian statehood have been waging a grass-roots economic war against Israel, modeled after the assault on apartheid-era South Africa. Activists have urged retailers, academics, entertainers, and churches to blacklist Israeli businesses and institutions that operate in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war but claimed by Palestinians. Some want to extend the embargo on trade to all of Israel, and not just the settlements, which the global community considers illegitimate, if not illegal. Israel and its backers assail the campaign for singling out the Jewish state for punishment while ignoring dictatorial regimes with dismal human-rights records.

The economic impact of the boycott movement over the years has been minor. The campaign is gaining traction, however, in Europe. This raises the prospect that the European Union, Israel’s largest trading partner, might finally do what Israeli authorities have been trying to block for years: revise its preferential trade agreement with the country to reflect its opposition to the settlements.


In recent months, though, the boycott movement has scored some higher-profile victories. Norway’s $811 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, renewed its ban on investing in Africa Israel Investments (AFIL:IT) and Danya Cebus (DNYA:IT), Israeli construction companies that build outside the 1967 borders. Dutch asset manager PGGM said it would not make new investments in Israel’s top five banks because of “their involvement in financing Israeli settlements.” Last year, Dutch water company Vitens ended its partnership with Israel’s Mekorot water utility over the settlement issue.

More worrying to Israeli officials was a decision by the EU in November to issue new grant guidelines for a €70 billion ($95 billion) research program. The guidelines specify that none of the program’s funds can be awarded to Israeli universities or companies with operations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. On Feb. 3, Lars Faaborg-Anderson, the EU ambassador to Israel, warned the country in a televised interview that it risks increasing isolation from “private economic actors” in Europe, including consumers, companies, and pension funds, “if the [peace] process falters and the settlement expansion continues.”



McDonald's Feels Heat in Israel After Shunning West Bank
By Carol Matlack June 28, 2013

McDonald’s (MCD) prefers to serve its burgers without politics. But the company now finds itself on the front lines of a heated dispute over investment in Israeli-occupied territories, after its licensee in Israel refused to open a restaurant in a West Bank settlement.

Rami Levy, who is developing a shopping mall in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, told Bloomberg News that the licensee declined to open an outlet in the mall because it is on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The licensee, Omri Padan, is a co-founder of Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

“Our partner in Israel has determined that this particular location is not part of his growth plan,” a spokeswoman at McDonald’s U.S. headquarters tells Bloomberg Businessweek.

Not surprisingly, the decision sparked anger in Israel, with the mayor of Ariel calling it “The Big McInsult.”

Some called for a boycott of the fast-food giant’s other Israeli outlets.

This raises the prospect that the European Union, Israel’s largest trading partner, might finally do what Israeli authorities have been trying to block for years: revise its preferential trade agreement with the country to reflect its opposition to the settlements.とあったようにイスラエル最大の貿易相手であるEUの今後の動向に注目です。



今週のBusinessWeekの小さな記事で加湿器が紹介されていました。Winter air is drying, and that’s before you spend long hours in industrial heat. When lip balm’s not enough, consider the humidifierとあります。アメリカでも冬は空気が乾燥しているのですね。

Best Humidifier: Roolen's Breath
February 06, 2014

Winter air is drying, and that’s before you spend long hours in industrial heat. When lip balm’s not enough, consider the humidifier, an old-school device that many Asian design companies have recently updated. Best among them is Roolen’s latest, the Breath, which just became available stateside. Ultrasonic technology silently creates water vapor with a touch of the 10-inch pod’s sole button; an auto mode gauges the humidity in your office and adjusts the mist accordingly. Fill it, set it, and forget it for a few days. You’ll soon be reminded of its presence by co-workers who inquire about its Apple-esque aesthetics, then ask where they can get one. $129.99; amazon.com

Stop shivering: Adding moisture to the air warms it slightly, combating freezing offices. Stay healthy: Moist air allows your mucous membranes to better fend off bacteria and can also help soothe a sore throat


Smart Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Most Intelligent Humidifier
The Most Satisfying and All-New Humidifying System
Breath is equipped with a detector that automatically adjusts the device to a humidity level best fit your surroundings. Breath keeps you trouble-free by balancing your needs which will save your time and energy, making every drop worthy.


省エネ加湿器 超音波式 超静音 長寿命
【送料無料】省エネ加湿器Roolen 「Breath(ブレス)」 超音波式 超静音 自動停止機能 安全機能満載



今週のBusiness Weekでフランスの中小企業・革新・デジタル経済担当相フルール・ペルランさんが取り上げられていました。自分の国にもGoogleやFacebookのようなIT企業を育成したいという思いはどの国も抱くようですね。


Fleur Pellerin Works to Make France Safe for Tech Startups
By Vivienne Walt December 19, 2013


It’s hard to think of a high-ranking French official with less promising beginnings than Pellerin. Born in South Korea in 1973, she was found as a tiny bundle, a few days old, abandoned on a street in Seoul. A local orphanage took her in and named her Kim Jong Suk. Six months later a French couple, Joël and Annie Pellerin, came looking for a baby to adopt. They flew the infant home to France, where young Fleur enjoyed a conventional upbringing in the Paris suburbs. Her father, the first from his village in northwestern France to graduate from high school, started a business selling gene-sequencing devices to medical facilities. Her mother, who had quit school at 16 to help her parents, drummed a message of financial independence into Fleur and her younger sister, also a Korean adoptee. “She always told me that school and education was the chance I needed to take if I wanted to get ahead,” Pellerin says. “It was a very powerful incentive.”


[ⓒ 中央日報/中央日報日本語版]
韓国系の養子出身女性がフランスの閣僚になった。 フランスのエロー新首相(62)は16日(現地時間)、オランド大統領(58)の裁可を受け、34人の閣僚を発表した。 この中には大統領選挙当時にオランド陣営でデジタル経済特補を務めたフルール・ペルラン氏(39)が含まれた。 中小企業・革新・デジタル経済担当相だ。 フランスの閣僚は省庁を率いる閣僚(18人)とその下で特定分野を引き受ける担当相(16人)に分類される。

ペルラン氏は生後6カ月の時、韓国からフランスに送られた。 韓国での名前はキム・ジョンスク。 フランスの親が出生記録に韓国で受けた書類に記入されていた名前を残しておいたため、本来の名前を知ったという。 7歳年下の妹も韓国からの養子だ。 ペルラン氏はフランスに渡った後、韓国に行ったことはない。 韓国語は全く話せない。

ペルラン氏は最近、韓国メディアのインタビューで「私は外貌は東洋人だが、考え方や行動様式はフランス人」と述べた。 自分が養子だという事実については「捨てられた子という事実が私を苦しめたが、養子という幸運を得たという点を不幸中の幸いだと考えて生きてきた」と語った。

ペルラン氏は成績が優秀だった。 普通の生徒より2年早くバカロレア(フランス大学入試)に合格し、グランゼコール(卒業後に修士が認められる高級大学)のESSECとパリ政治大学を経て、フランス官僚の産室である国立行政学校(ENA)を卒業した。 その後、ENAでの成績が最上位圏の卒業者だけが行く監査院で文化・視聴覚・メディア分野を担当した。

Businessweekの記事でも“Even when I look in the mirror, I don’t see someone who is Asian”と語っている通り、自らをアジア系とは思っていないようですね。ENA出身でしかも成績がよかったそうですから、フランスでの超エリート街道を進まれていることが閣僚になっている要因の一つと言えそうです。

Pellerin is the first French-Asian person ever appointed to the top ranks of government. France’s Parliament, too, is still heavily white, with only nine minority representatives out of the 577 members. Even in a cabinet that is half female, Pellerin stands out (in part for her well-documented high-fashion wardrobe). Despite her unconventional origins, she’s an old-fashioned French official who has passed through the predictable feeder schools and jobs. Pellerin says her family rarely discussed her adoption, and that she thinks of herself as thoroughly French. “Even when I look in the mirror, I don’t see someone who is Asian,” she says.

Pellerin is shrewd enough to know when her background can be an asset. Last March she flew to Seoul to meet government officials and executives, her first visit to Korea since her adoption. About 25 TV crews greeted her at the airport, and several trailed her for days through the city. Strangers plied her with gifts in a street market. The Korean Broadcasting Service aired a one-hour documentary on her life. “They were fascinated,” says Aymeril Hoang, a staff adviser to Pellerin, who accompanied her to Seoul. “She was a rock star.” Pellerin met privately with Korean President Park Geun Hye and with Samsung’s vice chairman and heir apparent, Jay Y. Lee. “I wasn’t expecting that sort of mania,” says Pellerin. “People kept asking, ‘What do you feel?’ ” Under the circumstances, “it wasn’t possible to have really personal feelings.” It was, nonetheless, great for business. Samsung has since opened a product development center in Paris to design apps and software for the Galaxy smartphone and other devices, one of four such Samsung centers worldwide.



Pellerin says one of her biggest challenges is overcoming French suspicions of the business world. Her countrymen traditionally regard wealth and success as unfit for polite conversation. Most would prefer a reliable job in the civil service or at a big corporation, rather than rolling the dice at a startup. “In the U.S., if you’ve failed in one company, investors consider you to have experience. In France, people are very stressed about failing,” she says. “I am working on the mindset, on the culture, not only in the government but in the whole society.”


Pellerin’s relationship with Silicon Valley is more complicated. Last June she flew to San Francisco for a round of meetings with industry heavyweights, including Facebook’s (FB) Sheryl Sandberg, Google (GOOG) Vice President David Drummond, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. The trip came at a delicate time. One month before, her direct boss, Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg, had erupted over an offer by Yahoo! (YHOO) to buy a 75 percent stake in the video-sharing site Dailymotion, in which the French government has a sizable stake. Montebourg said he would not allow Yahoo to “devour” a homegrown “French nugget.” After Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer walked away, Dailymotion’s execs swallowed their disappointment. “We decided to tourne la page,” says CEO Guiseppe di Martino.

The decision, however, undermined Pellerin’s attempts to pitch France as ripe for U.S. tech investment. Montebourg had scuttled a major deal with a U.S. giant—the kind Pellerin and others believe French startups need to grow into global powerhouses. The incident left Pellerin pitching her grand plans to Silicon Valley but uncertain of backing from above. Pellerin told reporters upon arriving in San Francisco, “We are absolutely not in a crusade against American companies or Americans. On the contrary, my purpose is to visit great tech companies and discuss with them the possibilities of partnerships.”


The Snowden leaks exploded just as U.S. technology companies were coming under fire in France for tax avoidance. The involvement of American companies in the surveillance programs has made them more vulnerable to regulation. At a European Union summit in Brussels in late October, France pushed to force U.S. technology giants to pay taxes in countries where they earn revenue, a measure Pellerin supports.

In November, France banned Amazon.com (AMZN) from delivering books for free, saying the company risked driving the country’s independent bookstores out of business. To Pellerin, all those moves make financial sense, though she says she realizes that Amazon’s superior service is likely to win out (“Jeff Bezos is a genius,” she says). Within the Paris offices of big U.S. companies, there’s a sense that at home Pellerin is less hospitable to foreign companies. One French representative for a major U.S. tech company says that when Pellerin went to Silicon Valley, she expressed support for U.S. companies’ expansion in France but in Paris sounded more protective of French business interests.

October 3, 2013 5:15 pm
France targets Amazon to protect bookshops
By Hugh Carnegy in Paris


Pellerin has work to do. Among other things, she has pushed for legislation that would change the government’s definition of innovation and tilt public financing away from big corporations and toward startups. One evening in November thousands of people converged on a six-story building on Rue du Caire in the Sentier district for the inauguration of Numa, a tech startup incubator. The €2 million renovation of the former clothing factory was financed by Google and the city of Paris. Pellerin arrived in a cropped leather jacket, clingy dress, and spiked-heel boots, her bright lipstick setting off her all-black outfit.

Inside, she told the audience of tech executives and government officials that projects such as Numa are key to her plan to harness the creative potential of entrepreneurs. “We want France to be among the leading nations for digital innovation,” she said, listing France’s advantages, such as sophisticated infrastructure, nationwide broadband access, and attractive cities like Paris. “C’est ‘le French touch,’ ” she laughed.

There was loud applause from the audience. And then the neighborhood celebrated the opening of Numa with an all-night block party—organized through Facebook.

記事の最後ですが、And then the neighborhood celebrated the opening of Numa with an all-night block party—organized through Facebook.と締めています。Facebookを用いてパーティーをアレンジしたと、まだまだフランスにはプラットフォームとなるIT企業が育っていないことを示唆しているのかもしれません。




Business Weekを読んだ自分の印象を記事にしておきます。日本だとユニクロの柳内さんの非情さが話題になりますが、アマゾンのBezosも馴れ合いを嫌う厳しい経営者であることは間違いないようです。これだけの短期間で会社を大きくしていくにはそれだけの厳しさが要求されるという事でしょうか。

The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store
By Brad Stone October 10, 2013

The one unguarded thing about Bezos is his laugh—a pulsing, mirthful bray that he leans into while craning his neck back. He unleashes it often, even when nothing is obviously funny to anyone else. And it startles people. “You can’t misunderstand it,” says Rick Dalzell, Amazon’s former chief information officer, who says Bezos often wields his laugh when others fail to meet his lofty standards. “It’s disarming and punishing. He’s punishing you.”


Intensity is hardly rare among technology CEOs. Steve Jobs was as famous for his volatility with Apple (AAPL) subordinates as he was for the clarity of his insights about customers. He fired employees in the elevator and screamed at underperforming executives. Bill Gates used to throw epic tantrums at Microsoft (MSFT); Steve Ballmer, his successor, had a propensity for throwing chairs. Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel (INTC), was so harsh and intimidating that a subordinate once fainted during a performance review.

Bezos fits comfortably into this mold. His drive and boldness trumps other leadership ideals, such as consensus building and promoting civility. While he can be charming and capable of great humor in public, in private he explodes into what some of his underlings call nutters. A colleague failing to meet Bezos’s exacting standards will set off a nutter. If an employee does not have the right answers or tries to bluff, or takes credit for someone else’s work, or exhibits a whiff of internal politics, uncertainty, or frailty in the heat of battle—a blood vessel in Bezos’s forehead bulges and his filter falls away. He’s capable of hyperbole and harshness in these moments and over the years has delivered some devastating rebukes. Among his greatest hits, collected and relayed by Amazon veterans:

“Are you lazy or just incompetent?”
“I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”
“Do I need to go down and get the certificate that says I’m CEO of the company to get you to stop challenging me on this?”
“Are you trying to take credit for something you had nothing to do with?”
“If I hear that idea again, I’m gonna have to kill myself.”
“We need to apply some human intelligence to this problem.”
[After reviewing the annual plan from the supply chain team] “I guess supply chain isn’t doing anything interesting next year.”
[After reading a start-of-meeting memo] “This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document.”
[After an engineer’s presentation] “Why are you wasting my life?”


The people who do well at Amazon are often those who thrive in an adversarial atmosphere with almost constant friction. Bezos abhors what he calls “social cohesion,” the natural impulse to seek consensus. He’d rather his minions battle it out backed by numbers and passion, and he has codified this approach in one of Amazon’s 14 leadership principles—the company’s highly prized values that are often discussed and inculcated into new hires:

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Some employees love this confrontational culture and find they can’t work effectively anywhere else. “Everybody knows how hard it is and chooses to be there,” says Faisal Masud, who spent five years in the retail business. “You are learning constantly, and the pace of innovation is thrilling. I filed patents; I innovated. There is a fierce competitiveness in everything you do.” The professional networking site LinkedIn (LNKD) is full of “boomerangs”—Amazon-speak for executives who left the company and then returned.





アマゾンBezosの評伝The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazonが10月17日に発売されるようです。楽しみですね。

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of AmazonThe Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
Brad Stone


ありがたいことに抜粋を今週のBusiness Wekkで読む事ができます。抜粋と言っても7000語の読み応えのあるものです。

The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store
By Brad Stone October 10, 2013

Words checked = [7184]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [83%]

Amazon.com rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services provider. It will rake in about $75 billion this year. For his book, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone spoke to hundreds of current and former friends of founder Jeff Bezos. In the process, he discovered the poignant story of how Amazon became the Everything Store.

Within Amazon.com (AMZN) there’s a certain type of e-mail that elicits waves of panic. It usually originates with an annoyed customer who complains to the company’s founder and chief executive officer. Jeff Bezos has a public e-mail address, jeff@amazon.com. Not only does he read many customer complaints, he forwards them to the relevant Amazon employees, with a one-character addition: a question mark.

When Amazon employees get a Bezos question mark e-mail, they react as though they’ve discovered a ticking bomb. They’ve typically got a few hours to solve whatever issue the CEO has flagged and prepare a thorough explanation for how it occurred, a response that will be reviewed by a succession of managers before the answer is presented to Bezos himself. Such escalations, as these e-mails are known, are Bezos’s way of ensuring that the customer’s voice is constantly heard inside the company.