July 18th, 2011
01:19 PM GMT
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(CNN) - As a service to entrepreneurs everywhere, this occasional column exists to identify market opportunities open to fast-moving operators. What the world economy needs at this time can be listed by sector:

Construction

A “Smart” Ceiling: Innovative construction technology required for dilapidated house in Washington. U.S. experts are warning of a risk of the roof falling in, unless a method can be found of raising the ceiling. Warning: The house’s neighbors will not tolerate any repairs that fall below their exacting standards. Those to the right object to methods that result in taxes being increased, while those to the left object to methods that result in taxes not being increased. Value of job: Available on application, but between $14.3 trillion and the entire world economy.
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June 23rd, 2011
06:32 PM GMT
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(CNN) – We’d all like to invest as wisely as Warren Buffett, wouldn’t we? And maybe we can, because helpfully he’s the kind of billionaire investor who believes in sharing his insights.

Google “Buffett sayings” and many of his do’s and don’ts are just a click away. You can get them in books too, not to mention Mr Buffett’s letters to shareholders of his investment company Berkshire Hathaway. Don’t waste time, as I did, on the quotes of Jimmy Buffett – not if it’s investment that interests you, anyway.

Some of the sayings attributed to W. Buffett (“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked”) have a kind of folksy cleverness to them that make you think, “Yes, I see what you’re (allusively) saying!” Others are a lot more direct, and seem to offer common-sense prescriptions you can follow, like “I never invest in a business I don’t understand.” Well thanks, but who would?

In fact, lots of us certainly have, and probably will again. It’s harder to avoid than you might think.

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June 17th, 2011
11:51 AM GMT
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(CNN) – We in the media are mad about Facebook. Why do we write about it so much? It's a no-brainer: over 600 million members, and lots of them Facebook for hours every day. Want to report on something that will interest people? This seems to fit the bill.

Look at some of the things the media has said about it this week:

Facebook could be worth $100 billion when it goes public – that's according to CNBC (it later wheeled out an analyst to say, in effect "Yeah right," but still).

Facebook use has peaked in many of the countries where most of its users live – according to umpteen media outlets.

Hold on, what's that? Facebook has peaked? Well yes – the number of users in the U.S, Britain and elsewhere is going down, a research company says. But wait – it's worth $100 billion – and its popularity is falling? How can both of these be true? As most professional investors will tell you, the only reason to buy shares in a company with such an astronomical valuation, would be that you're convinced its profits will grow fast. Very, very fast in fact.

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CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

 
 
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