Monday, 19 February 2018

True Olympic Country Standings

Ever wonder how the Olympic medal count would look if you weighted the medal colours or considered the size of the countries? I always have. So with the 2018 winter games I've decided to finally put together a comprehensive ranking based on a wide range of factors.

And here's what I found:                           Factors Considered:

       -Medal colour
       -Number of medals won
       -Country size (population)
       -Number of athletes per country (chances to win)
       -Wealth of country (removed economic advantage)
       -Medals won per athlete sent (winning efficiency)
       -Distribution of medals won over event categories (measures breadth of national              skill)
       -Distribution of athletes over events (spreading of athlete resources)
       -Distribution of medals to winners (diminishes effects of star athletes winning                    multiple medals)
       -Climate of country (reduces advantage of coldest  countries)
       -Abundance of winter sports terrain and facilities

           NOTES: Only countries with more than one medal & greater than 2.5 million population are listed in order to reduce outliers (sorry Liechtenstein ). Adjustment has been made for hockey teams given that they require ~25 athletes but can only ever win a single medal.

Now that's interesting, and quite a bit more accurate!

Here's the same data charted to highlight the distance between scores:


Norway: Norway had a great showing at the Olympics as usual.  One area where they need to watch out is that too many of their medals are concentrated in the hands of a few superstars.

Netherlands: the Netherlands exceeded expectations with most of their score coming from athlete efficiency- a small contingent of athletes winning many medals with very few repeat winners.  In order to improve they will need to branch out into events beyond speed skating- thise this will be difficult given their climate.  The Netherlands secured the title of best over achiever.

Switzerland: Switzerland overachieved and had a balanced games overall.

Germany: Germany was the only superpower to come close to meeting expectations.  With balanced success in a broad range of events, it's difficult to see where Germany can improve.  Efforts to improve might best be focused in areas such as curling hockey and snowboarding.

Austria: Austria managed to overachieve despite having high expectations coming into the games.  If they hope to improve it will need to be in areas off the slopes.

South Korea: the host nation had an over achieving games.  While some of their success can be attributed home field advantage and the host's ability to enter athletes into events, it was nice to see them win medals in for an additional events outside of the skating arena.

Sweden: Sweden narrowly missed out on sixth place, but can be pleased with its overall result.  One area that is lacking is skating events.

Czech Republic: the Czechs had a very strong showing, narrowly missing out on a hockey medal which likely would have moved them up a few spots.

Finland: despite a most of its efforts focused in hockey the Finns had a strong showing and can be pleased with their results.

Belarus: despite sending a very small team and being a relatively poor country, Belarus barely missed out on best overachiever status.

Canada: Canada had a disappointing Olympics, finishing 11th.  While Canada had a balanced effort with athletes in a broad range of events, they came up short primarily due to sending the second largest number of athletes to the games.  Canada would do well to reduce the size of its team and focus more of its efforts on winners.

Slovakia: Slovavia did well considering its size.  A larger team entered in a few more events might see them improve.

China: the Chinese nearly matched expectations, narrowly missing out on 12th place.  Expect to see the Chinese continue to improve in the future.

Japan: Japan had very well balanced games, earning broad success.  Slightly more was expected of them given their size and resources.

Italy: the Italians underachieved, primarily due to a couple of DNFs on the alpine slopes.

United States: the Americans underachieved and earned the title of worst underachiever.  Despite having athletes and success in a range of events, their expectations were high given the size of their country and the number of athletes sent.  The Americans need to improve at traditional core events.

Russia: the Russians had a disappointing games.  Too many of their medals were bronze and they need to win in a broader range of events given their size.

France: this historically strong winter game nation simply did not bring back enough medals for its size.

Great Britain: the British can be pleased with their results.  While not a winter nation they still managed a good showing.  Perhaps a focus on speed skating would lead to future success.

Australia: nearly meeting expectations, the Australians did well. Likely only up from here.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

We're launching our biggest project yet!

We've got a fantastic idea in development. It involves us pushing the limits of building climate technology and design and we're busy organizing a crowdfunding campaign to help us get it off the ground. So stay tuned, we're just getting started!

Check it out here:

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Looking Busy

People work hard at appearing to be working hard. We all do it, myself included. But what impact is our work really having? How can we measure our efforts as well as the efforts of those under us? I've found that for me, setting deadlines on just about every task works well. When confronted with a task the first thing I do is start the clock. I give myself 5 minutes of highly focused effort in which I must complete the task. When delegating I always establish a clear guideline on how much of their 'effort currency' an employee should be spending on an assignment. By doing this, I find that productivity increases dramatically. It's easier to commit to focusing intensely on something if there is a defined limit to how much you'll be spending on it. Additionally, this helps minimize the tendency to work at looking or feeling busy.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Getting started and increasing productivity

Success favors those who act. So just get started. Easy right? Well sometimes it is. Other times it's difficult to get the ball rolling. In these cases it's important to remember two things. Firstly, if you've chosen your task or action item but cannot decide where or how to begin, then it's likely that your action item is not an action item at all, rather it's a group of items. Take a moment to refine it and come up with two or three smaller components of the task and tackle those instead. In all likelihood you will immediately see what other steps need to be taken.

The other concept to remember is this; sometimes motivating ourselves to act is as simple as going through the motions. Rather than consciously trying to determine the specifics of your action item before start again it, simply try starting with the physical routine first. Often the cognitive or the ideas will begin to flow quickly after you start going through the motions. If you think about it this is really a microcosm the first concept. Need to respond to that email or finish that quote? The first action is generally something as simple as ‘turn on computer’ followed by ‘open correct program’ etc. It may seem like autopilot and in a way it is, but the goal is to be effective and move forward. Ultimately only doing is really moving forward everything else is just stalling. 

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Why you need a trade simulator

     As traders we all have our systems. Our systems are (hopefully) what governs our trading; a clear set of rules and parameters that tell us when and how to enter, and more importantly exit our position. It is only by developing and optimizing, and then not deviating from these parameters that we can succeed. Unfortunately many novice traders focus almost exclusively on the entry side of the equation and neglect the vastly more important aspects of sizing and exit strategy. This is where our trade simulator comes in. Again, if the amateur even gets this far he focuses all of his attention on testing his entry strategy; sometimes importing historical data and back testing his rules. Contrast this with the approach of the pros and more seasoned traders who run endless simulations and models; focusing instead on exit strategies and testing their systems in all market conditions. It used to be that only large institutions with vast resources and supercomputers could do this. Fortunately now, we all have right in front of us the tools to do this. Armed with your PC and a simple spreadsheet you too can run thousands of simulations in minutes and test a myriad of conditions. Then you will see your system as a statistician does, and can begin to truly optimize it to maximize profits in the long term where it really counts.

Check out our video series on building and running a simple, spreadsheet based simulator:

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Improve your small business with automation and outsourcing

Business Automation and Outsourcing

The tools available to businesses today are incredible. Virtually everything can be had and at astonishingly affordable prices. Need routine tasks completed? Can't afford to hire another staff? No problem, there's likely an app for that. Take for example bookkeeping. This used to involve either a dedicated staff member, or in the case of most small businesses, fell into the lap of an already overtaxed owner. Enter in the online bookkeeping app; synced to your accounts and programmable. You can now automate the majority of your bookkeeping to the point the where the most it requires of you is simply a routine check-in and review. Often these services can be had for $20 per month for a small business. Add to this a myriad of service apps for things like inventory, check out, and point of sale, even bookings and payments. Suddenly you have the capabilities of a much larger company but without the larger payroll. Furthermore when you need to have an actual person for a task you can outsource, sometimes even on a task by task basis eliminating the need for hiring and taking on more responsibility yourself;  thus solving one of the major hurdles facing entrepreneurs as they attempt to grow their companies. We've all been there. You wanted to increase sales only to get them and then need to scale your business while maintaining margins. Now we can in a way have it all. Admittedly it doesn't do much for employees and people looking for full-time work but that's a whole separate issue, one that both employees and employers need to be aware of. Our economy and society are changing quickly and this concept is a big part of it.