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Best iPhone App ever – Consulting Rate Calculator

Posted by on Oct 28, 2010 in Apple, Business, Technology | 2 comments

OK, I’m bias. I’m so excited about this that I’m giving away 2 $10 iTunes vouchers. See below.I spent most of my professional career calculating margins on consulting rates, including doing conversions between different currencies, calculating hourly, daily and monthly rates. Well, now I have a handy little iPhone App, called Consulting Rate Calculator that can do all this for me and more. Here is a screen shot:

Consulting Rate Calculator

Consulting Rate Calculator

There are 2 versions: A 2-buck version that you can find here, and a and a free or lite version that you can find here. Here is the description from the App Store: Consulting Rate Calculator enables you to quickly and easily calculate your hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rates and profit. The app offers an intuitive and simple interface with the ability to view, edit, save and email your rate sheets. Switch currencies with ease or updating any charge out rate or cost rate cell in the sheet to assist in determining the optimal rate structure for your next project.Key Features:>> Hourly, daily, weekly and monthly values all editable and visible in a single sheet.>> Multiple currencies with selectable base and comparable currencies (Limited currencies available in lite version).>> Exchange rates updated in realtime.>> Save rate sheets for later viewing/editing (Full version only).>> E-mail rate sheets in CSV format (Full version only).>> Configurable hours per day, week and month.Usage Examples:1. A consulting manager can save his/her team’s rates for quick lookup. Quickly lookup a consultant’s rate structure when getting a call at the airport for a specific position.2. The manager of a multinational consulting firm can enter the charge out rate in GBP and the cost rate in USD to review the profit of a US-based consultant working in the UK.The guys at Cobi Interactive in Cape Town, South Africa did an awesome job with these apps. They develop mobile apps for almost any mobile device, including: iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc. Post a comment and I’ll put you in touch with them.

Give-away

I have 2 iTunes $10 vouchers to give away. Here’s how it will work. Download the app, write a review on the AppStore and re-post that review in the comments below (including your email address as the contributor) and I will pick 2 random posts** and email you the $10 iTunes voucher.

iTunes giftcard

iTunes $10 giftcard

**Small print: I need at least 20 reviews to make the math work. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Official US Green Card lottery opens Oct 5, 2010

Posted by on Sep 27, 2010 in Carel's Conversations | 0 comments

Green Card

Green Card

I know many South Africans in the US that won their green cards (or permanent residence cards) by entering the US Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program or the Green Card Lottery.The official place to find information regarding the lottery is at the US. Dept of State website. Do yourself a favor and don’t use ANY other website! There are literary hundreds of sites that offer to do this for you for a fee, sometimes a substantial fee.The lottery opens Oct 5, 2010, 12pm EDT and ends November 3, 2010, 12pm EST.

It’s dangerous to walk on the pavement in America!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2010 in Business, Relocate biz from SA to US, South Africa | 0 comments

In a recent post I gave you some business words that have a different meaning in America. Below is a table with some common everyday words with different meanings. You can find many more in this blog: US2UK.

South African termAmerican equivalentExplanation
PetrolGasYou fill up at a gas station.
RobotTraffic lightTurn left at the second traffic light.
RoadPavementIn the US it is dangerous to walk on the pavement (in the road).
PavementSide walkUS equivalent is side walk
CrashCar wreckThe wreck on the 75 caused a traffic jam.
ManualStick shiftStick shift car.
License plateTagYou have to renew your car's tag every year.
BootTrunkI need to get something out of my car's trunk.
ChipsFriesHamburger and fries. Chips are called crisps.
CooldrinkSodaMy also be called pop in some US states.
Do you know of any other words or funny stories?

Why you shouldn’t brag about your turnover!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 in Business, Relocate biz from SA to US, South Africa | 0 comments

Many South African businesspeople make the following common mistakes regarding US business English. I always enjoy seeing the reaction of Americans when a South African brags about their company’s turnover!

South African termAmerican equivalentExplanation
TurnoverRevenue or SalesTurnover in the US refers to employee attrition (not a good thing :-)).
SurnameLast nameFamily name
NameFirst nameIn the US most people have a middle name. So first name to distinguish from middle name.
LoanNoteA note is a loan agreement.
CA or AccountantCPACertified Public Accountant.
Managing Director (MD)CEO or PresidentBetter to refer to yourself as CEO if you are an MD in SA.
DirectorBoard MemberA director is usually a mid-level manager in the US.
Share SchemeShare PlanIn the US a scheme usually refers to something unsavory (even illegal).
RetrenchRIF (reduction in force) or Lay offLay offs are very common in the US as most states are work-at-wil states.
Diary (Schedule)CalendarIn the US a diary is a ladies' journal. You would typically say: "can we put something on the calendar".
PostMailIn the US: "I'll put the check in the mail".
Can you add to this list?

Pingo – new way to make cheap calls via your iPhone to anywhere in the world

Posted by on Mar 26, 2010 in Business, Technology | 1 comment

I’ve been using a great new service to make very inexpensive international calls from my iPhone. You can make calls from any phone. I’ve written about this before. Check this out. Pingo.com is the cheapest way to make international. A native iPhone app uses your iPhone contact database — very cool! Pingo EZ Dial also work on Andriod and Blackberry.pingoezdailYou can find all the rates here, e.g. 2cents p/m to call to UK landlines from the US.Do you know of another cheaper way to make international calls from your iPhone?

Why Atlanta is a great place for the US HQ of a South African IT company

Posted by on Mar 22, 2010 in Relocate biz from SA to US, South Africa | 0 comments

Yes, I know, most IT companies want to be in the Valley, that is, Silicon Valley. I would however suggest you seriously consider Atlanta as an alternative. If you are definitely the next Google, then yes, you have to be in the Valley. Ask Vinny and Yola :-). Most IT companies, however, don’t have to be in the Valley.Here are a few reasons to set up your US HQ in Atlanta:

  • Atlanta has one of the best airports in the world with direct flights (on Delta) to Jo’burg.
  • Very low cost of living compared to most large US city, especially San Francisco.
  • Great time zone overlap with South Africa.
  • Great IT community: Techlinks, TAG, GATech, and atdc.
  • HQ for many Fortune 500 companies including: Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS, and Aflac.

This presentation by the Metro Atlanta Chamber gives many more reasons to consider Atlanta as your US HQ.Lance Weatherby had this to say about Atlanta replacing Silicon Valley.I’ve lived in Atlanta (actually in Kennesaw, a town North of Atlanta) for almost 12 years since moving to Atlanta in 1998.

iPad is the new Apple killer device…

Posted by on Jan 27, 2010 in Apple, Entrepreneurship, Technology | 0 comments

It’s official it’s the Apple iPad. See Engadget’s live blogging. Here’s a picture one of this first official pictures:

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

I want one!!!
Apple iPad

Apple iPad

When Google Runs your life OR maybe not

Posted by on Dec 30, 2009 in Business, Technology | 1 comment

A recent Forbes article on Google is a very interesting read. Here is an extract:

Your day begins with a wake-up call from your Google Android phone. As you run to the shower, you hit Google News and check headlines, then Gmail. Your first appointment of the day has been moved to a new location; Google Maps will direct you there. Quickly update your expense report–including the printout of that sales presentation using, say, Google Template–and shoot them to the back office in India (in Hindi, if you prefer, with Google Translate). Your boss wants to discuss your group’s contributions to some marketing documents? Lean on Google Groups. You’re not even out the door yet. You have the rest of the day to search for work-critical information on the Web while you’re at the office–to say nothing of snatching a few moments to download a game, check stock prices, organize your medical records, share photos and pick a restaurant and movie for the evening. How convenient. And a little creepy, perhaps.

Here is the full Dec 10, 2009 Forbes article.

If you don’t like this then you can decide to opted-out of Google and go and live in the Google Opt-out Village. Sounds like fun 🙂

Google Opt Out Feature Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village

The network IS the computer!

Posted by on Dec 15, 2009 in Apple, Technology | 2 comments

litl netbookSun Computer’s vision is: “The Network is the Computer“, well I think this is finally starting to take shape in the form of cloud computing. Bandwidth, even at speeds approaching 30MBps, is still orders of magnitude slower than main memory. However, I love the netbook-type (or webbook) computer that a company called, Litl, recently launched. The machine is a thing of beauty and follows in Apple’s design footsteps. Simple UI, easy to use, and does what it’s made for very well! I think it looks a litl 🙂 like the OLPC laptop.

OLPC

Here is a Youtube video by the CEO, John Chuang.

I think that litl has a head start on Google. Google’s own Web operating system is called, Google Chrome OS, and with GCO on a netbook the netbook will immediately launch the Google Chrome browser with all your data stored in the cloud. Very similar to the litl’s approach to software.

Here are some other write ups on litl: ABC Technology&Science, Engadget, and Wired.

OSNews preview.

Very interesting stuff. Would you buy a litl netbook? At $699, it’s a bit pricey for me.

10 Free (or Cheap) Tools for Start-ups

Posted by on Dec 11, 2009 in Business, CRM, Technology | 0 comments

Inc. magazine recently published this list of 10 free or cheap tools for Start-ups. I use Skype, Zoho and Google Docs. I would add TaDaList from 37signals and Evernote. Easy to use free software.Did they miss any good ones?