Podcast: I Had A Nostalgic Look At The Database Just Now

My blog “I had a nostalgic look at the database just now” has been converted to a podcast. You can click below to listen. I hope you enjoy it.

Fuel Shortages

The recent so called fuel shortages really do serve as a reminder as to how idiotic people can be.

Long queues of cars waiting for fuel, many garages running out of fuel and some fuel tankers blocked from getting into the garages because of the queues.

What should have been a minor issue has been blown up out of all proportion.

From what I hear this started with a company who have contracts to deliver fuel to some retailers having a small shortage of drivers so that they were out of SLA and one or 2 places per vendor might have to close because they wouldn’t get a delivery for a day or 2. The fuel is there ready to delivered.

The media were on this like nobody’s business. Brexit blah, labour shortages blah, covid…. Boris Johnsons capability in the sack…. yep pretty much all of these have been used by the media. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Go back to the paragraph above about the starting point. I am reliably informed that a company involved probably only has its self to blame or that’s the opinion I can form based on the information I have. So a management issue. Not a worldwide shortage. Its not even a big management issue. I could have this one sorted in under half a day! So we move on to the next thing. Why are there so many problems in business management? The answer is simple. Idiots, that have been over promoted. So the problem has 2 solutions. Firstly get rid of the over promoted idiots. Secondly quickly solve the problem they created. In this case probably offer the drivers a pay rise of some description.

Yes there are driver shortages and there shortages of staff in every industry sector that have been caused by Brexit, but these are not totally insurmountable given proper and not idiotic management.

I know the media like having sticks to beat the current prime minister about the head with. I think the media like most people want Boris Johnson out of his job and quickly with it. However this one is just causing mayhem. Most people that are queuing won’t actually need the fuel!

Unfortunately, this then has issues for those of us who will need fuel in a hurry.

So we now have to solve the issue of all these muppets queuing for fuel they will not the need. Simple. Do you have less than half a tank? No? Go home and stay there. Get a cup of tea. Sit down watch and Songs of Praise and see how many of the words you can understand!

Do you have less than half a tank? Are you going to drive more than 200 miles in the next week and can you prove it? Please note checks will be made. No? Go home and see above! Yes? Go right in and fill up! Caught lying on this question? £1,000 fine and 9 points on your driving licence!

There we go fuel crisis solved in 2 paragraphs!

See, it is not difficult! If you want something difficult to attempt, try getting a straight answer from Boris Johnsons’ dad as to why he didn’t bother with a condom!

Seriously though, if you know you will not need the fuel before say Wednesday 29th stay at home and save fuel for those that will need it.

Updated Court Guinness Business Timeline Historic

The previous business timeline has been updated as part of our new webmasters plans to improve things a little, we would be delighted to know what you think.

March 1, 1996

Court Guinness Systems

Court has clients he looks after in his spare time.

March 1, 1996
October 1, 1998

Time To Get Serious

SystemNet Data is launched & our first
3 x Blue chip clients acquired

October 1, 1998
September 1, 1999

Let’s get growing

45% growth
Irish Operations Launched

September 1, 1999
April 1, 2020

IT Ventures Launched

Our JV, PE and distributorship offering is launched

April 1, 2020
March 1, 2001

Welcome NaytenCourt

Naytencourt arrives and takes over from IT Ventures with a broader remit

March 1, 2001
May 1, 2002

Deutschland!

German operations launched

May 1, 2002
February 1, 2003

Naytencourt On The Prowl

Naytencourt’s first acquisition is SystemNet Data

February 1, 2003
July 1, 2004

Launches and Acquisitions

Ewellmobile launched
Ewellcaraudio launched
Tastefullingerie acquisition.

July 1, 2004
October 1, 2005

More Acquisitions

Some more internet businesses acquired.

October 1, 2005
August 1, 2006

Brokerage

Technical brokerage launched and Court Guinness starts publishing.

August 1, 2006
January 1, 2008

The P2 Set is launched

TThe P2 Set launches in 2008

January 1, 2008
October 1, 2009

Credit Crunch!

Ewell Systems (Wimbledon Systems) Launched
SystemNet Data divested
Naytencourt Closes

October 1, 2009
March 1, 2010

Fireblade Internet

A small business focused ISP is launched.

March 1, 2010
January 1, 2011

Court Capital Partners

Court Rebrands

January 1, 2011
September 1, 2012

Stanfio Business Services

Stanfio business services a joint venture is launched

September 1, 2012
January 3, 2013

Court Leaves the IT sector

Court made a decision to exit the IT sec tor

January 3, 2013
January 1, 2014

New Dawn!

Court expands from technical brokerage to general brokerage and he also makes some private investments. Court is medically banned from flying.

January 1, 2014
February 1, 2015

Project Retail 2018

Court Joins the board Project Retail 2018. He left this project at end of 2017.

February 1, 2015
April 1, 2016

Divestments

Court makes a number of divestments.

April 1, 2016
January 1, 2017

Publishing Is Go!

Court launches The Weekly Deals Free Sheet to promote deals on brokerage and advertise deals for others. Readership of 5000/week attained

January 1, 2017
February 1, 2018

It All Goes South

Court suffers major heart trauma. Medics tell him to stop working. He spends months in hospital. He gets rid of most of his business interests and tries to stop working…

February 1, 2018
June 1, 2018

Court Can’t Let Go

Court switches The Weekly Deals Free Sheet to a montly and then bi-monthly publication as he cannot let go of this little baby!

June 1, 2018
December 1, 2019

30,000 Uniqure Readers

The Trade House Magazine grows to £1 billion of advertised business opportunities and 30,000 per issue!

December 1, 2019
December 1, 2020

Court’s Health Goes Again

Court’s health starts failing again and he has to pack up for good this time. The final issue of The Trade House Magazine reaches over 115,000 unique readers and carries nearly £2.5 billion of business opportunities.

December 1, 2020
January 1, 2021

That’s All Folks!

After over 20 years, 1100 flights, 3200 nights in hotel rooms, 3 car crashes and around 1 million business miles Court Guinness calls it a day.

January 1, 2021

Who Is Up For Hopefully The Brightest Business Opportunity This Year?

This one is a difficult situation for me. I find myself as a former business broker who can’t move something good……

Continue reading “Who Is Up For Hopefully The Brightest Business Opportunity This Year?”

Excessive Travel – The Right Gear

I was asked recently by a friend who will as soon as lockdown ends be starting a new job and doing a stupid amount of travelling for work about the right gear for stupid amounts of travelling. So based on 1,100 flights and over 3,000 nights in hotel rooms here are my answers in blog form.

Shirts: Tm Lewins are the business and for lots of travel try the thicker ones.

Jumpers. You need a jumper handy, especially if you need to turn a suit into casual in a rough part of town. Gannt Jumpers roll up nicely into cabin luggage!

Footwear – Dr Martens are business here. I prefer the black 9 hole boot as gives more support to the ankle. Perfect for long days on the move.

Jacket/Coat. You need a decent jacket or coat handy whatever the weather and whatever else you are wearing. For the winter Musto Offshore sailing Jackets are the business. These will keep you warm and toasty anywhere. Berghaus for spring and summer and a decent Trespass job for the summer that will fit in the luggage nicely are the top tips.

Luggage. Two answers here based on the fact that I sometimes need different configurations. For a 2 compartment carry on (cabin size) use Eastpak. For a single compartment carry on Samsonite is the only way to go. These are not cheap at around £100 a bag but they are worth it. One of my Samsonites is still going strong 15 years later! You can fit 7 days of clothes including 2 suits in these!

Briefcase/Backpack. Wenger it is baby! My briefcases used to get knocked about more often than a domestic violence victim! You need the laptop and the tools safe and Wenger kit lasts longer than others. I will say here that I have found the main industry leader, Targus to be crap. I would have to change these bags after about six months in the early days at about £50 a pop. I have 3 Wenger bags and carry the one that suits the most. The large backpack for when I need shed loads of kit. A traditional style laptop bag for the large laptop and a padfolio style bag for just me, the lightweight laptop and some paperwork. This bad boy has enough space in the main compartment for my paperwork, my tablet, my 11.6 inch slimline laptop and a few other bits. It has one side compartment that will take some chargers, a spare hard drive, USB sticks and my filofax!. It also has a side flap on the other side that will perfectly fit a copy of the Financial Times!

The trick is to be as light as possible. Try also to keep luggage on the opposite side to the hand you write with as this will make life easier opening doors, signing documents and answering phone calls on the move!

Let’s move on to some tech stuff and keep it brief! I have tons of tech blogs here! If you are going to be doing shed loads of travelling do try and get the lightest laptop you can get away with. I swear by a lightweight Lenovo with an 11.6 inch screen. If checking into Easyjet flights late at night at Prague Airport please be aware that the usual security scanning guy has a fetish for these laptops! No joke! For Android tablets, I go for Samsung. I would use a Samsung mobile phone if they were not stupidly expensive for a high-performance model. Motorola does it better and cheaper. Memory sticks and cards. I swear by Sandisk and my external hard drives are by Western Digital.

I was also asked about the good and bad in airlines and hotels. I have written blogs about this and could easily write a few hundred more. Bad airlines again lots of blogs either written or not! Start with British Airways for a poor airline and go from there. These guys have been kicked off my preferred supplier list twice and would have made it a third time over the recent data breach (which I was affected by) if I had not been banned from flying! I have said this before. Easyjet seems to be getting a lot of the key things that business travellers really want right these days.  Bad Hotels? There have been so many. I will however lambast a UK chain for been overtly crap. Travelodge! I simply cannot stand them. The rooms are generally cold, worn and unpleasant. As for the staff, I have my doubts that some of them know the definition of or can spell some of the longer words used in this blog. If I have racked up over 30 nights in a hotel it is generally good and if I have racked up over 100 nights in one hotel it is usually pretty good!

Some other top tips. Keep a load of sachets of instant Nescafe in your bag. The hotels are usually stingy with coffee and if like me you are not awake until your third coffee you will use the hotel allowance up and still be half asleep! The same goes for teabags if you drink that stuff! Also, Cuppa Soup works the same way. Great for a quick snack. Be warned though, customs staff at Geneva airport get very curious about these sachets, so be prepared to explain cuppa soup to them very, very slowly. If you pack right too you can fit catering packs of biscuits into the luggage bags mentioned above without them being broken in transit. Very good if you are stuck in some hell hole where the idea of haute cuisine is a dodgy kebab! I won’t name and shame certain northeast England hell holes that fit this bill in this blog!

Some hotels use restricted wifi, free for a certain time, after which you have to pay. Top tip here. Check the back of the telly! If it has an ethernet cable attached and many do, pull it out of the back of the telly and plug it into the laptop! This often works but speeds can be variable.

So here are some short and simple answers to the question. What are decent tools and tips for stupid amounts of European business travel?