And the answer is . . . Taiwan

dhuer-title-crs-iconMy most recent venture
Outline [Link].
Summary/business model [Link].

Can foreigners become citizens of Mainland China to invest in domestic Mainland companies?

The Answer looks to be Yes.

In Spring 2015, China clarified the Corporation Law to close the V.I.E. contracts loophole – explicitly forbidding investing and control of domestic companies by foreigners.

In many countries, corporations are defined as legal “persons”. My strategy was to profit from the ambiguous relationship between Taiwan and PRC with a strategy to benefit China, Taiwan, the UK, and Foreign Investors. The method was to create a Taiwan-based Compliance Brokering Entity – registering foreigner investors as Taiwanese corporations – defining them in law as Chinese “persons”.


Every SmartPhone a Drone?

quadcopter Many consumer drones use a purpose-built camera system. During brainstorming at Wednesday’s Vancouver Innovation Labs meetup, we started wondering . . .

Why not use a smartphone? 

Comparing the iPhone 6 Smartphone with GoPro proved interesting: Just like the GoPro/drone-copter combo, smartphones have an on-board accelerometer, inclinometer, GPS coordinate system, WiFi remote controller, high megapixel camera, and waterproof housing options.  Combo assemblies not to scale.




GoPro wins on $price when compared to an iPhone.

But weight-wise, a high quality smartphone wins hand’s down.

And consider operating cost over the life of the drone:

Will amortizing a “lower weight imaging solution” (smartphone with high-quality lens and upgraded parts) make smartphones the better choice overall?

And it does beg the question, what happens when a smartphone with pure focus on high quality imaging and WiFi remote control comes on the market at a price-point near GoPro? 

And if Amazon’s Prime Air drone package delivery venture gets approval from national aviation authorities, could a lower price Smartphone Drone Wayfinding Controller muscle its way in on the action?

– by David Huer


Images & Sources:

A $120 Million Win-Win for the Arbutus Corridor?

workers-destroyObservers to a negotiation must sometimes think the parties go back-and-forth like hamsters in a Ferris wheel–running without moving; going round-and-round; ink never stopping. Thus it is with the Arbutus Corridor railway line property fight. But there are good business reasons for the Railway to get good return.

The property covers approximately 20 hectares.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) wants $100M for it. The City of Vancouver (COV) has offered $20M. CPR has reactivated the line so it can earn its keep. And the City has conceded it may want to profit from future sales.

$80M is a hard gap to bridge.

Rare Stamp Discovered 20130810But there may be a neat twist; a relatively simple way to resolve the impasse, so both parties win.

The original statute setting out the CPR assigns lands to carry out the  “…perpetual and efficient operation…” of the railway: Clause 3: 44 Victoria, Chapter I, An Act Respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway (Assented Feb 15, 1881).

1st) Would this suggest that CPR can also lease lands in perpetuity (in practical terms, forever)? Making a lease-in-perpetuity to COV for $20M functionally equivalent to a sale?

2nd) It appears that Air Estate values cannot be transferred or sold by government. If this is correct, the AE value is lost if the COV buys the property.  By retaining ownership, CPR is able to sell &/or leverage the Air Estate.

Could we combine these two ideas to create a mechanism that works? Could the parties split the air rights (20 hectares of Air Estate: AE) from the real property (20 hectares of Real Estate: RE)? Could this produce a reasonable solution to the impasse, or a spark to bring the parties to the table? Could this create a win-win for everyone?

  • * CPR leases RE to COV in perpetuity for $20M
  • * CPR obtains the right to recover unneeded parcels for future sale
  • * CPR sells or leases AE for $100M to Bondholders (Ledcor, OMERS, CPPIB)
  • * Bondholders tranche the AE Bond and everyone takes a % of Leveraged Net
  • * Net Pre-Leveraged Sale: $120M

3rd) Could this mechanism be used across Canada, for every disused railway line with continuing property asset value but under-performing operations’ asset values?  Could it be used globally, in every jurisdiction where property rights include air rights?



abandoned urban railway lineWill this spark a run on disused urban railway lines, I wonder?

By Dave Huer


Backhoe: the Province here

Queen Victoria stamp here

Diagram – personal artwork, using Board of Innovation business model tool. [PDF version here]

Abandoned railway line here by Elliott Brown (CC BY 2.0)


One small step for CGI, one giant leap against piracy


Whilst walking the exhibits at SIGGRAPH 2014, I noticed how CGI could cut media pirate profits. With CGI Cultural Dubbing.

SIGGRAPH 2014 is a five-day interdisciplinary computer generated imagery (CGI) research conference and trade fair showcasing the latest in digital art, technical collaboration, and emerging tech. This year, 175 companies from 18 countries; and 14,000 artists, software developers, research scientists, filmmakers, academics and students from 75 countries attended the fair.

Stopping Piracy Profitability

Right now, movie companies lose billions of dollars to international pre-release piracy. By one estimate,  a 7% lower return on 70% of revenue.

Here’s how:

Pre-release lag windows

Piracy takes advantage of the premiere lag window

Could we advance the gift of the actor with CGI . . . dealing piracy a body-blow? Here’s the idea – modify facial features, speech, and cultural nuances for each target audience.

The Cost-Benefit Question?

If you live in Dhaka or Lagos or Caracas, would you pay for a poorly dubbed copy if you could get the original?

  • . . . in your language
  • . . . with the hero looking and sounding
  • . . . like someone you’d pass by at the local market,
  • . . . or share a coffee with?


I’m an (on leave) member of AB/BC Cave Rescue, and got this idea by combining what I saw at Maxon’s booth (Cinema 4D™ 3D rendering software and Robert Hranitzky‘s cool helicopter and lighthouse image which led me to think about rescue practice) with what I saw from Dynamixyz (their Performer™ facial capture and analysis software) and 3DMD (ImageFusion™ craniofacial virtual reality medtech modeling).

I got to thinking Performer™ could be used for “mouth-shape mirroring” during speech therapy, and learned that it has been used this way: 1-4% of North Americans naturally stutter, and additional speech disabilities arise from the adult neurological effect of Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, etc. I could see speech therapy as a use case: someone looking at themselves stuttering, learning-by-seeing-how-to-change enunciation and mouth-shape to minimize the stuttering event, whilst working with the therapist to use the tool to practice voicing and mouth-shaping.

And then thought about the insignia emblazoned on Mr. Hranitzky’s Sea King helicopter image: imagining that image modified to display the insignia of each national market.

And then thought about new disciplines coming over from the medtech side to the CGI digital media industry side:

  • – CGI Ethnographers
  • – CGI Anthropologists
  • – CGI Linguists & Translators
  • – CGI Speech Pathologists & Audiologists

siggraph-01-graphics-page4modified-004siggraph-01-graphics-page4modified-005Could CGI grow the industry by changing the cost structure of pre-release piracy?

  • – Using artistic wizardry to globally grow local markets, without changing the internal technical practices of the industry?
  • – Cutting into the margins of media pirates, using technical advances to modify legacy release date cycles?
  • – Extending the professional ranks of colour and detail specialists by adding networks of specialized skills to build local markets?
  • – Using demand, economies of scale, and a global network of specialty skills to make a big chunk of piracy unprofitable?

If we could cut piracy losses to 1% or less, would there be sufficient net balance sheet, economic, trade, and stock price materiality ROI to justify the change?

Moon boot imprint – US Public Domain via NASA

Helicopter & Lighthouse: © Copyright Maxon Computer, Artwork by Robert Hranitzky. Used with permission. Cropped for blog post.  Original is here.

Images in notes – citations here [huer-image-links-siggraph01]

Harvesting Invasive Species – a business growth opportunity?

Can the Carp Rendering business model be used for Burmese Pythons?

It works if States pay a bounty


Pythons have killed as much as 99% of mammal species in the Florida Everglades

I’ve been looking at scaled skin products for a friend, and noticed an opportunity to harvest Burmese Pythons. Being a US issue, US citizens would have to run the venture. Attached here is a quick opportunity spreadsheet.

New! visual business model

Source Idea – Invasive Carp Rendering:

American Heartland Fish Products (AHFP) is turning invasive carp into dehydrated meal and fish oil. “The government wants this fish removed in large volumes, and this is the way to do it” (Gray Magee, CEO):

  • Article 01, Article 02
  • AHFP’s Rendering Tech partner is Auburn University: Link 01, Link 02, Link 03, Link 04


Question: Can we do the same with invasive Burmese Pythons?

The BBC reports: “The snake-skin business is extremely lucrative according to this report, which estimates that half a million python skins are exported annually from South East Asia in a trade worth $1bn (£625m) a year. The nature of the trade is such that there is a strong financial incentive all along the supply chain to use illegal snakes. A skin that a villager in Indonesia might sell for $30 (£19) will end up as a bag in fashion boutiques in France or Italy selling for $15,000 (£9,300). The highest demand is for skins between three and four metres long.”

Can we reduce the harm of their spread?

Pythons in America

US climate regions that could support invasive Burmese Pythons: “By 2100 the yellow “maybe” area is expected to extend north substantially, due to projected climate change” (Science Daily).

US Market Opportunity:

  • * Invasive species NOT protected
  • * Skins sold into high value luxury market
  • * Entrails sold for rendering
  • * Components used for Chinese traditional medicine market

Python Pits (Farms) & State Govt Bounty is probably the way to go:

  • * Enclosed holding pits at factories
  • * Wild Pythons delivered at Bounty Rate
  • * Wild Pythons = zero breeding cost to factory
  • * Factory assumes processing costs

Markets & Local Industry Incentive:

  • * Protects human lives and property
  • * Acts to protect loss of biodiversity across Southern USA
  • * Increases competitive pressure on illegal trade of native Asian species
  • * Cuts into illegal trade because of Asian demand for high-quality US goods
  • * Uses ban on illegal wildlife imports to NAFTA market to develop US industry
  • * Basic product line and a Premium (mystique-laden) Wild product line
  • * Develops sewn goods industry in southern US states
  • * Entrails rendered for other uses

Note for Spreadsheet Model:

  • * Government Bounty Rate = per Pound
  • * Retail Trade Rate = per Metre

Background Data:

  • * Article 01 BBC article on Invasive Species
  • * Article 02 Illegal Python trade value
  • * Article 03 International Trade Centre report on SE Asian Python Skins

Product Needs Estimate:

  • * Estimated size for handbag: 4 handbags from 1 x 4 metre skin
  • * Fabric for 1 large handbag: 3/4 yard = for ease of calculation, 1 metre wide:
  • * Estimated girth of python in image in BBC article = 20 inches 
  • * Data Source:

Author: Dave Huer