Sunday 2011-07-10

Alwaleed by Riz Khan

During the 80's Alwaleed apparently was the preferred western contact in Saudi Arabia, as he was hard-working, westernized, a prince, and the son of a successful Saudi Arabian real estate developer. He reinvested his earnings into the Riyadh real estate market and now supposedly holds more real estate there than anyone else. The recurring rents then fueled his other acquisitions.

It is important to note that when the Prince says he started with less than half a million dollars (300K), this money was used to launch the company and fund its activities at startup...
but like them (his Royal peers) he was entitled to a minimum monthly stipend equivalent to USD 15,000 at that time (1980), just for being part of the ruling Royal clan.
-- Chapter 3
(15K / month income and he needs 300K in startup funds = fishy fishy fishy)
His cousin Riad describes how most other businessmen in the Middle East are traditionally slack with time-keeping, saying that it is a cultural thing not to worry about being exactly on time. The approach to keeping hours in the office is similar, and tracking down executives and managers could be difficult.
-- Chapter 4
We took it (United Saudi Commercial Bank) because at that time it put me in the middle of the business community, because in the bank you see everything.
You get involved in construction, in agriculture, in manufacturing, in trade, in commerce, in everything.
-- Chapter 4
The checkups Jihad (his doctor) arranges annually show the Prince to be in great shape, so he believes Alwaleed has more or less trained himself to survive on less sleep: "Four hours or five hours of sleep for him is like when you sleep for eight hours or nine hours. His body's adapted to this period of time of sleeping, and there is, in his five hours of sleep, the feeling that he slept for eight or nine or ten hours."
-- Chapter 9

The sleep bit is interesting. I've argued (to minimal effect) with some people that after reducing sleep long enough, that I feel fine on 4-5 hours, without any need for caffeine or the like. Tracking my sleep with the fitbit, I found that I seem to have interrupted sleep a lot (maybe sleep apnea...) when I sleep the usual 7-8 hours, but when I reduce it to 4, the interrupts go away. -- Ryan.

slick -- do you clock yourself with something like to track perf? re: the quote, i was using that to show how much this was a puff piece. ;)

heh. i used a