In the business news today, Google stock dropped almost 19% in value… Over the past six months, I’ve had a few of my friends ask my opinion on investing in Google. I told them that it’s important to note that Google is not really a software or Internet company, but it is a media company (most of its revenues come from advertising). In many ways, it is the Bell Yellow Pages from eighty years ago. The stock value already has the expectation of tremendous upside built into the price… similar in many ways to the market exuberance for other Internet-based business models from six years ago, such as Webvan (groceries), MetalSite (steel), and Calico (software) [note: all 3 of these companies are out of business after raising over $300 million in capital].
Archive for ◊ January, 2006 ◊
True or False: Can you guess which of the following are true or false?
1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
2. Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a bellybutton.
3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years.
4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it’s from being indoors a lot more.
5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop even your heart!
6. If coloring weren’t added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.
7. Only seven per cent of the population are lefties.
8. Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.
9. Babies are born without knee caps. They don’t appear until they are 2 to 6 years old.
10. The average person over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.
11. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.
12. The average housefly lives for one month.
13. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.
14. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.
15. The real reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.
16. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Tootsie”.
17. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.
18. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.
All of these are True!
Well, I suppose it’s time for me to weigh-in on the recent Palestinian elections… I won’t repeat the numerous comments from Little Green Footballs, Daniel Pipes, DebkaFile, etc. In addition, history has already shown us that it’s in the best interests of the United States and Israel to do the opposite of anything that Jimmy Carter suggests.
In my view, this election result is actually better for Israel for two reasons (you probably just said to yourself: “huh!?”) First, the election of a terrorist group that readily admits that it wants to follow the genocidal plans of Nazi Germany helps to clarify the predominant Moslem outlook towards Jews. It’s important for the public to understand these true intentions of the Palestinian rank and file. Second, it helps to establish realistic expectations for the relationship between Israel and its Moslem neighbors. For years, I have been telling my family that it is not realistic to plan in the near term (i.e., the next 25 years) for ‘peace’ between Jew and Moslem in the Middle East… Even the relationship with Egypt is in reality a state of non-war.
I can’t recall who sent this one to me:
An old man was sitting on a bench at the mall. A teenager sat down next to him. He had spiked hair that was red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. The old man stared. Whenever the teen looked at him, the old man was staring at the boy.
Finally, the teenager said sarcastically: “What’s the matter, old man? Never done anything wild in your life?”
Without missing a beat, the old man replied: “Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son.”
Since ice hockey is still my favorite sport, I try to see the Dayton Bombers in action at the Nutter Center (a nice 12,000 seat arena). Unfortunately, the Bombers have really struggled putting together a solid performing team the last few years. Interestingly, the Bombers are the “AA” farm club for the Columbus Blue Jackets (see my earlier post about the Blue Jackets here), who have also been challenged to get a team that can at least maintain a .500 winning percentage. Thus, this lack of performance for both of these teams must be an indictment of the Columbus “farm system”.
It’s somewhat embarrassing to live in a city where the daily newspaper –- with an editorial staff barely capable of running a high school paper — attempts to emulate its hero, the New York Times. I hate coming back home from a business trip and picking up the paper to read editorials from Gwynne Dyer, Maureen Dowd, and Molly Ivins. The on-line edition is so poorly organized that it reminds me of web sites that people cobbled together in the late 90’s. My 14 year old son could show them how to put together a better web site.
My wife has turned into the tennis fanatic… I am actually quite proud of her athletic pursuits. She now plays 3 to 4 times a week, and she’s constantly asking me to hit tennis balls to her. She tells me that she likes my coaching better than the tennis pros at the club. I tell her that’s only because –- unlike the tennis pros — I pick up the practice balls for her after our training session. We’ve been watching nothing on the television for the last week but the Australian Open. Both of my sons also have taken up tennis on a regular basis and it’s actually quite nice to have an activity that the four of us can do together.
A contemporary joke forwarded to me from Roger Sines:
A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer, and a Departmental Manager were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers, until it miraculously ground to a halt, scraping along the mountainside.The car’s occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: they were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?
“I know”, said the Departmental Manager, “Let’s have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way.”
“No, no”, said the Hardware Engineer, “That will take far too long, and besides, that method has never worked before. I’ve got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car’s braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way.”
“Well”, said the Software Engineer, “Before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again.”
Companies in the United States view China as both a tremendous market opportunity and a low cost production resource. At the same time, China primarily remains a communist country that embraces capitalism enough to abuse it for their advantage. For example, the Chinese not only leverage the turmoil in the Middle East for their financial benefit, but they also steal intellectual property from the west. This article in Strategy Page describes how the Chinese have stolen technology from Boeing.