- Should US Government spending crash like the stock market?
- Will industries that rely on Government spending be crushed?
- Has the Federal Reserve lost all credibility with the markets?
- The VC industry shrunk by 80% in the last decade so why not the Government?
- Rising interest rates might actually be good for the "real economy"?
- Are currency wars are going to get even more intense?
- Is the US the new emerging market carrying highest investment risk?
- Where & when will the next tech industry boom (ie jobs) come from?
- Is the Obama administration trying to kill capitalism vs government spending?
- When will kicking the Government debt can down the road STOP?
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
|Japan Owns 20% of the US Treasury Debt or $885 Billion|
I happen to be one of the few people that believe the market has been artificially propped up by the Fed buying bonds in the open market. This cash gets invested back in the markets in order to prop up equity prices. I am all for capitalism and organic growth but the current run up in bond and equity prices have not been commensurate with the level of growth and unemployment.
Why am I worried about this as an early stage investor? Well, because I don't believe that our growth has been created organically by capital formation and venture capital. Our industry is still shrinking drastically. The day that the VC industry starts to expand in the US I will be the first person to claim we are in a real bull market for an extended period of time. However, for the time being I am bearish until the government can get out of way with regards to financial regulation and the government restructures their balance sheets to fit the private sector drop in wealth.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
ComScore is a company that uses panels to measure and track consumer behaviors, demographics, and advertising responsiveness for industries such as travel, pharmaceuticals, finance, and telecommunications. Consumer products companies use ComScore's website and online advertising network measurement tools and ComScore's Marketing Solutions products, which provide custom research and analysis from its panel. Scam or is this accurate information?
Today, on the earnings conference call Comscore management said "we have no competition". This answer was prompted after an analyst ask the following question: "how are your viewing the market competition?" Excuse me, but what about these web site analytics companies who more accurately measure? Alexa, Nielsen, Google Analytics, Omniture, Hitwise, Quantcast that provide more accurate information? What about this list of mobile analytics companies? Airsage, Amethon, Bango Flurry, GroundTruth, Localytics, Mobilytics, Motally, M-Wise, Openwave, Percent Mobile, Pinchmedia, TigTags, Xtract. How could you not consider these companies as competitors? If there are any other companies I am missing please let me know.
There are several mobile phone analytics and social media analytics companies and many of them are more accurate. Management also gave a very "wishy washing" answer to how they measure and manage social media and mobile analytics. How can you trust a public company that says we have no competition? How can you trust the data that so many large companies use but have limited reach to measure its traffic? Taking surveys and panels is not an ethical way to measure and track traffic. In fact its one of the largest digital media scams in the last decade. Someone needs to crack this egg and expose this.
Friday, February 11, 2011
|How Much Is Pandora Cannibalizing iTunes Sales?|
I come from the school that "if its free its me and if I have to pay no way". I am not a great customer of Apple iTunes because I could care less about owning the music. I just want to listen to it when I want. Since I have been a listener to Pandora guess how much music I have purchased? $0. Their really is no reason to own music for consumer to want to own music or videos any longer now that advertising based streaming music services like Pandora have arrived. I always thought the best move for Apple would be to buy Pandora to protect their iTunes music sales but it looks like that is not going to happen.
I predicted that Howard Stern would go to Pandora but that did not happen and he stayed with Sirius / XM and now you can listen to Howard on the iPhone. I also thought that Apple will buy Pandora but that didn't happen either yet. Here is a comparison of Rhapsody vs Pandora. Sirius is also a Pandora competitor but they need to get an app for the TV quickly. Broadband speeds have doubled and even tripled over the past few years. WiFi is very fast and reliable in most areas and 3G is maturing. So maybe Pandora video is coming also with LTE and 4G wireless distribution? Stay tuned and buy some shares of this disruptive company.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
|List of the Largest Content Publishing Networks|
Ranked by Monthly Unique Visitors - # of Web Sites
Interactive Corp IAC - 250M (Nasdaq: IACI) over 40 sites
Glam Media - 144M over 400+ sites
Answers Network - 102M (NYSE: ANSW)
Daily Motion Network - 93M
Federated Media Network -87M over 112 sites
AOL - 52M 1 site
About.com - 45M 1 site
Huffington Post - 37M 1 siteDemand Media - 34M (NYSE: DMD) over 9 sites
Gawker Media Network - 32M over 9 sites
Discovery Network - 32M over 5 sites
Funny or Die - 8M
Associated Content - 28M (Nasdaq: Yahoo)
CNN - 20M 1 site
WebMD - 18M
WSJ - 6M
Fox - ???
Friday, January 21, 2011
The latest Groupon coupon fad reminds me of the mailing list spam days back in 1999. Back in the day companies like Yahoo couldn't get their hands on enough lists of emails and would use these lists to pump out advertising offers left and right. Eventually consumers got smart and had to use spam blockers and finally the Government required companies to offer opt-in email programs. Groupon is not much different, however, this time they give you a sense of urgency by saying that inventory is limited. Not only do most offers claim to limit the inventory but they often give you 50% off for a limited time. Yes, it seems like a good short term promotional tool but how long will it last and what will it do for customer loyalty?
Will Groupon become a victim of their own success always chasing the next deal and lose customer support? I think coupons should be scare commodity and not available to everyone. If everyone has a coupon it defeats the purpose of pricing anything and creates a sense of dishonesty amongst your loyal customer base. I think at the end of the day when this local coupon bubble pops the winners will simply be just good at local display advertising. I think Google gets this as well and will will likely start see display ads targeted on mobile phones that show offers like this.
Groupon turned down an offer from Google to buy them for $6 billion dollars apparently and it looks like they are headed for an IPO. I think this is a blessing in disguise for Google and they should be thankful that this did not work out. The competition in the coupon space is furious and there are literary thousands of Groupon clones that do the same thing. When Groupon first received funding and their valuation was north of $100M I said it was a great investor ponzi scheme and still think this. Its a big house of hards that is only held up by the huge pile of cash they have been able to raise. Its also not surprising to see them acquiring several companies in order to try and consolidate their competition. I also wouldn't be surprise to see some more controversy surrounding this company get publicized before it tries to go public. Groupon has lots of "skeletons in the closet" that will come out and at the end of the day the winners will ultimately be small niche local companies like Boomstreet who will be successful.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Or is more about control and does Larry Page want more control of the company to make more acquisitions? Is Facebook's increased threat of taking market share from the search giant prompting some paranoia. The war is now on between company founders Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google. It will be interesting to see how each will handle the growing mobile advertising industry and Google has a huge head start. Its kind of scary to see Apple and Google CEO have leadership issues as they are the two of the largest technology companies.
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Monday, January 17, 2011
1) History has shown that the economy only grows when there is an ecosystem of technology that creates jobs & Apple has fueled the growth of tech which has created millions of jobs Worldwide.
2) Ben's 0% interest rates have had no effect on whether millions of consumers Worldwide have made emotional Apple purchasing decisions. Two thirds of the US economy is based on consumption and Apple is driving it.
3) Ben Bernanke is an academic that relies on historical data to make reactive decisions when economic history rarely repeats itself.
4) Steve Jobs relies on his vision to shape the future of the technology industry and millions of people are affected based on these decisions.
5) The stock market always needs a leading growth stock story like AAPL in order for investors to get excited and put money to work in the market. The Nasdaq 100 index QQQQ is 20% based on Apple and thus 99 other stocks are directly affected by how AAPL trades.
6) 0% interest rates over the last few years have done nothing but create a bond market and real estate bubble which does nothing for capitalism and growth.
7) Steve Jobs has created wealth for millions of entrepreneurs who have started companies to feed off the Apple ecosystem.
8) Ben Bernanke has put billions of dollars in the hands of bankers and bond fund managers to prop up the stock market and create a false sense.
9) Foreign countries who invest in US Treasury Bills, like China, are not happy that the US is intensionally keeping interest rates low thus devaluing the dollar. The Dollar cannot be devalued forever in order to finance the future and thus a long term bubble is forming if it were to rise suddenly.
10) Apple's stock (AAPL) has the largest market cap in the World at $319 Billion and if it were to lose value quickly it would take down a lot of hedge funds, pension funds who have jumped on the bandwagon of wealth creation and could be destruction if we are not careful.
Get well Steve! We need you and Google to keep all entrepreneurs and investors excited about the future. Technology NOT energy should be the basis of the World economy in order to leave a better place for our kids.
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