March 17, 2008

The New York Times Further Undermines My Trust in the Media

Nice overwrite here by the NYT...they write an article with this quote

Mr. Cheney, who arrived in the Iraqi capital with his wife and daughter on an unannounced trip Monday morning, will meet with top officials including the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, and the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd.

According to a pool report of comments made by a senior administration official who was flying with Mr. Cheney, the vice president plans, among other things, to push Iraqi officials to pass petroleum legislation that would help bring international oil companies to Iraq.

The official described it as being about Iraqi leaders “figuring out how they really begin to exploit” the country’s resources, according to the pool report.


see the Google snippet here

Then they decided to overwrite that page with news of an Iraq bombing. Shady.

Original content here. A related funny video is right here

December 12, 2007

IACI - Market Sentiment & Stock Prices

In 1999 I bet on search and online ad networks by owning DoubleClick and Inktomi stock. Both stocks went to crap because they were incomplete stories and I bought just before a market crash. The funny thing is, now I make a living off of search, and those two bets were right, they were just at the wrong time in the wrong company. Luckily I was able to get a couple shares of Google the day they launched.

Since getting took to the cleaners with my 1999 stock buying I noticed that every trade I made in 2006 made money. Which is a side effect of an up market, but also of decent trades.

After growing and marketing a few successful websites, reading Alan Greenspan's book, and reading Paul Kedrosky's blog it is easy to appreciate market sentiment, and it's influence on prices.

Recently I thought of a few stock moves that made sense to me that would pay off, and one that didn't.

A couple days ago I said BankRate looked cheap. Since then the stock went from $37 to $47. They were dragged down by the mortgage mess, but given their market position they are more of an ad based company, and less of a mortgage services company. Given their dominant position in Google and near monopoly on their market their value is only going to increase unless Google decides to offer similar services directly. Google has chose an organic leader for that vertical, and that leader is Bankrate. Bankrate has also extended that market leading publisher position by buying content sites and an affiliate network.

Before Countrywide posted last quarter's results I thought they would pop up after the results were announced because the market had priced so much uncertainty in the stock. They lost about twice as much as some people were expecting and their stock went up about 25 to 30% that day. Since then the stock has fallen further, but nice flip point that day was for some savvy traders.

A couple years back IAC spun out Expedia, which is up about 60% this year. IAC's stock dropped this year while many of their business interests are in near monopoly positions (like TicketMaster) or tied to the growth of the web (like Ask). While the web has grown over 20% year on year, their stock is down over 25%. Some of their assets are tied in home shopping network and LendingTree, which are holding back the true performance of the high growth pieces of the company. When Barry Diller announced the split up of the company into 5 pieces the stock was up about 20%. But the stock is back down where it was before. Buy. Buy. Buy. Barry also stated that the Ask ad deal with Google was worth over 3.5 billion, and the company as a whole is worth less than 8. I just loaded up on some IAC at a good entry point AFTER 2 great news points.

When Marchex (a domain name holding company) had a bad quarter their stock dropped to $9 a share and I bought some just before jumping on a plane to go meet Frank Schilling (the #1 domain investor in the world). The company is still mismanaged, so it might be time to rotate out of their stock. If they would just sell a few of their names AND develop a few of their premium names properly their value would shoot through the roof.

My one dog pick was JupiterMedia. I bought some of them just before their last quarterly results, which in fact were not that great. That stock was down about 25% from my entry point at it's worst, but then the CEO started buying, and now it is off about 10% from my entry point.

Investing is nothing but a guestimate of risk vs reward, and the smart gamblers normally play in markets where they have an advantage over the market. As an internet marketer I am pretty good at seeing web related trends. By far and away the best investments I have ever made were in my knowledge and my websites.

July 29, 2007

Work Work Work

If almost everyone is in debt does that mean that wealth has unreasonably consolidated and other value systems should arise? Why should almost everyone always be in debt? To me that indicates a type of nationwide social illness of some sort. We are on the Earth for so little time, and yet we race to accumulate bullshit, and work far too long to enjoy it, ourselves, or our loved ones enough.

June 28, 2007

Real Estate in the Crapper

I have a client who sells some products related to real estate. In spite of increasing ad spend, improving our ad listings, making our site rank better, lowering prices, and making the site far more usable, sales are still below their historical averages.

We spoke with a supplier who stated that all their other retailers are down too.

May 19, 2007

People Follow the Example You Set

It's pretty bad when the leader of the world bank is corrupt. What kind of example does that set for the rest of the business world?

I don't think leaders are getting any more corrupt. I just think that marketing is getting better at manipulating people in the short term, and increased worldwide communications is catching much more of the manipulation in the longterm. It is easy to get cynical if you forget the increased communications part...but when you think of that it adds a level of hope that is delightful.

May 7, 2007

Consuming Mindless Consumption

From the NYT

Consumer spending in the United States, which is still on the rise, accounts for an astonishing 20 percent of the global economy. ...

Consumer spending hasn’t fallen for a single quarter since the fourth quarter of 1991. And while there are factors affecting domestic consumer spending — higher interest rates, lower housing prices, higher gas prices — the indefatigable American spenders show few signs of letting up.


And while they mindlessly consume, robots are being trained to trade the companies they buy from:
Quants seek to strip human emotions such as fear and greed out of investing. Today, their brand of computer-guided trading has reached levels undreamed of a decade ago. A third of all U.S. stock trades in 2006 were driven by automatic programs, or algorithms, according to Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group LLC. By 2010, that figure will reach 50 percent, according to Aite.

And while the hedge funds are betting with bots, Buffet wants up to 4 people to take his place, and thinks the price of a CEO is rarely too much if they perform:
"Compensation sins are generally of minor importance compared to the sin of having someone mediocre running a huge company," Buffett said.

Links snagged from my favorite investment blog.

February 21, 2007

Paper Money

How bad is it when a friend tells you a stock you once held is up 25% on the day and you don't care too much, then you log in and realize you still had a few hundred shares of it anyway? Eeek.

I am way too careless and spread so thin that I don't even know what I am doing sometimes.

Which makes it easy and hard...

  • it makes it hard to do everything that I want to do because ideas keep coming at me, and I can't do all of them and I have to shift some of the things I do to the more productive and profitable ideas
  • it makes it easy to SEEM as though I know what I am doing because the reinforcing effects of networks and there are so many opportunities

When I first got on the web I had to fight for opportunities, but now virtually everything I have been doing has been fairly successful (outside of maybe 1 or 2 projects).

But money is just paper and I am saving up for tax payments. Last year's taxes is probably going to be more than I made a couple years ago.

February 6, 2007

Real Conversation With Western Union Agent

The transaction was denied.

My account should have plenty of money in it.

Your bank didn't decline the transaction. Western Union declined it.

Why?

I am not sure why.

Does anyone there know why?

No. Once the computer has made its mind up there is nothing I can do.

So the computers are smarter than the people.

The people are slaves to the computer.

January 20, 2007

Verizon Customer Support Being Sleazy - Surprise Surprise

So I went to cancel my old Verizon account. Each time I called their phone number for support they reminded me that they were providing quality services:

To ensure quality services your call may be monitored.

but each and every time I followed the automated prompt and let it know that I wanted to cancel my account I got:
Thank you for calling Verizon. Due to heavy call volume your call can not be answered at this time.

Then, when I lied to the automated prompt, and said I wanted to transfer my account, I got right through. A shame that the business models are structured such that you have to lie to machines to get a person or cancel your account.

People who talk about free markets forget that government tax subsidies granted many of these companies their market positions that they currently enjoy abusing.

December 5, 2006

Where to Invest

Sold 1,000 shares of JUPM at $6.86 today. Not sure where I should be invested in at the moment, but am all cash...which is brutal given the brutal value of the dollar.

A couple absurd points...

When the federal debt ceiling was lifted to $9 billion this year many people were bitching about Bush, as though the clown was anything more than a front man for the circuis which is our federal government.

The increased debt ceiling was an increase of $781 billion.

For some people saying Google is overpriced, the debt ceiling was increased by over 5 Googles (and the debt is now 60 Googles)...which is a lot!

Some people are wondering if we should discard the penny because it costs more to make than it is worth...yet nobody thinks anything of money that is worth more than it costs to make and the fact that most of it is made not by the government.

And how uncomfortable should it make you that the CEO of Nasdaq stated on record that he had no idea how to calculate gross profit margin? Is he ignorant to business? Or is our langague or legal system so screwed up that you can't admit to knowing anything?

Peter Thiel is a total bad ass investor. His current macroeconomic predictions:

Three Wagers - One is that the price of 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds will rise as the U.S. economy slows and deflation sets in. Another is that the dollar will strengthen against the euro as investors scale back investments in emerging markets funded by borrowing dollars. And the third is that energy stocks will keep climbing along with the price of crude as world oil production reaches its zenith.

And he puts his money where his mouth is:
Thiel has even more riding on Clarium than most of his clients. He says he's invested his entire liquid net worth in his fund. Unlike most hedge fund managers, Thiel doesn't charge his customers an annual management fee. Instead, he pockets 25 percent of Clarium's trading gains.

what is his philosophy? he is a libertarian who questions the abuse of authority and believes demand is inherited based upon the demands of others
Thiel's view of human behavior -- and the markets -- was shaped by French literary critic Rene Girard. Girard, now a Stanford professor emeritus, maintains that people essentially borrow their desires from others. To Girard, our longing for a certain object is provoked by the desire of another person for this same object. Girard calls this ``mimetic desire.''

I swear I read / wrote that sort of line of thinking somewhere before...maybe a past post on this sweet blog (though I can't find it at the moment)

November 10, 2006

JUPM

Jupiter Media was brutalized after a weak Q3 and soft Q4 guidance. Their stock, which recently touched $10 a share, is down under $6 a share now.

Since I sold out of my Google position I have a bit of cash in the IRA which is longing for investment. Today I picked up 1,000 shares of JUPM for $5.96 a share.

Realistically I still think it is stilly for me to buy any stocks at all outside of whatever I do in an IRA because the ROI is so much greater when I invest into myself and create my own company ideas.

On the web it is rare that I don't have a rapidly growing 100%+ ROI recurring inside of a year on my good ideas. Its hard to do that in the stock market.

October 29, 2006

Is Separation Necessary?

When you are passionate about your work and your income and influence double year over year over year it gets easy to let your identity mesh with your position in the physical world (and in the minds of others) but invariable things can't double forever. And I do stupid things from time to time that undermine most everything I believe in and my sense of self. Yet I have rebounded quickly nearly every time I tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I have recently started feeling quite a bit better, lost about 40 pounds, feel loved, and almost feel a bit of purpose in life.

Today I wore a pullover sweater with one of my brands on it...and it made me giggle and feel cheesy of some sort...which sorta made me feel great about how I am actually quite separate from my brand on many levels.

But it makes me wonder...how long can you sell a brand without becoming attached to it? How can you help others want to believe in something that is in many ways isolated from your identity?

Steve Pavlina had a great article about separating your sense of self and purpose from your position in the real world. A while back I wrote a poem about the arbitrary nature of growth when you use numbers to measure your growth. It is sorta funny how with a lot of the things I write I don't even understand what I am saying when I write it and then I read what someone else says and it makes my own thoughts ideas and statements make more sense to me.

When others give you a sense of clarity, even if their philosophies are not exactly aligned with your direction or purpose in life, it is still highly valuable. Even if a theory is garbage it is still a good thing if the outcome of belief is reflected in the way you live and think about the world. Steve does a good job of making me think when I read his stuff.

October 21, 2006

Recent Stock Trades

A friend of mine recently called me out when I told him I wanted to buy October $27.50 put options for 60 cents each. The main reason I didn't do it is because I have never traded options before and trading them requires me to fill out and fax in some form to Etrade. A few days after I tried buying (but couldn't do to account restrictions and needing that form) Yahoo! announced they were seeing weaker than expected ad revenues. The stock dropped like a rock, and I think those options ended up being worth over $4 each, which would have been a sweet 500% profit if I had bought them.

Since that friend called me out on not making that move I figured it would make sense to post all my stock trades to see how much smarter or dumber I am than the market is.

On September 13th I bought some JUPM for $8.62 a share.

Today I sold all my GOOG shares at $457.75 a share. I think the flood of insider selling will drive the stock down back toward the $400 to $420 range, and then after next quarter Google may likely break $500. If Google goes low enough (say $380s) I will probably buy a few shares again.

The market seems overpriced to me in the verticals I know well, so my next bet is going to be AGAINST a company, betting that they will have a weak Q4 relative to market expectations. I won't bet against Google, but I will soon buy put options on another Internet company. I will say what company it is after I buy the options.

October 19, 2006

Emotions & Investing

When you are creating your own brand and are trying to build your own long-term business you need to put emotion in your investments. You need to create something so powerful that other people are going to be emotional about it.

Short term there are marketing timing and arbitrage opportunities, but to create something that will be sustainable and grow it helps to put emotion into your work.

When you are investing in other companies (with money, for example) then it helps to leave emotion off to the side and invest without it.

Be irrational when investing in yourself. The market will never predict your success because they don't know how much you can do. If you push hard enough you can even create your own markets. But when you are investing into someone else's business don't be emotional about it, at least unless you are truly getting in at the ground floor.

October 16, 2006

Google Going Solar

I prettymuch think you can't gather wealth and influence without being hypocritical. Google screws up some issues, but on the whole they are ambitious and

  • are really good at marketing
  • really care
  • have a long long longterm plan
  • or some combination of the above

They are probably the only company I would ever want to work for as a longterm employee (and that says a lot considering I am not even sure how much longer I even want to be alive). Today they just announced that their corporate headquarters will be powered by solar energy.

September 17, 2006

July 2, 2006

Stupid Ipod

Second time I had to reset my iPod in as many months. How annoying.

June 25, 2006

State College, PA Recycling

State Collge Pennsylvania Recycling - Curbside Pickup tips from the Centre County Solid Waste Authority

May 15, 2006

Sprint PCS Crystal Clear Shit Services Nationwide Guaranteed

What cell phone operator cuts out in Brooklyn, downtown Boston, and State College Pennsylvania?

Sprint.

Suck ass services.

Appalling that you want to charge me roam rates to make calls from my own home because your services are shameful and suck ass.

May 9, 2006

Bogus Lawsuits

It seems to me that you can't really be in business and successful without some scumbag suing you. Recently the MPAA sued Shawn Hogan. I hope he kicks their asses and destroys their business model and rackettering lawsuit schemes.

April 11, 2006

Subscriptions and Solving Problems

I could charge subscriptions and whatnot for some of the things I do, but generally I have avoided them for a couple major reasons:

  • One off services are easy to add a ton of value without you having to dedicate tons of recurring mindshare to things you may eventually grow disinterested in.
  • I have though many subscription based services to be evil.

The reason for the second part there is two fold

first, many of the subscription based services I have used have gave me shitty service. I started typing this post on leeched WiFi from the neighbors because my Verizon DSL did not work for about 12 hours. No refunds of course, and I could bitch for 20 hours to get nothing out of them, but that is just how it is.

Also my cell phone...it amazing me that on the streets in NYC Sprint sometimes offered analog roam and sometimes had no service available. The same thing often happens in my house. I was talking to a friend the other day and used the land line to call him back and apologized. He asked if I was using Sprint. When my phone in NYC wasn't working the guy who was making my sandwitch in a deli asked "Sprint?"

The second part of my distaste for many subscription based models is that I think many of them aim to solve symptoms instead of problems. But then again markets just try to solve problems the way people want them to be solve, and many people are not willing to work for real change (thanks Andy for the chat). Many of those people who are getting ripped off are not really getting ripped off, many of them are getting exactly what they want.

If the world is to become more sustainable more business models are going to require recurring relationships and subscriptions, so I may as well get used to it and not hate the model.

The model isn't bad, just a few (or really many) soulless corporations exploit it.

March 25, 2006

Coachella

Up in the air about going...so many things I have to do now. And unfortunately I have been putting a few things off. Here is a short list of things I need to do

  • taxes ~ 30 hours of work
  • quick rewrite my ebook ~ 6 hours of work
  • review a friends book ~ 6 hours of work
  • client work ~ lots of hours (lots and lots here, starting very very soon. this weekend is like crunchtime on getting everything else on this list done)
  • review an SEO tool and send feedback ~ 5 hours
  • send in a form to a placed that asked me to teach ~ 4 hours
  • finish reading a book I have been reading far too long ~ 4 hours
  • fix up an old site ~ 30 hours
  • set up monetization and oversee production of another oldie ~ 15 hours
  • catch up on email ~ 100 hours

I looked at the Coachella line up this year and it did not look quite as cool as some past years. As it turns out, The Smiths turned down $5 million to reunite and play at Coachella. And Coachella recently added Madonna to a side stage...bizarre.

March 11, 2006

Military Members Getting Screwed

Not only is personel the only area of decline in the current war spending, but companies are also screwing the soldiers.

AT&T is Ripping Off American Soldiers and AT&T Gouging U.S. Soldiers in Iraq sound familiar. While I was in the military in New England when my sister would call me it would cost me over $1.50 a minute.

I think fairly lowly of US phone companies.

March 4, 2006

Going with Small Business Partners

As some industries consolidate many major players in related industries shift from using the default provider to smaller providers, and it makes sense that they do because there are a boatload of benefits

  • A smaller business will get a brand and credibility boost by having a client list that includes other well trusted well known brands. They may be willing to sell cheaper due to gains in productivity brought on by increased volume and other secondary sales brought on by the brand boost.
  • Since the business is smaller your account will be a larger percentage of their total business, and their customer service will likely be better.
  • If you go with the industry leader you may help drive competing businesses out of the market. When a near monopoly exists the lead company can increase their prices and eat into your margins.

I never went to any business school, so this may be hosed and idealistic or otherwise a bunch of crap. Feel free to let me know if it is :)

February 25, 2006

Treating Clients as Though Their Stuff is Your Own

It is a hard transition to go from dirt poor hyper loyal to being self sufficient without clients. So long as you keep learning it gets to where you can make far more money without clients unless you charge them rates that you yourself would think are absurd.

I like to think I treat most client stuff as though it is my own...but I have been so swamped with ideas and projects and random junk that I even find myself neglecting my own stuff sometimes.

I should post to my main blog every day...but I have been doing it about every other day just because I have been too busy with random menial tasks. I still have to catch up on about 150 emails, want to develop about 50 (or closer to 100) websites, want to keep learning, and am going to a conference every other week for the next couple months...I start that journey tomorrow!

I think I have less focus than people claim Google is...which is brutal since I am about 9 billion dollars, tons of user data, years of experience, and around 300 super genius engineers behind where they are.

Sharing Resources...You Can Share Too Much!

It is why it is hard to share resources with the open public. If you increase the demand for someone else's services they get more inqueries than they can handle and then they have to increase their rates to accomidate the increased demand...which ends up costing you for sharing the resource, because most people are not that loyal...plus nobody (other than yourself) pays you for all the people you hire who turn out to be shitbags.

Most SEOs get paid for solving market inefficiencies. If you give everyone the same keys to the same door eventually you keep crowding out rooms and marginalizing yourself to the point where you can't afford another key.

It is really hard to balance what is worth sharing. For years it was just about everything, but that philosophy has changed over the past 6 months or so.

I think it would make me less honest to be totally idealistic to the point of going bankrupt. I would be an idiot if I did that...because that is just not how the world works.

February 8, 2006

December 17, 2005

Sell The Dogs

When you sell stock for profit you get taxed on it. I sold some Goog shares recently and had many thousands of profit.

I hate income because it causes you to have to pay more taxes, and much of our taxes go to bombing poor villiages in third world countries.

The stock market is sorta like a legalized form of gambling, where if you lose it is tax deductible.

Don't let the deep loss dogs sit in your account. Sell sell sell!

I still had some stocks left from the previous stock bubble, and it feels great selling some CMGI or Lucent right about now, because you can almost be certain it will be another 20 - 30 years at a minimum before they got to the same level as they were back in the bubble days. CMGI will likely never be worth what it once was. Lucent is a bit doubtful itself aswell. At the communications platforms expand much of the value add is layered on top of the underlying systems. Although Lucent has been profitable for a long time there is no reason to hold a 2 dollar stock that you paid around $80 for.

The nice thing with my recent flipping of Google shares is that on the whole I think I am ahead in the stock market, which is impressive considering how bad my timing was on buying the bubble 1.0 stocks hehehe.

November 29, 2005

Gambling on Gambling...

I am fairly poor, but feel pretty rich in spirits. Even if I had lots of money I would just give it away or waste it somehow.

Having said all that, I like watching numbers and trends and the math behind stuff. What is cool about the web is that you can look back and not only see how your own ideas played out, but see how things played out for others.

The World Poker Tour is a publicly traded company (wpte). By buying or selling it you are gambling on gambling. With a regular casino on each individual bet anything can happen, but in aggregate the house wins.

The poker tour announced that they were partnering online with a huge poker social network, and there has got to be a way to monetize that.

When I was eating with some of the reps at a major search engine they talked about how they loved online poker and then started giving me all the inside baseball. When to play, how to get past data from other users, etc. etc. etc.

When I was home I think my step dad loved watching poker on TV too.

So is a bet for the stock of a poker tour a good bet?

here it is "oversold, nice volume"

but then again earlier this year (on July 11th) at over $20 a share it was

"pump and dump....good enough for insiders to unload..happens all the time..nasdq does little to stop this schannigan from happening."

and

"when they don't let you short is usually another sign of LOOKOUT...watch out below.."

good call insideinfo. sure enough the poker shares are now around $7.

insideinfo is long on atari...and hey thats a cool game too!

Something draws people toward market uncertainty. Online I can almost guarantee that I know enough about the publishing, marketing and information retrieval business models to be able to build a huge fortune while likely working far less than I currently do, but I am more interested in the off chance one shot stuff because certainty is boring. eventually I will probably be pissed at myself for that, but live and learn.

what sort of gambling are you addicted to? what kinds of gambles do you wrongfully avoid?

November 8, 2005

NYC Cabbie Tips - to Get a Cab

In NYC everyone is an alpha male...or at least everyone looking to get a cab (even girls).

I saw one guy threaten to kick the shit out of a girl who scooped his cab as the cabbie was driving away with her in it.

Half of the cabbies leave their lights on even when they are out of service.

After waiting for a cab a while (feeling a bit rejected) on my way in I thought something needed changing. A lady said I was best off if I was on the other side of the block where the traffic was coming from so I could get cabbies from that corner before they crossed the street full of passengers. I quickly scored a cab and that was that.

Later on...At late night time if you are in Manhattan late at night it is nearly impossible to get a cab to Brooklyn unless you get a bunch of people to jump in the cab before you tell the cabbie where you are going.

October 14, 2005

Honesty Tax

From my personal experience most US businesses are not that honest or forthright. A few examples from today:

  • publisher wants to publish book. all throughout negotiations the ebook rights are no big deal until day of contract :(
  • tell lawyers to contact me if spend will go beyond $5,000. they never fucking do and send me a bill for $12,500. :(
  • mechanic tells me car belt is fine because they are too lazy to want to change it. roommate says it is fucked. :(

To be honest, I think there is an honesty tax. Most businesses are not 100% so, and if you are not you are taxed for it.

October 5, 2005

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

I had no idea that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was a public company. When they went public 2 years ago, just based on how fucked up our leader is, one could easily have predicted that commodity markets were going to have lots of activity due to rough times ahead. Sure enough, in two years the stock went from $40 to $340.

I don't know exactly how their business model works, but I don't see things in the world getting real stable anytime soon (at least not with that nutter president). CME is worth 11.71 billion, so assuming their business model is good (and based on profit per transaction or other volume based activity), I am sure there is plenty of room for growth.

I probably would not buy their stock at this point though, as I suspect the oil market will retreat a bit in coming months, and that there is a bit much momentum priced into the CME 43 P/E ratio.

NXY, a Canadian oil company, has shown weekness in 2 of the last 3 trading days, and to me that is a foward looking indicator of oil prices (although the most recent drop was in tandem with lowering oil prices).

Their recent growth was heavily driven by increasing oil prices. As NXY drops it means people are losing their confidence in the oil commodity. NXY has a beta of 0.56, but when oil sinks NXY sinks much quicker, since a large part of their future business model is heavily reliant on expensive oil prices. If oil gets too cheap there is not much margins in getting the oil out of the oil sands in Alberta.

I bet NXY is back in the 30s before the year is out, although longterm the company, from my limited understanding, is in a great market position.

September 15, 2005

Buy or Sell Goog...Who Should You Trust

today from TheStreet:

A New York Post report says Microsoft is looking to acquire AOL or become an equal partner with Time Warner. The impact of such a deal would be immense, and highly positive for Microsoft and Time Warner. Google remains a good company, but the stock would likely retrace in the face of this deal.

I think that means "sell"?

and then
today from TheStreet:

The pricing of Google's secondary offering at $295 is a $5 discount, and a $15 discount from where it was recently. If the shares go to accounts that won't flip it, they could reach $350 in one month, not three. Numbers are too low on Google, the most exciting story in the market.

I think that is a buy

so funny how the same company can give such different views on the same day.

September 14, 2005

Tech Stock Market is Hot Hot Hot

August 13, 2005

Lost My Bags...Twice

So the airline offered a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the US for anyone interested in staying a few hours to go on the next flight. I said sure and iin turn they ended up not needing me.

The flight I was on was about 1.5 hours late. When I got to my final destination they did not have my bags, which is the same thing that happened to me on my way out. So if waiting 3 - 4 hours = free ticket, then what does waiting 1.5 - 2 hours = ?

Clearly nothing thusfar, but it is a real shame the government has the TSA and also bails out those airlines. It would be interesting to see if the quality of service evolved if society did not come to expect bad service and the government wouldn't meddle in the business.

I would not mind paying twice as much for tickets if it meant the service was not shite.

August 10, 2005

Oil Prices, Stock Market, etc

Oil prices closed at $65 a barrel today. Not too far back, when amazon closed at nearly $47 I thought that it's stock was trading on momentum and on people having to cover their positions and priced ahead of itself. Today amazon dropped to $44.

The federal deficit has been smaller than expected in the past month, which is a sign of the economy heating up (since they have their hands in about every cookie jar). I think oil is now trading on momentum though. People are looking for excuses to raise the price of oil.

If I had lots of money right now, oil stocks I would have bought a month ago (like NXY) I would short now, expecting a 20 to 30% drop in oil prices from today's close in the next 2 months.

August 5, 2005

People Flying in to Meet Me?

So I still recognize that in the grand scheme of things my role is rather insignificant, but I just got an email from a person who wants to fly into the conference next week for a day and buy me lunch or dinner.

I love being independant, but the fact that people are willing to go to that length to meet me is pretty damn cool, and shows that I must be helping some people out a good bit more than I realized.

Somedays you get rave reviews that exceed your own versions of realities, other times people say things that are so mean, personal, and detatched from reality that you have to ignore it; but you do not want to ignore all feedback that you do not agree with otherwise you are ignoring an important resource.

It is really hard to balance effort, drive, ego, and focus creating your own online business.

July 24, 2005

Loaning a Friend My Car so they can run me over with it

Sure the title of this post sounds stupid, but something very similarly happened to me recently. I tried helping a friend do well on the web, they ignored most of the tips I offered, and then eventually they started making a bit of money and when that number went down they did the nuclear option, and created hate posts about me and tried to destroy my business model.

This is a person who I went so far as to pay their rent for them so they were not homeless (while still heavily in debt myself at the time).

Even though they were a friend wasting my time helping them so they could stab me in the back (and front, really) is a perfect example of why it is worth taking the time to only chose good clients and to only help people with good karma.

I can't change another person and it is unlikely that I will knowingly let many other people change me unless I want to change. If a client or friend is stuck in the past then it is probably not worth helping them out unless you have enough slack in your schedule and business model to absorb any pain that causes.

Never underestimate how bad they will try to make that pain feel. I was unproductive at work for the last week because of shit like that, but I also took some time to get into things I left behind...like video games :)

Work, Business, Corporate Efficiency, & Slack

I started reading a book by the name of Slack, which states that the best organizations leave enough time to reinvent themselves. Shitty employers look for maximal efficiency, and that drives away creative smart and good workers.

I went to the gas station to pick up a tea, and overheard one worker getting told that they need to clock out the other worker if they are drinking a soda. What a joke, a workplace that does not even allow basic bodily functions. The more free you feel at work the more you can focus on things at work that interest you. Short term there are reasons to have disinteresting jobs, but anyone who really cares about and is interested in life should eventually try to land a job that they dig with an employer that trusts them enough to let them do great things.

July 6, 2005

Daytrading Stock

So Thursday at the afternoon low I bought a stock. Friday the stock was up 14%. I sold. Yesterday that stock was headed south again.

hmm.

was it luck? yes.

how to make that luck be skill...

May 15, 2005

The Paradox of Wealth

So today I ordered something and was told "what the hell are you doing, you don't have to pay for that. it is on the house"

Yesterday (or maybe the day before) a free book came in. And another one last week.

If you work hard and develop a strong brand it gets to where time is worth more than money and people give you stuff free. Maybe not because you deserve or need stuff free, its just a weird way of marketing. But the trick is, one hand usually washes the other.

In any market there are products which will be better or worse crafted and better or worse marketed. Some people will be far more successful than they should be. Some will be far less. So long as you

  • keep learning
  • are socially active
  • not arrogent
  • without random heavy bias

you are far more likely to be on the side that gets randomly lucky far more often than you should.

It is kinda amazing to think of what the web allows. Two years ago by any measure I was a complete failure (and thinking of how I was going to kill myself). Now I am no longer limited by the physical world, virtually and via airplanes I can go wherever I want, whenever I want to, being able to aford to do that, and I know enough about this new fragile network that it would take serious brain damage, physical injury, or jail time to lessen my ability to learn.

I am still not wealthy per say, but I also have not marketed anywhere as well as I could and still have a long way to go, especially since I have to go after a few other market segments as well :)

Its amazing how I have the same mind as a few years ago and it was thought of as no good and useless (by me and many others) and in a couple years I was able to craft a business model that was honest, profitable, and humane.

In the past whenever I did not understand life I would ask my mom about it and express my confusion. She would always say "such is life" and that would piss me off to NO end.

Now I am doing a bit better but lots of things are still highly confusing. Its good not having to worry about having enough money to get by. That is such a shitty deal.

Now if only I could get in better shape, and start meeting a few more people away from the computer, particularly cute girls who like exercising, dogs, legos, and MarioKart.

April 7, 2005

Happily Losing Money

Hehehe

So I met an accountant yesterday. I got to write off $3,000 in tax losses this year from internet stocks I bought while in the Navy (a bleak period of my life).

A few observations:

  • there is little reason to gamble. the stock market is a much better gamble. if you lose you get to claim up to $3,000 of losses per year.
  • what the fuck was I thinking. I mean back then I was only making like $10,000 to $12,000 a year in pay. how in the hell could I afford $3,000 of stocks? (I think my total losses probably comes a bit closer to the $5,000 to $6,000 dollar range)...I lost that much on stocks on top of giving money to charity and sending money to my sister.
  • some of the companies (or ideas) I was buying in back then were spot on. the timing, execution, and business models were just piss poor. for example I had stock in Inktomi, which was then the webs largest search service - but one with a piss poor business model. Today Google is a better version of what they were back then, but with contextually relevant ads.
  • It took a while for people to see the value of targeted leads. back in the day DoubleClick was one of the leading online advertising companies. (had some of their stock too...as well it went to shit). Now that some people are tracking and Google has created such a large demand engine there is a ton of money in online advertising. already internet ad spend has trumped radio ad spend in the UK. again, spot on idea, with piss poor timing and execution.
  • If I would have known then what I know now I would have been less inclined to buy Inktomi stock and more inclined to spam their search results, but oh well. hehehe
  • again, like a schmuck, I am an owner of a few web stocks. this time more to give me added excuse and reason to view at greater depth the economics, legalities, and social implications surrounding search services - which thus makes my other weblog, and hopefully my business products better offerings.
  • me owning some stocks might be a conflict of interest to some, but I have an exceptionally small stake in them and own stocks across the search industry to where it is not going to be something that makes me inclined to selfishly promote some companies and try to beat down the stocks of others. If I think a company is overtly horrible I would not buy their stock. my limited reach and small positions also means that I have little to gain in promoting any companies.

March 30, 2005

A Picture is Worth... 300 Billion Dollars

Gotta love the link here in the middle of the content in this article

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