What is News Worthy

  • Malone's Magic shines on Pandora!
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  • Can MSNBC shake the Liberal media under Comcast and take over?
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  • Not another investigation!
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  • Did May deal a good hand to Merkel?
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  • Bill Gross: without German Umbrella just another Economist trying to get attention?
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  • Qatar and $12B in orders after Saudi Mega deals in Defense Spend: A new business Model?

Re-inventing America!

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Silicon Valley Vibes!

  • Elon Musk Line: Car mover underground in Hollywood!
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  • Would you allow Siri to drive you around?
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  • Google Ventures : the hidden gold mine? From curing death to scissoring and splicing genes?
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  • GS Warriors : Is Oakland ready to be part of High Tech bubble?
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  • Did Ford Make a big mistake by changing their tradional CEO?
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  • Killing Uber Management: Is it a Mistake which will burst the bubble?

FANG News:

  • What ever happened to House of Cards: Its not even 7 seasons
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  • Mother of all AI? Lets Fix SIRI before leaping too high!
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  • Under steady Republican policies - will American Advertising spend go down?
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  • If Waymo is $70 Billion should Uber be $200B?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Amazon and the Drone Saga!

Looks like its that time of time year! Another gadget from Amazon - a sequel this time!

The good thing to waste talents and money - atleast put Top Gear celebrity Jeremey Clarkson to work!

watching the video getting so much of media attention - both prints and tubes- I was wondering why Amazon is getting the coverage for Drone?

there are so many manufacturer making these from toy versions to combat versions...shouldn't they be hogging the minds of the reporters and not the silly video from J Clarkson and Amazon?

WSJ and Barrons Under Murdoch!

After following the news daily on WSJ and Barrons for ..who knows how long....with the digital age stuck to the online versions for several years now.

Barrons has undergone a massive shift in what it does- Almost every article is predictive or critical article. Very targeted assessment that can be followed and measured! Very few articles that do not either recommend buying or selling! More of a stock pickers magazine!

With Wall Street Journal- Online Home page mainly covers Political and Policy specific news with a few breaking corporate news! Not really worth looking at it every few minutes.

suddenly decided to start buying the print version- there was a pleasant surprise- a whole lot different than I was used to pre- Murdoch days!

From week days to Week-end editions a lot of articles that are interesting to read. Looks more like a toned down version of Financial Times - but for the American Demographics.

Its been a few weeks and I am still reading cover to cover on the weekender!

Is it Wall Street Worthy to make decisions? Only time will tell-

but it certainly is worth the weight- don't know if the bloated pricing is worth the reading!


Black Monday?

From Black Thanks Giving to Semi Cyber Friday to Black Monday?

Shops and Webs are enticing Thanks Giving Thursday to beat the retail madness. Mr Lundgren on everyone watching the Macy's Parade and everything else Tube Teli or otherwise - still managed to shop - as even Target hit the circuits with their massive rebates on iEverything!

With the Monday looming - Thursday being the teaser day to anticipate what to check out on Friday.....and Finally look for Monday to fill in the shopping cart? As both the retailers and consumers pushing for the ultimate Monday?

Eventually Friday could move to Monday making it the Black Cyber Monday??


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Is QCOM undervalued?

Living in a world where we sell over a billion mobile phones a year and we are look down on one company which has been the pioneer for this explosive growth!

It will be a huge mistake to side line the brains and technology of Qualcomm- especially everything commerce , communication and computing is moving to mobile at an accelerated pace.

If the stock continues to under perform - the management can do several things to prop up....including break up of the entity!

At current vale the stck could easily double in 24 months!


Warren Buffet: IBM, WalMart, American Express,Coke, Etc

It appears that Mr Buffet is losing his touch! Leaving it to the nay Sayers and the media to jump the gun quickly!

2016 Seems to be a bad turn for Mr Buffets portfolio- even trailing the indexes for only the second time ever!

Then again if we actually pay attention to Mr Buffet's criteria for Portfolio selection - as he repeatedly says - he likes his pick to go down so that he can buy some more!

The magic to his build up is Dividend and visibility to the cash flow for years at a time! Looking at all these stocks that have fallen off the cliff- all of them continue to keep paying heavy dividends and have a whole lot of room to continue for the foreseeable future- even have plenty of headroom to increase year after year.

So if its good for Mr Buffet for these stocks to go down - creating an opportunity...it is good for investors who have seen Mr Buffet being opportunistic time and time again for over 3 decades!

So what are you waiting for Load them up - IBM, WMT, KO, AXP!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Is Cloud bringing back High Margins?

From Microsoft to Adobe- as people embrace cloud as the only way to buy their products- and as customers both consumers and enterprises embrace devices with DVDs or CDs absent - a one time cost to buy is being slowly replaced by recurring payment!

People are used to video games and Netflix charging a monthly fee- now MS Office, Adobe and likes are slowly becoming a stable in the payment stack every month!

In the next few years- may be int he next up cycle- there may not be an option to buy anything digital paying one time- giving way to a profitable period for anything and everything software and services....and may be eventually even the hardware might reach that stage one day!

Age of YouTube: Gangnam Style - PSY, Ed Sheran and Now Adele

PSY - stormed the world with Gangnam Style! Very few understood the force behind the success! A sales and marketing effort using new media anchoring behind YouTube Power!

And then cam Ed Sheran - a possible One Hit wonder! Right story and background- rags to Wembley Phenom! Careful positioning and marketing - a mesmerizing and sexy video again anchoring behind YouTube!

And Now breaking all records - a good but not so great song shattering all records! 25! A carefully choreographed video with the right colors mixed in the romantic tangle- Again anchoring behind YouTube! 400 Million views ensuring an instant success and  with a name like Adele - became a blockbuster!

One thing that is emerging in the common theme is Democratizing the King Maker process.....no more Ed Sullivan needed to bubble to the top!

A managed and well crafted process distributed globally and championed with various social media enabling technologies and platforms - anchoring behind YouTube!

looking at all these one might wonder if YouTube is a bigger threat to cordcutting than NetFlix and Prime!

Nordstrom : Fading Brands and Pricing!

Once a year sale!

Cannot find anywhere else brands!

Impeccable behavior and excellent customer service!

And then that is history!

Handbags and Shoes- A staple at Nordstrom where the customers and margins kept flowing! Its not the fashionista but it is Nordstrom!

The other day walking inside a local Nordstrom- see quite a few brands in disarray and displayed at full price- Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Burberrys....just a few days to Thanksgiving - all these brands and the retails that anchor them from Macys to Bloomigdales and more are desperate to discount and clear the inventory! And yet Nordstrom does not budge!

in the past Nordstrom has been quick to correct itself with renewed  products to keep those customers happy- by being exclusive! it has been two  quarters and hopefully they will change soon!

If not - in this age of social media - it will be difficult to retain the customer base!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Rupert Murdoch: A Change of Heart?

It has happened in the past! From British Election to Obama.

In the case of British Election even a scandal broke out way after - on how a private visit by Mr Tony Blair to Mr Murdoch changed the fortune!

Looking at Fox trying hard to decide on who to choose within the Republican candidates - one thing is clear - they certainly don't want Mr Trump at the pole. From out right embarrassment to nudging in the back - they are hard on Mr Trump. Now even Hillary seems to be getting only soft lobs-

And seeing a softening from the Koch Brothers and coming out explicitly showing their openness to not so conservative ideas?

Is there a change in the air? Change of heart in trying to be more practical and jockeying for a position....making it easier for Clintons to roam the roads of Politics at will ....once again?

Seagate : Unusually Silent in this Merger Cycle!

with so much of noise and debt load going around in the old Technology world from SanDisk to Dell - the normally aggressive Seagate is not making a move! In the past cycles Seagate acted almost at the bottom of the cycle- does that mean we have more room to go or its just that every one is getting smarter?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Is WalMart looking the wrong side?

Its not the Website that is different with Amazon!

It is the Logistics and Transportation! inventory Management! Analytics! Dynamic Pricing and discounting!

Send from Point A to Point B! Not from a buyers perspective....but from a sellers perspective!

By aping Amazon in website and ignoring foot traffic based demographics WalMart does not lose to Amazon but just loses to some neighborhood shops!

Talking to a Food Court Franchise at a WalMart - it was interesting to note that their patrons spend an equal amount at the food court Super Sizing everything - as they do at the retail trip!

Hope WalMart ignores Amazon and starts focusing on its core clientele

Having said all these.....WalMart is a good buy at this price!
.


Time to trim Amazon?

At 3 Times projected sales- for a retail? Cloud? Logistics? Platform? Media? 4 PL? Market Place?

In a possible Bubble which is still in its Seventh Inning Stretch?

And Now that Bezos is on the wrong side of Elon Musk??

May be one can do what Bill Ackman did to spike his stake at VRX / Valeant to 9.9% with just a little over 5% of the capital needed?

That might be the prudent one to do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Influence the Media Plays!

E-Coli!

Chipotle - run and re-run! Hog the TVs with the news and pasting the faces of Wall street analysts downgrading CMG on this news.  down 10-15%

Costco - a small insert! No replays or re-runs nothing! Stock?? What stock?

Well done Media! Creating sensation out of a news is still in the hands of the media!

Microsoft Color and Amazon name play???

Alphabet- Google ....What's in a name?

what does Google offer? Search? entertainment? Maps and Location based services? Local delivery? Mortgage? Cars? Life ? Cloud? Broadband? ....everything under the earth? From A to Z as in Alphabet?

Well that's what Amazon Claims! Makes sense on the name change!

Why the color play like Microsoft? When you walk into Microsoft Campus the colors are every where from walls to seasonal trees and leaves!

I guess now we know that Google is going after Amazon and Microsoft! what else is hiding and going to surface soon?


HP or HPE? OOPS , She did it Again!

When they talk lack of talent in Silicon Valley - they should not talk about programmers- they should talk Management!

Unlike old Economy companies - the new Economy Enterprises have a tendency to grow on its own - till it stops! And then the management - both the board and the Leadership team have a way to stick to styles that lead them in destructive paths! High profile stories like IBM and Yahoo have hogged the media and prints- extending their life. And then there are more than a dozen in Valley that are imploding under the radar.

HP and HPE - its a shame that they couldn't even think of better names while splitting! Looking at it cant even tell which sells what! If you are doubting - try buying a PC on the web!

Ms Whitman seems to have fallen in that trap and taking the highway to destruction. 

Maybe IBM and Dell could leverage this mess!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chipotle and the Mexican Binge!

E-Coli is scary but its difficult to stay without the calorie loaded "almost all you can load" of whatchmacall that bowl!

People may scream and analysts and pundits might call Chipotle as unhealthy as it is overloading their food with calories- but what is missed in the analysis is - Chipotle does not put a gun to the head to load up the bowl- they are just giving the option to portion control at will!

So any downward pressure is only an opportunity!

How to Stop Inversions-

Maybe a couple of tweaks? Like

- Management has to become residents of country where HQ is located and
- Drug pricing will be based on global pricing not on USA


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Comcast and Xfinity: Rising Power in Technology?

From a not heard so much regional cable provider to heard quite a lot National Powerhouse!

But what is seldom missed in the noise is what Comcast has been silently building under the radar- A mega Technology Footprint addressing things like Mobility, Localization and segmentation of Ads, Broadband Net, Communication - and most of all a software footprint at the last mile. Can Xfinity1 and its OS take over the Living room control? Based on the fast penetration of Comcast footprint at the cable box, Wireless Router and the TV/DVR  Foot print , quite a lot of which  Apple , Alphabet and Amazon are still struggling and would love to get a hand on- it appears Wall Street is missing the Comcast Juggernaut and its powerful penetration which is well on its way of dominance!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Alphabet Soup!

With Wall Street Brain shaping Alphabet - wall street loves the new Google!
Is this sustainable? Of course it is - as long as the market continues to grind higher.

Is 400 Million views on MTV same as YouTube? or Facebook? Not from monetization and perception point of view. What is measurable and quantifiable? If we are in the Seventh Inning of the technology BURST ( the new terminology these days for Bubble) then we need to revisit this topic at the bottom of the ninth!




Nike Just Did it?

Nike's new shoes - made with knit technology and a different platform for its sole and heel- in the name of newness has commanded very high cost and low time to market with easy to implement custom design. With a reduced labor and outsourced costs - margins can sky rocket...which is evident in the past several quarter.

In addition to this new technology and price premium- the nacent technology is actually reducing the life of the shoes- as the wear and tear makes it useless in just a few months for running and workouts/walking styles- the traditional old models typically lasts a few years with change happening slowly! With these new models an individual buys more - both from quick wear and tear and also easy to modify and build upper layers- making a fashion statement at the bottom line! Not to mention the high cost Lulu lemon killers hogging the bottoms of almost everyone.

If the consumers continue to overlook these - the top line and bottom line at Nike will keep pushing high

The other day I saw a gentleman wearing what looked like a branded pants, shirts, a Rolex walking in the park - with a pair of Nike! May be the only product which crosses barriers of wealth!

Is IBM on the Mend?

Maybe an influential force is behind the H1 Visa initiative that is picking up steam! If this clears and is implemented IBM will be the major beneficiary. IBM with more than 150k programmers in India - even though it should be in the same boat as its competitors from India and be disadvantaged in moving its low cost work force to USA- it will  actually benefit as the windfall will help move all those businesses from Indian based IT shops to IBM. The wording in the implementation of the policies will exclude IBM and other American companies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Microsoft back in its old turf....Thanks to Cloud!

There was a time when you end up buying Microsoft Products whether ou needed them or not....thanks to creative pricing and bundling with PCs and Laptops!

Then as the life of PCs and the likes extended to several years....we were able to get away with older versions of Word, Excel, etc without having to dole out during every upgrade cycle. Microsoft started slipping in growth.

And then came the magic of cloud. Several years of tinkering and now they are back in the game of charging and over charging whether one needs them or not. As an example look at OFFICE on cloud. Before cloud you can buy a copy for a few installs for $100 and don't have to worry about paying....unless you really need the upgrade. Now with cloud you pay $100 every years....no options!

And that is just the beginning...Imagine the same thing happening with database? at various levels of implementation from individual versions to enterprise versions......that could be more than a chump change....and with Windows OS also going cloud update with no individual control......????

Given the lack of awareness on the implication of the cost of ownership with no competitive alternate to the Windows ecosystem.....Microsoft could be back in the growth cycle with or without PC growth accelerating.....mobile or no mobile!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bursting The Seams: Bubble 2,7

The Media and pundits have been screaming about the rally as a Mega Bubble - Are we in one? As we all know its OK to be in a bubble as long as we are out before it bursts.

the question is how do we know we are about to...???

we have our own markers and when we start to get comfortable with a few of the markers ....we know its time to change the directional bet or atleast take some decent protection.

01: FB at $250, AMZN $1000, GOOGL $1200
02: Weak Republican Establishment candidate steals the Presidency
03: Fortune 10 overcrowded with Techies: 8 or more with Exxon sliding down
04: Oxford Dictionary introduces BURST, FANG, Uberisaztion and similar words as they go mainstream
05: Business Insider, Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha - IPO bound
06: Oil at $10
07: Bill Gates break into F10 with net worth over $300B
08: Alphabet starts IPOs for consonants and vowels.....A,B,C...G...etc!
09: Netflix merges with Comcast or Time Warner
10: Warren Buffet Retires




Slowing to Smell....!

After going through several blogs I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to write about your day to day life!

Fascinating to see how creative people are and how so many people around the world are able to choose a variety of topic and pour their heart out and paint something so wonderful- full of life and color!

Need Humor! Need Depth and more than anything need perspective! I found it is easy to write about something substantial in which a person is well versed in. It made me think - I went around the last few days looking around and paying attention to everything from nature to relationships!

Now curiosity started posing a question - what is more important to writing? Chosing a topic or having the patience to research and articulate about the impressions that every day events brings to a person?

I thought I will try this every day! For 30 Days!

Impulsive and spontaneous
!

No research - just type as the feelings flow and as the words can portray! Thanks to the Blackberry - now I can try doing that the moment the urge happens without waiting!

As I was deciding on this I found myself in a shop - decided to pull my Blackberry and type what I saw around me...so begins my first piece.

PS. Since Blog has major restricitons on how many posting and what kind of flexibility one can have using the standard template I will try to find a work around using a couple of gadgets to display a couple of days posting at any given time till I figure out a way to display the history!

To avoid dilution of this site I have moved the experiment to another blog under

http://dailylifesigns.blogspot.com

The following is a sample on content with no photos- the Daily Life Signs posting will be more of a pictorial experience!






Walking around a woman's shop!

Looking at the colors in a woman's shop is like peeking into a kaleidoscope. However, one doesn't have to change to feel the vibrant mood.

Amazing styles and fascinating fashion! Trying to coordinate gives the several option that is needed to meet the day to day lifestyles of varying moods and differing ages.

Age appropriate colors! Shades for fading moods!

Bold red!

Sober red!

Flashy red!

Bland red!

Blood Red!

Romantic Red!

Decisions! Decisions! and Decisions!

Deciding the color at the time of shopping gives the option to choose and refine to the various rainbow moods that a person possibly can go through in a fast paced connected world!

Sizes and fits to match every form and need.

Having a choice helps in refinement!

And helps!

In Decisions! Decisions and Decisions!

Startup Wisdom!

May be there is a reason they want a Money Man to run the venture- but the following tip will save a buck or two! This will list a couple of grey hairs to keep!

  • Success is contageous- start it immediately!
  • Share the Vision but not Leadership!
  • Smart money is great - but Lucky Money is even better. Get some!
  • Being passionate is essential - but only after motivation to make money.
  • Establish the TRUE Pecking Order!
  • Let Sales be part of your core strategy- everything else can be bought!
  • If you havent done Selling START DOING IT NOW!

Building your 2nd Million!

Skip the first million and go straight to the second- as the first one is the most difficult one to bring home! The second one can be as tough as the first one but is never tougher than the first one! You can make money - working - investing in stocks/etc - real-estate - starting a business - others Choose your area of interest first as this will help you identify the opportunity and make you easily motivated to work on the 2nd million!

Not in any particular Order!

  • First lets know the facts: 1) Your work life is 40 something years (even at conservative estimate) so lets make sure we plan that Properly
  • 2) Lets identify opportunity to make money with out too much effort- living for Today is Good but lets not lose today's free money in the process like - benefits, tax breaks, sale,coupons,etc
  • 3) Lets not try to make ALL THE MONEY in the same way! Lets break the objective into smaller chunks and assign different ways to make them individually
  • 4) Put the 1st Million in Auto-pilot and set a 10 Years plus Time table
  • Convince yourself that you need the Money
  • Set a time line to achieve the goal.

Relationships - Learning to enjoy them!

Do we retain relationships? Expectations out of frienships vary from society to society & age group to age group. How long do we carry them? Some of them bring fond memories- and some not so pleasant! Here you can expect to see nuggets from my experiences and analysis!

Family & Friends: We spend less time with family than with friends- yet we feel more comfortable with family than friends- Why? Is it because we dont have expectations with family members but we have some on friends?

Allowing the other person to finish their train of thought builds a very long lasting relationship - as it makes you understand the other persons point of view fully & also to respond being aware making even an opposing point of view reasonable.


  • Cherry Pick your arguments - Left or Right Brained!
  • Make every encounter a transaction - this will make leaving baggages behind easy!
  • Qualify the type of relationship - however strange it might be
  • Chasing friendship is not always helpful as it leads to compromise.
  • Family circles - define it and accept it whether you like it or not!
  • Its ok to do different activities with different people!
Prof Dr Peik A Monie's Corner

  • if being number two is not enough go to a lower market
  • .
  • proceeds from a street dog dont bark
  • .
  • shooting the papparazi dont break cameras

DIGITAL IRIS - An inexcusable view of the photograpic world!

Let me see if I can add a few lines every week highlighting my 2 cents on photography- my experiences and desires

Things that make good photos -

- excellent and expensive set of lenses; in this digital era spend less on the body and keep investing in the high end lenses as the lenses will not lose value and the body is still under construction!

- accessories and the right tripod; never underestimate your advantage with a tripod

- plan & choose the subject and the location

- know your subject well!

- look and follow the calendars; simple things like a night with a Full moon- we dont realise that it does not happen every day - if you narrow it to the summer when the sky is still blue - I guess it becomes a couple of times a year- and if you factor n the location and your availability at that location and time...so Knowing the calendar and season helps for a good but not so common picture

- Take some luck with you!

  • Print and Enlarge Some Too
  • Delete Bad Pictures from Storage
  • Isolate Subject's color
  • Assess various profile
  • Add a subject to the frame
  • Take Nature after rain - they look better
  • Transparent Objects like flowers have creative effect with light behind them
  • If you want to enjoy the trip - leave the camera behind!
  • Define the subject for the shoot out trip
  • Take a survey trip before the real shoot out
  • Learn & Buy the Best Tripod
  • Always take a handy utility camera
  • Use Multiple exposure & shots in action oriented moments- this will help you pick the ideal snap - as even a fraction of a second makes a HUGE difference in photos.
  • Know your camers settings!
  • Understand Shutter Lag
  • Understand the camera shakes

AfterMarket Pulse- The boring Services Industry!

Keeping it inefficient is good for every one- A success story and why it will be restricted to a handful in the services Industry- A serious look at the Service Industry and my views on improving them. As a society we have accepted that everything breaks down and needs periodic maintenance. We are willing to pay both money and time to accomodate such services. What we have not done is define what is the service level that is needed for every such incident. From household appliances to industrial equipments we are forced to accept the cost and quality that the market offers. In such a sellers market room for mediocracy is enormous- giving way for opportunities. Yes predicatability is not always easy when it comes to failure or repair - or for that matter to identify what is wrong once the item is broke as it is not always possible to run the equipment ot see what is going wrong! And there are companies that can afford stupidity & those that cannot- if you want to change choose wisely!

  • Three steps: 1) Localize Failure 2) Response to Events 3) Time to Life
  • Inter-dependency at a higer level accelerates return
  • Resposiveness is rewarding - even if it is just to show on site of event!
  • Failure Prevention is difficult - yet possible
  • Know your Industry problems: Inventory, Turn time, Forecasting Failure, Estimating Cost, Finding Talent, Automation tools
  • Know your industry Practices- Swapping parts, using refurbished items, penalty
  • Define Quality of service
  • Attract talent - as service industry does not attract fresh talents
  • Innovote service packages

About Me

Seen me go through cycles driven by Age, Money, Deception, Affection, Success, Failure, Fear- etc. The current cycle puts me in a middle aged bucket with sculpted bitterness trying to tame it to embrace the sweet crime of success and affection.