28 June 2008


In my job - and in my life - I've become increasingly obsessed with the human mind's attraction to simplified and/or universal models. And along the way I've become convinced that resisting this attraction provides the key to understanding.
all models are wrong, some are useful - George Box
I would actually rewrite this anecdote to read something slightly different. My new belief is that we should think of this as...

All models are wrong. All models are useful. Therefore the more models you have and use the more understanding you will have.

This applies to business. It applies to strategy. It applies to espresso and it applies to the technique for paddling outrigger canoes. Is it right? No... 'cause it's just another model. But as a "meta model" you could argue that it is "more right" than any single model.

23 June 2008

long predicted shift and change

So the writing's been on the wall for a long long time when it comes to traditional print publishing. And finally, it's all really hitting.
For newspapers, the news has swiftly gone from bad to worse. This year is taking shape as their worst on record, with a double-digit drop in advertising revenue, raising serious questions about the survival of some papers and the solvency of their parent companies. - NY Times
And where is the money flowing?
Internet-based advertising added $1B.


13 June 2008

The Biggest Loser

Everyone is acting as if the big loser of the whole Yahoo - Microsoft - Google fiasco is Yahoo (and Yahoo's shareholders of course). But let's be honest... how many people weren't already thinking of Yahoo as a walking corpse already? Yeah... the company is totally fucked now. But they've been pretty much fucked for at least the last 2 years.

Regardless... if you look at this from a wider perspective, then it looks the biggest loser in this whole thing is Microsoft.
And I'm not just talking about the hit they just took when it comes to search (where now Google will simply own the space).
Let's predict what will likely happen now for Microsoft. First... they're going to panic. Then... they're going to briefly try and figure out how to compete on Search Advertising (answer, they can't). Finally... they're going to make the decision that they simply cannot afford to lose on Display Advertising. And they're not going to be able to win that battle just on the back of Atlas. So what are they going to do? My money says they go after AOL.

There... I said it. Yup... Microsoft buys AOL.

And then we have the biggest Loser.
Microsoft saddled with AOL. An impossible acquisition to manage. Totally unrealistic expectations from the street. And all the while, Google is spending the enormous piles of cash they're making (now larger thanks to Yahoo). And they're spending the cash going after Microsoft's core businesses.

PS. I can't believe that for the second time in the last 12 months Google managed to not have to spend big bucks to get exactly what they want. First time - wireless spectrum. Now - Yahoo. Gotta hand it to them.