Archive for November, 2006

Only 50 Million

November 20, 2006

I’ve been concerned for some time that real estate is in a bigger bubble cycle than web 2.0 internet.

So to wake up this morning and see that Sam Zell has sold out to Blackstone Group, in the largest single real estate transaction in history.  As in, 36 BILLION dollars worth.  The underlying point is that it’s not just any REIT, it’s Sam Zell, the master of acquisition and disposition timing. 

Fortunately, I think someone just offered him an absurd amount of money.  Another fortunate coincidence is that my current gig is looking for property accountants, acquisition analysts, and property managers, so send me a note if you’re an Equity Office employee looking for a new job.

But at the end of the day, you’ve got people drinking the Silicon Valley kool-aid with the following statements: 

Within a year or two, companies with fewer than 100 employees will have no need to buy anything from Redmond other than perhaps Windows XP Home; within five years, the same will go for firms with under 1,000 employees.

 There are 50 reasons why SMB companies will be the last to adopt online applications instead of good ol’ Microsoft Office.  Granted, Google will create a bit of marketing pressure that will result in a cheaper price for Office, but that will only do more for Microsoft market pentration.

And then these doozies:

…and no $50+ million opportunities remain for startups other than in “Social Networking,” …

…and have a maximum upside of $50 million.

Although some may be happy with $50 million paydays after a seed and A round, if you want a shot at making some real money, best to stay out of Google’s way.

When you can start a company for $600 (and $10 million worth the VC connections) and a lot of people are tired of being the fighter pilot doing the crop dusting, I’m pretty sure $50 million would get you off the couch.  If you start working now, you might even be able to get 2 of these only 50 million companies off the ground. 

So take the opposite approach, get in Google’s way, you’ll have to settle for $50 million.  If you’re thinking “only 50 million,” shut up and buy someone a turkey.


CEO Tips – New Employees

November 19, 2006

Inspired by the jelly being spread on everything a Yahoo!, here is the start of a series of CEO tips.

CEO Tip #1:  When a new employee starts working at the company you run, personally welcome them to the team the first day.  You can do it via phone, email, or even in person, just let them know they’re appreciated.  If you don’t have time, it’s probably because you don’t know who works for you and therefore can’t delegate to them.  The cycle is brutal.

Yahoo! Jelly

November 19, 2006

Yahoo! released a new product today called Yahoo! Jelly

The goal for the new Jelly product is to pick up where the Peanut Butter Manifesto left off, and make Yahoo! a really sticky place to work.  Yahoo! Jelly may possibly be renamed Yahoo! Jam after it slows down the company for a few years, or they may buy fruit spread start-up and run both products in competition.  Yahoo believes that once they’ve made a mediocre sandwich with the Peanut Butter and Jelly offerings, they’ll cut off the crust.  Google will release their own marginal product in beta in the Google Labs.

By the way, Yahoo! Peanut Butter is very similar to the Jerry Maguire manifesto, except the Jerry Maguire one was well written.  It’s so good, Scott Boras has it as the hold music on his phone at the office.

Update – Container Data Center

November 7, 2006

As an update to Container Data Center, I ran across a couple of good posts on the subject, including one from Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz.  You’ll recall Sun’s logo is on these fancy container data centers, which Schwartz mentions is probably not the best situation for something you’re trying to keep secret.

Toni Schneider picked up the larger size of the perfect illustration (I don’t think Sun has made 40+ of these magical data centers as the fake picture shows, unless those are just painted cargo containers). 

By the way, Toni is the CEO of, which runs blogs for lots of people.  Before that, he was CEO of Oddpost, which got bought by Yahoo because it was doing AJAX before it was called AJAX, and is now the foundation of Yahoo Mail Beta which Yahoo is really pushing.

I’m guessing Toni is more interesting than 40 of these fake container data centers with a logos on them.

Keep your Day Job

November 5, 2006

Met up with a marketing genius the other day and brought up the Sex and Cash Theory.

The name is a little dramatic for the concept, but the theory makes a strong case for accepting your dueling attention interests and keeping your day job.  The hypothesis is that if you stop being conflicted by your work for work (“cash”) and work for passion (“sex”), you’ll be more focused on both.  Of course, you could just call it the Work and Passion Theory, but that makes it sound like one of them isn’t any fun. 

If you think your work sucks because it’s not your passion, then keep your day job. 

If you think your passion should be your work, then empty your piggybank, and start building something or buy a company

If you can accept that both your work and your passion have a place in your life, you’ll be better at both.

The Big Picture

November 5, 2006

Sometimes the big picture is really a picture. Honest.

I’ve never heard a bad thing about Jason Santa Maria, now I know why:

When was the last time you met a X?:

I’m pretty sure crazy ideas come a little easier when this is the front door: