Skip to main content

Et Tu Facebook?

As of today, and assuming you haven’t already given enough of your life to the social networking juggernaut, you can double down with a share or two of Facebook’s common stock.  Now I’m not a licensed investment advisor so I can’t tell YOU what to do. But I will tell you what I’M going to do.

One word: FLEE.

Listening to CNBC while driving to an appointment yesterday, I heard a commentator rave about this “historic investment opportunity,” saying something like:

“Even at this valuation level, Facebook’s stock is cheap.  With that huge behavioral database, they'll find a way to monetize their 900 million users...”
Notice the choice of language.  It's not “They've FOUND a way..."  It's "They'll FIND a way..."  In the future.  Someday.  Hopefully.

But the future's a tricky thing.  All along, I’ve assumed the right sequence of events is this:
  1. Find a way to make money (i.e. a business model.)
  2. Make money (i.e. prove that your business model actually works.)
  3. Go public.
  4. Get rich.
Apparently I’ve been misinformed, and the correct sequence actually is:
  1. Go public.
  2. Get rich.
  3. Find a way to make money.
  4. (Optional) Make money.
Sounds eerily like the first dot-com bubble back in the 1990’s, when it was all about eyeballs and hits, and investment bankers tossed bushels of cash at every twerp entrepreneur who correctly (if accidently) spelled ‘www,' assuming that, somehow, somewhere, eyeballs would magically turn into earnings.

We all know how well that turned out, yet here they are again, telling us that a good story and hope matter more than bottom line results.



Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…