Tag Archive: Mark Zuckerberg


It’s been all downward-to-the-right for the media since the days of Walter Cronkite.

Quick: Name the Big Three Network anchors?

Can’t do it? Join the club.

Oh have times changed.

In 1972, the revered anchor of the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite, was the most trusted man in America.

In 2017, do we trust Sean Hannity of Fox News to be “fair and balanced” with the news?

Do we trust Rachel Maddow of MSNBC to be objective?

Do we trust the latest political “comedian” on Comedy Central to be thoughtful?

Do we trust what we read on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook to be accurate?

Fair. Balanced. Objective. Thoughtful. Accurate. Those were all words that applied to Cronkite. Do they apply anymore?

As Almost DailyBrett mentioned before, the public gave the media a 72 percent approval rating in 1976 and only 32 percent in 2016.

Gallup’s surveys reflect a corresponding slide by Democrats, Independents and particularly Republicans in the past two decades.

In 1997, 64 percent of Democrats reported a great deal/fair amount of trust in the media. In 2016, that figure declined to 51 percent, a 13 percent drop.

For independents, the erosion in the last 20 years was 53 percent (just above the Mendoza Line) to 30 percent last year, a 23 percent decline.

For Republicans, 41 percent of GOP voters expressed a great deal/fair amount of trust in the media in 1997. That figure was 14 percent in 2016, a stunning 27 percent erosion in two decades.

In a match-up between CNN and Donald Trump, 89 percent of GOP voters expressed confidence in the president while only 9 percent sided with the number three cable news network.

Is there any plausible reason to optimistically hope these results will improve in the Trump era?

For CNN, it has now dropped to number three in a three-way race of major cable news outlets having been surpassed by liberal MSNBC for the number two slot behind No. 1 conservative Fox News.

Liberal? Liberal? Conservative?  What happened to honest brokers of information?

From Reporting to Interpreting?

Want to make a slow Friday night even slower? Watch “Washington Week in Review” on PBS in which reporters interview … reporters.

It used to be that reporters/correspondents covered the news. Now we are all entitled to their “interpretation.”

Remember what Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” said about opinions? Every reporter, editor, correspondent has one and you are privileged to hear what they have to say. Instead of covering the news makers, they see themselves as the real news.

Except … this Donald Trump character seems to get in the way, particularly with his nocturnal tweets.

Should university journalism schools abandon teaching the quaint notion of objectively informing the public that desperately wants straight news?

How about simply declaring the stakes are too high to be truly objective, and encourage future reporters/correspondents to openly display their partisan instincts and guide the public in affirming their own deeply held political philosophies?

And then journalists can write and broadcast about the deeply divided nation they helped foster.

Should journalism schools endeavor to generate more of the likes of Dan Rather and Brian Williams? Almost DailyBrett doesn’t need to regurgitate how the two elite former champions of CBS and NBC respectively brought lasting shame to the media.

What strategies should schools of journalism and communication adopt to restore professionalism to the profession? Surely the task is worthy, particularly bringing objectivity back into to the classroom discussion.

Is it time to inform the public once again?

Will we know that journalism has recovered when the next Walter Cronkite becomes the most trusted man/woman in America?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/07/13/daily-202-trump-is-the-disrupter-in-chief-in-an-age-of-disruption/5966a386e9b69b7071abcb23/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amid-turmoil-fox-news-holds-on-to-no-1-spot-as-msnbc-surges-1499601601

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31152849

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/anchors-bring-new-era-network-stability-article-1.1922051

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/

 

 

“A million dollars isn’t cool. Do you know what is cool? A billion dollars,” – Justin Timberlake playing the role of Napster founder Sean Parker in The Social Networkseanparker

There are problems in America, and much of those aren’t about the sharing economy. Income inequality is rising, and the middle class isn’t better off than they were a decade ago. We don’t need government investment, and we can provide a solution.” – Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder to USA Today

We all have a choice: We can either hate or we can celebrate.

We can resist change and inevitably fail or we can embrace the future.

There are very few that make it to the vaunted three comma club, those with 10 or even 11 figures as their cumulative assets. Nobody has made it to the 12-figure mark … yet.

There are oodles of millionaires, but reaching the billionaire or the three comma club as Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker ($2.6 billion) offered to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($33.4 billion) is quite a different story.

Some may try to dismiss the select membership of the three-comma club, contending the majority of the wealth was inherited and thus represents just another indicator of income inequality. This contention for the most part is not correct.

For the vast majority of billionaires, as opposed to mere millionaires or multi-millionaires, the difference lies with what Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen proclaims as “disruptive technologies.”

Under Christensen’s theory, existing corporations usually have the edge when it comes to sustaining innovations (e.g., one generation to the next generation; one model to the next model). When it comes to “disrupting innovation,” the advantage lies in the hands of new entrants/first movers into the marketplace. That is where we typically find new members of the three comma club.

Taking a gander at the Forbes annual list of billionaires, one finds Bill Gates in first place at $79.2 billion. Were Bill Gates and Paul Allen ($17.5 billion) game changers? The question almost seems silly. Microsoft became THE software side to the PC equation with its novel Windows operating system and its Word-PowerPoint-Excel business suite. Intel (e.g., Gordon Moore, $6.9 billion) provided the other half of the Wintel monopoly with its Pentium processors.windows10

Joining the celebrated three comma club is an incredibly difficult proposition. For the most part, it means the new member came up with a novel idea that changed not only the rules of the game, but society itself.

Jeff Bezos at $34.8 billion was the driver behind first-mover, digital-retailer Amazon, which transformed the way the world shopped with its long-tail strategy (e.g., 99 percent of all of Amazon’s inventory is sold at least once a year to at least one grateful consumer). Jack Ma of China’s Alibaba ($22.7 billion) is attempting to do the same as 400 million of the Middle Kingdoms’ population moves up into the middle class.

Mark Zuckerberg ($33.4 billion), the subject of the aforementioned The Social Network, invented Facebook in his Harvard Kirkland H-33 dorm room just 11 years/1.4 billion subscribers ago. Facebook has changed how we instantaneously transmit to friends and family the exciting (or not so exciting) developments in our daily lives.

Google co-founders and former Stanford students Larry Page ($29.7 billion) and Sergey Brin ($29.2 billion) pioneered the world’s dominant search engine, another first-mover victory, as well as the Android operating system for mobile devices.google1

Elon Musk (a mere $12 billion) is attempting to make climate change neutral electric cars a reality for the middle class with his publicly traded Tesla. And if that was not enough, his privately held SpaceX is delivering payloads into orbit for NASA.

Disruptive Technologies

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

It’s not the progress I mind, it’s the change I don’t like,” – Mark Twain

Are there those out of sheer jealously, who don’t like reading or hearing about billionaires? Yes indeed. Do some people rationalize these monetary gains as being ill-acquired? Yes again. And then there is the disruptive part of the equation.uber

There are those with mobile devices with time on their hands and cars that can be put to work. Hello Uber and its $50 billion in market valuation. And who is negatively impacted? The cab industry and their drivers, who would be well advised to be fairer and nicer to their riders.

And there are those with mobile devices with houses and rooms to rent, reaching out to those around the world, who just want to couch-surf. Hello Airbnb and its $25 billion in market valuation. And who is negatively impacted? The hotel and motel industry, which soon will be facing downward pressure on its pricing model as a result of expanding supply.Airbnb

For Uber, Airbnb and other privately held “unicorns” (i.e., Snapchat, Pinterest, Dropbox), they are forcing change onto those who do not want to change. The forces of inertia have powerful allies (e.g., New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman). These change agents need effective public relations, marketing and branding to help the on-demand economy to succeed and for society to advance.

Let the storming of the barricades continue.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/08/19/airbnb-ceo-brian-chesky-change-agents-company-targets-new-growth-opportunities/31888851/

http://fortune.com/brian-chesky-airbnb/

http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/3/#version:static

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/attacking-uber/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/war-on-wall-street/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Parker

http://www.claytonchristensen.com/key-concepts/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/in-search-of-another-suite-h33-kirkland-house/

 

 

 

 

“Steve Jobs was on the phone to the editor of Gizmodo, saying, ‘Give me my f…ing (iPhone 4) phone back…Our purpose is to get information out quickly according to our schedule, not according to his (Jobs’) schedule.” – Nick Denton, “Gawker Media” founder and owner.

iphone4

“If you guys (Winklevoss twins) were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.” – Mark Zuckerberg as played by Jesse Eisenberg in the “The Social Network.”

“I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And I saw the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.” – U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden to the SXSW Interactive Festival.

“Thou Shalt Not Steal. “ – From the 10 Commandments.

If someone broke into your house and stole your hard-earned cell phone, HDTV and precious jewelry with deep-sentimental value, what would be your reaction if certain segments of society actually cheered and applauded the perpetrator?

And would it be totally uncool, if you reported the theft to authorities and shared your suspicions about the culprit(s)?

Or would you just be expected to shake it off, grow a pair (as mumsy-in-law would say) and maybe attend a techy/music conference to cheer-and-hail the thief who stole your intellectual property? Would he now be your personal hero?

Maybe the issue is that certain people truly believe that intellectual property — especially IP researched, developed and safeguarded by government or corporate — doesn’t deserve protection at least in the eyes of those who detest and loathe the “military-industrial complex.” Besides they are way smarter than the rest of us anyway. Just ask them.

Watching the YouTube video and reading media reports of Snowden speaking from autocratic Russia with the U.S. Constitution as his backdrop to hundreds of cheering techies at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin, one is struck by the irony that Snowden is the ultimate “wanted” man as in wanted for espionage and outright theft of government property.

snowdenSXSW

And yet he is protected in Russia by Vladimir Putin. Yes, the very same Vladimir Putin who helped himself to Crimea. Oops…Almost forgot…Crimea voted overwhelmingly to “voluntarily” join Russia. Let’s see: Snowden steals from America; Putin defies America and many others as well. Got it?

Here is another irony: Steve Jobs is revered, particularly by those who never worked for him, as the greatest technology genius since Albert Einstein. But when the prototype of the iPhone 4 ended up in the hands of Gawker Media’s Gizmodo? Well that’s just tough, Steve. Sorry.

Is this IP-be-damned trend a natural outgrowth of Sean Parker and Napster when it came to music that was written, practiced and recorded, and then heisted, uploaded-to and downloaded-by hundreds of thousands at no cost? The members of Metallica didn’t think it was cool for thousands to pilfer their music, which they regard as their heavy-metal intellectual property.

And now there is even a political movement (die Piraten or the Pirates) in Germany, which basically contends that intellectual property, including the semiconductors, software, search engines, fiber-optic cables, PCs, wireless devices, satellites, which form the basis of the Internet are a basic no-cost human right. Forget about the literally billions that has been poured into governmental and corporate R&D, closing the “digital divide” takes precedence.

pirates

And those 10 Commandments that supposedly were handed down to Moses, including Thou Shalt Not Steal? Well, they are just so yesterday.

Working for a decade as the director of Corporate Public Relations for LSI Logic Corporation, I came to deeply appreciate the proprietary nature of the company’s library of silicon/software intellectual property building blocks (e.g., processors, memory, logic, I/O ports).

We built the first critical processors for Sony’s first two generations of the PlayStation. Without our intellectual property, which either had to be developed, acquired or licensed at great cost and effort, we would not have been in the game. As it turns out, the Sony PlayStation deal was one of the most celebrated design wins for American suppliers, right smack in the middle of a major trade dispute with Japan.

Our legal department constantly reminded us about the need to include the hard-earned ®, ™, and © icons. These are all forms of intellectual property protection, and draw their origins back to Medieval Venice. And today, they are the subject of breathtaking lawsuits and judgments, including Apple winning a $290 million patent infringement judgment against rival, Samsung. Steve Jobs was most likely smiling from heaven.

And speaking of heaven and hell. We were taught to simply don’t steal. And don’t smokescreen theft with deflection discussion of individual liberties and cloaking yourself in the U.S. Constitution. What belongs to you belongs to you. And what belongs to someone else belongs to someone else.

This concept seems so simple and straight forward. Right?

http://www.hark.com/clips/vjljkvbhwl-inventors-of-facebook-you-would-have-invented-facebook

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Network

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/10/tech/web/edward-snowden-sxsw/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Parker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_4S

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party_Germany

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/pr-advice-for-edward-snowden/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/definitions.jsp

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/11/21/jury-awards-apple-290-million-in-patent-dispute-with-samsung/3644555/

 

 

 

 

All social media sites are not created equal.

They are not monolithic. They are not one-size-fits-all.

Facebook gives you access to your “friends.”

LinkedIn provides you with “connections.”

In all due respect to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sandra “Lean In” Sandberg, which group of people – “friends” or “connections” — is going to be most beneficial in finding a job, building a network or running down business leads?

Wall Street, based on the performance of the two respective stocks, knows for certain the answer to this question. Are you still not convinced and/or “connected”?

“In my opinion…you would be serving the department best by working in public relations,” – San Francisco PD lieutenant.

“Opinions are like a..holes, everyone has one.” – Clint Eastwood as Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan in “The Dead Pool.”

resume

When it comes to writing a cover letter, preparing a curriculum vitae or using social media for a job-search campaign, everyone has opinions. Here are some of mine.

Some contend that hiring managers and recruiters don’t read cover letters. I couldn’t disagree more. Every job worth its salt deserves and requires a carefully crafted, targeted cover letter.

Some say that hiring letters should repeat everything in the resume. I respectfully disagree.

Think of it this way:

The cover letter is intended to entice the hiring manager/recruiter to read the resume.

The resume is intended to convince the powers that be to bring you in for an interview.

The interview leads to references being checked and a big fat HR packet being overnighted to your place of residence.

Some worship at the altar of the one-page resume. I opine that your resume should tell your story, tell it truthfully, tell it completely and most of all, tell it well. And in this digital age where everything is submitted online…who cares (besides the Flat Earth Society) whether a resume takes more than one page? I don’t.

Some are relatively agnostic about LinkedIn. I say it’s time to keep the digital faith.

Upscale six-figure employment search strategy website, The Ladders, surveyed 30 recruiters and found they spent only 6.25-second on the average resume. In particular, they check out a candidate’s name, current title and employer; previous title and company; previous position, start/end dates; current position start/end dates, and education.

There is no reason to question this empirical research. Everything else in our digital-information-overload society is being reduced to 20-second bites, six-second videos and 140-character tweets, so it just makes sense that recruiters are spending only 6.25-seconds on resumes. What that means is that resumes need to effectively tell your story and tell it quickly and concisely.

The same is true with cover letters. They need to fit within the borders of one computer screen because they need to be cut-and-pasted right into the email. Don’t ask for someone to click on a document unless you want to risk her or him tapping the delete key instead.

And let’s not forget that recruiters are pounding PC and tablet keys to access their social media outlet of choice, LinkedIn.

So what are strategies that one should adopt in preparing a LinkedIn profile page? Here are few of my humble suggestions:

linkedin_logo_11

● Sweat the details when it comes to your introductory JPEG mug shot. One immediate difference between a conventional resume and LinkedIn is the ability to incorporate a photo. A good photo is worth a thousand words. What kinds of words does your photo convey about you? What does your photo say about your professionalism, competency and ability to work well in a team?

● If a recruiter/hiring manager is only spending an average of 6.25 seconds with a resume, conceivably the same can be true with your LinkedIn profile…unless you make effective use LinkedIn’s plug-and-play tools. Begin with a profile statement that immediately outlines your raison d’etre, your strengths and immediate Return on Investment (ROI).

●Add your blog. Add your PowerPoints. Add your videos. Add your conference papers. Add your awards. Add your published work. Add your classroom work. Recruiters think of LinkedIn as one-stop shopping, so should you. http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinbrett

● One of the key differentiators between LinkedIn and a conventional resume is your digital profile goes so much further than a standard curriculum vitae. Besides the ability to incorporate your digital content, you can also use the social media to market your personal brand through the use of references. As opposed to the standard, “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of a resume, your LinkedIn page can include a dozen or more references sprinkled throughout the recap of your present and previous positions. Word-of-mouth advertising is without a doubt, the best advertising.

● The Boy Scout motto is simply, “Be Prepared.” Don’t wait for caca to happen to you when it comes to your career, even if you believe your job is secure. Your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing digital tool. You can change it anytime, 24/7/365. Don’t wait until you are surprisingly laid off or cashiered to start building your connections into a network. This is a process that should never end. Trust me, people notice if you have 500+ connections, and they want to know who has accepted your LinkedIn connection requests..

Think of it this way: Every connection is a friend. And just like dollars in my wallet, I want to have as many “friends” as I can.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/03/26/what-your-resume-is-up-against/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577293664148110928.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheryl_Sandberg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVlYMctb7Y4

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/linkedin-resume/

magnifying-glassWhat’s the difference between pubic relations and public relations?

How about the word “ass” as opposed to “as.”

One tiny little letter in each of these cases, but a ton of difference in context and of course, raised eyebrows.

Is it me and my friends went to the movies or my friends and I went to the movies? Hint “me” is always an object of a sentence. The “me and my friends” version I hear way too many times for comfort.

Some blog posts are harder to right than others.

Make that some blog posts are harder to WRITE than others.

As I finish the process of reviewing dozens of graduating senior public relations portfolios and grading final two-page executive memos, I am constantly reminded about the vital skill associated with the attention to detail.

If you want to succeed in public relations, marketing, investor relations, brand management, advertising, events planning etc., you must sweat the details. The client’s name must be spelled write…err right.

That’s an imperative.

The Microsoft spell checker is useful, but it fails to recognize when the wrong word is spelled correctly.

Trust me the client will clobber you for even one letter being out of place or not capitalized, particularly for a proper noun. The hosting service for Almost DailyBrett is WordPress, two words jammed together with the first letter of each, capitalized. Did you note that DailyBrett is not two distinct words, but two words married to each other and capitalized?

Nike is spelled NIKE. The same is true for NVIDIA. Facebook is not FaceBook. Do you want to misspell the company’s name for Mark Zuckerberg? Trust me even after a disastrous IPO, he still has the requisite amount of nanoseconds to note the misspelling.

Did you hear about the near miss of two planes in the air over DFW?

What is a “near miss?” It’s a collision with tons of flames and falling debris.

And yet that is NOT how we think about a “near miss.” Sometimes these wrong words sound right, and yet they are still wrong.

Ever hear about an untimely death? Sure you have, but when is a death ever, “timely”?

When I was toiling in the trenches for 10 years for LSI Logic, I was once asked by executive management why we wrote our news releases, advisories, contributed articles, briefing sheets in a particular fashion. I replied that we prepared them using AP style. That answer quickly ended the discussion. AP Style is the gold standard for Journalism, whether one is enamored with the wire service’s reporting or not.

Alas, I still have to repeatedly correct the use of over ten million dollars (three AP-style errors in just one little phrase) instead of the correct, more than $10 million.

Think of it this way: the horse jumped over the fence and five is more than four. If you remember this rule, you will never get it wrong.

Who is the subject, and whom is the object. (And you thought The Who was a classic rock band)

I could go on into infinity, but I will resist the temptation.

As educators in professional schools of great universities, we are preparing our students to succeed in a brutal job environment. Public relations and advertising agencies, corporate PR shops, non-profits, events planning firms are being besieged by graduating seniors seeking out jobs, internships and even informational interviews. These newly minted graduates are looking for any and all ways to earn any amount of legal tender.

Are these students writing tweet-style cover letters? Are they writing these letters directly to the hiring manager or to a machine that will swallow them up, never to be seen again? Are they starting these letters with, “To Whom It May Concern?” Please, no.

When it comes to their curriculum vitae (if you don’t know what the Latin stands for, look it up), are students listing their academic credentials first or their directly related work experience no matter how meager? Graduating seniors need to immediately transition themselves mentally to being professionals.

resume1

Do you (student) work well with people? Are you going to tell a hiring manager just that? Please don’t with sugar on top.

What is the Return on Investment (ROI) in she or he “works well with people” statement? Why would any employer spend precious SG&A dollars for someone who works well with people? What’s in it for the employer?

A student must differentiate herself or himself. Tell the perspective employer what you have done and what value you bring to the party.

Think of it this way: the tweet-style cover letter is used to quickly (about 4.3 seconds for recruiters…but who is counting?) entice the employer to read the resume.

The resume or curriculum vita (CV) is intended to secure an interview.

The interview leads to a job offer.

The job offers lead to an HR packet being overnighted to your domicile.

Even with that plan, you still have to be ready for an employment curve ball. What if you were asked to either submit a LinkedIn URL or a CV? Which one would you choose? Think of that choice as a one-and-zeroes binary code, social media trap.

And if you don’t have a LinkedIn URL, get one pronto.

And when you do, sweat the details of your Linkedin page…err LinkedIn page.

https://www.apstylebook.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/

“If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” – Too many authors claiming credit

For years, I dreamed of freedom of music…in particular unrepentant rock ‘n roll with the volume cranked.

nikeipod

Mumsy went to Julliard. I can’t find middle C.

She swoons to Mozart, Goodman, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Old Blue Eyes.

Give me Mick, Keith, Robert, Jimmy, Pete and Roger…loud. (How was music even possible before the invention of electricity?).

My childhood/adolescent home was not kind and accepting to What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin 2:2).

Now through the miracle of digital technology, all of these rockers now live within the friendly confines of my one-inch my iPod. I can play them as spirited as I want…at least for now.

Soon after the smoke died down at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, many become increasingly concerned about individual liberties.

Would the TSA strip-search granny? Was the Department of Justice looking over the list of our library books? Was the NSA eavesdropping on Arabic cell-phone conversations with Al-Qaeda? These concerns dovetailed with the presidency of one, George W. Bush.

Soon after a new president took office, the concern was redirected against private sector capitalists, including a particular chief executive, the one with a hoodie, Mark Zuckerberg.

Was Facebook, prepping for and executing the world’s first kicking-and-screaming IPO, profiting off our freely volunteered demographic information and thus violating our cherished privacy?

Recently, I have been reading about the latest health concern raised by New York’s “Republican” nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

bloomberg

Fresh off his enjoined campaign targeting sodas more than 16-ounces, Hizzoner is now taking aim at loud music via ear buds. No one else hears it, but still mayor-dearest wants to intrude. For now, he is focusing on a public service campaign warning us of the auditory dangers of iPods and MP3 players.

Deep down inside, you know he wants to regulate the volume of digital music players. Is there another way the Gotham Big Brother can save New Yorkers from themselves?

This all brings up a very basic question: When does regulating on behalf of the overall “public good” cross the line and become “tyranny?” Do we believe that “tyranny” is only the province of the U.S. security apparatus and multinational corporations? Or can tyranny be disguised as “public good” by those who occupy positions of power in our ever-expanding, taxing and regulating federal, state and local governments?

Lately, I have contemplated placing plastic supermarket bags and water bottles under my pillow. I used to take them for granted, but that is no longer the case. In a little more than six weeks, I will no longer have the liberty to carry my groceries out of a Eugene, Oregon supermarket in plastic bags, even though they are stronger and more efficient. Sniff…I am already starting to miss them because they have become symbols of a soon-to-be-lost individual freedom.

On May 1 (the same day the tanks and missiles were proudly displayed for decades under waving red banners in Moscow), the City of Eugene under party chairman…err…Mayor Kitty Piercy and her colleagues will celebrate a ban against plastic bags. We can buy renewable paper bags (the trees will give their all) from these very same stores for a nickel each, but that is not the purpose of this social-engineering exercise. Instead, this campaign is to “encourage” us to bring our own bags to the store.

What will happen to those who already proudly proclaim and pontificate far and wide about how special they are because they shop with their sustainable, renewable, organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, gluten-free hemp bags? Will they no longer be able to exalt their near-exclusive virtue? Will they smoke their bags instead, and demand that government decriminalize, regulate and tax them?

The most sinister threat on the horizon comes in the form of domestic drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs). You can already buy them on Amazon and the FAA is opening up US airspace under 400 feet for their use. UAV merchants see America’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies as potential customers. Mayor Bloomberg, the #17 ranked billionaire on the planet, could personally corner the market on domestic UAVs to make sure we are all being good. Mayor Piercy could have her own drones to make sure we are not even thinking about using plastic bags or bottles.

drones

National Geographic reported that news agencies are potential customers for UAVs for “scoping out public events and celebrity backyards.” Hmmm…Does that mean the National Enquirer will be a potential purchaser and user of UAVs? Don’t bet against it.

And what precisely is going on in those celebrity backyards?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17212455-2-loud-crew-bloomberg-targets-nyc-teens-who-blast-music-through-their-ear-buds

http://www.ydr.com/nation-world/ci_22731695/nyc-mayor-bloomberg-takes-aim-at-loud-headphones

http://news.msn.com/us/judge-invalidates-nycs-ban-on-large-sugary-drinks

http://news.msn.com/us/nyc-prepares-for-tuesdays-limit-on-size-of-sugary-drinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bloomberg

http://rgweb-c.registerguard.com/web/news/sevendays/29466805-57/bags-plastic-ban-eugene-bag.html.csp

http://www.eugene-or.gov/index.aspx?NID=2060

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/domestic-drones-hunt-gun-carriers-america-homeland/

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21571879-civil-libertarians-are-still-worried-heres-looking-you

http://news.msn.com/us/are-you-being-watched-the-future-of-domestic-drones

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/opinion/the-dawning-of-domestic-drones.html?_r=0

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=drone&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=4306923347&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=20224406211927834130&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_34tzkjlobk_b

(Almost DailyBrett Note: The following is the text of my Facebook message in which I had the privilege of spending $100 to send it directly into the inbox of Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Elliot Zuckerberg).

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:

Your company’s gracious offer, bestowing upon me (and other mere mortals) the privilege of spending $100 to send a Facebook message to your personal in-box, left me in a serious quandary.

On one hand for the same $100 I could conceivably purchase three shares of Facebook stock for $31.79 a share, leaving me with $4.63 to cover a Grande mocha with no whip cream from Starbucks. The obvious value for me would be three shares of your overhyped and underperforming stock, well below the $38 IPO price, in addition to 330 calories to my waist line.

Or I could spend the same amount with no guarantee that you would actually condescend to read my message, but maybe you will.

zuckerberg

This choice reminds me of Monte Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal” (e.g., a popular television game show that was way before your time). The three shares of NASDAQ: FB and one mocha would constitute the equivalent of a Volkswagen bug sitting on the stage. My $100 to send a message to you would be the equivalent of the “door.” There may be a brand new Lincoln Town Car behind that door or maybe a donkey.

Okay I will go against a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush admonition, and I will spend $100 to help FB’s top and bottom lines by sending a message directly to your inbox.

As other commentators have noted, one can send a similar message to the President of the United States or the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for free, but you (and your crack public relations pros) are deigning to permit the riff-raff to spend $100 (each time) to send a message that will actually pass under your hoodie shrouded eyeballs. I have never felt so special.

My first question: Can you give me an exclusive preview of your mysterious (“Come See What We’re Building”) software or hardware announcement this coming Tuesday? After all, I just paid you three figures…

Oh…You can’t do that. Something about selective disclosure of material information, which would get us both in trouble with the almighty Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Never mind. For your sake, I hope this announcement lives up to the hype.

Another question: Would you consider taking my $100 and heading down to Brooks Brothers (there is one in Santana Row in San Jose and another near Union Square in San Francisco) and actually dress the part of a CEO, particularly when you are trying to raise money from investors?

What’s that? You say that Steve Jobs was able to dazzle the world in a black turtleneck, so why shouldn’t you be able to do the same in a hoodie?

Can I submit to you that Steve had a long-standing track record of success at Apple (e.g., Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad) that slightly exceeds your success at Facebook?  Yes, I know how proud you are of Facebook’s market valuation of $68 billion. Can you even imagine how proud they are at Apple with a $489 billion market cap?

My point is that Steve Jobs earned the right to wear the turtleneck. I don’t see that you have earned a similar level of achievement to adopt the same cavalier attitude toward your stakeholders…that would include little ole me.

What really confounds me is that seemingly no one from your public relations team objected to the idea of charging Facebook subscribers $100 just to write to you. Let’s see your company reported $4.3 billion in annual revenues. Facebook recorded $714 million in net income. And you are personally worth in the neighborhood of $9.4 billion with a “b” and still you want to charge your customers $100 just to send you a line?

Facebook started with the cool idea of connecting people to their friends online. You have 1 billion subscribers or one-out-of-every-seven people on the frickin’ planet. Is it cool or arrogant to charge someone three figures just for the privilege of writing to you? I will leave that to you to decide.

P.S. My check is in the mail…

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100372793

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/the-cost-of-contacting-mark-zuckerberg-steve-jobs-14966751

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025158/facebook-lets-some-people-email-mark-zuckerberg-for-100.html

http://tvgrapevine.com/articles.html/_/misc/media/facebook-stunned-and-amazed-by-mark-zuckerberg-r2380

http://www.itechpost.com/articles/4910/20130112/facebook-charging-100-send-message-mark-zuckerberg-here-official-clarification.htm

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000140473&play=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg

http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/FB

Suppose an industry staged an annual forecast and awards dinner (e.g., SIA on November 29), and virtually no one gave a particle?

Considering that I worked directly for the Semiconductor Industry Association for two years, and later for a company run by one of its founders for a decade, it is difficult for me to say this, but I must: Semiconductors are now (and maybe forever) a taken-for-granted commodity.

sleepingaudience1

Would you like some salsa with your chips?

Yes, they power every digital and the remaining analog gadget under the sun just like ground beef, chicken or carnitas are essential for making tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Everyone knows this.

So what else is new?

The semiconductor industry is going to be flat this year at $300 billion. It seems like the industry is always at $300 billion. I wrote a speech in 1996 projecting a $300 billion industry in 2000 or 12 years ago for those of you scoring at home.

One company, Wal-Mart alone at $464 billion in revenues (and growing) is larger than the entire chip industry. This is not news.

Earlier this month, the stately Economist published a cover piece “The Survival of the biggest; The internet’s warring giants” about Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google with peripheral mention of Microsoft.

What happened to Intel, let alone AMD?  They didn’t even make the cutting-room floor.

What happened to the wonders of (Gordon) Moore’s Law (intellectual property content doubling on the same-sized piece of silicon real estate every 18-24 months)? Anyone want to hear that story for the umpthteen time?

What happened to the epic tales of the fight against the evil predatory-pricing, two-headed monster in the form of Japan’s “Business is War” government/industry?

All these stories are now contained in a coffee table book coming to a deep-discount rack near you.

The “Mass Intelligence” Economist references the great technology fights of yesteryear: IBM and Apple in the 1980s in PCs, and Microsoft and Netscape in the 1990s in web browsing. The U.K. popular “newspaper” displays a map, vaguely similar to England, Normandy, Bavaria, Prussia und Dänemark.

England is the “Empire of Microsofts.” Normandy is “Appleachia.” Bavaria is “Google Earth.” Prussia is “Fortress Facebook.”  Dänemark is “Amazonia.” There are small islands occupied by RIMM (Research in Motion) and Nokia, and a nest dedicated for microblogging, “Eyrie of Twitter.” The lowly chip is nowhere to be seen on this map or in the expansive article. Intel is not even afforded a shrinking iceberg.

Some may want to dismiss my musings contending that I am only focusing on one article in one magazine, albeit an incredibly influential publication. They will say the article can be seen as a mere anecdote. These critics could be correct. However, in this case I humbly opine the anecdote represents a trend. For the metaphor types: It is the sick canary inside the mine.

Certainly, there are 250,000 Americans employed in semiconductor innovation and (some) manufacturing. With all due respect to the engineering types in particular, they are mere role players. They are throwing the screens and opening up holes in the line for the superstars: Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google.

The chip is essential, but so is the sun. They are everywhere. The sun is there. What is commanding attention are mobile platforms and the software that makes them do what they do. Algorithms über alles!

algorithms

Rarely did a day go by in the 1990s and the post-Bubble era when the San Jose Mercury, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times (not suggesting equivalency of influence) would write another gushing, fawning piece about “The Chip Giant,” Intel. No one could accuse the media of shorting the stock.

Today, Intel is trading at $20.52 with a market cap of $101 billion. Ten years ago on this date, the company’s stock traded at $17.58…sounds like a good stock to avoid. Even with all angst, Sturm und Drang about Facebook’s IPO FUBAR, the company still commands a $28.24 stock price and $60 billion in market capitalization. All things considered, this is not bad for a company publicly traded only since May 18 and which was founded in a Harvard dorm room less than one decade ago. If only Intel could grow this fast.

Don McLean in American Pie asked: If the music would ever play again? For the chip industry, the band could start playing if the industry starts growing again; if it comes up with a new way of making chips (e.g., nanotechnology); if it spearheads a new revolution. Incremental changes won’t cut it. And staying stuck in neutral at $300 billion will elicit the same yawns but only 10 years down the road.

Silicon Valley is called “Silicon Valley” for a particular reason that was germane decades ago. Let’s just hope no one seriously suggests changing the name to “Algorithm Valley.”

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4374705/SIA-expects-flat-chip-sales-in-2012-

http://data.cnbc.com/quotes/WMT

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21567355-concern-about-clout-internet-giants-growing-antitrust-watchdogs-should-tread

http://www.economist.com/news/21567361-google-apple-facebook-and-amazon-are-each-others-throats-all-sorts-ways-another-game

http://www.sia-online.org/events/2012/11/29/public-event/35th-annual-sia-award-dinner/

http://www.lyrics007.com/Don%20McLean%20Lyrics/American%20Pie%20Lyrics.html

One team is winning and the other is losing.

The respective IPO dates of two rival social media platforms are only separated by one year and one day, but the reception by Wall Street investors could not have been more different.

As a result I completely unfriended Facebook today, selling my remaining shares of “FB,” while maintaining and considering adding to my position in LinkedIn. The LinkedIn connection has been slightly lucrative, thank you very much.

According to the Wall Street analysts, the heavy sell off in Facebook is attributable to the company not presenting a convincing argument during Thursday’s conference call on how it well monetize mobile platforms. Closer to the heart of the matter: Facebook is not providing guidance to investors going forward, making it difficult for buy-and-sell side analysts to build their financial models.

From this humble perspective, it seems something more basic is coming into play: Schadenfreude.

There are a growing number of people, who resent Mark Zuckerberg, his hoodie, the “Social Network” and his billions. Can we simply chalk it all up to old-fashioned jealousy of those who achieve? As the leader of the free world recently said, “You didn’t build that.” Au contraire.

zuckerberghoodie

As many of us know, it all started in Harvard’s Suite H-33, Kirkland House (Isn’t Harvard private? Do the public roads leading up to the campus negate all student and faculty accomplishments?). Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur with a dream that succeeded beyond his fondest dreams as 900 million subscribe to Facebook. And with this success came private equity, in fact too much private equity. Zuckerberg was essentially forced by SEC rules to go public. It may have been the world’s first kicking-and-screaming IPO.

During the investor tour leading up to Facebook’s May 18 (NASDAQ: FB) public offering, there were complaints that Zuckerberg sported his trademark hoodie rather than standard-issue Brooks Brothers suit with the Thomas Pink shirt and cuff links. Has this man no decency?

And just yesterday Maria Bartiromo and the other talking heads on CNBC were conjecturing whether Zuckerberg would even show up for his company’s first-ever investor conference call. Maybe analyst calls are not cool enough for the 29-year-old founder and chief executive of the world’s largest social media platform. Zuckerberg showed up, but the stock still closed today at $23.70, miles below its $38 IPO price. One analyst has set an 18-month $40 price target. I will hold off in placing an order.

Contrast the disastrous performance of the Facebook IPO with a similar public offering a year earlier by LinkedIn. The latter came with virtually no investor frenzy, but the results are impressive.

LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) went public on May 19, 2011, debuting at $45, quickly jumping to $85 and closing today at $103.42. Not bad.

One key differentiator between LinkedIn and Facebook is the former is targeted almost exclusively toward business. Need to find a job? Open and populate a LinkedIn profile. Be sure to include the details of your resume (curriculum vitae), your academic background, your recommendations, your PowerPoints, your blog and even your mug shot. This URL is one-stop shopping for recruiters.

linkedin

Want to research a recruiter, a hiring manager, a business partner, a customer, just simply head to the LinkedIn search engine. In a few key strokes, you know where she or he went to college; how long she or he has held the present position and where she or he has been before. This site is a great way to do your homework and to be prepared.

Another key differentiator is your “connections,” their connections and the connections of their connections. Who do you know? How important are your connections? What do your connections say about your readiness for a job, particularly a rain-making position that benefits from a deep roll-a-dex?

Almost DailyBrett opines that “connections” are more important in the eyes of Wall Street than “friends” and “likes.” Sure, Zuckerberg has access to the living patterns of almost one-seventh of the planet and $50 billion in market capitalization. LinkedIn only has a mere 161 million subscribers and only $10 billion in market cap…and yet Wall Street better understands the LinkedIn business model. Facebook in contrast offers friends and FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt).

Most of all there is no uncertainty whether LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman will participate in his company’s conference calls. Thumbs up.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/does-wall-street-hate-facebook-192938528.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577551344018773450.html

Is all the fuss about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “hoodie” much ado about nothing or does it represent the latest culture clash between those living in God’s time zone and those residing west of the Hudson River…in particular the left coast?

zuckerberghoodie

The tissue rejection between those who actually create value by means of real innovation on the West Coast (e.g., Silicon Valley) and those who basically generate nothing but throw their money around on the east coast is not new.

Yes, Zuckerberg is originally an East Coast creature (Exeter Academy in N.H. and Kirkland House, H-33 at Harvard), but his social media company is located on the west side of Silicon Valley, not the upper west side. Zuckerberg is definitely seen as left coast…particularly to the investment banker types dreaming of their summer holidays in the Hamptons.

And yet those on both sides of the great divide with the forgotten flyover states in-between definitely need each other whether they are prepared to admit it or not. There were the days when the Silicon Valley types could virtually ignore New York unless and until they decided to take their enterprises public. And who needed Washington, D.C., which was seen as more trouble than it was worth.

That all ended when Japan Inc. decided to wage a different war against America, not with carrier-based Mitsubishi dive bombers, but instead with predatory pricing (e.g., dumping). First, the American color TV industry bit the dust. And then the US chip industry was in Japan’s crosshairs.

Silicon Valley needed to be introduced to Washington, D.C. in a big way. With the assistance of the denizens within the Beltway, the Japan threat eased and eventually evaporated in a recessionary spin. Silicon Valley lived on, but the clash of West Coast and East Coast cultures continued.

It was that region with Stanford University on the west and Cal Berkeley to the east that gave the world, “casual Friday.” And with it came the angst associated with what exactly do you wear on a casual Friday. It was simply lame to get it wrong. To many in the east, did it mean not wearing the Hermes’ tie to work or maybe ditching the pinstripe vest?

Steve Jobs was the next incarnation of Silicon Valley’s total disdain for the Brooks Brothers types in the East. He wore Issey Miyate black turtlenecks and jeans. He eschewed the podium, pinned on the lavaliere mike and held a conversation with Apple’s enthralled Kool-Aid drinkers with PowerPoint presentations serving as his teleprompter.

jobswithipad

And now there is 28-year-old Zuckerberg with his hoodie. Horrors, he wore it to meetings with investment bankers as Facebook management was making the rounds in advance of the company’s March 18 IPO. Who is this guy to wear a hoodie? Is he taunting the monied interests? Does he show no respect?

The questions that come to mind are whether Zuckerberg doesn’t get it or do the investment bankers not get it? Is one right and one wrong, and if so which one?

On one hand Zuckerberg et al. are seeking capital to compete against Google and whatever competitors arise over the years. On the other hand, Zuckerberg controls 55 percent of Facebook stock. This is his company. And maybe, just maybe, it is the buttoned-up investment bankers that need to lighten up and get with the program.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) wants to be cool and took a substantial risk to its coolness by joining the more than 5,000 companies that are listed on either the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Now his firm has to file quarterly earnings reports, issue annual reports and even hold shareholder meetings. Are these cool?

Maybe in the end analysis the hoodie projects an image, even if it doesn’t meet the approval of the fashion snobs. Many post-market pundits seem to be engaged in Schadenfreude, snickering that the actual Facebook launch (garnered $104 billion in market capitalization in the face of a down market) was less than stellar. And yet the NASDAQ computers were tied up for hours trying to process all the buy orders for Facebook. Seems like a contraction, doesn’t it?

Or as Yogi Berra said about why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s in St. Louis: “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304371504577406142515388550.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/beyond-hoodie-zuckerberg-post-ipo-172345560.html

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/why-is-everyone-focused-on-zuckerbergs-hoodie/

http://gawker.com/5848754

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/historic-facebook-debut-falls-flat-005334494.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogi_Berra

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