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The Looney News – Aug 19, 2016
Aug 19th, 2016 by LOONEYEXECUTIVE

A few fun and interesting, though not necessarily “breaking”, news items from the business headlines

 

 

VW And The Price of Cheating

$15 Bil. That’s the amount of the settlement that Volkswagen agreed to with the U.S. government for “intentionally” cheating on emissions tests for its vehicles. I’m not clear how someone could “unintentionally” cheat. But apparently it is possible.

 

 

 

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Gawker Sells For $135 Mil

After being slammed to the mat and held to a three count by Hulk Hogan via a court decision, the online gossip site was sold for $135 Mil. Hogan’s favorable court decision of $140 Mil pushed Gawker to file bankruptcy. Yes – you can buy a company out of bankruptcy.

 

 

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A True Dog of A Tale

A couple of twenty something dudes. The U.S. government. A $300 Mil contract. Guns. Plenty of marijuana. It’s real life script tailor-made for the cinema. Need I say more. Sometimes the movie practically itself. Read on my friends. Read on. Oh yea, the movie is called “War Dogs”.

 

 

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$72 Mil to Leave Your Job

It’s not fun to get fired. I know. I’ve been there. However, as firings go, stuffing $72 Mil dollars into a duffel bag as you exit is slightly better than simply a swift steel-toed boot to the rear. As this article shows, the Shakespearean drama/tragedy known as Viacom seems near an end with current CEO Philippe Dauman headed to the unemployment line. If you see Mr. Dauman standing along the road with a tin cup and home-made sign, please toss him a couple of dollars to buy supper.

 

 

 

Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via  The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?

 

If you dare, I can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com

 

 

The Looney News: Thursday Aug 4, 2016
Aug 4th, 2016 by LOONEYEXECUTIVE

A few fun and interesting, though not necessarily “breaking”, items from the business headlines

 

The Telephone Eats The Internet

Another one bites the dust!

Another Internet 1.0 pioneer has bitten the dust, at least in a sense. After years of buyout and merger rumors, Yahoo has finally been acquired by telephone company Verizon – itself a product of a series of mergers. It seems Verizon has embarked on a multi-course meal with plans to combine Yahoo with another recent meal – AOL. Here’s hoping that Verizon doesn’t get a case of severe indigestion from these two declining Internet dishes.

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The Yahoo Timeline

Launched in 1994, Yahoo was a mega-hit for a few years. This timeline shows an interesting history, including the deal that made Mark Cuban rich!

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Whatever Happened To The Internet Brands From the Web 1.0 Era?

Remember Altavista, Compuserve, and Netscape? A look at this list brings back so many memories. Ah, the good old days of Internet 1.0!

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Palace Intrigue … Redstone vs Redstone

There’s nothing more exciting than a good ole knock-down drag-out corporate battle. This tale of palace intrigue includes so many interesting items – a 90-something year old media mogul that refuses to relinquish power at Viacom; The mogul’s daughter making moves to assert her own power over the empire; A Viacom chief executive fighting back against the mogul AND the daughter; At least one much younger former mogul girlfriend that wants her piece of the pie … Whew!

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Man Claims iPhone Invention … in 1992

Will Apple have to fork over billions for infringing on an existing iPhone patent? Maybe. Maybe not. One word of advice though: If you want to secure a patent … always pay your patent fees!

 

 

Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via  The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?

 

If you dare, I can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com

 

P.S.  I’m actively recruiting test contestants for my business game show experiment. Interested? Please contact me so I can add you to the player pool!

 

The Lucrative VC Game!
Oct 29th, 2014 by LOONEYEXECUTIVE

Looney thoughts, perspectives, and insights on the world of business!

– By Blake Glenn

 

According to a recent post on the Harvard Business Review blog, large fund venture capitalists are acting, and being paid, like asset managers instead of the aggressive, risk-taking, swashbuckling cowboys (or is it pirates?) their image purports.

Apparently asset managers typically get the bulk of their fee based on the size of the funds they manage rather than the actual performance of the assets. And VCs are being paid in much the same manner according to the Harvard Business Review. Rather than the bulk of their compensation being tied to the performance of their funds, their typical 2% asset management fee compensates them PDM (pretty damned well).

For clarity, the usual VC model is to realize about 20% of the “cash out” of any startup in its portfolio. The remaining 80% goes to the limited partners that provided the investment money. But in the last several years, many VC funds have had few cash outs.

Of course the current model really works best if the fund is big … Big … BIG!

For instance, here are the compensation numbers at a 2% management fee structure for 3 VC fund sizes:

 

  • $10,000,000 @ 2% = $200,000
  • $100,000,000 @ 2% = $2,000,000
  • $1,000,000,000 @ 2% = $20,000,000

 

So the larger the fund, the sweeter the fee. And the institutions (pension funds, college endowments, foundations … etc.), aka limited partners, that provide the money for VCs to build their funds, can be locked in for 10 years.

To compound this problem according to the post, the VC return the last 15 years hasn’t exceeded the typical stock market averages by enough to justify the investment by limited partners into these very large funds.

And as if that’s not enough to raise the big ole red flag, most of these VCs apparently only put in about 1% of their own money into any of their funds. And, if this post is accurate, that 1% is usually the money they get from the fund management fee itself, not from their own personal funds. So as this structure stands, VCs have little to none of their own skin in the game.

When you combine the under-performance issue with the 10 year fund commitment and minimal VC “skin in the game”, the potential fallout could be a nuclear winter that sees institutions shifting their money out of VC funds for better opportunities elsewhere. Combine that with the rise of crowd funding and we could see a major long-term change in the VC industry.

One final ironic twist about the VC game. The Harvard Business Review post points out that, in terms of economic structure, the VC industry has been severely lacking in disruption. You know. Disruption. The go-to word investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone else with access to the business news loves to throw around at industry gatherings, cocktail parties, and weddings. Even invoking that word at funerals has been known to lighten the mood, set eyes a glow, and bring back the formerly deceased to pitch an idea right on the spot.

When’s the last time an investor asked you:

“How much skin do you have in the game?”

or,

“How are you disrupting your target industry?”

 

The next time you’re asked those questions you can simply say:

“Our goal is to minimize my own money at risk, let the suckers worry about disruption, and make lots of dough with other people’s money. Now how about we get you signed you for $25,000,000 this round? This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will not last very long!”

 

Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive  blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via  The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?).

 If you dare, he can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com

 

 —————————————————————————————————————-

P.S. – If you’re really interested in growing the tech startup scene in SW Ohio, you’ll want to join the IgniteTech Meetup Group.  Join the group. Come out to our events. Bring your energy and ideas. Build your connections.

Join us on this adventure. And help us to create a great story!

 

 

Daddy’s Home!
Sep 25th, 2014 by LOONEYEXECUTIVE

 

Looney thoughts, perspectives, and insights on the world of business!

— By Blake Glenn

 

Back in the olden days of business it used to be that the hard-drivin’, hard-drinkin’, chain-smoking executive busted his derriere (and in the olden days it was almost always a male) to move the company forward. He had to maximize profits, increase the stock price, and satisfy investors. He not only leaned in, he willingly dived in … head first!

Yep. These old-school ladder climbers routinely worked 60-hour plus weeks, including weekends. They missed anniversaries. They missed school plays. They missed birthdays. They missed youth sports. They missed weddings … and holidays … and all other sorts. And because of it they many times suffered spousal separations and divorces, child estrangement, and high stress levels.

Man On Journey

 

 

 

 

 

But it was worth it. There were spoils galore to be had. And what spoils they were. You see, in return for a few, uh, small sacrifices, these hard-grizzled men gained wealth and status and occasional fame. They gained magazine covers and conference key notes and notoriety as big-time players in the game. They leveled up in the business world!

And no one ever questioned how much time they spent with their families. It was just, well, understood that this was part of the deal.

  • But what if, say, a man decided to not go along with this anymore?
  • What if a man decided that his family WAS more important than his job?
  • What if a man’s time with the kids was a much richer gain than a magazine cover or additional wealth?

 

WAIT … WHA? … WHHAAAAT!

ARE YOU INSANE?

HOW DO YOU SPEAK SUCH BLASPHEMY?

WHY I’LL … I’LL REPORT YOU TO THE INTER-GALACTIC EXECUTIVE WORKAHOLIC ASSOCIATION FOR UTTERING SUCH BLABBER-TASTIC NON-SENSE!

Stop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok hold on now. Just hold your horses for a minute and hear me out.

This actually happened recently. In an August blog post, Max Schireson, former CEO at a tech startup called MongoDB, actually said no to any more “workaholic hard-climbing”. He cited reasons such as incessant travel, time away from kids, stress on his wife (and therefore probably his marriage … though he didn’t say this). And by the way, Max’s wife is no 1950’s Leave It To Beaver Mom. She’s a doctor and a college professor. AND she’s been carrying the child-rearing load to boot.

So Max has decided to “lean away” for a change. It sounds like he’ll still work. Just not in a position that requires too much family sacrifice. It will take a few years to see if this is a very public shot across the bow of the traditional male (and increasingly female) executive work ethic that signals a trend, or if it’s simply a temporary anomaly that will eventually fade into oblivion.

By the way, here’s an interview with Max a few weeks after the announcement. Max seems happy. Very happy. Most excellent for him and his family.

Home

 

 

 

 

In the meantime it’s back to work for me. You see I’m still the hard-chargin’, cigar-chompin’, over-achiever seeking my billionaire dollar pirate’s plunder in the game of business. I’ve been hittin’ it real hard non-stop. Let’s see what the clock says. Oh boy, I’ve been working a whole 15 minutes now. Whew. Where did the time go?

F*@k it.

I’m taking a nap!

 

Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive  blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via  The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?).

 If you dare, he can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com

—————————————————————————————————–

 

P.S. – If you’re really interested in growing the tech startup scene in SW Ohio, you’ll want to join the IgniteTech Meetup Group.  Join the group. Come out to our events. Bring your energy and ideas. Build your connections.

Join us on this adventure. And help us to create a great story!

 

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