Amazon’s Cash

Posted: February 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Bezos is no idiot. In fact, I believe he’s masterful in his handling of Wall Street. You can play the ever-growing profit game, but unless you’re Apple, you will undoubtedly fall victim to the law of large numbers sooner or later. Then good luck recovering your stock from stagnation.

Or you can plow your profits back into initiatives that continue growth. And if you have the right type of business, which Amazon does, you can live off the cash flow. As a result, you don’t really need profits to operate, but few people realize this. So, again, they demand to see them from time to time.

And, again, Bezos is happy to show them from time to time. But it’s more for show than anything else. Yes, Amazon can turn a profit if it chooses to. And don’t you forget it! (At least for a few more quarters until you do once again.)

ParisLemon: Punxsutawney Jeff 

Profits aren’t necessary to operate but they’re ultimately why you’re in business. Is Bezo’s being a genius or arrogant? Do you let the cash flow determine how much money you invest into new initiatives or does the merit of the initiative drive what you invest in? 

The question you have to ask yourself when evaluating Amazon is are they investing in initiatives that continue their growth or could they have spent the money better else where?

Amazon has plenty of examples of flops

Amazon believes it can do it all. As much ink that has been spilled on Apple and their arrogance, Apple stays relatively focused and does not appear to think they could or should do it all. Apple sells phones, tablets and computers. They do a lot of other stuff but all of the other efforts are around making sure they sell a bunch of phones, tablets and computers. 

Apple invests in what they think will return a large bang for their buck. If they don’t see anything obvious to invest in that utilizes what they specialize in, they hoard the cash. Eventually they give it back to the shareholders or buy back their own shares

Amazon attempts to invest all the money they have back into initiatives that aren’t necessarily towards moving their main focus forward, which is “Sell a bunch of shit online”. They make hardware, they sell hosting services, they make original TV programming, they make games, yet none of these appear to have a measurable impact on the amount of goods they sell through the store, their cash cow.

I like that Amazon is investing in the future and thinking about the long-term versus appeasing Wall Street with short-term profits. I question how they are investing that money and the general lack of focus and specialization. 

Disclaimer – I own a couple of shares of $AMZN and do not currently plan to sell.


Playing with Stilly

Posted: May 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Playing with Stilly. #carbombs


Yahoo and Tumblr

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Here’s my wild speculation – Tumblr will not be a new cash cow for Yahoo within the next five years and David Karp will not enjoy working under his new overlords My original thoughts have changed, after writing this post out and researching the gaps, I’m now bullish on this acquisition and starting to drink the Marissa Kool-aid.

Tumblr is popular as fuck, no doubt about that. They have over 20 billion page views a month and have continued to grow.

Will this growth continue and can it be monetized effectively?

Growth is anyones guess but the numbers are promising.

Eyeballs are eyeballs and despite what some want to believe you can always make money if you have enough eyeballs. Rumor has it that Tumblr made $13 million in 2012 which seems small considering it’s $1.1 billion exit. In the world of the web, revenue isn’t everything and Tumblr is an example of a product-first company that has delayed gratification ($$$) for the sake of the product quality – not because of a lack of opportunity to do so.

What would Tumblr need to do in order to make this acquisition a success? To justify the $1.1 billion price Tumblr will need make a lot of money someday, better sooner than later.

Synergy

Yahoo makes the majority of it’s money in advertising – search, display, video and mobile. Yahoo has experience monetizing eyeballs and relationships with advertisers to quickly and effectively monetize Tumblr. How valuable are the views on Tumblr? This is yet to be seen. The intent of a user, unlike Google and Yahoo searches, are low and the information about a user, like you have on Facebook, is minimal. A pageview on Tumblr can make money but is most likely not as valuable as one on Google or Facebook but similar in value to the pageviews that many other Yahoo properties receive. With the experience that Marissa has making money off of eyeballs and the eyeballs that Tumblr has this may just work. I doubt in any jaw dropping way, but it may be worth the $1.1 billion price tag.


Hooked on FB

Posted: February 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

parislemon:

om:

What’s worse Facebook or cigarettes? How about Facebook branded smokes. No seriously #sanfrancisco

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.


Sous Chef – DCWEEK Hackathon Second Place

Posted: November 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Over the weekend I took a break from my normal schedule of partying to participate in DCWEEK’s Hackathon. This Hackthon was two days, Saturday to Sunday. Teams up to four members competed to create an application the judges deemed “the best” for prizes. There were no restrictions in what type of app you created but there were extra prizes for those who programmed for the Microsoft Surface.

My co-workers from JIBE – Adam Lloyd, James Petty and Boris Kozak formed our Hackathon team and arrived early Saturday. After getting briefed about the different APIs that were available to us we broke to a room to start coming up with ideas. We debated on a couple of ideas before settling on Sous Chef – a voice-activated recipe app that would work on the Microsoft Surface. 36 hours later we had a workable demo and the beginnings of a promising product.

Here is our Demo:


Instagram Engineering: What Powers Instagram: Hundreds of Instances, Dozens of Technologies

Posted: July 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Instagram Engineering: What Powers Instagram: Hundreds of Instances, Dozens of Technologies


First 90 days at JIBE.com

Posted: September 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Jibe.comIt’s been 90 days since I left Blackboard and started a new job developing software at JIBE.com.  The past three months have been a blast – packed full of coding sessions fueled by 5-hour energy, trips to NYC and a lot of learning.  I’ve picked up a new language (ruby) , framework (rails) and have used many other new technologies including SOLR, REDIS, Nokogiri, Mechanize, MongoDB and nginx.

Going from Blackboard and their 1500+ employees to JIBE, which is currently around 17 full time employees, has been what I was hoping for – awesome.  At JIBE, I can tell my work has made an immediate impact on the company and that feeling has been great.

JIBE.com has been dubbed by the press a “next-generation job board”.  In short, JIBE leverages Facebook and LinkedIn to help job seekers find the best positions in the job market.  When a job seeker searches for a job on JIBE they are shown their connections to the companies hiring along with the job posts.  This allows people to use their personal network more effectively to land their dream job.


Quasars-inc.com has Launched!

Posted: June 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Check out the new Quasars-inc.com!  Quasars is an engineering and technology company based in Washington DC.   Artin Petrossian and I collaborated with Nick Riotto of 829 llc to put together a sleek corporate site.  Quasars supports client missions involving systems engineering, information management, program management, custom application development, configuration management, and independent validation and verification for a wide range of federal and private clients.


Like Tattoo

Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

T-Pain Facebook Like tattoo


Electric Car Commuting Calculator

Posted: January 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Commuting Calculator My latest collaboration with the the people at Cost2Go.com, the Electric Commuting Calculator, was launched last week at the North American International Auto Show and can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/costtodrive/

This simple facebook application takes in your home address, work address, car type and days commuting to calculate the amount of fuel costs incurred.  The EPA-determined electricity-per-mile cost is subtracted from the fuel costs to give a user an idea of the monthly and yearly savings of driving an electric vehicle.