Shareholder Value, What You Didn’t Know

“But Paulson’s move adds to Icahn’s support among Yahoo shareholders, since hedge funds tend to pursue returns more aggressively than other institutional shareholders and are more likely to vocally press for strategic moves that could boost stock values.”

Where does one even begin to parse this statement buried in the Reuters piece about Carl Icahn and Yahoo? Let’s give it a try.

It was news to me that hedge funds alone are preoccupied with investment returns to the degree that they “more aggressively” pursue them than other funds. I like to think I’m pretty aggressive even though I can’t amass billion dollar positions…

I guess we could let the “more likely to vocally press” part of the paragraph slide since it kind of goes in lock step with the notion they are more “aggressively” pursuing said returns, but it may also be that these funds have the ability to amass such large positions that their voices are heard above all others.

More on this topic (What's this?)
BlackRock's Hedge Fund Boutique
Oregon Fund of Hedge Funds
Read more on Hedge Funds, Yahoo!, Mutual Funds at Wikinvest

Memo to the Semantic Web

Everyone on the panel was agreed in stressing the importance of building applications that solve real problems for real users. Neither users nor investors are particularly interested in being pitched with ‘the Semantic Web’ or ‘RDF’ or ‘triples’; they want applications and solutions.

[From Commercialising the Semantic Web | The Semantic Web | ZDNet.com]

Dear Semantic Web:

Most of the time I have no fucking idea what you are talking about when you explain why I should care about semantic web technologies. I really want to get excited about you but after several “year of the semantic web” declarations and very little evidence of end user benefit, well I just gloss over your pronouncements now.

I’m quite confident that in your abundant wisdom you have created something transformative and meaningful but I would implore you to move beyond “something” to “a thing”. In this user driven world I don’t even care about the semantic web pieces… I don’t know how a microprocessor works either but I know it’s a critical component.

While the efforts to define semantic web technologies are theoretically proscribed in an open standards process it has the imagery of a politburo directing the proletariat. It may well be that these core technologies reside on a level of the geek stratosphere that is well beyond the vast majority of us regular folks, but we don’t need to be reminded of it.

Lastly, solving big hairy problems is likely the destiny of semantic web technologies but as Fred Wilson recently pointed out, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Yours Truly,

Someone Who Loves You

A Column’s 45 Years

I can’t even imagine the discipline and fortitude it takes to write a newspaper column for 45 years.

On May 15, 1963, Rowland Evans and I published our first column. That makes today the 45th anniversary (the first 30 years under the Evans & Novak byline) of the nation’s current longest-running syndicated political column.

[From Robert D. Novak - A Column's 45 Years - washingtonpost.com]

Icahn’s Rat Pack

Kedrosky is right, this is by far the most humorous take on Icahn’s proposed slate of directors:

Sake Oil – aka Mark Cuban: a An entrepreneur with a history of creating companies that he then sells for far more than they are worth to sucker corporations. Cuban sold broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7bn at the height of the dotcom bubble – useful experience for selling Yahoo to Microsoft.

Although while this is clever, they did miss tying it to another movie with their Independence Day reference in the final paragraph, something about hacking into the mother ship with a trojan horse, planting a virus, then escaping just before it explodes.