Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Thursday, December 6, 2007: Yesterday
was weird. Two entrepreneurs pitched me. One's 5-year old laptop froze -- even
before he got to the demo, which I'm assured is spectacular. Another had successful
sold his two previous companies, but had no money left to finance the third
-- that was my job. Tip one: bring a working laptop. Test your presentation
in the lobby. Tip two: Have a great explanation of why you're broke and why
this time will be better. Tip three: Marketing is the big key to selling
your shiny new service. Make sure you have a plan and someone to implement it.
perfect Christmas present for Dad: I have one
of these wireless headphones in every room we have a TV set. I credit these
devices with saving my marriage on every occasion we have watched TV.
It's very simple. My wife likes to watch TV at inaudible volume. She says she
can hear. I think she lies. If I turn the volume up to normal, i.e. what normal
people can hear, she claims "I'm blasting her, damaging her ears, and being
aggressive." The device is called an "Open Supra-Aural Wireless RF
Headphone System." It's available from everybody and their uncle (courtesy
Google). I just found it for $44.99 on
dumbest decision ever made: We bought a New
York apartment with windows that look like this:
are called 'tilt'n'turn" windows. They tilt for ventilation for cleaning
and they turn for cleaning. Their problem is they have one open position. It's
called "Freeze Harry." There are NO adjustments. Nobody makes
a device for limiting the tilt of the window.
I am making one. It will be a kludge. I'm told the offending window cost the
previous owner of my apartment $7,000. There are some people who believe that
the more you pay, the better it is. The window in my office is a prime example
of that aphorism as unmitigated BS.
Location. Location. "If you don't buy it now, it will be
gone by this afternoon," the broker told my friend looking at a new
apartment. Instantly he agreed to pay $4.4 million for an 1800 square foot apartment
on East 57th Street in New York City. That's $2,444 a square foot. A toilet
requires about 9 square feet, or $22,000. They were pleased with the price because
their alternative -- an apartment in the new Bloomberg Tower
was even more
pricey. They wanted $8 1/2 million for a 2,500 square foot apartment. That's
$3,400 a square foot or $30,600 for a toilet, plus sitting, standing and peeing
space. The attraction of both buildings is twofold: Location and design, including
floor-to-ceiling windows. My friend couldn't shut up about the views -- north
to La Guardia, south to Wall Street, west to Central Park New Jersey and east
to Queens and Kennedy.
the ice, too. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Next time you
go out to eat or to a bar, it might be a good idea to say, "Hold the
ice." In a test of ice cubes from 49 fast-food and casual-dining restaurants
and hotel bars in the city and suburbs, the Chicago Sun-Times found that more
than one of every five samples contained high levels of bacteria. In a test
of ice cubes from 49 eateries in the city and suburbs, more than one of every
five samples contained high levels of bacteria.
at three of the restaurants contained an undetermined amount of fecal coliform,
according to the findings of a government-certified laboratory that performed
tests on the samples for the newspaper.
a water sample taken from a toilet in a men's room at the Sun-Times tested
cleaner than the ice obtained at 21 of the restaurants and bars.
I don't make this
stuff up. For the entire Sun-Times story, click
friend actually went to Antarctica on this ship: He said the trip
gave misery a whole new meaning. "I spent three weeks being seasick to
watch penguins strutting around a cold ice shelf. I could have seen more penguins,
faster and more comfortably at the Bronx Zoo."
few minutes after this photo was taken, the ship sunk, thus saving thousands
more from weeks of constant seasickness.
joys of outsourcing
I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline. I
got a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal ....
all excited and asked if I could drive a truck."
only cow in a small town in Tennessee stopped giving milk.
The people checked Google and found they could buy a cow up in Kalamazoo, Michigan,
They bought the
cow . It was wonderful. The cow gave lots of milk all . The people were happy.
true entrepreneurs, they decided to buy a bull to mate with the cow and make
They bought a
bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow. However, whenever the
bull came close to the cow, the cow would move away .
No matter what
approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull.
The people were
very upset and decided to ask the Vet, who was very wise, what to do.
They told the Vet what was happening. "Whenever the bull approaches our
cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When
he approaches her from the front, she backs off. ..."
The Vet thinks
about this and asks, "Did you buy this cow in Michigan?"
The people were
dumbfounded, since they had never mentioned where they bought the cow.
truly a wise Vet," they said. "How did you know we got the cow in
The Vet replied
with a distant look in his eye, "My wife is from Michigan."
This column is about my personal search for the perfect
investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered
with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor.
I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three
reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column
is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect
Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
is . You can't
click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software
scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing
the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting.
If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting
you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school
tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click
here and here.