Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Wednesday, October 3, 2007:
"Take some money home, son. Don't leave it all in your business. You
never know." My father told me that when our business was flourishing
in the 1990s. We sold a little -- one magazine -- invested in real estate. And
looked stupid for several years -- while that magazine flourished under its
new owners. Ditto when we sold the entire publishing business in 1997. We looked
as it boomed, then -- like many other publishing companies -- crashed, when
the Internet took hold and moved business advertising from magazines to the
Internet (and Google).
Warner bought a magazine called Business 2.0 in 2001 for $68 million.
Business 2.0 had around 600,000 subscribers. Its printing and mailing bill
was enough to buy several small houses each month.
Time Warner is
now closing the magazine down. The present October issue will be their last.
$68 million has dropped into the sewer.
Our sale included eight magazines I had started. Most of them are now closed
also. Over $100 million has dropped into the sewer.
is that Time Warner refused to sell Business 2.0. And my old company's new owners
refused to sell our magazines back to me. The reason? I've thought about this
for years. I figured it has something to do with middle management's unwillingness
to admit a mistake. Imagine -- God forbid -- that the new owner managed to make
a success out of their failure! Imagine how awful their careers would look.
Better to close it down and attribute the closing to "changed economic
times," not their own ineptitude.
point of all this?
Life is unpredictable.
When times are good, take a little money home and invest it in something else
-- bricks and mortar, a good index fund, etc.
Anyone can compete with corporate giants and win. Your own business remains
"the perfect investment."
on partnerships: My wonderful partner of a successful 25 years, Gerry
Friesen, came to the weekend wedding. It was great to see him. I love partnerships
and ours was the best. There were two reasons: We had complimentary skills.
We respected each others skills. We argued about things both of us knew nothing
about. But things one of us knew about, we deferred. Oh, I forgot. We shared
common values. He and I were scrupulously honest with each other.
are not for dissing. Don't send rude emails. Write them. Get them
out of your system. Then erase them. Emails are for two purposes:
1. To send compliments,
flattery and general nice words. I know all the readers of this column are intelligent
enough to understand the value of flattery.
2. To confirm
events. "I'll see you at 2:30 PM at Sapphire."
Good idea: End
emails confirming events with a question. "Is that OK?" "Does
this make sense?" This way you make sure the person received your email.
your junk emails inbox: Outlook is the most
common email client. By telling it which are safe and unsafe senders, you can
train it. Theoretically. Hogwash! My rule: Eyeball all "junk" emails
before erasing them. I usually find important stuff I want.
see The Overwhelming. The truly excellent play
is about the events leading up the three-month genocide (aka ethnic cleansing)
in 1994 of 800,000 Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda.
You won't be amused
nor entertained. You'll leave the theater with a sense of wanting to help, but
not knowing how. Profound helplessness. But you will learn how people are demonized
and how genocides happen and why. Excellently acted and beautifully written
-- not one superfluous word - - The Overwhelming is the best play I've
see in eons. Highly recommended. At New York Laura Pels Theater at 111 West
46th Street, New York City. Buy tickets here.
is done with Skitch. Dan Good took the photo
and annotated it with his new software toy, Skitch.
Skitch adds comments, puts circles around things, highlights web site clips,
etc. It's actually useful as a business/presentation tool. For more, go to Plasq.
declined again yesterday: I am not despairing.
This selloff has been way overdone.
for a great selling product:
The boss of a Madison Avenue advertising agency called a spontaneous
staff meeting in the middle of a particularly stressful week. The purpose of
the meeting is to have a quick contest. The theme: Viagra advertising slogans.
The only rule: they had to use past ad slogans, originally written for other
products that captured the essence of Viagra.
After only 7 minutes,
they turned in their suggestions and created The Top 10 List.
10. Viagra, Whaazzzz
9. Viagra, The
quicker pecker picker upper
8. Viagra, like
7. Viagra! When
it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
6. Viagra! Be
all that you can be.
5. Viagra, Reach
out and touch someone.
4 Viagra , Strong
enough for a man, but made for a woman.
3. Viagra, Home
of the whopper!
2 Viagra, We bring
good things to Life!
And the unanimous
number one slogan:
1. This is your
peepee. This is your peepee on drugs!!!
With all the laughter
and camaraderie, the rest of the week went very well for everyone!
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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look
mighty 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 Claire's
law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click
here and here.