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The two-handed economist. And why Twilio seems to make huge sense.

On the one hand. On the other.

Harry Truman once said he wanted to meet a one-armed economist.

That’s your choice: Lots of learned successful folks are saying things will be bad — what with Brexit, trade wars, slowing China, and no more tax cut boost.

Seth Klarman says “It can’t be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns and escalating social tensions.”

He says mounting debt in developed countries and the U.S.  could lead to a financial panic.

Other more sanguine observers see a slowing world economy, but not a recession.

I’m with the more sanguine. Today markets are easing back. Pick up some favorite stocks. They’re on sale.

In James Dines’ book

Dines argues there are three factors that determine the price of a stock:

+ Fundamentals

+ Technicals, and

+ Mass Psychology.

I’d argue in favor of adding one extra:

+ Growth

Which brings me to these earnings:

How do you price a company selling more each year and losing more each year?

Here’s how. This is the past year. Up nearly five times!

Look at the financials:

The company is only losing money because of its massive R&D.

Is the opportunity Twilio faces worth the R&D?

I spent most of the weekend trying to answer that question and  concluded Yes.

Today I’ll buy some Twilio.

Essentially what Twilio does is to help companies “talk” to their customers better.

Twilio tailors voice, text (SMS), video, and email to make “the customer experience” more appealing. Their customers read like a Who’s Who of technology leaders, including Vmware, Intuit, Lyft, Uber, Yelp, eHarmony, Dell, Box, and Trulia. For more of Twilio’s 40,000 customers, go here.

It’s really hard to explain the breadth of Twilio’s products (present and future). I keep thinking of Uber — and all the ways we, as customers, communicate with the company — from the app to the phone calls with the driver picking us up.

Twilio’s pricing model is tiny amounts per transaction — akin to what Amazon does with its AWS cloud service. This pricing encourages the potential customer to experiment and to grow. It’s neat.

I bet if you go to Twilio’s web site and float around for an hour or so you’ll find a simple application for one of your businesses. I found one — mass texts. Apparently texts get read more and much quicker than emails.

Whatever happened to bitcoin?

Its highest price was $19,783.06, reached on December 17,2017. On Friday it was $3,708.18. That’s an 81% drop!

Scams and scams and more scams

“Claim your prize before it expires.” “We have a reward for you.” “Your survey package is here.” “Claim your package before it expires.” “Your package from Walmart is waiting.”

It’s endless — from Amazon, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and a million others. They’re all scams.

Reply to any and your life will be miserable. How do I know they’re illegit? Look at the email address from one for Sam’s Club. Does this look legit?

19 Best Places to Go in 2019

From CondeNast Traveler — the list includes places in Belize, Bhutan, Australia, and Chengdu, China, and the Northwest Passage.

Doesn’t matter if you can’t go. The pictures are neat. Click here.

How to end the government shutdown

From Saturday Night Live

How to live forever, by people who didn’t. 

You’ll die laughing. No politics. Just funny.

Harry Newton, who gets great pleasure from the family’s iPhone PhotoStream, which brings great images like this one of grandson Peter on a swing.


  1. TomFromVa says:

    Hey KC vet – show me how you drive a caravan through a wall. Caravans forming every week per the Washington Post. Maybe we should just keep sending the Army?

    If you want to sell your house but state up front that you need to keep your grandfather’s antique pool table, and I come to buy your house and start by saying no way you can keep the pool table, what are you going to say? That’s what Nancy Baloney did on day one of her speakership and now she is painted in to a corner.

  2. Bruce Miller says:

    Seems to have a gap near $88.00…
    My bet is the gap closes before Feb 12th.
    Nice find Mr. Newton…

  3. KC Vet says:

    State of the Union = ‘Shut Down’ by Trump
    Is this clown ever going to realize the wall will never work?
    It will take a disaster for people to wake up and run this guy out of town. He can claim success and leave any day now!

  4. Glenn says:

    Harry, I was looking at last weeks posts that I missed; I noticed a comment and photo you showed on Istanbul. Photo looked like the 4 Seasons Bosphorus? Great hotel! Istanbul is a must see (saw it was listed in Conde Nast article too). Did you go to Club Reina down the street. That place was very cool and great people watching. Very sad what happened!!

    • harrynewton says:

      It’s the ÇIRAĞAN PALACE KEMPINSKI ISTANBUL. It’s a neat place. I bet rooms are now on sale given how unpopular Turkey has become.

      • Omer Acikel says:

        Hey Harry, in a way yes -Erdogan’s ruling the country is horrible but hey people elected him- but you get about 5.4 Turkish liras (new Turkish Lira it is called now after devaluation) to a dollar, not a bad deal for vacation. BTW, I am from Turkey and even thinking to buy an apartment now after investing in real estate in the US all my life. My parents say there are a lot of constructions and contractors having hard time selling. Still best to be cautious.