Others Start to Ask “What is Mark Mahaney Smoking”?

Posted on May 19, 2008
Filed Under Bubble Watch | 1 Comment

In my recent post about the absurdity of the predictions and projections frequently promulgated by research firms and analysts, I focused on the amusing dynamic Yahoo-Microsoft predictions offered by Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney:

Another amusing example of just how foolish it can be to rely on “experts” was provided by Citi Internet Analyst Mark Mahaney. On February 2, the day after Microsoft announced its bid for Yahoo, he predicted that there was a 60% chance that Microsoft would wind up acquiring Yahoo, noting a 20% probability that the original bid would be accepted and a 40% probability that a higher bid would be accepted.

Carl Icahn to the Rescue?

Posted on May 16, 2008
Filed Under Valley Drama | 1 Comment

If Yahoo shareholders are to get a second lucky break, Carl Icahn will have to be to Yahoo what Gordon Gekko was to Teldar Paper.

After watching actions that I believe to be so against the interests of Yahoo’s shareholders as to be despicable, I personally hope that Icahn liberates Yahoo from the overpaid cronies on its board of directors.

As such, I encourage Jerry Yang and company to start submitting their resumes .

Trust Analysts Blindly - Lose Money

Posted on May 5, 2008
Filed Under BS-Free Advice | 4 Comments

In recent posts ( and here) I’ve made it clear that I apply the “trust no one” mantra to many things, including research firms and well-connected individuals.

This, of course, is not to say that I don’t listen to what “experts” have to say. “Expert opinions” can be extremely valuable when used appropriately.

Unfortunately, some “experts” aren’t “experts” and implicitly trusting that every statement or prediction that comes from somebody you perceive as being an “expert” is accurate or wise is not the best strategy.

Ross Levinsohn: From Big Rounds to Down Rounds

Posted on May 1, 2008
Filed Under VC Insanity | 2 Comments

Back in December, Ross Levinsohn was quoted by PaidContent as saying:

Shopping: When I asked if they’re running into companies eager to sell now in case things turn sour, Levinsohn said it was just the opposite. “I’m actually amazed by it. A year ago … there was more desperation to sell.” The Facebook platform initiative and, to some extent, OpenSocial, turned that around, adding distribution to companies that once were only features.” They now have tens of millions of users and are raising money at huge multiples—hundreds of millions of dollars—and they’ll get it.”

The Real “Friend Divide”

Posted on April 27, 2008
Filed Under Culture & Technology | 3 Comments

Recently, Robert Scoble lamented a “Friend Divide” that is keeping Internet users from taking full advantage of all the wonderful Web 2.0 services that have been promoted as tools for bringing us closer together and fostering better relationships with the people we care about.

Clearly, Scoble is out of touch with reality and I stated the obvious. That said, there is a “friendship problem” in modern society.

Studies have shown that Americans are increasingly isolated despite the fact that technology has made us more “interconnected.”

Nothing Is Personal in a Web 2.0 World

Posted on April 20, 2008
Filed Under Culture & Technology | Leave a Comment

I’ve decided to dedicate all my posts this week to the topic of Culture & Technology.

The New York Times’ article on the increasing use of the Internet by ex-spouses to air dirty laundry is a stark reminder of one of the things that I find most disturbing about the confluence of America’s sad modern culture and the rise of technological tools that promote its further decline: that nothing is personal anymore.

Facilitatr: You Need It, Our Community Gets It

Posted on April 18, 2008
Filed Under VC Insanity | 5 Comments

For some startups, VC money may be harder to come by in Silicon Valley but that didn’t stop Pablo’s Place from closing its $12 million funding round in less than a month. So I’m back pitching another innovative service that square VCs won’t touch but really private equity will.

The Problem

TechCrunch’s DataPortability Conflict of Interest?

Posted on April 16, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 42 Comments

A reader of The Drama 2.0 Show who wishes to remain nameless sent me an email earlier pointing out some interesting facts related to the recent coziness between TechCrunch and the DataPortability Workgroup.

Yesterday, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington announced that the $13,250 in ticket sales was being “donated” to “charity.” Which “charities”? The OpenID Foundation and the DataPortability Workgroup, each one of which will receive $6,625.

First, it’s important to note that there is a distinction between a “charity” and a “non-profit, tax-exempt organization.” All charities are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations but not all non-profit, tax-exempt organizations are charities. I don’t see any indication that the OpenID Foundation or DataPortability Workgroup are registered charities.

MuffDive: Vertical Search for Hot Bisexual Women

Posted on April 15, 2008
Filed Under Easy VC Money | 2 Comments

The Opportunity

Google is the dominant search engine but the old adage “One size does not fit all” is true in the search engine market. While Google and other large search engines often do an excellent job providing search results for certain queries, relevance is not always guaranteed.

Vertical search engines, which focus on specific subjects, such as medicine or engineering, have been touted by some as the next step in the evolution of search. Research firm Outsell estimates that the market for vertical search will reach $1 billion by 2009.

Robert Scoble Needs to Get Real

Posted on April 14, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 13 Comments

As my more astute readers have recognized, The Drama 2.0 Show is less critical of Web 2.0 in and of itself than it is of the Web 2.0 community’s incredible lack of perspective.

If you are to believe the kool aid drinkers, Web 2.0 is as important as the advent of the printing press or the Industrial Revolution. Social networks will bring us together like never before, services like Twitter are going to change the way we communicate and social media itself is going to turn the marketing world upside down. And the world will become a better place at the same time.

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