MERGERS AND AGGLOMERATIONS
Bob Hendel: “The link in a column you had last month about the AOL/Time merger didn’t work and I’d really like to read your comments on The Day They Couldn’t Fill the Fortune 500. Could you fix that?”
Rob Schoen: “You write one measly of your wittiest columns in months about cheeseburgers, and somebody has to remind you about a coronary bypass? What’s this world coming to? Oh, the fat! Oh, the calories! Oh, the cholesterol! . . . Oh, shut up!”
Brooks Hilliard: “Regarding free cash, check out: Signupmoney.com. It lists all the sites that offer cash to sign up as well as other offers. Includes all those on Gomez (which is also a great site).”
And don’t forget to get your free $20 by opening a free bank account at X.com. (I get $10 if you do, or did until I reached the $1,000 limit — thanks.) As crazy Internet promotions go, this one’s not so crazy. X.com is potentially a very efficient financial institution — no bricks, no mortar, no Superbowl ads. If it costs them $30 to open an account . . . $20 to you and $10 to the referrer . . . that’s $30 million for 1 million customers. Less than the cost of a nicely outfitted corporate jet. Hmmm, let’s see: we can buy the jet or we can have 1 million new customers. Tough choice.
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH
I caught the last hour of Tom Cruise / Jack Nicholson’s A Few Good Men on TV last night. With a really good movie, I tend to stay somewhat transfixed at the end, watching the credits roll. Did you know who the “key grip” was on A Few Good Men? Jeffrey Kluttz. (And I’m here to tell you that, to my untrained eye, at least, he did a great job.)
A friend: “I read recently that you are a financial backer in Quickbrowse. This is an excellent service. One suggestion. Some may find the Quickbrowse channel button labeled Gays/Lesbians offensive. May I suggest, that you and Quickbrowse consider the more politically correct non-offensive button title of ‘Lifestyles.’ I am certain that certain groups would refuse to use Quickbrowse otherwise. What do you think?”
I think they should find a different service. Not to be insensitive to their concerns, any more than in 1958 I would have wanted to offend white patrons by allowing black ones in my restaurant, but c’mon — this is America. Also, as a practical matter, “hiding” it this way could lead them to be outraged when they accidentally clicked on it and discovered what it is. But I appreciate your thoughts, which obviously come from a good place. I just think there’s no way around it. Progress carries with it a certain amount of discomfort — and then it becomes pretty much ho-hum.
Quote of the Day
Your average Wall Streeter, faced with nothing profitable to do, does nothing for only a brief time. Then, suddenly and hysterically, he does something which turns out to be extremely unprofitable. He is not a lazy man.~Fred Schwed, Where Are the Customers' Yachts?
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