When was the last time you read a Playboy interview?  But here is one, of Gawker’s Nick Denton, that speaks to the future of media and a whole lot more that – while I don’t agree with all of it — strikes me as kind of brilliant.

And it’s long, which is good, because I haven’t found the time to write anything myself.  So — as the star of the Howdy Doody show said when he thought the mike was off (I think it was Howdy Doody, but who knows? I was five . . . or wait — was it Kap’n Kangaroo? that was after my time, but I think maybe that was it) — “that oughta hold the little bastards.”  And so ended his career.

Or — well look at this! — not!  (Thank you, Snopes.)

Did it?

And while we’re at it . . .


Prasanth Manthena: “I have to say as a guy who’s made some money (at least in terms of stock value) on Wheeltug and who’s added shares thru the years, this is the first time I’ve actually been concerned about the company in a long time.  The product seems to be clearly superior than the other proposed solutions.  Products though can be superior and still be knocked off because they don’t actually play on a level playing field: regulatory issues, other companies using monopoly/size to collude.  Never really worried about the EGTS before, but if they can keep Wheeltug becoming certified then the game is over obviously.  I don’t plan on selling shares but may hold off on buying on dips or good news as I consistently done in the past.  I wonder if the company has some other things up it’s sleeve:  (1) They have many airline partners: some of those partners should be more than willing to share the engineering data and push the FAA.  Not only will they get the advantages to Wheeltug but I’m sure a quid pro qua can be established so those partners who help will be guaranteed the first operational WheelTugs.  Timing is everything.  (2) Selling the company at a nice markup: if Airbus isn’t interested what about Boeing?  If all new non-jumbo Boeings come with WheelTug, that I imagine is a huge advantage to have when you are selling planes.  Plus for Boeing they have a bird in hand as Wheeltug appears to work while we still don’t what will happen with EGTS.  (3) Lawyer angle: anti-trust or patent lawsuits come to mind. . . . Interesting news, overall.”

Alvin Bluthman: “History shows that money and power applied to suppressing new (better) technology or preventing the opening of new markets frequently does succeed. Look at Carterphone in the 1970s.  Or Betamax vs. VHS.”

☞ True.  Then again, to the average consumer, VHS and SONY’s Betamax did roughly the same thing.

If VHS had required a few days to set up and/or switching tapes for shows over two hours — or some other fairly minor but quite evident practical disadvantage — they would have been ALMOST the same – but would VHS have won?

WheelTug can apparently be installed overnight – and removed just as easily.  EGTS may require taking the aircraft out of service a good deal longer.  And it weighs hundreds of pounds more — on every flight, day in and day out.  A passenger won’t care; but an airline will: and airlines are the customers.

And airlines may have more influence on Boeing and Airbus (and the FAA) than Honeywell and Safran.  Airlines are their customers.

So it may not be the same as VHS and Betamax.

Shares of WheelTug grandparent Borealis closed yesterday at $15, valuing the entire company at $75 million.  I know many of you think I’m being crazy — if so, only with money I can truly afford to lose — but it seems to me the technologies this company is developing, of which WheelTug is light years ahead of the others — could conceivably be worth billions.  Each billion equals $200 a share.

Have you ever had more fun?



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