I’m very happy to report that you have stuck with this column through the address change. Without you, I’d be making all kinds of reckless and inaccurate pronouncements without benefit of your correction. For example:
DELL’S MARKET CAP
Harold J. Ries: “Since when is Dell the first company to be worth 100 billion and have a PE of 100? How about Cisco Systems?”
Oops! I could hardly have been more wrong on this one – CSCO’s market cap is $175 billion and its p/e, 119P.
And even when I’m not out-and-out wrong, you frequently go me one better. For example:
From my pal Jim Halperin (author of The Truth Machine and The First Immortal): “Overall, the best deal I’ve found on books and videos is at www.buy.com. Their prices are guaranteed lowest (they use spiders to check out competitors prices, and automatically beat the lowest), the site is fast, convenient and intuitive, all their acknowledgement systems seem to work fine, and their shipping charges, at least on large orders, are much lower than Amazon’s. I believe they actually sell most of their products at cost, and hope to make a profit selling ads on the site. Disadvantages: buy.com may take a day or two longer to deliver some products, their selection isn’t as all-inclusive, and of course there is a lot less information on the product. I believe Amazon is still the best shopping ‘experience’ on the Web, but if you spend a LOT of money on books, tapes and/or, I assume, software, computer stuff, games and music, and know what you want, buy.com absolutely the best deal out there.”
Boy, is Jim right. (Annoyingly, Jim is almost always right.) I just went and bought 10 copies of each of two of my own books (somebody’s got to) and buy.com charged $239.40 plus $7.43 shipping. Total: $246.83. Then I went and priced the same thing at Amazon: $301.30. So I saved $54.47 or 18%. On a single book, of course, the saving would be small, and I agree with Jim that Amazon does a terrific job. But I’ve added www.buy.com to my “Favorite Links.”
And then there’s the joy of your great questions (examples of which I will leave to future columns) and your occasionally wack-o ideas. For example:
THE PERSONAL IPO
From Russell Turpin: “Have you thought about creating an IPO for yourself as a ‘very popular Internet content provider’?”
Hmm. Well, I have no earnings and there’s a “dot com” at the end of my name. Maybe this isn’t so wack-o after all. (You read the Skewpoint spoof of Sea.net? An old Scottish company that makes fishing nets . . . four old guys sitting around sewing these things . . . whose stock is now worth a $2.5 billion? Skewpoint — at www.bobsfridge.com — did it better, but that was the idea.)
So I’m very pleased you are still here. Me, too. Monday: a (partial) Y2K solution.