Month: September 2005

Sep 29 2005

Wanna Do A Deal With Google?

I spent some time at lunch recently with Chris Sacca – one of the business development guys at Google.  Chris just put a post up on his blog with hints about how to get his attention if you are a company that wants to do a deal with Google.  It’s instructive, useful, and full of Google style.

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Sep 28 2005

Apple Hell

Jeff Jarvis – who has written extensively on his terrible customer experience in Dell Hell – doesn’t have a monopoly (nor does Dell) on stupid customer experience moves.  Ryan McIntyre – who I work with closely and has been a huge Apple user (and fan) for as long as I can remember – has a delicious post on his absurd experience with Apple, at the Apple Store, and with the Apple Customer Support Immune System.  Painfully funny.

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Sep 28 2005

Toilet Paper

I’ve had a life long fascination with toilets which I’ve blogged about several times in the past, including Toto’s awesome throne, a tricked out toilet, and my personal favorite toilet / bathroom in the world.

Today I learned something useful about toilet paper.  I’ve clogged more than my fair share of toilets (c’mon – admit it – so have you).  I now know that I need to check the brand of paper before I do my thing.  No more Charmin for me.  Thanks Joanne.

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Sep 27 2005

Letter of Intent: Foreplay

As Jason and I launch into our new series on the Letter of Intent (LOI), we thought we’d start out like most LOI’s do – with a little foreplay.  To keep it simple, assume there are two primary parties in an M&A transaction – the “buyer” and the “seller” (for the time being, let’s not worry about complex deals that have more than two parties – this is a family blog after all – well, not really.) 

By the time the buyer presents the seller with an LOI, there have been meetings, discussions, dinners, expensive bottles of wine, lots of conference calls, and an occasional argument.  However, the buyer and the seller are still courting so they tend to be on their best behavior.  The LOI is typically the first real negotiation and the true ice breaker for the relationship.

In ancient times, when the first LOI was presented, someone crafted an introductory paragraph that starts off with something like the following:

Dear CEO of Seller:

We have greatly enjoyed our conversations to date and are honored to present you with this letter of intent to acquire <Seller’s Company>.  We look forward to entering into serious discussions over the next several months and reaching an agreement to acquire your company.  We’d like to thank you for entertaining our proposal, which follows:

While every company has their own style, most LOIs start off with some variation of this boilerplate paragraph.  Of course, you’ll find – later in the LOI – a qualifier that states that most everything in the LOI is non-binding, including the appearance of civility as part of the negotiation.  What would you expect in a world where ABC can launch a series called “Commander in The West Wing Chief”?

Next up – some real stuff – namely a discussion about one of the keys terms in the LOI – price.

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Sep 27 2005

FeedBurner Goes to Japan

China in the summer (via Bokee), now Japan in the fall (via GMO Affiliate).  FeedBurner continues on its quest to deliver the world’s content everywhere it’s needed

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Sep 26 2005

Katrina – MillionDollarHelpPage.com

My friends Ben Neumann and Chris Ueland have a clever idea for helping out Hurricane Katrina victims called MillionDollarHelpPage.  They’ve taken the idea that Alex Tew came up for MillionDollarHomePage and repurposed it to be a Katrina fundraiser with the goal of raising $1 million.

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Sep 26 2005

Book Review: Ask the Pilot

If you are a frequent flyer like me, Ask the Pilot is a must read.  The author – Patrick Smith – has been a pilot for about 20 years and has been writing about it for Salon.com for the past two years.  The book is an extended Q&A session broken up into logical topics.  Smith is witty, acerbic, and spares no one.  I’ve read a few titillating “insiders guide to air travel” books (flight attendant stories, sex in bathrooms, dogs exploding, near collisions in the air) and they never really did much for me.  Smith’s book is much more practical and interesting – I actually learned some stuff and – even though I’m not a nervous flyer – have new perspectives and have had some myths debunked.

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Sep 26 2005

Pandora

Two people suggested Pandora to me in the past 24 hours.  It’s from the creators of the Music Genome Project.  You create a radio station based on things that you like (e.g. I’m listening to the Pink Floyd Station right now) and it find music you’ll like.  You give it feedback, and it adjusts its recommendations.  It harkens back to Agents Inc (Firefly) from the mid-1990’s, but in addition to recommendations, actually streams the music and lets you buy the song from iTunes or the album from Amazon.  Very cool.

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Sep 24 2005

Comfortably Numb

I had a monster run today in Dallas on my ramp up to the New York Marathon. In the pre-Rita heat, humidity, and wind I covered 16 miles. While I kept waiting for “Lovely Rita Meter Maid” to come on my Shuffle, I ended up hearing the best cover of Comfortably Numb (by Copper Box) that I’ve ever heard thanks to Coverville. I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan and – after struggling for a few miles at about 90 minutes because I ran out of water (and didn’t hit a store for three miles) – this Polka / Stevie Ray Vaughan / Country Rock style version helped me kick it back up into a faster gear.

As every runner that listens to music while running knows, the music you listen to has a meaningful impact on your run. I’m totally into covers and mashups these days because they are complex and different enough to completely suck my brain in. So – if you have recommendations, my legs will thank you – simply tag them in del.icio.us as for:bfeld

And – for the rest of the day – I have become comfortably numb.

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Sep 22 2005

Joke Of The Day: How Many Is A Brazillion?

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing on Iraq.  

He concludes by saying:  “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.” 

“OH NO!” the President exclaims.  “That’s terrible!” 

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands. 

Finally, President looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

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