June 11, 2006

SQUEEZE or be SQUEEZED


It has been concluded that the World is Shrinking and/or Flat.

There is a power shift underway in every industry - that is fact.

A few months back I wrote a post entitled "Honey You shrunk the Trading World." The U.S. is no longer the dog wagging the tail when it comes to financial markets.

Today - let's look at media. The explosion of blogs is pushing the media companies to rethink their strategies or risk decimation.

I love that Amanda from Rocketboom pulled off this interview with George Soros . Forget how or why; the point is she pulled it off and with the new tools of distribution can create a large audience for the interview and continue to build a reputation as a media source despite the size of her Company (4 people).



Ali G is another great example of the phenomenon, using "goof" tactics once the interviews were set up. He has built a great brand around himself. He has developed a unique problem as he will have to keep reinventing himself because his own celebrity status has affected his ability to get interviews.



A few days ago, my buddy Chartreuse received this threatening letter from Time, Inc., for posting the Angelina Jolie/Pitt/baby photos that Time inc. say they paid $4 million to have exclusive rights. Once they found the internet, it was easy for Chartreuse to find them. I was just talking to him about the incident and he reminded me that people today want to go "deep". For example, the traffic at his ALL JOLIE blog is incredible high. Bloggers can afford to do that right now and mainstream media can't. Bloggers are squeezing themselves into the mainstream with depth of knowledge in specific subjects. They are taking control of their destiny and the talented, even the obscure can thrive.

In the Financial World, Trader Mike has created a fantastic community for traders that get access to global content on trading strategies and commentary in real time. He does it using RSS syndication.

If you are not interested in SQUEEZING, you can choose to be SQUEEZED. It's not if, it's when.

Let's look at three tech behemoths, Intel, Microsoft and Dell.

All three stocks continue their descents into the teens and maybe lower. I see nothing on the horizon to stop it. Microsoft can't launch new products anymore in a timely manner - as I mentioned on my guest Chartreuse post - "Live" should be called "Dead". Dell is cutting customer service at a time it can ill afford to lose customers and Intel is in a constant price war , despite capacity restraints - maybe the worst position of the three.

Google is perceived as the new bad boy, when quite simply the talented people of Intel and Microsoft are either getting older and retiring, leaving to start their own businesses (even businesses unrelated to tech) or moving to where they have upside and/or their talents would be better served. The most talented people entering the workforce also want to work for Google.

The weak will continue to be squeezed. As we enter a difficult market environment with higher global rates, those companies with weak balance sheets will parish quickly. Anyone remember Gateway!

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