Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Forget Gold or Bitcoin: Cronut Futures Are The Future

I've never had a cronut, to begin with. Full disclosure: I'm pretty pissed off about this. But no matter. The cronut might be delicious, but that's incidental. There's money in cronuts, and not in the paltry, $5 over-the-counter price. Like any rare commodity, the cronut is ripe for speculation, and I want in.

The cronut, for the uninitiated, is the bakery industry's version of the iPhone: nothing looked anything like it before, and now everyone wants to get into the act. To aficionados, the cronut is nothing less than the perfect union of a croissant and a donut and — based on drooling reviews — quite a bit more.

If only there were more.

(Read the full post on LinkedIn)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Netbook Envy: Getting Down With Downgrading

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted a "better" computer — smaller, more powerful, better features, etc. And it's been easy to chase improvements because tech tends to decline in price, year over year. Two decades ago my first home desktop computer "system" (yes, it was a "system") set me back about $2,200 and was probably less powerful (and certainly less portable) than my iPhone.

Two months ago my daughter and I built a high-end gaming PC for about $1,300 -- and that tower can launch missiles. Maybe it's part of the maturation process (mine, not technology) or maybe it's because I've become a cheapskate, or maybe because it's clearer now after years of using computers that I actually know what I do 90% of the time and am not as motivated by pay for cachet over function (this might be the time to mention that my newest car is 13 years old).

Whatever the reasons, these days I think less is more.

(Read the full post at LinkedIn)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Real 'Story' of the Fiscal Cliff

The Fiscal Cliff story has been a thriller, every bit as dramatic as those Cold War spy stories sadly nobody can get away with anymore. Stop me if you've heard this before: The players are polar opposites, circling each other nervously in a delicate balance of terror — and yet they must work (or at least live) together to save the world! Things are always coming down to the wire. The political angles are so numerous and acute you actually believe up is down and black is white.

If the stakes weren't so high (and the apparent outcome of what is now Phase I of this particular sage so unsatisfactory) it would be a great story. But we are so addicted to "great" stories — stories that have familiar touchstones — that sometimes the real story gets ignored. You know, the one that could have changed everything.

The Fiscal Cliff story was an unnecessary story — a sideshow. I don't think the media machine is ginning up the prospect of economic disasters just to sell newspapers in the grand tradition of Joseph Pulitzer, Rupert Murdoch and Charles Foster Kane. But I do think our eyes are on the wrong ball.

It's hardly the first time. Even in the last few months.

(Full Post)