Focus on the Tigers

To whom it may concern:

This week I received an invite from Google Labs for Workspace’s new AI features. I told you that story to tell you this one.

I am reminded of the famous statistician George Box who once wrote:

“It is inappropriate to be concerned about mice when there are tigers abroad.”

George Box

IMHO, Google needs to be all-in on AI Search and not worry about adding AI features to Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. Or, more accurately, worry about AI Google Docs later. Advertising generated ~$55B last quarter, and Workspace isn’t even its own line item. In total, Google Cloud generated ~$7.5B in revenue.

Focus on the tigers in the room.

The Battle for Your Phone’s Default Search Engine

Apparently Samsung is considering replacing Google as its default search engine with…wait for it…BING. That’s according to an article published by NYT (16 April). Google learned this news last month. I’ve put the link below.

“Google’s reaction to the Samsung threat was “panic,” according to internal messages reviewed by The New York Times.”

It’s almost impossible to imagine Samsung making a switch. After all, Samsung phones run on Android. Also, let’s not rule out the possibility that it’s a bluff. An attempt to negotiate a better deal with Google. But when a threat moves from the absurd to the possible, in the blink of an eye, “panic” is the appropriate response.

Two months ago I predicted that Apple iOS Safari would eventually change its default engine from Google to Bing – unless Google adopted a war-like effort to respond to the emerging threat. It cannot be overstated, a switch in default search engines on either Android or iOS would be cataclysmic for Google’s revenue.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is coming, and hell’s coming with him.

P.S. My offer to join Google’s board of directors still stands. I know things, I’m a lot of fun at parties, and I’m great at bar trivia. 🙃

Battle for Endor II

Some fun with you know what:

Dear Board of Directors,

I am writing to you as an activist investor and a shareholder of Disney, urging the company to produce another Ewoks movie.

The Star Wars franchise is one of the most iconic and valuable brands in entertainment history. Since Disney’s acquisition of the franchise in 2012, the company has successfully revitalized and expanded the Star Wars universe through various media, including movies, TV shows, and merchandise. However, there is still untapped potential in the Star Wars franchise, and I believe that an Ewoks movie could be the next step in furthering the growth and success of the franchise.

The Ewoks have always been a beloved and iconic part of the Star Wars universe, and the time is ripe for them to make a comeback. The nostalgia factor alone could draw in an enormous audience of Star Wars fans who have been waiting for this moment for years.

Moreover, there is significant market potential for an Ewoks movie. With Disney’s vast resources, the company could create a high-quality film that appeals to both longtime fans and a new generation of viewers. Furthermore, the Ewoks are perfect for merchandising opportunities, which could further increase the profitability of this venture.

As an activist investor, I urge the board of Disney to take action and greenlight an Ewoks movie. This would be a smart business move that could generate significant returns for our company and its shareholders.

In conclusion, I respectfully request that you consider my proposal to create another Ewoks movie as part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to expand and diversify the Star Wars franchise. This would not only be a wise financial decision but also a meaningful opportunity to further connect with the Star Wars community and create new memories for generations to come.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Chat-GPT 3.5


They say there are only two ways to grow an economy: adding more people or adding more productivity. I told you that story, to tell you this one.

Your CEO emails you at 1 am for a new feature they want to be added to the product. Except, it’s not just an email; it’s a prompt that feeds “Ziggy,” which automatically generates a Vision document (based on a pre-defined template). In the morning, you flesh out the Vision doc with details about the business opportunity, scope, user stories, and a brief description and sketch of the solution concept. Except, it’s no longer just a vision document; it’s a prompt that “Ziggy” turns into a Functional Requirements Document along with supporting documents for Operational Requirements, Customer Support Requirements, Security Requirements, and Test Cases. At that exact moment, relevant stakeholders are notified via Slack that their input is required. Once approved, these documents prompt “Ziggy” to generate JIRA epics, stories, and tasks. In the background, Ziggy automatically creates branches in GitHub and generates “code scaffolding” for the solution. In parallel, “Ziggy” creates Figma files and generates the feature’s new UI wireframes. All relevant stakeholders are automatically notified and assigned tasks to provide story point estimates and refine the descriptions for their design and development items in JIRA. Except, they’re not just JIRA items anymore; they’re prompts. Once Sprint planning is complete, Ziggy generates training/enablement and marketing materials, including marketing copy, screenshots, and videos of computer-generated actors smiling and enjoying the new feature. Relevant stakeholders are notified. Ziggy is also updating the CRM to update the quote to cash workflow and send outbound emails to existing and potential customers who might beta-test the new feature. As UI designs are refined and code pull requests committed, Ziggy continuously tests the product in the dev environment and performs multi-variate A/B tests to optimize the interface and outbound marketing strategy. Based on the burndown chart and velocity, Ziggy anticipates a release date of four weeks from today and will start sending out product announcements on social media. Finally, generated legal product descriptions and contracts are sent to the legal team for review. According to Ziggy, there is a 96.7% chance the new feature will be a success and result incremental ARR and higher NPS scores. You’re probably wondering who Ziggy is? Ziggy is the name of the AI I built to run my Quantum Leap experiments. No…wait, I’m thinking of someone else. Ignore everything I just said.

The Electric Barbarians at the Gate

The Rivian R1T earned the J.D. Power award for most satisfying ownership experience among Premium Battery Electric Vehicles. But, what is perhaps more surprising is who came in second and third. The Mini Cooper EV came in second and the Kia EV6 ranked third. The Tesla Model 3 came in fourth. Tesla didn’t even finish on the podium. Speaking of Tesla…

Tesla held their investor day yesterday and though they claim the Cybertruck will begin manufacturing this year, I remain skeptical. It’s been 3.25 years since the unveiling of the Cybertruck, but more importantly, according to a NY Times article (link), Tesla has run into physical challenges with building the Cybertruck, that may prove extremely expensive to overcome – if not impossible. $TSLA currently has a forward PE ratio of 51.9, and honest to goodness, someone needs to explain to me how the current stock price and PE ratio is justified. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I think Tesla is just another car company whose first mover advantage is EVaporating. The Electric Barbarians have breached the gate.

Career Ambitions

So there’s a former military officer who tells the story about his career. He was worried a little bit about promotions. Is he getting promoted fast enough. His career, right? And one day he just woke up and changed and he said,

“I’m not going to take care of my career anymore. I’m going to take care of my people. And the moment I did that, everything changed because they wouldn’t let me fail.” – Lloyd Austin III

Mr. Austin retired from the Army as a four star general and was sworn in as the 28th Secretary of Defense on January 22, 2021.

Take care of your people and they won’t let you fail. To that end, Forbes published an article on the impact that managers have on the mental health of their employees.

New data suggests that for almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor—and it’s equal to the impact of their partner.

Here’s a random thought: Why don’t more companies don’t have a Chief Medical Officer?

Wartime Consigliere

Random thoughts on the future of “Search”:

If I were on the board at Alphabet, I would immediately bring back Larry Page and Sergei Brin as CEO and President of Google. Remember that scene in The Godfather where Michael informs the family’s longtime consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) that he is “out” as consigliere? Michael says to him, “You’re not a wartime consigliere, Tom”. The thing is, whether they realize it or not, Google is at war.

Two weeks ago in an interview with FT, Satya Nadella said the following: “From now on, the [gross margin] of search is going to drop forever. There is such margin in search, which for us is incremental. For Google it’s not, they have to defend it all.” I don’t know where you grew up, but where I come from, those are fightin words. I’m just reading between the lines, but it sounds like Nadella is willing to do whatever it takes to win Search AND, in doing so, take down Google Workspace & Google Cloud – rivals to Office and Azure respectively. IMO, Nadella wants it all back and he’s going to make Google defend every square pixel of search.

One more thing: I predict MSFT will convince Apple to switch the default search engine on iOS from Google to Bing. Why? Because the ghost of Steve Jobs still walks the halls of Apple, and some grudges never die.

At least one of you reading this is thinking “I’ve never seen The Godfather”. You need to fix that immediately!!!

Finally, to whom it may concern, I’d be happy to join the board at Alphabet. I know things, I never lose at bar trivia, and I’m a lot of fun at parties. 🙃

SFDC used Slack to buy Slack

How meta is this? The acquisition of Slack was negotiated on Slack. Salesforce’s CFO Amy Weaver was quoted as saying “Our law firms were in Slack channels, our investment bankers, we did all of our diligence within Slack. So we literally bought Slack on Slack.…Most of the people involved, certainly the law firms, had not used Slack before,”

I love this. I wonder how many Slackmojis were used during redlines? 🙃 Slackmojis are a more efficient form of communication. Knock on wood if you’re with me.

Dear Google, please add the following feature…

As far as I can tell neither MSFT PowerPoint nor Google Slides has an option for multiple (online) presenters. How is that not already a feature? It’s 2021 and (remote) presenters have to say “next slide please” during a presentation followed by the inevitable “too far, please go back one slide.” Personally, I like to make the “beep” noise…you know, from the 80s filmstrips with accompanying cassette soundtrack with beeps to cue the next slide? It was such a treat when the teacher chose you to run the filmstrip. Knock on wood if you’re with me. Back to my original point, “remote presenter mode”! I’ll type up the JIRA Epic if you need me to, just tell me who to email at Google 😂

Run it again

They say that you should write everyday, to and for yourself. And by they, I mean a bunch of Roman and Greek philosophers who have been dead for two thousand years. But, I reckon a lot of what they wrote back then is still true today. So, after almost a year’s hiatus I’m rebooting my blog…again. These are my writings, these are my thoughts, and these are my opinions…get your own. But, if you need to, and if it helps you, feel free to borrow them.