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Posts Tagged ‘Kessler’

Phones That Can Read Your Mind

Posted by hkarner - 28. Januar 2020

Date: 27‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Andy Kessler

Targeted ads may soon show you what you really want before you knew you did.

When I first met Larry Page and Sergey Brin around 1999, Google’s accidental billionaire founders (they couldn’t even sell their technology to Yahoo for $1 million) gave a talk about the future of search. Mr. Page rambled for a while, then stopped, grinned and said, “what we really want to do is know what you want before you even think it.” The audience laughed nervously, but that’s been a driving force of technology ever since.

Ad men since “Mad Men” have tried to bend our minds into buying products they’re pitching for their clients. But will we ever get real personalized advertising—ad systems that interact with us closely, in a real‑time two‑way dialogue about our wants and desires—that it will be a step ahead of our thinking?

I posed this question to advertising giant Martin Sorrell. He built the ad agency WPP in the 1980s based on the “big TV idea,” and today we’re inundated 24/7 with Bud Knight, the Geico gecko and Flo from Progressive. It’s now easy to tune out. Yet with the rise of the “fearsome fivesome” online behemoths—Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and Tencent—Mr. Sorrell suggests we’ve entered the era of “personalization at scale.”

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The Five Traits of True Tech

Posted by hkarner - 3. Dezember 2019

Date: 02‑12‑2019

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Andy Kessler

Every company wants the label, but real highly valued tech has defining features.

It seems everyone wants to be a technology company these days. But not every company is worth 40 times earnings and 15 times sales in the stock market. How can you tell which growing companies might sustain that valuation? Put more broadly, in the wake of WeWork’s woes, what qualifies a company as highly valued tech?

Any company can call itself tech. Heck, Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name in 2017 to Long Blockchain Corp. and the stock popped 400% to $13 (it’s now $0.16). But can companies that sell razors, glasses or mattresses be high tech? Exercise bikes? Insurance? Or even ads? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2019

Date: 17-06-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Andy Kessler

There’s one trend you can count on: Most predictions turn out to be wrong.

Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic-calculator boom that came a few years later. They shut down their slide-rule engravers in 1976. As Mark Twain said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Or was it Niels Bohr? Maybe Yogi Berra?

My father was a proud member of the Book of the Month Club. Bored on a visit home in 1989, I devoured that month’s selection, “Megamistakes” by Baruch College professor Steven Schnaars, where I read about K&E’s study. The book’s message was simple: Don’t be fooled by prevailing opinion, and don’t extend trend lines into the future. Mr. Schnaars chronicles how 1950s jet-age thinking morphed into ’60s dreams of a space-age utopia. A 1966 study by conglomerate TRW forecast manned lunar bases by 1977, autonomous vehicles by 1979 and intelligent robot soldiers by the ’90s. AT&T ’s Picturephone service, ultrasonically cleaned dishes, cheap energy forever, future shock everywhere—all wrong. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Venture Investor from Bell Labs Channels the Noise and the Knowledge

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2013

By John Mauldin | Jul 05, 2013

Investors seek that elusive substance called alpha. It is too often remains hidden from them, and instead they find some form of beta, or simply what the market gives everyone. Sometimes, in secular bull markets, that can be plenty and investors feel secure. But in the secular bear cycles investing is a difficult task and one that at the end of the day may find you distressingly close to where you started.

Beta, alternative beta (often trying to pass as alpha), and true alpha are the only real sources of returns. Today I am somewhat under the weather and unable to produce an issue of Thoughts from the Frontline, but I will offer you the following fascinating essay, sent to me by my good friend Andy Kessler. Our mutual friend George Gilder has written a powerful new book called Knowledge and Power, and he asked Andy to hammer out in his wordsmithy a foreword, which he has done to perfection.

Alpha is found on the edges, away from common knowledge. Andy sees it in new technologies, and it can surely be found there, although there are different risks at the edge. But there are other sources of alpha, which can be found not by looking at what has happened but at what is likely to happen, not just in technology but in markets and the actions and reactions of those who would try to move markets.

But for today, let’s just look at Andy’s essay and enjoy our weekends.

Foreword to Knowledge and Power

A Venture Investor from Bell Labs Channels the Noise and the Knowledge

By Andy Kessler Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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