Author Archives: Braden Kelley
Brian Shields poses the following:”Can you post/comment on what you think it will take to “fix” General Motors (GM)? I would very much appreciate your views on the subject.”Well, Brian, here you go:GM has an extremely difficult challenge ahead, and continuing to follow Toyota will not get them out of the pickle they are in. GM lost $15.5 Billion last quarter and expect to bleed red ink every month for the foreseeable future. GM claims to be well capitalized and capable of operating through 2008 and 2009 without difficulty. However, GM’s so-called conservative forecasts are likely to be optimistic as America’s credit spigot is turned off and Americans are forced to live closer to their true means. The tightening of home lending standards will spread to auto lending standards (if it hasn’t already), putting added pressure on auto sales. Finally to top it all off, GM faces higher than …
With rising fuel costs and inflation continuing to run in double digits in countries like India and China, the falling dollar, and rising oil prices pushing up transportation costs, is the world really flat as Thomas L. Friedman claimed in 2005?With the cost of shipping a container from China to the USA nearly tripling by some reports from $3,000 to $8,000 and cargo ships dropping their top speeds by 20% during the crossing to save fuel (decreasing speed to market and just-in-time capabilities), will companies continue to globalize their supply chains?Will some companies reverse the globalization of their supply chains?And, of course, the most obvious question for readers of this blog…Does this introduce new innovation opportunities for companies and advisors who can envision ways to profit from these new market characteristics?Of course it will. Entire methods of production for different manufactured goods may be completely revised, only to be revised … Continue reading
Just came across a Seattle Times article talking about how Microsoft is going to produce digital short films for Xbox Live.Buried in the article in a single sentence was the following:”The pilots will also be distributed over MSN and Zune.”So, Microsoft is halfway home by starting to produce content that people might find interesting.Now they should leverage the infrastructure they are putting in place to produce content and partner with Microsoft Advertising to make and distribute content that site owners will find useful.As we discussed in the original article, producing and syndicating useful content in key verticals then might encourage small site owners in those verticals to switch from Google Adwords, and lead to a larger query share for Live Search down the road…What do you think?
I came across an interesting web site the other day that made me wonder if someone shouldn’t start a class action lawsuit against the fast food companies for false advertising.How many times a day are people snookered into going into McDonalds or Taco Bell or Kentucky Fried Chicken by an enticing food picture, only to receive a microwaved, smashed indigestible piece of junk?The site has wonderful side-by-side pictorial examples of the promise versus the reality.What would you do if you bought a new car based on the model you saw in a brochure and the dealer drove a discolored, dented vehicle with cracked windows and half-flat tires around front for you to take home?So why is it okay for fast food companies to treat their customers in the same manner?People wouldn’t take this kind of bait and switch from a sit-down restaurant. They would send the food back.So why shouldn’t … Continue reading
As Google’s share of the search business approaches 70%, Microsoft is left needing a bold move to remain relevant.While Live Search is a good product, Cashback will not save them from the Google monster.Let’s look at the problem that they are trying to solve. Or rather, let’s look at what Microsoft is trying to achieve in the search business. Ultimately, Microsoft is trying to become the ad platform of choice. Being the search engine of choice would be nice too, but it is not their primary goal.So if Microsoft wants to be the ad platform of choice, what do they need to do?Well, first they need to become the number one choice for contextual advertising distribution. This should be the primary goal. Moving up in search engine popularity should be a secondary goal. If Microsoft marshalled their resources towards dominating contextual advertising, search popularity would follow as a byproduct. Why?Well, … Continue reading
Recently announced was a deal for Google to syndicate a web-only series of content by Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy, via its AdSense network.The hope is that the content will be attractive to advertisers as will its syndication to a targeted set of thousands of web sites where Mr. McFarlane’s target audience (typically young men) tend to gather.It remains to be seen whether enough advertisers will show an interest in buying pre-roll, bottom banner, or brought-to-you-by style advertising to support Google’s investment.Extending the unconventional approach is an option for advertisers to work with McFarlane to create animated ads to go with the content (for an extra fee of course).The one thing the New York Times author appeared to miss, and that Google may miss to, is the ancillary revenue Google stands to earn from incremental PPC or other advertising from increased impressions and clicks on the sites where these … Continue reading