The Road to Deer Valley
This past weekend was spent in Salt Lake City, UT. As some will know, this is a state I called home for many years during high school (boarding school) and Jr. College, before eventually moving on to university in California.
I don't know what it is.... there is something deeply alluring about Utah. While most are quick to point out the state's flaws -- religion, bankruptcy rates, middleofnowhere -- I try to quickly remind them that if they have any passion for the outdoors (on a daily basis), Utah is very tough to beat. The looming mountains and incredible ski resorts in your backyard.... the deserts, canyons, rivers and rock formations to the South...... the epic race facilities to the West. Top all this off with nearly 300 days of sun per year, and you have quite the package for a healthy lifestyle.
(If outdoors isn't your thing, they also happen to be sitting on the worlds most advanced fiber network, and the undisputed "fasted internet in the world")
I stayed with my boarding school buddy Austin, accompanied by his ladyfriend Beth... hospitality of unimaginable opulence in Austin's mid-century hillside manor. Tranquil views overlooking the city to the West.... adrenaline-evoking sights of the rockies to the East.
We hit Solitude on Saturday. Solitude is a legitimate local's mountain -- one of few in the region.... a true diamond in the rough. So many tourists pass Solitude on their way to Brighton, Snowbird, Alta.... and its almost unspoken in the language of popular ski resorts. Solitude has everything from intense backcountry with mammouth bowls and steep tree lines... to wide-open groomers begging to be carved to pieces. Its a wonderful place.
Sunday we traversed the pass (by car) to Deer Valley. DV is - quite possibly - the most luxurious resort in North America: rivaled only by Sun Valley, Bear Creek, and... shoot... Aspen? Point is... DV is crème-de-la-crème. Like our time at Solitude, we were met with fresh snowfall, brite blue skies, and nearly abandoned lift lines.
It occurred to me... rather, it was "confirmed" to me... that Deer Valley is a place I will spend my life seeking to find residence. I'm not sure when, or how this will happen... but I assue you...... it will. With average home prices approaching several several million dollars, and an area where land is becoming less and less available..... this could be the challenge of a lifetime. I will succeed.
Ebay bids for GSI Commerce
This one is pretty interesting. In case there was any doubt that Ebay was continually less focused on their consumer-facing efforts in exchange for becoming the be-all infrastructure for eCommerce.... I think this deal sums it up.
This is really a win-win... GSI gets to keep fueling/growing some of their recently acquired subsidiaries, while Ebay gets all the guts&glory (and high-profile customer base) of GSI's eCommerce and marketing service contracts.
Forrester says that eCommerce spending will double by 2015 (nearly $300bn), and paypal's revenues are expected to double by 2013. Between transaction processing (paypal), short-term financing (BillMeLater), eCommerce & Marketing (GSI), Ebay is sitting in a pretty comfortable position to hold a significant stake in the broad online commerce arena.
Petite Lap Giraffes
OK... maybe I'm late to the game here. I have no idea how long this prank has been going on. The past couple weeks have been absolutely overwhelming with work, and I feel like I'm just coming up for air..... but I'm not clouded enough to believe this is real.
Actually, when I first arrived at the site, I was totally convinced this was a true, living animal walking around. But, then I went to the "About" page and started second guessing the legitimacy of these photos, videos, and claims.
Pretty fun stuff.
Desynchronosis -- more commonly referred to as jetlag. A physiological condition which results from alterations to the body's circadian rhythms; it is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Jet lag results from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel, as on a jet plane.
The condition of jet lag may last several days, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a fair guideline.
Update to 2011 M&A Predictions
In January, one of my 2011 predictions was to see a major mobile OS vendor acquire one of North America's primary wireless carriers. In that prediction, I put a heavy emphasis on Google being that vendor... but now, after what we've seen these past couple weeks, I would love to see Microsoft dive headfirst into the carrier/operator world.
Microsoft has nearly $45bn cash on their balance sheet -- more than any other software company in the world. Shareholders have already expressed concern about these numbers, despite buybacks and dividends. The bottom line is that MSFT is way too cash heavy and only made two small acquisitions last year. They need to start spending.
A former [3-time] client of Corum's, Alan Gould, recently wrote a piece about Microsoft making a massive investment into the carrier world.
His logic is easily defined in these few sentences:
One check buys you 40 Million, 60 Million, 80 Million, 300 Million recurring revenue paying customers. You no longer compete with iPhone, Android or Blackberry…you support them.The new war, the right war, the war that make sense for Microsoft will be in the acquisition of one or more wireless carriers. Microsoft simply buys themselves all the recurring revenue seats they want and can start off in the hundreds of millions.
Here's to hoping that the SEC, FTC and FCC will pass the deal.
So Much Snow..
So much Snow in these Mountains. 30" Sunday/Monday, plus an additional 6" last night... thats 3-feet of snow in 48hrs. While this wouldn't seem terribly uncommon in the Rockies - where most of the snow is deposited in large storm systems - in the NW, we tend to get steady levels of 2", 3", maybe even 6" at a time. 3-feet is highly irregular.
I work in Software M&A. This is a personal / business blog.
dougan This snow is crazy.... one of the bigger NW dumps I've ever seen. http://t.co/3BO5tfQ 17 hours ago · reply
dougan Great comparison piece on the middle east by one of my favorite authors, Mary Doria Russel: http://goo.gl/KqMsH 2 days ago · reply