Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Snapchat Lied. Now This.

May 30, 2014

Snapchat CEO ‘Mortified’ by Leaked Stanford Frat E-Mails

Sarah Frier writing for Bloomberg:

“Snapchat Inc. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel apologized for e-mails he sent during his fraternity days that celebrated getting drunk and convincing sorority women to perform sexual acts.”

Earlier this month, Snapchat settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Because “snaps” on its service do not disappear.

As advertised.

So, Snapchat lied and settled.

Now this.

Snapchat and its CEO are building quite a reputation.

More accurately, a reputation crisis.

To think Snapchat spurned a multibillion-dollar buyout offer from Facebook.

Perhaps Facebook got off lucky.



Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here



Blocking Twitter Trolls Harder

December 12, 2013

Blocking Twitter Users

Thought you blocked one of those Twitter trolls (or worse).

Not really. Read Twitter’s new policy closely:

Note: If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline.”

You won’t see blocked users.

Their troll content, however, can still be seen.

And retweeted.

And searched.

Your choice?

Start over.

Go private.

Lock your account.

I know. Not much of a choice.

Twitter is now a public company.

The company wants your trolls (or worse) to remain public.

Update — Twitter “reverts” change:

Source: Twitter

“Earlier today, we made a change to the way the ‘block’ function of Twitter works. We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users – we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect.”


New level of corporate spin.

After Twitter creates a crisis.

Issues remain: balancing privacy, reputations, safety … and the wrath of the ticked off trolls you block.

New Space

November 24, 2013

Flights of fancy may launch the industry’s future

“Old” space, Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post:

“Old Space (and this is still the dreamers talking) is slow, bureaucratic, government-directed, completely top-down. Old Space is NASA, cautious and halting, supervising every project down to the last thousand-dollar widget. Old Space is Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman. Old Space coasts on the glory of the Apollo era and isn’t entirely sure what to do next.”

 “New” space, quoting reporter Achenbach:

“New Space is the opposite of all that. It’s wild. It’s commercial, bootstrapping, imaginative, right up to the point of being (and this is no longer the dreamers talking) delusional.”

The Falcon 9: 

Photo Credit: SpaceX, Sept. 29, 2013

Quoting +Elon Musk:

“We’re either going to be on Earth forever until some extinction event claims us, or we’re going to be a multi-planet species, out there exploring the stars.”

Honor old space.

Chase new space.

Technology leadership invigorates.

As does the promise of new exploration.

Yahoo is Buying … Yahoo

November 20, 2013

Yahoo Boosts Share Buyback by $5 Billion

Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier and Aaron Ricadela:

“Yahoo has repurchased $5.3 billion in stock since January 2012, including $1.7 billion in the third quarter, the company said on its earnings conference call on Oct. 15.”

So, another $5 billion stock buyback.

Because financial engineering is a key Yahoo strategy.

Notably, CEO +Marissa Mayer also declares:

“You shouldn’t design for the expert user.”

To recap, Yahoo is buying more … Yahoo.

And Yahoo’s CEO Mayer says avoid targeting experts.


Elon Musk Goes Around Media … to You

November 19, 2013

The Mission of Tesla

CEO Elon Musk blogs:

“The media coverage of Model S fires vs. gasoline car fires is disproportionate by several orders of magnitude, despite the latter actually being far more deadly.”

Musk takes on the headlines:

“Reading the headlines, it is therefore easy to assume that the Tesla Model S and perhaps electric cars in general have a greater propensity to catch fire than gasoline cars when nothing could be further from the truth.”

He asks for fact-based reporting:

“Journalists with a deep knowledge of the car industry, such as the news editor of Automotive News, understand and attempt to rebut this notion, but they have been drowned out by an onslaught of popular and financial media seeking to make a sensation out of something that a simple Google search would reveal to be false.”

Musk is spot on:

“Since the Model S went into production mid last year, there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the United States alone due to gasoline car fires, compared to zero deaths and zero injuries due to Tesla fires anywhere in the world.”

Why do business and financial media stray so far from the data?


Journalists chasing more “clicks”?

Whatever the case, this CEO just went around the media.

Straight to you.

That’s leadership.


UPDATE  No. 1: Elon Musk took the facts to twitter, too.


UPDATE No. 2: Investors find +Elon Musk a credible source:

Tesla Elon Musk $TSLA

$TSLA up 3.71%

Tesla’s stock popped more than 3 percent.

Credible leadership. Facts. Data.

Straight from the CEO.

More valuable to you on this day…

…than traditional media.

Apple Got "New"

July 23, 2013

New Apple Products in Months

CEO Tim Cook, in the firm’s strong 2Q earnings statement:

“‘…we are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.’”

Apple also announced sales of 31.2 million iPhones.

Investors liked what they heard:

Apple’s stock popped after hours

So, what’s coming: a new iPhone, Apple TV, an iWatch?

Don’t know. Do know we’ll know “new,” soon.

In months.

And over months.

Wall Street’s Trading Terror

May 23, 2013

American Electric Power’s Strange, Fast 54% Drop

Bloomberg’s Whitney Kisling:

American Electric Power fell as much as $26.31 to $22.28 a share as the market opened today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares rebounded, trading down 1.6 percent to $47.82 as of 10:21 a.m.

Odd flash-crash on a chart. See it?

Zap! AEP’s morning-flash crash

NextEra also crashed in the first minute of trading:

NEE stock slammed in first minute

The New York Stock Exchange will let the odd trading stand, per Reuters:

The share drops were the latest such incidents for the market since the May 6, 2010, “flash crash,” a computer-driven trading glitch that caused a sudden afternoon tumble in the major U.S. indexes. Last week, the NYSE canceled trades in Anadarko Petroleum Corp. after a blip in trading cut the market value of the company by 99 percent.

NextEra’s CFO reacted strongly:

‘This is naturally a concern for all our shareholders and potential shareholders,’ said Moray Dewhurst, vice chairman and chief financial officer of NextEra Energy. ‘This type of market behavior is not what we would expect from a well-functioning and well-regulated exchange.’

Three ways to look at this:

  1. Glorious — buying AEP, a $48 stock, or NEE, a $78 stock, at half off.
  2. Painful — selling these two utility stocks at a 50 percent loss in a blink.
  3. Baffling — comprehending how the NYSE fails to disallow these wild trades.

Reports say a fix to avoid such strangeness is on its way.

But huge sums of investor monies were involved.

Raising even larger credibility issues.

Look at those two charts, again.

Those long, thin lines.

They represent mere seconds of trading terror … happening as fast as a gasp.

Reputations and confidence can be lost quickly.

So, NYSE and the SEC, that’s you, your leadership.

Because, ultimately, it’s about us, people’s investments.

Unless, however, you want Wall Street to be viewed as the Wild West.

Just a couple of flash-crashes, right?

Not a comforting thought.

CNBC’s Bob Pisani reports the trades will indeed stand, but be “removed from the tape.” Still count. But you won’t see them. The worst trades will be hidden.

Still not comforting.

Coach K to Stay

May 23, 2013

Krzyzewski Remains U.S. Olympics Coach

Greg Bishop, The New York Times:

Krzyzewski, 66, is the winningest coach in college basketball … victory count now at 957. His record in international competition is 62-1.

His leadership is … golden.

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