[VIC – 72] This sucks 😩. Holographic mustaches. Just do something. The Internet History Podcast. Why are they trying to kill me? 🔫🔫

Business & Money

You know what sucks, deciding not to purchase a stock, then watching it go on a tear. 😩 😩 Check out Wix:

If you’re unfamiliar with this company, they create self-service web design software that allows anyone to setup and launch a site in minutes.
I was planning to make the purchase in early February when WIX was at $60, but decided the company was overvalued. Now things are above $80 five months later and I feel like an idiot.
That said, it makes me feel better to reiterate why I decided to pass:
First, the company was valued at about 10 times 2016 sales, that’s really high.
Second, if you read through the annual report, the company spent over 50% of revenues on sales and marketing last year. That’s also really high.
Related to this, Wix operates in a very competitive market. You know a market is really competitive when a free, open-source competitor (WordPress) own over 50% market share. Thus, sales and marketing spend will have to remain high to acquire new customers and there will likely be pricing pressure in the future which would have a negative impact on revenues.
In the end, this post may just serve to lessen the FOMO effect I’m feeling right now. But more importantly, when I think about my investment returns over time, it’s an exercise in reviewing the decisions that I did make, and the resulting outcomes, rather than focusing on the ones that I missed.
There will always be ones that get away – great white buffalo. (Leave a comment if you get the reference 😂😂)

Human Progress

Are you guys familiar with the show “Silicon Valley?” It’s a satirical series about a fictional technology startup (called “Pied Piper”) in San Francisco. The show’s lead character, Richard Hendricks, is a socially awkward computer programmer trying to strike it rich by developing a next-generation compression algorithm.
At one point in the show, Richard is fired from his CEO role and is forced to shop his talents at other startups in the valley. One company that aggressively tries to recruit him is developing a technology to overlay 3-dimensional mustaches on your face during video chat.

It’s pretty clear that this “mustache tech” is taking a shot at all of the lofty claims by tech companies to be building revolutionary software, much of which has no real market and/or value.
What’s interesting, though, is that SnapChat has built a real business based on similar technology. They leverage advanced computer vision technology that allows users to apply lenses and filters to their photos. Pokemon Go also applies computer vision to map your environment and place Pokemon into the real world.
I don’t use SnapChat much and I haven’t played Pokemon Go, so perhaps I am part of a small minority that didn’t recognize the reference to augmented reality (AR). But AR, sometimes referred to as mixed reality, will likely turn out to be one of the most revolutionary technologies of the 21st century.
I wonder what other technologies are now in the “gimmick” phase with seemingly no practical application, that will one day turn out to be game changers.


I was listening to a podcast recently wherein Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) was talking about losing her husband. While on vacation, he collapsed while exercising and was dead before he hit the floor. It turns out that he had a serious heart condition that had gone undiagnosed.
For obvious reasons, the sudden loss of her husband and the father of her children was incredibly difficult. What made it harder still was that many of the people closest to Sheryl had no idea how to be supportive. Some would say “Hey Sheryl, how’s it going?” as if nothing had happened. Others would completely avoid speaking to her in fear of saying the wrong thing.
Luckily one of Sheryl’s closest friends is the renowned psychologist and social scientist Adam Grant (you may know him from his New York Times Best Seller Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World).
One thing that Grant encourages people to do that are in a support role for someone going through a difficult time, is to do something. That is, don’t ask “is there anything I can do?” or “do you need anything?” Instead, stop asking questions and do something.
This is one of those pieces of advice that seems so obvious in hindsight. A person that’s struggling to keep it together probably doesn’t have a checklist of items that they need help with. They haven’t written down a list of how people can be most helpful. In fact, they are often struggling to get out of bed or eat a nutritious meal. Grant suggests preparing a healthy meal and dropping it off or showing up unannounced to clean up around the house.
So next time someone is in pain, don’t ask if there’s anything you can do. Just do something!

My Latest Discovery

I’m really enjoying the “Internet History Podcast.” It starts out with the creation of the first consumer web browser in the early 90s and goes all the way up through the dotcom era of the early 2000s. If you’re at all curious about how Google became so dominant, why Windows became to defacto operating system, or what social networks looked like before Facebook & Twitter, you should definitely check this one out!

Question Of The Week

Why is everything next to the checkout line terrible for you? Tobacco, Candy, magazines encouraging a consumerist culture… all the worst things in life are offered up while you’re at your most vulnerable.
How would Tobacco consumption change if cigarettes were in the back corner of the store? If candy was placed next to weight loss supplements?
It seems we could encourage our retail outlets to support healthy habits instead of trying to destroy us for profit.