25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

Lessons from Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners

Robert Smith is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Vista Equity Partners. A March 2018 Forbes profile described Vista’s performance: “Since the firm’s inception in 2000, Vista’s private equity funds have returned 22% net of fees annually to limited partners, according to PitchBook data. Annual realized returns, which reflect exits, stand at a staggering 31% net. His funds have already made distributions of $14 billion, including $4 billion in the last year alone. […]

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Business Lessons from Jack Ma- Alibaba and the 40 SaaS

  Jack Ma is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba. The Wall Street Journal describes Alibaba as: “a marketplace, a search engine and a bank, all in one.” Wikipedia’s description is longer:  “Alibaba is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999 that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services.” As is customary on this blog, […]

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Peloton: The “SaaS Plus a Box” Business case

  “We’re a software company. The entire leadership team comes from consumer Internet… what differentiates us is the software, which includes the streaming and the gamification and the network. We’re also a media company on top of that, because we’re streaming 12 hours of live TV content each day and have another 4,000 classes on-demand.”  Peloton CEO John Foley Peloton sells stylish stationary bicycles and treadmills to customers: But despite […]

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Business Lessons from Jim Clark (Silicon Graphics, Netscape, etc.)

  Jim Clark is an entrepreneur and computer scientist. He founded several important businesses including the two named in the title and Healtheon (which eventually merged with WebMD). He is currently the founder of the building management systems provider CommandScape. Clark is a friend of my friend Craig McCaw and I have heard some colorful stories about him as a result. He is not boring. As an example of the […]

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What might the Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan health care joint venture actually do?

Why did Warren Buffett say the biggest issue facing American businesses as they compete abroad is the cost of healthcare?   Why did Charlie Munger recently say: “The current US health care system runs out of control on the cost side and leads to behavior that’s not just regrettable, but evil.” Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan (ABJ) recently announced that they are creating of “an independent company free from profit-making incentives and constraints…to […]

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Business Lessons from Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg was born and raised in Long Beach California. His famous nickname was created by his mother because she thought he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon strip. His music career started in 1990 when he recorded cassette tapes with his friend Warren G, who gave them to his brother Dr. Dre. After performing on parts of an album for Dre, Snoop recorded an album for Death Row […]

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Business Lessons from Reed Hastings/Netflix (Part 2)

5. “We’re competing with sleep, on the margin. It’s a very large pool of time.” “We are growing a whole industry. So [Netflix faces] a mix of competition that hurts, but on the other hand that competition is making internet viewing more popular with everyone.” “Every incremental 10 million is a little harder than the last 10 million, but our content keeps getting better, so those forces offset each other. […]

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Business Lessons from Reed Hastings (Netflix)- Part 1

Reed Hastings is the Chairman, CEO, President and co-Founder of Netflix. After graduating from Bowdoin College in Maine Hastings joined the Peace Corps. He then obtained a master’s degree in computer science at Stanford. Hastings was the founder of Pure Software which built tools for Unix software developers. Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997, the same year Netflix was founded. “We’re figuring out every year how to use […]

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Lessons from Phil Knight about Business and Being an Entrepreneur

Phil Knight famously turned the startup Blue Ribbon Sports into the giant company known as Nike. Knight described the market at the time he started his business in this way: “The American shoes were offshoots of tire companies. Shoes cost $5 and you would come back from a five-mile run with your feet bleeding. Then the German companies came in with $30 shoes, which were more comfortable.” During a trip to […]

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Super Bass-O-Matic Subscriptions: Lessons from Rovco on Customer Retention

As you know, Rovco has traditionally sold delicious bass on a transactional basis to its “Super Bass-o-Matic” customers. Spokesman: How many times has this happened to you? You have a bass, and you’re trying to find an exciting new way to prepare it for the dinner table. You could scale the bass, remove the bass’ tail, head and bones, and serve the fish as you would any other fish dinner. But […]

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