Category Archives: Anecdotes

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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For a price not much higher than that of the Six Million Dollar Man, you can come hang with me here in drought-sticken Palo Alto! In this morning’s paper, there is a property featured in my neighborhood for the low, low price of $6.5 million, which is a cinch if you happen to be one of Facebook’s earlier employees. And the lot size – simply massive – a full .172 of an acre (and I am not making that figure up – less than one-fifth of a single acre). Must be pretty magnificent building, though, eh? Here ya go! (more…)


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You may have seen a mention somewhere about the nearly 1,300-page PowerPoint presentation that entrepreneur Ryan Allis put together.

I’ve considered myself an entrepreneur ever since I was a teenager, although the only “real” business I started (and sold……..) was Prophet Financial, back in early 2005. Slope of Hope is sort of a business (revenue, profits, tax returns, and all that stuff) but, let’s face it – - Slope is just me – - so it’s not really a “business”, although it does keep bread on the table.

Anyway, I’m skimming this giant presentation, and although a good portion of it consists of obvious notions and values, there are a few gems here and there. I like this slide in particular: (more…)

A Decade of Public Google

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of Google’s initial public offering. I kept the newspaper from that day, the San Jose Mercury News, and I distinctly remember Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (of all people…….) loudly proclaming how overpriced Google was. Anyway…….

+ The company has increased over ten-fold in value since the IPO;
+ The stock has never been below its IPO price;
+ There are 52,000 workers at Google now, a twenty-fold increase from the IPO;
+ The firm has gobbled up over 250 smaller companies over the past decade;
+ Only two companies on thet planet – Apple and Exxon – are worth more

Congratulations, Googlers!


Barry Lyndon

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It’s a strange day today. Since the wee hours of this morning, Slope has been, from my perspective, offline. But this isn’t really the case. There’s a big-ass (I’m using technical terms here) problem with chunks of the Internet, partly thanks to the world’s most-hated company, Comcast. If you’re interested, you can see the commotion right here.

As with yesterday, I’ve been shorting left, right, and sideways, in spite of the market being annoying almost beyond words. Indeed, in my options account, I’ve done something I’ve never done before, which is put every single penny into positions (I’m often very conservatively positioned, with the majority of the account in cash). You can call me The King of Puts. (Alternately, King Putz). (more…)

My Eastern Bloc Tour

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As most of you know, I was away for nearly two weeks on “vacation”. Typically, when I go photo 1somewhere new – - – even something minor, like walking into a new store – - I can typically write up some impressions I had about the place. One would think that a tour of Prague, Poland, and Berlin would evoke all kinds of prose. Strangely, virtually nothing came to mind, and I wasn’t even sure I could muster up a “post-travel” post.

A few folks asked me if I would write one, however, and I do have a few things to say, including one conclusion that surprised me. For those who don’t know me so well, an important preface is that I’m not that keen on traveling. I’m a notorious homebody, and the nuisance of planes, passports, and expensive hotels really isn’t my cup of tea. I’d rather just stay home with my dogs. But occasionally I am wrested lose from the snug of Palo Alto. (more…)