Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Saturday, January 25, 2003

Holy c**p. This chesty-guy (aka Chris Pirillo) will be at my superbowl party tomorrow. What a hoot. Hey, Maryam, what should I pay Chris to put on his nipples? Did you know that Woz's superbowl party is cancelled this year? He told me his house construction was delayed. Heh. I just might have the best Silicon Valley Super Bowl party around and I didn't need to reconstruct my house to do it.

Speaking of super things. Safeway just opened a new mondo -- 60,000 square foot -- supermarket near our house. This is a very good thing. Before we were in a "supermarket-less" neighborhood. That meant driving 20 minutes to the nearest market. That really sucked. Now the new one has a deli, a Starbucks, and a huge selection of ice cream less than five minutes away. I remember when I was in high school we'd talk about Russia and the cold war (which was still underway -- hey, Ronald Reagan was elected the first time when I was a freshman). I always wanted to bring average Russian citizens over here to see our supermarkets. They are unreal. Anyone need 75 different kinds of cereal?

I just had dinner with one of the guys who works at Yahoo designing the new photo site. He says they are wondering how they'll make money in the photo field. He says that Ofoto says they are doing OK with making money off of prints. He's excited by the field, though. It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with at Yahoo. I'll not name him for now, since I hope to get a sneak peak.

We talked a lot about the Silicon Valley economy. He knows a lot of folks who are out of work. Many of whom have simply given up and switched fields. He says Yahoo is hiring, albeit very slowly and carefully. They have a lot of qualified talent to choose from, he says, and they can afford to wait until the right person comes along.

I note that his wife is going back to school. Sounds like a sensible thing to do when the economy gets rough. I count my lucky stars every night that I have a job.

Hmm, I wonder if Bill Lazar is going for a position at Microsoft. I saw this report that Microsoft is hiring 1500 new salespeople, and then saw Bill talking about a potential new job in Mountain View (Microsoft has a sizeable campus there). Hmmm. Well, no matter who it is, Bill is a great guy and I hope he gets the job. Yeah, networking is key in this economy. Speaking of which, Maryam is still looking (she has a part-time gig, but is looking to join an event team -- she's good, she stole my job before she stole my heart!).

Did NEC Japan announce a Tablet this week? Yes it did. NEC Solutions (America)'s announcement will come in February (that's the folks I work for).

Um, Halley, do alpha males clean their own toilets? I'll admit to it. It's a disgusting job, but someone gotta do it. (Translation: if I didn't clean the toilets, Maryam wouldn't let me have a Superbowl party tomorrow, so I wouldn't get to drink Gnome-Girl's jello shots).

Yeah, Gnome-Girl, I agree. This weblog is well done. Maybe someday I'll get creative and do something like that. In the meantime, I'm just a plain-text-kinda guy.

I'll be posting lightly this weekend cause I have to help Maryam get ready for our Super Bowl party tomorrow. Go Raiders!

The axis of weasels meme is pretty funny. Of course I saw it over at instapundit.

Mike Amundsen's weblog service, built using .NET technogy, is up and running again -- this time on a new box. Looks like it survived the worm that attacked the Internet this morning. Hey, Maryam, why don't you go here and start your weblog now?

My wife, when I crawl in bed, sometimes tells me weird things. For instance, last night, she said "you know, Hitler was a vegetarian. Never drank or smoked. Was faithful to his mistress. And killed six million Jews.

"Churchill, on the other hand, drank, smoked, and was a womanizer. Just goes to show you that you shouldn't judge leaders by their personal lives."

Will someone get this woman a weblog please?

In conversations (er, arguments) with my family and friends it's become clear to me that there's a common belief that the best way to get the economy going is to give more money to the poor. "The poor won't save it and will just spend it which will get people back to work" my dad said. Um, that's true, but it isn't the most efficient way (and, you gotta hope that employers will staff up to match the increased workload. My experience shows that won't necessarily happen.)

The best way to get this economy cranking again is to get rich people (and those VC funds) to invest in companies again. Why is that? Because if you just hand a poor person $400, they won't really change their spending all that much. Why? Because most of them are in credit card debt. Hell, most of the middle class is that way too. So, all you are gonna do is help out the banks who'll then have even more resources to keep trying to get me deeper in debt (you should see how many credit-card-junk-mail proposals I get everyday).

Compare that to what happens if we talk VC's into starting 100 new companies, each funded with $6 million. Hey, look at Woz's new company: "Wheels of Zeus." He got $6 million in funding. He's hired a dozen or so workers. They are now employed through at least next year. What do those workers do? They feel confident. They buy new houses. New cars. They go to Valley Fair and buy their girlfriends presents. They go to Los Gatos and go out to dinner. That six million is multiplied too, because of the credit card effect. A confident worker will borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a house.

This "wealth effect" trickles down to even the poorest workers. You ever been to Los Gatos? Ever seen who cleans the houses? Who cleans the buildings where people work? Who cuts the grass and does the landscaping? Who cooks the meals? Let me tell you, it ain't people who live in Los Gatos.

So, now, you've given many more people jobs and hope for tomorrow. All with a single investment.

No, the real answer on stimulating this economy isn't a tax cut for you and me and/or folks poorer than you and me. The real way to get this economy going again is to get rich folks to stop traveling the world and get them to invest in a new company.

Now, how do we do that? Well, make it cheaper to start a new company. Let's say we have a 18-month window where it's free to start a company. The government stops charging fees and taxes to new companies. They make it much easier to incorporate. They match investment in new companies. Imagine if Larry Ellison were to get $6 million to match the $6 million he invests in a new company.

The problem with this whole idea? It isn't politically feasible. It looks like we're giving money to the rich. No one likes doing that. But, it's the way to get the economy rocking and rolling again.

Look at why new companies aren't starting up in Silicon Valley right now. It's too expensive. It's too hard to do. Taxes are too high. Wages are too high. Health-care costs are too high.

Holy s%$t, there's another solution. Nationalize health-care. Instead of giving tax cuts, give Americans free health care. You know what that does? It makes it a lot easier to start a new company and hire people.

What we need are politicians who'll find ways to get us all back to work quickly. Not give us a tax cut that'll just go in the bank or to pay off some of our credit-card debt.

What do you think?

Now you know why Microsoft is moving toward making software a service. Everytime Microsoft gets attacked this way, it looks bad. Now, imagine if Microsoft could automatically upgrade your software without you being involved? This problem today wouldn't have happened. You know, a lot of IT guys are worried about losing their jobs. If I was the owner of a company and my IT guy hadn't loaded the latest security patches he would be unemployed today. It's your job to keep up to date on patches.

I wake up, start reading feeds, and see that Dave and others have been reporting on an Internet attack on Microsoft SQL Servers. Oh, it takes advantage of a vulnerability that has already been fixed. Remember that email that I got from Bill Gates just two days ago? What did he recommend? 1) Load all security patches. 2) Use a firewall. Amazing that IT folks don't keep up with the latest stuff.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 2:03:45 AM.