Time To Get Serious About Gambling

This morning as one of many Google Adsense publishers I received a email suggesting the future of online gambling has revolutionized. The image below is what that email contained.


The above snippet suggests that there are many more winners to the gambling game than many initially thought. Without a doubt gambling has been and will continue to be a multi-billion dollar industry. After the newsletter from Google this morning, this shows that not only a few small companies are jumping on board the gambling train, but even some of the bigger tech giants are interested in boosting revenues through the gambling market.

With AdSense already an established business model for Google, expanding it to categories once thought questionable is a great move. In the countries where online gambling is completely legal, Google does not have any moral dilemmas about making money off of the current (and legal) online gambling infrastructure. Six months ago I wrote a piece about Facebook and its potential as a online gambling super star. Though in regards to Facebook the overwhelming issue remains that it may be against the values of the online giant and  values its reputation more than revenues. Though as we see with all these large tech companies, if one enters the market others are sure to follow.

In regards to those small gaming companies that have been the talk of the news lately due to gambling, specifically Glu Mobile and Zynga, their stories have just been validated by the above email from Google. When a big player like Google gets serious about online gambling, even going as far to completely revamp their policy on the matter, it lends a large amount of validity to other companies in the space (or in this case companies looking to enter the space). Glu Mobile and Zynga have many other issues and challenges above and beyond online gambling, so let us see how they “play their hand” and perhaps they can make big inroads in this market.

Without a doubt Google has validated the potential of those in the online gambling arena or attempting to enter. Not only that, perhaps Google can boost revenues with future gambling partnerships. The hype around Glu Mobile and Zynga may have not been the joke we all initially thought.

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Marissa Meyer Signals a Bigger Issue at Yahoo!

Since I was too busy working from home, I was unable to comment on the recent shenanigans at Yahoo. Whatever Marissa Meyers is smoking, I want some, perhaps a few crates. Where does one get the idea that forcing people to get out of their creative home environment into a hellish brick and mortar they call Yahoo’s office will fix any of hoo’s problems?

Yahoo wants to be a global technology company; they even wrote it (a big step for a company that can barely develop anything). Now I do not know how much research they did on their competition, obviously none. That space is not only crowded but cut throat. The gimmicks and schemes Yahoo has used in years past will not suffice.

To understand where Marissa Meyer is coming from you have to understand the environment. Marissa has workers producing about $350,000 in revenue. Compare this to their new choose of competition (since they are moving to be a technology company), Google, with almost $1,000,000 per worker in revenue.

What is my dear Marissa trying to accomplish here? Well obviously she thinks that her workers lack productivity. She also believes that drawing all the employees under one roof will boast creativity. Ever heard of Google Campus? Neither of these are bad ideas. The issues stem from what this move implies about the overall culture at Yahoo.

Yahoo can try all they want to emulate Google, they will fail miserably at it. Companies, particularly in the tech space have to make their own lane. In other words, they have to be individuals. Technology moves so fast that copying a competitors approach, products, atmosphere correlates to being years behind.

More importantly, Yahoo employees lack productivity and creativity. That is essentially what Marissa is telling us. She is suggesting that her employees do not make her enough money and need to be under a watchful eye. This says everything you ever wanted to know about Yahoo. These facts blatantly state that the wrong people work at Yahoo. When the wrong people work for you, fissures in the company run deep.

Have you ever heard of employees of Yahoos newfound rival Google needing a slap on the wrist for not being productive or creative enough? No you have not. Have you ever watched a fight between a trained combatant with the latest technological weaponry and an elderly woman? It is quite entertaining, so grab the popcorn and join me for this entertaining programming.

Essentially Yahoo and Marissa Meyer have put a band aid on a wound that needs immediate medical attention. By attempting to solve the problem without having a deep understanding of the actual issues at hand Marissa has just prolonged the unavoidable, Yahoos death (or Marissa’s termination).

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Twitter Vs. Facebook For Dummies

Lacking a in-depth understanding of a companies, their product and their standing among competitors will only serve to lose you money. Let us take a extensive look at the social giants Twitter and Facebook.

For those of you who do not understand Twitters social function. In a basic form it shares what is happening in your world in right now… and right now. More importantly it connects people in real-time. Time stamping every action or emotion. One can think of Twitter like a news webpage, constantly updated and quickly forgotten. You read a Twitter stream once and forget about what happened in the next moment, no one spends long hours going back over what you said. Quite the contrary to the ideals of Facebook which I will go into momentarily, which focuses on a spectrum of time.  You may have tweeted thousands of times, but unless you are a potential employer hunting for some naughty info on a perspective employee, the tweets of yesteryear are lost to the abyss of the internet.

Twitter also has this lovely feature where you can take a picture and share it with the world. For example :”I am currently partaking in the gluttony of America,” followed by a picture of a plate in which you will throw away half the portion promptly. Now for those of you who are lost when it comes to the internet, first off I do not know how you got here, secondly yes another company profiteers from the picture craze. Let me hint at it for you, Facebook owns them, they lost a majority of users by attempting to monetize their users pictures. Welcome to the world of Instagram! To be honest I cannot remember who made posting a picture of your dinner important first, Twitter or Instagram, it is much like the chicken or the egg. Who came first, no one really cares. What really matters is finding out which farmer makes more money, the chicken or the egg farmer, so you can invest in them netting a hefty profit.

Now why do you care about little ole Instagram?

Well being that Instagram is owned by big brother Facebook, Instagram plays a huge role in the Twitter Facebook rivalry. Now the most significant event that has happened lately in regards to this rivalry was the exclusion of Instagram pictures from the twitter feed (yes, Instagram had a little problem with their Terms and Conditions, but that kink will work itself out). At one time you could easily scroll through twitter and see lovely Instagram photos, those days are gone, resulting in links having to be clicked and time wasted to access Instagram photos. Essentially Twitter has attempted to muscle out Instagram from its space. Those fools over there failed to realize that they had inadvertently given their users an ultimatum. Telling users to choose us or them. Have you ever given an ultimatum to someone? A wife? A son or daughter? A significant other? Yeah you know how that ends, an ultimatum, for you psychologically declined, often results in a negative response. In simple terms, give someone an ultimatum  and it never benefits you. Due to the lovely interface and lack of spam on users will choose Instagram time and time again.


Instagram is better?

Yeah I said it, for sharing those time stamped moments Instagram trumps Twitter(no real estate). Not just because a picture says a thousand words and Instagram lets you take better pictures. No, Instagram wins because not only is a picture time stamped, but a profile exists for the user. I can visit any user and scroll through all their photos effortlessly. This hugely contrasts the Twitter interface where one has to spend copious amounts of time and effort going back through a users tweets to get a decent grasp of a twitter profile.  Instagram allows for the interface of a Facebook profile without the clutter. By having a unique interface that can be expanded on Instagram also opens itself up for giant improvements and easy monetization. In basic terms, Instagram offers a better format to interact socially. As we have learned from experience from the death of Myspace and the domination of Facebook, user experience intertwined with interface is everything.

Once you have happy users on the platform you can make money off of them, lots of money.

Instagram, which I consider Facebook’s bread and butter for the future, will play a vital role in crushing Twitter. Now you are wondering, well what about vine, what about twitter pictures? Those are all well and good. Yeah, that is the extent of it. Vine is mediocre. Do you know how many video sharing apps there are and how long they have been around? Countless apps and for quite some time. The issue being that the mass market does not find recording video as desirable or as easy as pictures. Facebook for example has countless photo albums, but go take a look and see how many videos your friends have videos. Even if they are amateur producers, they put their works on YouTube or Vimeo, not Facebook. They link to their works on Facebook, do not get me wrong, one must share their cinematic works, but a format already exists (linking them on Facebook and Twitter).


Pictures are appealing because they are quick and easy. You can pick and choose in seconds if a picture looks appealing or not. Getting the right shot in a video situation takes time and effort, which many are not willing to give. No one wants to catch up with a long-lost friend and say lets Vine this, they say lets capture this image so it can last a lifetime. A picture takes a moment, a video takes about 6 seconds. Twitter has attempted to eclipse Instagram, though when it comes to this arena, there is no outmaneuvering  Do you think for a second the Instagram/Facebook team would not have utilized this if it had tested well or potentially been a traffic driver. Do not for a second think Zuck and his crew were surprised by this move. Though now they were forced to respond as depicted below. So the game continues…


It all comes back to time.  Compare the time commitment of a photo verse video, and then try to convince me who in this fast pace tech world has the time to record a movie. Do you know why SnapChat has gripped the smart phone world? The masses, they love pictures. For those of you uninformed on the matter Google search SnapChat.

On the subject of time, my last and strongest argument for Facebook revolves around time. The time one has contributed to the world of Facebook, first off will never be reimbursed (sucker), and secondly makes the benefit of deleting ones Facebook profile is dramatically outweighed by the cost of losing ones profile. Facebook has become an online staple, so do not think it is going anywhere.

Now do not get me wrong, both Twitter and Facebook (yes Instagram too) have a place in the lives of many. Focusing on the picture war may see novel, but as the battleground of 2013 the sharing of pictures will define social media. Both Twitter and Facebook will continue to serve a purpose and make money off of our consumer driven society. Though Facebook (and Instagram) offer the user a better experience which will retain more users and allow for more profiteering in the future.

Photo 1 by Nouhailler

Photo 2 by clasesdeperiodismo

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An Investors Take On Windows 8

I am neither an Apple addict or a Microsoft connoisseur. All the computers in my household have a specific purpose, be it my Apple iPhone, my iMac, my Chromebook (that is in the mail), or my various windows computers. In my eyes both Windows and Apple (soon Google) play a particular role and serve consumers specific needs. Though from an investing standpoint my personal opinion and favoritism does not matter. Most American consumers have a bit over one computer (just like they have half a child statistically speaking). This means that from a standpoint of putting your money to work, only one platform really prevails and remains the driver of future growth. That being said let me tell you a bit about Windows 8.

Windows 8

Microsoft has effectively attempted to redesign their platform. Making the home screen the start screen (as shown above). The concept is catchy. Though the functionality is nonexistent. The result of the new approach is a platform caught between ancient Microsoft and a futuristic version based on Apple. Microsoft has attempted to take the world of the Apps to their computer, but failed in doing so. Most of the software is installed the same way it has been for 15 years. For example I searched Google Chrome on the app store and then was taken to their website, rather than being able to download it in the “App Store.” Basically the platform got lost somewhere between vision and implementation.

The biggest and most obvious misstep of the Microsoft team was failure to differentiate. Differentiate between a tablet and a desktop (or laptop) computer. Resulting  in the Windows 8 on desktops (and laptops) having an interface that would be more productive on a tablet. This lack of vision cost Microsoft the potential edge they had during this product cycle. I think that is still what separates Apple from Microsoft in this context. Apple has a similar interface for all their devices, but also the ability for each to be tiered towards that device. Microsoft has attempted to have the same approach but failed on execution. Though a Microsoft aficionado could argue that the interface on both desktops and tablets presents itself as clean and functional (though from my standpoint the two basic home screens remains odd).

Overall Windows 8 remains functional  It is a big step in the future and even took a tech guy like me a bit of getting used to. From a money standpoint the reality of the situation is hard to bear for Microsoft lovers. In an environment where other companies like Apple and Google are eating Microsoft’s lunch and using it to feed their dogs, the Windows team really needed to blow us all away. They failed to do so and once again launched an inconsistent product (that seemed rushed). Windows 8 will serve a purpose and will sell, but will fil to stop the exodus of Microsoft users to other brands.

Note: Sometime ago I mention I was excited about the launch of Windows 8 and the potential it had for Microsoft. I now disagree completely with those statements. Windows 8 was just lackluster.

Photo by Ceo1O17

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The Truth About the Fiscal Cliff

I am beyond fed up with the market consensus for the fiscal cliff — the call for inaction.

Who has ever made money from inaction? Particularly during the season of buying everything… I mean gift giving. Most companies make their year during the fourth quarter. Do you really think it’s going to change this year? Do you really think congress’ inactivity will cancel Christmas? Get out of your parents basement, go to any local mall or shop, and witness the gluttony of consumerism. Will your wife or mother really not purchase you all the ridiculous items you do not need? From hams to iPhone’s, Christmas will live on.

Perhaps I wasn’t explicit enough — the masses are Christmas shopping  No one cares about tomorrow, they only are living for today. Christmas comes this eve and the fiscal cliff blows up tomorrow, with the masses getting to drunk on rum egg nog to realize what tomorrow brings.

Obviously I am not ignorant enough to suggest ignoring the effects of the Fiscal Cliff. In particular, the potential loss of jobs that could send us back to the depths of despair. Currently that remains 28 days away and the biggest shopping season of the year is upon us.

I have yet to chose my retail stars for the season, though this will be done before the week ends.

Every year there are retail plays that can bank you coin. I will be pointing out a few potential big plays in the next week.

Photo by Elsie esq

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