Why Warren Buffett Should Keep His Money

Because he would have never given a company like Solyndra $1/2 Billion.  Why wouldn’t he?  Because it is HIS money.

The government has an inherent problem with managing other people’s money, and that is it is other people’s money – or more importantly NOT THEIR MONEY.

The is nothing wrong with what many in Washington want to accomplish.  Nothing at all.  The only issue most have, is that their methods aren’t very effective – or effective at all in some cases.

Warren Buffett may have an interest in “green jobs” too.  The difference is that Warren Buffett is going to insist that the company that wants to create good green jobs and wants his money to do it – has a pretty good chance of success.  Because it isn’t going to matter what good intention or story the company may have had to begin with.  The only thing that will matter in creating real jobs and real green energy will be success.

For sure, Buffett would have passed on Solyndra.  But, would we he have kept that money for himself?  NO!  That isn’t what he does.  Buffett would have found another Solyndra.  One that had a better business model and one that in the end – would have created real jobs around a real business.

That is the tragedy in all of this – Buffett wanting to send his money to Washington and have it go to more Solyndra’s.  Most people with common sense would see money in Buffett’s hands is just way more productive.

Who knows if Buffett is smarter than the guys in Washington – probably.  But that isn’t the point.  The point is that it doesn’t matter.  Some in Washington were actually very smart with regards to Solyndra.  They pin pointed the exact month that Solyndra would fail.  They did their due diligence just like any private sector Venture Capitalist would have done.  The problem was that the guy or guys at the top had other (political) reasons for throwing $1/2 Billion at a company like Solyndra.  Politics has never been able to pick winners and losers in the private sector and has never been able to create real jobs.  Never has – Never will.

The guys at the top in the private sector, for the most part, only win when they are right.  That is how they make money – long lasting money.  The truth is that it is hard to create long lasting money without creating long lasting jobs.  We’re not talking about the crooks and those that are making money by beating the system.  We are talking about 95% of the private sector that just shows up each day, puts in a hard days work and wins slowly over a long period of time.  Those are the ones (the businesses) that get Buffett’s money.

While the private sector only wins when it is right – politicians have the luxury of wining when they can convince people they are right.  They don’t have to actually BE RIGHT, they just have to SOUND RIGHT.

In nobody’s world is that a good system.

So we should hope that when the next Facebook or Amazon is out there looking for money to start their new idea, the money they need is in Buffettt’s hands and not Washington’s.

If creating real meaningful jobs and a growing economy is really the goal – let’s keep the money with the guys that know what to do with it.  On this one – the smart money has to be on Buffett.

Sorry Warren – you’re right, even when you are wrong.

 

 

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Changing Education Paradigms – Brilliant Content and an Even Better Presentation of It.

I don’t know what is more impressive about this presentation – the thought process and flow or the visual. Such a great way to tell a story? Could someone do a business pitch for me like that?

With education costs raising and the content becoming less and less relevant – something is going to have to give. Or you would think.

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The Resistance

Maybe the best “first page” of a book I’ve read in a long time.  Following on the current them after reading and listening to Seth Godin‘s Lynchpins for the past couple of months, I landed on “the War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Page One -What I Do

I get up, take a shower, have breakfast. I read the paper, brush my teeth. If I have phone calls to make, I make them. I’ve got my coffee now. I put on my lucky work boots and stitch up the lucky laces that my niece Meredith gave me. I head back to my office, crank up the computer. My lucky hooded sweatshirt is draped over the chair, with the lucky charm I got from a gypsy in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for only eight bucks in francs, and my lucky LARGO name tag that came from a dream I once had. On my thesaurus is my lucky cannon that my friend Bob Versandi gave me from Morro Castle, Cuba. I point it toward my chair, so it can fire inspiration into me. I say my prayer, which is the Invocation of the Muse from Homer’s Odyssey, translation by T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, which my dear mate Paul Rink gave me and which sits near my shelf with the cuff links that belonged to my father and my lucky acorn from the battlefield at Thermopylae. It’s about ten-thirty now. I sit down and plunge in. When I start making typos, I know I’m getting tired. That’s four hours or so. I’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. I wrap for the day. Copy whatever I’ve done to disk and stash the disk in the glove compartment of my truck in case there’s a fire and I have to run for it. I power down. It’s three-thirty. The office is closed. How many pages have I produced? I don’t care. Are they any good? I don’t even think about it. All that matter is I’ve put in my time and hit it with all I’ve got. All that counts is that, for this day, for this session, I have overcome resistance.

Page Two – What I Know

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.

What keeps us from sitting down is the Resistance.

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Real Artists Ship

After some back and forth emails with a real artist, Jessie from Stray Dog Arts, she sent me a link to a podcast interview with Seth Godin talking about his new book Lynchpins on the Accidental Creatives Blog.

It is a great listen and pushes all the right buttons.

I read Lynchpins a few months back and it has been kind of top of mind this summer in my daily journeys.  Its about becoming remarkable, indispensable and doing things that matter.  Acknowledging and accepting the resistance as part of being creative and inspirational and GETTING THROUGH IT.

From the interview….The days are over where we can expect Ford to open up a factory next door and pay us $120k to build cars.  It’s OVER.  What is replacing that is organizations big and small made up with unique individuals that are doing things that matter and most importantly without a manual.  To do things that matter and to do them without a manual you have to get over the resistance and you have to learn to ship…..This economy is punishing the fearful and and increasingly benefitting those that are brave enough to be creative and generous enough to give it away.  But to give it away you have to ship.

The single biggest part of Lynchpins that I think about is the Chapter on Shipping “Real Artist Ship”.  Who said that?  Steve Jobs (even when the antenna doesn’t work I guess). For me, there are thousands of things to get in the way of shipping – it can always be a little bit better if I just spend a few more hours on it – but value isn’t happening when something is still in my laptop or in my head.  If it is going to matter, I have to ship it.

And to ship it – I have to confront the resistance.

Am I shipping today or am I giving in to the resistance.  For me its not a philosophical question it is a daily challenge.  Next

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@OldSpice guy is off the hook brilliant! How long can he keep this up?

In case you have seen this.  The new Old Spice guy you’ve been seeing on tv lately is all over Twitter and YouTube replying to (it looks like) ALL comments with short you tube videos.  I don’t know how long this can go on – but it is definitely one of the most interesting and  noteworthy re-branding campaigns I’ve seen in a while.

Here are a few of the replies.

Reply to Kevin Rose of Digg

Reply to Ashton Kutcher

Reply to Starbucks

Reply to Guy Kawasaki

Reply to Allyssa Millano

He’s even doing proposals

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Best Press Release Ever!!: Woot Gets Acquired by Amazon

Nice job Woot. On getting acquired and making the best press release. This is the way to not take yourself too seriously and let your customers know – you are going to be the same company, even after you get bought by the man.

Kind of funny though how time flies. When did amazon become the man? Zappos and Woot in the same house – that’s kind a awesome.

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After a Weekend with the New iPhone 4

I usually buy the new iPhone every time it comes out. So it’s not a big deal that I got this one the first week it was available. My logic is $200 for something that I use about 5 hours (or more!) a day is almost free. The same with my computer – which I’m on all the other hours I’m awake. Anything that makes me more efficient and better at work – I’m in on. So, I usually get a new phone every year and a new computer every 2 years. Thats also pretty easy when you use Macs – cause they’re always coming out with cool new stuff. Actually it’s hard to wait two years on the computer side – but anything sooner than two years is kind of silly.

For the phone, there have always been enough new features each year to make it worth it. And most of the time I don’t anticipate the ways that those new features are going to make an impact in my life until they happen. Then I almost feel like I couldn’t get along if my phone didn’t do that.

So, I’m always pretty satisfied with my new phone each year and glad I bought it. But after a weekend with the new iPhone 4, this is a different upgrade. I still have my old one – I’m basically turning it into an iPod touch for my kids – better driving trips this summer!  Going back and forth between the two phones is a stark difference. The old upgrades had new capabilities added in. This is just a whole new phone. It is just better on every front. Faster, Wickedly Clearer – Wickedly, longer battery – I’ve only charged it once since I got it on Friday, and I shot a movie of my kids, edited it, added titles and emailed it to the grandparents all from the park.  And I haven’t even used the whole face time thing.

Anyway – that’s my take – lovin’ the new iphone 4 over here.

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