June 05, 2007

The horror, the horror


There's something about logos that brings out all that's most spastic in ponytail aesthetics. Once a CEO has bought into a logo, it's blasphemy to state the obvious - same with IT projects or the Emperor's New Clothes.

The crazed emperor of the London Olympics is Sebastian Coe, one of the greatest athletes of all time. I once walked behind him at Athens airport. It was like walking behind a man with wings on his ankles...he just glided down the corridor with no effort. Here he is announcing the new logo..

See also Fake Steve.

Death or glory or a cup of tea


Michael Yon has posted the first of 4 accounts of the British army in Iraq.
The Queen’s Royal Lancers have been living out in the desert for about six months, like nomads moving from place to place, sleeping under the stars, getting much of their resupply of food and water by nighttime parachute drop as they patrol the Iran-Iraq border.
I'm proud of my fighting compatriots and take special pride in the mutual respect of the US/UK allies in this account. For me it's vicarious and I'm conscious of not having earnt my own freedom, but if one is going to be proud of anything outside the family, then this is it.

The expertise that's been acquired by the Allies in Iraq and Afghanistan will be priceless in future.

Psycho-economics

Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker) has an astute piece on the psycho-economics of trophy newpaper ownership.
The cachet of the New York Times is worth more to the Sulzberger family than to anyone else. The Sulzbergers' relationship to the Times is the chief source of their status; without it they are mere mortals with a bit of cash; and so the Sulzbergers cling to their control of the Times as tightly as ever.
Instead of getting out while the getting is good, they flop around looking for new ways to raise money without ceding control, and to make money without leaving the news business. Which is to say, they are working as hard as they possibly can to throw good money after bad -- with the predictable result that they have alienated their outside investors.
But...
The cachet of the Wall Street Journal to the Bancrofts, by contrast, is worth very little. There are too many Bancrofts, and they are too loosely associated with the paper: Even if they do theoretically control the Journal, no one but Rupert Murdoch wants to invite them to dinner to discuss the page one A-heads.
There's a word for an investor who clings to an asset whose chief value, its cachet, is of virtually no value to them: insane
I disagree with Michael Lewis that Murdoch is overvaluing the WSJ. The world is ripe for a print and web-based global clearing house for business matters and non-elitist opinion. The WSJ franchise can be vastly expanded, especially since Pearson has gone out of its way to ruin the FT.

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