Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Twitter Joining The Stock Market Floatation: Caveat Emptor?

Given that Facebook’s stock value never went higher than its initial floatation, should prospective investors exercise caution when jumping on the Twitter IPO bandwagon? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Even though Twitter’s eagerly awaited IPO / stock market floatation was announced late last Thursday, September 12, 2013, many institutional investors seem to be exercising restraint when it comes to jumping on the Twitter bandwagon after the top brass running the very popular social media site decided plans to monetize their current popularity. Maybe it was because of Facebook IPOs never regaining their initial floatation value since released over a year ago. But will Twitter buck the trend and manage to do a miracle – i.e. be a better social media site IPO than Facebook?

It may seem not that long ago that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made his first ever Tweet back in 2006 that Twitter became the social media site of choice of alleged pathological narcissists. Mollycoddling excuses aside, when seen for its mere advertisement revenue potential – Twitter is worth about 10 billion US dollars – about a quarter that of Facebook. And with 200 million plus users – a fifth that of Facebook – many wonder if investing in the upcoming Twitter IPO is a genuinely economically viable move. 

Twitter is slated to earn over 528 million US dollars via advertisement revenue this 2013. Many see it as a better investment than Facebook due to the high profile users currently on it. As in US President Barack Obama and the rather somewhat unsavory types like disgraced NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner who Tweeted photos of his privates. But will the resulting IPO money might blunt Twitter’s edginess factor in comparison to Facebook? After all when Facebook got its IPO and tried to “proverbiably” clean up its act by strictly policing posts – i.e. putting sanctions not just on “alleged pornographic posts” but also on “controversial” political posts like Uyghur Statehood Movement posts, Free Liu Xiaobo posts, Tibetan Freedom posts, etc. Might Twitter suddenly become a proverbial “police state” like Facebook once the millions of IPO revenues comes pouring in?  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spanx: Proof That The American Dream Is Still Alive?

Given the current economic slowdown in the United States, is Spanx the latest proof that with hard work and a brilliant product, one can still achieve great financial success in America?

By: Ringo Bones 

A few years ago, Sara Blakely could have been just another statistical blip in the still ongoing economic slowdown of the American economy, yet she has become the proof that the “American Dream” is still alive and well where anyone willing to work hard to market their brilliant ideas can still make it big in the United States. Sara Blakely recently became the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the world after the company she founded – Spanx, Inc. – became a runaway commercial success despite starting with only 5,000 US dollars in hand. 

Spanx, Inc. – from a 5,000 US dollar start up to a billion-dollar company is indeed proof positive that the American Dream is still alive and well in an America still plagued with mass unemployment despite a healthy stock-market turnover. Sara Blakely’s legless pantyhose idea is born out of noticing rather mundane problems faced by Sara and every woman elsewhere with less-than-perfect figure and visible panty-line concerns when wearing the latest fashions primarily designed for waif-thin fashion models with Madison Avenue ad-men seal of approval. And thanks to Blakely’s never-give-up ethic gained from a young age and during her first day-job working 8-hours a day as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson, fashion-conscious women with rather less than perfect figures and rather limited budgets can now look the part of Madison Avenue ad-men approved fashionistas, as her Spanx is now marketed in over 150 countries around the world. 

Ironically, Sara Blakely never took traditional business classes before and also never worked a single day in the American fashion industry when first she set up her now billion dollar startup company Spanx, Inc. Stranger still, she always wanted to be a lawyer but was taken aback after she failed the LSAT or Law School Admission Test exams. The bulk of her 5,000 US dollar start up was spent on patenting the idea of her legless pantyhose and ultra-flexible body shaping fashion accessory. The proprietary Spandex-Lycra weave of Spanx was then patented with the help of a patent lawyer for between 3,000 to 5,000 US dollars after an on-line research on the US Patent office website by Blakely had revealed that her idea is genuinely unique and no one like it had ever been patented and marketed – which even surprised her.  

As a now "miracle" startup company, virtually no money was spent on advertising when Sara Blakely’s Spanx was first marketed in Sachs Fifth Avenue and Neeman Marcus stores and sales slowly grew by the first batch of satisfied customers’ word of mouth alone. Sara Blakely chose to name her ingenious invention as Spanx primarily after the proprietary Spandex and Lycra mix of her legless pantyhose and also on the runaway commercial success of consumer products with a “hard-K” sound in them – like Kodak and Coca Cola. 

Trump University: Phony University?

Given that it has been recently sued by the Attorney General of the state of New York after numerous complaints of students and graduates, is Trump University a phony business oriented university?

By: Ringo Bones 

Trump University is founded by the flamboyant American billionaire real estate, hotel and casino mogul Donald Trump as a way of “passing on” his secrets of financial success to anyone willing to work and study hard. But despite of the 35-thousand US dollar per student tuition fee, many fresh graduates have now wondered weather they are duped by Donald Trump’s famed university in an America currently suffering from a supposed jobless economic recovery. But should the Attorney General of the state of New York need to intervene in the matter? 

As of late, the Attorney General of the state of New York is currently suing Trump University for 40-million US dollars after numerous complaints from students and fresh graduates accused Donald Trump of defrauding them of their hard-earned money via the 35-thousand US dollar tuition fee citing irregularities that seem to make Donald Trump’s famed university as something less than credible – even fraudulent. The raison d’ĂȘtre of the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit centers on the extra fees paid for useless seminars that never made students the next financial whiz. Even recent threads on on-line message boards and leading social media networks are calling Trump University a greater fraud and even more phony than Pornstar University and/or Slut Academy. And there are even some conspiracy theorists that say that the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit against Donald Trump only gained credence and credibility due to the on-going feud between billionaire Donald Trump and US President Barack Obama. 

The students and recent graduates of Trump University allegations that they had been fleeced is more than just mere idle accusations because authorities working for the New York Attorney General had gathered enough evidence to show that Trump University is nothing more than a scam. There are no handpicked instructors famed for their financial acumen like Donald Trump promised. Donald Trump’s famed university’s promise that you can be as financially successful as him seem to ring hollow as most of the recent graduates and those who graduated a few years ago, haven’t yet paid off their student loans – never mind now on a fast track in becoming the next American billionaire. Virtually all graduates end up have their picture taken with a cardboard cut-out of Donald Trump while receiving their diploma. Given that Trump Casinos are planning to include a Strip Bar as standard in their establishment in the US and across the world – this recent move by flamboyant American billionaire Donald Trump could be a way of securing employment of the recent women graduates of Trump University, albeit a not so politically correct one.