As I understand the history of Blockbuster, the CEO was actually winning against Netflix.
It was obviously costly fight (needed lots of investment).
The Blockbuster CEO met his performance goal and was expecting hefty bonus but Carl Icahn, a board member and big Blockbuster shareholder, torpedoed the bonus award.
CEO quit. The next CEO reduced spending in dvd-by-mail and online streaming and Netflix won.
So you could say that Blockbuster lost because Carl Icahn is an idiot and single-handedly destroyed Blockbuster.
There's no indication that they lost because they were "too early". In fact, their online product was "pay-per-view" while Netflix was "all-you-can-eat" https://www.cnet.com/news/netflix-vs-blockbuster-whats-the-b...
In school in sweden we actually had a computer class where they taught us to use altavista. This was before Google blew up.
I like Amazon’s pay-per-watch system much better.
Also, I wish their old distributions points would open back up, used to be next day turn around and Saturday :( I honestly don't know what I would turn to if the service went away.
If you were lucky enough to purchase 100 shares of McDonald's when it was at $22.50 on its IPO date, you would have spent $2,250. Based on McDonald's closing stock price on October 28, 2018, the investment would be worth $12.89 million.
We can also talk about Bitcoin but I think you got my point
I've convinced myself that I'd have lost my wallet long before it became valuable anyways. It helps me sleep at night.
The thing with Bitcoin is that we were right -- it is stupid. But that didn't stop the early adopters from making lots of money. That's highly annoying.
- Isaac Newton on the South Sea Company Bubble.
If we used a more reasonable metric, like "will bitcoins being worth significantly more in ten years than they are today," OP may well be wrong. You can think I'm crazy for saying that, but neither of us can really know at the moment.
Bitcoin had the mission statement of being a currency, which it has failed at. It's instead a highly volatile (and potentially highly profitable) investment.
So someone could be right that Bitcoin would not succeed (at being a useful currency) and still have been wrong to not buy in (they should have gotten in when the getting was good for the very reason it would fail to be a currency).
But it was and is more like gambling and less like "mattress money".
I chortled, shook my head and went back to Compuserve.
How monumentally wrong I was!
People always say, “if you had bought Microsoft at IPO....” For some reason they never say “if you had bought Enron at IPO....”
Around that time I was aware of bitcoin but I was paid for some dev work once in e-coins and had the hardest time converting that to cash, which is how I paid rent. And while it made up a small part of my compensation I thought it was ridiculous. Something tinfoil hat wearers cooked up.
It's easy to say it bitcoin was going to be big, in hindsight. I used one of their early ATMs to pay for pizza. At the time it was trading for ~$2. I didn't think much of it until years later when it got a meteoric rise.
If you buy any single asset with the idea that it might increase 10x to 10000x in value, any degree of success will put you in a position where continuing to own it is in direct violation of a «sensible» investment policy.
EDIT: 10,000 BTC in USD is currently $100,375,000
Great article but it seems unnecessary to accuse Antioco of being arrogant just because he turned up the corner of his mouth for a moment. There are tons of investors who pass up on great investment opportunities every year. Most of them aren't arrogant, they are simply normal people who don't have the benefit of perfect hindsight.
This whole genre of articles confuses me. Is the message be open to new things? Is it about other investors feeling regret for things they've passed on, or worry about the things they didn't? I don't understand this at all.
Myth-making, mythologising. The genre is "business, but written as adventure/thriller" I guess? Comes across as attempts to imply that it's all epistemological. It's just turning things into a good story though, you're maybe reading too much into it? (Although every one of these I've read seems to go something like:
"I should have been terrified. But I was calm, I knew what I had to do. My whole life had been building up to this meeting with Corpocorp.
The team was gearing up for the battle that lay behind those huge frosted glass doors. I looked at them, and tears pricked at the corners of my eyes. 'Goddamn' I thought, 'this is the best bunch of guys ever put together for business purposes', and my heart swelled with manly pride.
Joe Spiff had been my first hire. He was the best money talker I'd ever met. I looked at him now, laser focussed on the dollar bill held between his fingers. This was his routine, I'd seen him do it a hundred times. He'd sit and stare at that bill for ten minutes, unblinking, not moving a muscle. Then he'd just...crush it between his fingertips, quick as a flash.
Lawyerman Pete was [contd.]")
She was pretty bummed out about that but I was shocked by how much their late fees were and explained to the manager that my wife was paying them way more than their customers who returned them on time and they may want to reconsider. Her response was about as snotty as can be. She said something like "We need them back on time for our good customers". We left laughing because that just seemed crazy and we knew she'd be saving literally $100s per month.
But I was puzzled about why they'd do that. It made no sense at all to me. She was giving them a lot more money each month than their "good customers" which I thought should have put her at the top of that list. And the manager, who was so rude, clearly got a sadistic joy out of telling people "No more DVDs for you!" like the "Soup Nazi" on Seinfield.
Before we'd met I'd never even been in a Blockbuster so that was my only real experience with them and I remember well thinking their customers would flee like rats from a sinking ship when a viable alternative came out.
As soon as I heard of it we bought a Roku and ditched our "Dish" satellite service and after using it I knew Blockbuster was going to take a big hit from that little black box. It was just a few years later I read they were going out of business. By then I'd seen people lined up at "Redbox" dispensers and the Blockbuster where we lived had already closed up.
I have to admit that seeing Blockbuster die like that warmed my soul like a bowl of good hot soup
All businesses have customers that complain. Some people make it a point to always complain, but they're generally a small percent of the total. Cater to them and you'll have a small, shrinking, and constantly complaining customer base, and that's what happened to Blockbuster.
Redbox is what really put the nails in their coffin lid though. You could rent a DVD and if you didn't return it you bought it for a still very low "used" price and never had to deal with any snotty customer service people.
I have about a dozen different "If only" moments in my tech life, from turning down job offers to not making tech experiments into real businesses (Twitter and Docker, parking payments by mobile and a really good enterprise marketing system)
I regret them all because I think they all definitely would have made me bajillions. including leaving running a bitcoin miner machine in the corner of my office instead of turning it into a build server.
But frankly I probably would not be a billionaire by now had I done any or even all of those great ideas in hindsight
It won't stop me trying for the next one, but it will mean if I duck out with even a small win it's a big triumph
And we all know what happened to Enron.
New management could signal that good changes are coming, but it could also signal that specialists have been brought in to carve the assets up before bankruptcy. I'd say it's far more likely that GameStop ends up like Blockbuster and Sears, even if they potentially could turn things around.
I didn't know much about funding then (I still don't) but I thought how much money that put in was more important than the valuation. I can too invest $1 in Facebook at $100B valuation I thought. To me the point was not to earn dividends but to have Zuckerberg's ear and hopefully have a say in how Facebook is run.
It's been the downfall of many a commercial empire.