E-Commerce. Dog Track. No More Uber. GE Sad. The Euros. Zeke.
The success of Amazon and their bold and aggressive strategies have changed the commerce model in the United States, if not the world. Then we learn more about Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant with 552 million active Chinese-based consumers. What Jack Ma has done with Alibaba is mind-boggling as his empire expands and shifts into technologies related to the Cloud. With that in mind keep your eyes on JD.com, another e-commerce enterprise with annual revenues approaching $60 billion. Their model is a bit different than Amazon and Alibaba, with focus on online direct retailing. For me the telling-tale of their successful model is Google, who recently invested $550M in JD.com, and Walmart, who recently inked a multi-year partnership with this up and coming e-commerce giant.
I respect the game of golf for many reasons. Basically a sport that uses more mentality than physicality (which is why I cannot shoot under 85). I enjoy watching the major tournaments of golf, a.k.a “Majors” including this week’s #TheOpen. This year’s Open is at Carnoustie, where golf has been played since the 16th century. Located on the coast of Scotland, Carnoustie Golf Links is the prototypical links course, way different than most of the courses we have played in the United States. Now I will say my take on what many stay away from due to the ‘storied’ history of Carnoustie: the course, burned out brown due to the lack of rainfall, is playing like a bit of a dog track. Thursday and Friday’s rounds had players hitting 2 irons off the tee, with some of those shots rolling out past 300 yards. On the first hole of yesterday’s third, Jordan Spieth had a 8′ putt for eagle because he hit a 380 yard tee shot that rolled out 100 yards after the ball landed. Carnoustie has the ability to water and green up the fairways…they elected not to to “let nature have it’s way”. To me, the beauty of a golf course is the layout, the lushness of the trees, greens and fairways, and the demand of having to use all the clubs in your bag. Oh, I know you golf purists think I am dead wrong, but The Open, as well as the U.S. Open, the PGA, and the Masters usually meet my criteria for great courses. Carnoustie is not.
Twenty months ago I took a look at the amount of actual playing time in one quarter of play in the NFL: “Some who read last week’s blog had quite a bit to say about my piece on baseball and the length of the game. What most of them said was not so nice. This week, I decided to take a look at the NFL. I watched the first half of the Monday Night Football game and gathered the following metrics (love that word) regarding the 2nd quarter: 39 – # of minutes of the second quarter; 35 – # of plays during the second quarter; 4 minutes, 10 seconds – total play time from the snap to the end of play whistle; 10 minutes, 30 seconds –total time for six commercials/promo spots. Extrapolate what you want from those numbers but the ratio of time played to commercial breaks is a bit concerning”. Yesterday, I took a look at televised golf watching one hour, between 9:30-10:30am of the third round of The Open. In that one hour, 31 minutes and 40 seconds showed actual golf activity. Of that time, 4 minutes was taken up by two golfers, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, reviewing and over-reviewing their pending putts. That leaves 27 minutes within the 60 minute time frame of watching the players play golf. The other 33 minutes was dedicated to commercial breaks, promotional spots, and back- story content. You don’t have to wonder why the television rights and payouts are such massive money with professional golf.
Until last Wednesday night, I had never used a third-party food delivery service. For whatever reason, I decided to use DoorDash, an app-based service that provides location-based restaurants, menus, credit card payments and the ability to track your order. Though initially skeptical, the experience ended up being very good, with the delivery on-time and the food excellent. A great app-based service that I am very high on – until I read that DoorDash hired Uber’s finance chief as their CFO. If you read my recent blog, you know how I feel about Uber. Oh well.
General Electric (GE), now only a slice of the mega-powerful conglomerate they once were – very sad. Their Board is either asleep or on the take.
If you enjoyed the past 30 days of the World Cup, wait two summers for the “Euros”, the quadrennial European Championships which starts with all 55 European countries qualifying for the tournament. Some say that this tournament, though European concentric, is a better competitive tournament than the World Cup. I am one who agrees.
To Ezequiel Barco: you are young, new to the Country and the Club. We all make mistakes, act out, and most of us have to some level have misbehaved. This is a lesson learned young man and hopefully you have peers, associates, and friends that can wake you up to get on the right path. Note: Atlanta United paid $15m for Barco, a 19 year-old from Argentina, to help bolster the midfield and fill the void of Yamil Asad leaving for D.C. United.
Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.
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