07/31/18

Theranos – Bad Blood

So, the Big Red Car just finished reading Bad Blood, the John Carreyrou book about the rise and fall of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. It is a good read.

Theranos was the brain child of Elizabeth Holmes, Stanford drop out, who hated being stuck with needles when giving blood. She “invented” a new approach in which a simple pinprick of blood could be used to conduct a myriad of different blood tests.

Elizabeth Holmes, founder Theranos, had this weird Steve-Jobs-black-turtleneck meme going on which she coupled with an artificially deep voice to create the Silicon Valley Stanford dropout genius image. Along the way, she talked some very sophisticated investors out of $900,000,000 before the entire thing imploded. “Look into my eyes!”

At scale, she was going to put these machines – portable blood analyzers – in patients’ homes and at drug stores. It was to be the fast food of blood testing with almost immediate results. The key to it was a small sample size, miniaturization, and almost instant results.

It sounded too good to be true. It was.

Continue reading

07/31/18

Iran v the USA

Big Red Car here going international on y’all. Today, we discuss what the Hell is going on in Iran.

To refresh your memory, on 14 July 2015, the US and others (Russia, China, England, France, Germany) entered into the Iranian nuke deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with the objective of halting Iran’s lurch toward becoming a nuclear power. Many say the agreement was flawed. Haha, sorry.

The plan was not approved by the Senate, as is required of binding American treaties, for the obvious reason that the Senate would not have approved it.

Candidate Trump campaigned on the promise of pulling the US out of the JCPA and on 13 October 2017 the US – at President Trump’s direction – did not make the required “certification” to continue the deal.

Subsequently, the US and Israel revealed that Iran had failed to disclose a past covert nuclear weapons development program as required by the original 2015 agreement. Oooops!

“OK, so I forgot to tell y’all about that silly covert nuke program. So what? Can you please send me a few more billion US dollars and Swiss francs? I have bills to pay. Would I lie to y’all? Damn I miss President Obama.”

Continue reading

07/28/18

Respect the Process

Respect the process? WTF are you talking about, Big Red?

Big Red Car here supervising the plumbers. Saturday plumbers always require a lot of supervision, but, hey, so what?

There is a new soaking tub going in and the plumbing change is quite extensive. They are doing work below the second floor and above the first floor ceiling – makes me a little nervous.

So, I’m melding a lot of recent conversations with CEO clients. They are all smart and hardworking, but, sometimes, not often, but, sometimes, they don’t stick to their knitting.

They don’t respect the process.

Did NOT RESPECT THE PROCESS

This creates problems which they then fix consuming twice as much time as if they had just respected the process in the first place.

Continue reading

07/28/18

India GDP

India GDP, Big Red? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a sunny Saturday in the ATX – On Earth As It Is In Texas!

Yeah, it’s going to be a warmish day, up to 100F. Yawn!

So, in the discussions about US GDP, the Big Red Car (huge fan of India) did some research on India. Did I tell you I am a huge fan of India as a country, as an ally, as a market? Love India.

India is a huge country with 1,354,000,000 people. The US has at least 1,000,000,000 fewer people.

US GDP is closing in on 20 Trillion dollars ($20,000,000,000,000) annually, while India has a GDP of $2,597,490,000,000.

Wow, look at that growth! In ten years they have grown by a factor of more than twenty!

Continue reading

07/27/18

GDP Growth 4.1% – do not overreact

GDP, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a lovely, warm Texas summer day – sun shining and headed to 101F. Ahhh, summer!

Something else which is hot is the economy. It is hot as evidenced by today’s GDP number which shows growth in excess of 4%. This is Q3 2018 (April, May, June 2018). US starts its fiscal year in October, but you knew that, right?

Couple this with low unemployment, high job growth, the beginning of real wage growth, increased capital spending, and some progress on the issue of trade and it is easy to see why the President was in the Rose Garden taking a victory lap.

When pressed to explain why growth has begun to accelerate, President Trump and his economic advisers pointed to reductions in regulations, the tax cuts, and the beginning of work on trade. They had a few other things, but those are the big ones.

The most important thing is that the White House is trying to create a fertile environment for growth. That is more important than many of the elements.

Continue reading

07/22/18

Dealing With Despots – USA Russia Summit Meetings

Big Red Car in the ATX, which is headed to 105F today – it looks like 112F on Monday. Hello, Texas summer! It hit 102F yesterday.

So, the entire kerfuffle of Putin – a despot – meeting with our president got me interested in the history of US-Russia summits. Turns out there is a lot of history which is pertinent to the subject.

What is particularly interesting to me is the first such summits.

The players were Stalin, Nikita Krushchev, Vice President Nixon, President Eisenhower, and President Kennedy.

Continue reading

07/15/18

Declassify Everything, End It Now

Declassify what, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a sultry Texas Sunday. Ahh, on Earth as it is in Texas, y’all.

I am tired of the continuing saga of the FBI, the DOJ, the Trump admin, the Congress, and the Mueller investigation.

There is a way to end all of the pissing and moaning “most rickety tick” (this is an Army saying meaning right way.)

Everybody in Washington, DC knows it, but only the President can make it happen.

The solution is very simple – DECLASSIFY AND RELEASE EVERYTHING.

That is where we are now.

Continue reading

07/13/18

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Big Red Car here after an extensive journey to Savannah, Charlotte, Charleston, Folly Beach, Savannah, and points in between. There is nothing like a good summer road trip, y’all. Ahhhh, the South in the summer time. The beaches. The sun. The food. There are few food cities as spectacular as Charleston.

This got me thinking about how using a bit of tech can teach an old dog a new trick.

As I was thinking about that, I stumbled on an experiment which was conducted by a couple of Chick-Fil-A owners using a devise called a “Kallpod.”

This application is in Uvalde on Interstate 10 on the way to West Texas.

I find Chick-Fil-A to be an interesting company. Private. Closed on Sundays. Strong fundamentals – blocking and tackling. Extraordinary quality and staffing and, now, experimenting with Kallpod.

Bottom line – using this device increased sales 500% at the #2 CFA in the US. That’s what got my attention. <<< I don’t believe the 500% sales increase number. Doesn’t sound possible.

Continue reading

06/23/18

Missionary Work- a Dangerous Undertaking

Big Red Car here, the A/C crisis dealt with. Which brings me to the dangers of missionary work in the startup world.

Related image

Historically, there have been drawbacks to being a missionary. If you fail to convert the audience, they may turn on you.

In the startup world, there are two areas, in particular, in which a founder/CEO/entrepreneur should resist the temptation to do missionary work – meaning attempting to fully convert the audience.

Continue reading