The flim-flam spam man
: Just caught most of the CNBC documentary on the AOL/Time-Warner disaster. What’s shocking is how many moguls spoke on camera, freely and happily, with clear distaste for AOL and Steve Case (they should have talked to a few of us Time-Warner shareholders!!!!!). The show ends up being at least sympathetic to Jerry Levin and I understand that because I knew Jerry; he is, as advertised, a smart and thoughtful man and is probably about as decent as he seems. Still, he bought a pig–worse, he let himself be bought by a pig. This has always been Time’s problem. When I was there, they feared that Chris Whittle’s waiting-room magazines would steal their business and so they invested in his business and lost a fortune. They didn’t have an entertainment strategy and entertainment leaership and so they allowed themselves to be bought by Warner. They continually failed to come up with an online strategy and so they agreed to be bought by it. And all along, they kept trying to figure out how to spell synergy. The tragedy is not that they were stupid. The tragedy is that they squandered a fortune in talent and in shareholders’ fortunes and futures. And they still have no strategy. The online efforts they’ve announced are pathetic; they are watching their customers leave and don’t know what to offer to keep them (I’ve made my suggestions here before and won’t bore you again). They’re afraid of developing new products (I invented one of those and it took balls to launch it but now it is a $300-million-a-year-business, an asset worth X times that… but they’re not inventing anything like that anymore). Sad. The House that Henry built became the House that Hype tore down. Sad.
: Update: Ding dong, the shit is gone, the bad old shit, the shit is gone. Ding dong, the stupid shit is gone. He’s melting! He’s melting!