Showing posts from October, 2007

The Space In Between

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
Friedrich Nietzsche
In that awkward space, somewhere in between
What you’ve done, what you failed to do;
Who you were, the person you failed to become;
The vision you attempted to create,
The reality that took its place,
In a broken culture you couldn't change.

People get lost
Somewhere in between
Where you let them down, and they let you down.

You wonder what you could have done differently?

Who knew? Did They?
They were laughing all along.

You see a good movie the other night.
You know what it means to communicate in codes.

What does that accomplish,
When it’s not that people don’t know the truth;
It's that they don’t care.

Are there others who understand?
Does it matter?

It was a wave. You hopped on. You had your ride.
Did you get there too early?
Or was it always already too late?
Or just too late for you?

You were the pilgrim,
At Vanity Fair waylaid.

BEA and Oracle: The Bull Shit round

You read it here first (numbers on BEA and Oracle), BEA is easily worth $21 for Oracle.

You also read it here second, there would be no other bidder than Oracle on BEA.

So BEA came out on thursday asking $21 from Oracle and Oracle answered "there is no other bidder" for BEA so the offer still is $17 and, btw, it expires Sunday.

There has been no net new progress. The negotiation are done and in that twillight zone I call the "bullshit talk-zone", where each one has stated its case and knows the other parties case is as solid as theirs.

Since there is no valuation mismatch logic would state the deal will get done by Sunday. I beleive it will probably be closer to $17 than $21 since Oracle has the upper hand. Oracle can afford to pass on BEA. BEA cannot afford to pass on this deal.

This is done. For those in the know: Project Game Over will soon reach completion. For me personally it will be the end of an era.

TF5: Acid Michael

Click on the timeline below or here for the podcast.

1987? do you remember? 20 years ago? Many of you were 10 years old. I was 19. it was the beginning of the Acid House explosion, the Roland 808 synth pad was enabling all sorts of house music to be produced in bedrooms. It hit the baleric islands in 88 with “the summer of love”.

In remembrance of dance music’s “ground zero” here is “acid michael”, a remix of “Thriller” and “Don’t Stop” by Mr Jackson, heavily remixed with original and classic acid/techno music. At least I know most of you will recognize and latch onto the classic melody of these 80’s top charting songs so you will be able to appreciate the remix. If at first it feels weird to hear a acid version of your classic favorites don’t be taken aback, keep at it, the new remixed version will soon become the classics in your head, guaranteed. I find myself listening to the originals and longing for the vocals of “Voodoo ray” or the beats of “big fun”.



Fear and Loathing in BEAS

Honeymoon in Vegas: this is not going to be pretty. Alfred wakes up with a head full of acid.

UH? who invited this big lizard in my board room? Where did it come from? Why is it offering me 6.66? Where did the dried ketchup on the walls come from? This is not the hoof print of your ordinary god fearing junkie. Something bad, something really bad happened here.

To consolidate or not to consolidate

I read with interest an interview of Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP in the FT. The recent decision to acquire Business Objects sent SAP's stock down 5%. At the same time, they communicated that they would not enter a bidding war with Oracle over BEA.

Stated reasons are 1/ they are not abandoning organic growth and 2/ they only buy stuff where they are not leaders.

The first part I completely understand. I believe however that SAP should not overreact to whatever the market is doing, especially where that movement may reflect momentum investing or news-driven investment rather than fundamentals.

The second part made me chuckle though, since when is SAP a "leader", or even very frankly, "a contender" in middleware? How good it is to be CEO and believe what your head of development tells you: "Ach, JA! kommandant Kagermann, our midelver iz kikaz, we rulez, JA!".

Henning, dearest, I don't suppose you will take a DJ's advice but take it from me &quo…

The Yell School of Drama

"In my sex fantasy, nobody loves me for my brain"
--Nora Ephron.

My writing collaborator and I have discovered that the most common path to production for first-time playwrights is to enter sponsored drama competitions. Unfortunately, many of them like The Alliance Theater in Atlanta's Kendeda Competition require that entrants be enrolled in a graduate playwriting program.

This is not an option for us. We have seven children between us, not to mention a stack of superfluous diplomas. My colleague has an MBA, CPA, cooking school diploma and divemaster certification. Ironically, the latter two degrees have proven the most useful in our writing adventures. As for me, no more diplomas, thank-you-very-much. Graduating from Wellesley College Phi Beta Kappa, with an Honors degree in English literature couldn't even get me an $18,000 a year publishing job in New York back in 1994. My Universite de Paris DEA (Masters) in Comparative Literature was worse than having no graduate d…

Numbers on the BEA and ORACLE deal

In looking at the numbers of Oracle and the numbers for BEA I come up with some interesting tidbits that can help think through the movements in the market.

BEA has officially rejected an offer at $17, main reason invoked by the board being that "BEA is worth more to Oracle". Note the distinction between "BEA is worth 12-17 by itself" from "BEA is worth more than 17 to Oracle". The latter statement has been the thesis of Icahn and co all along, that BEAS is worth more to a strategic buyer than it is worth on its own to its shareholders. That is the only way the shareholders are going to get their premium. The market either seems to agree or is just plain greedy by bumping the price of the common stock to almost 19 as of this morning Saturday.

So let's look at ORCL's number see if we can replicate some of the Icahn's team thinking. EV/EBIT=15 for ORCL (Enterprise Value to Cash Flow or EBITDA). EBITDA for BEAS is 242M which yields an EV = 3.6…

$6.66B for BEA: Larry goes Shopping

Oracle has made a $17 per share offer to buy BEA. This putting a somewhat theatrical "number of the beast" valuation on BEA. Yesterday the stock was sitting at $13 and this morning it is at 18 and change representing a 30% jump.

Obviously the crazy dude over at BEA is going to put up at least a simulacrum of a fight. Thinking of it, I expect Alfred "I am compensating for..." to put a heartfelt final battle into this, he has probably already super-glued his naked chest to the BEA boardroom table. It is going to get nasty and he will be dragged out kicking and screaming. Alfred will mumble something about not wanting to be Larry's power point bitch, or waxing his boat, or some other non-sense. But Larry is going to make sushi of that board and will feed it to the koi fish he has in his compound and cost more per head than Alfred's car... This one is going to be funny to watch. Pass the popcorn please.

First, because of ICahn's shareholder activism, the …

TF4: In the streets of Neuchatel (Speedy J and Morel)

Click here for podcast
See the green above on the Ableton timeline? That’s Pannik from Speedy J. It is continuous throughout the mix. I overlay house on it. Morel and Deep Dish are the main ingredients of the house thread.

The result is surprising. It lends a new 4AM quality to the tracks, how do I know? I have tested it at 4AM.

Last week’s Neuchatel’s “fetes des vendanges” was a blast. Partying in the middle of the street, surrounded by old friends, new friends and a whole village definitely out to party in the face of drizzling rain, was an experience I will remember.

My main issue, apart from drinking way too much, getting older and sleeping one hour before getting on the train to Paris, was that the music started sounding seriously blah at 1AM. So I defaulted to my own sets on my iPod, dancing Tokyo style: in the middle of other people but with my own music. At around 3AM, I was invisible. I became shadow-man, actually wearing a red-hat black cap to protect from the rain and …

Chuang, the merciless

Back from EU where I caught up with a lot of my friends. The story that was making the rounds was Alfred Chuang, BEA's CEO, telling a European customer about yours truly.

Apparently when asked if he would sell BEA, following the activists' attacks on the stock, Alfred Chuang replied: "I am not ready to be a DJ."

Really? 'Cause BEA's triple digit growth, innovation and opportunity are the talk of the industry these days, oh, wait a minute...that was back in 2000.

You just keep monetizing that maintenance stream, Alfred. Even if your latest achievement is vying for the software industry's "refusal to go gently into the good night" awards, I am very proud that I got under your skin, Mr Alfred I am trying to compensate for my... Chuang.

The success of the BEA WebLogic integration makes for laurels anybody should be proud to rest on.