Snap / SnapChat IPO: AVOID AT ALL COSTS

Snap / Snapchat says in their filings for their IPO “We have incurred operating losses in the past, expect to incur operating losses in the future, and may never achieve or maintain profitability”.

This clearly violates Warren Buffett’s only two rules for investing: Rule Number 1: Never lose money. Rule Number 2: Never forget rule number one!

Warren Buffett strongly believes that the market is often very WRONG about a company’s value in the moment, but eventually the market price will reflect true value. Snap / Snapchat is clearly a company that is far overvalued… it will never turn a profit and will turn into a quagmire like Twitter (which has also always lost money and is slowly sinking).

Twitter has a lot of similarities to Snap / Snapchat: they both are fringe social networks that have never made money and don’t have much hope of doing so. Twitter has LOST half a BILLION dollars every year for the past 4 years on average.  The stock price has slowly sunk from $57 per share to $15 per share.

Another major concern is that Snap / Snapchat is getting crushed by Facebook in all of the important user metrics:

  • The average daily Snap / Snapchat user only spends 25 minutes on their app. The average Facebook user spends over 50 minutes a day on their app.
  • Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly average users, Snap / Snapchat only has 158 million daily average users (they don’t reveal monthly average users to avoid comparisons with Facebook). This means Facebook is 20x larger.
  • Facebook’s platform is far stickier and far superior and draws in a much wealthier and older demographic than does Snap / Snapchat.

If you buy Snap / Snapchat your only hope is that some larger company comes and buys them. Why would anyone be that stupid though?

 

Sick

I have had a nasty cold yesterday and today that has limited my energy and effectiveness at work. I only was able to put in 7.5 hours yesterday (and at a slow pace sadly). So many things I want to do but just no energy to do them!

Unpleasant Work

As a founder of a company, you frequently have to do very unpleasant tasks that you don’t want to do. A founder will start a company with a dream of doing what they do best all the time… the reality is that once you grow 95% of your time goes into a hundred different areas that you often don’t really have much talents at. I thought I would be doing world class SEO all day, but in reality I have to spend a lot of time in human resources, management, training, information systems, accounting, legal, and on and on.

Systematization

Coalition has developed excellent processes, checklists, and other ideas for getting great results for our clients. We are now working on building a web application to bring rigor so that every client gets the very best possible service. Super excited about it!

Weekend Work

One of the things that helps separate Coalition from our competitors is that I work every Saturday and Sunday. My last full day off was November 5th, 2016. Most days I work at least 6 hours including on the weekends. Weekends are actually my favorite time to work because I am not getting constant messages from clients and employees with questions.

Bill Gates was called a “Grinder” by his colleagues back in his first twenty years building Microsoft. He would stay in the office for days at a time without even thinking twice about it. He outworked everyone else from his era, building him into the world’s richest man and most successful philanthropist beating multiple diseases and vastly improving human health and quality of life.

Churches Should File IRS Form 990

​https://ffrf.org/outreach/item/12601-tax-exemption-of-churches

Disincentivize Driving

If you could walk everywhere instead of having to get in your car to drive half an hour to work, then five minutes to a lunch spot, then after work another ten minutes to the gym and finally a half hour back home, wouldn’t that add greatly to your quality of life? 30 + 5 + 10 + 30 = 75 minutes a day spent in your car.  That’s over a full month of 8 hour work days spent just driving around. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just walk a minute or two and get to work, another couple of minutes to lunch, another few minutes to your gym then back home? You could use that time you have saved to start a business or spend more time with your family or just play video games.

We have many unacknowledged subsidies for driving cars long distances every day. Roads and police are paid for by the general public, not by those who drive the most.

Pollution cleanup and damage is either not paid for or is paid for by the general public – not those who drive the most.

Why are we continuing to subsidize driving when it is harmful for our happiness, our health, and our environment? Do we have other options?

I visited Hong Kong a couple of years ago and I think that that city has found a better way. Everyone there lives a short walk from the beach and a short walk from the mountains. Work is a few minutes walk away or a short subway ride (and the trains come every minute). Housing is more affordable because there are not artificial legal limits on how tall buildings can be… it’s a lot cheaper to rent a 3 bedroom apartment in a 100 story tower than a 4 story tower.

In LA, lots of communities have limited the size of buildings to under 4 stories (or even only to allow single family homes!). This has resulted in two major problems – there is no affordable housing, and we have sprawl 150 miles in every direction. Getting anywhere will require you to sit for hours in gridlock traffic. The hours spent in gridlock traffic makes people angry… and LA is a very angry city where people just don’t treat each other well.

My suggestion is that we end all subsidies of driving. Drivers should pay for road work, police, emergency services, etc through a very high gas tax. Oil should receive no subsidies.

Further, if we do better city planning, we could have a city like Hong Kong where even the poor live just a few minutes walk from the beach. Imagine 100 story towers a five minute walk from the beach down the LA coast. The entire city could live in an area a half mile wide by 15 miles long. We could have trains running in subways every minute – having a car would be silly.  Unfortunately, LA is going the opposite direction as there is now a ballot measure attempting to prevent ALL new construction in LA basically.

 

 

Vistage

I am thinking about joining Vistage to get some help and advice to improve my management of Coalition.

We Should Not Sell Tomorrow For Today, Nor Today for Tomorrow

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with this thought.
What do I mean by it? We should not do things today that make our future worse. We also should not sacrifice our happiness and fun today for an imagined tomorrow.

We should have a good balance of work for the future, as well as enjoying our days now.
I think we should plan more trips and fun activities together at home. Thoughts?