The Inane Posturing of Analysts

28 Sep ’06

I think Paul Kedrosky is exactly right in his assessment of the latest round of foolishness over the potential value of MySpace, and I’ll cop to a distinct queasiness seeing Henry Blodget’s screed atop the topic on Techmeme – the uneasy sensation of a compulsive and sudden need to bathe did actually cross my mind (“On its current trajectory, in fact, MySpace could end up being worth a lot more”?? Yes, and if things keep going up they could get higher). To Paul’s note I’ll add the thought that all that this nonsense ever tells me is that an analyst is for sale; where it ends tells me for how much.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vera Bass September 29, 2006 at 15:03

I can relate totally to your instinctive queasiness here, but for me its cause does not originate from the analysts. Whether they are publishing intelligent opinions or not, whether they are parroting or not, and whether they are puppets or not, seem to me a separate set of issues from those that initiate my own similar response.

I see the MySpace valuation thing as a symptom of human abuse of unprecedented prosperity. This modern western economy of ours has in recent decades created enough wealth that playing with money for its own sake is a game no less passionately adored than gambling. We live in the magic spell of modern media, the wizard we’ve created, whose interpretations of value are based on viewing individual humans as pawns counted in dollars. It makes me queasy to be one of a million pairs of eyeballs, worth X dollars based on my demographic information (which is collected by almost any entity I entrust with it).

We’re becoming so prosperous now, that billions of dollars in inflated value can be created and lost in the big money game without an economic ripple of consequence felt by the general populace. Meanwhile, of course, elements of our society which are bleeding with insolvency (such as medical care), are increasingly neglected.

In terms of web businesses, it is becoming a total yawn to talk about building profitable businesses in the old fashioned way when it is soooo much sexier to play with the wizard and buy magic, then calculate exactly when to jump with your golden parachute in case the bubble bursts.



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