Warren Buffett Granddaughter – Nicole Buffett

Nicole Buffett is the adopted Granddaughter, of sorts, of Warren Buffett who was cut off from him after she made some “brusque” statements for a documentary. This story caught my eye and was interesting to read.

What’s it like when your grandpa is the richest man in the world? For Nicole Buffett, it means forgoing cable TV and health insurance and making do on $40,000 a year. Here, she dishes on her upbringing and why her grandfather Warren Buffett disowned her.

Warren Buffett Granddaughter – Nicole Buffett – Marie Claire.

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CompUSA Retail 2.0

I don’t know how clever you would call it, but CompUSA is borrowing the term 2.0 from Web 2.0 coined in the early 2000s. They are claiming to be implementing retail 2.0. Have you ever wished that you had direct access to the internet while shopping in a store so you can read customer reviews or price compare? Well that is exactly what CompUSA wants to do. While at first after reading the term, I thought “Oh great, another piggyback idea that’s going to be awful”, now I think that it’s a good idea for consumers at least. Think about it. It encourages competition, which will help drive the quality of products in the CompUSA stores. (CompUSA needs serious help when it comes to quality.) The consumer won’t have to have an Iphone to check out competitive prices or reviews.

All of that being said, if CompUSA does not improve its quality of products and services, they will be putting themselves out of business by educating the customer. This might be the more likely. It is a good short term idea, but pretty soon we’ll all be walking around with computers attached to our bodies, connected to the web at all times so it won’t matter. Try more long term next time CompUSA.. too little too late.

You can read more about it here.

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The Big 3 is a Big Joke

The Big 3 is a Big Joke. There. I said it. At first I wasn’t so sure. But then I saw the big 3 CEOs arrive in DC in corporate jets and talk in generalities about how their companies needed loans. The sheer audacity of them to show up like that, and then talk about how they wouldn’t take $1 a year as a salary to help save their companies. Then I realized that they are asking for money from us, the taxpayer. You and me. At that point I would have booted them out of the capital and said “good luck” if it weren’t for the huge number of workers that they employ.

The CEO of a leading asian company has long since taken a complete cut in benefits and reduced his salary to help his company survive. He can be seen eating lunch in the cafeteria with all of the other employees. (**Unfortunately I saw this news story and lost the link.) Their CEO’s salary wasn’t anywhere near those in the U.S. anyway.
**UPDATE: Found the link, see below.

This being said, there is a real problem with these companies. Apparently they don’t do any kind of voice of the customer studies. Otherwise, they would have been a little more up to speed. Gas prices have been rising for quite a while. What exactly did they think would happen if gas prices were rising? With the exception of Ford, they did almost nothing in my opinion. Ford is the only company in any kind of position that would allow them to quickly (in the relative sense of the term) change their product lines to match consumer demand.

These companies got fat and happy and stopped innovating. Innovation is the key to long term survival. FedEx knows this. I think these companies can be compared to a large mcmansion. They’re not doing anything new, but everyone expected the value of the company to keep going up up up. Then all of a sudden people realize they don’t want what Ford, Crystler, and GM are selling so sales and prices plummet. The value of the companies were definitely inflated and now it’s time to even them out.

Watching these big 3 present to Congress yesterday was nothing more than pathetic. Not to mention the smug look on Alan Mullaly’s face when he presented. I don’t buy it. The American Public shouldn’t buy it. I don’t know if they should even get another chance. If the CEOs are worth that much, then they should be able to figure a way to restructure their companies to become profitable again quickly. They have been doing nothing for too long. It’s time to make a decision.

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