Porsche Pulls a U-Turn

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wiedeking_fortune_coverI’m absolutely lost with the recent turn of events at Porsche, Wendelin Wiedeking the CEO for the past 16 years just resigned. I know that happens all the time but just 6 months ago he was hailed as the “European Businessman of the Year” by Fortune Magazine. And if we go further back to October 2008, he was the guy that ran a hedge fund that just happened to make cars. In October, he was busy executing his plans to takeover VW and in the process body slammed some major hedge funds like Marshall Wace, SAC Capital and Och Ziff.

So what happened?  It appears his David and Goliath strategy to take over the massive VW group meant Porsche had to rack up some serious debt – USD 10 billion.  It all ended badly as now VW is going to takeover Porsche and hence the CEO was shown the door fired with a fat golden parachute.

The VW Group is not just VW but a host of name brands most people can recognize:

  • Audi
  • Bentley Motors
  • Bugatti
  • Lamborghini
  • Porsche
  • SEAT
  • Scania
  • Skoda
  • VW

No matter what happens with the management team, the 911 is still an amazing car. The new Panamera will take some getting used to, it looks like a luge.

260 Weeks of Talking Smack

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260_monthsFor all you math geeks, today marks the 5th anniversary of this blog. A lot has changed with blogging and many things have not.  I decided I would take this opportunity to talk about several things: brief history of my blog, the future of blogging, general observations and blog analytics.

Brief history of my blog & the future of blogging
I never meant to setup a blog, instead I wanted a way to share photos with family members and back in 1999, I created a static homepage at homepage.com. Then about 5 years back I wanted something more dynamic and not just static HTML files, so I started to look around and came across b2 which turned into WordPress. I started to blog and didn’t really know where it would lead, but it turned into a mechanism for me to improve my writing skills, focus on topics and interact with folks from all over the world.  The main driver for setting up a blog no longer holds true, all my photos are now residing at my Facebook account. Which leads me to the next topic – the future of blogging. 3 years back it was all about setting up a blog and publishing your content. Today, there are several options and for most beginners they will end up housing their content on a social networking site since it’s easy to setup . It’s not the end of blogging but I do think standalone platforms like WordPress have a hugh challenge battling Facebook and Twitter. As for this blog, I will continue to blog but I can’t say where it will be 5 years from now, I just hope it will be as entertaining and fulfilling as the last 5.

General Observations
People always ask me about blogging and ask what the secret is. I’ve realized original quality content is what it’s all about. If you have original content or thought provoking topics you will get traffic to your blog.  Initially, I would blog about events from Apple just like 5 million other bloggers. I soon realized there is no point in talking about the new Apple widget, let someone like Engadget or Gizmodo break it down for people. I found my niche when I moved to India, I realized I had a hugh audience that could live vicariously through me.  The posts with the heaviest traffic are the ones about my experiences in India. My number one post is about the November 26 attacks in Bombay, 15% of my traffic still views that content even though it’s 8 months old. If you are looking to start a blog I would highly recommend topics that you are passionate about which will automatically lead to original content. If you don’t generate the type of traffic you were looking for at least you got to brush up on your grammar skillz!

Blog Analytics

  • 338 posts, ~ 1.3 posts per week
  • 9,000 pageviews was the peak for a single day (November 26 attacks)
  • 36.11% of my traffic comes from Google
  • 52.44% use Internet Explorer, 33.85% use Firefox
  • Top 3 keywords: apple, store, mumbai (I really need to contact Apple India and get some love)
  • Top 3 countries: India, US and UK

Cheers to another 260 weeks of random BS!!! Having lived in Maryland I’m pretty sure I’ve traveled on Route 260 before.

The Other Four Letter F Word…

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paul-tudor-jonesFail. Up to this point, one of the best commencement speeches I’ve heard is from Steve Jobs (SJ). Recently, I came across a commencement speech (PDF link) by Paul Tudor Jones (PTJ) addressing a bunch of 9th graders. I thought the same thing, what could PTJ possibly tell a room full of 9th graders, apparently enough to get even my attention.  Some background on PTJ, he runs a USD 17 billion hedge fund called Tudor Investment Corp.

Most of his speech centers around what he terms “the dirtiest word that any of you 9th graders know…and every adult in this room has had to deal with this in its many forms and manifestations. It’s the other F word – Failure.”

We all have our ups and downs and many times the downs seem unbearable but you have to persevere and get through it. What makes PTJ’s speech memorable are the real world experiences and realizing many of us have been there…I know I have. I’m sure many of those 9th graders have no clue how enlightening his words are or will be in the future.  Since mistakes and failures are too painful to think about we end up revising our personal history. But, hopefully in the future you will be able to “connect the dots” and realize all those past stumbles have led you to where you are today.  It’s very easy to preach the previous statement but very difficult to navigate when you are going though one of those down phases.

When one door closes, another will open, but standing in that hallway can be hell. You just have to persevere.

As they say, it’s the journey not the destination. And in India that journey tends to be VERY bumpy.