Tuesday, August 06, 2013

8/6 (Tuesday) Quickie

More seriously than the previous post, I think that Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post is great for the Post and its staffers, as great as the Grahams have been as stewards of the paper.

(Again, I grew up on the Post and will take on any/all comers in the barroom to argue that the Post's sports section in the 1980s was the finest newspaper sports section ever.)

Here are a handful of relatively brief takes on Bezos/WaPo that I read that found interesting (and, to be sure, mostly support my pro-Bezos thesis):

*MG Seigler, TechCrunch: While We're Trying to Follow His Game of Checkers, Jeff Bezos is Playing Chess

*Mike Moritz, Sequoia Capital (via LinkedIn): Stop the Presses: A New Press Lord Appears

*Henry Blodget, Business Insider: Here's Why I Think Jeff Bezos Bought the Washington Post

*Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine.com: Hot Off the Presses

*Mathew Ingram, PaidContent: Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post and the Media Industry Goes Back to the Future

*David Carr, New York Times: The Washington Post Reaches the End of the Graham Era

The key takeaways: (1) Bezos' commitment to customer relationships (which is a core part of journalism) is the most interesting dynamic... (2) the potential to leverage what Amazon knows/does in news... (3) removing the quarterly market pressures from the Post and taking the "long view" is a massive relief and ultimately a competitive advantage.

Yes, I continue to avoid the A-Rod story....

-- D.S.

Monday, August 05, 2013

8/5 (Bezos) Quickie

Because I don't really want to talk about A-Rod and his suspension...

If I had an extra $250 million lying around like Jeff Bezos, I wouldn't buy the Washington Post (although I feel a connection to it as the paper I grew up reading). I would totally become the meddling majority owner of a sports team.

It's an interesting thing -- how to spend $250M all in one swoop -- because it forces you to really consider your priorities.

(I have to say that if I can throw off $250M on a whim, that presumes that I have already given a hefty chunk away to good causes.)

But, yeah: Sports team owner. As an instant reaction, that really does seem to be the pinnacle for me, for some reason. I'm sure with some thought, I could think of something more interesting, like owning basically whatever I wanted.

Oh, wait. With $250M, I would totally launch my long-sought-after professional football minor league and fill the insanely good opportunity between the NFL and college football.

But that's sort of like owning a sports team, right? Basically.

-- D.S.