sorry...sorry...sorry...sorry
 
I've been out of the loop for a long, long time.  Certainly now the only people reading my blog are my wife and my mother...thanks to you both your checks are in the mail ;-)  All I can say is that keeping up a blog is a real chore.  I don't know how people maintain them (well) and get anything at all done otherwise.
 
In any event, I have to get better about this and I actually have quite a bit to say after my hiatus.
 
Catching you up, I've been working on Microsoft's web platform messaging since around the middle of May.  As it turns out, we haven't had a good, consistent story for our Field personnel or for customers.  It's really a shame because we are doing some great work around the Web, especially now with Silverlight & the improvements to Windows Live.
 
I've spent the better part of the last four months iterating on our messaging, working with customers, partners, Field personnel, and about 50 Redmond-based stakeholders within Microsoft.  The net of it is some pretty good work which I'll roll out here on this blog probably next week.  I've also presented the messaging about 10-12 times over the last month -- to internal and external audiences.  Like any presentation/pitch, it certainly has gotten better over time.  But I *am* tired of Powerpoint although Office 2007 makes it all a little easier.
 
For now, a few random thoughts for another overcast Saturday in Seattle:
 
- Facebook is incredible, and it isn't just for college kids anymore.  I highly recommend it.  We'll see if they can truly evolve it into a platform - I think the jury is out though some interesting apps have certainly been built so far.  I'll probably analyze Facebook from a web platform perspective in a future post.
- Though I've been nervous about credit availability and housing prices for awhile, I didn't really expect it all to unravel as quickly as it has.  It will be really interesting to see the impacts of more rationally priced risk on corporate balance sheets, P/E ratios, etc.
- I do think the liquidity crisis is freeing up a lot of money in the global financial system.  Where is it going to go?  Money doesn't really like to collect dust.  Bonds?  Maybe but I am not convinced of any significant upside betting on interest rate cuts when most of the world's central banks are *raising* interest rates.  Commodities?  Maybe but I'm not convinced that the Chinese can soak up all the commodity demand that will dry up in the States & perhaps Europe.  Treasuries?  Perhaps but those aren't likely to provide much of a return after inflation.  Stocks?  I really doubt it as the market responds best to consumer confidence...and who is going to have consumer confidence if they can't afford their repriced mortgage?  Emerging markets may be a play here but arguably some are already aggressively valued.
 
The most rational destination I can see at present is...yep...venture capital.  That's right...an echo-boom of dot-com mania...this time somewhat more rational at least in the beginning.  I foresee even greater opportunities in biotech & clean energy.  Where else is an investor going to get a 15-20% return?
 
Just a thought.
 
Finally, I spent some time yesterday at Gnomedex.  Interesting show -- some of the ideas I heard felt very dot-com to me...
 
Take care.