Category Archives: Business

Fixing Sarbanes-Oxley

Here’s an interesting piece that says it’s hurting small investors:

Today, it is much harder to get in on the firms that could be the next Home Depot, unless you are a super-wealthy investor that can participate in private equity deals. According to BusinessWeek, the median market cap of a company going public was $52 million in the mid-1990s. Today, it’s $227 million. This means that average investors are increasingly shut out of a company’s emerging growth stages, where they would, yes, take the most risks, but also could reap the biggest returns.

The most costly provision, Section 404, forces auditors and executives to sign off not only on the accuracy of financial statements, but also on a company’s internal controls. The unaccountable Public Company Accounting Oversight Board created by the law has defined “internal controls” very broadly, to include a firm’s software and other items that have little relevance to financial statements. Some say the law should be called the Accountants Full Employment Act.

As usual, hard cases make bad law. This gross overreaction to the Enron debacle can only make it harder for space entrepreneurs to raise money. Here’s hoping for some reform.

Here’s My Theory

When you call Earthlink to cancel an account that you’ve had for years, but haven’t used for years, and for which they’ve been getting hundreds of dollars per year forever, they put you on hold forever.

Guess I should have chosen another option…

Here’s My Theory

When you call Earthlink to cancel an account that you’ve had for years, but haven’t used for years, and for which they’ve been getting hundreds of dollars per year forever, they put you on hold forever.

Guess I should have chosen another option…

Here’s My Theory

When you call Earthlink to cancel an account that you’ve had for years, but haven’t used for years, and for which they’ve been getting hundreds of dollars per year forever, they put you on hold forever.

Guess I should have chosen another option…

More Game Ads, Lower Prices

WSJ (subscription required) says Electronic Arts is joining Microsoft in an ad serving service for video games:

Advertising in games remains a relatively small business, but many game publishers believe there’s a large untapped revenue opportunity in displaying ads to their audiences. Many games are played by 18- to 34-year-old men, a prized demographic for marketers that is spending more time playing games at the expense of traditional ad-supported media like television….In the past, companies like EA have integrated mostly “static” advertisements into their videogames that don’t change throughout the life of the game … EA is currently estimated to earn revenue in the single-digit millions from such ads….Such ads must be integrated into a game six to eight months before the title is released…[vs.] “dynamically” insert advertisements into games on a regular basis…

With hundreds of hours playing a title, ad revenues could hit tens of dollars per player which could be billions of dollars vs. millions. In a competitive industry, this should drive the sticker price of the games down.

There is a chicken and egg problem though. Ad rates for games are too low right now for game producers to make the ads too intrusive. That makes the ads less valuable per viewing.

Look for more freeware titles and 100%-mail-in-rebate deals around late 2008 for Christmas 2007 titles that have ads.