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Boris Marjanovic  

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  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    At least Facebook was profitable and had many more users. Comparing Twitter to Facebook is like comparing apples to oranges . . . Facebook is a significantly better business, it's not even a fair comparison.
    Jul 16, 2015. 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]
    "Ignore the celebrity CEOs and invest in the hard working dedicated, unsung heroes of capitalism."

    Very good advice! The more time a CEO spends trying to be a celebrity, the less time he is spending on building the company.
    Jul 16, 2015. 12:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    "I agree that TWTR will never have as many users as Facebook, but I think the reason has not so much to do with network effects as it has to do with its target use and public."

    Okay, I can largely agree with you there. Then what Twitter needs to focus on is greatly increasing ad revenue per user. The problem is, of course, Twitter's platform is not as well suited to display ads as Facebook's is. Twitter needs to make some major changes, and there is no guarantee that these changes will be worth the effort and money that needs to be invested.
    Jul 16, 2015. 12:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    "For he who only tries ones, luck is very relevant; for the perseverant one however, he who tries over and over, he who never gives up, luck ends up being more like an anecdote."

    Luck always plays a role, sometimes in a big way. Of course, if you work hard and never give up it greatly increases your chances of success. Then again, both of my grandfathers worked hard for many decades -- in fact, worked two full time jobs for the majority of their lives, and yet they never achieved any great success . . . perhaps it's because of the lack of "lucky opportunities" in the place they were born, or maybe having to live through and fight in multiple wars also had something to do with it.

    It's easy to sit there in your comfortable little chair behind your keyboard and say hard work is the only thing one needs in order to achieve success. You don't know what true hard work is my friend. There are 7 billion people on this planet -- the majority of them will remain poor their entire lives, not because of a lack of work ethic and perseverance, but because of the unlucky circumstances they were born into.
    Jul 16, 2015. 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    First of all, I want to say that I'd love to be proven wrong. I want the company to succeed. I am not shorting this stock, so I have no incentive for it to do poorly. With that said, it is obvious -- and every rational investor would agree -- that Twitter is an inferior business when compared to a Facebook or a Google. The company has been around for nearly a decade now, went through several CEOs, and still has not earned a single penny. The business model obviously sucks. If foolish investors weren't giving it free money to burn, this company would have disappeared a long time ago.

    All I am saying is that, according to the vast amount of empirical evidence, a company that has always struggled will likely continue to do so. If I was forced to bet my entire net worth on whether or not Twitter would succeed, I would bet that it would fail. It's the rational thing to do. Sure, there will be rare exceptions once in a while, but over a large sample size, bad companies remain bad and good ones remain good. Management changes (and the research proves this) make little difference when it comes to corporate performance.

    Again, I try to be as objective as possible. I hope the company succeeds, but the evidence suggests it probably will not.
    Jul 15, 2015. 07:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]
    "That it does not enjoy the network effect?"

    Twitter does benefit from a network effect, albeit a weak one, when compared to Facebook's network effect. That's why Facebook had more than 2x the users when it was Twitter's age.
    Jul 15, 2015. 02:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]
    "Put the right CEO on charge and it will turn TWTR into a $50B company in a few quarters."

    The market cap could increase temporarily, the question is will the business improve? The empirical evidence suggests it won't. Most poorly performing companies continue to perform poorly regardless of who is in charge.

    The difference in financial performance between Twitter and Facebook is so huge that it can't all be attributed to management . . . luck has a lot to do with it.
    Jul 15, 2015. 02:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    Yes, luck plays a huge role in every aspect of life. That is correct. Sadly, people too often think skill is all that matters.
    Jul 15, 2015. 01:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    Whenever someone angrily says an article or research paper presents "nothing new," it usually means that it's very well written and brings up interesting arguments. In academia, for instance, some of the best papers (like those that won the Nobel prize) presented "nothing new" according to the critics. I take it as a compliment.
    Jul 15, 2015. 01:51 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New CEO Won't Save Twitter [View article]

    Judging from your angry comment, it's easy to tell that you are a Twitter investor who lost money. It's not a big deal, we all make investment mistakes.

    "Looking for objective views and what might be possible with the right leadership."

    As I mentioned throughout this article, there is no "right leadership." Costolo wasn't as bad as people make him out to be, he was just unlucky in the fact that he was the leader of a bad company. There is a lot of luck involved in corporate performance. The simple fact of the matter is that Twitter does not have the same advantages that Facebook has. Facebook has these advantages, not because it's better managed, but because it was more lucky. It doesn't matter who the new CEO is, Twitter's performance won't change much. The economics of the business itself matter most, not the management team.
    Jul 15, 2015. 01:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Hits New Warning Signal Today [View article]
    The market will eventually crash, no doubt about that. But when exactly this crash will occur is impossible to know precisely. The market looked extremely overpriced in 1997 as well, and yet we went on to experience the strongest bull market in human history. I'm not saying we will experience the same thing this time, just that the future is always full of uncertainty. The best strategy is one that takes advantage of bull markets and hedges against bear markets. This way no useless prediction-making is necessary.
    Jul 14, 2015. 04:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unreliability Of Human Judgment [View article]

    Politics and voting is probably one of the most subjective things in existence. For example, most people who vote for a president (or any other politician) do so using their automatic System 1 thinking. Of course, politicians know this . . . so fooling most voters is not all that difficult.

    I remember one voter, on live television, saying that the only reason he voted for Obama was because he was the same skin color as him. This type of decision is automatic and based on pure emotion. It's irrational and not a very good reason to vote for someone. (Disclosure: I myself also voted for Obama, but I tried my best to be more objective about it).
    Jun 27, 2015. 11:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unreliability Of Human Judgment [View article]
    User 8202401,

    "For me it all comes down to the fact that I trust data backed by long-term historical success more than I trust my own visions about the future."

    Couldn't have said it better myself! Objective, empirically tested knowledge is what counts. This is why quant investing is superior to more subjective traditional investing.
    Jun 26, 2015. 11:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unreliability Of Human Judgment [View article]

    That's what happens when you rely on just one biased and overworked editor, who reads dozens of articles per day, to judge quality.

    I've noticed that articles that have a bunch of charts and pictures (which usually add no meaning to the thesis of the article) tend to have a much higher chance of being tagged as an Editors' Pick. Humans are so easy to fool, which is why most things need to be quantified. It's more objective and fair.
    Jun 25, 2015. 06:58 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Unreliability Of Human Judgment [View article]
    It would be like saying "at least a nod to Einstein would have been appropriate" when talking about E = MC^2. Every knowledgeable reader will know this, so no need to waste time writing about it.
    Jun 25, 2015. 06:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment