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  • Yelp Can't Scale Without Getting Smarter About Its Review System  [View article]
    You make a good point about it being localized. It's really kind of a Catch-22 that Yelp finds itself in. They need a large urban area to be viable and in their decade of existence they have pretty much signed up all the business people that choose to pay Yelp for free reviews in urban areas. Where/how do they grow? Will they start selling ads to farmers?
    Sep 10, 2013. 07:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp: The False Assumptions Bears Are Making  [View article]

    There you go again. If you don't like the message, you attack the messenger. Why do you assume that only short sellers disagree with you. Ever consider you're just wrong. Grow up.
    Sep 10, 2013. 09:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Finally Has The Major Catalyst In Production  [View article]
    CMI has teamed with Westport and is bringing out a NG engine for long haul trucking. Yes, CMI is large but if/when they can capture that market I suspect it may nudge their share price a good bit. Don't forget China. They are converting now to NG and they need the new technology these engines represent. CMI could double which is a fair ROI.
    Sep 9, 2013. 12:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Clean Energy Finally Has The Major Catalyst In Production  [View article]
    Very good analysis. Lots of pros and cons to weigh in looking at Cline. I tend to believe NG is the fuel of the future but I'm betting on pipelines (KMP) and engines (CMI) as the safest way to profit from this trend.
    Sep 7, 2013. 07:16 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    Would it be fair to infer from your question that you suspect young Scotty of a pump and dump? I would never be so unkind as to suggest such a thing but must admit the thought has crossed my mind.-:)
    Sep 3, 2013. 05:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    Due diligence requires the investor to explore the current and/or potential sentiment among the potential market for an investment. In the case of Yelp the market is small business. It has been implied by both the author and some posters to this thread that Yelp provides accurate and helpful reviews. Let's agree on that point. It would therefore appear prudent to visit Yelp and read what actual advertisers have to say about this company. One of my favorite representative snippets was:

    "I have never been so unhappy with being a paid advertiser on Yelp. Despite my paying X amount of dollars a month to have a "featured" profile (take a crazily high number and multiply it by 10), Yelp still shows other DJs in the New England area on MY profile, and they have FREE ACCOUNTS (emphasis added). In other words, these guys who are NOT paying for advertising are getting a leg up from me." ....Jake D. Marlborough, MA

    This is what is said in my community also as I pointed out to the author. But rather than take my word for Yelps dodgy reputation with its major market, feel free to visit their website and sample the thousands of reviews that make the same point that the author fails to grasp or chooses not to address.
    Sep 3, 2013. 02:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    Are you a politician? You have the recurring habit of attacking the messenger rather than addressing the message. So be it.

    I'll repeat, I have no financial interest or position in Yelp. Although it may amaze you there are people such as myself that take offense when writers, with stated financial motives, shamelessly insult the intelligence of the reader with false analogies and red herring arguments.

    I won't waste time in debate about which organizations you personally find "annoying". However, I'd hope we'd agree that those insurance agents, restaurant owners, print shops, etc. that are passing out their business cards represent the market that Yelp has been unable to capture. Accordingly, they also represent why Yelp is now and will remain unprofitable. So whatever your personal feelings, I'd suggest you heed what is said about Yelp amongst its potential market....I believe you reference these annoying people quite often in your comments about the trillion dollar market potential.-:)

    Finally, I regret you took personal offense at my remarks. However, if you will refrain from false analogies and bogus points I will no longer have reason to point out the dishonesty involved in your arguments.

    Affectionately yours,
    Sep 3, 2013. 12:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]

    I too own a small business and am also an officer in our local chamber of commerce. I have my own reaction as well as the feedback of our chamber members regarding Yelp's value to the independent business. First let me say that it is dishonest to compare Google's business model with Yelps. It is a very false analogy. A percentage of people will often search Google for a product or service. They aren't really comparison shopping. If you have a compelling ad listed on the search page, you should get a fair return on your ad dollar. People are also searching on Yelp for product or services. However, the analogy breaks down because the consumer is basing his buying decision on the reviews NOT on ads. Yelp's attraction to the consumer are the reviews which are also the reason that after almost a decade of trying, most small business people would never waste their money placing ads on a service where advertising is not a factor. This is not just my view but in a suburban chamber of commerce serving a prosperous suburb of over 150k residents, I can attest that none of our members advertise on Yelp. In fact, it is a laughing stock among small business people. Their customers are generally the newbies in business that have not yet learned how to effectively market their business.

    So you are right to question how they will ever monetize their business. Here in the real world of real small business, Yelp is a joke. If you have a 5 star business on Yelp you will do well in terms of getting business. If you have a 1 star business you will get little business from Yelp. Either way, you would be foolish to pay money for something your money has no effect on.
    Sep 3, 2013. 11:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • YouTube - Yelp's Greatest Threat  [View article]
    Most smart business people advertise on Yelp because it is FREE as billcasey42 states. However, from an investors standpoint does anyone see a flaw here? If your service is free except to those stupid enough to pay for a free service, how does Yelp become profitable? No review service has found a way to profitability including Yelp. All this verbiage about whether Yelp is useful or better than YouTube or Angie to the free user is meaningless. Their business model is why they have been unprofitable for a decade and unless they find a new business model they will remain unprofitable until they inevitably go bust.
    Aug 28, 2013. 09:04 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • YouTube - Yelp's Greatest Threat  [View article]
    "..Yelp needs to depend on independents. But the very power of the rating system means that advertising in this case should be ineffective. If you are a small business with great reviews on Yelp, do you also need to advertise on Yelp? And if you have poor reviews on Yelp, do you want to help fund a site bashing your business?"

    It really IS that simple.
    Aug 26, 2013. 07:39 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    "So essentially you are still in Summer break. In a couple of weeks you will go back to whichever business school you attend and see who one(SIC) the Summer "paper-trade contest". Scott Ryan

    Actually, judging from your photo I likely completed University when you were a toddler. However, for the sake of civility I shall not dwell on your apparent tendencies toward hasty and false assumptions.

    My true interest lies in some straightforward answer as to why you believe a reasonable business person would spend money on something they already have? Specifically, to use your example of the restaurant in Florida, I am sure they have profited immensely by their reviews in Yelp. However, if they don't give Yelp from $300-$700 monthly for "advertising" how will that impact this restaurant's bottom line? Herein lies the flaw. It will have no positive impact whatsoever for this merchant to fork over money for great reviews that he already obtains free of charge. Call my analysis the logic of Ivy League number crunchers if you please, but I think most businessmen would call it common sense.

    You mention due diligence. I agree that is a lacking ingredient in your argument. My argument is based on (1) Yelp or similar review services have never been profitable. (2) Read what their actual market has to say about them by visiting their website and reading the reviews from real business owners who overwhelmingly despise them. (3) Yelp is an urban oriented service. They have been in every major U.S. market for almost a decade unprofitably. Are you pinning your hopes on a European businessman being not as smart about advertising as an American?

    The business market has been exposed (some would say harassed) by Yelp for many years now and has said thanks but no thanks. Accordingly to find agreement with your wishful projections would only result in the both us being wrong.
    Aug 23, 2013. 08:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    Scott, first you compare Yelp with Angie and for your grand rebuttal you now compare Yelp with Google? Considering that many readers can also reason, I miss where the "pomposity" lies in pointing out your penchant for false and misleading analogies. Google makes sense for many advertisers because the user bases their buying decision on business generated content either by visiting the Google generated web link in search or by clicking a paid ad. Yelp conversely gives the advertiser no control over influencing the buying decision. In other words, the buying decision is determined by the free reviews of which the advertiser has no control. If you are a 4 star business you will do well on Yelp. If you are a 1 star business, you will do poorly. But unfortunately for Yelp, no amount of ad dollars will change that glaring reality. The real "Breaking News" by Trainer is that there aren't enough naive business people around that are willing to pay for the cow when the milk is free.

    This seems petty, but since you keep repeating false charges, I'll respond. I hold no position in Yelp either long or short and have no intention of ever doing so. I find it sad that your stated long position in Yelp somehow self-validates the theory that every poster on this board has some hidden agenda. My agenda is entirely transparent. I think this stock is a mini repeat of the tech bubble and therefore a very overvalued example of gambling vs. investing.
    Aug 23, 2013. 01:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp Is To Angie's List What Facebook Was To  [View article]
    To summarize your article, a free review service beats a paid review service. I would generally agree that consumers overwhelmingly share your sentiment. In fact, to compare Angie's List with Yelp is actually setting up a straw man argument. However, the larger flaw in your overall analysis lies in the fact that consumers/users don't provide revenue to Yelp. Advertisers pay the bills, not users. This inconvenient truth is universally glossed over in any positive coverage of the Yelp business model. When Yelp or any of its fanboys can provide a sound justification for paying for something (reviews) that's already provided free then there may be some basis for optimism. Until Yelp can create a business model to monetize their content, it remains a company hopelessly adrift and overvalued.
    Aug 23, 2013. 10:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp: The False Assumptions Bears Are Making  [View article]
    Scott, I think you miss Teodor's point. (1) It's FREE to be on Yelp. (2) Users make their buying decisions based on the REVIEWS not paid ads. Accordingly, after almost a decade of intense marketing Yelp remains unprofitable because the business community does not see value in paying for their ads. It is a fatally flawed business model. Put in the simplest of terms, why would a business buy the cow when the milk is free?
    Aug 13, 2013. 05:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Yelp: The False Assumptions Bears Are Making  [View article]
    " I remember having purchased the Put options on Yahoo with the $40 strike price while Yahoo was at that time trading at a $180 BILLION market cap." yadda, yadda... Scott Ryan

    I'd respectfully suggest the author recall a fundamental of both coin flips and certainly investing. Namely past performance is no guarantee of future performance. In judging the potential or lack thereof regarding Yelp, it sounds a wee bit like a used car salesman when one seeks to validate their arguments with past success.
    Aug 12, 2013. 07:41 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment