|The Fly Speaks|
The Fly is in retirement, replaced by Twitter @noricd.
Just as Dragnet's Detective Friday says "Just the facts ma'am", so does The Fly. The Fly Speaks is The Fly's collection of facts, trends and statistics on specific topics.
2010" 5 billion - the number of global connections
4,817 million - the number of connections in March 
168 million - the number of new connections
320 million - handsets sold in Q1 [of 2010]".
Source: The Mobile World, an analyst group, July 2010.Four big mid-2010 mobile phone statistics
"5 billion - the number of global connections 4,817 million - the number of connections in March 
168 million - the number of new connections
320 million - handsets sold in Q1 [of 2010]". Source: The Mobile World, an analyst group, July 2010.
Sony vs Apple = from gizmos to networks "Stringer [Sony CEO] hopes to use the PlayStation Network as a model for the entire company. That four-year-old service has 50 million registered users who can buy or rent video, games, and music over the Web. Stringer aims to sell 350 million networked gadgets and generate $US3.4 billion from network services, which include movies and games, by Mar. 31, 2013. ... The bottom line: Sony is increasingly being eclipsed in consumer electronics by Apple. So it's pushing its content over networked devices to fight back." Source: Cliff Edwards, Ronald Grover, Greg Miles and Mariko Yasu , Sony Seeks Relevance in an Apple-Centric Age, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 1 July 2010.
Lawyer speak on termination of David Jones CEO "As a result of the mutual termination and after discussions between Mr McInnes and the Board, it has been agreed that Mr McInnes' settlement will be less than his contractual entitlement after 13 years working for the Company. Mr McInnes will not be entitled to any of his contractual rights relating to Short Term Incentives for the current or future years or to any currently operating Long Term Incentive Plan or Retention Plan. He will receive his statutory entitlements of $445,421 and a settlement payment of $1.5 million." Source: This is the final paragraph of the David Jones ASX and Media Release on 18 June 2010. It announced the mutual termination of Mark McInnes as CEO for behaving "in a manner unbecoming of a chief executive to a female staff member at two recent Company functions."
On 19 June, Business Day - http://www.businessday.com.au/ - drilled further into the financial terms ("Boss leaves with $8.6m"): "He also would keep 1.49 million David Jones shares that had been vested to him since his appointment as CEO. But 3.5 million shares on offer, worth $15.26 million at current prices, would be taken from Mr McInnes as a key rule of the company's incentive and retention plans required him to still to be CEO in October 2011.
Instead, Mr McInnes would depart via a mutual termination agreement, with David Jones paying $1.5 million but securing a one-year non-compete clause."
AOL loses another billion dollars The founders of social media website Bebo - http://www.bebo.com, Michael and Xochi Birch, made an estimated $US600 million (£295 million) on its 2008 sale to the AOL division of Time Warner for $US850 million ($A898 million) in cash. Yesterday AOL announced it would close Bebo if it could not find buyers to take it out of AOL's losing hands. The Fly comments, "What's another billion lost anyway... when you've already lost about $US140 billion in the last 10 years." The January 2000 AOL merger with TimeWarner valued AOL at $US160 billion. Today AOL is valued at about $US20 billion. Further reading: www.paidcontent.org - The Rise And Fall Of Bebo: A History In Links, 6 April 2010.
Apple's persistent innovation leads to market capitalisation bonanza In terms of market capitalisation Apple is $US207B, the fourth largest of U.S. traded companies. Ahead of it are only Exxon Mobil ($US306B), Microsoft ($US262B) and Wal-Mart ($US212B). In terms of IT and entertainment companies, behind it are Google, IBM, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Disney, Amazon, Nokia, Sony, Motorola and Dell. Source: MacDailyNews, http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/24492/, 25 March 2010.
15 companies hunted by U.S. venture capital "Of all the technology companies started in the U.S. in any one year, approximately 15 ever generate $US100M in annual revenue. Those 15 companies will ultimately be responsible for 97% of the market capitalization of the entire set of [technology] companies started that year." Source: Ben Horowitz, Co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz speaking in a lecture to University of Berkley students. The video of this is on the uctv's YouTube channel, uploaded in March 2010. The quote is a slide that can be seen at 39:01 minutes into the 47:55 lecture. The research work on which the quote is based was done by Andrew S. Rachleff, an academic at Stanford and formerly involved in venture capital.
Microsoft Office is a $US12 billion business "Microsoft's business division, which makes Office, is the most profitable unit of the company, generating more than $US12 billion in profit last fiscal year, more than half Microsoft's $US20.4 billion overall profit." Source: Alexei Oreskovic, Google takes aim at Microsoft with acquisition, Reuters, 8 March 2010.
Number of publishers blocking Google spiders "If you follow the media-versus-Google meme, you know this instinctively. But here are some numbers that spell it out: Of the 25,000-plus sources cataloged by Google News, “less than 100″ have opted out of the index, says Google’s Josh Cohen, who runs the [Google News] service." Source: Peter Kafka, A Very Short List: Publishers That Have Actually Told Google to Take a Hike, All Things Digital (section of The Wall Street Journal), 21 December 2009.
Apple and Google financial numbers compared "[T]he market cap for both Google and Apple are currently tied at about US$170 billion after Friday’s market close. ... Google closed at a share price of US$536.12, while Apple’s closed at US$188.5 but with nearly three times as many shares outstanding. ... Microsoft’s market cap is currently approximately US$246 billion, while IBM’s is US$158 billion and Yahoo’s closed last week at US$22 billion." Source: Robin Wauters, Google Equals Apple In Value. And Vice Versa! TechCrunch, 2 November 2009. More data flowed out of the comments to that article:
- Revenue per employee per year of Apple is US$992,853.26 and for Google is US$1.101 million
- Price to earnings ratio of Apple is 29 and Google is 40
- Profit margin of Apple is 15.61% and Google is 21.73%
- Operating margin of Apple is 20.96% and Google is 33.92%
- Profit sources for Apple are spread across many hardware and software products and services, whilst Google’s are mostly in advertising.
Why BusinessWeek was sold "The big business-media news this week will be BusinessWeek’s sale to Bloomberg for US$2 million to US$5 million plus the assumption of liabilities, in what is surely the best outcome the magazine and its newsroom could have. ... at its peak in 2000, [BusinessWeek] was valued at about US$1 billion. Today it sold for 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent of that, nine years later. Incredible. So there’s your new emblem for the Fall of Print. That decline in value happened for the most part not because it’s readers abandoned it—circulation (rate base) dropped about 20 percent during that time—but because its advertisers did."
Source: Ryan Chittum, BizWeek Emblematic of the Fall of Print, Columbia Journalism Review, 13 October 2009. Hat tip to Tom Foremski, who points out that Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter. Foremski also adds: "McGraw-Hill invested about $20 million over the past two years. BusinessWeek losses in 2009 are expected to be more than $40 million on revenues of about US$130 million. Ten years ago it had an operating profit of US$100 million."
IT companies seek services revenues "Xerox's cash-and-stock bid for ACS represented a 34% premium to ACS's closing stock price on Sept. 25. It came a week after Dell said it's paying US$3.9 billion for information technology services company Perot Systems, offering a 68% premium. Hewlett-Packard bought tech services company EDS for US$13.9 billion in 2008. "Everyone is looking at the IBM model and trying to emulate it," says Eric Gebaide, a managing director at investment bank Innovation Advisors."Source: Aaron Ricadela, Xerox Bets Big on Services, BusinessWeek, 28 September 2009.Bankruptcy increasing, also for the middle class "Under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth), there are three regulated forms of personal insolvency: bankruptcy, debt agreements, and personal insolvency agreements. Between 1990 and 2008 there was a 261% increase in the number of personal insolvencies in Australia. ... Personal insolvents are increasingly coming from higher prestige occupations, such as managers and administrators, professionals, and associate professionals. Between 1999 and 2008 there was a 142% increase in the proportion of bankrupts and an 82% increase in the proportion of debt agreement debtors from these occupations. Personal insolvents have increasing levels of personal income. Between 1997 and 2007 there was a 192% increase in the proportion of bankrupts and a 360% increase in the proportion of debt agreement debtors with personal income of $30,000 or more." Source: Personal Insolvency in Australia: An Increasingly Middle Class Phenomenon, academic paper by Ian Ramsay (University of Melbourne - Law School) and Cameron Sim (University of Melbourne - Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation), 4 August 2009
Australian law for business is 9th best If you seek ease in doing business, Australia is the 9th best country. New Zealand is number 2. Singapore is number 1. That's according to Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times, the seventh in a series of annual reports published by International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.
The World Bank explains "A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is conducive to the operation of business. This index averages the country's percentile rankings on 10 topics, made up of a variety of indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. The rankings are from the Doing Business 2010 report, covering the period June 2008 through May 2009."
In terms of employing workers Australia is ranked first in the world. It is the 16th best for enforcing contracts. For a list country by country and index topic by index topic click here.
Source: Download World Bank overview (PDF, 144KB).
Australian tax revenues 60% higher than 2000 "Tax revenue in the U.S and Australia has been steadily growing. Taking the years 2000 to 2008, total internal revenue collected in 2008 in the U.S is 1.3 times that in 2000 whereas in Australia it is 1.6 times." Source: Anton Joseph, "Murky world of tax cuts and deficits?", CCHatter blog published by CCH, 24 August 2009.
Float valuation of Carsales.com "The company [Carsales.com] will have a total of 232 million shares on issue and will be valued at A$812 million, based on the A$3.50 issue price. It is expected to be listed on September 10 . ... Most of Carsales.com's small shareholders paid 20¢ a share when the unlisted public company was established in 2000. The company started paying dividends in late 2003. Shareholders have since received dividends of 32.8¢ a share, including a 2008-09 final dividend of 7.8¢ , which was paid last week. The value of Carsales.com has increased almost 200 per cent since September 2006, when James Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd made an unsuccessful takeover bid at A$1.21 a share." Source: Neil Shoebridge, "Carsales.com float moves into top gear", The Australian Financial Review, 2 Sep 2009, p. 49. Further reading on valuations: valuation
More venture capital for health than IT "The health care industry received 42% of 2Q09 investment, and information technology attracted 37%, the first time on record that quarterly investment in health care exceeded investment in information technology." Source: Fenwick & West LLP (Silicon Valley law firm), "Trends In Terms Of Venture Financings In Silicon Valley (Second Quarter 2009)".
Compliance for venture capital should be different, 11 August 2009 " About 17.6 per cent of US GDP comes from public companies that were venture backed." This statistic comes from Bob Ackerman, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.
Before this he rings warning bells about legal compliance and legal issues for venture capital (VC):
"Innovation is in trouble because of restrictions on H1B visas; unfavorable tax policies regarding stock options; the failure to change Sarbanes-Oxley in regards to startups which increases costs; and the government investing billions of dollars picking winners and losers, such as the bailout of the automakers. It’s all building into a crescendo that harms innovation.
I’m afraid that Washington doesn’t understand venture capital and what we do. The Treasury department wants to regulate VC firms in the same way as hedge funds and private equity. This is wrong. VC firms use no leverage, while hedge funds and private equity leverage funds at huge ratios and look for short term gains. VC firms should not be regulated in the same way, it will hurt the smaller VC firms which are the most productive. This is a cottage industry.
We are in a code red situation in Silicon Valley. We have to compete with with world for talent and capital. Right now a lot of our Indian and Chinese engineers are leaving and going back home and capital is following them."
U.S. venture capital firms - 49% in three cities " From Silicon Valley to Herzliya, Israel, venture capital firms are concentrated in very few locations. More than half of the 1,000 venture capital offices listed in Pratt's Guide to Private Equity and Venture Capital Sources are located in just three metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Boston, and New York. More than 49 percent of the U.S.-based companies financed by venture capital firms are located in these three cities." Source: Henry Chen, Paul A. Gompers, Anna Kovner, and Josh Lerner - Buy Local? The Geography of Successful and Unsuccessful Venture Capital Expansion. Harvard Business School, 6 August 2009. Further reading on VC: venture capital
Cisco CEO on Enterprise 2.0, July 2009 "We now think you’re entering the second phase of this productivity growth. It’s all going to be around collaboration and network-enabled technologies called Web 2.0 that enable collaboration. ... Our utilization of discussion forums, you have ongoing topics you deal with, is not up 160 percent over the last year, it’s up 1,600. Taking YouTube capabilities and bring them internal—we call it CiscoVision—is up 3,100 [percent], with 54,000 employees out of 66,000 using it in the last year. Using Webex capability, where you collaborate both internal and external through firewalls, utilization is up 3,900 percent." Source: McKinsey Quarterly, July 2009 - McKinsey conversations with global leaders: John Chambers of Cisco. Further reading: enterprise 2.0 (links to Dilanchian articles)
What's the share of ad revenue for media agencies in Australia? "SMI [Standard Media Index] estimates the participating media agencies -- which include Mitchell & Partners, GroupM agencies MediaCom, MindShare, Maxus and Mediaedge:cia, OMD, Starcom MediaVest, Universal McCann and ZenithOptimedia -- are responsible for booking 50-80% of all advertising dollars in each traditional advertising media, and about 35 per cent in online." Source: The Australian, 27 July 2009, Media braces for new data on ad revenue.
How many on Facebook in Australia? "There are 3,186,230 people in the Australia [Facebook] network." Source: Facebook, 14 July 2009. Further reading: Facebook's monetarization strategy.
More regulations and debt ahead, 10 July 2009: "Markets and technologies are moving faster than regulations. ... And, too many regulations push for many more regulations. ... In a few years, the US debt could reach 100% or more of its GDP as it is today the case for the Japanese and the Italian governments, and at that stage, the US will reach a “Point of Non Return” according to Mr. Gross to be sustainable for the capital markets. In over nine years, the US has moved from a budget surplus of $559 Billion under President Clinton to a budget deficit of $11.3 Trillion under President Obama." Source: Serge-Paul Carrasco, Too Big to Fail, published 29 June 2009 in his blog http://www.asiliconvalleyinsider.com.
Which franchise group has the most outlets, 36,000 restaurants? QUESTION: What is the biggest franchise group in the world in terms of its number of sites or outlets? CLUES: (1) It is a franchise group, ie it owns more than one brand. (2) Its sites are restaurants, there's 36,000 of them in more than 110 countries. (3) It had total revenues in 2008 of US$11 billion (A$15.3 billion). That includes revenues in Australia of A$1.5 billion. (4) It is the world's second biggest franchise group in terms of market capitalisation, after McDonald's. So it's not McDonald's. ANSWER: The group is the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, both operating in Australia. Of the 36,000 sites mentioned above, 14,000 are KFC outlets. The group also owns Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silvers - all untried or unsuccessful in Australia. With all these brands, this is why it is a franchise group. The group is the United States-based YUM! Brands - http://www.yum.com. Further reading: Franchising legal services. See also this Insight Guide for franchisors: Insulating Franchises from Failure [PDF].
Red ink in the U.S. newspaper business " Newspapers are in big trouble. ... The Seattle Post Intelligencer and Christian Science Monitor shut down their print newspapers, but have online editions. The Rocky Mountain News shut down completely. The Boston Globe will be shut down unless the unions agree to $20M in cost cuts. The Chicago Sun-Times and 58 other newspapers owned by the holding company filed for bankruptcy last week. The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are also in bankruptcy. The Washington Post and New York Times have announced lay-offs and cost cutting measures. The San Francisco Chronicle lost $50M last year and just last month their unions agreed to cut 150 jobs and other cost cuts. The blog Paper Cuts reports there were 15,866 layoffs at US newspapers in 2008 and another 7,979 so far in 2009. " Source: Don Dodge blog post, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun Times could shut down this year 7 April 2009. Further reading: 5 ideas for business reinvention and Are you online in real time?
Australian average earnings, CEO remuneration and CPI: 2001-2007 " Over the period from 2001 to 2007, median fixed remuneration [of CEOs in Top 100 companies] increased by 96.4% in total, or 11.9% per annum compound... Over the same period, average adult weekly ordinary time earnings increased by 32.3%, while the consumer price index increased by 17.7%. As base salary and other aspects of fixed remuneration are (by definition) not explicitly tied to the company’s performance, companies should disclose clearly the reason or reasons behind a significant increase in base salary. Few companies, despite requests from ACSI [Australian Council of Super Investors] and individual shareholders, provide explanations of fixed pay increases beyond generic disclosures stating fixed pay is reviewed annually with regard to movements in pay at other companies of a similar size. " Source: CEO Pay in the Top 100 Companies: 2007, September 2008.
Picnic grounds for lawyers (Feb 2009): In Australian parliaments politicians with law degrees greatly outnumber those with other professional qualifications. For example, currently the Federal Coalition has a shadow cabinet of 21 frontbenchers. Of these 17 have law degrees and 4 have economics degress - Tony Abbott, Andrew Robb, Nick Minchin and Sharman Stone (who has a PhD in economics). Source: Peter Martin, the Canberra-based economics correspondent for the Melbourne Age newspaper.
Which franchise serves 58 million customers per day? In calendar year 2008 the McDonald’s Corporation served 58 million customers per day. In 2008 it had more than 30,000 fast food outlets in more than 100 countries. Source: McDonald's press release, 26 January 2009 and corporate website. Further reading: Franchising legal services. See also this Insight Guide for franchisors: Insulating Franchises from Failure [PDF]. The Frank F. Love book, Behind the Arches is an excellent history of McDonald's full of valuable lessons for others wishing to establish a franchise in any field.
iPhone - 500,000 downloads of 15,000 applications "There are more than 15,000 apps on the App Store, and so far iPhone users have downloaded an incredible 500 million, in every category from games to business." Apple home page advertisement, 20 January 2009. Further reading: VentureBeat has one of the better reports. Our backgrounders are: Software ecosystems and Predictions 2009: Information and Communication Technology - Part 2 and Content licensing for mobile commerce [Update 1].
IBM's record 4,186 US patents in 2008 "IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it earned 4,186 U.S. patents in 2008, becoming the first company ever to earn more than 4,000 U.S. patents in a single year. IBM's 2008 patent issuances are nearly triple Hewlett-Packard's and exceed the issuances of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google -- combined." IBM Press Release, "IBM Shatters U.S. Patent Record", 14 January 2009. Background note: IBM's intellectual property record is remarkable and sustained. In 2007, IBM announced it received 3,125 U.S. patents from the USPTO. It was the fifteenth consecutive year that IBM received more US patents than any other company in the world.
Hulu traffic statistics, 25% of YouTube's "The blogosphere was sceptical about Hulu, but the site, still only available in the US, has been a hit. ComScore, the market research company, pegged its unique monthly visitors for October  at 24 million. On average, a visitor watches 10 videos on Hulu in a month. It is getting about one-quarter as many unique viewers as YouTube despite having less content and no presence outside the US." Dominic Rushe, "YouTube sheds artists as contract deals founder ", The Australian, 9 January 2009. Update: Meanwhile, Joost enjoying a dramtic traffic growth spike.
Official estimate of 2009 GDP deficit of US - $1 trillion "[The United States federal government deficit] has been officially forecast at US$1 trillion for 2009 - double the 2008 deficit and equal to about 7.5% of US gross domestic product - without Mr Obama's proposed stimulus package, but some private sector economists forecast a deficit of as much as US$1.5 trillion." Quoting Editor's Opinion, "Obama's weight of the world", The Australian Financial Review, 9 January 2009, p. 50.