Monthly Archives: February 2004

Howard Dean is

Imagine a well-hyped start-up that raises $41 million and receives plaudits from the media. The start-up is going to remake the industry and change the world (and maybe even change civilization). The company markets itself and gets more hype and one of the most famous investors buys in at the very top of the stock price …

and then … all of a sudden … everyone realizes that the emperor has no clothes …

It turns out the company spent almost all of its cash on ineffective television ads and is now unable to raise more money, out of cash, laying people off, and asking the rest of the staff to work for massively reduced pay.

Is this circa 2000? Is this

No, it’s Howard Dean for President.

But the similarities to (formerly listed on NASDAQ as IPET) are eerie.

Joe Trippi, dot-com maven and former CEO of Howard Dean for President, literally ripped a page from’s history. The history of the share price almost exactly matches the rise and fall of Howard Dean’s futures price as traded on the Iowa Electronic Markets (see If you shorted Dean in January 11, you’d be a rich man.

And like, which was able to attract money from some of the most famous investors even at its peak, the Howard Dean for President campaign was able to attract and endorsement from Al Gore at the precise time of its peak. According to the Iowa Electronic Markets, Gore bought Dean (IOWA: DEAN) on December 9 at 36 – and as of Feb 3, Dean was trading at only 5 – meaning DEAN lost 86% of its value in less than two months. Can you say dot-bomb?

John Kerry, by contrast, is nothing like a dot-com. He’s more like a traditionally boring, slow-moving conglomerate – like Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) for instance. He’s steady and dependable – but ultimately will not resonate with the growing Hispanic market which prefers salsa over ketchup.

Feedback Loops

Howard Dean and John Kerry are both products of a massive feedback loop. Basically, they are fads. Like any stock, they have inherent value. But much of the value of a stock lies in its perceived value. Inherently, was never worth anything under any measurement – but at certain points of the company’s life it was worth a heck of a lot because investors thought other people would buy it (in the end, of course, it turned out to be a house of cards).

The number one reason people give for voting for John Kerry is “electability.” Voters think he’s more likely to beat President Bush in November than the other Democratic contenders. So basically, the number one reason people like Kerry is not because they like his ideas, agree with his proposals, or even because they think he’s cute — but it because they think other people will vote for Kerry. The argument, of course, is very circular.

And the same thing happened to Dean. He is just another fad (he’s not John McCain, he’s actually Ross Perot). People liked him because he reached a tipping point – kind of like why everyone orders a “Red Bull and vodka” and no one orders “Mountain Dew and whisky.” Frankly, I’m sticking with my beer, chips, and salsa.

Director of Client Services at Clickability

John Girard, CEO of Clickability, passed this job to me:


Clickability seeks a Director of Client Services to lead and develop its client servicest eam. The position requires a high degree of commitment and responsibility, exceptional written and verbal communications skills, and a high level of technical aptitude. The job will be best suited to an individual who can work successfully both as part of a team and independently. Applicants should be interested in joining a fast-paced, expanding small business.

We are seeking a candidate with a broad range of abilities and interests; someone as capable building and developing structures for team growth, as working directly with customers who need immediate technical assistance with our products. Candidates should understand everyone at Clickability is expected to wear multiple hats, and to wear them well!

The position will start as a contract position and will transition to a full-time position with benefits if the candidate meets specific initial milestones.

About Clickability

Clickability, Inc. is a leading provider of content management software-as-a-service. We are an established, profitable ASP company with over 4 years of experience providing outsourced Internet technology products to some of the world’s most prominent brands.

Among the 70+ publishers who have selected our award-winning solutions are The Wall Street Journal, CNN Interactive, Internet World, and For more information, please visit:

Job Responsibilities:

• Day-to-day customer assistance / troubleshooting
• Management and hands-on implementation of customer integration projects
• Some after hours client support
• Client services team and support structures building:
o Team growth planning
o End-user training documentation development
o Client services portal strategy and deployment

Job Qualifications:

• 3+ years of client services / technical project management required, 4 years preferred, ideally from a Big Three firm or an established content management vendor
• An in depth understanding of Internet technology (DNS, web metrics, etc.)
• Exceptional written and verbal communications skills
• Exceptional organizational skills – we are committed to the highest possible levels of service to our clients, and you should be too
• Required technical skills: HTML / CSS / JavaScript / XML

Apply to:

What do Bill Richardson and Jane Harman have in common?

Richardson and Harman are my two early picks for potential VP running mates to whoever wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

Richardson is currently the governor of New Mexico – a significant swing state. He’s also Latino and speaks fluent Spanish. Before being governor, Richardson served in the Clinton administration as Secretary of Energy and also as the permanent representative to the United Nations. Before that he was a member of Congress. Richardson helps any Democrat win New Mexico while strengthening them among the Latino community.

Harman is a congresswoman serving the Santa Monica region in California. She is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee so she has a strong resume in fighting terrorism. Harman helps secure California and secure the women’s vote for a potential Democrat.

Both Richardson and Harman have not yet been talked about as a potential vice president but I expect we will start hearing both their names more often over the next few months.