Let me state at the outset that some of my friends are lawyers. My oldest daughter Manda even has a pre-law degree (Political Science). And I am certain some of the nicest people on the planet are lawyers.
In the interests of full disclosure, I'd like to also say I've had my share of run-ins with the law. Nothing major, mind you... My experience with lawyers has been educational. That's a good word to use: educational.
So I'm sitting here watching television - that's right, the play-offs are about to start (arguably the best football of the season will be played today and not a couple Sundays hence) and most of you know I rarely watch television - and I see this commercial about calling this 800 number if you've lost money in the stock market. And I feel the blood rush to my face.
Lean in, real close to your monitor - I have a secret to share with you about investing in anything, especially the stock market: It's
I construct a quick use case of how this commercial came to be. My thoughts are:
- Someone invested in the stock market
- This person expected to make loads and loads of cash
- Instead, some or all of the money was lost
- So the person contacted a lawyer
Some people do make money in the stock market. A few of them share how they did it in ways you and I can understand. I like Jim Cramer. His books help ordinary people understand the risks and propose a methodology that helps me invest according to my risk tolerances. I particularly like this book.
This, and all good books about investing, make the point that investing is risky.
Then, catching up on my blogs, I come across a link to this: Comes v. Microsoft.
I read through some of the information posted there and my reaction is "Thank God for Google."
"What?!" you gasp, "aren't you sold out to Microsoft and isn't Google their arch-rival?" No, and yes.
I'm not sold out to anyone. I have a limited number of minutes to apply to learning new stuff everyday and I can barely keep up with the products offered by a single company, so I chose Microsoft technology. And ask anyone, I give Microsoft high marks for the stuff they do well and low marks for the stuff they don't do well. I don't see that as being sold out. But I digress...
So why "hooray for Google?" Google has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is possible to compete with Microsoft.
It is my contention that there would be no lawsuits if, say, Microsoft had simply rolled over and allowed these companies to catch up - or if they'd met with these companies to divvy up the market... no wait, that would be illegal, nevermind.
My point is pretty simple. Microsoft isn't perfect. But neither are their competitors. If some of the "technological alliances" formed to compete with Microsoft had been formed to compete with anyone else on the planet it would have been shot down by some monopoly law or other, but since they were formed to combat Microsoft they were deemed legitimate.
When Microsoft provides the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) and the highest ROI (return on investment) one competing strategy seems to be to form an alliance to try to create a standard that excludes Microsoft, or engage in admittedly clever marketing (will they break into double-digit marketshare with those commercials?) with cool people and sappy comparisons (conspicuous in its absence was the C# GUI Programmers Guide). Here's something I really admire: When Microsoft gets outwitted in the market - like by Google - their strategy is to compete.
It isn't Microsoft's "fault" that the competition makes mistakes and Microsoft takes advantage of it. It's the competition's fault for making the mistake in the first place. Microsoft is simply doing what every other business on the planet - including mine - does to remain open and profitable: competing.
When you're that big, however, it looks awfully unfair from the standpoint of the little guy.
But the opposing argument is: Microsoft should not be allowed to compete. And this is just wrong.
So, bringing it all back around...
How about some personal responsibility?
If you invest in the stock market, you could lose every cent. That's the way it is. If you do not wish to accept that risk, you have an option: don't invest in the stock market.
If you decide to start a business that competes with Microsoft, you could lose. That's the way it is. If you do not wish to accept the risk of losing, you also have a similar option: don't go head-to-head against Microsoft.
The first game's on...(and I believe the Bears Defense will decide the remainder of the games in which they play this season...)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the author and not the owners and operators of the site or the internet. Ok, maybe the owners of the site since the author does, in fact, own the site; but definitely not the operators. And other people are responsible for what they say and do on the remainder of the internet - the set of said which encompasses but excludes this site herein. Wheretofore. I am not a lawyer and I do not play one on the web. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum, add oneplusone, e pluribus unum.
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