“WE WILL NOT BE BLUDGEONED INTO A TRANSACTION THAT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR STOCKHOLDERS”, Roy Bostock, Yahoo! chairman.
Yahoo! Inc. on Saturday ( July 12, 2008 ) rejected an offer to sell its Internet search business to Microsoft Corp. and leave the remainder of the company in control of billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The complex deal would have meant a major dismantling of Yahoo!: not only the sale of its coveted search engine, but also the spin-off of its Asian assets and the ouster of its top management, including CEO ( and founder ) Jerry Yang. (1)
Notice that the kindly capitalist Roy Bostock did not say anything about the best interest of the EMPLOYEES. After all, who the hell cares about the employees, their mortgages, their health care, their kids in school and their car payments when we can play MONOPOLY with the wild swings of the stock value ?? Employees: oh spit: they matter not. After all, labor is just capital, now isn’t it Karl?* (*Karl is that nice Jewish boy from Russia, Karl Marxâ€“he wrote a book: all sing along now: your kapital, my kapital, we all sing for Das Kapital: yes, yes, that was it).
What is a project manager to do? Well, you could start by sitting down, shutting up, keeping your head down, taking notes, and never, ever looking up. Napoleon Bonaparte, before he went stupid and took his troops, horses and cannons to Moscow in the snows of Poland, graced us with this wisdom, “When you enemies are shooting at and killing themselves, just watch and keep your powder dry.” That Napoleon was put on a ship for a deserted prison island in the South Atlanta was not the result of all of the dead soldiers: no, the French were angry about the horses ( they were Percherons ) and the cannons ( they were brass ). And remember, he could not even manage Josephine: she was “a little busy” in the beds of many of his countrymen. Project management, anyone? Game, set, match. Say es la vee, say es la gee-aire.
Rumors are flying. Newspapers can not be printed fast enough. Jerry Yang never should have taken Yahoo! public: look at the scum-sucking bottom feeders that he has attracted: Steve Ballmer and Carl Icahn. Rumors abound that Steve Ballmer was seen in Home Depot’s chain saw aisle buying the entire inventory of them, and rumors abound that Carl Icahn was shopping with him but he was over in the acetylene torches aisle buying the entire inventory of them. See what happens when you go public? See what happens when you want more money? You wind up in the ash heap of history. Just ask Marc Andreessen of Netscape. Where is Netscape when you need it? In the ash heap of history, of course. Really: Jerry Yang should have tried self-employment. Then, whatever he created would still be his. Steve Ballmer does not need self-employment: he runs the whole shebang now in Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond, but Carl Icahn, as the re-incarnation of WWII German Field Marshal Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel, is smart enough to be self-employed as the same old corporate raider dressed up as an activist investor. Alas, his new costume is transparent and his body looks really, really, really ugly.
So, what is a project manager to do? Well, in between the arrival of the daily editions of the San Jose Mercury News or the San Francisco Chronicle, you could prove the worth of your salt in terms of gold by reading these great books: which, if you ask me, are superior to the Bible’s New Testament but still inferior to the Five Books of Moses ( commonly defamed by non-Jews as the Old Testament). And those great books are:
1) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, Fireside Books by Simon
and Schuster, New York, 1989; ISBN # 0-671-70863.
2) Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, Perennial
Classics Books by Harper Collins, New York, 1956; ISBN # 0-06-054439-2.
3) The Greatest American Speeches ( with Martin Luther King on the cover )
The stories and transcripts of the words that changed our history. Quercus Publishing PLC
London, England; 2006; ISBN # 978-1-84724-696-7
4) The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, US Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate
for 2008, Crown / Three Rivers Press, 2006, ISBN # 0-307-23769-9
5) Good to Great, by Jim Collins, co-author of the best-selling Built To Last, Harper Business
Books, New York, 2001, ISBN # 0-06-662099-6
6) Ziglar On Selling, by Zig Ziglar, world-renown sales consultant; Oliver Nelson Press, 1991,
Nashville, TN, ISBN #: 0-8407-9131-3;
7) How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
8) The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale, Fireside Books, New York, 1952.
ISBN # 978-0-7432-9215-3
9) The Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa; Macdonald
Purnell Publishing, 1995; ISBN # 0-316-87496-5
And so, before I leave you with enough fireside reading until tomorrow, let’s review the
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
1)Be proactive: get out in front of the pass you can catch the ball; and change your oil !!
2)Begin with the end in mind — what do you want it to look like when it’s all done?
3)Put first things first: and put down that stupid $ 4.65 Starbucks coffee !!
4)Think win / win — what, you want to continue being the loser that you already are?
5)Seek first to understand, then to be understood — sit down and shut up and listen
6) Synergize — let’s all come together now and sing Kumbayah; leave your crap at home 7) Sharpen the saw — and for God’s sake, stop sawing the sawdust: it ain’t wood no more
See you tomorrow!
Footnotes:( 1 ): SF Chronicle, July 13, 2008, “Yahoo board turns down yet another Microsoft offer” by Vern Kopytoff, Chronicle Staff Writer
David M. Katz