I’m looking for investors in a new business venture, and I’d like to extend the ownership opportunity to anyone who happens upon this week’s column. First, let me tell you a little about the company, because you’ll want some details before adding this investment to your portfolio. Here are the cold, hard numbers: This company will do about $2.1 billion in revenue this year, which is up from $1.94 billion the year before. That’s a modest growth number, but at least there’s growth. I know, I know. You want to know how much the company spent, even though I was hoping you wouldn’t ask. Last year, this company spent $2.096 billion, which means they lost roughly $15.5 million. Unfortunately, this year isn’t going to get much better. Based on the CFO’s best assumptions, the company … [Read more...] about Stop investing in a worthless company
It finally happened. I broke the pickle jar. Right there, on the floor, with a hippy man standing in flip flops next to me, and an agitated robot woman howling to kindly place the blasted pickles back in the bagging area, lest I be prosecuted for grand theft kosher. My days of ringing up my own groceries have come to an end, and it all happened when I looked around and saw fellow shoppers staring at me with adolescent anger. You know what happened, don’t you? I was in a hurry – we’re always in a hurry these days, which is the only reason these kiosks with monotone voices have made it this far. I had nine items in my small cart, and every check-out line at the grocery store looked like the pick-up line at the elementary school. What’s worse, the sweet lady writing a check to the … [Read more...] about I’ll take human cashiers over pickle juice
By now, you’ve all heard about Proposition B, a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot in Houston that will determine if Houston firefighters get a pay raise. If you haven’t heard about the vote, go drive around the area and look for the bright signs imploring you to support firefighters. Or, next time Mayor Sylvester Turner opens his mouth, listen to him plead with you to reject the ballot item, lest the walls of our city come tumbling down. Let’s start with a simplistic description of Proposition B, just so we all know the facts: Houston firefighters want to be paid the same as Houston police officers. Meanwhile, if the city is forced to give the Houston Fire Department the raises they want, the city says the increased costs will push us over the edge. In an op-ed piece, Turner sounded the … [Read more...] about There are only losers in Prop B measure
A lady dropped by the office last week to grab her usual stack of newspapers. If you’ve never seen The Leader office on a Thursday, you should come by just to see – it’s a steady stream of cars throughout the day, with folks walking to our front door to get their weekly dose of local news. I happened to be rushing out of the office at the same time (seems I do a lot of rushing these days), and the lady apparently recognized me from this ugly mug that gets published each week in the paper. “You’re Jonathan, right?” she asked. Yes ma’am. “I heard The Leader was about to close down.” I asked where she heard that, and she said it was from somebody else, though she couldn’t remember who, or she just didn’t want to tell me. We got another call a couple of weeks ago asking the … [Read more...] about The Leader will be here long after I’m gone
For some reason, the big players in Houston and Texas media continue to ignore one of the biggest news stories of our day. Maybe they’re too busy covering national politics or posting photo galleries of the best darn chicken-fried steak you’ve ever eaten that they can’t find the time. In the process, corporate-owned media of our city and state are missing an opportunity to do their real jobs as watchdog for the rest of us. You’ve heard about the purported high speed train that will, one day (in the far, far future), connect the booming economies of Houston and Dallas. You’ve seen snippets of smiling politicians lauding the innovative (yep, that’s the word) technology of trains, and you’ve read public-relations pieces boasting of a new board chairman or a new CEO joining the team of … [Read more...] about Why are big media silent on this train project?