We’re mere minutes away from a sudden death game featuring the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

I want to predict that the Warriors will win… and so want to support that prediction with something incredibly insightful.

But, I’m too much of a fan to be unbiased about this game.

So all I can say is this:

Down 1-3 in a best-of-seven series, the Warriors’ are wounded.

But you don’t go 73-9 — the best season record in the history of the league — without having the heart of a lion.

That makes the Warriors dangerous.

And angry.

The hunter will soon become the hunted.

 

This is a big day.

For almost 40 years I’ve been a Republican. Most of it as a not-very-proud Republican.

It would be easy to say I became a Republican because my dad was a Republican. But it is better to say that my dad was a businessman and a fiercely-proud Greek immigrant / naturalized American citizen. Back when I first registered to vote… and my dad before me… the Republican party was the party of business and opportunity.

Not any more.

Today it’s the party of whatever-you-want-to-be-extreme-about… and most concerningly, about stuff that simply hijacks the important governing issues of the day.

Yes, I know, some of these issues are actually important.

But, as we’re fiddling, Rome is burning. There has to be perspective and priorities. We want the patient to live. So, air first. Then water. And so on. This appears to be lost on the collective we call the Republican Party these last few elections.

I wish there was a “Moderate” Party (coined by my friend Mike Rubin). Not too far to the right… or left… mostly inspired by down-the-middle common sense.

And trust.

Given the candidates the Republican Party has presented in the last few years — ahem, decades — I simply don’t trust the Republican Party to represent what I believe any longer: That we should run ourselves responsibly. That we should live and let live.

Fiscally conservative. Socially liberal.

In the past, I was able to look past a candidate — a party — I didn’t agree with.  I simply withheld my Republican vote.

Sadly I’ve been doing that for a long time.

I can’t do that any longer.

Not when I have ideological issues AND now also feel like I have to fact-check every word coming out of the best-the-Republican-Party-can-do candidate’s mouth… that is, when I’m not cringing from his immature mud-slinging.

So, because there isn’t a Moderate Party…

… today I became an independent.

I will now vote for what I think is best.

Maybe that will, in fact, be a Republican. Maybe not. But I am making a conscious decision not to vote along party lines… because I no longer agree with a lot of the party lines… nor trust the candidate chosen to represent those lines.

40 years of political affiliation… changed in about three minutes online.

It doesn’t feel normal or comfortable.

I guess the start of every revolution feels like that.

 

P.S. To go to the Government’s Voter Registration website, click here.

Long-time marketing/sales/tech guy Bill Campbell passed yesterday.

Not a lot of people outside Silicon Valley knew him… but everyone inside did.  Among his many business feats, he somehow managed to play significant roles at arguably the two most important — and competitive — technology companies in the world, Apple and Google… at the same time!  If ever there was a testament to how good Bill was — or how much influence he had in Silicon Valley — that’s it.

As significant, Bill was very active in the Sacred Heart community (where my daughter goes to school)… not just donating (which he did a LOT of), but participating, too… indeed, he coached a generation of “powder puff” girl football players.  Sadly my daughter will have missed the coaching-experience-of-a-lifetime by just a year.

I always chuckle when I think how I met Bill.  It was at a big Macworld party.  At the urinal.  Just two guys having a simple chat.  No stranger to a locker room, Bill was absolutely a guy’s guy.

I met with Bill in (ahem) a more professional environment when he took over the Claris division of Apple.  My T/Maker business partner Heidi Roizen and I pitched Bill on making our award-winning word processor, WriteNow For Macintosh, the upgrade to MacWrite.  At one point during the conversation Bill took us on a tour of Claris’ new headquarters… mostly empty because the spin-out was brand new… and mostly there were just IT and facilities folks walking around.  What impressed me about Bill was he knew everyone by name… essentially the “little” people… and true to his coaching reputation, high-fived several of them as we walked by.

He just seemed like someone you wanted to play for… err, I mean, work for.

Nothing came of the conversations, but we stayed in touch.  Bill asked me to serve on the board of Great Plains Software (eventually acquired by Microsoft) and, unfortunately, I was in the process of taking a company public and felt I couldn’t short-change my shareholders, things were so incredibly, incredibly hectic.  On top of that Laurie’s dad was in the process of passing away.  Reluctantly, and hesitantly, I explained all of this to him… and to my great relief he couldn’t have been more gracious — and supportive — in his understanding… it was easy to see why he was a true elder statesman.

Our paths would cross from time to time.  Ironically, about 25 years after my Claris meeting, I was cleaning out my basement and found an old WriteNow t-shirt… to which I proudly wore to the next sporting event at Sacred Heart.  As luck would have it, I ran into Bill… and without skipping a beat, he pointed at my t-shirt and laughed, saying something like, “it’s still going strong after all these years!”  Goodness knows he’s had a lot more important things on his mind between then and now… but it brought such a smile to my face that he remembered.

Here’s to someone who went strong for 75 years.  Rest in peace, Coach.

All we’ve been hearing about is that our oil reserves are near an all-time high… which I think is a good thing… since it puts a downward pressure on the price of oil… which means we consumers pay less for everything… which means greater corporate profits… etc., etc.

The “near an all-time high” has been an important investment theme, too, since it signals a glut of oil on the market.

I just read something, though, that scares the hell out of me.

Our “all-time high” is 3 billion barrels of crude… which sounds like a lot..

… but according to CNBC it’s only one month of global consumption… ?

That’s it?  That’s our big cushion?

Yikes.

I think we’re a ways away from the bull case… but given that statistic… and unless alternative energy sources become much more prevalent… you can see how the bull case will eventually (sadly) run rampant.

This will change at some point — and when it does, there will be a big pop — but right now YHOO can’t win a free kitten.

With a completely inferior position, Yahoo absolutely smashed the competition.

That is, they streamed the first live, free NFL game on Sunday.

It was between two small market teams.

It was also between two inferior teams… the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) and the Buffalo Bills (3-3).

It was also at 6:30am on the west coast, hardly what you would call “prime time.”

And it was also in London, England… where travel time and sparse crowds have translated into lethargic play in the past.

In other words, this game had all the exciting build up of a wet rag.

And yet, YHOO SMASHED results… 15 million unique viewers… vs. the 1 million viewers a region game like this normally gets on TV (source: Julia Boorstin, CNBC).

And yet — unbelievably — most of the press this morning had a negative bend.

Maybe Marissa Mayer needs to take a tip from Elon Musk:  If you can’t trust the press to get your story straight… TWEET!

A report out from Drexel Hamilton this morning about AAPL… his rationale sounds familar!

===============================================

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White (formerly at Cantor Fitzgerald) initiates coverage on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) with a Buy rating and a price target of $200.00 (Street High)

White highlighted:

  • The sharp correction in Apple’s stock this summer represents an attractive entry point as we believe fears surrounding China are overblown, concerns around difficult iPhone comparisons are short-sighted and the appreciation for the implications of this transformational super cycle is surprisingly muted.
  • Trading at just 8.2x our CY:16 EPS projection (ex-cash) and well below the 14.7x for the S&P 500 Index, Apple remains one of the most undervalued technology stocks in the world.
  • In our view, Apple’s successful transition to a larger form factor iPhone with the iPhone 6/6 Plus is the start of a sustainable upgrade cycle that has already catapulted the company to the #1 position in China’s smartphone market for the first time ever during 1Q:15 and we estimate the company will gain share in the global smartphone market in 2015.
  • Despite a slowing economic backdrop, our recent trip to China further supports our view that Apple fever is alive and well across the country. For example, we believe Apple is planning a bigger push into Tier 3-5 cities (80-90% of China’s households) across Mainland China over the next 12-24 months and the country’s 4G network is only 12% penetrated.
  • We expect the next big iPhone market that could open up for Apple is India and we view the country at a similar stage as China was for Apple in 2010. With a population of 1.25 billion, India is similar in size to China’s 1.36 billion and enjoys a wireless subscriber base of 980.8 million users as of the end of June (source: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).
  • For the first time in five years, Apple entered into a new product category this year with the launch of Apple Watch in April, marking company’s initial push into the wearable technology market. We believe Apple Watch will be a major hit this holiday season.
  • In our view, Apple is innovating like never before with entry into the first new product category in five years with Apple Watch, the launch of new services such as Apple Pay, an expanded effort in the TV market with the all-new Apple TV and investment in big, new industries such as the auto market that we believe could eventually lead to an “Apple Car”.

Readers know I think Apple unleashing 11 million programmers onto TV is going to turn TV as we know it on its head… similar to what Apple did to the cell phone industry.

But I was stunned how surprised — excited — I was to see the new Apple TV Remote.

Why?

Because Apple just figured out how to unlock using the next generation of TV.

The last time they did that was with the gesture interface in the tablet category (iPad).

The time before they did that with the gesture interface in the cell category (iPhone).

And the time before that with the “thumb” interface in the digital “MP3” music player category (iPod).

So, the new Apple TV remote is a big deal.

While there is no doubt that Apple’s iOS development platform — and the legions of loyal Apple programmers creating zillions of phenomenal, mind-blowing, and ultimately incredibly useful apps — is the heart & soul behind Apple’s device success…

… in each case there had to be a simple, elegant interface to be able to use all of that goodness.

Today TV remotes absolutely suck.

Do I really need to prove that?  Just look at what’s sitting next to your TV.  Probably at least three remotes… all necessary at various points… and all with dozens of buttons that are impossible to use during nighttime viewing.

That is, unless you get one of the many universal remotes… which I swear are all harder to use than flying a small airplane.

It’s like using a PC… when all you really want is a Mac.

So from what I can tell from the announcement yesterday, Apple — once again — cracked the code on a huge new market.

They didn’t do it with some weird, “Minority Report” in-the-air, be-careful-if-you-sneeze-because-you’ll-change-channels interface.

They did it the Apple way:  Simple.  Elegant.  Useful.

As Tim Cook said, “The future of TV… is apps”… which is true…

… but what’s going to unlock that future is the new interface Apple just created, the new Apple TV Remote.