Research Wiki 2006

Thank You

Thanks to everyone who read and helped me with the Market Research Database (wiki) & blog project this year! It has come a long way since it started in March, 2006. I’d like to single out a few people who inspired me and those who made it possible.

  • Dino — Thanks for your input and support.
  • Doug & Mike in Saskatoon — Thanks for letting me use Moin Moin way back in Mar 2006 & answering my dumb questions.
  • Dave Climie — Thanks for providing a path to the content.
  • Stacy Nichols — Thanks for input on the initial design. ( ie make it navigable via search instead of a catalog … catalog infers that one knows what data will be used for.)
  • Brian Holden — Thanks for evangelizing the use of Wiki’s.
  • Tim Pezarro & team — Thanks for coping with the Wiki evangelists.
  • Marc Eden — Thanks for introducing me to Wiki’s in 2005.
  • Dave Tucker — Thanks for getting me going on web-enabled document’s back in 2005.

What was good to read?

I’ve continually updated my opinion on recommended reading page.

Outlook for 2007

I’m hoping that 2007 will be nicer to the Comm Semi sector. The stock performance of the Comm Semi sector was ugly in 2006. Few new product ideas emerged and as such companies focussed on financial innovation to survive. These financial innovations took many forms: some went private, some merged, and some were acquired.

I tend to think that Comm Semi product innovation has lost momentum because the telco’s have lost momentum as well. While telco’s are rolling out broadband, wireless, and IPTV with wild abandon, only connectivity revenue from wireless, and broadband, have reasonable visibilty. The new application segments, like IPTV, are wild-assed bets. It is likely that Internet players will dominate, or have significant share of, new services like IPTV. Thus comm semi players will need to determine how to serve a new customer food chain. The bottom line is that networks designed by Google are different than those designed by Verizon. This fact will continue to polarize internet hardware products into 2 camps – telco (walled garden) and internet (open). There is gonna be a ton of new hardware deployed for new application services, but it won’t be the old hardware and the drivers will not be the old guard.

I will continue to focus on longer term trends in Broadband, IPTV, Wireless, Telco Services, and Internet services via individual companies, industry groups, blogs and analyst research.

Wherever possible I’ve been following pure play stocks. For example, for IPTV appliance hardware is visible via Sigma Designs & DivX, HDTVs are visible via Trident, Bluetooth is visible via Cambridge Silicon Radio, Edge Routers via Redback (ok this is now gone). It is interesting that all of the pure plays seem to be doing exceptionally well.

There are many industry groups and forums to follow. The best place for Broadband statistics is turning out to be the OECD ICT group — key indicators & Broadband stats.

On the blog front, I feel like I’ve got a good handle on North America and Europe, but I’m not doing well with Asia. Any hints on Asia? I particularly like Om Malik’s sites (GigaOM & NewTeeVee), Andrew @ Nyquist Capital ( but it feels like his time to blog is dropping), Fred Wilson’s A VC, Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed, James Enck’s EuroTelco Blog, Martin Geddes Telco 2.0. I also like Dave Burstein’s DSL Prime Newsletter.

On the stock Analyst research front, I’ve been following lots of people, this usually means the troops at UBS ( Nikos Theodosopoulos (US) and Qi Wang (Asia) ), Thomas Weisel ( Bunting and Ader), Daiwa ( Enck), Prudential (Inder Singh), Think Equity ( Media guys), and Credit Suisse (Paul Silverstein).

I’ve stopped posting conference call transcripts because they are all available on seeking alpha.

Thanks & Happy New Year,

ps. It’s okay to comment.

My Top Books 2006

Here is what I read and liked in 2006. I’ve picked 3 favorites in 3 categories: Work related, Pleasure, and Kids books. I’ve also added a long list of honorable mentions and some books I’ve stuggled with. My most read authors were of the “fun” variety — PG Wodehouse the most (6 titles) and Carl Hiassen second most (5 titles).

  • Work Related
    1. jPod, Douglas Coupland — This is a work related book 😉 Not since his Microserfs did I “feel” the “real” office in print. There a lots of books that discuss “the office”, but this covers all the other parts of working life …. Like the crazy co-workers, family, friends, external world, etc. To make it even more realistic for me, the book is set in Vancouver. Is it satire or reality? A little of both.
    2. Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki — I really really liked this. In short, apply properties of good statistics to groups of people – independence, diversity, aggregation, etc. Easy in principle, tough in practice. Very mind bending.
    3. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, John Battelle — This is a well written history of “Internet search” and Google. All techies need to know this stuff. We think we do, but this book fills in all the gaps.

  • Pleasure
    1. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion — This is a very emotional book. It was not easy to read, death of a loved one being a difficult topic. I really like how she described her trajectory through this terrible time in her life. It has helped me cope with this type of event. Excellent Stuff!
    2. Leave it to PSmith, PG Wodehouse — I read the last 3 PSmith books this year. This is the last in the series and is the lead into the Blandings series. Lots & Lots of fun!
    3. Aubrey/Maturin Series — Books 2 “Post Captain” & 3 “H.M.S. Surprise”, Patrick O’Brian This series is very addictive. If you’re an engineering type and you’ve read all of Neal Stephenson. Then this is you’re next read.

  • Kids Books
    1. Flush, Carl Hiassen — Carl cleaned up for kids. Great Stuff!
    2. Hoot, Carl Hiassen
    3. Midnight for Charlie Bone, Jenny Nimmo — Lotsa fun.

  • Honorable Mentions
    • Freakanomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner — Serious & Great fun.
    • The Planets, Dava Sobel – This is the Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter lady. Another good one. Longitude is my favorite of hers.
    • Nature Girl, Skin Tight & Double Whammy, Carl Hiassen – I read 5 of his books this year. Hmmm. What does this say about me 😉 These are lots of fun. He picks on everyone, no one is spared.
    • PSmith in the City, PSmith Journalist, Summer Lightning, Joy in the Morning (BBC), Lord Emsworth & Others – PG Wodehouse — Way too much fun! If you’re new to PG Wodehouse, and want to give him a try you may find choosing the first book overwhelming. I’d recommend looking at PG Wodehouse in Wikipedia and start with the Blandings or Jeeves series. Also, the BBC ran a TV series “Jeeves & Wooster” with Hugh Laurie (now House) and Stephen Frye. This is also very fun & a great place to start.
    • Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, Jenny Nimmo – 2nd book in series. Great family car ride entertainment.
    • The Golfer’s Mind, Dr. Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen – Wow! The only golf book I read this year. I could say that I cut back, but it is more like “I’ve read them all”. In desperation I read this during the fall when I began to score poorly 😦
    • My Life in and out of the Rough, John Daly – Ok, I lied 2 golf books. This book is a lot of fun and is further proof of the the phrase “The truth is often stranger than fiction”.
    • Minority Report, Paycheck, Mars, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick – These are the short stories that became the movies. PK is great reading.
    • The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom – I liked “Tuesday’s with Morrie” better, but this is worth reading.
    • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams – Interesting points on Collaboration using Web 2.0 & lots of practical examples, but it often feels like advertising for their consultancy 😦

  • Struggled & Unfinished
    1. The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery – I’m finding this tough slogging. Lots of friends read it. I’ll keep trying.
    2. Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer — Can’t do it. Ugh 😦

  • Other Stuff – I do most of my “reading” via audio book these days. I have to thank my buddy Dave Wong for introducing me to audible, it has worked great for me.