Friday, December 07, 2007

How I'd Spend 15 Billion Smackers

Somebody decided to speculate how Apple should spend all their money. It's hard to figure out who was first if you don't care to look. Since that would constitute research, I'll skip that part. Anyway, the first time I saw it was on MacDailyNews. They have some sites linked. I think it was on, like, 67 or 68 different sites. Everybody has a different idea how El Jobso and company should unload all that dirty money.

First, let me say that if I knew what to do with $1.5 E10, I probably wouldn't spend my weekdays trying to explain nuclear radiation to a roomful of yawns and half-closed eyes. All these other folks, dirt-poor schlumps by comparison, are just sure they have the best answers for His Steveness. If I was a co-inventor of the personal computer, running the most innovative consumer electronics company on the planet with a market cap approaching $2.0 E12, I believe I'd listen to exactly none of those assholes. But that's just me. I'm kind of a maverick.

So anyway, I did some figuring about what I'd do if I was running Apple, and if I decided that I should spend some money out of an available pot of $15,000,000,000.00, after getting me and wifey-poo a couple of new cars and paying the rest of my kid's college expenses. I probably would, as a minimum, stop writing really long run-on sentences.

Somebody suggested Apple could buy Universal or 20th Century Fox or Warner or maybe two or three of them. Not me. Why on earth would Apple want to buy up another corporation's bureaucracy. Especially a Hollywood bureaucracy. Every dog-damn secretary and janitor and their rotten kid has a fecking agent in that town. Useless and smarmy. T'hell with that.

I'd buy the digital distribution rights to every movie ever filmed, including the Super-8 of Uncle Pete and Aunt Gladys at the 1966 Shriners' convention in Minneapolis (the one with the really hard to see ice carvings). Silent films, early talkies, porn – you name it – even non-Star Wars stuff with Mark Hamill. I wouldn't rent 'em. I'd buy 'em. Pay the greedy bastards an outlandish price. Then I'd put them all in H.264, 720p, 1080p, QuickTime, .wmv, NTSC, and any other non-DRM format anybody wanted. Then I'd put them on a brand new freshly designed iTunes Movie store with a five-view price and a purchase price. Buy it or rent it. Your choice.

I wouldn't put up a single barrier to piracy except one: I'd make it easy and reasonable to use the system honestly. Since that's what most people want, I'd use the considerable profit from the movie cash cow to pay dividends.

Other people suggested buying Adobe, whoever owns AutoCad and a few other software companies. Nah. Apple's market share is increasing. Everybody thinks it's going to attract the hackers and the viruses. I doubt it. Hackers, like most criminals, are lazy and not terribly bright. If they were smart or industrious they wouldn't be criminals. The lazy and stupid can still make a lot of money hacking XP Trojan Horses.

Apple's growing market share will attract good programmers looking to make money selling software for a successful platform. I wouldn't waste a dime on buying a software company.

Nor would I buy NetFlix or blockbuster. Hard media is dead. The HD/BluRay war ultimately doesn't matter. How hard would it be to order a movie on iTunes and stream it on demand? Right now. If I had 1.5 E10 USD, I'm pretty sure I could make that happen. I'm also pretty sure I could make it profitable at $0.99 per viewing. Who the hell needs a DVD?

Those are just a couple of ideas.

I'd also buy a Stratocaster, a Les Paul Custom Deluxe, take piano lessons, hire somebody to rake my leaves, and get a Thank-you card for Lofa Tatupu. After three interceptions last week, it seems like the least I could do.

We're out of peanuts. I hate it when we run out of peanuts.