I’ve been asked a lot recently why Digital Media companies end up being distressed/bankrupt. People seem to get why retailers end up dead, why e-commerce doesn’t make it, but don’t understand why Digital Media can take a hit. To paraphrase, “all distress tastes like chicken”. Distressed digital media companies face two main categories of Read more
Author Archives: Ari
Debunking AI Hype, or Why AI is just table stakes now.
This week, I ran into a group of friends visiting an office to review a company’s product that had newly integrated AI. It struck me as rather odd that they were willing to pay extra for this feature. The truth is, most AI solutions available today are simply integrating APIs like OpenAI’s GPT-4. Rarely are Read more
Living and Dying by the Algorithm
The genesis for this post comes from a tweet by Eric Pacifici: To summarize: a client of his acquired a home services business most of the business came from organic [“free”] search traffic from Google the organic traffic fell off a cliff Revenue has plummeted [Ari’s commentary: the organic traffic was probably more profitable Read more
Business Owners should think in terms of Asset Value
Something I picked up from the real estate crowd: They always think in terms of how things change the asset value, not just the fact that their NOI (what we call profit) is up or their expenses are down. I think this is a much better way of thinking for business owners, because: It helps Read more
Risk is Our Business
[Ed note: I had this as a draft before the whole SVB debacle, but only got around to publishing it afterwards. It wouldn’t have made a difference either way.] There’s a famous soliloquy from Star Trek (The Original Series), where Captain Kirk is debating the rest of the crew about what action to take.. Read more
Business Should be played on easy mode
“It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid” – Charlie Munger Ari’s corollary: It’s not supposed to be easy, but don’t make it any harder then it needs to be. In replying to my tweet on the subject, Andrew Finn wrote (turn on images if you don’t see anything): If Read more
What creates distressed digital companies?
For the longest time, I was puzzled. How do SaaS companies, Digital Media companies, etc end up going bankrupt/closing down? In other words, how do you burn through so much money when you have no real Costs of Goods outside of employees and servers? The answer, it turns out, is Growth At Any Cost (GAAC), Read more
You’re Not Playing The Same Game
The genesis for this post was a recent thread on Twitter about Thrasio, which if you cut away all the press is a venture funded roll up of FBA (Fullfilled by Amazon) businesses. Thrasio is now valued at $780 million 🤯 It was founded mid-2018 and built an operating back-end to buy small and profitable, Read more
Should You Buy an Online Business During Covid19?
There’s a global health crisis going on, millions are out of jobs (and millions more will be before this is all over), and businesses are closing down left and right, many of them never to return. In short, it’s a shit show. Inside every crisis there is always an opportunity, and today I’m going to Read more
How to Sell Your Online Business
[COVID-19 note: I wrote this before the virus took over our lives. It might not be relevant now, but M&A will always exist for things that make money or threaten a strategic.. So this will always be useful.] In 2008 Johns Wu sold a pretty ugly looking WordPress blog for $12.4 million dollars. In 2020, Read more