Losing over $400 Million by Deploying Buggy Code

This story was sent to me by Chris. It is an article written by Doug Seven entitled Knightmare: A DevOps Cautionary Tale.

It is a well written explanation of how a company, Knight Capital Group which is now Knight Capital Holdings (NYSE:KCG), lost over $400 million in 45 minutes. The loss was due to an update in their software and a glitch that did indeed lose them over $400 million. If you need a good story to bolster your desire for proper testing and deployment, read it here on Doug’s site.

The loss of over $400 million is validated by the New York Times and others.

Facebook Buys Oculus VR – Deal Points Here

In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion. Earlier this year, in February, Facebook paid $19 Billion for WhatsApp, now they just bought another company – Oculus VR. Oculus announced it on their blog “Oculus Joins Facebook“.

Facebook paid $2 Billion for Oculus VR
oculus-vrAccording to Forbes it breaks down as follows:

  • $400 million in cash
  • 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock
  • additional $300 million potential earn-out in cash and stock based on “the achievement of certain milestones.”

So they have $400 million in cash and they obtained a substantial amount of Facebook stock. Giving away stock can be a great way to acquire companies in the short term. In the long term there is a balance between what they believe the stock will be worth and what percentage of the future appreciation will be due to the company they acquired. Bottom line is that they only gave up $400 Million in cash for a $2 Billion purchase. Not a bad deal for Facebook, and I would assume a great deal for Oculus VR.

Zuckerberg’s Vision
An excellent Zuckerberg quote – “Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,”. Oculus stated in their press release:

“This partnership is one of the most important moments for virtual reality: it gives us the best shot at truly changing the world. It opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, reduces risk on the manufacturing and work capital side, allows us to publish more made-for-VR content, and lets us focus on what we do best: solving hard engineering challenges and delivering the future of VR.”

Blu Kicks are Comfortable and they Support Threatened Habitats

I am always looking for something new, different, and when it comes to clothes – comfortable. I have a pair of extremely comfortable slip on shoes from blukicks. Much like Toms, blukicks has a donation program. They donate $1 for every pair of shoes they sell. The brand is inspired by their love of the environment and it shows in the shoe designs.

Donations to Help Threatened Habitats

There are currently three organizations they support. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, WildAid, and For the Fishes. Not only do they donate for every pair of shoes sold, but they often have additional deals to donate even more through one of the organizations they work with. Blukicks is focused on shoes for seas, helping to do their part along with their customers to assist with preserving the seas and the fish within them.

help threatened habitats

The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust helps to conserve three types of fish: Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit. Each is unique in it’s own way. The BTT takes an approach of research and education, to work with fisherman and preserve these amazing species of fish. WildAid works to try to reduce the demand of the illegal wildlife trade, particularly with regard to sharks. For the Fishes works with Hawaii’s coral reef fish.

Not a Generic Cause But a Specific One

It is too easy these days for a company to say we donate to a large organization and therefore buy our products. Blukicks is different, they have focused on their passion – fish and the seas. They work with, visit, and support these organizations because they have a shared passion. The love for various species of fish in the seas can be shown even in their shoe design.

blue-slip-on-shoeAs I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have a pair of their Belize Blue shoes. These are inspired by the Whale Shark and look at this image of the shark as it swims through the sole. The spotted markings are visible on the sole, but also on the back of the shoe which resembles the Whale Shark as well. It is the attention to detail that shows their true passion for the fish.

The Sole of Each Shoe is Unique

Each shoe has a unique sole. Take a look at all their choices. The attention to detail is impressive and not something you find in shoe brands these days. Shop mens and womens shoes here.

blukicks soles

Disclaimer: through POA we work with blu kicks, and also note that I wear a pair of Belize Blue shoes regularly.

Does Chris Christie Want His Own Tesla Dealership in New Jersey?

I have been a long time fan of Tesla and wrote about how they are redefining and industry in 2012 and their petition to sell direct to consumer in 2013. Not only have they been selling electric cars when many said they could not mass produce viable electric cars that consumers would want, they also changed the model and sell direct to consumers. Obviously whenever there is a major change in an industry it can upset a few, particularly car dealerships in the case of direct sales, not to mention the car companies that Tesla surpassed with their award winning Model S. Now in 2014 after Tesla has been selling direct to the consumer in their own stores, and has sold direct to consumer in New Jersey.

New Jersey Proposal
Now it appears that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has decided to back a proposal that keeps Tesla from selling direct to consumers and must sell through dealers. According to the CNN article (Tesla lashes out at Chris Christie) “..the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is considering a proposal at a meeting in Trenton on Tuesday that would block automakers from selling to consumers.” Read the entire article which speaks to the battle between Tesla and the New Jersey legislature.

Chris Christies New Jersey Tesla

WhatsApp with Facebook? Smart move Zuckerberg?

Facebook Pays $19 Billion for WhatsApp

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion in 2012, and now they are buying WhatsApp for $16 Billion, sort of. The total as I understand is an initial $12 Billion in stock and $4 Billion in cash, then $3 Billion that vests over 4 years. So that is $19 Billion in total.

For those of you that do not use WhatsApp, here is how the now $16 Billion dollar acquired company describes their service:

whatsapp logo

How it works…WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Is Mr. Zuckerberg Crazy?
Maybe, maybe not. Let’s look at some of the knowns. He has to maintain market leadership. His stock has done well lately and one could argue it is in large part due to their mobile revenue. If that is the case and mobile growth as well as market leadership are two of their many goals, then WhatsApp may have been a bargain. Here are some WhatsApp numbers, 450 million active monthly users of which 70% are active on any given day. Wow. Here are some Facebook numbers from September 2013, 1.19 billion active monthly users and 728 million daily active users. In comparison form:

1.19 : Billion Active Monthly Users
728 : Million Active Daily Users
$171 : Billion Market Cap as of today 2/20/14
$143 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$234 : Value of Each Active Daily User

450 : Million Active Monthly Users
315 : Million Active Daily Users
$16 Billion : Sold ($19 Billion including the $3 Billion vesting for 4 years)
$35 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$50 : Value of Each Active Daily User



Note on User Value Calculations: there are other factors to take into account, such as a big one – Revenue. However it gives a rough comparison of value based solely on active users.