Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sitting here at VIP AutoParts on Lafayette Rd. -- the passenger-side rear tire on my VW persistently goes flat, and nobody has free air anymore -- and happened to spot a Wi-Fi Zone sticker in the window! Aside from the 20 bucks gone for the flat-fix, how happy am I?! I wouldn't have even thought to check for wi-fi here. Very impressed! So impressed that I'll give them a shout-out and a link, here. Of course I tried VIP.com first; VIPAuto.com was my second guess. Interesting that the site still uses frames, which is terrible for search engines and bad for some browsers, and it doesn't seem to mention having free wi-fi at their stores anywhere on their site.

And as I sit here, I see on the waiting room TV (tuned into CNBC) that GOOG has topped 500 bucks a share. FIVE HUNDRED. Wow. (Damn, I wish my fantasy portfolio wasn't a fantasy, because I was in on GOOG at 187.) :-p I remember when Google first came out, and I thought to myself, why do we need another search engine when we've got Yahoo? Certainly if Google had failed, the "experts" would have said the same thing in their post-mortems. Entering a market that is already covered and dominated by another is never a great business strategy, but Google didn't listen to conventional wisdom and has now exceeded even their own wild expecations. The elegant simplicity of their site design and their deep-digging search algorithms really set them apart -- it really was a better mouse trap. When you think about it, Google's success follows Apple's in that they both take complex technologies and present the user with the easiest use of those technologies. The click-wheel is to the iPod what the search box is to Google's home page -- plain white and intuitive as all get out.

Speaking of my other favorite stock, AAPL is hitting highs this morning on news that they are working on an "iPhone." Is there any doubt that if anybody can integrate a cell phone with a digital music player, it's Apple?

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