business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to something I made a quick mention of earlier this week, MNB reader Joe DiVincenzo wrote:

I share your passion for manual transmission cars and have never owned an automatic.

I doubt many people will pick up on this, (and at the risk of getting nit-picky), but I think you were referring to what we used to call Bump-Starting or Push-Starting, vs. Jump starting by connecting the battery to the battery in another car.

I think I push started my old Triumph Spitfire almost as many times as I was able to start it using the starter, and yes, it sure helped to be facing downhill!

Today I drive a 2001 BMW Z3 5 speed and a 2017 BMW 340i 6 speed.  Thankfully these cars always fire right up first try, and they sure are a blast to drive!  I also have a 1989 Harley that gets the occasional Push-start. 

Thanks for the memories, and sure glad Bump Starting seems to be a thing of the past (at least in the Automotive world).

I am in awe.

Regarding yesterday’s FaceTime video about middle age, MNB reader Alex Drew wrote:

Funny that you had this on today.  I just saw the article in the Harvard Business Report, and it really hit me.  I actually posted it to my linked in with the comment, “We really are more and more segmented into our age categories than ever. We now even use them to blame societal problems on each other. Think about how often the generational classifications and stigmas are used in analysis, marketing, reporting, etc... Just last month there was a widespread article on how Millennials blamed Boomers for the issues in the US! It is causing barriers that could cause unknown longer term effects within the US culture, economy, society…”

I really feel that the silos that we are putting on age is becoming more and more of issue than most people want to recognize.  Understand that with age comes transitions and changes in who we are (or that can be called experience/wisdom), but it is different for everyone at different times.  Like most everything else this is not a black and white siloed topic, and if treated that way by businesses can lead to missing out on sales.  A person at 60 can have just as much positive and negative impact on social media and backlash to a company as a person at 20.

MNB reader Michael Seelig had a slightly different take:

I have always thought middle aged was simple… Die and divide by two. Until then, live life to the fullest.

Following up on our piece about Major League Baseball joining with a private equity group to buy Rawlings, MNB reader Chris Kohls wrote:

Good move by MLB in today's unpredictable PE mkt.

MLB is proactively controlling a long time supplier of baseball and equipment, Rawlings, who's future may be unclear due to the fact it is owned by a PE firm.  We've seen Toys R Us turn down deals to sell portions to others like Target because they thought liquidation would generate a better return.   Smart play by MLB for a mere $395M to control a big segment of the game. It also allows them to change the ball to accommodate for concerns of too many home runs and other topics in the future.

I’ve worked for 3 PE companies and it is nothing less than chaos.  Too many people making decisions that are too removed from the business and implementing "spreadsheet decisions" which dilute the core business.   At least 2 of the 3 PEs did or are experiencing major financial losses and underperforming in production, which means customers are not receiving their products; much less ever be able to partner to drive innovation. 

Controlling Rawlings from a PE is a great idea since the MLB depends on their products.

And, a note about the passing of Red Schoendienst's passing from one MNB reader:

Red Schoendienst's passing leaves Tom Lasorda as the oldest living member in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford as the oldest living member inducted as a player.

Should I be depressed that I can vividly remember watching Whitey Ford pitch?
KC's View: