Monday, September 08, 2014

1380 Mike Bloomberg 2.0

Elvis is back in the building.

When you work for Mike Bloomberg, you come to realize that some of his decisions have a shelf life… a “use by” date.  So it really wasn’t a huge surprise when he announced he was retaking the helm of his company even though he’d often said he wouldn’t.

It’s not going to happen until the end of the year, but his mere presence in the building changes the dynamic.

The man hates titles and has none.  Neither did many of us back in the 1.0 days.  Now, nearly everyone does, or at least will for the next few months.  We’ll see after that.

Doesn’t need a title.  Wears his company i.d. tag… but under his tie.  Everyone knows who -- and what -- he is.  And everyone knows who makes the decisions.

So when he started hanging out in the company’s gargantuan headquarters on Lexington Avenue, people kind of got the idea he was back.

Then one day, his desk appeared in the fifth floor newsroom. In the thick of things.  Just like the old days.

Oh… he was “only going to spend a few hours a day…” there.  Right.

What, then, does the future hold?  

A few days past, Bloomberg told the Wall St. Journal that things “mostly” won’t change.

Check the shelf life stamp on that one.  He’s an entrepreneur and a builder and he has more ideas in a week than most of us have in … well, much longer. He has the money and the clout and the spine to implement them.  And he gets bored when things don’t move.

Won’t change?  They already have changed.  The President is back in the White House.  The Supreme Court is in perpetual session and “congress” has become irrelevant in the mind of every human being who takes a paycheck there and all 300,000 + terminal- dependent users.

You can’t be a big player in today’s financial world without a Bloomberg Terminal.  And renting a terminal shows you have “arrived.”

The business has grown exponentially since Mike became and then un-became Mayor Mike.  But there is an eventual saturation point.

After you’ve wired all manner of users in the US, and gone overseas to expand further -- a frequent strategy for American business -- the customer list eventually will stabilize.  After all, how many people can spend 20 grand a year on this machine?

So Bloomberg LP has been reaching out in other directions.  Improving the also-ran television programming, buying or starting new services, acquiring a major magazine.  But there will have to be more.

And there will be.

Shrapnel:

--Who hasn’t president Obama alienated?  Remember that huge outpouring of enthusiastic voters in ‘08 and the not so huge but sufficient outpouring of voters in ‘12?  Well, outpourings and enthusiasm die faster than morning glories.

--Obama is too liberal for the conservatives. He is too conservative for the liberals.  And while he faces unprecedented opposition in congress and in the lockstep conservative media, he still has never shown any backbone.

--The latest offendees and who can blame them?  Some Hispanics -- once a large part of support. The issue: the president’s decision to put off immigration reform until after the midterm elections.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2014

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