Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Omega man

Well, here's one of my scoops referred to last week, which I claimed would advance the disruption of a certain industry - and that industry is my own. Longstanding readers of this humble blogatelle may recall that one of my recurring themes is that, if IP can enable disruption of voice, "entertainment" and distribution of all forms of media, then surely the hallowed halls of investment research may be candidates for makeovers as condominiums or shopping arcades.

My thesis has always remained that the mindshare of bloggers and other independent opinion shapers inevitably would collectively overwhelm the walled gardens which are brokers' research products. The expertise "out there" is just too great, and the analysis too frank, to be ignored - and it grows daily into something I like to call "open source analysis". I have argued that investment banking research, to remain relevant, would have to adopt the same tools and approach, to create a "point of presence" in this new ecosystem, indeed to create a Media 2.0 profile for its analysts. It's no longer enough to go on CNBC looking buff and hyperconfident.

So, for any depressed analysts on Wall Street, or within the Square Mile, go pour yourself another half-caff skinny latte and consider what it means that David Jackson and his team at Seeking Alpha have struck a deal with Yahoo! to get the insights of the open source analysts into a prominent placing on Yahoo! Finance. David (an early reader of EuroTelcoblog who has offered a lot of moral support and was kind enough to include me as an early occasional contributor to Seeking Alpha) has worked hard to make the site genuinely useful, funding free conference call transcripts, taking on experienced editors who understand what makes a piece relevant.

For the fund manager or independent investor who hasn't had the time, stamina, or knowledge to amass and keep up with a long list of RSS feeds on a wide range of issues, having a trusted aggregator of independent voices within an already trusted and familiar source of financial news and data poses more than a trivial challenge to the brokers for gaining and holding one's attention.

UPDATE: An Eldorado class mega-uber value reader writes in with an appropriate musical quote, challenging me to complete it:

"Once I built a tower way up to the sun
Of bricks and mortar and lime
Once I built a tower, and now it's done ..."

In this case, I think the appropriate tagline is "Buddy can you spare a Ferrari?"

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