Among the zillions of fire and brimstone headlines spewing forth from every new and traditional media platform in sight or earshot, the one that stuck out like a sore thumb dipped in molten lava today was: "GM's stock price falls to 58 year low". 58 year low? Seriously? You mean if grandpappy bought a fat wad of General Motors back in 1958, it's now worth exactly what he paid for it six decades ago?? Steve Martin made more investing in cardboard than that.
I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure GM's split its stock a few times in the past 60 years, so I'm confident the company's market cap is a tad higher than back in '58. But the shock value of that headline is tremendous and horrendous. GM, once king of the automaker hill and a leader of the American entrepreneurial pack, is now a shadow of its former self. A shadow of a shadow of its former shadow to be exact. So in the spirit of entrepreneurism and bottom feeding and trying to inject an ounce of levity in the midst of a very anxious autumn, I propose the following, a sort of 'October Surprise' of a non political nature: Google should buy GM.
Work with me. Google has about $7.4 billion in cash, according to it's most current balance sheet statement. And GM closed today at $4.76 per share, for a market cap of $2.7 billion. Now, I realize GM still has billions in the bank, plus various assets worth billions more. But it's hurting, and this is my blog, and I can play if I want to without worrying about exact valuations and every jot and tittle. So let's say Google offers GM a cool six billion, or about ten bucks a share. Plus free meals and spa treatments and that 20% 'free thinker time' thing. GM, realizing it could pull a Yahoo and play hard to get and then disentegrate even further, decides to take the deal. So now Google owns one big honkin' vehicle company. What, you scream, would the world's dominant search engine do with cars and trucks? Admobile (pronounced Ad-mo-beel).
Imagine a world where millions of cars and trucks are offered for a rock-bottom price, or maybe for free! In the spirit of Adsense and Adwords, Admobiles will be plastered bumper to bumper in advertising (local and national). Admobiles will also have:
- roof-top Street View cameras
- Google Internet Radio (enabled by millions of WiFi enabled Admobiles radiating millions of intersecting Hot Spots) your favorite music & talk, and Google's favorite commercials that you HAVE to listen to.
- Google Traffic - every Admobile will have a Dash Express device that relays traffic information to other Admobiles, so you have constant traffic updates (sponsored by ...)
- A lot of cup holders
- A centralized knowledge center (was that redundant?). You can call you audio command enabled computer anything you want, like Shirley. And as you drive, simply say "Shirley, where's the best Tai food in town?" And Shirley will respond with a Google search result, audibly, so you keep both hands on the wheel. Shirley will also listen to everything you say and know everywhere you go, keeping records of it all and learning from you and your habits. All of the Shirleys send their collective driver knowledge to Google's massive central nervous system server farm that would then know all of our private 'inside the car' thoughts and habits and things we say to other drivers that can't hear us
- the ability to run on grass clippings, or those bags of trash left on the sides of highways
I could go on, but you get the drift. As for any name change if these two companies tie the knot ... how about G-Moogle? Would you drive a cheap (or free!) G-Moogle Ad-mo-bile? Now, let's see if Microsoft should buy Chrysler ...
(Google Rod logo courtesy of Ed "Checkers" Cook)