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2019-05-21 08:09 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 209 references
[Comments enabled]  

So 2020 will approach.

And before November of that year gets here, likely well before (like by the beginning of the year) I'm going to be executing on a few things.

I've long maintained that I'm very unlikely to set up or start another entrepreneurial activity.  What I'm seeing both in the political and general context is that the odds have gone from "slim" to "none; Slim ran off with your sister and is banging her in the back of his old pick-up truck."

So here's the deal; Cuda Systems LLC can be yours.  Including the Market Ticker with its registered trademark (which I just reconfirmed as the 10 year anniversary was coming up), and HomeDaemon.  All at once.  Pay once, own forever.

If not, well, with there no longer being a formal structure for all this in another year it'll all go away.  Not all at once, but with certainty. While it's easy to maintain a Florida LLC even if you don't live in Florida (the requirement is only for a registered agent somewhere, which you can pay for cheap) I've no reason to do it, and I'm not going to re-domicile it either.

Let the bidding begin; look to the right for my email.

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2019-05-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 101 references
[Comments enabled]  

People never learn.

Facesucker had plenty of "partners" and "friends" that developed things that talked to their systems via an API -- right up until they didn't like those people anymore, or they were simply making too much money.  Then they cut them off.

Amazon has been documented to go after third-party sellers' vendors, trying to undercut their own merchants on the platform.  

And now Google is disconnecting third-party vendors from their "Nest" systems.

Google's integration of the Nest brand may have some downsides for smart home enthusiasts. The company has revealed that it's phasing out its Works With Nest program in the summer in favor of a Works With Google Assistant framework. The new program will allow data sharing between connected devices and apps, but only for a handful of tightly screened partners, Google's Rishi Chandra told Variety. 


Someone needs to put HomeDaemon-MCP out there as a commercial product....... (look to the right; it's still available!)

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2019-05-04 09:30 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 152 references
[Comments enabled]  

On the road I occasionally get to witless certain things I'd never see or do otherwise.  Among them: I have no cable or satellite at the house; I don't do TV.

Well, the other night I happened upon "Shark Tank" -- CNBS's evening "entertainment."

I was appalled.

The format is pretty simple; "contestants" pitch their business, for funding, to a panel of wealthy "sharks."  There is some short-form discussion, usually on financials (unless you really do or say something stupid while making your pitch) and then you may get one or more offers from said "sharks."

The premise doesn't sound bad.

What's foolish is where these firms are and what they're seeking -- at least from the sample I saw.

These are not development-stage -- where there's no or very few sales, etc -- firms.  In other words it's not "I have a prototype, I may have a few sales (but probably not any sort of volume) and I need money to commercialize {whatever.}"

Nor are these "I have a one-shot opportunity to do {something} with my business, I have a cash flow, we're operating, but I do not have the funding to execute {something} -- and that thing is big enough to make a strategic difference in my operations."


These are firms where they have some hundreds of thousands -- or perhaps a million -- in sales and are cash flow positive with a real operating margin and yet they want $200-500k (on a ratio basis) to do something.


If you have that cash flow and you have that plan and are reasonably sure it will succeed execute it at half that speed on your own internal cash flow!  If you fail either way you're done; you either have an equity owner (or worse, a line of credit that can be foreclosed) if you take the money and do the "deal"; if you don't you might be able to pick up the pieces.

The exceptions were "deals" where either something "exceptional" was going on (one was a 10 year old kid -- and they did a "line of credit" sort of deal with him, which was flat-out-dumb for him to seek) and the others were "deals" where there was something of potentially critical trouble going on and they passed (and I would too.)

In other words the show may make good theater but it makes no sense.

I could see a strategic deal -- where one of the "sharks" has some sort of business knowledge the entrepreneur lacks, and thus they're really paying (in the form of equity) not so much for the money as for that expertise -- an "in" to a specific group of distributors, for example.  And there were one or two of those, where that appeared to be the "gist" of the bargain.  But otherwise?  Meh.

Honestly?  This looks more like Boobus Americanus shaping to me than anything else.  In other words: Try to give entrepreneurs, who likely have a decent confluence with watching CNBS, the idea that once they establish positive cash flow giving away a material percentage of their firm in exchange for a fraction of their annual revenues is a "good idea."


There are certainly situations where outside money makes sense.  Lots of them.  But 90% of the people I saw show up on the show had exactly no business being there.  It wasn't by coercion so what led these people to want to appear?

As someone who's built a company before from zero let me say this -- email me before you're crazy enough to go on that show.  There's probably a better option and it's the sharks doing the eating -- not you.

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2019-02-01 10:12 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 213 references
[Comments enabled]  

Those who sell their souls to the Devil have little to complain about when he shows up without a jar of KY to go with what he intends to do to you.

Arjun Sud was standing outside his son Oliver’s Door Sunday when he heard that voice. He burst in. The voice stopped. He and his wife chalked it up to baby monitor interference. But once downstairs, they heard the voice again.

It was an unseen intruder talking to them through their Nest security camera, using obscenities including the ‘N’ word.

“Asking me, you know, why I’m looking at him because he saw obviously that I was looking back and continuing to taunt me,” he said.

“It was terrifying,” Sud’s wife Jessica said.

Sud says once his shock subsided he composed himself enough to record part of the ominous exchange.

Sud believes the hacker also turned their upstairs thermostat to 90 degrees. He noticed that potential danger to their baby the same night.

“And then they messed with our thermostat,” Jessica said. “Who does that?”

Uh, you are the idiot that connected your house to a "cloud" -- that is, a computer owned by someone else.

It's not like you didn't know in advance that these companies make their money using your data to screw you in one form or another -- even if it's just 'selling advertising.'


Of course the companies always claim it's the customer's fault -- they didn't use a good password, they didn't use 2-factor authentication, etc.  This ignores the reality of the situation, which is both simpler and more-complex.

The simple side is this: These firms make their money off selling data they accumulate on you.  Security is not their first thought or they wouldn't connect such things as your thermostat to the "cloud" at all; they'd design them to be very secure and talk only to your specific devices such as your phone.

But then they wouldn't be able to use that data themselves.

You can bet they intend to -- and are.  Just read this:

We should recognize this pattern: Tech that seems like an obvious good can develop darker dimensions as capabilities improve and data shifts into new hands. A terms-of-service update, a face-recognition upgrade or a hack could turn your doorbell into a privacy invasion you didn’t see coming.

Last month, Ring got caught allowing its team in Ukraine to view and annotate certain user videos; the company says it only looks at publicly shared videos and those from Ring owners who provide consent. Just last week, a California family’s Nest camera let a hacker take over and broadcast fake audio warnings about a missile attack, not to mention peer in on them, when they used a weak password.

Why do you think these folks all design their software and "products" to have a business model that costs them money on an ongoing, perpetual basis?  Computers are not free and neither is storage.  What possible purpose does imposing a cost model on themselves on a perpetual forward basis for said "cloud connections" have unless they are going to use it to screw you in some form or fashion?

It's not necessary for anything more than a licensing check or similar, and that contains nothing of value to a hacker provided the payment information for said license is secured properly (or not even present on that system, which it doesn't have to be.)  There's simply no reason at all to have that data and a back-channel to connect to your house in the "cloud" in terms of access for you; your phone or laptop can simply connect directly back to your house via a secured, SSL-enabled connection and if it was designed that way the only place the data would be is in your house and on your phone.

Instead these "cloud folks" try to sell you "convenience" that isn't really any more convenient at all!

HomeDaemon-MCP provides you remote access to everything in your home that you wish to look at and control along with alarms and similar in real time without any "cloud" involvement.  Yet if you want real-time video from your camera(s), you can see it.  If you want to grab a segment to your phone (directly, not to a cloud computer) you can do that on command.  If you want to adjust your thermostat, you can.  See when someone was last in a room, sure.

But nobody has that data except you, because it's not stored anywhere except on the little credit-card size computer in your house and is only transmitted to your device(s), such as your phone, when they are connected -- and nowhere else.  No cloud, no company mining your data looking for patterns it can sell things to you based on and nobody spying on you either.

I just closed on my late mother's estate (house.)  Her place was built almost-literally on a swamp (along with many others in the neighborhood) and had a full basement, which means a sump pump that had better not, ever, quit working.  Then there's the usual issues when you're not there all the time -- especially in the winter, where loss of heating (e.g. something as simple as a burned-out igniter in the furnace) means frozen pipes and a god-awful amount of damage.

HomeDaemon-MCP took care of all of that, in addition to my home here in Florida.  The sump pump was checked with a plug module that reported power usage.  It thus became trivially simple to know how often it was cycling, for starters.  In addition setting alarm points for the pump being on for too long (a sump pump should never actually run for more than a few seconds per cycle) or excessive power consumption (indicating either a blocked -- like frozen -- outlet or a locked rotor, that is, a failed pump) raised immediate and very loud alarms on my phone.  Finally, a water sensor probe down the volute above the normal level was there -- just in case everything else looked ok but the water wasn't actually being pumped.

Then in the main living space a CO/Fire detector that also talked to the system was put up (battery powered), covering that possibility, and finally a thermostat.  The latter not only made for a big reduction in power consumption when nobody was there but also allowed for trivial monitoring for the situation where it's winter and the furnace breaks, in that too-low temperature would cause an immediate alarm too.

Icing on the cake was the ability to have and look at 24x7 video feeds if desired, and knowing when motion was last detected, so if someone broke a window, well, that was covered too.

I've been living there about half the time since September; the same issue of course arises for anyone else who has a vacation or second home -- or if you just go to work 8 hours a day.  You're not there all the time and it's nice to know that all is well -- and be immediately told if it isn't.

No cloud, no bullcrap, nobody gets in except me -- and notification is effectively immediate (60 seconds or less) if something happens.  In addition should I want to let someone in (e.g. a Realtor) I can -- remotely, with the push of a button, and know if/when someone does come in, even using a key.

Want to disrupt this space?  The marketing material writes itself with stories like this cited one above, of which there are plenty already and will be more.

Email me -- contact info is to the right.

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2018-11-29 12:27 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 116 references
[Comments enabled]  

Folks, this is why it matters and someone should snap up the entire codebase and app (in source of course) for HomeDaemon-MCP and put it on the market.

Yes, I know, I can.  I have the capital to roll it out.  I have good personal reasons to not want to though, especially given where I live now and what I think is going to happen to the political environment there.  Further, any business that deals in any sort of physical product (even coffee mugs) is ridiculously burdened in Florida.  I knew this when I moved to the State and never intended to start another business that might sell same in the future.  Anyway, that's the short side of the story and there is of course more, but for this coming year it is what it is.

On to the reasons: You now are seeing the media pick up on the business model question -- and especially recommend eschewing cloud anything.  And not just any media -- the GRAY LADY herself.  You want to know why you should do it now?  Because opportunity is best when its hot, and it's hot right now.

Then there's this, which made me spit my coffee:

Hackers ‘can detect your butt plug from outside your house – and turn it on’

They call the new technique screwdriving which seems entirely appropriate... but added massively to the coffee explosion out my nose.  Now I need a new keyboard, which is somewhat of a bummer but definitely worth it.

Look to the right and email me folks -- because I've decided that I just don't want to do it here in Florida, and I'm unsettled on where I'd rather live (in no small part due to the political shifts around the nation) the opportunity is now to buy this out at a quite-polite price all things considered.

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