What a day in business & entertainment!

  • Tower Records is officially dead. I’ll gladly take Neil Young’s advice – don’t cry no tears. Good riddance, really. By the time Tower got to the east coast, it was in its waning years anyway, so I never really fell for it the way Lefsetz did. Maybe they’d still be around if they catered to the customers instead of their own pockets. I went in once or twice when they opened in Harvard Square, more out of curiousity than any desire to spend. I never went back and I don’t think I ever purchased anything from a Tower. Ever. Oh shit. I lied – I just checked my Quicken file and I purchased something there for $14.59 on September 19, 1999. But that’s it! Hell, Newbury Comics was right across the street anyway – if I wasn’t getting a record for free via friends, that’s where I was buying stuff: a place with a personality and a $10.99 CD. Not $18.99. Ah well. Personally I have no idea how Tower even made it this far – they limped around like an alley cat with a broken leg for years and the internet has put it out of its misery. Good. By the way, the only other Tower in my Quicken file is “Tower of London” from our trip earlier this year.
  • Google bought YouTube. This is either a stroke of genius or broadcast.com, part deux. Not sure yet. There’s plenty of speculation around the blogosphere and everyone has their own opinion, of course. My gut: this will not be broadcast.com. This is a very powerful combination. In fact, Google’s spit-shine brand perception out there only makes new-kid-on-the-block You Tube even more hip in the kids eyes. Provided Google doesn’t mess with the vibe at You Tube, this is big. However, this will be the first time that Google has their hands in something that isn’t GOOGLE. Keeping it branded YouTube will present challenges. What raised my eyebrows was that on the analyst call, Google were asked the following: “What did you use to value this acquisition?” The answer: “We modeled this on a “synergistic model.” Uh-oh. That sounds very 2000.
  • This story has nothing to do with business or entertainment, but it does remind me of a time in college when me and a friend tried to drive in reverse about a mile-and-a-half to the grocery store. We almost made it, too.