back to article So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

Are you thick or what? No, really, how else can you explain why you invest vast sums of money on daft schemes that nobody wants? Long-time readers of this column may remember my little Tech City adventure a while back, in which I managed 2,000 sq ft of chic hipster office floorspace in the heart of London’s so-called "silicon …

Page:

  1. Lodgie

    Well written, incisive and funny. Good old fashioned greed, an inability to admit that you don't know what the fuck it's all about and general ignorance - a holy partnership just made for grifting. Any snake oil Sir?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      If Mr Dabbs is in need of catharsis, he could do worse than to watch Mike Judge's Silicon Valley:

      http://www.hooli.xyz/#inspiration

      1. g e

        The modern answer to the Clag-Gone!

        http://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/1750868_700b.jpg

    2. boltar Silver badge

      I don't have a problem parting idiots from their money. It means the money can end up with someone who can do something more useful with it. The national lottery is a fine example of this and there's a reason its called the Idiot Tax.

      1. Cloud, what..... Sorry... Um... - you just made that up.

        I think it was Clarkson who labeled it the stupidity tax...

  2. Ironclad
    Coffee/keyboard

    Made my morning.

    Superb, coffee everywhere.

    P.S. I can't find the app on Google Play.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Made my morning.

      No you won't, It's on Google Scat Play.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Made my morning.

      To raise that level of investment it needs to be the "Apple" App Store...

  3. auburnman

    I could be wrong, but don't investors get tax deductions on other assets if their investments go the way of the dodo? If it's effectively free money that's probably why they can gamble like idiots with carefree abandon.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That may be the case, but if I lost a million bucks, I think that the fact that the loss would be tax deductible would be more like a kleenex on a 3rd-degree burn rather than the feel of "free money".

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        if I lost a million bucks, I think that the fact that the loss would be tax deductible would be more like a kleenex on a 3rd-degree burn

        Yeah, but you're imagining it's your money. Private equity and seed capital investors are generally playing with other people's money. Often people who don't know what's happening with their money, because they've taken financial advice, and invested part of their pension funds into something called, for example, the "Ledswinger Perpetual High Growth UK Technology Investment Fund 2 LLP". Sounds sensible and innocuous, n'est pas?

        And because tracker investment funds can be listed (hahahaahahaa! FFS why?) you even have situations where regular Joe's have their money invested in fractally nested investment funds, and were you ever to get far enough down amongst the cockroaches and poo, there you would find the investment vehicles like LPHGUKTIF2, and below that its investments in toilet seat raising apps and other IoT and smartphone idiocy.

        All the dumb investor knows or sees is the aggregate value of all the investments of the Fund, less Ledswinger Prudent Financial Corporation's extortionate "management" fees. In turn, all LPFC actually does, is farm out big parcels of cash to other investment funds, where the cash buys a "limited partner" share. The people running these funds are the "general partners", and they usually get preferential treatment when things go sour, they have near absolute say in the management of the invested cash, and they also screw a generous "management" fee. They'll have big fat financial sector bonuses for doing jack shit, and the contract will disproportionately share any upside that might occur to their benefit.

        So, there's winners here: Anybody screwing a management fee for putting retail investor money at risk will be pulling down a package of at least £500k after tax each year, and usually a lot more. Other winners include the bearded hipster twats (BHT) who get to burn through one or two rounds of financing, paying themselves a six figure salary, before walking away from the smoking wreck. Minor winners include institutional investors like LPHGUKTIF2, because our fee structure will make us money regardless of whether our investors do.

        And then there's losers: Retail investors, who as noted above probably have no idea why LPHGUKTIF2 has actually lost them money, and then charged them for the privilege.

        Welcome to the world of fund investing.

        Post script: I'm beginning to worry that I should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority to offer this sort of useful and accurate financial advisory. Better add the universal caveat emptor: "Remember, the value of retail investments can go down, or down a lot, it's only the big boys that get the gains."

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Hee hee.

          ASSet management.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hee hee.

            "ASSet management."

            Nice, +1

            Or Arsett Management if you're from the posh end of town :-)

        2. Fred Dibnah

          @ Ledswinger

          "Remember, the value of retail investments can go down, or down a lot, it's only the big boys that get the gains."

          http://www.infideas.com/books/fred-schweds-where-are-the-customers-yachts/

          Great username BTW.

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

          Right here: and below that its investments in toilet seat raising apps and other IoT and smartphone idiocy.

          And IoT device to raise/lower the seat and a smartphone app. It can't possibly do any worse than an IoT lightbulb. The ladies of the house will embrace it as they know the seat will be down upon entering the Room of the Throne. The males... it will be raised.

          Start the LLP, man....

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

            The ladies of the house will embrace it as they know the seat will be down upon entering the Room of the Throne. The males... it will be raised.

            But blokes going to see a man about a dog with some haste will always find the seat in the wrong position. And if they're fiddling with tightish jeans and button flies* as well, then things could come to a head**

            I suppose a fitbit-type of affair might be able to detect the racing pulse and rising blood pressure of a Man On A Mission, and alert the toilet seat to lower at maximum speed, but like all IoT stuff, it's looking like a solution searching for a problem. But....tell you what, we both grow goatee beards, don trousers that are too short whilst forgetting our socks, you write an investment prospectus that talks of a $14bn market by 2020, I'll act the sullen, Asperger's afflicted, sociopathic, withdrawn technical genius in front of the investors, we drink coffee for nine months on six figure salaries, then we start all over again.

            * Which knob-head designers think button flies are a good idea? We invented the zip a hundred years ago, and some tossers keep putting buttons on trouser fronts. W*nkers.

            ** A turtle's head

            1. Fraggle850

              Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

              > button flies are a good idea?

              Well at least there's no risk of skin/fly interaction injuries. I rock both varieties and have no strong preference, although braces do make a lot of sense with button flies; you've to undo the waistband button to siphon the python.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

              Hold on, you may think I'm taking the piss but I have a formal spec for a male urination app:

              IF ( user.is_outside() || toilet.is_already_disgusting() )

              user.urinate(standing_mode)

              ELSE

              user.urinate(sitting_mode)

              assert(urine_aerosol_visible(uv_blacklight_mode) = false)

              ENDIF

              Seriously guys, the seat lifts for cleaning purposes. It is quite clear, logically, that if you lift it you are happy to piss on the rim because if you could piss without splashing the rim you could piss without splashing the seat. If you doubt me, you can get a UV light from Amazon or Fleabay and check for yourself.

            4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

              Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

              "Which knob-head designers think button flies are a good idea? We invented the zip a hundred years ago, and some tossers keep putting buttons on trouser fronts.

              Trousers with button flies are a very good idea for people who don't like wearing underpants. Getting your pubes caught in a zipper is, uh, kinda unpleasant. And with the mental images just riggered, I whish you a nice weekend.

              1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

                I've just had an epiphany! (Don't worry, I'll clean it up).

                I've always wondered how on earth people managed to get their dangly bits caught in trouser zippers, that post has explained it all. It's idiots who don't wear underpants.

                1. Ledswinger Silver badge

                  Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

                  It's idiots who don't wear underpants.

                  I agree, sounds bizarre. I suppose these people also don't use bog roll, as the carelessly trimmed fabric edges on the inside of a typical pair of jeans would go a good job scrubbing an unprotected nipsy. After a few days use those jeans might be a bit, well, musty, but I suppose the glamour of going commando has its own unique price.

                  You know how old pants get farted out? I presume that's the hydrogen sulphide reacting with some sweat to form sulphuric acid, but if you're depositing neat clag on the jeans, is that going to rot them through in no time? Have you seen the price of a pair of Levis?

                  Post script: Don't read this post whilst eating your dinner.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Ledswinger -- Opportunity Knocks...

                  I've just had an epiphany!

                  Speaking of which, the one Kickstarter project I put money into (Adapteva's Parallella board, with embedded Epiphany* chip) did actually deliver on everything except the cables to link the boards in my cluster together.

                  So far, so ho hum. More interesting, I thought, was how the CEO of that company later said that he wouldn't go with Kickstarter again, even though it seemed like it was a success. He also had a follow-up here

                  * see what I did there?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Sort of – losses in one investment can be offset against profits elsewhere but you generally don't want all your investments to flop (unless you're Goldman Sachs selling mortgage-backed securities…).

      The tax-advantages are important only as part of the bigger picture: borrow someone else's money (obviously, you don't want to carry the risk yourself) at the current artificially low interest rates (cheap credit is being paid for by screwing savers) and invest it instead of your own money. Any profits can be funnelled out via the most tax effective means. Publicly listed companies are currently doing this: borrowing money to buy their own shares instead of paying dividends Private equity has a few more tricks up its sleeve such as preferred stock which virtually eliminates risk for the privileged few. Inflating the value of RsWyp is important in sucking in other people's money to allow the scheme to run to fruition. Here again those artificially low interest rates play their part as suckers looking at returns of 0.5% (at best) on safe assets are attracted by RsWyp's potential due to its phenomenal growth. And their goes your pension…

      1. yandoodan

        Slow down, I'm taking notes...

  4. David 132 Silver badge

    Well that's it for Kickstarter and Crowdcube...

    ...I think your app just rectum completely.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    One every minute!

    "sell it off to an even stupider investor for even more money"

    The great "VaporWare" hot potato. It's great to have when it hot, but nobody wants to hold it too long or get stuck with it when it's cold.

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    "The publicity it craves"

    Indeed, because clearly, when you've finished with RsWyp, you're going to have to wash your hands..

    1. Known Hero

      Re: "The publicity it craves"

      Going to need a third App as well,Cant have all that washing finesse go down the drain, if they dont know how to dry their hands !!!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "The publicity it craves"

        "they dont know how to dry their hands"

        Don't use the towel!!! It'll have more bacteria on it than your hands had before you washed them.

  7. David 132 Silver badge
    Coat

    Suggested alternate name

    in the vein of such crimes against the rules of English punctuation as Microsoft's "Connect();" conference, may I suggest you rename your app...

    "Rs:Wyp"

    And when asked, you can say "well, the colon is central to the app"

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Suggested alternate name

      Excellent....you, sir, win the Internet

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    …while advising against poor-quality materials, such as … your line manager’s face.

    Brilliant!

    Thankfully, the people I work for and with are a decent lot, so the desire to do this to them has never crossed my mind, but I know others are not so fortunate and would jump at the chance of doing such an act.

  9. Christopher Reeve's Horse
    Coat

    Pushing the envelope?

    I like the (underhand?) reference to synthesizer filters with 'applying too much sustain'. Thankfully the use of Attack, Decay and Release were left unmentioned...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pushing the envelope?

      Envelopes are another thing to avoid for wiping the backside, the glue makes it very unpleasant.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Pushing the envelope?

        Envelopes are another thing to avoid for wiping the backside, the glue makes it very unpleasant

        Plus there is the ever present danger of painful paper cuts. On the other hand, if used, it's the perfect instrument for mailing things like depositions to lawyers.

  10. Dr_N Silver badge

    RsWyp, PoopCoin ...

    I see a pattern.

    My iPlopr pay app concept is still available....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RsWyp, PoopCoin ...

      I believe there's already a Ploppr app that tells you where to take a poop in the nearest backyard composting toilet.

      Dear God, I wish I heard that on April 1. 'Fraid not.

  11. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Cheap at twice the price

    What that, you say, you want to develop an app that launches apps for running apps? Sounds cool, take £1m!

    Why does this bring running Android apps under WIndows Mobile to mind? Other than the price tag would probably have been more than a mil...

    Oh and doesn't filing this Friday gem under the Jobs category seem slightly odd to anyone, rather than the normal home of bootnotes or suchlike?

  12. Joefish
    Coat

    R-Swype?

    Wasn't that a popular shoot-em-up from irem corp.?

    (That and Kung-Poo Master).

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: R-Swype?

      Wasn't that a popular shoot-em-up from irem corp.?

      No, you're thinking of Turdican (the first was OK but number two stank). Or possibly Ratchet & Clagnut.

      I didn't play either of them, but just went through the motions.

      ...Also, this whole topic is just, eww. I'm decamping to a more salubrious comment thread.

      1. AbelSoul
        Coat

        Re: R-Swype?

        Not to forget those other classic titles: Ztool, The Secrect of Manky Island, Genetic Faeces and Sonic the I-hope-your-next-shite's-a Hedgehog

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Now Wash Your Hands App

    Top tips for washing your hands courtesy of the Now Wash Your Hands App:

    1. Do not touch a mobile phone screen, they've got more bacteria growing on them than a week-old petri dish.

    2... Fuck, that's £360,000 down the pan.

  14. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Apparently...

    There is more harmful bacteria in your mouth than your bum... but I ain't kissing anyone's arse.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Apparently...

      So where do they go in the journey from food to poo?

      We EAT them! Soylent Brown is GERMS!!

      Aieee, etc.

  15. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Coat

    Arse wipe phone cover?

    A flexible and absorbent phone cover* would be more welcome, in case of emergencies.

    *no charge, sir - take it and do with it as you will

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Arse wipe phone cover?

      Use with a selfie stick for the ultimate reach round experience.

      And upload a snapshot to the OBI* self-assessment website.

      *Readers of Viz will know who I mean.

  16. Peter Galbavy

    So, no one quite twigged the money laundering aspects yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We're just not the sort of people that need to worry about that sort of thing.

      But I can write an app......

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019