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Here's some of the new-economical poestastery I occasionally wrote for Industry Standard, of late lamented memory.

Cookie Monsters
(March 20, 2000)

Whenever your fingers are doing the walking,
Just one step behind you there's DoubleClick stalking.
They've made note of your Britney Spears CD-ROM
And your trips to victoriassecret.com,
The Viagra you bought from a Web site in Thailand
For a brief liaison in West Hempstead, Long Island.

But when they made plans for the clicks to be tagged,
The market reacted; DCLK sagged,
Till they clarified: "That was just one of our sidelines, And besides, on the Web we've no privacy guidelines."

It is still a disaster for corporate PR
When you're caught with your hand in the cookie jar,
Only now, what the public is likely to mind
Are the cookies you're secretly leaving behind.

Last Exit for Redmond
(Mar 27 2000)

Before the judge adjudicates,

He'll urge, or so the press relates,
A meeting between Klein and Gates,
And there, in hurried tête-a-têtes,
Bang tonsured against tousled pates,
Until a bargain percolates.

True, Redmond still asseverates
The rights of one who innovates,
But also, doubtless, contemplates
Its dead man's hand (aces and eights)
And (mindful how it irritates
Judge Jackson, when one simulates
A video that demonstrates
Performance that deteriorates
As soon as one dissociates
The browser from the OS) hates
To leave itself in desperate straits -
Particularly when 19 states
Are heaping lawsuits on its plates -
So may decide that, though it grates,
Than breakup there are lesser fates.
When circumstance necessitates,
The wisest man capitulates.

We wonder: What will be the deal they cut -
To open Windows, ere the door is shut?

We're Coming Unwired
(April 17, 2000)

The freeways are humming with wireless WAPping,
And thrumming with fingers incessantly tapping
On palmtops and laptops and cellular keys,
As we drive with our midbrains and steer with our knees.

The joe in the Jag is composing an e-mail
To explain why he's late to a furious female,
Whom he'll presently placate by pointing his Palm
To get two dozen roses from Flowers.com.

There's an M&A gal in a 528
Who is dotting the i's on a deal that will mate
The nation of Greece with a content provider,
As she's merging herself, with the center divider.

Every Jack in his Jeep, every Jill in her Hyundai,
Is communing like mad with the Spiritus Mundi:
They are holding their phones in their teeth while they punch in
The name of the joint they're reserving for luncheon;
They get quotes from Lord Byron, or Chemdex and Chiron,
Oblivious all to the sound of the siren;
They are checking their flights,
As they whiz through red lights,
While an oncoming semi is flashing its brights ...

If you're holding some Nokia or 3Com, I'd park it.
I've a feeling success has been killing their market.

What Line of Work Did You Say You Were In?
(July 3, 2000)

Advice to those who'd build their brand:
Whatever else, don't tip your hand,
But keep your corporate sobriquet
Obscure, or terminally fey.

Agilent - what could that be?
Arthritis pills? An SUV?
Why "Tumbleweed," and, by the by,
Just what the hell's an Akamai?

Microcode or microbrews?
The two are easy to confuse:
You go to Red Hat for your apps,
But look for Red Tail at the taps.

In Yahoo's trail come Zing and Yipes
And other onomastic hypes
Contrived to bring a cry exultant
To any marketing consultant.

If surveys show that folks can't tell
Exactly what your clients sell,
Just shine them on: "The heck with these
We're here to brand the equities."

Who's Sorry Now?
(August 28, 2000)

What exquisite schadenfreude
Hearing from AP or Reuter
That the market's just destroyed a
-nother high-tech IPO,
Sent plunging to an all-time low.

Another den of dot-com divas,
Surly louts in jeans and Tevas,
On the street, while the receivers
Must recover what they're owed
From beanbag chairs and broken code.

Living large on VC credit,
Caring little what they netted,
They laughed at those who didn't get it --
Smokestack sorts who've not yet grokked
How P and E have come unlocked.

In lavish lofts at lofty rentals,
They flouted fiscal fundamentals;
Henceforth they'll sup on franks and lentils,
And spread their bread with oleo,
Like any ordinary joe.

Farewell -- though I can't say Iíll miss you;
You see, I'm just another fish who
Was short on sense and long your issue.
Value, shmalue, blah, blah, blah;
The new economy, c'est moi!

Workers Flee Startups For Corporate Refuge

They're abandoning ship, and no wonder -
It's no time to set sail seeking plunder.
All boats rise with the tide,
But when waters subside,
The dinghies are first to go under.

A. E. Houseman, Call Your Broker
(Unfortunately, Industry Standard folded before they could run this one)

When Nasdaq topped four thousand,
I heard a wise man say,
"Buy health care and financials
Against a rainy day;
Buy REITS and bonds and oil stocks,
And sell INTC,"
But Nasdaq was four thousand,
No use to talk to me.

When Nasdaq topped five thousand,
I heard him say again,
"A P/E of two-fifty
The market can't sustain;
Remember what is written:
'What rises also falls.'"
The Comp's at nineteen hundred,
I don't return his calls.

Copyright © 2002 Geoffrey Nunberg All rights reserved.