Apr

27

A young Bill Gates posing for a teen magazineLike great music in movies.

They say a great movie soundtrack is one that contributes much to the movie but isn't noticed apart from the movie.
I would like to offer a word of thanks to whoever finds the wonderful pictures to accompany posts on DailySpeculations. The pictures always seem to make the posts better, but they don't intrude. Instead they somehow add meaning, insight, and depth to posts. DailySpeculations pictures are usually striking and thought-provoking, yet they somehow don't distract. And when the pictures change for a post, it usually suggests a new perspective.

I just want to say thanks to the entrepreneur at work here.

Maybe too we could inquire if there are lessons to be learned from the quiet value pictures and design add. Is there prediction value in noticing which firms figure out how to produce attractive products? Dell, HP, and Microsoft are usually overshadowed by the ultra-beautiful design and graphics of Apple. But those involved in the early days of personal computers remember that Microsoft software was always professionally designed and usually more attractive than competitors' products. Was this a clue that could have tipped off early investors?

Amazon's webpages were always attractive as well as functional. Target stores are well-designed compared to competitors like K-Mart. Starbucks stores and products were always well-designed. Not everything well-made is beautiful of course. Subarus seem well-made and functional but avoid looking too elegant.

In the investment world, what can we learn from the design and images in Annual Reports? When they are too pretty, is that a sign firms are hiding mediocre results in fancy packages? But DailySpeculations pictures aren't always beautiful, instead they always seem appropriate and meaningful.

Are there investment signals to be found from Annual Reports with attractive and relevant pictures, compared to those and those whose pictures may be fancy but somehow don't fit? What about company websites? If a company's President and staff don't notice or care what their website looks like, is that a sign of mismanagement elsewhere in the firm? Could a team of graphic designers give us investment advice from reviewing Annual Report pictures and company website design? They would know when pictures are too professional and expensive and unnecessary for websites and reports.

Virginia Postrel's book The Substance of Style sports an elegant and interesting cover. Should investors be concerned about too much style with company products? The elegant design of Apple products seems matched by the value inside, at least as measured by Apple's steadily climbing stock value.

In any case, three cheers for those who take the time to find the right pictures for DailySpeculations posts…


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