MicroFaceSoftBook

Now that Microsoft has acquired a small stake in the $15 billion company Facebook, the impact on both companies seems to be hotly debated in the business community. On the one hand, some tech industry analysts say that buying a small stake in Facebook will make Microsoft "cool" - improving its image as the old, senile dinosaur in the tech industry. On the other hand, some say that the deal will make Facebook "uncool" since it is now associated with such a lame tech company.

The reality? 99% of the people who use Facebook will probably never know that Microsoft even has a stake in the company, and if they do, it is extremely unlikely that they will decide to increase or decrease their time on the website because of it. When McDonald's started acquiring a stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill many years ago, it alone neither improved the image of McDonald's nor hurt the image of Chipotle. The fact is that main street simply doesn't care about which companies are investing in each other, so long as the end product remains the same. When are Wall Street analysts finally going to figure this out?

Give Al Some Credit

On Friday it was announced that Al Gore would win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Over the weekend there have been a lot of criticisms of Gore and the process of choosing the winner of the prize. Without getting into that, I think there are two commendable things that Al Gore did for which he deserves some credit.


First, rather than accepting the award exclusively for the work he has done, Gore said he would share the award with members of the United Nations Panel on Climate Change. After all, Gore may be a politician and talented speaker, but his efforts are backed up by research from some of the world's most respected scientists. Without the efforts of the UN scientists, Gore would virtual have no message to get out to the world.

Second, Gore is giving 100% of his $1.5 million award money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, which demonstrates that Gore isn't necessarily doing what he does to make a buck. Most critics point out Gore's tremendous wealth, but they tend to forget the huge sums of money that Gore has given back to climate change efforts.

So for those who are too busy politicking to see the big picture of what happened this weekend, I give a round of applause to Al Gore.