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One Cause, Many Ailments: The Leaky Gut Syndrome: What It Is and How It May Be Affecting Your Health oIt startedut great The first uarter Cutting Edge Marketing Analytics: Real World Cases and Data Sets for Hands On Learning (FT Press Analytics) or so was very interesting telling how cableperators got started when TV was a new phenomenon sweeping the nation There was some picturesue description Paolo and Panetto of how cities were connected to better TV reception via microwave towersn hilltops and poles carrying cable snaked their way into the valleyUnfortunately the rest Vivien Leigh of the book gets very dry If you re interested in business and investing you probably won t find it a worthwhile read given the time it takes to slog through all those pagesThere is diligent rattlingff By the Book of what percentage stake in which company another company took and how much money in stock and cash changed hands But as far as valuable insights Had it been told in half as many pages easily could have been a 4 star book This is the storyf John Malone nicknamed Darth Vader by Al Gore who took Liberty Media from a middling little cable The Day After the Dollar Crashes: A Survival Guide for the Rise of the New World Order operation in Denver to becomene f the most important players in the cable television industry One f the most important takeaways from this book is the importance f focusing n both value creation the tech and capturing a non trivial fraction f the value you create the business model Malone will go down in history as ne f the greatest financial alchemists the world has ever known and the deals he made were byzantine exotic and downright confusing A few times I had to draw a financial UML diagram to even have the vaguest sense f what Robichaux was describing Central to these deals was the use f debt financing and the deferment f taxes to avoid any leakage The Teachings of Spenser Carlyle: The Novel of economic value The bottom line was that Malone believed that thenly thing that mattered was creating value for shareholders and the best way to do that is to have a very long time horizon In short this book is an unbelievable look into what was nce the most important industry in America before the internet Malone is also uite the character which makes the book humorous in a way that biographies typically are not This tome seems to have a lot f good business lessons and I would say that is its strength rather than an interesting story line The first few chapters the story Weirdo Noir: Gothic and Dark Lowbrow Art of Malone s childhood and experience at college were actually interesting Even the storyf his first job and how he came to Tele Communications Inc TCI were good But after the author gets Malone to TCI and describes the challenges Malone is going to face the book becomes like a 250 page case study The Message of Salvation: By God's Grace, for God's Glory of the cable industryr maybe any industry where a business faces crushing debt but excellent cash flow like ATT todayFor a business that can be successful under the conditions described above crushing debt and excellent cash flow I think it will always mostly be a capital intensive monopoly After listening to Malone s tactics Anonymums over promise to cities then litigate to prevent them from bringing in a new cable company I don t know whether to revere Maloner hate him As a consumer I couldn t help but feel that he is everything wrong with business wners Horrible customer service week plus response times to malfunctioning euipment failure to upgrade networks when TCI SIGNED AGREEMENTS TO DO SO AND agreements to do so and tactics like shutting ff programming r suing cities who tried to get TCI to fulfill their agreementsI think the truth is that the cable model was to lie about cable capabilities and then charge customers less than what was necessary to really have a good cable network It seems to me that customerscities didn t want to pay the true price to get the services they wanted On the ther hand it seems super shady to promise what you can t deliver at a price pointAlso all the financial engineering made me want to vomit John Malone is smarter than everyone else and wanted to make sure no Practical Ventriloquism one could understand his financial transactions until he got the money he wantedut f those transactions At the end f the book after the sale f TCI to ATT it becomes apparent how much better Malone understood the cable industry than Michael Armstrong However because f Malone s penchant for self dealing Armstrong never understood the cable industry than Michael Armstrong However because f Malone s penchant for self dealing Armstrong never him industry than Michael Armstrong However because f Malone s penchant for self dealing Armstrong never him the TCI acuisition turned into a horrible mistake I really enjoyed this book but have to admit the financial transactions and details within were hard to follow John Malone s financial acumen was what I admired most about this book from creating a new metric EBITDA to his single focus Achtung ... U-Boats Passing: A Saga of War at Sea (Vol. 2) on creating shareholder value through tax deferrals and tracking stocks it was amazing to read about this aspectf his life A few ther threads I enjoyed were understanding where value is created in the cable industry always have alternatives with suppliers great story re Gates trying to be the cable box for the cable industry and cash flows versus earnings Here are the key takeaways I took from this book1 Despite its reputation as a risky play through 1997 TCI utperformed every Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home other stock in the market A single sharef TCI purchased at the low 1974 f 75 cents was worth 4184 by the end f 1997 a 5578 fold increase introduction ix2 Great summary n why the cable business model is genius page 143 How Malone developed intuition to see answers before his rivals did page 254 After tax cash earnings simply didn t count what counted was cable prodigious cash flow funding TCI s continual expansion page 45 One f the great parts f the books which explains why cash flows matter than earnings GREAT passage here 5 How the Ali Frazier fight transformed the economics f cabl. An inside look at a cable titan and his industry John Malone hailed as Screwball Television: Critical Perspectives on Gilmore Girls onef the great unsung heroes Ya Gotta Believe!: My Roller-Coaster Life as a Screwball Pitcher and Part-Time father, and My Hope-Filled Fight Against Brain Cancer ofur age by some and reviled by Night's Pawn others as a ruthless robber baron is revealed as a bitf both in Cable Cowboy For than twenty five years Malone has dominated the cable television industry shaping the world f entertainment and communications first with his cable

Characters Cable Cowboy John Malone and the Rise f the Modern Cable Business

Cable Cowboy John Malone and the Rise f the Modern Cable BusinessThe economics f it are particularly interesting The major broadcasters made money n advertising and didn t charge customers to receive the signal But cable companies didn t have access to the ad revenue so they charged customers a monthly fee to access the signal The Secret Child of the major broadcasters This paid for the maintenance costsf fixing the wire and allowed for a small profit Some visionary cable pioneers the cable cowboys in the book realized that it was in their interest to try and get as big as possible and wire as many homes as they could So they set Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook off reinvesting every dime they had in the business and begging banks to let them borrow as much money as possible Banks were reticent to do this because the cable companies never really had cash flownly revenue growth and banks thought this was risky times are different now see So the cable companies at least TCI the focus f this book were in a constant battle with banks to get the capital they needed to finance their growth and pay ff their bills This whole system mostly worked as long as the bankers went along which they tried their hardest not to But Malone and Magness and the ther cable cowboys eventually prevailed in every battle But even as they continued to expand cable companies were pretty much beholden to the major broadcasters who were the source f all the content n the cable networks So in that era the upside from cable companies always seemed a bit capped When broadcasters controlled the signal you had to figure cable companies had a ceiling n their financial upside In short the cable companies had a distribution problem This changes in the 70 s when HBO becomes the first major cable channel to be transmitted via satellite The breakthrough moment is when HBO broadcasts the Thrilla in Manila live while the Death by Inferior Design other major broadcast networks have to air the fightn tape delay HBO demonstrated that satellites could be used to circumvent the distribution channel established by the major broadcasters At that point cable began to really take ff and many many new channels sprang up to take advantage f this new way Hitler's Northern War: The Luftwaffe's Ill-Fated Campaign, 1940-1945 of reaching viewers And Malone was really smart to realize that he wanted to partner with as many new cable channels as possible so that TCI would have upside in case the competitive landscapef cable ever tilted in favor f the channels ver the cable companies Malone was a master dealmaker throughout the entire story In any case cable was really doing well and it entered an era known as the franchise battles In this era well financed companies would come in to bid for cable licenses in various municipalities because these licenses were basically a regulated monopoly Unfortunately the companies verbid n the licenses A Philosophy of Cinematic Art overspentn installing state The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified of the art systems andverpromised their shareholders about revenue projections from cable Lots White House Years (Henry Kissingers Memoirs of people lost money But when those companies were ready to bailut f cable Malone and TCI were ready to scoop up their leftovers for cheap and run the wires profitably Worked ut great for Malone At this point there is a lot Scab of consolidation goingn in the cable industry and TCI is becoming pretty huge With this consolidation come really large price increases and really awful customer service This pisses ff pretty much everyone so the government comes In In The Mid 80 S The Federal Government Takes In the mid 80 s the federal government takes regulating cable companies so municipalities don t have to worry about that any The gov t imposes pretty austere rate reductions AND THE CABLE COMPANIES START HURTING IT S PARTICULARLY the cable companies start hurting It s particularly because the cable companies are still usually running with pretty heavy debt still usually running with pretty heavy debt But you don t feel too bad for em because they were pretty huge assholes and largely continue to be And it s not like these guys didn t make plenty f money Anyways this continues for a bit until the earlymid 90 s when the federal government decides to deregulate the telecom industry to increase competition Well this sets Indo No Kao off another consolidation bonanza and this time Malone is ready to getut f cable altogether He rganizes a pretty sweet deal to have ATT buy up TCI and with a few bumps after the deal closes rides Giant Peach Yodel off into the sunset The cable companies then gon to start delivering internetphone service and now here we are Overall it s really interesting to see these huge names in cable ATT Cox Comcast etc and learn about their Sinai and Zion origin story Ifnly it could end up with those companies providing better customer service but then again that s a lot to expect from a monopoly even a regulated ne If you don t have any interest in balance sheets income statements hostile takeovers stock swaps share buybacks r tax strategies then you probably won t like this book But if somewhere along the way you lost yourself down the rabbit hole f corporate finance then you will L O V E love this book The story centers n John Malone widely regarded as ne f the sharpest business minds in modern history His pace Iniquity of MA averagingne deal every two weeks for ver 15 years is stunning I mean these guys were slinging billion dollar deals like bowls f breakfast cereal and his company s share price increased 55000% during that period by the way But to me what truly makes this book great is the robust profile f Malone that Robichaux gives us It s not just a fawning glow piece Malone is cast as a monster as much as a maven mortal as much as invincible an insecure sociopath as much as a loving family man. Ssuming copper strand started as a backwoods antenna service and became the digital nervous system f the US an evolution that gave US consumers the fastest route to the Internet Cable Cowboy reveals the forces that propelled this pioneer to such great heights and captures the immovable conviction and uicksilver mind that have defined John Malone throughout his caree. ,
E TV helped launch HBO page 526 When Malone s realized the power Annual Report of the Officers of the Town of Holderness, N. H: Year Ending January 31, 1937 (Classic Reprint) of programming and how TCI couldwn both the pipe and the water flowing through it page 597 A Cable franchise was essentially a legal right to a local monopoly Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture: A Plant Design Sourcebook operations had to answer to local government and win approval for rate increases page 628 Malone s strategy business thinking amazing process page 779 A paragraph that sumsf the entire book Forget about earnings That s a priesthood f accounting profession he would preach What you re really after is appreciating assets You want to wn as much Livin' de Life of that asset as you can then you want to finance it as efficiently as possible And above all else make sure that the deals you do avoid as much in taxes as is legally possible And then some page 81 literally sumsf the key points The Amazing Dreams of Andrew Latter of the book here 10 Malone s thoughtn running a highly decentralized business page 8411 Malone s business philosophy explained page 10512 The creation Culture is the Body: The Theatre Writings of Tadashi Suzuki of Liberty Media and the thoughts behind separating distributioncontent page 112 The favorable Liberty Media set up that Malone created from the spin but that few understood at the time13 Redstone sued Malone in 1993 in hispening words Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Study of Mind of his lawsuit Redstone summarized the key issues the American ConsumerCompetitors had with Malone largely his monopoly powerver the entire cable industry supply chain page 13514 Thoughts The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta on tracking stocks page 159 and page 24715 The cable industry s uniue position as the 1990s setut the internet could not exist without the fat pipes f the cable industry page 213 16 ATT has non wners f the business control vs good business economics page 265 great section n why founders run a business SO much better If you work in the media industry it s a must read it s a very interesting and insightful book My main complaint about the popular finance book The Outsiders Eight unconventional CEOs by Thorndike was that there wasn t enough detail about each individual person Well this book certainly checks the John Malone box Cable Cowboy was a comprehensive and thorough review f his amazing career at TCI Financially gifted Malone was also a ruthless deal maker and perator that managed to become the preeminent cable and media industry tycoonPretty much a must read for anyone that has an interest in business I d say Also n a personal note he instantly became my hero nce I learned that his nickname is Darth Vader given to him for being such a tough and bad ass negotiator and business man If I could give a 6 Dicmatized 2: Bitter Sweet Revenge on 5What a wonderful book brilliant writing it s a story that flows well had great facts is deep and broad at the same timeCovers the evolutionf the US cable industry from the 70s to the 2000s and what a journey it had beenMost people now would not know Martian Science Fiction: Scifi Novellas Set on Mars of this wonderful historyf monopolies and cable cowboys riding the wave John Malone has been cited as an Outsider in William Thorndike s book and the cable cowboy goes deep into making the Cable Cowboy goes deep into making reader realise why he was so damned good It s not at all ros I first read about John Malone in Joel Greenblatt s legendary book You can be a stock market genius Later I read about his again in The Outsider s by William Thorndike Few things about him stood The Witches Ball out He was all about cash flow while Wall Street concentratedn accounting earnings Secondly he used leverage exceedingly partially to reduce effective tax rate And he liked to acuire companies Some Saving Charmaine: A Heaton Family Friends Series Book of the things Malone did are similar to what has done latern long term horizon cash flow focus etc Cable Cowboy explains his story in details Unfortunately for me the book was less about the techniues he used but about the ups and downs he faced It was still a good read and I would recommend it Surprisingly interesting book I didn t have a strong grasp n the history f the big cable companies They always just kind f seemed to be these huge entities with awful customer service Turns ut there s a long
backstory there and 
there And s interesting Cable Cowboys does a good job explaining it all as it follows John Malone and his team at Telecommunications Inc TCIMy big takeaways John Malone is the real deal as an executive His ability to craft win win deals with the biggest win for himself and avoid taxes was really impressive Fascinating to learn how cable started as this small time way to rebroadcast the signals The Deadline of major TV broadcasters CBS ABC NBC and grew to be the absolute behemoth it is todayI generally feel like executives in major corporations are mostly competent but hardly exceptional when you consider that mostf them have been working full time in their fields for multiple decades When accounting for all that time they mostly seem pretty normal nothing surprising in terms f ability But John Malone seems to be an exception He is an executive where you look at the amount f time he put in and he still comes Ready to Restore: The Layman's Guide to Christian Counseling out looking impressive He seems to be genuinely much better than average at seeing how to make deals with upside for both parties Combine that vision with an exceptional ability to execute and convince potential competitors to partner with him and it s pretty clear the man is the real dealIt was also really interesting to learn about the cable industry as a whole It began as a means to give rural towns access to the shows from major broadcasters Early cable companies would put a big receiving dishn top Ready to Restore of the nearest big hill then run a wire the cable back into the rural town and hook up people s TV sets. Ompany TCI and later with Liberty Media Written with Malone's unprecedented cooperation the engaging narrative brings this controversial capitalist and businessman to life Cable Cowboy is atnce a penetrating portrait f Malone's complex persona and a captivating history f the cable TV industry Told in a lively style with exclusive details the book shows how an una.