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Papa John, MacBook Pro, and the World Cup: While We’re Waiting…

Happy Friday everyone! Hope your summers are treating you well, but mine has been crazy. I don’t remember summers being this busy when I was a kid. Baseball season for my kids nearly hit July 4th. The number of social items on the calendar with babysitter nights booked is kind of intense. Even our long weekend trips and fun things are starting to become overbearing on the old Google Calendar. Maybe it was just because I was a kid, but I only remember bike trips to our neighborhood pool dotting the unofficial calendar for me as a kid. Anyway, here are some things I’ve been thinking about the last couple of weeks.

Papa John reminds me of Michael Jackson…

Papa John’s Pizza was in the news this week as John Schnatter was forced to resign his second position in the company, this time as chairman of the board. He used a certain n-word on a conference call with a marketing company when describing some alleged incident where Colonel Sanders had used that word and didn’t get any kind of backlash compared to what John Schnatter had gotten with his NFL kneeling controversy earlier in the year. It’s all very strange, and I don’t have much of an opinion on the incident itself, but when he finally stepped down as a result, I could only think of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was trying to avoid bankruptcy when he died. His fortune would rake in revenues at an astounding rate, but Jackson kept spending and spending and spending. The only thing keeping the company from blooming financially was its founder and primary talent. Now, a catalog of some of the most incredible songs in the history of music is much different than a pervasive pizza chain competing on delivering low-cost pies, but the concept is the same.

Papa John’s is named after this guy who has become problematic. The stock price suffers every time he trips over his own feet. The brand image suffers as well, and he becomes a major impediment to the company moving forward after a while. Now that he’s gone, and causing damage to the brand, watch and see what happens to Papa John’s profitability. Obviously, it’s a competitive business and you can’t just nail it down to a single factor the same way you could with Michael Jackson’s outlandish spending. That said, I’d be willing to bet the company does better going forward without Schnatter’s continuing drag on the company’s image.

It’s got to be a horrible feeling to know that the thing you founded is better off without you.

The MacBook Pro is crazy expensive…

I have been using the same MacBook Pro since 2013. I love my MacBook Pro and I kept telling myself I’d finally upgrade to a brand new one when they finally enabled it to handle 32 gigs of ram. Well, Thursday was that day! I was really excited. I went to Apple.com and started pricing out the machine the way I’d want it. I upgraded the processor because you only get one chance to do that. I upgraded the hard drive from 500 gigs to a terabyte SSD. I increased the memory from 16 gigs to 32! Alright, let’s go! Survey says?

You just bought a used car. Even if you consider the fact that this last computer has lasted me longer than five years, it’s hard (maybe impossible?) to justify plopping down over $4000 for a new MacBook Pro. Maybe I don’t need all that processing power and maybe I’m just behind the times in terms of what things cost, but it feels like we’ve crossed the Rubicon similar to when a $30,000 car became a $40,000 car.

One of my clients souped up their brand new Honda Accord and it was a touch over $38,000 MSRP plus tax, title, and other fees. In my (old) mind, the Accord is still a $30,000 car when it’s pretty well-equipped, but it’s kind of not. In my mind the MacBook Pro is a touch over $3000 for the top of the line, but apparently not. It’s a touch over $4,000.

(See? I’m in the beginning stages of talking myself into it.)

The World Cup Video You Need to See…

I LOVE this kind of video. I know the United States isn’t in the World Cup, and I haven’t latched onto a specific team or anything, but I’m still living vicariously through the fans as the tourney moves to the final. Watching the Croatian and London-based fans at the same exact time is amazing.

Scene from Zagreb & London at same time. from r/sports