Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Verizon lays it on the line

Keep your eye on Verizon and CEO Ivan G. Seideburg. Economists on Wall Street are skeptic about Verizon's new fiber-optic network that will carry television, internet, and phone service at the same time. Verizon's capital investment in its new gamble has caused a ten percent drop in stock over the last year and a downgrading of its debt rating. Yet Verizon's captain is confident that he is guiding his ship to virgin territory and must reinvent his company. Seideburg is betting on a transformation of the market much like what mobile phones did to the telephone industry or compact discs to the record industry.

How many of you paid for DSL service to your house seven years ago? Perhaps the delivery of information and media is changing but how far will it go? Experts in Hollywood are wondering how the studio system will fare as some movies are quickly released to DVD and more amateurs are taking advantage of the digital age.

It looks like Seideburg is not betting on the industry so much as he is betting on himself in transforming it. Can he pull a Bill Gates by not only conquering the market but creating it? Wall Street is skeptic and time will tell whether he is right or wrong. Boeing practically bet the company to build the 747 and who knew that the Ipod would transform digital media and the music industry? However there were also economic debacles like Europe's supersonic Concord, Beta VCRs, and eight-track tapes. The key to seeing how this unfolds is not by analyzing the market as much as keeping an eye on Seideburg and Verizon.

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