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Forget 'Insider Information.' I'll Take 'Outsider' Any Day

First, I should tell you I have a relationship with two ladies at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. It started on May 21, 1999. I initiated the relationship by sending a general letter to the SEC about who I am, what I do, and a whole lotta claims of my innocence regarding what I know and don't know about a handful of public companies. I have six letters in the file from two ladies acknowledging my disclosures. They were not form letters. Each letter had a serial number.

First, I should tell you I have a relationship with two ladies at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. It started on May 21, 1999. I initiated the relationship by sending a general letter to the SEC about who I am, what I do, and a whole lotta claims of my innocence regarding what I know and don't know about a handful of public companies. I have six letters in the file from two ladies acknowledging my disclosures. They were not form letters. Each letter had a serial number. They told me how my letters would be distributed to interested parties within the SEC. You'll be happy to know this is your government at work-very efficient, very accountable and very responsive.May I also add that I have never testified before Congress, never been sued, and never sued anyone. When I told a prominent Dallas lawyer (now a judge) I had never been sued, he said, "You haven't lived yet." So why am I spilling my guts here?

Just to say that it's very nice being an outsider and a no-power player. I see things what even the closest insider doesn't see. I see vendors as they really are, not as they want us to see them. I'm the little guy who doesn't matter, and gets brushed off sometimes. And therein lies the value of what is included in each vendor profile of my annual report. Sometimes it's what you don't see that counts rather than what a vendor wants you to see.

This is report season for me, and thus I have numerous dealings with tech vendors. The popular big seven in the report do the best job of reporting. Could that be because they earned their way into the big seven by practicing the banking rule of full disclosure? There are also a lot of small companies that do an excellent job of reporting. Some of them are privately owned and yet they still disclose everything. And then there are some companies, not in the report, that desperately need a consultant, preferably with marketing skills. If that doesn't work, a psychologist would be my final recommendation.

Be careful what you ask a vendor, because you may not get it. But that may be a good thing too. I'm glad I know what I don't know.

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