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What yesterdays’ business news tells us about tomorrow.

This was a crazy week in business. Not that every week isn’t crazy but this week the big companies made some damn important announcements. Basically, Apple grew up, Microsoft got old, Google got surprised, Time Warner became a bulls-eye and Forbes went foreign. Here’s a quick look not only at what happened but what I think these events portend for the future:

Apple and IBM are hooking up – Apple announced this week that it is forming an alliance with IBM to develop more business-friendly products and services. Apparently, while the computer maker likes its hip, artsy niche it realizes that the big opportunities lay in connecting with business and developing products that they’ll pay for. Yeah, the iPad is kinda cool but helping big companies use their big data is a lot cooler.

Microsoft is laying off at least 18,000 employees – After 39 years of being the smartest company in the room, Bill Gates’ old company has decided that it has to get more cool. The people that Microsoft brought to the party are no longer the ones they want to leave with so they’re letting them go and hoping to find some newer, cheaper ones that will raise their hip IQ with users. It’s kind of like a midlife crisis for a lumbering tech company.

Google Revenue dips 6% – Not a big deal except that Google had to admit that most of the drop was attributed to the fact that more people were using mobile. Please don’t tell me that the world’s smartest company missed the fact that we were all moving to our mobile devices?! That’s making me re-think the whole Glass and drone thing.

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox wants to buy Time Warner – He wants Time Warner for its rights to more live sporting events. Oh, and he want to bury ESPN. But the not so big news is that sports continues to be the ONLY thing we watch in real time and therefore the only thing advertisers can hope that their commercials will work on. Apparently Mr. Murdoch hasn’t heard about the whole “DVR it now and watch it 15 minutes later so we can skip the commercials” thing. He should Google that.

Olympics are considering year-round TV – Here again, the OIC realized that since it organizes a ton of live sporting events between the Olympics (exactly the content we’re looking for, see the “Fox buys Warner” bit above) maybe they should broadcast more often than once every four years? Brilliant.

Forbes Magazine sold to a group of Asian investors – The magazine that has been championing American business, ingenuity, initiative and entrepreneurs for almost a century is now owned by an Asian investment group. That’s ironic right?

Whew. If these events don’t tell you a bit about where we’re all headed – quickly – then send me a note and I’ll help you read the leaves in the bottom of the tea cup. Bottom line is that stuff keeps happening even faster that the industry leaders can comprehend. This is a little like bobsledding – with blinders on. Now that’s a sport I’d watch live.

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