Silly things sometimes happen to brilliant companies. Sometimes, they happen to the companies that deserve it. Let's take a look at five dumb financial events from this week that may make your head spin.
1. Turn around and face the music
2. What if a country threw the Olympics and nobody came?
China Distance Education Holdings
3. Let's go pop some bubbles
How many insults will Britney-defender Chris Crocker have to put up with? Can you stop the mob from pointing out the obvious plot twists in LonelyGirl15? What happened to sneezing pandas being sacred? Oh well, it will make YouTube that much more engaging to the armchair potatoes, but if YouTube has had a tough time policing its uploads, one can only imagine how quickly cartoon text bubbles get old.
4. Just be Cuil, daddy. Oh.
There's a new search engine in town, but it didn't make much of a first impression. Cuil launched this week, immediately attracting media attention. The site promoted its Web-scouring prowess, with more than 120 billion pages cataloged. Cuil claims that its depth is three times greater than Google's and 10 times more than Microsoft's
I liked the site, particularly its innovative magazine-style layout of search results, but my colleagues weren't as kind. Fool Tim Beyers came up empty Googling -- err, Cuiling -- his own name. He also bumped across availability issues. Tim also quotes Fool Co-Founder David Gardner, who was similarly unimpressed.
What was Cuil thinking? It knew it had the right ingredients to drive a ton of initial traffic with its debut. Then it blows it by letting down many in the first wave of curious Internet users. If you're not ready for primetime, wait until you are.
5. The fatal flaw of two-month investing windows
T. Boone Pickens has had it with Yahoo!
Pickens is, of course, a billionaire investor who can typically run circles around most market dabblers. However, he bought into the company only after watching fellow billionaire Carl Icahn buy in. Bad move. He bought in months after Yahoo! had originally shot down Microsoft's offer. It was a stalemate. Did Pickens know what he was getting into? Buying in because Icahn is usually sharp?
I sense a new parental scolding in the works. "If your friend jumps into Yahoo!, do you jump in, too?"
Let's beat the dumb drum:
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. Rick does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.