After a couple of interesting weeks, the site is back up. It was really frustrating for me to have to take the site down but I elected to be cautious. Since the start of this project, I’ve had periodic aggression, but mostly from companies that, quite frankly, don’t have the financial resources to make a threat stick and probably don’t stand to greatly benefit from a public exposition. To be clear, if ever someone mounts a serious legal attack on me, I will absolutely make it a public spectacle. However, this time I decided to play it a bit safe. The sort of modern-day Internet equivalent of raising the drawbridges up over the moat, firing up the paraffin tanks and placing the archers atop the castle ramparts.
Just in case.
I’d like to start by thanking you for the outpouring of support and kindness. Readers offered moral support, alcohol, access to personal legal resources and even a willingness to “go out and give <someone*> a thrashing myself”. The moral support was enough, but also good to know next time this happens that there are some low/no-cost hit-men (and women!) out there as well. Of course, I got a fair amount of “good riddance” email as well, mostly I gather from shareholders with a vested interest in maintaining fungus-status (i.e. being fed shit and and kept in the dark). It genuinely doesn’t make me happy to know that my posts sometimes influence behaviour and sometimes people lose money as a consequence, but many readers don’t believe this.
I’d like to reiterate that this site is not a crusade after any particular individual or company, it is a genuine attempt at an independent “buy side” commentary. I think there are some fundamental issues with the ASX healthcare / biopharma sector that are (in my opinion) essentially attributable to a lack of shareholder respect, a tendency to focus on a “story” rather than any technical substance, and a deeply incestuous leadership base that has made a lot of money but hasn’t really delivered. I’m out raising money for a couple of projects at the moment and I have to admit, I have been stunned on a occasion when a financing source has suggested to me “It would be good if you could perhaps get <someone*> on your board.”
Uh huh… sure.
The most important thing that was the unexpected byproduct of my hiatus, was the further entrenchment of this site as being of public value. Many people – most of whom I have never met – were willing to tell me that despite not always agreeing with my perspective, they find the information useful. Some days it’s actually not very inspiring or motivating to write this blog (which I why I try to have fun with it to compensate from some of the depressing realities of what I write about), but this type of feedback helps me a lot, it motivates me to get on with the job. It also really helps me when people are willing to post and comment directly on the site because it enables me to further establish my legitimacy as a public interest site. I do welcome comment and feedback, and I think that I have demonstrated to you that I am willing to allow severe criticism of my analysis and commentary, providing it is constructive and not completely disrespectful.
Thanks for reading and all your kindness,
The Long Tail
*That speculative “someone” that was giving me a hard time. To be clear, I have not disclosed any individuals/companies… nor will I.
Photo cred: Jack Nicholson in The Shining.