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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 2nd, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

June 2nd, 2023

I thought about taking a week off from this newsletter, but figured that at least one of you might miss me. After a couple of summers of not being able to get across the border into Canada, we’re finally able to get back up to my wife’s family’s cottage, four hours north of Toronto (and off the grid). We were up last weekend to open up for the summer, and got home late Wednesday.  Yesterday was spent at the DealMakers Conference downtown, and this morning consisted of delivering some donuts in honor of National Donut Day (where I found that one person who said she’d have missed this newsletter), as well as my seemingly once every five year physical, whether I need it or not.  I figure I spend enough time with the orthopedic surgeons that I don’t need the rest of them.  Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have time or material, but it turned out I do!

Something about ...

Tesla Data Breach

A new whistleblower data breach lists thousands of complaints from Tesla drivers about emergency braking and self acceleration, and lots of front end crashes.  We just drove 500 miles each way (Saturday and home on Wednesday), and I would never let a car drive me.  I’m a horrible passenger anyway and the last thing I’m going to do is trust a computer to drive for me.  Plus, the body shop we frequent (usually for not at fault accidents) has a Tesla contract, and the amount of front end-damaged Teslas in the lot always amazes me. Oh, and Toyota just acknowledged another data breach.  


I mentioned that the family cottage is off the grid.  A landline. No cell service.  No electricity.  We have running water (we’re on an island, so there’s plenty of that) and solar to run a few lights, XM radio, and charge iPhones (we need cameras for the fish we catch).  The water heater, stove, fridge, and freezer all run on propane, and until this past week, we had to head down river to the marina to check email.   But now we have a Starlink internet connection, and it seems like a game changer.  For four days, the two of us were able to get online and work (for better or worse).  So, if you’re in a remote location often enough that internet service would be beneficial, take this as my (unpaid) endorsement.  And if you’ve seen those funny streaks in the sky (see above), now you know what they are- Starlink satellites.  

World Records

Does anybody remember the Guiness Book of World Records? As a kid, I can remember the annual editions being in the school library, and records like the longest fingernails or tallest man. I think I might have even convinced my mom to buy me the 1976 edition at the school book fair.   I’d pretty much forgotten about those World Records until my gym decided to lock two of the six tvs on some paid for tv programming that seems to repeat itself every three or four days. One day might be extreme sports while the next is extreme sports failures.  Every now and then, it’s time for world records and as I’m on the weight machines I see people unscrewing bottle caps with karate kicks, kicking soccer balls off of cross bars, and or doing yoga poses under water. All in an attempt to do as many of these things in a row or in under one minute as is possible.  I can’t believe some of the stuff people make up to set new (or break existing) records.  And yet the book continues to be published, and you can even read about the record for most world records; 193.  

Ashton Doings

I’ve made mention a few times that we continue our search for new engineers, thanks to our continued growth.  We have two new team members starting in the next few weeks, with at least two more to bring on board.  I also mentioned that Jarred Weaver left us for the chance to work in a fully remote setting, and Sam Bowers (who’d been working for us from his home in Indiana) has decided that he wants to be in an office 100% of the time, rather than working fully remotely.  We wish both Sam and Jarred the best!


This week, I’ve made EVP/COO get out of the office as much as possible.  Wednesday he spoke to the Northern Ohio Business Brokers Association on cyber security and due diligence during mergers and acquisitions, and yesterday I dragged him to the annual DealMakers conference downtown where we heard from many in the private equity and M&A verticals.  Based on what we heard from that small sample of the population, the economy isn’t nearly as bad as the media would have you believe, and deals continue to get made.  We’ve done seven diligence projects this year already, and we can vouch for that fact about deals still being made

Real Estate

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good real estate listing, so the timing on this one is perfect.  A former rep from one of our vendors told me that her family’s place near Vancouver, BC is on the market and was kind enough to send me the link.  Being local to Vancouver, she was only an hour’s boat ride away… if you can put up with flying to Vancouver every weekend, maybe this is the place for you! 

For those who may have missed it, the annual cheese chasing event took place in Gloucester, England, last weekend. It’s always amazing to watch the carnage, and it’s interesting that there’s no mention of anybody catching the cheese, mid-hill.  What if that were to happen?  


If you enjoy watching the cheese chase, you may have been like me and watched American Gladiators in the late 80s/early 90s.  I can’t remember when it was on, but I do remember eight or 10 guys in my dorm room (there was probably beer involved) on a weekly basis to watch!  Now there’s a documentary about the show.  I might have to find time for this one.  


I’ll leave you this week with a great quote from Nic Barlage, CEO of Rock Entertainment Group, which owns the Cavs.  During his keynote at yesterday’s DealMakers event, he mentioned all the work that Rock (Dan Gilbert’s group, which includes Rocket Mortgage) has done to revitalize Cleveland and Detroit.  And when comparing these two midwest cities to big cities on the coasts, he stated “Cleveland has all the assets without all the egos”.  Can’t say I disagree with that.  


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