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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Feb 2nd, 2024

Making this an abbreviated one today; Jim Millican and I (and our wives) have been in Charleston, SC this weekfor the winter AM&AA (Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors) conference.  We’re here to discuss and educate advisors on the importance of technology due diligence during an acquisition (or sale of a company).  We had lots of good conversations during the two days of the conference, and have also had some free time to see the city and eat plenty of southern food.  Headed back home in a little bit, and I hear the weather in CLE has been beautiful this week… If you or somebody you know is planning to add to their portfolio, drop us a line and we’ll make sure the technology infrastructure is properly built, secure, compliant, and capable of growing as the business grows.   In the meantime, scroll down for a few interesting items I was able to unearth this week.

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Yesterday, the other Jim had a chance to host a ‘table talk’ on the topic of AI.  I was asked to be the host but don’t know anything about the topic, so I sent the offer to him. He ignored me.  Wednesday, one of the event planners stopped by our table to ask again and I deferred to Jim.  He tried as hard as he could to decline, but the more he claimed he didn’t know on the top, the more intrigued she became. So, he spoke on the topic of AI during a merger/acquisition, focusing on the legal piece of the transaction.


Take this piece on using AI to save the Amazon rainforest for what it’s worth (a white paper from Microsoft). They’re big into the AI business so they might be a little biased.  


Does anybody here know anybody with a chihuahua for a pet?  Because I know a ton of dog owners and not one of them has a chihuahua.  As such, I’m very skeptical that the breed is the most popular in the United States.  Although, considering the source (US News) and their rankings of the top colleges, maybe we should take these numbers with a grain of salt.


I decided to check with the American Kennel Club (don’t you think they’d know a little more about top dog breeds?) and they rank chihuahuas 34th in the list of most popular breeds.  Granted, that was 2022 and US News is reporting 2024 data (have they really polled the nation, one month into the year?), but that seems a little more reasonable.  

Real Estate

The ten most expensive home sales of the year are listed in the newest Robb Report. For comparison’s sake, the most expensive home ever sold in Ohio went for something just over $10M. Talk about a bargain!  


And if you’re looking for the most expensive neighborhood in the country (based on price/sq. foot), go to San Francisco.  SoMa comes in at over $5K per square foot.  Wow.


The Apple Macintosh hit the market 40 years ago, last week.  Amazingly, some people are still using them!  I can remember in 7th grade (which would’ve been 1982) when a buddy of mine got an Apple.  He was a techie back then, and I remember how excited he was to show off his new computer.  After, I didn’t see another one until college, when my roommate showed up with one. This was back in the day when each dorm had one or two Macs in a shared room, so my roomie had it pretty good.  I, on the other hand, used a typewriter for my senior thesis for fear of the Mac crashing and losing my paper.


A website called Timeout has published a list of the 50 Best Cities in the World for 2024. Respondents to the survey are residents rather than travelers, so it’s hard to know if the 50 best cities are actually the same as the 50 best cities to visit. 


I’m not sure where Charleston, SC stands on the list of best cities in the world, but we’ll definitely be back (it’s the first time I’ve been here in 30 years).  Lots of great food, history, cool architecture, and more.  The four of us actually took a walking ghost tour last night- something that Nancy and I have done in a few European cities, and that we’ve always had fun with.  They’re usually more history than ghosts, and last night we learned where the terms “dead ringer“, “saved by the bell” and (albeit not as commonly accepted) “pulling my leg” (see definition #2).

That’s all for this week.  We’re headed off to see a little more of the city and its history including Rainbow Row and The Battery, before catching our flight home. 

Have a great weekend.


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