October 30, 2007 - Leave a Response


$85.5 million operating loss in Q3, exceeding consensus estimates of $68.8 million.

But don’t worry, there’s a strong tailwind.

FAST Q3 2007 Financials


I am Not a Crook

October 26, 2007 - Leave a Response


Wild rumors flying…

The employee representative of the FAST Board of Directors has resigned from the company to move on to greener (less fradulent) pastures.

Who does this guy think he is, Per Ditlev-Simonsen?

It’s On Like Donkey Kong

October 19, 2007 - Leave a Response


We’re back in the Wikipedia entry.

As the world turns…

The reference to The Downward Spiral was edited out by a hard working individual at Fast (whois to see for yourself).  The comment to go alongside the edit: “Last citation not a valid or verifiable source of information”

Well, right back at you. Upon the reinsertion of the reference to us, the Wiki author was kind enough to leave this message along with the update:

“Company PR people this is not the place for you, if you continue to pump corporate PR here you will be put on watch”

Fast Search and Transfer @ Wikipedia

Boston Invaded by the Norway Rat

October 17, 2007 - 2 Responses


The problem seems to have spread as far west as Needham.

Boston battles burgeoning rat problem


October 16, 2007 - Leave a Response

Someone seems to have edited out the reference to The Downward Spiral in the FAST Wikipedia entry. What’s worse, it’s been replaced by a daily stock rise post, by someone who clearly doesn’t understand the Pump and Dump concept.

Hey genius, posting something stating FAST has regained 1/3 of the value it lost, still means the stock has been devalued by 2/3rds.


Fast Search and Transfer @ Wikipedia

Conviction List

October 13, 2007 - Leave a Response


A helpful reader has pointed out that Goldman Sachs recently placed Fast on their “Conviction Sell” list.

Don’t trust GS, though. If they had half a brain, they would be underwriting that white hot Accoona IPO.

Fast Search & Transfer Falls on Bearish Goldman Sachs Note

Parade of Stars

October 13, 2007 - Leave a Response


Recently, Fast installed a revolving door in the executive washroom, to handle the outflow of traffic.

Rumor has it, in the past 12 months, Fast has parted ways with:

  • President/COO
  • VP Sales, US West
  • SVP Corporate Development
  • SVP Marketing
  • SVP Professional Services
  • SVP Alliances & Channels

Methinks a trend is emerging.

Further Proof that Wikipedia Tells No Tales

October 13, 2007 - Leave a Response


The Downward Spiral is now listed as a Reference on the Fast Search and Transfer wikipedia page.

Let’s see how long someone takes to edit it out, and perhaps fuel another edit war fire.

For whatever it’s worth to you, we didn’t do it. Picture below for posterity:


Fast Search and Transfer @ Wikipedia

Reader Mailbag

October 5, 2007 - 3 Responses


This letter comes to us from “Bjorn Again”, which is upsetting in that we didn’t think of it first. Now we’ll get to have fun tearing apart both the FAST and Convera Q3 filings…

[Editor’s Note: We believe everything below to be 100% true, other than the slanderous libel stating FAST is our ex-employer]

I have come to despise your former employer as I worked with them on the Retrievalware acquisition. So I will share this inside info.

– When Pat Condo and JML agreed to do the deal they agreed in Norway that it would be better for FAST to overpay for the asset with FAST shareholder money and then do a swap deal whereby Convera would return the overpaid amount through a swap deal by buying @$4.75M of FAST software that Convera has no need for. So they did it and you can see in our (Convera) 10K filings in a cash flow note that we paid $4.475m. You all may know this because it was sort of announced but amazingly, FAST recognized the revenue in Q1 07 as revenue.

– What you may not know is that in Q3 there was more trickery. First of all, FAST effectively sold the accounts receivables of the Retrievalware business to a Federal Reseller named Criterion for $3M thereby taking the $10M business they were supposedly paying $23M for and pawning a large chunk of the value off to desperately pull $3M into Q3.

– Finally, before the acquisition closed, Pat Condo and JML agreed to adjust the purchase price down by $4M. At that point JML had Condo over a barrel because the idiot already agreed to buy the $4.475M in FAST software before he had sold his business to FAST to FAST in Q1. So after criticizing the Retrievalware business for 10 weeks Condo and JML agreed that they would adjust the asset purchase price down $4M from $23M to $19M. Remarkably, the mechanism they decided to use to make that adjustment was to have Convera (a money losing company with almost no cash) agree to buy $4M MORE useless software from FAST. FAST will call this Q3 revenue but you will all be able to look it up in Convera’s Q3 filings when they come out. Convera may be dumb but at least they account properly.

– The net of this post is that when FAST announces Q3 revenue, keep in mind that about $8M of it is not revenue at all rather it’s their own shareholder money making a roundtrip out of the shareholder’s pockets and into the business in the form of non-cash revenue. Pathetically Enron-esque.

El Diablo! Dios mio! El Diablo!!

October 5, 2007 - Leave a Response


I know my Norwegian is a bit rusty, but this headline certainly seems to mention both “hell” and “bleak”. But don’t worry, the rest of the story is sunshine and daisies.

Forferdelig trist for FAST (Norwegian)

Countdown to Jumping the Shark

October 5, 2007 - Leave a Response


Two equally momentous events will happen on October 30:

  • FAST will announce Q3 results
  • Henry Winkler will celebrate a birthday

The End is Near

October 1, 2007 - 2 Responses


Gartner predicts FAST may be acquired by Adobe.

Gartner PCC Summit 2007

Moooooon River….

October 1, 2007 - Leave a Response


FAST’s highly focused vertical market campaign – everything but Healthcare and the kitchen sink.

aiimALERT: Search Market Yin and Yang Continues

One-Trick Pony

September 29, 2007 - Leave a Response


In continuing our analysis of the Scribe Media Executive Face Time series interview, when asked how he continues to motivate the troops (47:47), JML highlights the differences between working at Fast and working at Google.

JML states it can be challenging, as Google has one product, Google.com, and all of the employees can focus their efforts on a single product offering, whereas it’s harder for Fast to support 4000 customers across the world on multiple products.

Last I checked, Google had a few more products than Google.com:

Earth, Desktop, Talk, Picasa, YouTube, Maps, Froogle, Gmail (can I stop yet?)

Nothing inspires confidence like a CEO who understands the market and the competition.

Executive Face Time: It’s All About Search

Two Finalists: GQ’s Man of the Year

September 29, 2007 - Leave a Response


Scribe Media recently sat down with our intrepid CEO as part of their Executive Face Time series. I’ll save you the agonizing boredom and get right to the highlights…

First, kudos to Scribe Media for finding an interviewer whose tone, cadence, and stage presence increased JML’s charisma by comparison. A difficult task exceptionally well done.

When pressed with “Uhh…where’s the revenue?” (40:50) JML makes two observations:

#1 – The layoffs were “certainly a unique, one-time event” for Fast.

We’ll be calling you out on this shortly enough

#2 – Fast’s problems aren’t nearly so bad, with say, Oracle’s history, who nearly went bankrupt in the 90’s.

For anyone not aware of what Oracle went through, it’s eerily similar to the current Fast MOU excrement pile.

Quoth Wikipedia: “In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because of a mismatch between cash and revenues. This crisis, which almost resulted in Oracle’s bankruptcy, came about because of Oracle’s “up-front” marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once. The sales people then booked the value of future license sales in the current quarter, thereby increasing their bonuses. This became a problem when the future sales subsequently failed to materialize. Oracle eventually had to restate its earnings twice, and also to settle out of court class action lawsuits arising from its having overstated its earnings. Ellison would later say that Oracle had made “an incredible business mistake.”

Earth to JML: You’re smart enough to reference Oracle’s history – try to be smart enough to learn from it rather than repeat it.

I’ve seen 3 year olds connect the dots better.

Executive Face Time: It’s All About Search

Out of Sync With Revenue…

September 26, 2007 - Leave a Response


..but certainly not with style

aiimALERT: FAST Slows Down

Weekly Poll #2: Q3 – Place Your Bets

September 26, 2007 - Leave a Response


FAST is guiding to $34-$38 million of revenue for Q3… What do you think they will deliver?

FAST Q3 Results
1) Over-Achieve ($38+)
2) On Target Earnings – High End ($36-$38)
3) On Target Earnings – Low End ($34-$36)
4) Miss ($31-$34)
5) Miss BIG TIME (less than $31)

View Results

FAST… the next Sonny Bono?

September 26, 2007 - Leave a Response


Going Downhill FAST

Getting into the Halloween spirit

September 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Awful number at Fast (Norwegian)

Da Bomb

September 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

I don’t think Da Bomb has the same connotation in Norwegian as it does in English.

Bomb for Fast (Norwegian)

Operational Excellence

September 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Conversation overhead bewteen the FAST CEO and a FAST PR wonk:

Wonk: “We’ve got an interview scheduled to try and spin the Q2 results”

CEO: “What do I say?”

Wonk: “Make sure to mention something about improving operational efficiency. Try to make it subtle though … we don’t need everyone knowing we have no clue how to operate a business.”

CEO: “Subtle, ok, got it”

Q&A: FAST CEO John Lervik talks search

Ho-Hum, YAEC (Yet Another Enron Comparison)

September 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Enron Explained (Norwegian)

Another Stupendous NTNU Discovery

September 21, 2007 - Leave a Response

FAST was invented by scientists at the hallowed and esteemed NTNU in Trondheim. We’ve heard Norwegians refer to NTNU as the “MIT of Norway”.

Here’s the latest from the NTNU ivory towers. How do you like them apples?

Burping Moose Bad for the Environment

f4st s34rch roxxors!! U b33n pwned!!!

September 18, 2007 - Leave a Response

 When not busy trying to turn FAST around, FAST executives like to feel better about themselves by beating small children in board games.

FAST Search & Transfer sponsor Magnus
Sjakk-Magnus får million-sponsing

Weekly Poll #1: Mystery Men

September 17, 2007 - Leave a Response


Wild accusations are flying surrounding our true identities at The Downward Spiral. Which one of us is The Spleen? We’ll let the readers weigh in….

Who is Responsible?
1) Competitor
2) Ousted Board Member
3) Disgruntled FAST Reseller
4) Former Employee (Laid Off)
5) Former Employee (Fired)
6) Former Employee (Quit)
7) Swedish Guy

View Results

(We reserve the right for the true answer to be None of the Above)