PVTL - mea culpa

Hey, I just wanted to say sorry to those who were in Pivotal who lost a lot of money today. I brought it to this board, so feel a bit responsible.

It’s a great technology, unfortunately the company has been a division inside a large entity for too long and has forgotten how to sell. Can it turn around? Sure. Will it turn around? Don’t know yet. In the mean time, there are probably better places to put your money, though it is at a great valuation. But, as Buffet says, it’s better to buy a great company at a fair price than a fair company at a great price.

Apologies and I hope you are doing well with your other picks.

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No apologies necessary SteppenWulf!

We’re all adults here taking responsibility for the buy/sell decisions we make. You didn’t make anyone buy the company, they didn’t give you their money to invest and you bought PVTL with it, you gave your thoughts, people researched the company (hopefully), weighed the risks/rewards, and made their decision.

I bought some, was up big for a while, but in the end, ended up selling at a slight loss, I don’t blame anyone but me for that.

You’ve provided way more valuable inputs here than hurtful ones, I for one, wish you would post more.

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Seconding Foodles.

Thanks for bringing it to the board and your writeup.

It didn’t work out in this case. But we saw it after that first quarter. The writing was on the wall that despite the great tech, the business model wasn’t cutting it, the customer acquisition was too slow, and they were mega-reliant on a few huge customers who weren’t doing too well themselves.

Please by all means bring any future ideas/thoughts to this community for crowdsourcing.

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Our greatest losses will always be the stocks we didn’t buy.

Please keep sharing.

Just a Fool

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Hey, I just wanted to say sorry to those who were in Pivotal who lost a lot of money today. I brought it to this board, so feel a bit responsible.

It’s a great technology, unfortunately the company has been a division inside a large entity for too long and has forgotten how to sell. Can it turn around? Sure. Will it turn around? Don’t know yet. In the mean time, there are probably better places to put your money, though it is at a great valuation. But, as Buffet says, it’s better to buy a great company at a fair price than a fair company at a great price.

Apologies and I hope you are doing well with your other picks.

No apologies are necessary. All of us make our own investing decisions. And any individual stock is a gamble.

As for PVTL, the short term looks bad but you might end up being right. It still looks like a very good longer term bet (maybe 3-5 years) for a patient investor.

I’m keeping it on my watch list.

dave (no position in PVTL)

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Hey, I just wanted to say sorry to those who were in Pivotal who lost a lot of money today. I brought it to this board, so feel a bit responsible.

It’s a great technology, unfortunately the company has been a division inside a large entity for too long and has forgotten how to sell.

As perhaps the greatest critic of PVTL on this board, let me say that I don’t think you’ve done anything less than an exemplary job communicating about PVTL or anything else. It’s a complicated market, and forecasting trends in the market is even harder because essentially no one has the complete view except in hindsight. You gave detailed, accurate assessments of their tech and market position. Anyone asking for more is absurd.

On the other hand, personally, I feel like this is more than just a “sales team doesn’t know how to sell anymore” issue though. PCF is how they monetize their company, and PCF is under a lot of pressure from Kubernetes. It may be a great technology, but when you say ‘complexity in the market’ and ‘it’s really causing customers to take their time and think about what they’re doing,’ I read that as “we don’t have the compelling competitive advantage we used to”.

–CH

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SteppenWulf,

I hardly ever post anymore because I’ve been busy, but I just have to say that I have made so much money because of you and your posts on MDB. PVTL looked good at first, so no apologies are necessary.

And as for all of your work and thoughts on MDB, I cannot adequately express my gratitude in this post. I’ll simply say, THANK YOU!

Best,
Carl

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Steppenwulf, there are certain simple facts of life that if ignored destroy everything for everyone.

As an example, you cannot hire anyone if you cannot also fire them. Similarly you cannot share your knowledge of being wrong every once in a while is a crime or at least a shunning event.

I made very good money on Pivotal but sold out. The issue of lackluster customer growth began to become profound.

I stupidly bought back in to play earnings last fall on a tip about VMWare as it related to Pivotal, but that was a whole different matter. And was just me breaking my rules.

Most of us figured out the issues early. Does not mean it did not start out w promise. It did. Pivotal Software’s problem is only old companies want it and even then far too much of their business comes from Ford and GE.

It is an example of a few large entities working together to make it look like they are leading the world. When in reality everyone is ignoring them.

Heck, I bought Twilio at the IPO, sold on the Uber news in the mid $60s and could have new culpa’ed there. Except after traversing to the 20s it is now double where I sold it. So who knows.

Pivotal is no Twilio. So I do not believe bottom fishing there is a good choice. But that was not known at the start.

People forget. The Fool and David Gardner (best modern investor in our lifetime) picked Excite over Yahoo!, likes JDSU over QCOM (although they may have been Tom) let the enormous gains in AOL crash around him when we were discussing in real time the problems broadband would create for AOL and a host of other disasters that caused many of us to seek out a theory of when to sell. So even in his “blunders” David helped us become better investors. And heck…ISRG…come on! As an example.

So don’t fret it. We are in a rare forum where most people here are open and honest and share and have no ulterior motive. That is just so very rare. That got lost on NPI but other accommodations were found. Saul’s forum remains that rare place where we can take risks w out ulterior motives around us and judgment.

So thank you Steppenwulf for your discussions on Mongo and Pivotal.

Tinker

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