CHARLIE MUNGER 00:08
It’s amazing, the number of people at the meeting of the little Daily Journal Corporation which after all is a pretty small operation.
We’ve got two businesses one a steadily declining legal newspaper which now earns about a million in a year pre-tax and shrinking, and a computer software business where we’re trying to automate courts and justice agencies and various other governmental departments.
And that is now bigger by far in terms of prospects and customers and employees and so forth than our shrinking newspaper business. And there is hardly – It hardly a – can be imagined how hard it is to deal with a whole bunch of different courts in different states and their advisers and the RFP process and the bureaucracy.
This is a part of the software business that the giants tend to hate. They like a business where you just stamp out an extra copy of something and 98 percent of the revenues go immediately into the till as cash and there’s no extra work.
And that is not handling a bunch of justice agencies, attorney generals, state courts, federal courts, and so forth all over the country with different requirements, different consultants, and of course steady and aggressive competition.
The nature of our business it’s more like technical consulting than it is just stamping out software. It’s a very high service business. It’s very difficult. The computer science is time consuming and difficult. But just dealing with that much bureaucracy over that many different fields with the political realities…it’s just immensely difficult.
So it’s a very slow grinding business and that’s the nature of the game. We have always liked it because a business like this requires a company that’s very rich and very determined and is willing to keep plugging. And of course that’s what the Daily Journal has done.
How are we doing? Well that’s hard to judge, but I would say watching it quite closely that it’s like a pharmaceutical company with seven wonderful drugs in the pipeline. We have a lot in the pipeline that is very very important to us. Australia, Canada, California. We’re talking big big markets.
Our main competitor is Tyler Technologies which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and of course they’ve been at it a long time and are way bigger, but we are getting some significant volume and we have some very pleased customers.
How in the hell does the little Daily Journal Corporation attract the Government of Australia? Australia is a big place. But I’ve gotten to love the Australians and I think it’s going to succeed in Australia, mightily. And so it takes a long time and it’s hard work and it’s also very difficult work. Not everybody can do this. Just the mass of complexity.
We would never be where we are if we didn’t have Gerry Salzman to do everything he’s done over the last ten years. Anybody else would have failed at this.
Now Gerry is 80 and he and I have one thing in common, we both use canes. When I’m not in a wheelchair I use a cane. And so the idea of taking on the whole world when the chairman is 95 and the vice chairman is 89 and the chief executive that does all the work is 80 and uses a cane. It’s a very peculiar place that you people have come a long way to. What the hell are you thinking about? (Laughter)