Thursday, March 18, 2010
LA-based(?) mobile games, apps and platform company Artificial Life (ALIF) claims to have had "a very positive year" in a press release announcing 2009 earnings issued Tuesday, but what they aren't telling you is that their Q4 clearly sucked. I'm still digging through their 10-K to determine what exactly transpired in Q4, but the more I dig and the more I talk to people in the industry about this company, the more there is about it that just don't seem quite right. Perhaps it's their 153 sq ft world headquarters (headcloset?) in LA, or perhaps it's their recent iPhone hyperbole which obfuscates the more probable sub-1mil paid download reality across their portfolio. It could be the queasiness I feel when I read that key elements of the company's 2010 strategy include über-buzzilicious initiatives in mobile green technology (whatever that is) and augmented reality. Or maybe it's just Artificial Life's oddball collection of promotional games, health care and real estate apps, as well as m-commerce and participation TV platforms, that no one I've ever met has ever used. Then again, it could be that despite regular claims of profitability, they seem to keep burning through cash. I know, I know it was just last May that I called these guys "the new hotness"... but whatevs, I think I was kinda digging Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" back then as well. At least I didn't make a $6.5mil investment in the company like 3M did back in October. One wonders what or who they'll be blamin' that on when ALIF dips back below $1 and encounters their next cash crisis.