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TheStreet Open House

A Stock Market Freak and Tech Geek's Christmas Wish List

Pull up a bar stool. I can talk your ear off with stories like this.

Around this time last year over at Seeking Alpha, I chronicled stories of analysts from major firms missing big on Netflix (NFLX) only to fall off the face of the Earth thereafter:

... has anybody heard from Ingrid Chung at Goldman Sachs? ... After Netflix's disastrous Q2 and weak Q3 guidance in July, Chung waxed bullishly, not only reiterating a buy rating and her $330 price target, but raising EPS estimates from 2011 through 2013.

Before you read this next sentence, call some family, friends or co-workers over to your computer screen, because there's nothing like sharing a laugh with others around the holidays. For 2012, Chung predicted Netflix would post EPS of $7.69.

Why does this happen? Are these analysts as incompetent as politicians? Maybe. Or do they have ulterior motives?

We don't know. That's the problem. Many sell-side analysts are not straightforward propositions. The clock ticks on their usefulness.

Somebody Do Something Other Than a Smartphone or Tablet

I would give up the iPad I bought myself for Christmas if this came true. We need innovation in tech. Not a bunch of Apple copycats and ankle biters.

Everybody just has to do a smartphone now. At Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Meg Whitman basically says her company needs to do a phone because ... well ... everybody else is. Best Buy (BBY) recently released it's own no-purpose-serving tablet. And, of course, there's underachieving Google (GOOG) determined to start a price war with Apple.

It's the stuff yawns and abject failure is made of. Somebody. Please. Do something different! Is the iPod -- and its evolution -- the last real true innovation we can touch that we'll ever see?

Somebody Execute a Gutsy Turnaround

Plenty of companies require wholesale transformations. Best Buy. HP. Dell (DELL). All examples of companies in need of massive metamorphoses, yet they float a mix of status quo maintenance and feigned attempts at feeble change.

The last real turnaround with guts that I recall took place at Domino's Pizza (DPZ). Several years ago, CEO Patrick Doyle took an enormous chance and trashed Domino's publicly. Then, in less than a year, Domino's not only improved the product drastically and rebuilt the brand, it turned itself into a tech company of sorts with an excellent online/mobile ordering system and a fantastic iPad app.

Tech companies, interestingly, can learn from a pizza company. If it's really that far gone, we might need more than help from Santa.

My Holiday gift to you: one of my favorite YouTube videos, chronicling the Domino's Pizza turnaround.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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