CNBC's Jim Cramer has concluded that running a profitable, growing business in this market is kind of like walking a tightrope, with value investors who want to see cost-cutting on one side and growth investors who want to see spending on the other.
"Keeping both groups happy is a real high-wire act — in all honesty, I've never seen a CEO be able to pull it off for an extended period," he said.
What set him off on Tuesday? Google parent Alphabet's Monday night conference call, in which the technology giant's management team went over its fourth-quarter earnings report with shareholders and Wall Street analysts.
"Multiple analysts excoriated them ... for spending like a drunken sailor with no end in sight," Cramer said on "Mad Money." "However, what really threw me was a question tossed out by a very good analyst, Brent Thill from Jefferies."
Thill, a top tech analyst, asked management what they planned to do with the company's huge cash hoard. He pointed out that it "has doubled in the last five years to $109 billion" despite Alphabet's deal activity being much lower than that of its peers.
"Alphabet was circumspect with its answer, but I think Brent's question cuts to the core dilemma of being a big, profitable growth company, because, in a way, all of that cash can be a curse," Cramer said.
Click here for more on why big tech companies get flak for their cash — and what they can do about it.