I’m in San Francisco this week so I won’t be able to make the Q&A Chat scheduled for 2pm ET today. I have already learned a lot, have a new investing idea and hung out with George Gilder, David Callaway and a bunch of other smart people.
Here are the notes I made for my speech today. I have another speech tomorrow and I’ll send out my notes for that one later too. The first and most important trend that you should be investing in right now is — Kim Kardashian. Well, no.
#Selfies — and the platforms that enable them — are the most important trend in the world for investors for the next ten years.
All joking aside, people love to share their lives with the world and to see what others are doing with their lives. And so much of that is done through selfies, posting to social media, messaging with friends, Snapchatting, Periscoping, YouTubing and otherwise creating/consuming written, photo and video content with each other.
The citizens of the world spent more than ten billion combined hours on Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, Twitter and YouTube last month. That doesn’t include time spent on messaging platforms like Apple’s iMessage and Facetime, Facebook’s WhatsApp, Google’s Hangouts, TenCent’s WeChat and Microsoft’s Skype.
And what’s the one recurring theme when we’re doing all of that stuff with our smartphones, tablets and (ever less) computers? It’s all about us — what we’re doing, what we’re seeing or what we look like.
You heard me mention the word “platform” at the beginning of this speech. The idea of investing in platforms has been a central thesis of my Revolution Investing approach for the last fifteen years now and it’s served me very well. The aforementioned #Apps are platforms that enable the #Selfie- and self-obsessed world we live in, but just as important to note, is the platforms that enable #Apps themselves to exist — ie, iOS and Android.
So most of the names I’ve mentiond so far, are now and have been long positions for me personally, as I’ve bet my career and money on the #AppRevolution for the last seven years now — Facebook, Apple and Google. I have a long history with Twitter, including being a big bear on the company after its IPO and subsequent bubbling, turning bullish after it’d crashed, having lost money on that first investment and eventually selling it for a small loss before recently buying it back in the low teens. I’m still holding most of those shares. .
Now let’s drill down a little bit further and try to imagine what needs in the #Selfie/social media world will be addressed in years ahead.
First, do you notice that everybody in these images are missing the real-life event as they’re watching it on their smart phone even though they’re actually live at the event?!
Holding the smartphone up to record will be a funny flashback joke in movies targeted for twenty-somethings in 2025. The movie will feature a flashback scene from before the cute couple started having problems, where you see them holding their phones up and looking at their screens while missing a Justin Beiber concert, instead of raving at Coachella or seeing Usain Bolt win his 12th gold medal and other big current events from the mid 2010s. The flash back will finish when he gets falls off a cliff while looking at Pokemon Go on his smartphone only to be saved by the very girl who’s he’s now married to.
Anyway, the point is that people won’t be holding up their smartphones to record video. Wearable cameras, imbedded in your hat, your lapel, your earrings are one solution. How long before you see ads on the side of the electric-charging station for new eye procedures that can fix your cataract and imbed Ambarella chipsets right inside your corneas so you can stream everything you see when you’re awake? Being serious again for a moment, there’s clearly a huge opportunity for someone to address. Right now, GoPro and Sony and maybe Under Armour would be the most likely candidates to solve the hold-up-your-smartphone-and-miss-real-life experience.
Next week, I’ll feature three more Revolutionary Trends you need to be in front of. Til then, say “cheese”!
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