If you have followed this letter since its inception you know this.
When I launched as A Clue...to Internet Commerce in 1997, I often warned about the dot-bomb while in the middle of the dot-boom. I was looking three years out, which made it hard for me to enjoy the good times as they rolled.
Later, after the bomb dropped, I looked for more optimistic takes. That's when I hit upon Moore's Law, in all its permutations. Since I had no other work to do I turned that into a book, which you know as The Blankenhorn Effect. (Think I should update it? Write and let me know.)
Once growth began again, I looked at a trend I was certain could create a new boom, three years out. This was the World of Always On, a wireless network used as an applications platform. I flogged this through 2003 into early 2004.
After I became involved in politics, and had my heart broken, I began looking again at what might happen in the future, creating the novels The Chinese Century and The American Diaspora. After I returned home emotionally, I began re-examining the patterns that had made me believe in Dean, and saw a generational crisis coming, three years out. This resulted in my work on open source politics at www.danablankenhorn.com.
The point is this letter has never lived in the moment. It has usually lived in the future, looking for Clues from the past to explain what might change next. And I have done this throughout my career. I foresaw the end of the Houston oil boom at my first job in 1978. I foresaw the rise of the Internet as early as 1983, and began making my living here in 1985.
In terms of money, which is the main topic of this letter, this has been a mistake. I have had a tough time enjoying or capitalizing on present trends, knowing they would end.