It’s the feeling of a major market top, of the deep breath before the plunge.
I spent most of 1999 screaming about it through my newsletter, a-clue.com. When the top came, the purchase of Time Warner by AOL showing the highest possible valuation for Internet assets, I knew the top had been reached and the Internet boom was over.
This did not save me. I lost all my work, just like everyone around me. In 2002 and 2003 I made zero dollars. My investments plummeted along with everyone else’s. It took years for me to get back to even.
After the fall, it took me a long time, and a lot of reporting, to find an investment thesis that would work, and that would get me on the path of positive economic change. But clouds, and devices, have been that path.
What’s been growing this decade are those companies that can justify the capital expense of cloud through cash flow earned somewhere else. Amazon does this with commerce, Apple does it with phones, Google does it with search, Microsoft does it with software, and Facebook does it with social. In China, Alibaba does it by making markets between producers and consumers, Baidu does it with search and Tencent does it with chat.
These are the market’s winners. Everyone else is a loser. Retail is a loser, oil is a loser, resources and manufacturers are losers no matter what Trump may do, transportation is a loser, and any kind of service that can be turned into an app is a loser. Ultimately, even Tesla is a loser. All the great tech names of the past – HP, IBM, the phone companies, they’re all going away, or have gone away. They’re dust in the wind. Computers scale in ways people do not. You are either there or you’re nowhere.