The theme at my favorite conference this year was, who's going to be the first trillion dollar company. It was interesting the conversations circled around Apple, Amazon, and Tesla. Fun to think about, but if any of those three companies are going to strike a trillion, it will be a long time from now given population growth and the amount of time it takes to bring products to market. So who would be the first trillion dollar company? I don't think we've met the company yet or at least we haven't met the company in the form they'll be when they reach a trillion dollars. The first trillion dollar company will take advantage of scale, margins, and momentum in a way that we haven't seen before.
The conference organizer and one of the angel investors interviewed for my #1 bestselling book Startup Wealth, Howard Lindzon, had another interesting theme. The theme was that investors do best in a peloton. The conference itself was a peloton of sorts and the relationships that get fostered there are a peloton. This was a theme that came up in my book a lot, that the other investors mattered, that they made a difference and this was true in public and private markets. Having an activist Carl Icahn on the other side of your trade is much different than CALPERS.
Reflecting on my peloton from the conference...
- I had the pleasure of thanking Jack Schwager for his work in Market Wizards, if you've read the series and my book Startup Wealth, you'll see some similarities and I wanted to thank him for that inspiration.
- Met with the PsychSignal team, Finding the Squawk Box signal online. Building the largest trader sentiment data set.
- Mark Dow defended the free world again from irrationality about how markets work. While macro-economic textbooks aren't wildly complex, in practice they look nothing like the books.
- Met with Saambaa, and was impressed with their view on content and where it's headed.
- Both Todd Sullivan and e-trade confirmed millenials are going to buy homes and everything else CNBC is telling us they're not going to do.
- The sweet sounds of kids jumping in pools is great at 2:15 in the afternoon... at 2:15 in the morning, it's another story - especially when the kid is a 55 yr old man who get's hospitalized as a result.
- Met with SlingshotInsights, providing investors access to experts at cheaper prices, sorry hedgies.
- Got to hang out with the some of the brightest people in public and private market investing.
- Met with Spark Financial, yeah - tinder for stocks but it's actually done really well. I'm impressed.
- My new friends at OurCrowd was the rise in value that used to be obtained through public market investing, the double and triple digit multiples that investors in the Microsoft IPO and other IPOs were able to achieve is gone now, it's been priced out by private investors and so regardless of whether the market goes up or down from here, the ability to invest in high growth companies at a price to take advantage of that growth has moved permanently into private markets and we still haven't seen the full structural impact of this shift.
Oh the stock market? Yeah there was a lot about that too - didn't want to bore you. There were technical traders, value investors, and everything in between. Seemed everyone was in a consensus the market is going to hang out for a while. There were a few bulls and a few bears, but everyone everyone was a beaver - setting up shelter right in the middle.
Bitcoin came up too - the idea presented was that it would have to look more like gold if it would add value to the currency system. The fed may need to print
dollars fake money to buy bitcoin fake money in the future?