The Blueprint ’10

8 Jan

JENESIS Magazine (Its not a movement, its evolution defined)

Learn from the last decade, make money in the next.

The champagne has been popped, the ball has dropped and now it’s time to get down to business in a new decade.  It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting next to my generator with a can of pork-and-beans and a flashlight because the world as we knew it was supposed to come to a halt when all the computers crashed during Y2K.  It turns out that Microsoft and Home Depot just decided to play a big joke on us…but what a great way to sell new laptops and plywood!

 Though that joke wasn’t very funny, I think that we can learn a lot from Y2K and many of the events of the past decade.  Here’s your blueprint for getting your paper right in the ‘10s.

 What Goes Up, Must Come Down (then goes back up)

The 2000s were full of ups and downs.  We entered the decade riding a wave on which we thought sites like Pets.com would become the next Wal-Mart and any jackass could put “e” in front of anything and raise $100 million in an IPO (why oh why didn’t I start eSocks when I had the chance!).  Well, that wave turned into weak ripples when we realized how much it cost to ship pet food (besides, can you really afford to wait for kitty litter to arrive in the mail?) and stocks like eToys.com went from a price of $84 per share down to 9 cents! Lots of people lost their shirts when they didn’t sell as soon as it became clear that those high stock prices didn’t make any sense.

Ahh, but we love a good comeback story, and the market came back with a vengeance.  This time instead of the e-geeks, it was the house flippers that led the market to new highs.  Inexplicably, banks started loaning homeless bums $200,000 to buy abandoned townhouses and to go on a Home Depot shopping spree in hopes of selling it to the next idiot for $500,000 in six weeks.  It worked…until it didn’t, and HGTV almost helped usher in the new Great Depression.

But just before the soup kitchens opened back up, the market decided to rebound…again, by going up over 50% from March ’09 until the end of the year.  Way to end on a high note!

The point is, yes, investing can be scary at times, but the market has taken a licking and kept on ticking.  You need to be in the game; just don’t run your portfolio like the Detroit Lions.

What’s Next On the Menu?

 Back in 2000, I thought I was extra cool because I had a Motorola StarTac.  It was probably the smallest phone around at the time, and while Jay Z was still talking about “Motorola two way paging”, I could get pages on my phone! I like being ahead of the curve.  But was I?

 Not so much.  There was a guy named Steve Jobs who was waaaaaaay ahead of the curve.  First he reinvented the computer game with the first iMac (bye-bye ugly desktops).  Then he changed the portable music game with the first iPod (bye-bye Sony Walkman).  Then he stole the music business right out from under the noses of the record execs with iTunes (bye-bye $22 CDs with one hot song).  Then he forever altered the mobile phone market with the introduction of the iPhone…(bye-bye silly StarTac phone).

If you want to be really successful, start thinking about what’s next.  There are tons of things that we have now, that we couldn’t even conceive of at the start of the decade.    What industry will be the next to change?  TV, movies, electric cars?  Figure that out and you can make a mint.

 Everybody Meet Mr. Me Too

Speaking of good ideas, don’t get discouraged into thinking that you need to have a PhD in engineering in order to come up with the next big thing.  There are plenty of businesses out there that are making a lot of money, but haven’t yet changed with the times and no one has challenged them…yet.  There’s nothing wrong with seeing a good business and saying, “Hey, I can do that too.  Only, I can do it much better!”  Think about it; Netflix delivered us from evil late fees.  The internet killed wounded the print magazine and newspaper business and saved us subscription fees.  And let’s not forget the granddaddy of them all, Google.

Google, the BASF of the internet, didn’t invent search, it just made search better…and a lot more profitable.  Remember you used to use Lycos, Excite, AltaVista, AskJeeves etc. until Google came around and became a verb?  Two Stanford grad students took an established business model, beat the pants off of everybody already doing it, went public in a 2004 IPO and became billionaires.  Do you get it class?  Copying on tests…bad.  Copying in business…good!

I can just hear you now, “But Rob, the Google founders DO have PhDs in engineering.”  Sure they do, but there are also millions of people wearing the Snuggie right now.  Do you need a PhD to come up with that?

No More Excuses

When you think about it, the 2000s were really a revolutionary decade.  There were a lot of firsts. First female Speaker of the House. First African American Oscar winner. First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.  First African American President.  First golfer to have an affair outed by sixteen skanks alleged mistresses in one week.  Who saw any of these things coming (no pun intended)?

This is extremely bad news for the lazy individuals that we all know and love.  Until this decade, it was easy to sit back and complain about why you couldn’t accomplish the things that you wanted to.  With all of these firsts, though, those excuses are gone.  What do you do now when you realize that “Da Man” holding you back is…well…YOU?

It’s great to look back as long as it can help you move forward.  Hopefully these tips will help you make this decade even better than the last.  But before we go too far, can someone please tell me what happened to Tony Soprano? 

Read more from the January Issue of Jenesis Magazine here.

 Rob Wilson has a wealth management practice where he provides financial advice and guidance to professional athletes and entertainers.  Be sure to check out robwilson.tv or follow Rob on Twitter @robwilsontv for more advice or to contact Rob with your financial questions.

 

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One Response to “The Blueprint ’10”

  1. Joanne Wallington January 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Great article, Rob. And oh so true. I’m poking my chest out a little more and really believing in my vision, foreign language immersion from birth for ALL children. Keep it up.

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