I returned last week from my studies in Stanford and would like to share some of my thoughts.
Stanford is the heart of Silicon Valley where the head offices of Google, Facebook and Apple reside. You could say it is the home of innovation.
These days, there are three main narratives impacting investors.
Narrative 1: says that Wall Street caused the Global Financial Crisis and that the U.S. Government saved the economy.
Narrative 2: argues that the U.S. is not really in recovery. Anything good happening out there, a rising stock market or falling unemployment rates, is either a bubble or a lie.
What is interesting about all these narratives is that they are all government centric. They ignore the role of entrepreneurship.
In the past seven years, fracking has made the U.S. the most productive energy producer in the world. The cloud, smartphone’s, tablets, apps, 3-D printing, genetic mapping and testing, vertical farming and Big Data are all boosting productivity and profits at company after company.
The Federal Government have never fracked a well or 3-D printed a body part, QE didn’t create the cloud or Big Data, entrepreneurs did.
Palo Alto, CA, USA – Sept. 17, 2015: Stanford University Hoover Tower. Completed in 1941, the 50th year of Stanford University’s anniversary, the tower was inspired by the cathedral tower in Salamanca, Spain.
One of those entrepreneurs, Bill Gates, says we are on the verge of 3 amazing technological advances which will be the key drivers in economic growth.
- Advanced Robotics – In the U.S. manufacturing between 1993 and 2007 robots accounted for more than one tenth of total GDP growth over this period.
- A Cure for Alzheimer’s – The disease costs the U.S. 230 Billion per year, mostly to Medicare and Medicaid. A cure would immediately alter the budget of every state in the country, not to mention millions of lives.
- Super Cement – advances in materials science means for how you build things, how long it lasts, we are going to be able to build infrastructure that lasts 10 times as long as the cement rebar approach that we have today.
With all that economic pessimism, it is sure great to have visited the epicenter of innovation. This innovation will continue to provide long term shareholders with a growing income stream to live the lifestyle they desire.