In the spring of 1860, the communication industry took off. The United States had become bi-coastal, and information needed to spread across the miles. American innovation saddled up. On an April morning, paper messages left a small town in Missouri bound for California. They traveled 2,000 miles at the speed of a horse. It was a 10-day trip. Much cooler than text, tweet or instagram; this was the PONY EXPRESS.
Our young nation was captivated by its existence. It was a select crew that rode the pony. The posters went like this: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Mark Twain described the institution well – “There was no idling time for a pony rider on duty. He rode fifty miles without stopping, by daylight, moonlight, starlight, or through the blackness of darkness — just as it happened.” The Pony Express was celebrated, it was glamorized, and it lasted just 18 months. “High-tech” replaced “low-tech”, and in came the telegraph. Electronic communication came to life. The Pony Express was done.
Today, information travels at the speed of light and spans the globe. Planet earth is more connected than ever. Innovation has brought slick devices that basically run our lives these days. They’re phones. They’re notebooks. They’re tablets. They’re transaction machines. And now they’re also wearable.
This week, Jude went to a Georgetown Alumni event on the Google campus. The campus is something to see. She tried on Google GLASS which delivers sharp visibility to the human eye like nothing ever before. At the tap of a finger you can access the web, talk on the phone and verbally text or email messages. They’re going on sale soon. It’s only the beginning. Jude also visited with a company which makes intelligent wristbands that chronicle how you sleep, move and eat. It’s like an ongoing diagnostic test for your body. Wearable technology is really taking hold, and we expect to see much more with further advancements in watches and even clothing. What’s next? Stay tuned. We’re investing there.
Today’s Market is always awake. Global events have great impact on investments. Today’s Market acts and reacts; it anticipates, discounts expected events, and moves forward. For the last five years the US has been the biggest driver for global markets. It’s been the nucleus for investment and innovation. We began the New Year ripe for a sell-off after a spectacular 2013. We’re finally getting it.
Technology makes things happen today, better and faster than we ever imagined. And there’s just no stopping it. But at times it comes at the expense of patience, because we collectively have become used to immediate results. Investors have become too short-term focused. Innovators are not. 10 days can seem like forever today, but it was light speed to the pony.
Have a nice weekend. We’ll be back dark and early on Monday.
By Mike Frazier