Cycles | Trends | Fads

“I’ve seen this movie!”

Some “new” process comes along and less-experienced folks think it is revolutionary. Silvers know that it is most likely to be a reiteration. More importantly, they have an idea about the eventual outcome.

How? Cycles, Trends and Fads
Cycles recur, Trends have legs, Fads disappear.
Know the difference.

I opened a recent presentation with this question:

“Raise your hand if you checked your social media before getting dressed this morning.”

As you might have guessed, many of the hands went up. I followed with this question:

“So, you opened your Netscape browser and went to your My Space account?”

What was the reaction then?

Some people laughed, some looked puzzled – the ones who had no idea that Netscape and My Space were pioneers in the online communications revolution.

Sears and Roebuck pioneered home delivery and continued to publish the Sears catalog even after Mr. Roebuck left the company. They dropped home shopping and did not bring it back even as Amazon and others began capitalizing on it. Sears announced they are opening new brick-and-mortar stores while watching the war between Amazon and Walmart. Those two are battling for consumer dollars with pricing, selection, robots, same-day delivery or pick-up, transactions without interactions and improving home delivery. In short, not what Sears is reported to be creating.

Yes, they are closing many Sears and K-Mart outlets. At the same time, they will be opening new stores that are 1/10th the size of the ones they are closing, have limited selection and, so far, have not announced anything new in delivery.

Are they returning to the old, “local merchant” model when the world is going for larger, faster and cheaper?

We’ve seen this movie before. Remember Woolco?

If the Big Boys cannot get it right, what makes us think we can?


Elon Musk is making noise about the future of the Tesla line. I hope he is successful because it will spur dynamic growth and change in a huge industry.

But we’ve seen this movie before. Preston Tucker and John DeLorean named their cars after themselves, made claims that could not be delivered and went down in failure because of financial and legal errors.

From Business Insider 4/5/2019:

  • Tesla’s legal and financial troubles came to a head this week as the company reported weak deliveries and its CEO went to court in Manhattan.

And from Forbes, 4/12/2019
So Much For Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3; Entry-Level Car Pulled From Website Amid Price Tweaks


The Internet Forever?

A Silver who follows many different cycles (financial, weather, technology, government, etc.) going back to 1500 BC, says that in a few years the United States will not be the leader in many categories, including the internet, that we are today.

Meanwhile, China is rapidly moving forward with 5G technology. Unlike the upgrade from 3G to 4G, this requires reinventing, not simply swapping out equipment. So, we can just stay with 4G, right?

The US, where the internet was birthed, now has overall some of the slowest 4G performers. Emerging countries that are only now going full-bore with technology will be a step or two ahead of us as they BEGIN with 5G. Right now, the only viable alternative is to rebuild America’s tech infrastructure with Chinese technology and “oversight,” despite the fits and starts of some domestic providers.

Any risks there?

Maybe you’ve seen this movie before. How many other American-invented technologies are being built elsewhere? Your TV, Smartphone, Tablet, Computer, etc.