‘Too Small to Fail‘ (circa October 2008) is in full bloom in our household as 2013 approaches.
My personal top priorities…
1. Saving money because our health care provider (insert any NAME) will shit on us when we need them most.
2. Lie, steal or cheat your way (like the bank you are trying to borrow from) to lock in the lowest rate you will likely ever see in two lifetimes.
3. Do not underestimate the government’s greed.
This was an incredibly intense year.
So much damage by mother nature and guns. So much tragedy.
The NRA did us a favor with their lunatic reaction to Sandie Hook. If we can’t use their thinking to get some weapons concessions in 2013, we suck. Even assuming guns are the best freedom we have, the freaks in charge of this freedom have overplayed their hand. I have added them to the list of people you can punch (bankers remain on the list in perpetuity).
My saying ‘Punch a banker, hug an engineer’ needs multiple appended notes. Engineers are no longer people you can blindly hug. Some should be smacked. 2013 will not be as blindly kind to engineers as it has been since 2003.
For me, the tragedies and government nonsense, have made writing difficult the last few months. I had too great a year in comparison and it finally feels ok to start writing again in my optimistic and silly style.
Financially, 2012 was the best of my life. Acquisitions of Buddy Media (Salesforce), GoInstant (Salesforce), Assistly (Salesforce), OntheAir (Yahoo) and GetGlue. I sold my Twitter stock. Other companies that we made angel investments in have gone on to raise 100’s of millions in 2012 (Ticketfly, Tubemogul, Retrofitme). Lifelock went public. I have the benefit of having ‘seen’ the endzone and that has changed things for me. Once you have seen it, you can more easily visualize it. It is no guarantee of future success, just an edge.
The reality check of 2012 remains the same for me since 2009….I can’t get a conventional mortgage. The TARP banks have been a blind spot for me in this long ‘inconceivable rally’ since March 2009. I despise everything about them, from their stupid retail outlets to their compensation packages, to the lack of ‘perp’ walks. They don’t deserve to be here, but they are stronger than ever so we must live with it.
My family’s health is great, but 2012 was by far the most ridiculously expensive year for being healthy. My heart goes out to those in need of the medical system. I went for a simple blood test and prostate exam recently. My LDL (bad cholesterol) was over 200. My doctor said ‘wow’. Not the good ‘wow.’ I can take a myriad of different statins of course, but thought it would be prudent to get a placque test for my heart and see if drugs could be avoided for the time being. My doctor called back and said the insurance denied the test as ‘experimental’ In essence, they would rather pay to have me on drugs the rest of my life. The system is beyond repair so it’s up to the individual to fight and learn. Thank goodness for the internet and a strong social web.
Stocktwits has really started to grow fast. I am confident our network will triple in size in 2013 and our focus on community and curation will continue to be appreciated.
A lot of the success comes from forgoing instant gratification. We don’t use tricks to get users and traffic on Stocktwits and now I rarely trade stocks which fits better with my investing personality.
I started blogging in 2005 and although it started as more of a snarkfest ‘putzoryutz.com’…I settled upon – ‘Trends…Find Them, Ride Them and Get Off!’ I have focused my writing on the opportunities I see in big trends.
I don’t know why 2012 was my best year, it is likely related to the longer-term and consitent apprach I have taken the last 7 years.
To review my style…I invest in a barbell approach with my capital and that of my limited partners. I am very price and entrepreneur sensitive in my angel investing. I am completely insensitive to the those two things with my public investing. Large, fast growing companies with momentum have little to do with P/E ratios or CEO’s. They are moving because of a catalyst and money flow.
With all this in mind, let’s get to my predictions:
1. Taxes will steadily piss us off but there is nothing you can do in 2013. The mood is what you must watch.
2. Health care costs will skyrocket. You are alone on this one. Save or die. Even if you save well, find the right doctor and make them your best friend.
3. The verticalization of the web will intensify. Facebook ($FB) went public and bought Instagram. Twitter ($TWIT) needs to get public to afford to play the verticalization game. Google (long $GOOG) thinks they can do anything. Amazon (long $AMZN) will be relentless about verticalization of e-commerce.
4. With ‘Verticalization’ comes community. The term ‘community’ is overused and undervalued. Adobe jumpstarted 2013 with it’s late 2012 buy of Behance (I am long $ADBE). The big money will always chase the platform that can be global, the interesting money will now invest in the vertical. Think channels.
5. LinkedIn (long $LNKD) will be a very active acquirer in 2013. I believe they will make a few big acquisitions along with tuck-ins like my 2012 fave Rapportive. My favorite big idea for them remains Angellist. The financial industry is pathetic. Change will not come unless it is forced upon the old guard. Most bankers, investors in the world have some kind of profile set up on LinkedIn. With the right feature set, they would transact on LinkedIn. It would be exciting to see this happen.
6. At some point in the first half of 2013 we will see the mother of all selloffs in financial markets. It will be fast and relentless, but short. The markets are just different now with everyone so hyperconnected. The trigger will be something that is page 5-10 today. I have NO idea or interest in positioning for an event that I have never been able to time in the past.
7. Online commerce finally goes offline beyond Apple’s dominance. Microsoft’s retail foray is one of the abominations of all time. It did not have to be so bad and in 2013, either Google or Amazon will make a much better attempt at a retail presence. My outside bets for the same attempt are Kayak (Priceline), Intuit (long $INTU) and Facebook.
Jeff Jordan’s piece on the nightmare for malls is a ‘tipping point’ in this direction as cost becomes a no brainer for the big Internet Brands
9. Hardware is cool. Cisco tried to be cool with their acquisition of Flip Video. GoPro is just getting cool and if they stay independent will be the feel good hardware tech story of 2013. It’s time for a swing towards cool hardware again
10. Apple will do something awesome and surpass 2012 highs. It won’t be the TV either as I don’t think there is enough margin or money in that business for 2013. It might just be a state of the art iOS camera. Photos are still the big thing for chronicling life and so I expect more firewroks in the photo and camera space. The iMac will be a monster for the desktop. Man cannot live by tablet alone (long $AAPL).
Hope this helps.