The Ginormous and The Niche …and The Ambien Stock Market of 2017

Longish post…I will make the rest of the week lighter I promise….here goes…

Pre internet the world was all ‘ball bearings’. While the biggest and best ball bearing companies continue to thrive, the internet has created a dizzying pace of digital ‘bundling and unbundling’.

There is no rest in this era. You must continue to bundle, unbundle, build, buy, bet it all and hoard if you want to rule the web for more than a moment.

The Snapchat S1 and IPO amplify the discussion once again. Even at $25 billion, one can use the word ‘demise’ and make good sense . The Instagram attack/strangle move on Snapchat makes me appreciate the giant real-time and weird niche of Twitter. As big as Twitter is, it’s still niche. They have not come to terms with it from a cost perspective, but the market is forcing them to focus. The new Twitter search and explore button is good. The content within the tab is underwhelming, but as an addict, we hope they get it right and feed my addiction bigly and betterly! All said, at $10 billion today, Twitter seems like a better relative value stock than Snapchat and I hold some shares to keep me feeling alive.

So, in this Facebook/Google/Tencent world of 2017, I got nostalgic and was looking back at some old blog posts on the magic of the niche and the vertical over the horizontal.

I live in the niche and the deep verticals. Most of Social Leverage’s angel investments that get me most excited started as niche products solving a personal pain point – Robinhood, Chart IQ, Lifelock, GolfNow to name a few. My own Wallstrip was super niche (a video show about stocks at all-time highs), yet if I was to start a web video company in 2017, I would attack it the same way. Stocktwits is niche. My favorite blogs, Stocktwits follows and Twitter follows are masters of their niches and have a’special purpose‘.

Speaking of niche, the internet, and ‘special purpose’ – I bring you Ben Thompson who says ..’we all underestimate the scale of the internet’. I am a huge fan (everyone here knows) of Ben Thompson. He understands strategy and the internet in a way that makes me think the markets could be undervalued (this post was from 2013).

Ben just gave a great talk on the subject of media and the big tech giants. Peter Kafka followed up with a great interview of Ben. Ben is doing something magical and inspiring in an era of the ginormous. Because the ginormous entities tend to swallow the niche, it is fun to watch Ben stay true to the power of his passion while leveraging the internet. I urge you to watch it all. Ben speaks fast so 30 minutes feels like 12. He offers a fantastic roadmap on how to build a niche yet bigly publishing business.

Market Footnotes

The market is not scared of Donald Trump. I won’t argue with the market. This is not a Trump rally or a Fed rally or a boating accident…it is the ‘Ambien’ stock market of 2017. Not even an invasion of Sweden could wake it.

S&P 500: 45 Trading days without a 1% intraday move, the most peaceful market in history. $SPX #Serenity

— Charlie Bilello, CMT (@charliebilello) Feb. 21 at 08:21 PM

To give you some perspective on the size, glory, opportunity and good fortune Donald Trump inherited – here is a chart of the relative size of stock markets around the world in 1899 and 2016:

The all-time high list for stocks is really a wide array of huge companies and household names at the moment. Like I said …ginormous is in!

Carl Quintanilla gathers a few of the all-time highs here:

Seeing the continued domination by Costco, Home Depot and Ebay – Amazon still has a lot of winning and markets to take. Or maybe they never do stop these great remaining retailers (Autozone could be lumped in here too though it has struggled of late).

It’s fitting that CONagra is at all time high, same as tobacco, Goldman and chemicals.

This was a funny screen grab of a CNBC euphoria moment today:

It was only a few months ago that CNBC trotted out their punching bag and always wrong Dennis Gartman with this beauty:

@howardlindzon Here's a screencap. Next will post motherload for future reference https://archive.org/details/CNBC_20161122_220000_Fast_Money/start/893/end/953?q=sell+everything

— HalfwayToMemphis (@HalfwayToMemphis) Feb. 21 at 05:03 PM

The internet is awesome.


Also published on Medium.