I am seeing a LOT of startups that make up my headline. I quickly pass.
Right now it just makes sense to own OpenTable.com $open (I did) or Intuit.com $intu (long). They are the liquid, public versions of my stealth and fictional startup.
Nobody liked OpenTable.com when they went public in 2009. It has only tripled in 2010. OpenTable.com has the distribution with the restaurateurs and the brand name with the consumer. It took 10 plus years to get there. With $80 million in sales and $1.5 billion in market cap most smart people I know think it’s overvalued. That was 30 points ago. OpenTable.com will buy any talent and feature it needs. It is a much smarter way to own these fancy new start-ups and that is what the big money is doing. These momentum spurts can last much longer than you think. They are not that complicated. It helps to understand what’s happening in the start-up world at any given time and that’s why I love the intersection where I sit.
It’s not just shmendricks like me that are trend following. Lars Rasmussen of Google Map fame is practicing it. “I think if you were to ask me two or three years ago if Facebook was going to be this big, I wouldn’t have picked it.’ He is heading from Beautiful Sydney to so so San Francisco to follow the trend.