Tuesday, June 28, 2005


This morning between 5 AM and 6:15 AM, there was one pick up truck, one tractor, one walker and two joggers on the beach. It took until 6:15 for the sun to poke its way through the clouds on the horizon. The water was calm. The tide was out. I sat quietly on the balcony and peace was in the air.

Yesterday, my wife and I spent the day in remodeling activities. The good news, she allowed me to sit in furniture stores reading while she selected new sofas, chairs, tables, etc.

I read about the roaring 20's. GM, the hot-hot company during the roaring 20's, continued to make a profit every year of the great depression! Ford made the two most significant innovations in car building but GM was the more successful marketer. Ford standardized the parts to make the Model T in 1907 and invented the assembly line in 1914. The dramatic increase in productivity allowed Ford to double the wages of his employees and to cut the cost of the cars in half! GM caught up and passed Ford primarily through the use of installment credit.


Harry Dent makes a great comparison between the computer and the auto. Although the auto was improved with many add-on features such as automatic transmissions and air-conditioning over the years, it was many years before the auto lead to the massive construction of interstate highways. The boom years of the 50's and 60's were a direct result of the auto boom in the 20's.

The internet highway would not be possible without the computer. The internet highway is about to "take-off". My ability to blog wirelessly from Myrtle Beach is small but large at the same time. If I can execute my plan, over the next two years, I will blog from many different communities in several states and even countries. Whole communities are being built around the telecommute concept.

Dent lists a number of towns such as Aspen CO. where the majority of residents work at least part-time from their second homes. One of the reasons for the discrepancy in the payroll reports is because many online businesses are new small enterprises. In the past 3 or 4 years, there have been 2 to 3 million new jobs created but 9 million new bloggers.


One problem that has held back internet commerce has been fear of identity theft. PayPal has been one of the few surviving payment systems and it is largely confined to payment of auctioned items. Etrade now offers a password generator to help secure customers accounts. I for one am ready for biometric identification. I, as an old man, 55 and aging fast, cannot handle 15 user names and 15 passwords. I want my computer to smell me coming and log me on.

Based on my experience with Google, I believe its payment system will be a fine product. I look forward to the day of an integrated online payment system. Online banking systems we currently use still need work.


The efficiencies being gained through the use of internet and cell phone communications are still in the early stages. Last week was an interesting vacation week. I observed my daughters, their cousins and friends as they enjoyed a fun time at the beach without losing touch with their friends back home. Marilyn and I also enjoyed a great vacation but we never stopped working either. More than once, one or the other of us took calls while sitting under a beach umbrella. While watching Batman Begins (the best Batman Movie), we cut the cell phones off. Our youngest daughter, her first cousin and three of their friends do not have home phones. It is very natural for any of them to make a "long distance" cell phone call to ask a simple question. I still tend to explain to callers that I am not at home but at the beach. These young folks simply asked and answered business questions without mentioning their location. They are never out of touch and two of these young folks continued to work all week through an occasional phone call.

Yes, the internet and cell phone networks are like internet highways for cars. A lot more work will be accomplished at lower costs as we move into the final adoption phase of the internet.

I believe in investing in all sorts of industries. Even those that will benefit in only indirect ways from the internet. In the same way that interstate highways reduced the cost of supplies for all businesses, the internet will lower the cost of all businesses. Some businesses will be hurt but consumers will win.

We ate at Smokey Bones the other day. We like this middle of the road, moderately priced restaurant well enough that we will probably increase our stake in DRI ( Olive Garden and Red Lobster). We also very much enjoy Logan's Roadhouse and may add Cracker Barrel to our holdings.

The airlines have pulled back as the price of oil has risen. This is a buying opportunity. Be sure to diversify into several legacy carriers to give yourself great upside while keeping the risk as low as you can.

We will close on three more real estate deals this morning and then head for home. More blogging tomorrow.