Here’s a simple formula for understanding mega-change – the kind of sweeping political, social and financial revolutions that affect us all.
It comes down to three things:
The right technology, at the right time, in the right hands.
Let me prove that to you. And let’s start with a historical example. It’ll seem strange at first, but you’ll see the relevance as we go on. Let’s talk about Henry VIII.
Henry reigned at perhaps one of the most important inflection points in history. That’s true on a national and global (or at least European) level.
He’s famous – at least in the narrow way we teach our kids in school – for having six wives. And of course for beheading two of them, starting with Anne Boleyn.
But it was the backdrop of the Reformation that made all that possible, and shaped the execution of Henry’s ideas (pun intended there, couldn’t help it – sorry).
The Reformation was a religious, social and political earthquake
But I’d argue it was technology that made it possible. We don’t think of the printing press as technology now. In the 15th and 16th century though, it was huge.
Why? Because it allowed ideas to be reproduced and spread at a massively increased rate. That’s what enabled Martin Luther’s thinking to flourish and create the backdrop for the Reformation here in Britain.
There had been reformers before Luther. But without the printing press, they didn’t have the ability to communicate with other people as quickly or efficiently.
That technology helped create the context for the Reformation. It was the right technology, at the right time. It both empowered and shaped much of what Henry VIII did during his reign.
I think there’s a modern day parallel with… well, Donald Trump.
Wait! I’m not here to castigate or defend him. You can make your own mind up on that. But I want to show you how the forces that are enabling Trump to disrupt the established order are the same as they were 500 years ago. We’re seeing the right technology, at the right time, in the right hands.
Twitter is the 21st century printing press
It’s not as crazy an idea as it sounds. You may like and use Twitter, or you might not. But it’s hard to deny that in the hands of Trump it has become a viciously effective weapon of communication.
The printing press allowed new ideas to flourish and bypass the “traditional” media – which back then was generally monks copying texts out by hand (so the Church).
It wrested control of information and ideas away from the Church and allowed people with dissenting opinions the chance to communicate directly with their audience. The internet did the same thing. Trump’s Twitter feed takes that idea and multiplies it by a thousand.
It’s another force of disintermediation. Trump is able to bypass the mainstream media – or even the non-mainstream media – and talk directly to the world. Whether that’s a good thing is beside the point. Trump has pushed the use of Twitter to its natural, logical conclusion.
And he’s done so at precisely the right time
Just when people’s discontent with the political, financial and journalistic establishment peaked, Trump appeared with disruptive ideas, a disruptive way of expressing himself and a disruptive medium for communicating with people.
Ah, you’re saying, but how many wives has he had? Good point.
But it’s certainly true that Trump is rewriting the rules of the game. He’s a “historical arsonist”, to borrow a phrase from Dan Carlin, attacking and sweeping away the old order, the old way of doing things. That’s true on a financial level too. His tweets are market-moving events. Twitter gives him the freedom to “shoot from the hip” about anything he doesn’t like. If that’s a company you’re invested in… look out below.
“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!”
That’s just one example of a tweet from last year. I could give you scores of them. It won’t end. In fact, firms all over the US have now started planning their response in case they find themselves in the firing line. How do you respond when Trump tweets his displeasure about your business and your share price drops?
Count yourself lucky he can’t have you executed, I suppose. Off with their heads!
Four disruptive stocks that could shoot up ten times or more
So what’s the next technology that could be as disruptive? That’s the question I tried to answer on Wednesday evening when I hosted a live event with tech expert Sam Volkering, dedicated to showcasing stocks that could make you ten times your money.
Not many stocks have that kind of potential. Finding them is hard. Finding multiple stocks with this kind of potential is even harder.
But that’s exactly what Sam’s been doing. You’ve missed the live event. But I recorded the key parts of the presentation for you to review. If you’re interested in finding out more about these opportunities (we discuss four in particular) you should follow this link now. You’ll need at least 45 minutes free. It’s worth your time.
Have a great weekend,
Associate Publisher, Capital & Conflict
Category: Investing in Technology