Monday, May 23, 2005

Info vs. Oil; a Disney Tale


---close May 23, 2005

Drudge tonight has the “O WOW!” headline:

'GOOGLE' NOW VALUED AT $71 BILLION... More than Walt Disney Co and General Motors -- combined???!!!

My friend Stu Cooper, stockbroker extraordinaire and heads-up on the important trends, told me 30 years ago that energy is the source of wealth for the 20th century, but information would be the key to wealth in the 21st century. Stuart was not a conjurer, nor a medium, nor a practitioner of the “black arts,” whatever that means. But he was right! How’d he know? At the time I thought gasoline got us everywhere, even to the moon, what could we tangibly gain from “information?” Based on the graph above, Stuart proved smarter than me. Or he was a time-traveller who saw what email, search engines, immediate connection to all corners of the world via satellite—all of these could provide in terms of cash dollars.

Whatever Stu foresaw, or heard about, or understood—who would have imagined, back in the olden days of 1975, that Google--a web concept that flashes across our desktops and laptops as the arbiter of all knowledge—would be worth more money than General Motors and Walt Disney combined? Then again, back in 1975, who’d have thought we’d still be driving vehicles that use oil for fuel in 2005?

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