I'm amazed by how fast society has been able to embrace technology to accommodate social distancing rules.
I don't seem to be alone in this amazement. A new wave of techno-optimism is taking over the internet - and smart people who were previously pessimistic about society and productivity are suddenly turning optimistic.
The reasons are quite simple:
The pandemic has massively accelerated the growth of technology adoption. That, in turn, will have positive ripple effects on the speed of development of new technologies. In the medium-term, it could boost productivity to levels not seen in decades.
Peter Thiel, a billionaire early investor in Facebook, famously said in 2013 that "we wanted flying cars. Instead, we got [Twitter]".
However, he recently called 2020 the year the new economy replaced the old one - a watershed moment.
And I agree.
Why that's important to you...
There are two reasons you should pay attention to this:
1. More than ever before, anyone with knowledge and an internet connection can build a remote business with virtually no start-up costs. For that, the Internet is the greatest equalizer in history.
If you've ever wanted to start an online business, now is the time. The internet gives anyone immediate and free leverage to scale a profitable business pursuing your own curiosities and passions (and if you want help, just reply to this email).
2. To invest successfully for the next decade, you can no longer ignore new, technology-oriented businesses. The difference in returns between "old economy companies" and "new economy businesses" is STAGGERING.
You can no longer afford to say "I don't understand", or "I don't know what to do". It's clear now that your pension, government bonds, or bank stocks aren't going to save you. They'll be gone sooner than you think.
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Take note: Bitcoin passed the $23,000 mark yesterday.
I don't want this weekly missive to be about Bitcoin, so I'll just say this: I'm still buying more today, and will keep buying. No, you didn't miss the boat. And no, there's no "next Bitcoin."
[The fund I use to hold my Bitcoin - GBTC - is up 166% since September. Yes, new economy.]
Quote of the week: "The Information Age will be the age of upward mobility. It will afford far more equal opportunity for the billions of humans in the part of the world that never shared in the prosperity of the Industrial Age" - The Sovereign Individual (1999).
Best podcast I listened to: 75 Hard - A tactical guide to winning the mental war with yourself[more on that below]
Best Tweet I came across: My journey from depressed to happy
Book that I'm re-reading: The Sovereign Individual. The 21st century will see sovereign, digital - Internet - citizens sprout around the globe, empowered by technology [who will eventually also use the native currency of the Internet.... just saying].
What I'm fascinated by: the rise of decentralization.
I think the move away from centralization and toward decentralization is the single biggest economic shift in the past 260 years.
The Industrial Age created, first the first time in history, a centralized and hierarchical society at scale, with bosses, schedules, and middle-level managers.
But the Information Age has reversed this trend. More than ever, individuals are empowered to work for themselves, and the optimal size of a company is shrinking as it becomes more frictionless to outsource parts of businesses than to have them in-house.
In the end, we might all end up as high-quality creative workers who operate an Uber-like knowledge economy (hence, why reputation, and brand, are important).
Social media, cryptocurrencies, and more recently, remote work, are just the beginning of this trend.
Anything else I think you should know: In January, I'm doing the 75 Hard Challenge by Andy Frisella.
If you haven't heard of it, it's a completely masochistic self-discipline regimen that dictates that for 75 days straight, you must:
Exercise twice a day, for 45 min each time, including one workout outside - no matter the weather
Drink no alcohol
Stick to one diet of your choosing, with no cheat meals whatsoever - none.
Drink a gallon of water
Read 10 pages of non-fiction
Take a progress picture
If you as much as eat an M&M or miss a workout, you have to start from Day 1 again.
The goal is to challenge yourself and develop iron self-discipline in the process.
I've found that implementing hard rules and habits in my life is easier than "winging it" i.e. it's much easier to be a complete vegan than to eat meat "once in a while when you want" if you love meat and are trying to reduce it.
I'll be doing the Navy Seal Special Warfare training for exercise, and a whole-foods (mostly) plant-based diet (I'm keeping certain fish).
If you're interested in doing the challenge with me, I encourage you to read about it here, listen to this podcast, and then reply to this email. I'm putting together an accountability group so we can kick ass side by side.