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I didn’t get hit by a bus. But I did come down with the The Flu. Or something. I missed you.

It hasn’t been fun.

I slept all Saturday and all Sunday.

I’m just coming out of it.

My Rule: Aggressively attack. Tools:

+ A five day supply of Azithromycin antibiotic tablets USP 250 mg. I don’t know if I had viral or bacterial. But it was 50-50. Antibiotics had worked in the past. Maybe.

+ Mucinex. Over the counter concoction of everything from headache fixer (acetaminophen) to help getting my green stuff out faster. Check out Mucinex.com.

+ Lots of sleep. Really boring.

+ Lots of water. Even more boring.

It’s Thursday evening. I’m feeling better. I can actually type without fluffing up every second word.

This flu has been weird. I lost my appetite, and seven pounds in six days. Seven pounds!

But I read and read and read. Herewith a conclusion:

+ Stay away from things made in factories. Too expensive to start. Too expensive to crank up when things take off.

+ Stick with services — those made with software and deliverable over the Internet by the awesome factory in the sky — the cloud. See below for two lists.

+ Stick with services that stick. Your customers can’t go away because they now rely on your software to run their their business.

+ Stick with services that that can scale quickly. and cheaply. Amazon’s AWS is the ultimate scale quickly and cheaply. Salesforce is right up there. Ditto for Shopify.

The great news is startups are exploding.

Here’s an amazing list from the New York Times of February 10. You can’t invest in these. But glance the list. Pick some. Go to their web sites and see the future of our world.

These 50 Start-Ups May Be the Next ‘Unicorns’
CB Insights, a firm that tracks start-ups, analyzed a variety of data to create a list of 50 private companies around the world that are on a path to a $1 billion valuation.

HONG KONG
Airwallex
What it does: Makes a system that lets businesses send and collect money overseas

SAN FRANCISCO
Alto Pharmacy
An online pharmacy

SAN FRANCISCO
Amplitude
Makes analytics tools that help companies run digital businesses

BEIJING
Beisen
Makes talent management and measurement tools

SAN FRANCISCO
Benchling
Makes software for life science researchers and companies

NEW YORK
BetterCloud
Provides cybersecurity for cloud software companies

SAN FRANCISCO
Blend
Makes mortgage and consumer loan application software for lenders

NEW YORK
Braze
Makes mobile marketing software

LEAWOOD, KAN.
C2FO
A financial services platform that provides companies access to working capital

JAIPUR, INDIA
CarDekho Group
Offers online sales, financing and insurance for autos and education services

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
CargoX
A Brazilian start-up that uses technology to make trucking companies more efficient

SAN FRANCISCO
Carta
Provides equity management services for investors, founders and employees

SAN FRANCISCO
Checkr
Provides background checks of workers

LONDON
Citymapper
A map, transit and navigation app for cities

BANGALORE, INDIA
ClearTax
Makes software for filing taxes and managing investments

BERLIN
Contentful
Makes software for digital content

BANGALORE, INDIA
DailyHunt
A news and entertainment app

SUNNYVALE, CALIF.
Datrium
A cloud storage provider

PALO ALTO, CALIF.
DeepMap
Makes mapping technology for autonomous vehicles

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Deputy
Makes software for companies to manage staff schedules and timesheets

SAN FRANCISCO
Domino Data Lab
Makes software for managing data

PALO ALTO, CALIF.
Earnin
A short-term loan provider

SAN FRANCISCO
Embark Trucks
Makes self-driving semi trucks

SAN FRANCISCO
Expanse
Provides large organizations with security for internet-connected devices

SAN FRANCISCO
Faire
A wholesale marketplace for boutiques and small vendors

SAN CARLOS, CALIF.
Farmers Business Network
An online platform for farmers to share and analyze data, buy supplies and sell crops

BOSTON
Flywire
Makes payments software for global transactions

SAN FRANCISCO
Front
Makes email collaboration software

NEW YORK
Glossier
Makes skin-care and beauty products

MEXICO CITY AND SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Grow Mobility
Dockless bikes and scooter services

SAN FRANCISCO
HackerOne
Finds and fixes software vulnerabilities

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
KRY
Provides services for patients to consult doctors through mobile devices

WASHINGTON AND SAN FRANCISCO
MapBox
Provides mapping technology

OAKLAND, CALIF.
Marqeta
Provides payments infrastructure for issuing physical, virtual or tokenized payment cards

BEIJING
Medbanks Network Technology
Making oncology systems

GUANGZHOU, CHINA
Miaoshou Doctor
Building online communication between doctors and patients

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
Onshape
Making cloud-based design tools for manufacturing

SEATTLE
Outreach
Provides a sales engagement platform

BANGALORE, INDIA
Practo Technologies
Connecting patients to health care providers using tech

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
QuintoAndar
A residential real estate rental platform

BANGALORE, INDIA
Razorpay
Provides payments technology to online merchants

AUSTIN, TEX.
RigUp
An online platform for contract workers in the energy industry to find work

ATLANTA
SalesLoft
Provides technology for companies to increase sales

SAN FRANCISCO
Segment
Provides a platform for gathering and managing data

NEW YORK
SiSense
Makes software for analyzing and visualizing data

SAN FRANCISCO
Sonder
Provides apartment-like hotels in cities

SAN FRANCISCO
Standard Cognition
Provides artificial intelligence tools for physical stores

SAN FRANCISCO
Upgrade
An online lending platform

SHANGHAI
Xiangwushuo
A sharing platform that lets people swap used items

NEW YORK
Zola
Online wedding registries and wedding planning tools

What stocks to buy now

I’ve updated my list of “Stocks, ETFs AND FUNDS WE LIKE & OWN” in the right and column on the web site — here.

Back in December I panicked and sold too many fine stocks.

What drove home my utter stupidity was this one chart:

From the beginning of October last year to the nadir the day before Christmas, CRM lost about 25% of its value. That was nearly three months of gloom, doom and panic — searching in the tea leaves for predictions. Was the economy collapsing? Were the China Talks falling apart? Was the Fed going to tank the economy with higher interest rates? None of that was to pass. CRM is now higher than it was last year.

Favorite recent New Yorker cartoons




HarryNewton
Harry Newton. While I was holed up in bed, son Michael took himself for four days to Maui rented a SUV from Turo (another soon-to-be unicorn)  and tootled around the island. He had a ball. He made a new friend.

And enjoyed a free shower from one of Maui’s many beautiful waterfalls: