Skip to content

Tech stocks boom. Some are now cheap. My Tarzan Theory. Plus a hot new unicorn company that will put you to sleep (really– that’s its goal)

From the New York Times BITS newsletter:

The news might not surprise you: Everyone in Silicon Valley is still raking in cash. Apple is the country’s most valuable public company again, after briefly losing the title to Amazon. Facebook has shattered its own considerable records for profit and revenue, despite increasing scrutiny of its business practices.

And a flock of companies is set to join the tech giants in the public market. Slack, the workplace chat app that I compulsively check throughout my day, has filed for its initial public offering. It’s now in line behind Uber and Lyft for a 2019 debut on Wall Street. Airbnb and Pinterest are likely to follow, bringing a fresh wave of money to one of the most expensive regions in the United States.

New wealth and tech is nothing new, of course. But it is notable that tech companies have done so well in a difficult year for the industry.

Today I picked up some EXPE, ROKU and IAC. Recently I had also picked up SONO, TWLO and NTNX.

Like it or not, tech is where the action is.

Bezos’s love problems are making AMZN a serious bargain. Here’s the stock over the last ten days:

My Tarzan Theory

Let’s set the stage: This the best time ever to start your own business. For all the obvious reasons: The Internet. Its increasing speed. The Cloud. Its declining cost. The explosion of free and easier to use software programming tools.

Most importantly there’s an explosion of money to fund your new business.

Money is available from a zillion new sources that didn’t exist ten, or even five years ago.

The best way to find your very own startup is my Tarzan Theory:

How did Tarzan get around the jungle? He flew from vine to vine. You know something about an industry because you’re in it.

One day you’ll wake up and think “What the world really needs is….” And you’re off and running.

Today Business Insider had piece on Calm, the 7-year-old meditation app, which says it’s now valued at $1 billion (based on the value of its last $88 million money raise). Calm says it has 40 million downloads worldwide, with one new user joining every second. The app also has over one million paid subscribers.

Go to Calm’s web site, you’ll see this:

Send me $1 and I’ll teach you how to relax and sleep.

Remember this week’s photo?

Read Business Insider’s story here. 

Freeze all your credit reporting bureaus

Reader Gerry Robertson emails:

I got an email from the other day from true identity–a TransUnion service. Someone applied for credit at a Florida Lowes in my name. The credit was denied because Lowes was unable to get a credit report. Thanks to you, Harry, I had frozen my credit with each agency.  Thanks for the great advice in your blog.

Here’s what I wrote way back in October:

You should freeze your credit reports. The four companies and their web sites for freezing are:

+ Experian. Click here.

+ TransUnion. Click here.

+ Equifax. Click here.

+ Innovis. Click here. 

You should also monitor every bill you get — to check you haven’t been ripped off in other creative ways — like endless subscription deals.

Big News

+ I’m warming up to Windows 10. It has a much nicer search engine than Windows 7. Finally.

+ I really like Google Chrome as my browser. It does a nice job syncing passwords and web sites among my various laptops.

+ NO is still my favorite word. Everyone is pushing something. And it’s usually yesterday’s news.

+ The more aggressive I play at tennis, the better I play.

+ Trump would be a better negotiator if he offered something in return — instead of threats.

+ I just visited my super dermatologist, Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, who gave me this great ointment called Clobetasol Proprionate USP 0.05%. The stuff is working magic on my psoriasis.

Nice news

recent study from the National Foundation for American Policy finds that 55%, or 50 of 91, of the country’s $1 billion startup companies had at least one immigrant founder.

The research identified the number of jobs created in immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies, revealing an average of more than 1,200 employees per company (the vast majority of the jobs in the United States).

Love story movies for free on Roku 

St Valentine’s Day is coming up.

 Totally stupid

Favorite recent New Yorker cartoons

Harry Newton, who tried to speak to one of Calm’s founders today. But his PR firm told me the founders were “too busy.” I suggest a new PR firm. The present one is called Praytell Agency.


  • Steve

    Do you still like TWLO?

  • Lucky

    I am holding my breath…last Friday I changed my Tracfone telephone number from my old slide out phone to a smart phone. I have no idea why, however, for this entire week I have not received one single robo call or any type of solicitation call on my phone. Praise be to God that the blissful silence continues!!

  • gerryb

    I put the Headspace app on my android after listening to a Sam Harris podcast. It does seem to help one learn to be more mindful and present. I imagine it works similar to Calm.

  • Mike Nash

    Forget Slack and Calm, Harry “Fig” Newton. Buy crpyto instead. Yesterday I urged you to buy crypto and today it’s up 10%. I’m 29 and on the front lines in Silicon Valley. I know what’s gonna be hot (or return to being hot) two years out. Slack and Calm are meh.

    • gerryb

      so what crypto’s do you recommend right now?

      • Mike Nash

        Ethereum, Ripple. Avoid Bitcoin Cash.