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The Experience Thing

There’s too much of everything. And nobody needs any of it.

If you’re selling something it better not be “more stuff.”

It better deliver an “experience.”

Apple is the best at experience. Samsung has nice, even great phones. But Samsung can’t love with me with photos of my grandchildren on the family photostream. Here’s Peter and Eleanor, yesterday, courtesy the family photostream.

Lulemon sells the same stuff you can buy from a million others. But they run free yoga classes in their stores.

Peloton is the classic experience company. You can buy this bike from a million companies.

But you can’t buy the Peloton classes from anyone else. Both my children have a Peloton in their house. My apartment building just put one in the basement. Peloton is about classes, not hardware. You pay $2,000 for the bike and $39 a month or so for the classes. They have over one million subscribers. Who would have thought the experience of being screamed at from afar was worth $39 a month? Who would have thought there were over a million exercise masochists in the world?

Microsoft has stores where you can get help — a better experience than sitting on eternity hold on the phone to them.

Costco, Home Depot, Starbucks deliver “experiences” in their stores. They’re fun. Even Dominos is getting the message.

Nike has just added “an experience track” to its products. It’s aiming at a more holistic relationship with its customers, also called members.

Some of my real estate syndicators have soirees where they deliver good news and good cheer. Almost as happy-making as dividend checks.

One alternative bank I’ve invested in has a comforting annual meeting next week. I’ll be there — and not just for the free food.

Amazon delivers experience in many ways — from publishing awful (but funny) reviews of some of its products to simply telling me which stuff is best. And which is worst. Please read Jeffrey Lambert’s Gummi Bear review . Click here. It’s the third review.

I look to invest in companies which deliver experience because I have enough stuff.

Reacting to Apple’s new stuff

Must have: The new Apple Watch series 5. Much better health features. I’m buying one.

Maybe have: The new phones have better, brighter screens and much better cameras. I’m mulling. My iPhone 8 Plus camera is fine.

Favorite new stuff

You can buy this nonsense for $55.49 at Amazon here.

Funny stuff

Soft stuff

+ There’s no truth to the rumor that Trump is swapping Hong Kong for California.

+ The U.S. is becoming the world’s largest oil producer, on track to deliver 13 million barrels a day. That’s not good for Russia or Saudi Arabia, because our output keeps the price of oil down. But it is good for our consumers and our businesses.

+ I don’t think the Fed dropping the price of money will boost the U.S economy, since we’re already running at full steam. But now is a great time refinance your mortgage.

+ Stay out of the sun. Layer up with cream. Layer your kids and grandkids. Teach them the sun is not their friend. Several friends and relatives have just had major problems with bad moles and bad skin. If you haven’t seen your dermatologist in the last 12 months, visit him (or her) tomorrow. True story: I just saved a friend’s life with this boring advice. Visit your dermatologist regularly. He did. They caught it just in time. Skin cancer is the most aggressive form of cancer.

— Harry Newton




  1. Gary S says:

    I’ll upgrade my Apple watch series 3 if its battery life tanks and Apple adds a camera to the next watch. My iPhone X is doing fine, maybe I’ll upgrade to a future 5G iPhone if Verizon does not add a fee premium for 5G service.

  2. jasonn says:

    wait for next years 5G iPhone. This years model has some ok features but nothing that screams at you

  3. Mike Nash says:

    Actually, most skin cancer is VERY slow growing and takes decades to harm you. But there is the “bad kind” that does move fast. Fortunately it’s quite rare and only accounts for about 5% of all skin cancers. You’re right about the sun not being our friend. BUt we didn’t know this as children when most of the damage was done. Another slow mover is prostate cancer. Most men in their 70s diagnosed with this die of something else because it grows very slowly over time.

  4. Glenn says:

    Thoughts on purchasing a little more Square since its dip or could JPM be a real threat that could cause it to drop further?

    So true about experiences! Everything you see now is experience based or targeted at children. Wonder how Peloton IPO will do.