Market cycles tend to happen in waves, and technology companies have become a bigger and bigger part of recent market waves. Since about 1989, many tech companies have pushed their way into the top ranked firms in terms of capitalization, profits, and investment success. In the early days, it was just IBM and Microsoft. As internet developments matured there was much more success spread around, with the likes of Bing, Amazon, and Yahoo joining in. This was the First Wave, and it gave us the internet boom of the 1990's and those wild boom and bust investments in the technology sector.

The first wave was exciting - a time of over-the-top speculation, but the innovations eventually caught on with consumers, in a very big way, and profits started to roll in, also in a very big way. This paved the way for a second wave.

The iPhone was the catalyst and poster child for the Second Wave, as tech companies are all striving to greatly improve their communication networks and the convenience of being constantly "in touch". There are also great efforts being made for information to be more convenient, more personal, and more manageable. Making sense of all the available data is a huge challenge, as there has been a gigantic tidal wave of data produced recently. IBM estimates that 90% of the data in the world has been produced in the last 2 years, so how do we figure out what to read, what to believe, what to trust?

A part of the solution is to make the data more personal, so that systems get to know you, and vice versa. Examples include:

NEST thermostats that learn when you are home or away, and what temperature you're comfortable with when you are home

Music systems like SPOTIFY and PANDORA that learn your listening preferences and help you discover new music you will probably like

Trip planning websites that learn your travel adventure interests and devise specific trip plans just for you

GOOGLE Home and Amazon Alexa / Echo devices that interact personally with you and make efforts to help you through your busy day

Leave Comment