Time heals all wounds—that’s a saying we’ve all heard.
But time also has another knack: Exposing the small thinkers who can’t see beyond right now to the much bigger future steamrolling toward them.
To that end, let me open up a portal into the past and show you a slice of time in late-November 2001. (Hang on: This has big implications for our future.)
In that month, Fortune magazine publishes an article headlined: Can Amazon Be Saved? Jeff Bezos writes a new script. Too bad for investors it is more fiction than fact.
The writer—a small thinker—ends the article with this: Amazon “will never be the high-growth, wildly profitable, super-efficient company of internet lore. The only place that company lives is in the history books, and in the powerful imagination of Jeff Bezos.”
In the world of scripted TV shows, we’d write “INSERT: LAUGH TRACK.”
At that time, Amazon was trading at a measly $11.32, having crashed from more than $300 when the dot-com bubble burst.
But even after this collapse, there were still people who understood what Amazon represented. They saw the potential of internet retail. They recognized that disruption takes time and surfs volatile cycles.
And those people—the big thinkers—have since made a killing.
Amazon now trades at nearly $3,300 per share, a 29,000% gain. And as for the idea that Amazon will never be a high-growth, wildly profitable company…well, Amazon earned profits of $26.9 billion for the 12 months that ended in March, which marked a growth rate of 155% over March 2020.
INSERT: LAUGH TRACK
Now, for the present…and the future.
As we speak, another disruption is happening that will dwarf even the huge impact of the internet and web companies like Amazon.
I’m referring to bitcoin and the cryptocurrency revolution now underway.
Just as Amazon reshaped retail, so too will crypto change much of the world that you and I know as normal. It’s already happening across personal finance, supply-chain management, logistics, medical care… The list goes on.
In short, those who look out across the tomorrows that are headed our way—we see a replay of Amazon and the internet circa 2001…a chance to get in on something truly massive as crypto changes how the world operates.
Certainly, bitcoin is having a moment. The world’s leading cryptocurrency surged to more than $60,000 recently, and this week fell back toward $35,000. This was largely on misleading commentary from Tesla founder and world-class Twitter troll Elon Musk, as well as news that China will ban financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions.
That’s all noise—though it certainly has freaked out weak-willed investors who are rushing to the exits. The reality is that crypto-trading has been illegal in China since 2019, and yet China is the world’s largest miner of bitcoin. Frankly, I’ve used this moment as a buying opportunity.
That’s because bitcoin’s downdraft is neither here nor there in terms of tomorrow. Even if bitcoin was still sitting at $60,000, that would be but a fraction of its ultimate price.
The prices I expect bitcoin to reach will likely shock you.
Then again, a $35,000 or $40,000 bitcoin (much less, $60,000) seemed pure lunacy when The Economist was writing about a bitcoin bubble in 2011 with the cryptocurrency then in the single digits…just as Amazon’s current $3,300 price would have seemed ridiculous in November 2001 when the online retailer’s stock was just over $11.
But you have to look at the bigger picture.
You have to look at where we’re going as a society. Or as hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, you have to skate to where the puck is going to be—not where it is.
To anyone who would listen, Jeff Bezos explained the future…that internet retail would be the primary means by which people order everything from books to outdoor patio furniture to industrial-sized tubs of laundry detergent.
And here we are today—exactly there.
The same logic holds with crypto now. Those of us in the bitcoin camp are telling everyone who will listen that crypto is the future of pretty much everything.
For evidence, all you need to do is look around and assess the companies that are getting into bitcoin today in a huge way: PayPal, Venmo, Square, Mass Mutual, New York Life, Mastercard, Visa, Fidelity. Many others.
I tell you all of this because I don’t want you to get left behind.
I see all the negative commentary that exists today. I see the claims that bitcoin is in a bubble. I see the wrongheaded assertions that bitcoin has no utility and generates no income. It’s as if I’m reading about Amazon in 2001.
I shake my head when I come across such misguided opinions.
It’s clear they come from small-thinkers who presume the status quo won’t change. Thinkers incapable of seeing how the dots connect or, worse, who do see those connections but refuse to accept that those connections mean anything. And, so, like pied pipers, they lead the uninitiated toward a cliff rather than toward opportunity.
Fortune gave its readers horrible advice 20 years ago. Just think about it: Buying 100 shares of Amazon for $1,132 back then would today be worth $330,000. That’s a life-changing amount of money for a lot of people.
Now, mainstream media articles are giving the exact same bad advice about bitcoin.
Bitcoin has already created life-changing wealth for many…and it still has a long way to go from here. It can still create life-changing wealth for us.
There will come a point, years from now, when writers will look back on 2021 and write a story similar to what you’ve just read about Amazon. They’ll point out that there were small-thinkers calling bitcoin overvalued at $35,000 or $40,000.
By then, bitcoin will be many moons higher—and still climbing.
Let’s take advantage before that happens.