Managing director of Arba Seed Investment Group and writer of Davenetics.com, a daily Internet newsletter for Web professionals
In the second half of 2000, investors took some time to recover from the dotcom shakeout and, in the process, chased after a few new sectors. In 2001, the focus will narrow to the one area that has shown value for decades and has been at the core of the Internet revolution: software. Few investors will be willing to bet on a brand play or a consumer-facing business that has no clear advantages. But one thing is for sure: The Internet is growing, and as it does, software-makers will be in the best position, regardless of the individual sites that win or lose.
Anchor of CNBC's Market Week
I see a number of growth areas. One is international investing. Consumers in Europe and Asia are a few steps behind the United States in terms of investing. There is increasingly more foreign money coming into the U.S. stock market. That will slowly but surely continue as people put their money in stocks, rather than saving in pension funds.
The other thing is Wall Street business. I think we're going to see more global business deals. Competition will continue heating up for scale and strength on a global basis, and mergers will come from across borders.
As for investing specifics, the need for electricity is going to surge. Utilities and electricity stocks will be in the spotlight. As you see the explosion of information, the Internet and wireless devices, we're going to need electricity. You're already seeing blackouts and brownouts in California.
Host of CNNfn's Entrepreneurs Only show
When I was a boy in the Bronx, my mother taught me the essentials of entrepreneurship, though neither she nor I knew it. You didn't hear much about entrepreneurs at a time when the transistor was the definition of high-tech.
In fact, I'm sure the word "entrepreneur" never passed my mother's lips; ten-dollar words were strangers in our two-dollar household. Her teachings arose from her assessment of her brothers, six of them, and their abilities to make a living. My mother was not kind about my uncles' skills; she thought they were lazy.
All except Joe. Uncle Joe was different. Joe was a "go-getter," my mother would say with a broad, approving smile. At first I wondered where he would go and what he would get, but later it became evident that a "go-getter" was what you wanted to be.
If Uncle Joe were still around, I'd book him on Entrepreneurs Only. His story is as timely as tomorrow. The Uncle Joes of then and now seize opportunity where they see it, and if they don't see it, they create it.
The United Nations says that within 10 years, fully one-third of the world's population will be 30 or younger. You don't have to be young to be an entrepreneur, but it helps. And those UN numbers tell me that in terms of ideas for new products, businesses and services, we ain't seen nothin' yet.
That's because much of what will dazzle us in the years ahead will be the products of technologies that are still pipe dreams. They say we'll have computers so tiny they can be sewn into our clothing. They say the DNA of salmon might lead to computer chips so sophisticated that today's chips will seem like subway tokens.
'Tis a brave new world that has such go-getters in it. Uncle Joe would have loved to see it.