Silicon Valley: ‘Jump The Shark’ Is Now Pronounced ‘Monitor Stand Moment’

Over the last decade to say things have been different this time would be the understatement of the century. And yet, the more things have been “different” it seems they’ve really been the same. The only real difference has been in the papering over (literally) of what once constituted true and acceptable business metrics, ethics and more.

That “paper,” of course, is that which has been supplied via the central banks of the world known as quantitative easing (QE). Or better yet “free money.” And the trail of distortion that is ultimately causing its destruction, is morphing into one for the ages. That is: for those that are watching.

The term “watching” is extremely germane to my insinuation. The reason for it, for those too young to remember, was back in the “Hey” days of the mid 70’s thru mid 80’s, people couldn’t get enough of a sitcom called “Happy Days.” And its not so straight-laced character known as “Fonzie.”

Yet, just like anything, things run their course. Innovation or ideas for how something can be both interesting, entertaining, as well as “bought” by the audience diminishes. Where suddenly it becomes obvious too all that – it’s over.

In Happy Days it was the the now infamous “Jump The Shark” moment, and has been a go-to catch phrase ever since. I believe Apple™ supplied Silicon Valley (or Big Tech if you prefer) with its own, which I now call, “The Monitor Stand Moment.” This was unveiled at Apple’s latest WWDC.

That “moment” for those that don’t watch these things was where Apple rolled out its newest and greatest innovation to the far overdue Mac Pro® updates. Was it a (wait for it…) $999.00 (again, wait…) computer? Nope.

Processing power thingamajiggy? Nope. Monitor? Close.

No, it was a thousand dollar: Monitor stand.

Yes, a monitor stand. But wait…there’s more!

For it’s just the best-est, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious one ever created! However, I don’t think it comes in space grey, that’s probably extra, if available at all.

I don’t know because after the “big announcement” it took a while to regain my composure from laughing so hard being awed with such innovation.

I’m thoroughly convinced this moment – is the same as “that moment.” And…

I also believe the rest of the world is seeing it the same way. Even those that were once the life and soul of design at Apple itself, as in, Jony Ive.

When it comes to the rather “sudden” notice that Mr. Ive is leaving. There is more than enough people speculating to the reasons why. My take seems to be a bit different from what I’m gathering elsewhere.

I am of the opinion when it comes to design: Unless it has to do with “Apple the stock,” the entirety of the C-Suite, as well as Board is not interested. For that’s where the “design” focus has been and will remain. Everything else appears secondary.

Think about it this way: If it’s not – then why would they have allowed Tim Cook to mercilessly spend $284,000,000,000.00 (that’s nearly 1/3 of a $Trillion, yes, trillion!) over just the last 5 years on “Apple the stock” innovation such has buy backs and more?

And remember: As the share value kept going lower, meaning every $dollar spent was the equivalent of “down the drain,” Mr. Cook announced that he was going to spend even more, to the tune of nearly doubling the prior commitment. i.e., Up an additional, again, additional $70Billion over and above what was assigned prior. This was announced at the latest earnings report.

To put this into perspective think about it this way:

Apple wants to get in the news business, the messaging business and streaming business, correct? So, using just the latest add-to, repeat, add-to of $70 Billion. For that price Apple is spending the equivalent of the entire market cap of: The New York Times™ ($5.5Billion) Spotify™ ($26.5Billion) and Twitter™ ($27Billion).

Cook and Crew could theoretically purchase all three at their current market cap for $59Billion (and that’s if they even remain there) and still have $11Billion left over to deal with any remaining losses that they are currently still involved with.

Again, to reiterate, for this can not be made strongly enough: That’s just using the latest add-to of $70Billion announced at the latest earning report!

Think about that very carefully, because at least there would be something in hand to work with, innovate, restructure, help the brand and services portion of Apple etc., etc., etc.

With buying Apple-the-stock? The moment it repurchases it – the money and value is all but gone.

For if (and for much has been an actually “when”) the share price drops just one cent below the repurchase price? It’s more than gone – its both spent and you have less than nothing to now show for it.

Think about that, don’t let that just slip by, for it’s a very crucial point for understanding any further impending implications, whether seen now or in the future.

Again, as far as actual branded product innovation? (insert cricket sounds here.) Or better yet: Mac Pro® 2013 may be more fitting.

The new Mac Pro® is something people like myself have been screaming for now going on 7 years. It’s a welcome sight. However, why in the world would there have been the reasoning to wait this long, leaving such an outdated, overpriced literal “trash can” in plain sight as a thorn-in-the-side of real Mac® users if innovation and design was being allowed to thrive as it once was? Hint: See Apple share price and compensation reports for clues.

But that’s now over. And the departure of Mr. Ive seems to punctuate what many of us already knew , as in, Apple: known for its innovative and intuitive simplicity, with outrageously stunning design features that offered things that “just works” as coined by Jobs – went with him. And the “innovation” ship has been running rudderless ever since.

Just like it did under John Sculley. “Sugar water” anyone?

But yesterday’s “sugar water” story is much the same as yesterday’s Happy Days. i.e., It’s different this time – but not by much.

At the end of the “Dot-Com” craze, before everything went down in unison. There was this overhanging smugness emanating from “The Valley” and its ancillary world known as “tech” (it wasn’t as ubiquitous as what we now know and call “Big Tech” today).

It acted as if no rules applied. i.e., They (“the Valley”) made up the rules. Period.

Business fundamentals, the wild stretching of existing or accepted business practices or laws were meant to be followed only by those that were stupid enough to think they mattered. Why? Because – it’s different this time. Yep, that’s when phrases like that originally began to become mainstream.

Profits? Who cares, the term “serial-entrepreneur” was the moniker of the day. Sounds like today, yes? Or said differently, IPO anyone?

Then, suddenly, there was that “moment” where it didn’t take long for everyone to instinctively know in their core – I think we just “jumped the shark” with that one.

Dot-com’s morphed into the “sock puppet moment,” where something that seemed oh so trivial, as a mascot for marketing purposes, brought to the forefront just how far into the “crazy” everything had become.

For some reason it suddenly made the entire world look closely at what this “sock puppet” really represented – and what it was was not good.

Pets. com was that moment in marketing that made the greatest impact for all the wrong reasons. It made everyone think “Wait…what?” all at the same time. And the resulting crash remains one for the ages.

We’ve had this similar moment once again just the other day when another in-kind “pet” type stock was released into the “markets” that is supposedly worth $Billions, yet still loses money. e.g., Chewy™.

But it just doesn’t appear to have had the impact that makes an entirety of people, both users as well as fleeting onlookers, to suddenly gasp in unison where its obvious – it – is – o-v-e-r.

When we were all watching Happy Day’s the moment you saw Fonzie in summer shorts, coifed hair, wearing his trademark leather coat, on water-skis, in the summer sun to then be catapulted up a ramp to “jump a shark” in some rink-a-dink styled holding pen. It didn’t take a moment’s more of thought to know – it’s over.

This is the same feeling I believe many endured when they were watching Apple’s latest and greatest WWDC live event, where they announced all the newest “innovation” coming forth, only to “market” not only was the monitor stand not included with the newly redesigned monitor, but rather, it would now cost you another grand!

The gasps of “Wait…what?” were not just audible, but shockingly so.

It was in this light (for he would have known this before hand) that I believe Mr. Ive knowing all too well the implications of such marketing “genius” looked in the mirror and thought of another old TV axiom uttered by that luminary of kids Saturday morning television of long ago Snagglepuss “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” as in: What am I still doing here?!

Then followed it with – “Exit, stage left.”

I mean, what’s next to design? An Apple-coin?

© 2019 Mark St.Cyr

Update To My Bitcoin Observation

Now that Bitcoin™ has once again dominated the mainstream business/financial media with all the prior so-called “experts” knocking down their own mothers as to get in front of any camera, microphone or keyboard and testify why this time “this is it!” All while sheepishly trying to avoid any references to their prior prognostications that weren’t just wrong, but miserable total failures costing some their entire life savings, but I digress. I thought I’d just throw my hat back in and update what I was thinking last time with today’s newest highs in the $13K range.

So with that said here is my updated prognosis and what I see may be evolving. (original “on the record” call can be found here) Doesn’t mean that I’m correct, even though I seemed to have been one of the only one’s that was prior, but that’s a side point. As always, nobody knows for sure. And if someone says they do, don’t just walk away, but run. To wit:

(Chart Source)

As you can clearly see it has done what was entirely possible (and I said as much back then) from a technical perspective. But it’s far from the “winter’s over” moment that many are and have stated. At least that’s my view.

Because now, and from that “view,” it has to do the most impressive part of the journey, which is: Stay there – and go even higher. As in: much higher. Because if it does not?

The above states what I think.

As always, we shall see.

© 2019 Mark St.Cyr

For Those That Want To Know What I’m Watching

Below is a chart of the S&P 500™ futures represented via 15 minute bars/candles as I type this at approximately 8:00pm EDT. The chart is pretty self-explanatory, for I made notations that I feel even a novice or rudimentary chart viewer can interpret.

What has caught my eye is the current movements after the run up into Friday’s close and all the different expiry events that seemed to have helped move it up as high as it did, as in, never before seen in human history highs.

But now that all the “easy fuel” that was used to further manipulate a near volume-less run (in regards to prior historic equivalents, of course) the “market” is now showing its hangover effects – and they are not pretty.

To note, as I’ve said many times prior, there are times one pattern emerges then either fails or doesn’t play out as originally gamed, but then in a larger or longer time pattern the original interpretation may be correct, yet just needs more time to play out, consequently resulting in an even more extreme move. I think this is what we may be looking at here. To wit:

(Chart Source)

I’ve noted on the chart the initial thoughts with the word “Remember…” the original thought can be found here.

In that note I stated that it was the 2850 area that was needed to get above and hold to go up further. And that’s precisely what happened. Now it seems that exact area is once again in the “sights” as they say, and means ever the more, because of the now longer time duration.

What also caught my eye was how this lined up when I used another indicator type drawing, and low and behold one of the main numbers that are text book to watch for fall almost precisely on that exact level, giving it even more importance from a technical perspective.

Does this mean it will, won’t or something else? Could be, then again, no one knows. But at least you now have something to watch for and judge for yourselves. For this is what is catching my eye at this time and I think it’s worth watching closely, especially where we are with the G-20 and more.

My view is if that first level doesn’t hold and there is meaningful follow through, as in consistent, sustained selling pressure. Then it’s all about that bottom line and should that not hold?

Things begin to get very interesting, to say the least, indeed.

As always, we shall see.

© 2019 Mark St.Cyr

Just a quick note of thanks

We’ve been inundated with messages since Friday about my decision on the show, as well as a few other items. I can not explain how thankful I am hearing from people all across this globe for both your support and encouragement. I truly am at a loss for words.

And for those of you that know me – you know that’s saying something.

Let me be clear: I’m making this change as to be able to bring you a better product on both topic, as well as delivery. I’m not sun-setting it because it’s not making waves. It’s just constraining me in its current iteration from allowing me to make it better. And that’s just not acceptable to me, so I needed to make a decision, and did. And to be frank: I’m already feeling it was the correct one.

It’s very, very, very (did I say very?) hard to jettison something you’ve put what seems like years of planning, then months and months of execution into, only to realize that to get to where you originally wanted to be – you have to jettison all that work. But…(and it’s a very important but)

If you say you want to play where you consider the top to be, whatever your pursuit may be, this, or things like this, is what is needed to be done if you want to play at that level.

As I always say, and have said, since the beginning: This is what makes me different from most others. For I want to both use and show myself as the exemplar, so that those who may be in similar situations can see in real time that someone like myself is actually walking the talk, not just talking about what I read in someone else’s book and am now talking about what they’ve done.

So it is on that note I just want to say to all of you, for I could never answer you all individually:

Thank you! And raise my glass to you and to what lies ahead.

Mark