Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 24
P. Adkison wrote:

I read some posts regarding Next Generation Networks being a tornado activity.....However, the complexity and terminology here overwhelms me. The site was way over my head. Are there some sources of information that someone can point me to?....I know BruceBrown has been digging into this for some time.

This is certainly an important point that has been brought up in terms of gorilla gaming. The majority of us, as retail investors, can hardly tell the difference between a serial port and a USB port on computers let alone the finer technical points of algorithms, wave lengths, fiber channel, blue light, HDR - not to mention most anything that comes out of Larry Ellison's mouth.

In fact, a lot of it is over our heads. Certainly, the more one can comprehend via reading and learning, the more the chance of success is increased in being able to use the comprehended material to benefit one's gorilla game investing. Intel - we think we know. Microsoft - we think we know. Why? They produce consumer products that we use and are close to on a daily basis - although both are not limited to that, but we at least can 'grasp' it. We can see it, touch it and comprehend it. Cisco? Most know little about it and few know everything about it. It's not as close to us in terms of being able to easily comprehend it like the PC gorillas, although plenty of people have been exposed to Cisco's products in the office environment. However, I would encourage all investors to go way beyond the surface and become as familiar as possible with all the diversity of these huge gorillas.

The next generation networks space is so large, that it is overwhelming. To try and narrow it down and find the portions that seem most likely to have a possible gorilla game going on is even more overwhelming. The best way is to break the overall term of 'broadband' down into various sections and read as much as you can about that section, be it fiber, DSL, wireless, cable, semiconductors, etc... . Find out who the players are, what their products are and if any of those products or technologies seem to be a discontinuous innovation with high switching costs and go from there.

You're not alone in feeling 'overwhelmed'. On message boards like Redback, Juniper, Sycamore, Cisco, Corning, JDS Uniphase to name just a few - investors are confused about who is competing against who and with what products. We obviously know Callaway Golf is not competing against Blizzard Skis even though they are both recreational equipment suppliers. Regardless, the source of confusion in technology is real and can be frustrating for those of us who are not surrounded by all the terminology and lingo on a daily basis. I always find Red Herring to be an excellent source for sifting through information and learning about things without getting too overwhelming. The more one reads and broadens their knowledge, the easier it becomes to distinguish golf clubs from skis in the technology arena.

Tom and David Gardner talk a lot about avoiding investing in companies that make products or provide services that you know nothing about or have very little understanding. That may be a little limiting when it comes to technology, but I do my best to find out as much as I possibly can about companies and their products. It comes down to the 'comfort' level as an investor as well. The advantage we have now is that there are so many investing opportunities within technology, that we might just find a gorilla game going on in something that we know enough about to feel 'comfortable' investing in a candidate. Therefore, one can avoid the ones that don't feel comfortable.

In the meantime, I'm still digging around trying to learn more each day.


Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.