By Haddon Libby
Are you here for the encore weekend of Coachella?
Many people think you must be here for the initial weekend, or the experience is a lesser event. Is the regular season in sports less than the pre-season? Who is to say that last weekend was not the warm-up for this weekend?
In tribute to this second weekend of Coachella, let’s pay homage to some of the great seconds in history.
World War II was bigger than World War I. For those too young to remember the specifics, the Premier of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill recruits his wheelchair-bound distant cousin (FDR) to join him in a global battle to save the world from communism and dictators like Italy’s Franco, Russia’s Stalin or the arch nemesis of all time – Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Where 9 million died in World War I, more than 80 million died in World War II.
With movies, sequels are often better than the originals. For as good as The Godfather is, The Godfather, Part II is one of the best movies of all time. A more recent sequel like Mad Max: Fury Road with Charlize Theron is superior to the Mel Gibson films starring versions. One of my personal favorite sequels is the second Austin Powers movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me.
The Rolling Stone compiled a list of the best second albums by a performer of all time. Nirvana tops the list with Nevermind. Other cited include Carole King’s Tapesty, Van Morrison’s Astra Weeks, Led Zeppelin II and Radiohead’s The Bends.
When it comes to people, seconds are referred to as junior. Clint Eastwood is a junior. Hard to believe but Robert Downey, Jr. is one as well. Others include Will Smith, Snoop Dog, Lil Wayne, will.i.am and Lionel Richie.
In business, being second movers means that you most likely benefited from the research and development of the first to market. Business writer Dennis Zink says that ‘imitation costs are lower than innovation costs’. Due to this, the copy cats often do better than financially than the innovators. The Kellogg Institute at Northwestern University found that pioneers aka innovators were more successful than late movers aka second to market only 30% of the time.
As an example, most of us use Google Chrome to surf the internet. Google began in 1998, five years after the first search engine. The first search engine was created by Oscar Nierstrasz of the University of Geneva. Yahoo! began in 1994.
Personal computers is another area where a first mover no longer exists yet a late entrant is now a global leader. The late entrant is Lenovo. This company sells more personal computers than any other company with a 24% market share. Founded in China in 1984, the company did not begin making computers until 1990. This late entrant to the PC market went public in Hong Kong ten years later with a value of $30 million. Today the company is valued at more than $12 billion.
One of the early personal computer makers was The Tandy Corporation with its TRS-80. Most remember the Tandy Corporation as Radio Shack. Originally started as a leather-goods company in Texas in 1919, the company bought Radio Shack in 1963. By 1980, the company was a leading force in the personal computer market with a 63% market share. Once IBM entered the market in the early 1980s, Tandy computers saw sales slide quickly. One March 31st four years ago, the last Radio Shack closed following its 2015 bankruptcy.
Enjoy Coachella this weekend and Stagecoach next weekend. While you are at it, take a break and visit Desert X, The Living Desert or an off-the-beaten path place like Cabot’s Pueblo Museum. While any of these may be a first for you, let’s hope that you will have fun and come back for seconds.
Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Winslow Drake Investment Management. For more information, please visit us at www.WinslowDrake.com.