During the early 1970s, an Oregon track coach by the name of
Bill Bowerman changed the world in his kitchen.
Trying to develop a new running shoe that would help his athlete's
grip the surface of the track, Bowerman poured
urethane onto his wife's waffle iron.
The result was a revolutionary running outsole that, when used in
conjunction with a lightweight running shoe, allowed his athlete's
to run on Oregon's new urethane track much more effectively.
Bowerman's design proved to be a game-changer. It wasn't long
before most collegiate track programs were utilizing Bowerman's new
The "Waffle Trainer", as the shoe eventually came to be known as,
became the prototype for the first product of his new company,
Nike Inc. (NYSE:
Since Bowerman took his shoe -- and his company -- public, he and
his early investors have enjoyed overwhelming success... All told,
Nike is up 3,212% since it made its debut on Dec. 2, 1980.
Nike's success reflects one of the most important things I've come
to learn as an investor -- game-changing companies aren't limited
to high-tech sectors.
See, as the chief investment strategist behind
, most people think the stocks I recommend will be involved in
computing, e-commerce, biotech or some other "hot" industry where
the changes are obvious.
But, as Nike's success proves, that is an extremely limited view of
what a game-changer is, and where one might reasonably look to find
The fact of the matter is: A game-changer is any company,
or set of external circumstances that alter the baseline
assumptions about doing business within an industry.
In other words, game-changers can happen anywhere, anytime.
Consider another example, shipping, for instance. The shipping
industry has been around as long as humankind has been able to
navigate the open sea.
But it was relatively recently, beginning in the 1950s and evolving
through the 1970s, that cargo began to be loaded into
But this took off wholesale in 1995 with the abolition of the
, which allows containers to be fully integrated into the
nationwide U.S. transportation system, which theretofore had been a
hodge-podge of state and local regulations left over from the
This was a game-changer: The industry remade itself in very short
order, and now 90% of the world's cargo is moved this way. Shipping
was an "old" business, but it was dramatically changed. And there
were fortunes made by investors in the process.
Of course, a couple of historical assessments is hardly a complete
list, but it underscores the point that game-changers need not to
be limited to "high-tech" sectors like computing and bio-tech.
In the next couple of years we could see new game-changing
movements in many other "old," "staid" or "boring" sectors.
We will see them in Agriculture. We'll see them in precious metals,
which is just as old as agriculture and shipping. We'll see
game-changers in rail. We'll see them in manufacturing and in
, in communication and even in food.
Action to Take -->
In other words, the "next big thing" doesn't have to be a miracle
drug or a new smartphone. It could be as simple as a new shoe
design, or a major change in an industry as old as man-kind itself.
So when you're looking for the next ground-breaking technology,
don't limit yourself to betting on some "hot" sector or a new
high-tech gizmo... sometimes the most game-changing ideas spring
from revolutionizing decidedly low-tech pursuits.
: My research team and I have spent the past couple of months
finding the biggest investment trends for the coming year.
We've made 11 predictions
, each of which offers investors a good chance to
over the twelve months. If you want to learn more about these
"game-changing" predictions, I invite you to
watch this presentation
Andy Obermueller does not personally hold positions in any
securities mentioned in this article. StreetAuthority LLC does not
hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.