It’s A Brave New World

What is your favorite web browser?

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George Gilder is a tech visionary with a few good thoughts on where technology is headed. His new book, Life After Google, is quite the read although too many stretches of very technical stuff that is quite boring. But the gist of the book is amazing, so much so, I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Executive summary: Google within 20 years will not be around and the Blockchain Economy will be the reason behind its fall. The main reason: Google doesn’t care about your privacy and Blockchain is all about privacy.

Best tip from reading the book: You have to read below!

Fun tidbits you might find interesting:

  • Security is the foundation of all other services and crucial to all financial transactions. It is the most basic and indispensable component of any information technology. Current computer and network architecture cannot solve security issues.
  • Newton helped to establish the gold standard
  • All wealth is a product of knowledge
  • Google is a new system of the world and the first company to create such a system. It combines science, commerce, religion, philosophy, economics and epistemology.
  • Everything Google offers to its customers is free: Internet searches, email, data centers, YouTube, Earth, Waze, Maps, Music, Calendars, Android apps, games, images. But nothing is free, how annoying to watch an ad to watch a video. Google third most valuable company giving everything away for free.
  • Google got its name from “googol,” meaning ten to the one-hundredth power, the symbol of the company’s reach and ambition.
  • Google digitized every book in the world (2005), every language and translation (2010), topography of the planet (2007), traffic (Waze 2016) and now digital facial recognition is next.
  • Google makes it money from advertising. But we hate advertising: Ad-blockers, ad-filters, mutes, Tivos, ad-voids all tricks we try to use since everything is free. 85.5 million Americans use ad-blockers.
  • But not only is “free” a lie, but a price of zero signifies a return to the barter system. You pay not with money but with your attention. Above all, you pay in time.
  • Google handles a billion YouTube videos and 3.5 billion searches every day, 1.5 trillion a year. If it charged just a penny per search it would earn $15 billion a year.
  • Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, blockchain app platform. Second most valuable bitcoin but most interested in blockchain to control the Internet.
  • Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin in 2009, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. Completely decentralized with no server or central authority. Total circulation: 21,000,000 coins distributed to network nodes when they make blocks with the amount cut in half every 4 years (there are about 18,000,000 coins in circulation, average value $6500). Note: Bitcoin peaked at about $19,000 just a few months ago.
  • When information becomes abundant, time becomes scarce.
  • Cookies, not chocolate chip: Memory element on your computer that a website can control. They can be sweet when they remember you after you leave a site and allow you toggle back to it without reentering your user name and password. They are a menace when they are used by rogue websites to insert malware on your machine.
  • Now are you ready for my very BIG TIP? So amazing! Meet Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla, author of JavaScript. JavaScript is the demon in targeting ads and invasive tracking of Web users by using cookies. Eich was ousted from Mozilla and started the new revolutionary Brave Browser that remedies the bad effects of cookies. No more targeted ads! In just two weeks, Brave saved me from seeing more than 10,000 ads. Because there are no ads, the sites run lightening fast. Best of all, Brave is free, you can download at brave.com. Bye-bye Chrome, bye-bye Explorer.
  • Crytocurrency total market only $200 billion, but experts expert it to hit more than $3 trillion sooner than later.

One last interesting statistic from the book. The average speed in which we expect results from a Google search: 1/20 second. Is it really possible for Google to fall?

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

When chomping down pizza, which crust is your fav?

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We head out to Vegas Saturday for the annual Cosmoprof show. Reviewing the newly updated floor plan (it gets updated each year due to exhibitor mix), the show is now divided equally between “pro” beauty and consumer/packaging. Pro beauty is now in the area that packaging used to be in, planned that way since that is the section that will continue to shrink while the other two sections will continue to expand. It will be an interesting show for sure. If you are around, come visit us at stand 39087.

My latest revelation and wonderment is the attention given to reviews and “THE BEST OF.” Let’s take review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp. You would think that everyone is an expert that posts a review. And does anyone Google-search the worst hotel or the worst restaurant? We all want the BEST and we want to pay the cheapest price to get it. Interesting enough, many reviews are bullshit and you have to become an expert to know which reviews to ponder and which reviews to skip. When it comes to finding recipes, I was looking for curry cauliflower. I typed in BEST curry cauliflower and up came pages of recipes. Then I typed in WORST curry cauliflower and just about the same recipes appeared.

Amazon is the most bizarre when it comes to reviews. I wanted to buy a vent mounted iPhone holder. I found one for $6.99 and it had 25,000 reviews. Really? No kidding. No one has time for nothing anymore, but they certainly have time to post reviews.

Sergio Marchionne, what a terrible end of life story. What he did for Chrysler is Harvard case study material. I mean look at Ford whose stock is about to go below $10. And even GM whose stock can’t get past $45. Fiat stock more than doubled in less than one years and Sergio spun off Ferrari which as tripled. 66 years old is way too young but cancer knows no age. The auto world will certainly miss him.

Is there any hotter color than green? Green is great: Go instead of stop. Fully charged or charging instead of drained or about to drain. Stocks up instead of stocks down. Green is organic, natural. Green is MSU (sorry I had to toss that in).

Here’s one for you. I was speaking to a Vietnamese nail spa owner who has 7 locations. His biggest concern? Finding qualified nail techs. With Vietnam booming (7% GNP growth vs. 2.2% USA), young people are working in factories and making more money than ever before. No longer do they need to come to the USA to find work in a nail salon. They now come with a skillset where they can get quality jobs without working 6 days a week, 10 hours a day.

I visited the new MGM National Harbor property last month and was totally impressed. As nice as any Vegas property and very comparable to ARIA but with only 300 rooms. Casino is smoke-free and features more than 60 poker tables. Location is perfect and if you are thinking about a great weekend getaway, check this place out.

The fitness craze is nutsy-cookoo. It seems like every new strip center has some kind of workout place that offers pop-in classes. Truly appealing to Millennial’s, I can’t even list all the names but places like Orangetheory already have 1000 locations. My take is that personal trainers are opening their own joints and willing to work 7 days a week to have their own business. This is one business that burnout will certainly take place down the road.

Here is a question for you: If the fitness craze is nutsy-cookoo, why is the obesity rate in the USA at it highest level ever?

Are you moving to Denver to take advantage of legal weed? Fastest growing city in the USA and weed bed and breakfasts are one of the hottest trends around since smoking it in public or in hotels is still illegal. Now on the breakfast buffet besides O.J., donuts and cereal, your choice of Sour Tangle, Ghost Train Haze and Gorilla Glue #4. The only caveat is that prices per night are higher due to the amount of food inhaled at breakfast!

Sorry Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Neiman and Saks. Ulta wins, you lose. Estee Lauder, master of premium cosmetics and skin care (MAC is still hot, hot, hot) is opening stand alone boutiques in Ulta stores as fast as they can build them. Department stores will yet again need to reinvent themselves. Perhaps first floor makeup counters will move upstairs but what will take its place?

Is there anything better than good pizza?

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Thursday Mornin’

Do you drink La Croix flavored sparkling water?

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It’s HOT HOT HOT. It was just a few weeks everyone was complaining about the rain and cold. Now they are complaining about the humidity, lack of rain and days over 90F. Happy campers include ice cream stores, parks with lakes, swimming pool companies and anything cold and wet.

How about winners in beauty when it’s HOT HOT HOT? Wax removal is on a tear and pedi’s are pediluscious!

Cosmoprof is right around the corner in HOT HOT HOT Vegas end of the month. I remember years back, when it was called BBSI, every minute would be filled with meetings, parties and meals. You could count on CND to throw one of the most elaborate parties, all decked out in Jan’s expensive décor sets while serving up great food and drink. A show without George Schaeffer having one of his obnoxious breakfasts wouldn’t be a show at all. No one had more fun than George. And the show floor was a treasure chest with vendors giving away jewelry, gifts and other trinkets to their distributors. Fast forward to today and it’s corporate America at it’s best: No parties, no gifts, and no meals. With pro beauty companies way down, it will be an interesting show floor. Be sure to stop and say hello, our stand is #39087.

We all know A.I is the future (and for those still living without TV, A.I. stands for artificial intelligence). I’m feverishly waiting for the day a machine can do a manicure and a blow-out. Nail techs and hairdressers would love an A.I. assistant. However the most exciting breakthroughs of A.I. will be in the health field. One of my newsletters I subscribe to that has been consistently spot on forecasts:

  • A.I. drug discovery enabled by genomics will unleash new and better drugs
  • Body-on-a-chip technology will enable doctors and researchers to test alternative therapies on a patient’s own tissues, prior to treatment
  • New RNA-based vaccines will eliminate most forms of cancer
  • Bio-reengineering will enable practitioners to preempt pandemics and cure genetic disorders
  • By 2035 Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases will be contained
  • By 2035 science will have discovered secrets that will enable us to live past 100. By 2100, average medium age will be 115.

While youth has its issues, at least is has the future of medicine to look forward to as they age.

Trump’s tariffs are terrible. With mid-term elections coming soon, will Trump really enact tariffs or is he just posturing like he does on most everything else. One thing for certain if he stands firm, inflation will rip through 2%.

Going back to the pro beauty industry, remember the wave of acquisitions that everyone talked about? When was the last major acquisition to take place? Another tell about our industry.

Exciting news: thebeautybook Fall 2018 edition is at the printer and chalk full of so many fab TNG products. Just a few of my early favorites include an aromatherapy diffuser for kids rooms that shines stars up into the ceiling; the world’s lightest pro hair dryer; EMMA Genius portable and rechargeable LED/UV light and our Ginger Lily Farm Botanical’s holiday gift items.

So weird having the holiday on Wednesday. At least Christmas and New Year’s falls on a Tuesday!

Can you believe the success of La Croix? And to think it is a Michigan-based company. If you drink soda, this is the best alternative.

Happy Thursday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

How you feeling overall?

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The Premier Orlando show was last weekend, the last-gasp of what remains of the pro beauty industry show circuit. The flea market buyers were out in full force and any resemblance of the show from years past was impossible to recognize. As with all shows, the rumor mill and concession stands were the winners. Rumors floating around: BSG pulled out of the 2019 Chicago beauty show; Orly laid off 80 people (how old is Jeff Pink anyway and who buys Orly?); Harmony is awash in debt with no where to go; Backscratchers is itching to sell; and mixed reviews on Shellac LUXE. By the way, THE INDUSTRY SOURCE is officially launching it July 1 and today is the last day for pre-orders, contrary to what was said at the show. 

America is the most prosperous country in the world and I could not imagine living anywhere else. However 90,000 Americans died last year from opioids, suicides are up 40% and depression is exploding. What is up with all this when the unemployment rate is near an all-time low, inflation is low, the stock market is up more than any other President in office for the same time period and home building is soaring? And I must point out spas have never been busier and hospitality companies are opening up new resorts at a frantic pace. So I did a little research and found out the following:

  • 50% of Americans are obese and by 2020, 75% will be obese. Women 40 years ago weighted 105 and wore a size 6 dress. Today the average is 160 and size 14 dress.
  • 16M suffer depression
  • 16% of adults are alcoholics
  • 23M are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol
  • 2.3M are in jail and 4.8M are on parole
  • 30M have diabetes and 100M have diabetes or pre-diabetes
  • 57M are on disability. Of those 2.2M use wheelchairs and 6.5M use canes/walkers
  • 1.3M are in nursing homes
  • 47M are in poverty, 30% increase in just a few years; 16.7M kids
  • 1.7M will be diagnosed with cancer this year

What is not taken into consideration of the above is how many Americans fit into more than one category. However it got me wondering: If America is #1, what are the numbers for countries behind us? Sad but true, I am sure the numbers for Asian countries are much better and the root core of all issues I think is education. Overall, America ranks #17 in education, 23rd in math and 27th in reading. Detroit alone is the worst city out of 40 and due to this, 53% of its population doesn’t even seek work. Asia consistently ranks in the top 5 in education. The question is who is going to fix our education system?

Congrats to Dawn who just moved into her new home, now only 6.4 miles from TNG! It’s time for a house party!!

I’m finally getting my new sports car nearly a year-and-a-half later than planned. I originally ordered my new Porsche August 2016 for April 2017 delivery. When April came and no car I called the salesperson. Ooops, he forgot to order the car. Soonest I could get was in the fall. Then I was in Chicago and fell in love with the NSX by Acura. So I ordered that. Then they stopped production and I had to cancel. Finally I met with Porsche last September and they promised delivery early April this year. When April came and no car I called the salesperson. Oh, production slowdown and I should have in July. Mind you, they never called me to update me. This is what customer service in 2018 is all about. Good news is the salesman did call back and I should have it this month. Joy to the world!

Sorry I have to shout out Happy Birthday to Kristin who is turning 30 and she is scared to death about it. All I can think about is doubling her age and wishing upon a star. . . .Enjoy 30 Kristin, 60 comes very quick!

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

How many times a week do you wash your hair?

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Sometimes it feels like you spend half your life filling things up especially if you have a large family that neglects such duties. With just the two of us there is always stuff to be filled: Bottled water in the fridge; mouthwash; Ziploc bags; coffee pods; paper towels; toilet paper; tissue paper; gas tank; pepper mill; and salt shaker.

Then there are things to need to replaced like light bulbs (LED one of the great inventions) and batteries.

And finally once a week, all that adds up to a lot of garbage. I’m still amazed how much garbage we accumulate. And with Amazon deliveries, one recycle container isn’t enough.

$500 Million was the tab MSU settled on to pay the Nasser victims. Not only was it the largest in history for a university to pay, there are so many untold costs we will never know of. Good news is that MSU and the victims can move forward towards the healing process. And undergrad enrollment hit yet another new high.

There are some 30 million small businesses in the USA. Of those, how many do you think are part of the MLM (multi-level marketing) scheme? A huge percentage. Too bad since more than 99% of those who buy in lose money. Can someone please tell me why anyone wants to be part of MLM? My only guess: The ability to buy direct at a discount.

Is Tesla boring? Absolutely! Right underneath Tesla’s massive plant in Freemont, CA, the Boring Company is building underground tunnels to help alleviate traffic. Add Space X to the mix and you can say Tesla has all travel options covered top to bottom.

Leave it to Amazon to pull off yet another coup that no one thought possible (except for me of course). Amazon’s Pro Beauty business is soaring and their strategy paid off big time: Let their third-party resellers discount the goods and then go direct to the brands to cut them off if they sold to Amazon direct. Bingo. Already the likes of Oribe, Colorproof, Pureology, Davines and Olaplex have gone direct with Amazon. Today’s $100 question: For every dollar Amazon sells of salon products, who is losing a dollar in sales? You got that answer spot on.

What’s good for Amazon is certainly not good for professional beauty companies. Coty, Revlon & Sally Beauty Holdings all reported disappointing results and hit fresh new lows (or came very close).

Yet another reason for the bad news: The likes of Madison Reed and esalon.com are expanding their availability to bricks and mortar stores. Personalized at-home hair color is growing and guess who the losers are? You got that answer spot on too! It appears the one salon concept that is Amazon and retail-proof is the growing blow-out bars led by Drybar and its infamous CEO, John Heffner. And nail salons that feature gel nail polish, especially EMMA V.S.G.P. that is getting rave reviews for its high gloss, longevity and easy removal.

We just returned from Greece where the people, culture and history are second to none in the world. You know what else is second to none in Greece? VAT (value added tax) is 24% and is payable on everything including food, drugs, hotels, etc. Greeks also pay a 20% flat tax and because the country is in a crisis, they have to prepay their tax each year. Even worse: Average Greek income is $10,000 per year. That means the average Greek citizen pays $2000 in income tax leaving $8000 and if they spend it in one year, they will pay $1920 in VAT. Net amount is $6080. YIKES!

Can you believe this weekend is Memorial Day? We still haven’t had Spring let alone summer coming up. Add to the fact Independence Day is on a Wednesday.

Happy holidays to you!