Invincible. Infallible. Unshakeable. When the tech heavyweights stepped up to fight nearly ten years ago, they were substantially leaner in almost every measurable category. Market caps were deflated following a bloody bear bath; earnings were paltry and, in many cases, non-existent; and influence on Main Street, Wall Street and Capitol Hill were meaningful but not, by any means, overwhelming.
The unicorn, a mythological creature first depicted in the Bronze Age, has taken many forms in many cultures over many centuries. One of the earliest descriptions of the majestic, single-horned beast came in 400 BC by the Greek historian Ctesias. He described the animal as having a white head, purple body, blue eyes, and a cubit-long colored horn.
Evolutions in telecom are like clockwork: once a decade something extremely important happens. In the 1980s, the first nationwide mobile network operators (MNOs) appeared (think AT&T and the predecessors to Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile). In the 1990s, GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) rolled out as a standard that became like the Bible for the industry. At the turn of the century, 3G was the new rage and, about ten years after that, 4G/LTE opened the floodgates for transmitting large quantities of data.
Back in early September, we ran a fascinating interview with Rick Davidson, former CEO and President of Century 21. In the exchange, Rick hinted at the beginnings of a real estate slowdown in the US, anticipating coastal markets would see the tide shifting first, before a more broad-based tightening took hold. Since then, ominous headlines have made waves in national publications, echoing and expanding on this outlook (you can find a particularly popular one in The Wall Street Journal).
For many, the holiday season is a special time to pause and reflect on things that are important. It is a time to celebrate, show gratitude, and practice generosity with family, friends, and co-workers. While joyful in most cases, it can also be a very busy time of year, as people travel, attend holiday parties and buy gifts online.