5 Picks from The Wired 40; NVIDIA helps us visualize….

Wired each year posts a top 40 list of businesses. Called The Wired Top 40 of course. The criteria is:

We start by looking for the basics: strategic vision, global reach, killer technology. But that’s not enough.
To land a spot on our annual Wired 40 list,
a business also needs the X-factor – a hunger for new ideas and
an impatience to put them into practice.

The top 3 companies for 2006 are Google, Apple and Samsung in that order. I wanted to highlight 5 others on the list that seem like good things will happen for them based on societal trends. This is my top 5 wired subset list from a NON investor.

  1. NVIDIA – Wired Rank 21 – These folks make graphics cards. Really good graphics cards. With the growing importance of visualization of information. Open source usually lags in innovation behind private companies (oh shoot me). We all need dual monitors with great graphics. Betting on NVIDIA is easy.
  2. GENENTECH – Wired Rank 04 – how can you go wrong with customized drugs for specific patient groups. Marketing teaches us that markets diverge, not converge. So we need drugs for divergent humans. Evolution, eh?
  3. MONSANTO – Wired Rank 25 – Frankenfood meets Ethanol. Corn number 2 is not the be-all. Monsanto in my opinion will benefit from the world’s energy demand. And we benefit because ethanol is a cap on the price of oil as it can only grow to the point of being higher than the price of ethanol and people switch (energy companies do this with feed stock versus natural gas in flex plants)
  4. LI & FUNG – Wired Rank 32 – outsource production of clothes for major brands. If there is anything I learned from reading on marketing and then Jane Jacobs it is that first you outsource, then innovate, then export. They either grow through the brands themselves, or innovate and become the brand. Either way it sounds like they are in the driver’s seat.
  5. CISCO – Wired Rank 12 – I
    thought they were goners a few years ago with the horrible user
    interface (command line, hello?). Then they bought Linksys and seem
    ready to continue to route our world. The market will grow and it is up
    to them to mess it up. I don’t think they will.

Now we just need to figure out the nanotech battery companies that power the dewalt drills. 18 VOLTS! Put that in your hybrid.

And just to repeat – I am not an investor. For all I know these are the
next Enron. But the business models sound good without looking at the
balance sheet.