Playboy says it’s brining nudity back to the magazine.
To be honest, I actually forgot they took it out.
The magazine, and really the brand, has become somewhat insignificant.
Sure, Hugh Hefner built one hell of an empire. But all empires eventually fall.
That’s not to say Playboy can’t re-invent itself and rise from the ashes of its own irrelevance. But in order for that to happen, management must realize that it’s not nudity, or lack thereof, that’s diminished the brand.
In order for Playboy to survive in today’s modern media world, it must acknowledge that its brand has become outdated and is no longer synonymous with what today’s modern heterosexual male is interested in.
Of course, this predicament that Playboy is in is not exclusive to Playboy.
The product life cycle is a fairly simple concept to grasp.
Introduction – Growth – Maturity – Decline.
We’ve seen this time and time again.
The typewriter, whale oil, the beta max machine, the rotary phone. The list goes on and on.
Of course some product life cycles can be far more disruptive than others.
Take the internal combustion engine, for instance.
This remarkable machine has been the facilitator for so many of the wonderful things that we take for granted today. The truth is, the internal combustion engine has enabled mankind to eat healthier, work more efficiently, and really just have an all-around better life.
Without a doubt, the internal combustion engine will go down in history as one of the greatest inventions ever. But that doesn’t mean its infallible.
While we all owe a world of gratitude to the inventor of the internal combustion engine, J.J. Etienne Lenoir, technology has come a long way since Lenoir revealed his gasoline engine with an ignition system back in 1859.
Twenty Years Ago
Back in 2006, I predicted that the internal combustion engine was beginning to move into the “decline” phase of the product life cycle.
Thanks to the development of new battery chemistries and designs, the age of electric vehicles is upon us. And ultimately, these vehicles will meet all the needs we’ve come to expect from our internal combustion vehicles – but with fewer moving parts, and less of an environmental burden.
In another ten years, there will no longer be such a thing as “range anxiety,” as most electric cars will come equipped with driving ranges of at least 500 miles. Quick charging stations or other technological advancements in the works, will allow you to recharge your vehicle in the same time it takes to fill one with gasoline or diesel.
Most folks will “fuel” their cars from home, though. In fact, one day we won’t even think about having to “fill up” on our way to work. Our vehicles will always be “filled up.”
In addition to the electrification of our vehicles, pretty soon, most will be equipped with autonomous driving systems. Not only will we no longer even think about “filling up,” but we’ll barely even think about actually driving. And that’s assuming we even end up owning our own cars.
The way things are looking, the future of personal transportation may not even include car ownership, but car subscription services. Monthly fees provide you access to autonomous vehicles that pick you up in the morning and take you home at night. You’ll essentially have your own chauffeur, although this one will be wearing ones and zeros instead of a tuxedo or formal suit.
I realize this may be hard for some folks to digest. But consider this …
It was less than 20 years ago when there weren’t any smart phones. There were no Snapchats, Twitters, or Facebooks. There were no apps that would allow you to stream live video from your phone.
Twenty years ago, you would’ve been hard-pressed to find a single solar panel on any roof in the U.S. Today, there’s enough installed solar in this country to power about six million homes.
Twenty years ago, if you ordered something online, it would’ve typically taken anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to have it delivered. Today, I can order a pair of headphones, a bag of dog food, and a box of avocados, and have it all delivered to my front door within two hours.
Or how’s this one …
Twenty years ago, rockets weren’t re-usable. Today, we’re using Falcon 9 rockets that can deliver supplies to the international space station, then return to earth, landing on a drone ship in the middle of the ocean.
So rest assured, dear reader, having access to this new personal transportation paradigm is not out of the question. Which is why I encourage investors to have considerable exposure to everything from electric car companies like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) to mining companies that are providing all the materials necessary to make all these technological marvels possible.
The future is right in front of us, my friends. Embrace it. Be in awe of it. But most importantly, profit from it!