Imagine a typical Friday night back in the 1990s. For many of us, our evening’s entertainment would include one iconic company: Blockbuster Video.
Today, the name Blockbuster might bring a feeling of nostalgia. It’s not just the brand, but the memories of hopping in the car, driving to the Blockbuster, and wondering what we’d come home with to watch.
From the first store’s opening in 1985 to its peak in 2004, it grew to 9,000 stores globally, earning nearly $6 billion in revenue. But by then, the end was already in sight.
Blockbuster completely missed a major shift in the movie rental business… the launch of a tiny competitor called Netflix in 1997.
Netflix’s business model was simple. Rather than traveling to a video rental store, the company would mail consumers the DVDs they wanted to watch.
And in 2007, Netflix changed the game. It began allowing customers to “stream” movies directly to their homes… no VHS or DVD required.
Ironically, Blockbuster had the opportunity to purchase Netflix for $50 million in 2000. The company passed on the deal – arguably one of the worst business decisions in history.
We all know how the story ended…
Given a choice between convenient video streaming or waiting in line at a Blockbuster store, customers signed up for Netflix in droves. In 2013, Netflix had approximately 34 million subscribers worldwide. Today, that figure is 203 million.
Blockbuster, meanwhile, filed for bankruptcy in 2010… a desperate attempt to escape its $1 billion debt load. Today, the massive franchise has wilted down to a single store located in a small town in Oregon.
Ironically, Netflix recently aired a new documentary: The Last Blockbuster. Hilarious.
And for investors in Netflix, the returns were phenomenal.
Anyone who invested back at its 2002 IPO and held until now has made more than 43,000%. A single $10,000 investment would have resulted in more than $4.3 million today.
The story of Netflix and Blockbuster is a great example of what I call a “digital leap.” And it’s these events that hold some of the most promising investment upside.
The Power of a Digital Leap
Digital leaps – when an entire industry moves from analog to digital – are rare. But when they occur, the profit potential is enormous.
The digital leap from video rental to at-home streaming is a perfect example. But it’s not the only one.
Just look at some other examples…
Back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, a small company called Amazon began a digital leap in the retail space by shipping books to customers.
It rapidly expanded its initial offering to include movies and music… then home improvement products… kids’ toys… and finally office products, clothing, toiletries, gourmet foods, electronics, sporting goods, and more.
By 2003, the retailer was becoming the go-to place for virtually anything a customer might want to buy. And in doing so, Amazon helped define the e-commerce industry.
Instead of going to a brick-and-mortar store these days, many of us go online to purchase the items we want. Half of all online shoppers go to Amazon first to search for a product.
Amazon’s stock price has shown the results here as well… Someone who invested $10,000 at its IPO would have more than $12 million today.
Legacy retail businesses like Macy’s and JCPenney have languished for years. Sears – the iconic American company – filed Chapter 11 in October 2018.
And this is not the only space where we’ve seen a digital leap like this…
You may have seen one of Square’s beautifully designed point of sale terminals at one of your favorite local businesses. I see them everywhere – restaurants, coffee shops, my local wine and spirits store, my butcher, etc.
Square has made it easier than ever for small businesses to handle transactions. Instead of requiring customers to pay with cash or check, Square enabled small retailers to accept credit cards at the register.
But that’s not its only improvement… Square’s Cash App is one of the best payment applications available today. The design is clean. It’s simple to use. And it enables users to send dollars back and forth without ever pulling out their wallets.
In other words, Square is helping society move away from using physical bills and coins… and to a system where all our payments are digital.
And its stock has risen as much as 2,000% since its IPO.
Or think about Tesla…
Typically, when we get into our cars, we have to think about where we’re going and how we’ll get there. But Tesla has been changing the game with its Autopilot system.
With Autopilot, drivers can take their hands off the wheel and let the car drive itself down the highway. And Tesla is on the cusp of full automation. When that happens, customers will be able to get from their driveway to their destination without any input other than entering the address.
In other words, Tesla is leading the automotive industry into a digital leap.
And in 2018, when everyone was saying to avoid Tesla like the plague… I was pounding the table. I could see the digital leap coming, and I knew we needed to get in ahead of the jump.
Since then, Tesla’s shares have gained over 1,400%.
And now, in 2021, we’re in the early stages of the last digital leap for a major industry, and I believe it will be the biggest of them all.
The Last Digital Leap
As we’ve seen, when a digital leap happens, life-changing profits are possible. But there’s one big industry that has lagged the others… and has yet to truly go digital.
I believe this last digital leap will be even bigger than all the ones we’ve seen before. The pandemic has thrown this space into overdrive… and the industry is finally being forced to catch up to modern technology.
But the good news is… we’re still in the early stages.
I’m convinced fortunes will be made. That’s because this industry has trillions of dollars on the line.
And this is why I’ve been preparing a special presentation for investors… and why I’d like to invite you to join me Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m. ET at my America’s Last Digital Leap event.
There, I’ll share all the details on the industry about to make the leap… and how attendees can get in position to profit. Because there’s one company on my list that is right in the middle of this technological shift.
Even better, it’s on the cusp of a huge announcement. Once that happens, there’s no telling how high its shares could go.
To make sure you get a space at the America’s Last Digital Leap event, go right here to reserve your spot.
It’s a night you won’t want to miss.
I hope to see you there!
Editor, The Bleeding Edge