As I've written before http://tynan.com/trendy, I'm generally early on a lot of different things from nomadic travel to online gambling. Being early to things is valuable, but it is also equally valuable to realize when something is over and to leave early. This skill is actually easier than finding new things because it involves just evaluating existing phenomena rather than searching for them.
One good example is college. I dropped out almost twenty years ago and believed then that it was going to be worth it for fewer and fewer people. These days the number of people for whom school represents a terrible value is larger than ever. Without major changes, that number will continue to increase (keep in mind that it is obviously still a great value for some people, so I'm not trying to say it's wrong for everyone).
Another example is San Francisco. I used to love that city to death and wonder why everyone wasn't scrambling to figure out how to live there. Four years ago I felt like it was past its prime and cut my ties (except for with my amazing friends there). I saw a survey recently that showed that most people in San Francisco don't want to live there anymore.
I think a lot about the interplay between perception, reality, and trajectory. Las Vegas has a very bad perception (all partying and glitz), and excellent reality (highest quality of life per dollar in any US city), and a promising trajectory. San Francisco has an excellent perception, a pretty rough reality, and a frightening trajectory.
Of course, these things are all subjective. Some people have amazing realities in San Francisco and maybe their experience there or at least their prediction of their experience there is improving. If you have a gambling addiction, your reality in Vegas would probably be awful. Still, we can look at general trends.
Whenever outsiders' perceptions of something does not match reality, this should raise a major flag. It may as well be the definition of something being undervalued or overvalued.
Our common perception of school is that it leads to a good career and a good future. People still believe that, or at least feel that it is "safe". But we have a near-crisis of student debt and people are having more and more trouble finding jobs that can service that debt and create a good future. Meanwhile tuition keeps rising at such a rate that if one were to just invest the cost of tuition in the market, that benefit would eclipse the wage gap between college grads and high school grads, which is largely based on correlation rather than causation anyway.
San Francisco is seen as an idyllic place to live with a slightly counter-culture vibe. People who come there are shocked to see human feces and heroin needles on the streets of even very nice neighborhoods. Wealth disparity has grown to a truly crippling level, creating a monoculture of tech, and even friends making great six-figure salaries find it oppressively expensive.
When perception is much better than reality, the odds of that particular situation being on the cusp of being over is very high.
It takes some bravery to act against public perception. People thought I was crazy to leave San Francisco for Vegas. Dropping out of school was seen as a very risky thing for me to do.
Now a lot of friends in San Francisco have left or want to leave, and a dozen of them bought condos in my Vegas neighborhood. I doubt anyone would say that I would have been better off staying in school, even with the significantly lower tuition fees of that time.
When you can shed things that are over, you can get an early mover advantage on the next thing. When you stick around, you're sometimes the one left holding the bag. Think about situations in your life where perception doesn't match reality, and make the hard choice to leave things behind whose time has past.
Photo is of San Francisco. Still a beautiful city, especially if you zoom out a bit.
As I mentioned in other posts, I've bought a place in Vegas and have officially moved there (although I still spend a lot of my time traveling). Living in Vegas is a weird sort of loophole that most people probably aren't even aware of, so I figured I'd talk about why I decided to do it, and the unique advantages that Vegas presents.
If you work independently or remotely, Vegas is very likely to be a place you should consider moving. If doing so would require you to find a job, Vegas is probably not for you. The job market here is terrible, which is part of why this opportunity exists. That barrier is suppressing demand for housing.
The biggest reason to consider Vegas is the very low cost of living. There's no state income tax, and housing is cheap. Ridiculously cheap. My place would have cost approximately twenty-two times as much if I had bought it in San Francisco. Thats crazy! I bought a 1000 square foot place for under $45,000.
The thing that makes this amazing is the location. My place is six minutes from the airport, eight minutes to the center of the strip, twelve minutes from downtown, and five from Chipotle.
INTERNAL SCORECARD #7
This is the seventh internal scorecard I've posted. I put these up as a way for you to see what production and productivity actually look like (with the up's and down's, and so on), and as a measure for myself of what's happening and what's to come.
This covers 30 June to 6 July.
DALIO OF THE WEEK
"Goals are the things that you really want to achieve, while desires are things you want that can prevent you from reaching your goals—as I previously explained, desires are typically first-order consequences. For example, a goal might be physical fitness, while a desire is the urge to eat good-tasting, unhealthy food (i.e., a first-order consequence) that could undermine you obtaining your fitness goal. So, in terms of the consequences they produce, goals are good and desires are bad." -- Ray Dalio, Principles, p27