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Collection: Mohnish Pabrai - #67 '1959-62 Tronics Bubble'



Then you know if you look at the 1959 to 1962 period, we had another very significant bubble and this is called the Tronics Bubble.

And what was happening at this time was that you know, you had the semiconductor that had been – the transistor were invented, semiconductors have been discovered, Moore's Law was coming into play. And people expected that electronics would be a major major game-changer, it would reconfigure a wide range of industries.

And they were absolutely right because you know, Moore's Law has – you know, basically where you're doubling the amount of transistors in the same amount of area every couple of years or every 18 months has pretty much been the case almost non-stop from then till now. I think now Moore's Law is down to every 2 or 3 years but we are still seeing that trend play out.

And so as a result of that we had the huge growth in computers, you know going from mainframes to mini, to servers, to PCs, to laptops. When we had all the cell phones and iPhones and iPads. And pretty much you know, you look at it basically, 60 – 65 years – 66 years electronics has grown non-stop. So investors were correct in 1959 that electronics was a sunrise industry and it would change lives big time.

But in spite of being correct, just like the people in the Motors were correct about the trends. They lost their entire investment.

And in fact, what happened in the early 60s is all these companies came public with a name ending in "trons," like Astron, Dutron, Vulcatron, Transitron. Or they had "onics" like Circuitronics, Supronics, Videotronics. And the ultimate were one with both Powertron Ultrasonics. (Laughter)

You know, they wanted to make sure that when they had an IPO they had sizzle in that name. And that was a very sizzling name and I'm sure people bought into the Powertron Ultrasonics. And it all went to – it all went to zero.

So that also did not go very well for investors even though they were absolutely right about the major trends and absolutely right about the huge transformation impact that the semiconductors and transistors would have, and continues to have.



[YAPSS Takeaway]

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