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Hot markets and flying turkeys  

Ameet said to me, "Ah, I've seen this many times before. See, Mark, in a booming market you can never tell the winners from the losers. In a booming market buyers aren't very discerning and companies that have weaknesses can mask them. I've seen this a few times before. Andersen Consulting always gains market share in down markets. That's where the companies who are just good at marketing tend to crumble. In a booming market you can't tell the difference."

The wisdom in the stock market is to buy when the market is down and depressed and sell when the market is high and hyped. The same is true for investing in startup ideas (whether you're a wealthy investor putting in money or a cash-strapped entrepreneur putting in their best years).

As an entrepreneur, this is even more important wisdom, because whereas an investor can invest in many startups at the same time, you can only pour your soul into one at a time.

Things change dramatically, however, if, as an individual, you can do multiple things at once for cheap. Then it might make more sense to follow the trends and monetise them as best you can. The applicable wisdom, then might be to put your eggs in many baskets that are rising with the tide, and sell them before the tide goes down.

More from the library:
Let your team speak!
Picking technologies on the right side of history
Disrupt or compete