Forex Trading Tips: Will Bing Turn Google Into Netscape and Why It Matters to Trading

Will Bing Turn Google Into Netscape and Why It Matters to Trading

Twelve years ago, a company called Netscape was the hottest software maker in the world. It invented the internet browser and started the online revolution. At one point it owned 80% of the browser market and looked like it was going to dominate computing for the next decade to come. Its competitor Microsoft was an old bureaucratic behemoth. Stuck in Redmond Washington it was producing such “scintillating” products as a multi-CD set encyclopedias while the cool Silicon Valley Netscape was digitizing the whole knowledge base of the world online.

After a while, however, Microsoft started to focus its energy on the web. It produced its first browser which sucked, then it made its second browser which was considerably better. Netscape meanwhile basked in its own PR and continued to make only incremental changes to its product. Within two years Microsoft completely caught up and surpassed Netscape. A few years after that Netscape was folded into AOL and effectively ceased to exist, its name is known only to those of us who were around during the early days of the Internet revolution. Ask your teenage children if they know the name Netscape and you will most likely get a blank stare in return.

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These days we live our Net life on Google. At BK we not only use the search engine a hundred times a day, but also run our whole email system and chat on it constantly. In fact when I am in Dubai or France or whenever business takes me, I will often chat with Kathy on Gchat through my Blackberry as easily as when I sit two feet away from her in New York. Google is our gateway to the web and just as with Netscape it appears that nothing can replace it.

Until now.

Take a look at the promo video of Microsoft’s new search service called Bing and tells me honestly if it is not a thousand times better than Google. Microsoft, yes that stodgy dinosaur in the Pacific Northwest that we all love to hate, may have come up with the Google killer. Bing completely revolutionizes search from a mere relevance algorithm into an “intellectual servant”. Bing becomes your own private research assistant that will no doubt make our life easier and more productive if it works as advertized.

What does it have to do with trading? Everything. The history of high technology is Darwinian economics writ large. The companies that survive are the ones that adapt best to the new environment. Financial markets of course are the ultimate Darwinian playground. As we all know, there is no pity for losers -- you burn your capital you die (unless you are a bank, but that’s a discussion for another time).

Survival of the fittest in the markets does not mean survival of the strongest, but of the most flexible. A overweight, chain smoking, sloppy trader with a nasty temper will beat a perfectly coiffed, muscle bound Ken doll any time if he is more intellectually malleable and able to better adjust to the changes in market flow. As we all know, trading does not reward hard work, good eating habits and healthy exercise routines (although there are other good reason to follow those rules). Trading is the most mercenary activity there is. Adapt or die is the central tenet of what we do. That’s why complacency is our greatest enemy, as Netscape has shown in the past and now maybe Google will show in the future.

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