Back in February 2000, a promising young e-commerce startup by the name of Pets.com raised $82.5 million in a flashy initial public offering (IPO).
Nine months later, amid the dot-com bubble, the company filed for bankruptcy.
Over the next few years, it was joined by a litany of other once-promising e-commerce firms that failed to live up to the hype, including Webvan, Boo.com, and eToys.
All of those companies promised to change the world. None of them did.
But one small e-commerce company did go on to the change the world, and that’s Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) – which is now a trillion-dollar global technology empire.
The history lesson here is subtle but important.
It is hard – nearly impossible – to grow a successful business in a brand-new industry, mostly because there is no blueprint for how to succeed. Everyone’s shooting their shot in the dark. Most of those shots miss, which is why most companies in brand-new industries go bankrupt.
But a few of those shots do hit the mark. And the companies behind those “winning shots” turn into giants of a hypergrowth industry.
Amazon is just one example of this.
In the wake of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) turning into the world’s information hub, there were plenty of online search browsers that failed to make it, including WebCrawler, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, DogPile, and more.
Before Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the iPhone, we had Blackberry.
Before Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), we had MySpace.
Growing a winning business in a brand-new industry is hard. Oftentimes, the world doesn’t get it right the first time around. Usually, it’s the second, third, or even fourth company to market that executes and turns into a trillion-dollar empire.
We’re seeing this play out right now with the burgeoning iBuying industry.
As many of you know, iBuying is the process of buying and selling homes online. It’s a long overdue innovation in the real estate market which represents a significant improvement over the status quo, because it takes this complicated, multi-party, expensive, and lengthy process of buying and selling a home and simplifies it, cheapens it, and hastens it.
As someone who has been through the iBuying process, let me tell you: This is the future. It saved me money. It saved me time. And it saved me some gray hairs from stress, too.
We firmly believe that iBuying will do to the real estate market what e-commerce did to the retail market, what search engines did to the information market, and what social media did to the communication market.
It will revolutionize it. And, to that end, we see iBuying turning into a multi-trillion-dollar industry one day.
But this is a brand-new industry, and as a brand-new industry, it is home to multiple failures.
The most notable iBuying failure to-date is Zillow (NASDAQ:Z, NASDAQ:ZG). The real estate tech giant launched its iBuying operations a few years back, aggressively ramped investments into this business earlier this year, and just last month announced its departure from iBuying amid an inability to create robust-enough algorithms to granularly and dynamically predict home price trends.
Zillow pulled a Pets.com. Great idea. Bad execution.
If Zillow is the Pets.com of iBuying, then who is the Amazon? Opendoor (NASDAQ:OPEN). Opendoor, frankly, is doing everything right that Zillow did wrong.
Zillow attacked the problem from a real estate angle, with real estate people. Opendoor is attacking the problem from a technology angle, with technology people.
Zillow relied on its far-too-aggressive Zestimate pricing calculator to price homes. Opendoor has built its much more robust and in-depth proprietary pricing algorithm that is far more accurate and truer to market value.
Zillow tried to launch iBuying everywhere, all at once. Opendoor has taken a very strategic, city-by-city launch strategy on the idea that its pricing algorithms need to be specific to each city.
Zillow kept buying in a slowing housing market in the summer. Opendoor eased up on its purchases.
And now, the results speak for themselves. While Zillow is exiting the iBuying business and its stock has cratered 35% over the past three months, Opendoor just acquired 15,181 homes last quarter and its stock has soared more than 30% over the past three months.
Folks, the writing is on the wall. The iBuying industry today is where the e-commerce industry was back in 2001, and while Zillow is the Pets.com of iBuying, Opendoor is the Amazon – and a future multi-hundred-billion-dollar company.
That’s why, in our flagship investment research advisory Innovation Investor, we’ve included Opendoor as a core holding.
More than that, we’ve slotted Opendoor as one of our five “Millionaire Maker” stocks, which we view as the five best buy-and-hold stocks in the market today.
We’re talking the next generation of tech giants. Stocks that could be like buying Amazon back in 1999, or Tesla back in 2010. Stocks that could make you a millionaire.
We established these five Millionaire Maker stocks in early August. Since then – in just five months – those five stocks have averaged a gain of nearly 40%.
That’s a huge return in just five months. But over the next five years, we’re targeting returns in excess of 1,000%.
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On the date of publication, Luke Lango did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.