Virtual Risks to Ashley Madison?

In our last post, SeaWorld Worst Case, Not So Bad, we discussed the importance of questioning one’s assumptions.

“Sometimes, the answer is obvious. New data or an unexpected shift in fundamentals may vary from initial expectations negating the original thesis. Sometimes, the answer is less obvious. Technological disruption often goes unnoticed for years before it is too late.”

We reviewed some of the “obvious” risks to an investment in SeaWorld. And we considered how management is addressing them. The threat of technological disruption is “less obvious” but perhaps not as low as we had first assumed.

This fascinating interview with Walter O’Brien (AKA “Scorpion”) has spurred some controversy. O’Brien is the founder of Scorpion Computer Services and, a global think tank that provides intelligence-on-demand as a concierge service. The conversation with Scorpion covered the current state of head transplants (apparently that’s a thing) and how to save your son from marrying his deceitful fiancée, among other curious topics.

While these stories were highly entertaining, the discussion about virtual reality intrigued me. Today, the technology is mostly relegated to video games. But tomorrow, it is quite possible that VR is integrated into our lives in ways we can’t begin to imagine.

Bezos and Musk are unlikely to disrupt SeaWorld. But Zuckerburg’s new toy, Oculus VR, may have a shot. This won’t happen overnight. And it is unlikely to impact shares over our investment horizon. But longer term, I wonder about the threat of “virtual” supply.

I admit this may come across as extreme. I’m just saying it’s a possibility. And prudent investing requires one to consider all possibilities. Just take a look at the kids walking around Disney today staring at their iPhones.

On a lighter note, I would think VR poses a much greater risk to the friendly folks at Ashley Madison.

Virtual Reality