Use tech or die. People always ask why the "Mad Money" team spends so much time out here in San Francisco, and the answer is pretty simple: If you want your company to survive in this new world, you need better tech -- tech that individualizes, tech that tells the story, tech that keeps you current, tech that keeps customers happy.
When we come out here we celebrate technology to give it its due and to get you as excited as we are about the possibilities and the boundaries that are routinely exceeded on the way to fabulous sales, and, if the execution's good enough, terrific earnings, too.
So all this week we will demonstrate, examine and constructively think about our surroundings because as terrific as so many companies are, they aren't going to get to the next level unless they hire the companies out here to take them there.
Monday we are at the Levi's (LEVI) Innovation Factory in the Marina District of San Francisco, where this 166-years new company is reinventing the making of jeans via their own technology.
The CEO, Chip Bergh, was faced with a dilemma of existential dimensions: How do you make classic jeans without classic despoliation of the earth, the way they had been made when resources, like water, seemed limitless and it didn't matter where the indigo went.
Those days are gone.
You know what else is gone? The era when manufacturers tell you what you want. Now you tell them what they want.
It's terrific for both sides: The manufacturer no longer has to make millions and millions of pants that no one wants that are destined for landfills, because there's too much inventory, and the consumer can create what she wants when she wants it. Hers isn't destined for a landfill either.
To get to where jeans look as they did years and years ago, but are better made and last longer requires lasers, special washing machines that save billions of gallons of water and keep the indigo from bleeding into the environment, while maintaining a workforce of seamstresses who have been with the company for ages.
You must make a product that mimics vintage, but in a way that the millennials know is as fair and kind to its workers, as it is to the earth, and for that you need technology especially designed to rebut the presumption of slave labor and river destruction.
That's what so much of what we see here is all about.
Every day we see these companies' stocks on the ticker crawl beneath the screen. You see their names, your eyes glaze over them. Do I really need to know what Zendesk (ZEN) does? The answer is yes, if you are trying to sell something.
How do I reach the younger generation who doesn't watch television? Maybe through social? So we go on Twitter (TWTR) to find out. And if you really want to know what's going on, what's taking the new world by storm, you can't just rely on talking to public companies. How about a company that has found a way to house everyone from spectators to refugee athletes at the next Olympics in Tokyo and the ones other than that in the new future?
You know what I like about this kind of thinking? Because it reminds you when tech stocks go down that they aren't necessarily out, not at all.
Take two stocks that got hit hard when their companies reported, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) . At the time I told you that you just had to hold your nose and buy them, even as they went down. Pretend that they hadn't done anything wrong, because, alas, they hadn't.
The stocks were reacting to the chart, to the chatter, to the ever so slight revisions on one or two lines of gibberish that control absolutely nothing. Why wasn't I more worried than the average bear that was driving these stocks down? Because we come out here and we know how indispensable the semiconductors these two companies make are to the society that now dominates the earth.
What does Levi Strauss want to do, besides make the most eco-friendly jeans that are destined for your legs not the landfill? It wants data to please your time.
Everyone wants your data, not because they want to be pains in the butt. They want the opposite: To be ready to show you what you most likely want, which music, what series, which clothes, what food, which restaurant, what e-game, which article, what television, which cellphone, what automobile -- and chances are you need something from Nvidia or AMD. If that's the case, and it is, how can you toss the stock out of your portfolio, if it misses some stupid line that no one will remember a week later.
Yes, Monday's the perfect day to examine Nvidia for what it is: The way to generate images and inferences that allow companies to be better at being, well, companies. And if they choose to shun Nvidia or don't spend the time learning what its chips do, then you are going to fall behind in your business and in your portfolio.
Let me put it in a way that you can understand during the next sell-off, like the buying opportunity that was Nvidia last week.
By coming out here, I learn who deserves to get the benefit of the doubt. I know that a company like Nvidia is developing semiconductors that make robots more than just things that make you laugh.
The company has devices that can simulate a cockpit or measure a self-driving car's ability to avoid a crash. It has devices that can answer you and understand your idiom. The company's graphics processing units -- GPUs -- can make a lifelike character in a video game, no, perhaps even more than lifelike if it's dark out. That's what it can do.
Now, I am not going to waive the right to be skeptical. You will see CEOs of companies that you may own shares in, and you may wonder why you do. But what matters is this:I need to expose you to as much as I can to the world out here, because it powers so much of your daily life and the choices you make or don't. But I wouldn't know the difference between Nvidia the company and Nvidia the dog, if we didn't make our way out here. It would just be another piece of paper, another conference call, another beat and for that all of us would be the poorer.