Fisher speaks to business leaders

Founder of assets management company says Moore’s Law continues to foster growth for firms

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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California businessman Ken Fisher on Tuesday schooled a crowd of nearly 400 people on the theory of Moore’s Law and its connection to future entrepreneurial ventures at the Hilton Vancouver Washington downtown.

An observation made in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, Moore’s Law correctly predicted that the number of transistors scientists could squeeze per square inch on an integrated circuit would double every two years. Today, the law continues to foster growth for companies that are “extraordinary consumers of technology,” said Fisher, founder of Fisher Investments, a $43 billion asset management firm with satellite offices in east Vancouver and a permanent campus under development in Camas.

Fisher said he expects Moore’s Law to fuel the profits of companies selling consumer products that allow people to do things that they previously had not been able to do during his keynote speech at a business luncheon called “Building a Company for the 2030 Business Environment.”

Toy companies and makers of sporting and household goods can all benefit from Moore’s Law, Fisher said.

“It is the only reason Steve Jobs gets to be Steve Jobs,” he said, referring to the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc., a company worth about $153 billion and the maker of i-Phones and iPads.

“What we’re going to see in the next 20 years is that same kind of thing,” said Fisher, a Forbes columnist and author of four New York Times best-sellers.

Members of the business community arranged the luncheon as a way to introduce him to the area’s corporate leaders.

“It’s just exciting to know there’s a new business member among our ranks,” said Kelly Parker, executive director of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, which co-hosted the event with the Columbia River Economic Development Council.

Among his predictions, Fisher foresees more companies using fossil fuel, specifically natural gas. He is also intrigued by the biological research into DNA sequencing.

“The human medical activities in our lifetime will shift to be targeted to individuals,” he said. “People will live to be older.”

Nevertheless, in business, Fisher said basic rules will stay the same, including the notion of putting customers first.

“None of this stuff changes,” he said, although Fisher has noticed adjustments in the way today’s work force is expected to receive its training.

Fisher sees more and more special certification credentials required for jobs, from interior designers to tax specialists.

Despite the growing trend, he likes to hire people fresh out of college, recruits that don’t come with a list of qualifications and advanced degrees.

“Don’t try to hire people based on where they’ve been before, try to hire people based on where they’ve never been,” Fisher advised. “And then take them there.”