Usually, when we observe how technological changes alter the value of other businesses, we pay attention to the changes that are absolutely fatal. The rise of cell phones with the ability to take pictures has demolished both the camera and film development industries. The iPhone bankrupted Eastman Kodak.
In giving so much attention to the changes in technology that are fatal to business models, we tend to pay less attention to the changes that are less than fatal but yet significant enough to alter the intrinsic valuation calculations for certain businesses.
Gas stations come to mind as a fair example.
In the 1950s through the early 1970s, being a gas station was a very difficult to earn a lower to middle class living. The profit margins on gas have always been razor thin on the retail side, and worst of all if you were an operator in your community, you … Read the rest of this article!