Second Derivatives, LCDs, & the Product Embarassment Cusp

While flat panels are already selling at a fantastic rate, they just passed an inflection point. How do I know? Because I just paid far more than I needed to for a new 32″ Sony LCD television, largely because I decided I couldn’t live with having to alibi plasma technology, let alone tube stuff.
I know, it’s silly, but it’s always worth watching your own behavior when you’re thinking about markets. When a market passes the wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-with-the-prior-technology stage, as the LCD panel market demonstrably has, you know that the market’s aggregate sales graph’s second-derivative just became highly positive.
As a sidenote, the entertaining and super-smart analyst Pop Coburn over at UBS Securities says something similar in his most recent technology strategy report. In laying out the themes in which he is most interested over the next year or so, he puts LCD panels and related technologies in the top slot. In doing so he points out that investors have a bad habit of prematurely declaring a technology to be “old hat” — and then the market proceeds to double or triple from there.