You're the spaciest, George Jetson!
As far as visionaries go, the futuristic cartoon world dreamed up by Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera (who passed away this month) a whopping 44 years ago proved to be a more accurate than you may think. Sure, we're not flying around in personal spaceships, but there was more to The Jetsons than goofy fashion and single-passenger hovercraft.
From the space age family's home life to the corporate life of George and Mr. Spacely, the show's aim was closer to its mark than most believe. And brushing up on it may also make you a better investor.
Rosie, circa 2007
We may not have the same wisecracking robotic maid as the Jetsons', but you can pony up for a lot of Rosie's functionality. Thanks to the brainy engineers at iRobot
You can hack into your Roomba if you want it to ooze a little more personality, but I prefer the quieter Rosies that we have scurrying around at programmed intervals instead. Out in the kitchen, appliances like microwave ovens, state-of-the-art food processors, and TurboChef
Head out to the living room and it only gets better. The Jetsons could relax there because automated conveniences granted them more leisure time, but the reality is even better. Miss your favorite show? No worries. You have video on demand, Internet streaming, and digital video recorders to serve up what you want to see on your terms.
Outside the home
We don't have the automatic dog walkers that would prompt George to belt out, "Jane, stop this crazy thing," but life is still good beyond our homestead's walls.
Our cars still hug the road, but GPS technology makes navigation a breeze. Just fire up your navigation system, punch in your destination, and you'll get turn-by-turn directions including automatic rerouting if you should err -- like a human -- and go astray.
Another day at the office? Satellite radio and iPods make the commutes practically enjoyable. Don't know what you want to hear? A site like Napster
It finally took off in the corporate space and we have scaled-down gadgetry at the consumer level (think webcams and IM video chat software) to see eye-to-eye with others even when we're thousands of miles away.
Not feeling too well? Waiting at the doctor's office isn't much of a joy, but there are plenty of innovations like robotic surgical arms and telemedicine advances to get you healthier, sooner. It's not just doctors making house calls, either. Thanks to a company like SonoSite
Everything's coming up Rosie
Put it all together. You can pick apart The Jetsons and come up with some gems, like when George went to the big game and his ticket was scanned at the entrance. Scanning tickets seemed absurd in a stub-ripping world until just a few years ago.
What does this all mean for you as an investor? More than you realize. It didn't take much to dream up The Jetsons. Technological advances that make life more convenient have an easy path to relevance if they can be produced at reasonable price points. Buy in early and wait for the market to catch on? That's how many thousandaires have become millionaires in the stock market.
That kind of thinking fuels many of the promising growth stocks that are singled out in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service. Past picks have included companies like iRobot and Taser
iRobot, SonoSite, and Taser have been singled out to Rule Breakers readers.You can tap into your inner Elroy -- or Judy -- by getting your future started right with a 30-day pass for free. Palm is a Stock Advisor selection.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz never got to name any of his dogs Astro. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.TheFool has a disclosure policy.