The Smart TV Revolution

In the following video, Michael Saylor, CEO and founder of Microstrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) and author of The Mobile Wave, sits down with Motley Fool Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker to discuss tech, business, and social trends as they relate to investors today. Understanding paradigm shifts like those discussed here are a cornerstone of Motley Fool superinvestor David Gardner's own investing strategy and are critical to his market-thrashing returns. Learn more about how he discovers his winners; just click here now to read more.

Michael Saylor: The big story that's about to come is that every living room, every classroom, every board room, every conference room and every office of every executive who's important or thinks they're important is going to have an intelligent television.

There's already 1.5 billion TVs. I figure that's going to go to 3 billion televisions. Every conference room and every executive office in our company has a 65-, 70-inch Samsung TV with Apple TV, plugged into the Wi-Fi network.

You walk in, you take out your iPad, you project your keynote presentation onto the wall in two seconds. You sit around a table with 10 people, I can push my presentation from my iPhone to the screen, you can push your iPad to the screen, we can go back and forth.

These are interactive communication tools now. A lot of people have whiteboards. You're going to laugh at somebody with a whiteboard when you walk into their office, sometime soon. Whiteboards, blackboards, and paintings on the wall are going away.

Think about the psychology. If you walked into an executive's office three years ago and they've got a TV on the wall, you think, "What do you do, sit around and watch CNN all day long?" It's actually kind of embarrassing to have a TV when it's for entertainment.

If your television is plugged into the Wi-Fi network and the executive goes "zap" and starts throwing his presentations, his video, his ideas, or his calculations up there on the screen, you think, "Well, that's legitimately intellectual."

The same is true of the classroom. If you have a projection device, a $1,000 device that shoots on that screen, and I have one iPad Touch or an iPad Mini or something, I can stand up and put 3-D rotational models of the human anatomy on the screen for a 12-year-old, and I can teach them medicine better than a medical school student at Harvard could learn 10 years ago.

I could take Khan Academy, and I could pretty much teach you any subject, at my fingertips, better than you learned at any time in the last 10,000 years.

Of course, in the home, the whole idea is -- I probably spend $100,000 a year on A/V consultants to get all my things to work right. I can't get my televisions to work. Seven remote controls, there's always one of them out of sync, one box that doesn't work, and I'm continually frustrated.

I think sometime in the next few months you'll see Apple Computer come out with an Apple Computer branded TV. It'll probably look like a 70-inch or 65-inch whatever with the Apple brand and a single plug. You put it in the wall, iOS lights up on Wi-Fi, and every iPad and iPod and iPhone becomes a device to stream something interactively on that.

At that point -- people aren't stupid. The iPhone is an aspirational device. My 18-year-old niece wants one for her birthday. A 65-year-old board member wants one. Random people will kill for them. I had people in Europe begging me to buy them and send them to them. Everybody wants one.

As soon as you have intelligent televisions, everybody is going to look at the TV on their wall and say: "That is a piece of crap. Get rid of it." That is going to be horrifically bad for Sony and Panasonic and Sharp; all of the unbranded, dumb electronics manufacturing component guys are in deep, deep crap. They're going to be in deep trouble.

What you're going to end up with is 3 billion televisions, 2 billion desktops, 12 billion tablets, and 6 billion phones, all wound together by either iOS, Android, or Windows, and I think Apple's going to be No. 1, Google's going to be No. 2, and Microsoft will be a somewhat distant No. 3.

That's what I would be factoring into my investment thesis, because I think that train has left the station. I don't think anybody can stop it at this point.

In the following video, Michael Saylor, CEO and founder of Microstrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) and author of The Mobile Wave, sits down with Motley Fool Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker to discuss tech, business, and social trends as they relate to investors today. Understanding paradigm shifts like those discussed here are a cornerstone of Motley Fool superinvestor David Gardner's own investing strategy and are critical to his market-thrashing returns. Learn more about how he discovers his winners; just click here now to read more.


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  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2013, at 1:10 PM, xav1980 wrote:

    Thanks for the article.

    TV is a very small margin business. Look at LG for instance, their gross margin is 5 percent. I am not sure how Apple would fit in that business. To make money, Apple would need to be significantly more expensive than competitors.

    Furthermore, all the functionalities that you mentioned and more can be achieved with a $99 Apple TV. I am confused as to why consumers would spend 40+ percent extra to get an apple branded TV. Maybe Apple could license the technology to existing TV manufacturer.

    Thoughts?

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2013, at 1:11 PM, midnightmoney wrote:

    He's committing a serious error in assuming technology can take the place of teaching or learning. A rotating 3-d model of anatomy does not ensure you are being taught better, though it may help you visualize what you have inside of you. Vizualization, however, is not comprehension, and I'm sure we could produce a good list of highly accomplished blind people--I'd start with Jorge Borges--to bear that point out. As a language teacher, I have eschewed 'interactive' platforms because they diminish actual interaction, not improve it, and distract students from what is actually important. Mr Slick is attempting to sell a product here, so the venue is appropriate, but I'm far from convinced. On a final note, tell me if your grand old Buffett would have fared better over the years if he'd had interactive yearly reports that came to him on smart tvs instead of in the mail.

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