How Warren Buffett Would Use Google Glass to Get Rich

What happens when Google collides with Warren Buffett?

Jan 18, 2014 at 10:30AM


Sources: Coca-Cola,, Filter Forge.

For most of us Foolish investing geeks out there, the concepts of "wearable tech" or the "Internet of things" probably takes your mind to disruption, changing market shares, and opportunities to find the next hot growth stock.

But have you stopped to consider how these technologies may help not only the stocks of the companies making these products, but more generally your investing process itself?

Warren Buffett's new glasses
For this thought experiment, who better to turn to the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren E. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B). Now, imagine for a moment that Warren removed his thick-framed glasses and donned a sleek pair of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Glass. 

Assuming this thought didn't explode your brain with amazement, let's flashback to 1988.

Warren is sitting at Gorat's in Omaha, waiting for his favorite steak dinner. His waiter brings out a bottle of a delicious, bubbly soft drink with a red label and a scripted, white logo. 

Buffett speaks softly to Glass, "Hey Google, what is this delicious beverage? It's AMAZING!"

Pleasantly, Glass would have answered, "It's a Coca Cola (NYSE:KO), Mr. Buffett." Glass, knowing that Warren is, well, Warren Buffett, would have certainly included the ticker for the stock.

From there, Glass would have projected Coke's market share, financial highlights, competition, and valuation metrics in an easy to read and unobtrusive visual that only Buffett could see. Immediately impressed with what he saw, Warren would have used Glass to call or email his famed business partner Charlie Munger to share his discovery. A few weeks of due diligence later, Warren and Charlie are buying.

For investors today, this application still resonates. We advocate investing in businesses you understand and want to own for the ultra-long term here at the Fool. One effective method for sourcing these types of businesses is to observe products and services in your life that solve problems for you. With Glass, those products can be identified, their corporate information can be immediately available, and you can email the details to yourself for further due diligence. 

All of this can happen essentially in the background of your life, without disturbing your friends or significant other sitting with you at the table, in the car, or anywhere else. 


Source: XPRIZE Foundation.

A virtual ride on the railroad
Fast forward now to 2009. Buffett has become very impressed with Burlington Northern Sante Fe's then-CEO Matthew Rose since his first investment in the company in 2006. Interested in understanding the railroads capital investments more deeply, Buffett sends a spare pair of Glass to Rose.

Rose leaves BNSF headquarters in Fort Worth for the newly constructed rail exchanges outside Chicago, eager to show off the opportunity for the company supporting the oil and gas boom in the region.

Buffett, sitting comfortable in his office in Omaha (probably full from a lunch at Gorat's), and the rest of the Omaha team watch as Rose streams his view, live from Chicago. Buffett, Munger, and others can ask questions in real time, see the work being done, and visually understand the scale of the freight boom downstream from the oil fields in North Dakota. 

Much like Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) changed the relationship between celebrities, athletes, politicians, and other public figures and the masses, Glass could revolutionize the way companies interact with shareholders. This sort of company-investor interaction could bring unprecedented access for the retail investing world. No longer would analysts from big investment banks have behind-the-scenes access. Everyone would have a first-person view.

The upside is limitless
The real beauty of a product and platform like Google Glass, and the many other wearable tech products in development at other companies, is the collective genius of the developers who will build applications for the hardware. 


The Fool's Matt Argersinger testing Google Glass.

Look no further than Google's Android operating system and its Play Store, or Apple's App Store for iOS to see the potential. Build a platform based on impressive and useful hardware, and the brilliant minds of developers around the world will create uses beyond anyone's most ambitious expectation. 

As investors, its not enough to only spend time looking for new opportunities, researching those opportunities, and maintaining our existing portfolio. We must also devote a portion of our energy to improving our process.

How can you improve your ability to recognize a product that is a cut above the rest? How can you improve your analysis methodology to understand a company better, deeper, and in less time? What tools can you deploy to enhance your returns and minimize your risks?

These are the kind of problems and questions that future tech can solve. Yes, its exciting to think about the huge market that Google Glass could unlock, sending Google's stock to incredible highs. But don't stop there. Sometimes, these technologies can improve your investing in all companies, not just one.

Can't get enough of Warren?
Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing, and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.

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Fool contributor Jay Jenkins has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Google, and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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