Starbucks Just Became Google’s Best Friend

A plan to bring wireless power to all Starbucks locations will make it even easier for us to stay connected.

Jun 17, 2014 at 10:45PM

Starbucks Duracell Powermat

Soon, your nearby Starbucks will offer to power your devices wirelessly. Credit: Powermat.

How about a venti, no-foam, vanilla latte while you charge up your beleaguered phone? If that sounds enticing, then Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has a pitch for you. The caffeine king is working with Duracell's Powermat to bring wireless chargers to all of its stores.

My Foolish colleague Rich Duprey explains the deal, and what it means for Starbucks, here. I'd rather focus on what it means for Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG). Yes, you read that right: Google.

A short history of owning the Internet, one coffee shop at a time
In May, a website called The Information reported that Google would begin supplying low-cost Wi-Fi equipment to all sorts of retailers. Last summer, the search king specifically teamed with Starbucks to outfit all 7,000 of its U.S. locations. Adding wireless power takes the entire effort to a new level.

Who gets the better end of the arrangement? You'd think Starbucks, if only because the act of entering a store -- even if it's just to charge up -- increases the odds you'll buy a drink or a snack. But Google wins, too. More convenient access to power allows us to spend more time online searching for answers to life's pressing questions, such as how to get to that out-of-the-way restaurant you've been dying to try.

For Google, which trades on data about us and our habits, every moment we spend online has the potential to become a monetizable event.

The "be-everywhere" strategy
Once you fully process that, Google's giveaways start to make sense. From drones to balloons to satellite-delivered Internet, anything that makes it easy to get users online becomes a cog in one giant Internet machine that divines profits from the bits and bytes flowing through the world's networks. If I'm surprised by anything in this deal, it's that Google isn't somehow a sponsor.

Meanwhile, Duracell Powermat gets the best possible endorsement for its technology in front of an audience of likely buyers. An estimate from the American Community Survey finds that 2.6% of the workforce, or 3.2 million people, telecommute from home or places like Starbucks. The ratio goes much higher when you count the self-employed. Call them digital nomads who need the sorts of technology Powermat provides. Starbucks is about to give them unprecedented access, all while granting Google a few more chances to profit.

Are you ready for this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Have you ever dreamed of traveling back in time and telling your younger self to invest in Google? Or to load up on Starbucks at its IPO, and then just keep holding? We haven't mastered time travel, but there is a way to get out ahead of the next big thing. The secret is to find a small-cap "pure-play," and then watch as the industry -- and your company -- enjoy those same explosive returns. Our team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's ready for stunning profits with the growth of a $14.4 TRILLION industry. You can't travel back in time, but you can set up your future. Click here for the whole story in our eye-opening report.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C class) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Google (A and C shares) and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A and C class) and Starbucks. 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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