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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers