Many of my friends and colleagues in Silicon Valley are disappointed by the lack of Oakland Raiders or San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s big game.
But really, even with this community’s two favorite teams missing, Super Bowl 50 could re-brand itself as the Silicon Valley Bowl.
First off, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers are set to square off in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, right in the heart of the Valley.
Moreover, CBS Sports is using the edgiest, most innovative camera technology I’ve ever seen to record and broadcast the game.
For instance, the pylon camera makes it Super Bowl debut this year. With these high-resolution cameras – stuffed inside all eight end-zone pylons – fans will get a field-level view of the action in 2K resolution. And the aerial Wildcat camera can travel 25 mph – twice as fast as previous SkyCams – along its web of wires above the field, meaning it can outrun the players.
But I’m most excited about a new replay camera system that gives one of the trends we’ve long been following here a Super Bowl debut.
Sports broadcasting serves as a testing ground and showcase for TV and camera technology – after all, last year’s game was the most-watched show in U.S. television history. And so the debut of this new replay cam tells me that ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV) is primed to become widely adopted by global consumers.
This technology is now so significant that it’s beginning to disrupt the entire TV sector – enough so that UHDTV sets will earn a 50% market share by the end of this decade – making them a $30.4 billion market.
That’s a market that promises to be highly profitable – and so we want to grab a piece of it.
If you listened to the mainstream Wall Street media, these are the potential major 2016 initial public offerings you’d be “keeping an eye on.”
You and every other investor…
While we don’t follow the herd here, I do track the tech IPO market.
That’s because IPOs are the primary way in which tech startup investors – venture capitalists, hedge funds and the like – cash out and make their fortune. They’re the lifeblood of Silicon Valley.
Moreover, healthy numbers of IPOs drive a bull market higher because they pull in lots of fresh cash.
Now, the 2015 IPO market was a huge disappointment for investors. Only 169 companies went public last year, raising a combined $30 billion in proceeds. That’s the lowest amount since 2009.
Many high-tech firms postponed their stock debuts last year because they feared the market’s volatility. To me, that means the IPO market is due for a turnaround 2016.
But instead of chasing after “hot” startups that may or may not go public this year – Uber and the rest – today I’m going to reveal the facts about four fast-growing tech firms that almost certainly will make their IPOs in 2016. They’re the sorts of IPOs we can track to assess the market’s health.
These aren’t on Wall Street’s radar… but they’ll now be on yours.
Whenever a CEO takes the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we investors expect them to reveal something meaningful… innovative… in a word – big.
For example, during his CES address earlier this week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings declared that 2016 would mark "the birth of a new global internet TV network."
And with his firm’s streaming service now in more than 130 countries -Hastings’ enthusiasm is vindicated.
That wasn’t the only "big" announcement we saw at CES.
LG Electronics rolled out a screen that can be… rolled up like a newspaper… Samsung used its time in the spotlight to showcase how its motion controllers are taking virtual reality gaming to the next level… Ford revealed that it’s tripling its fleet of driverless cars this year – and making deals with Amazon and DJI to make its "connected cars" even more innovative.
But there was one CEO whose enthusiasm seemed forced and misplaced.
IBM Corp. CEO Virginia Rometty, during her keynote speech, spoke about Watson, the company’s artificial intelligence process… and unveiled what amounts to a souped-up fitness tracker.
As CEOs at CES tend to do, she assured us this new technology will change the world.
I was unimpressed – and so was Wall Street. This week, shares of IBM fell to five-year lows, off nearly 19% over last six months.
This sudden drop is only the latest bad news for the once-mighty IBM.
And it’s just one reason why I’ve penned a letter to Rometty and offered her a custom-made action plan. If she listens, my plan will rescue IBM by making it the undisputed leader in one of the fastest-growing sectors of the market.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of a turning point in the history of technology investing.
Mary Meeker and Chris DePuy were analysts at Morgan Stanley in the fall of 1995 when they issued their landmark Internet Report.In it, they showed how the Web would transform the entire economy while making fortunes for savvy investors.
Because Morgan Stanley was the firm behind the wildly successful Netscape Communications initial public offering, investors clamored for a copy.
Demand was so intense that in December 1995 the Internet Report was officially released in book form and quickly became a best seller.
The Report turned out to be prescient, indeed. It not just foresaw the way the Web would become a high-tech and economic force, but also foreshadowed the Mobile Revolution we’re living through today.
However, one thing Meeker and DePuy didn’t see coming was the rise of what I call theNew Internet “Dream Team”- a quintet of firms that dominate key segments of a market sector worth a combined $2.6 trillion.