Another Monday morning, another “next wave of the internet” teaser.
This teaser comes in from the Oxford Income Letter, edited by Marc Lichtenfeld over at the Oxford Club, and it’s a bit of a departure from the crazy small cap names he has more often touted of late (usually for his MicroCap Tech Trader newsletter). So it’s also nice to know that we probably can’t have any impact at all on the stock price by writing about it for you today.
We’re also getting a little perspective today on different kinds of pitches for the “Internet of Things”, since that’s what Lichtenfeld is touting as his “Web 3.0” revolution — we’ve also just this week seen a big re-push from the Motley Fool for their very similar “R.I.P. Internet” pitch. The Fool was (and is) touting Sierra Wireless, a maker of the wireless modules that make the interconnected world possible, Lichtenfeld is touting someone different.
Who, you ask? Let’s check out his ad. It starts thusly:
“What I’m about to show you will have a profound impact on millions of Americans.
“According to Newsweek, a new innovation is about to ‘change daily life, much as electricity once did.’
“In fact, Congress just fast-tracked a bill that will integrate a major piece of this new tech all over the U.S., starting early next year.
“Slate is calling it ‘the Internet’s next big frontier.’
“I’m calling it Web 3.0.”
The fast-tracked bill that Lichtenfeld is talking about, H.R. 658, became law over two years ago — that was an FAA modernization bill, and the part Lichtenfeld is talking about is drones, the requirement that the FAA must develop some sort of way to safely include drones (unmanned aircraft) into the national airspace system.
That’s actually a smaller part of the pitch, I think, since the headline of “Web 3.0” is more about the “Internet of Things” that we hear so much about. Lichtenfeld is tying them together, since the increasing use of drones will create more interconnected data, and drones are likely to eventually be wirelessly connected to the web for both data collection and control (and indeed, if facebook’s investments are to bear fruit, to provide internet access to some areas).
But his pitch for a drone manufacturer is more of an afterthought, let’s look at the first company he touts as a “secret” pick for his Oxford Income Letter.
“… this Internet ‘update’ will affect you. You don’t even have to own a PC… tablet… or smartphone.
“Web 3.0 will literally be everywhere. Inside your car… in the skies… at your local grocery store… even in your refrigerator…
“Not since the early 2000s has there been a tech opportunity as explosive – or as surefire – as this one.
“The profit potential here is bigger than Bitcoin… bigger than 3-D printing… and, yes, even bigger than the iPhone.”
Enough to get you excited? The “Internet of Things” stuff has been talked about for a long time, particularly for the home and including everything from smart refrigerators that know your shopping list to the Nest smart thermostat that was bought by Google, but as sensors become smaller and connectivity becomes even more ubiquitous the applications for all kinds of businesses will be limited only by economies of scale and imagination. And, of course, by whether or not customers want things more connected. Here’s a bit more on the big picture stuff from Lichtenfeld:
“You see, Web 3.0 takes the Internet and projects it literally everywhere.
“As The Futurist puts it, ‘the Internet is no longer just a global network for people to communicate… it is also a platform for devices to communicate electronically with the world around them…’
“Think about it…
“What if your medicine cabinet could track your prescriptions and automatically order refills?