Four Tech Industry Terms That Will Make You Money

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I have a confession to make.

Even I sometimes get overwhelmed by the jargon used by tech industry insiders.

From investor presentations to product-launch slide shows, I've come across plenty of tech neologisms that made my head spin at the time.

This barrage of here-today-gone-tomorrow buzzwords often serves as a wall between the tech world and average investors, keeping newcomers from understanding what's really going on.

Today, I'm going to define the four tech terms you need to know right now.

Once you understand them, there are literally trillions in profits up for grabs...

A Vocabulary "Teardown"

I've been in and around Silicon Valley for more than 30 years and I've seen a lot of innovation and a lot of money made.

However, a slew of tech sector innovations - including the ones I'm telling you about today - are now "interlocking" and creating moneymaking opportunities unlike anything I've ever seen.

I'm talking about everything from the connected car to wearable tech.

The trouble for new investors is that so many of these new technologies are pretty complex. And the words connected with them, even though they've been market-tested to death, often obfuscate the very things they're trying to convey.

tech industry With that in mind, let's do a "teardown" on four pieces of tech jargon to illuminate their economic potential...

Moneymaking Tech Industry Term No. 1: Gigabit Internet

Gigabit Internet service is destined to affect billions of homes and businesses around the world. You may also hear this technology referred to as "fast Internet" or "ultra broadband."

The term "gigabit" refers to a speed of 1 gigabit per second. That 1 gigabit equals 1,000 megabits. And what it means is that our Internet service could soon become a lot faster.

Currently, average U.S. broadband speeds are around 25 megabits per second.

Gigabit Internet would be 40 to 100 times faster than the pokey Internet service we've got now.

Tech industry insiders tend to call it "gigabit fiber" because we need fiber-optic cables to reach such high speeds. These thin strands of glass or plastic literally use beams of light to transmit voice, photos, music, movies, and other data - and there's nothing faster than light.

Gigabit Internet, which is beginning to pop up in the Kansas City area, Austin, Texas, and elsewhere, will greatly enhance sectors that depend on fast Internet connections.

For you, right now, with the likes of Netflix and YouTube becoming such bandwidth hogs, Gigabit Internet would mean a much better video-streaming experience.

And in the near future, gigabit Internet will make ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), or "4K," more workable. UHDTV signals have roughly four times the resolution of high-def TV sets and could easily bog down your home network.

Analysts project sales of 4K sets to increase 60-fold from the 2013 base year to 1.43 million units by the end of 2016. By 2018, the market will be worth roughly $3 billion.

And that's just for starters. Gigabit Internet will shake up the $93 billion market for Internet service providers and will play a key role in the $1.7 trillion market for e-commerce, which includes streaming music and video.

Which brings me to my next tech-industry term...

Moneymaking Tech Industry Term No. 2: Hadoop

If you think Hadoop sounds like it might be a kid's toy, you're on the right track.

In 2005, independent coder Doug Cutting and computer scientist Mike Cafarella laid the groundwork for this open-source software platform. Cutting named it after his son's stuffed elephant.

Hadoop is one of those technologies that can be very difficult to explain to mainstream tech industry investors. Luckily, we don't have to understand how Hadoop works - only what it does.

Essentially, Hadoop allows its users - mostly corporations and other large enterprises - to store much, much larger and many, many more data files on a server or network than was previously possible. Hadoop basically erases previous data-storage restraints.

And that makes this open-source technology a Big Data "enabler."

Of course, that requires me to define another term. Big Data refers to the vast amounts of raw, unstructured data too complex to be organized or analyzed by traditional computer applications. Big Data's uses are nearly endless. Companies who've managed to wrangle it have used it to create super-effective recommendation engines... calculate charging thresholds... track and find treatments for disease outbreaks...

Because of its ability to crunch and store huge amounts of data, since its official launch in 2011, Hadoop has become the platform with which businesses manage and store their data.

As such, it underpins the massive operations of such web leaders as Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY).

Hadoop may be open source, meaning it's free for anyone to use, but there is still lots of money to be made from it. It's not simple to use "out of the box," so Big Data users need someone to package, manage, and monitor their Hadoop functions.

No wonder it's such a fast-growing sector. MarketsandMarkets estimates Hadoop-related sales came in at just $1.5 billion back in 2012. But by 2017, that figure is expected to rise to $13.9 billion, for a compound annual growth rate of 54.9%.

That puts it at the leading edge of the much larger Big Data market. Big Data is itself being driven by the dizzying speeds at which the digital universe is growing. Ninety percent of the information now on the Internet was created in just the last two years.

CSC projects that by 2020 the world will have 44 times as much data as existed in 2009. And according to IDC, the overall Big Data market is growing at 27% a year and will hit $32 billion by the end of 2017.

Moneymaking Tech Industry Term No. 3: Software as a Service

To understand software as a service (SaaS), let's compare it to the way software used to be distributed.

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At the dawn of the personal computer in the 1970s, software - word processors, spreadsheets, games, etc. - was sold and distributed through physical media. Cassette tapes arrived in the mid-'70s, and since then we've seen floppy disks, CDs, and flash drives.

But in a seismic shift that started at the end of the 2000s, we began purchasing and receiving software via the web. Instead of going to ComputerLand or CompUSA to drop hundreds of dollars on a shrink-wrapped box of discs, businesses and increasingly consumers now "rent" their software and access it via the web (the so-called "Cloud").

That's SaaS.

And it's rapidly becoming mainstream. Just the other day, my chiropractor updated her healthcare management software. And instead of spending more than $10,000 up front, she's paying a relatively low monthly subscription fee for the same package as a SaaS.

SaaS is a leading category in a broader market known as "cloud computing." Forrester Research estimates business spending on cloud services at $72 billion last year, a figure that will triple to $229 billion by 2020.

Moneymaking Tech Industry Term No. 4: MEMS

While there are plenty of clunky tech-related acronyms out there, MEMS, to me at least, is downright melodious to my ears and wallet.

We'll see 1 trillion MEMS used throughout the world in just a few years. And in the longer term, these highly advanced and critically important sensors are fueling a potential $7 trillion industry.

MEMS stands for microelectromechanical systems.

MEMS combine mechanical systems (levers, springs, membranes) with electrical systems (semiconductors) in very, very tiny packages. And you'll find them wherever technology needs to keep operating during movement or needs to measure something like noise or temperature.

MEMS are helping to drive the still-growing mobile computing sector and the rapidly expanding Internet of Everything (IoE).

In the mobile sector, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) put MEMS on the map back in 2007 with the launch of the runaway hit iPhone. Thanks to accelerometer and gyroscope MEMS, the screens on your smartphone and tablet rotate when you move the device - and you don't lose everything if you accidentally drop your phone.

The microphone in your smartphone is also a MEMS.

In the IoE, MEMS will sense and measure the surroundings of all manner of "things." I'm talking about oilfields, connected cars, thermostats, factory robots, forklifts... all "talking" to each other. And then those "things" will use that data to help the businesses that own them slash costs and make productivity soar.

The IoE has massive long-term potential. Networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), for one, believes the IoE will be worth $14 trillion in short order.

With so many trillions of dollars up for grabs - in MEMS, in SaaS, in Hadoop, and in gigabit Internet - it will pay off to learn all you can about the sectors these four Moneymaking Tech Terms represent.

After all, the road to wealth is paved with tech.

And as anyone who's traveled overseas will tell you, the journey's a lot more enjoyable when you speak the language.

Everyone's Head Should Be in the Clouds: Amazon made headlines on April 23, 2015, when it revealed first-quarter cloud sales of $1.56 billion. That's a stunning year-over-year gain of 49%. And AMZN stock has seen a 71% surge since Jan. 2, 2015. CEO Jeff Bezos says his company's cloud-based Amazon web Services will likely be a $5 billion business this year.

About the Author

Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...

  • He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
  • He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
  • As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.

This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.

In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.

Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.

And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.

Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.

To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.

His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.

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