When all else fails, try sex.
It’s one of the oldest and irrefutable laws of advertising…
GoDaddy (GDDY) used sex to parlay its web domain registration business into a $5 billion empire.
There are hundreds of companies which can register the domain address for you.
Hover, Namecheap, Gandi, Name.com, Google and more provide the exact same service...often at a better price too.
GoDaddy and years of it’s prominent and sexy ad campaigns have earned it 35% market share in domain registration.
Sex, however, does not sell when it comes to one of the best growth opportunities investors are looking at over the next five years though and a lot of investors will miss out because of it.
Boring Is Better
Two months ago Alphabet (GOOG), parent company of Google, revealed a robotic dog named Spot to the world.
Alphabet acquired Boston Dynamics, a 25 year-old robotics company, in late 2013.
Spot was going to be the exciting introduction letting the world know Alphabet isn’t just into robotics, it intends to lead in robotics too.
Spot was everywhere. Drudge Report, tech blogs, the New York Times.
You surely have seen this image during Spot’s PR blitz:
Spot did what he was supposed to - get attention.
The robot dog’s intro video on Youtube has so far generated more than 12 million views (link to video).
That’s a lot for a robot walking up stairs and up and down small grassy hills and doesn’t feature a single kitten, “fail,” or news blooper.
Spot is the sexy robot story.
It demonstrates the potential of robotics in the decades ahead.
However, despite it’s high-profile launch, Spot can’t do the one thing it had to do.
It can sit, stand, walk, and run. But it can’t make money. Not anytime in the foreseeable future anyways.
That’s most likely why Alphabet’s top brass has put Boston Dynamics on the auction block.
There’s just no real business model. It’s cool. It’s sexy. But it also doesn’t have much hope of being economical anytime soon.
That’s where the un-sexy robotics story comes in.
Take a look at the robot below:
This is practically a glamor shot of this robot and it is still as basic as can be.
There aren’t many headlines for it. There aren’t any videos of it training with the Marines. Nobody worrying about this thing taking their jobs either.
Yet, this is precisely the type of robot that’s really having an impact on the world (and investors’ bottom lines) right now.
You see, this robot is made by Kiva Systems, a leading robotics and automation company acquired by Amazon (AMZN) in 2012.
Within two years of acquiring Kiva, Amazon had 15,000 of robots like Kiva robots working on it’s warehouse floors.
A year later Amazon had 30,000 of these robots humming around its global network of warehouses.
This is where we see the real growth opportunity in robotics too.
Dumping Fuel On The Fire
According to researchers at Boston Consulting Group, annual robotics spending will climb from $26.9 billion last year to more than $66.9 billion in 2025.
That forecast includes all robots though.
Once you deduct military and personal robotics technologies, you’ll find the growth market for them is much bigger.
That same Boston Consulting Group estimate actually forecasts growth in “boring bots” like those featured above to more than triple over the next decade.
Best of all, those estimates don’t include the impact of sharp hikes in the minimum wages, regulatory costs of employing people, and the additional costs of employing people like insurance and workers compensation costs.
In the U.S. alone there are about 600,000 people who work in warehouses where median wage is $13.50 an hour.
In a lot of cases, the economics of automation make sense to automate at that price.
Once you hike that labor prices to $15 an hour or higher and factor in improvements in automation technology and greater economies of scale resulting from the growth, it will only make the warehouse automation boom even faster.
If you’re looking for growth in an increasingly stagnant economy, the companies automating warehouse operations are perfectly positioned right now.