$19 trillion Opportunity. All by 2020.

The Internet Of Things: Making Cities—And The Way They Use Technology—Smarter

Cities are taking advantage of available, real-time data—from ‘smart’ phones, computers, traffic monitoring, and even weather patterns—to shift the way in which heating and cooling systems, landscaping, flow of people through cities, and other pieces of urban life are controlled.

CHET PIPKIN MIGHT be next to you already. Or at least his products probably are. His company, Belkin, makes a clutter of gadgets and accessories--things like Linksys wireless routers, chargers, tablet keyboards, computer cords, docking stations and iPhone cases.

It adds up to a lot more than just a tangled mess. FORBES estimates Belkin pulls in $1.5 billion in annual sales. The company has been getting a boost since 2013, when it acquired Cisco’s Home Business Networking group including the Linksys brand. After buying back 10% of the firm in July from the venture capitalists at Summit Partners, Pipkin owns virtually all of the business--enough for a $1.1 billion fortune. Summit had invested 13 years ago, and he worried it might pressure him to go public. He didn't want that. "Our vision is always really long term. We've never wanted to try to create some short-term value," he says.