When Jim Cramer sees investors only paying attention to the activity of publicly traded companies, he considers that to be just plain clueless.
"If you just look at the companies with stocks that currently trade, you might not see the oncoming train of a private company coming right at you," the "Mad Money" host said.
That is why Cramer always has his radar on looking for privately held companies, to discover their recent innovations and figure out how they could disrupt industries that many think are stable.
After all, you don't want your portfolio to be taken by surprise when someone comes along with a better mousetrap.
"I think it is my job to bring you these ideas before they IPO, like HotelTonight, because if I wait too long and you don't find out about them until they're about to go public, you will end up having to compete against huge funds that have gotten their orders in early so they will get top priority over you," Cramer said.
Cramer also reminded investors that when he highlights a private company, he often lacks the kind of financials he would normally require before it appears on "Mad Money." He is also not sure if or when the company will make itself public. Thus he remains highly skeptical of the huge valuations from many of the companies, or so-called unicorns, given how difficult the public market has become.
Nevertheless, Cramer has seen a dramatic increase in enthusiasm for some of these private companies. His skepticism was sorely tested when he heard about the growth that these companies have and the prospects that await them.
The "Mad Money" host spoke with TaskRabbit's founder and CEO, Leah Busque, to find out about how the company is disrupting the way people get things done and the future of work.
While the idea of cleaning the house or putting together IKEA furniture may seem like a treacherous task for some, the CEO explained that there is always someone on TaskRabbit to help.
"TaskRabbit is the only mobile marketplace that gives you a breadth of services," Busque explained.
Another hot privately held company out there is one that delivers groceries. Instacart was valued at $2 billion in its most recent round of fundraising. It lets you order groceries online by connecting customers with thousands of personal shoppers who will collect the items from a local supermarket and deliver to your door in exchange for a small delivery fee, sometimes with a small markup.
The company was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, a former supply chain engineer from Amazon. It has quickly expanded into 15 markets across the country and has even partnered with large grocery chains such as Whole Foods, Costco and newly added Petco.
To find out more about Intacart's innovation, Cramer sat down with CEO Apoorva Mehta.
"We have found that there is customers who have always wanted groceries delivered to their door, and they wanted it in one hour, two hours in the same day. And the fact is, that has never been able to be done before," Mehta said.
Another innovative company is San Francisco-based Postmates, a private company that provides on-demand delivery service for several markets around the country. Some might even call it the Uber for couriers, because you can use its mobile app to get practically anything delivered within an hour for a small fee.
Many are wondering if Postmates will take share from Amazon, as it can now provide delivery from small-businesses around the community that previously did not offer that service. And while Postmates is not a public company, the large players have started to take note, as it recently secured big deals with bothStarbucks and Chipotle.
Back in April, Cramer spoke with Postmates co-founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann on how it managed to score these big deals and what makes it different from any other courier service.
"The idea behind Postmates is what if you can use the city as a warehouse," Lehmann said. (Tweet this)
Another privately held company is Theranos, a revolutionary diagnostics company with the goal of allowing individuals to take better control of their bodies, while changing the inefficient ways of an older medical system.
Elizabeth Holmes founded the Theranos technology, which allows individuals to provide blood samples in a way that is faster, cheaper and better. As a college dropout from Stanford University when she was a sophomore, Holmes decided to take her money and focus on changing the world instead.
In 2014 Theranos raised $400 million, and the company was valued at $9 billion. As a 50 percent owner of the company, Holmes became the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world in 2014.
"The goal is to empower the individual. We believe strongly that the future of healthcare is in enabling the individual to have the information that they need to take ownership of their health," Holmes said.
Another place that Cramer has seen large changes in are in the ways that people communicate and collaborate. For some, it is hard for them to imagine what life was like before iPhones and smartphones. Email and messages have now become difficult to maintain for companies.
Slack is a company that provides internal real time group chatting across devices, and keeps them in sync. To hear more about what it offers, Cramer spoke with Slack's CEO Stewart Butterfield. The CEO recalled his own working experience when he had to utilize the Outlook email system.
He was constantly worried about not having enough memory to store his emails, and spent a considerable amount of time sorting emails into personal folders as a result.
"That is what we are trying to do in the context of internal communication, is make it so you don't have to worry about filing it or organizing it. You get it all in one big stream, you bring everything together and then make it searchable," Butterfield said.
HotelTonight is also a privately held company with a mobile app that allows clients to book a room at a hotel at the last minute, or up to a week in advance. On any given day, there are various rooms that remain unbooked at hotels, and many are willing to drop those rates dramatically to book it.
This app basically plays matchmaker between those hotels and travelers who are looking for a great last-minute deal. To find out more, Cramer spoke with HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank.
"Everybody wins, you get a deal, you get a great hotel and hotels get incremental revenue," he said.