It’s that time of year again! Annual tech startup and funding predictions for the coming year.
However, before we look ahead, let’s first take a look back at the 2020 predictions. Despite 2020 being, well, different to say the least, most held up. The highlight – correctly predicting that Apple would reduce their 30 percent app commissions, but have a look and let me know if you agree!
Now the reason why you are here — what lies ahead in 2021? Without further ado here are some shots in the dark that needed to be etched in digital stone – on the internet – forever.
We will see a mega bubble burst in 2021, including a bankruptcy from at least one late-stage, private “unicorn.” We’re overdue for enough of the late-stage market accepting that some of these companies only exist because they can raise hundreds of millions of venture money every six months to trigger a game of musical chairs that will leave at least one of these cash-hemorrhaging consumer darlings without a seat.
Mass consolidation of large media-tech companies, and those startups that could not get funding in 2020 or lacked product. Big and medium-sized deals/soft landing clean-ups from 2020.
Masterclass meets next-generation mentorship platforms to support a dispersed tech and founder community looking for guidance and answers. With no conferences to attend or coffee shops to park-up and meet people, look for subscription services that match those who have been in the trenches and have built companies with first- and second-time founders excited to listen and learn based on past experiences.
All aspects of insurance, home, life, and auto get challenged by new players. It turns out that the most data-driven of the old economy industries has fallen way behind the recent data revolution. More companies will apply modern AI/ML and data science to various insurance segments and uproot legacy underwriters.
Did somebody say 5G? With advertised speeds rivaling or exceeding current broadband options, cord-cutting will accelerate, and cable companies will be in serious trouble.
The robots are coming Advances in AI/ML software will drive increasing autonomy and robotics companies will find more of the 3-D (“dirty, dull, dangerous”) jobs to replace.
Did you hear that? Voice commerce is knocking on your door and probably already inside your house. Why pick up a pen (or even your phone) when you can just holler at your virtual assistant that you just used the last of the milk and need to add a carton to your next delivery order. But Alexa, won’t this be limited just to Amazon products? (Spoiler alert, it will not).
AR, VR, and XR adoption for brands and advertisers continues to be slow. Once touted the future of it all, mass adoption, cost, and use cases not fully proven outside of gaming experiences.
Consumers take back their privacy rights. Consumer sentiment around privacy post-election, social networking mistakes from Facebook, will encourage more people to use private meeting rooms and chat like a Telegram – don’t know about you, but continue to see my close friends in droves sign-up.
Finally, COVID-19 will force the increased use and acceptance of surveillance technologies as governments around the world use the excuse of controlling the spread of the virus and tracking vaccinations to ramp up citizen tracking. We are already seeing this at scale in China.
Best wishes in 2021!