10 tech/product predictions for 2019
Fortnite challenges, scooter company woes, and Facebook scandals
YouTube will continue unchallenged
Cost for companies to start a video platform is huge. Switching costs for consumers is probably even larger. If you want to build an online video channel, you post to YouTube. No one else is even close. YouTube is probably still undervalued.
Scooter companies will begin to run out of money and consolidate.
Scooter companies are awesome, but they raised a lot of cheap VC money because no one wanted to lose out on the last mile Uber. I expect 2 or 3 acquisitions in the space.
Income Sharing Agreements will become a larger trend
With the success of Lambda School, ISA platforms will emerge in fields beyond technology as students realize that paying a portion of their income for a few years, as a financing model beats student debt & investors look for new investment instruments in a bear market.
Facebook will have another scandal
Someone will get data they shouldn’t have. Some bad actor will have been taking actions for a while before they are stopped. People will keep using Facebook.
There will be another major acquisition or public offering from a Utah company
They won’t beat Qualtric getting bought for 8 billion. But it will be a major acquisition or public offering.
There will be a new social app or website appear suddenly and become popular
Peach was big for a few weeks. TikTok seemed to come out of nowhere. Vine 2 could be a contender.
Instagram will become a full fledged e-commerce destination by launching the IG marketplace
They should partner with Shopify. They won’t. They will try to clone something similar. Swipe up to buy without leaving Instagram. For buying clothes, makeup, home decor, furniture, consumer electronics, and maybe surprisingly cars.
Bitcoin will continue to underperform the faithfuls expectations
It will get close to $5,000 in price. Most people will still never use it.
A new game will rise to challenge Fortnite
Just like PUBG was getting popular before Fortnite blew past it, another game will start to get hot. Players tired of Fortnite will gravitate to it. Streamers and YouTubers will hype it as a way to differentiate themselves from the streamers that have already won an audience based off Fortnite. It won’t be more popular, but it will steal some headlines and market share. Free to play.
There will be more misplaced tech backlash
People don’t understand tech companies. They don’t understand what tech can and can’t do. (aka Facebook listening to everything you say) There will be more calls to break up monopolies but because of aggregation theory, those breakups will not happen, or if they do happen will not have as big a desired effect.
What will stay the same
You might notice that a lot of my predictions are about things that will stay the same or continue as they are. I don’t feel those are the easy way out. Jeff Bezos had a quote I think about sometimes:
I very frequently get the question: “What’s going to change in the next 10 years?” And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: “What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. … [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection.
It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, “Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher.” “I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.” Impossible.
And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it. — Jeff Bezos