I am not a big believer of looking for companies / investment opportunities within generic trends (like FinTech, IoT, Industrie 4.0, Big Data, etc. etc.) and much rather spend my time around a basic concept of fundamental developments that will drive innovation across domains. As a result I focus mostly on non-domain (or horizontal) specific technologies and less within a very specific vertical.
Below is a brief outline of four elements that I see as the driver of the next generation of companies (and as such investment opportunities). These are the topics that I consider enablers of the buzz trends above and as such will be the core and heart of most modern companies.
The rise of cloud computing & APIS and continuous decrease of prices opens totally new possibilities of what is possible. Starting day 1, any developer has access to an virtually infinite pool of resources. She just has to know how to make use of it.
IoT solutions will deploy a complete layer of sensors across the world. These sensors will collect data about humans, the environment and machines like never before. The world will be tracked in real-time, opening totally new opportunities to understand, optimize and steer.
Unlimited computing resources and new types of software finally allow us to extract value from all this unused and unstructured data. Machine Learning technologies will rise and lead to a new paradigm of information technology. Humans will define the guidelines, machines do the work within these frameworks.
Different forms of consumer and professional communities are on the rise. These new communities are more open, global and powerful than ever before. And they will change rules of play in every industry — be it communications, finance or software.
The fundamentally new possibilities of these trends amaze me every day and we have not even started to tap the possibilities. Core technologies are just getting started and it will take time to change minds about thinking now (aka realtime) and stop spending all that time analyzing data of the past looking for breadcrumbs of insights. Already today we are using just a fraction of the data available and the availability of data is about to grow exponentially.
Of course there still is a challenge of applying these basic trends and concepts to work in an actual application, but this hopefully helps understanding where I am coming from (sort of).
Most of my past investments such as data Artisans, graylog, figo, Data Virtuality fit into this basic framework … however this might be a classic case of post rationalization.