Tech Predictions for 2019

Remote Work and the Gig Economy

Remote work is now a household name with millennials choosing this, and digital nomading, over traditional employment. 2019 will see even more people change up their careers and give this a go as the benefits of travel, more cash, less tax, and more freedom outweigh the status-quo in their respective home countries.

To learn more about remote work and nomading head to Nomadlist.

A key program to watch in this space is the Estonian e-Residency program. I believe that this is the best-executed program in the world from a developing nation that will be copied by others in 2019!

You can follow the E-Residency blog here and their President here.

AI and IoT

I’m very excited to see what happens with AI in 2019. Everything from research and development to deep learning with IBM Watson leading the charge creating some great corporate use cases.

On the IoT front, Amazon alone has now sold more than 100 million devices. This category ended the year on a monster high with sales during the holidays exceeding expectations. I expect more features and integrations from Amazon, Google, and Apple in 2019.

Data Privacy

Unfortunately, this got worse in 2018 mainly from governments wanting to spy on their own citizens at the border. This actually happened to me in December when Australian border officials wanted my PIN and Passwords to all my devices just because I was entering the country — all without reasonable grounds or a warrant. Luckily, I work with a number of clients in politics and know the Act so I refused their request and was released with my devices and without charge within 2 hours.

As Governments continue to put user data privacy restrictions onto corporations they cannot exclude themselves anymore. I’m hoping we see more work done in 2019 around security, encryption, and an industry-wide push back against technology backdoors.

Bitcoin & Alts

I see bitcoin breaking $6k USD and Alts EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, and Cardano all moving higher in 2019.

Those interested in Alts can get an account at Binance to start trading.

Autonomous Vehicles & Automation

I see a huge turning point for this category in 2019.

Most US states now have a version of self-driving legislation on the books and a number of new players have now entered the space. I’m hoping to see more global trials including Australia this year.

Financial Markets

As I predicted last year, the property sector did experience heavy declines across Australia (but mostly in Sydney and Melbourne). I predict more pain to come with the NSW State Election in March and Federal Election in May as well as policy shifts around negative gearing.

As the financial markets also take a haircut this year I see investors taking positions in other asset classes. This will mean a harder time for startups to find capital and they will need to focus more on profitability early on.

Neo-Banking

FinTech gets a call up to the predictions this year as the rise of neo-banks are going to have a huge impact this year. Established players will rush to acquire new outfits before they steal more of their customers and those that don’t may be truly left behind.

The most exciting players to watch are Revolut, Simple, Robinhood, UpBanking, and Starling Bank.

Personally, I can’t wait for Revolut due to their extensive product offering (Personal, Business, Crypto, open-api, & perks) — Join the waitlist here.

Social Media

Facebook will have another terrible year, probably another scandal, and more people will look to leave the platform — I expect big changes ahead to stem the tide.

However, it’s not all bad news for Facebook as I expect Instagram will grow into a full e-commerce offering and payments platform (competing with PayPal) and launching their own stable coin.

Podcasts

Podcasts boomed in 2018 as people found more time for audio over video. Anchor was the standout performer that enabled a new generation of podcasters to get their message heard.

Another was Gimlet Media who have been able to convert their audience back to the small screen. In 2016, Gimlet released a hit podcast called Homecoming and in November we will see Julia Roberts star in the TV series based around it.

Apple

Apple needs it’s innovation mojo back!

I see iPhone 11 moving to USB-C which is a good move but it must also complete on features of rivals to remain the market leader.

I believe v2 AirPods will be Apple’s biggest seller in 2019.