Top 10 Technology Trends

May 14, 2008 11:25:08 PM PDT
10th Annual Top 10 Tech Trends

  1. Demographics are destiny, creating opportunity. Every 11 seconds, a baby boomer turns 60. This Internet-savvy cohort represents an enormous market of time and money, driving new opportunities in "mental exercise," online education, and eventually, an "eBay for information" that exceeds the market for physical goods.

  2. The device that used to be a phone. A mobile phone will turn into a main-stream computer. Beyond email, built-in projection screen and high speed data will make it your virtual credit card, ID (passport), access to new types of presence (IM), payment system, personal information filing system, and much, much more.

  3. The rise of the "Implicit" Internet. Historically, the web delivered most of its value by satisfying explicit user actions - a user entered a search query on Google, a user entered a review on Yelp, a user added his or her friends on Facebook.

  4. The mobile device industry's migration from feature phones to smart phones will produce. Even greater disruption than what the PC industry experienced as it moved from character mode to graphical interfaces. It will disrupt the competitive balance, with big market share shifts. Consumers will benefit from greater choice and lower prices.

  5. Water tech will replace global warming as a global priority. The world is running out of usable water and this will kill millions more people in our lifetime than global warming.

  6. Evolution trumps design. Many interesting unsolved problems in computer science, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology require the construction of complex systems. Evolutionary algorithms are a powerful alternative to traditional design, blossoming first in neural networks, now in microbial re-engineering, and eventually in AI.

  7. Fossilizing fossil energy. Oil will have increasing difficulty competing with biofuels made from cheap non-food crops for transportation. Coal will become less competitive compared to reliable solar thermal and enhanced geothermal electricity as both oil and coal's decline will be aided by higher efficiency engines, cars, lighting, appliances.

  8. Venture Capital 2.0. Venture Capital has underwritten most of the transformative software and Internet companies for the last 20 years. However, changing economics (for both startups and venture funds) combined with changing markets, will have a dramatic impact on the venture capital industry.

  9. Within five years, everything that matters to you will be available on a device. That fits on your belt or in your purse. This will cause a massive shift in internet traffic from PCs to smaller devices

  10. 80% of the world population will carry Mobile Internet Devices within 5-10 years. Mobile Internet Devices are rapidly becoming THE leading product category.

Past Top 10 Predictions that came true:

November 2001: Mobile Devices

    The price of electronic components and the cost of designing electronic devices go down as design tools become easier to use and make programmers and designers more productive.

January 2006: John Doerr Sees Green

    Per Tom Friedman, green is the new red, white and blue. Investments in and for our environment will create innovation and broad benefits across the globe.

March 2007: Going Green

    Going green could be the largest economic opportunity and imperative of the 21st century.

November 2004: Internet

    Ten years after the first web browser we're witnessing incredible innovation and systemic rethinking/ reinvention in important web services, e.g. Google/search, commerce, personalization, even browsers. Has the internet been under-hyped?
    From: John Doerr

January 2006: Technology Tackles Time

    The most compelling technology-based business opportunities will either help individuals get more time or make better use of the time they have.
    From: Roger McNamee

November 1998: Software

    The conventional software model is kaput. As early as 1999, instead of buying software, you'll subscribe to software, and it will be maintained elsewhere.

January 2006

    Ceding innovation, the US is on a path to be a third-world follower. The US continues to forfeit its ability to lead in innovation due to criminal neglect of our educational system.
    From: John Doerr

November 1998: Ecommerce

    In 1999, E-commerce finally comes of age - mainly in the business-to-business space, to some degree to the consumer space. Large companies that are not the net start-ups will be forced to embrace an e-commerce strategy.

November 1999

    The web gets personal. The future of commerce lies in customer service.

January 2006: Wireless

    Wires disappear everywhere from home electronics to all things digital -except for power. Power lines in the home become the new home network.
    From: Joe Schoendorf

November 1999: Venture Capital

    Venture capitalists used to own private equity. Now they compete with angels, corporate investors, investments bankers, and others. This has forced the smarter VCs to emphasize services above mere cash.

November 2000: Energy

    Fuel cells reduce our reliance on oil and allow businesses and homeowners to produce electricity independently.

November 2004: Tech and Healthcare

    The personal electronic health record will be a big deal, and a lot of business will coalesce around it. It will foment new apps for data-sharing and protection, domain-specific health-oriented search and the like.
    From: Esther Dyson


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