Silicon Valley discusses the latest tech trends

May 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Curious what will be the next big thing when it comes to technology? Some top venture capitalists known for their savvy eye for trend-spotting came together in Silicon Valley Wednesday night to offer their predictions.

Silicon Valley's top trend setters in technology played a different role Wednesday. They were guest stars in a sort of reality game show where they predict the top 10 tech trends to follow. Their fellow panelists decide whether the idea is a viable one in the valley.

Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems pitched his prediction. That in two years, cell phones will store credit cards, passports, and have projection capacity. Vinod's idea isn't popular.

"I guess I question the projection component and I question the time frame," said Josh Kopelman, from the First Round Capital.

"I don't mean to be brutal, I don't see that as a forecast as much as an observation that's already happened," said Steve Jurvetson, from Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

The panel is made up of five venture capitalists with strong track records. Each is sharing two trends they are sure will be the next big thing. Most agree phone technology and alternative fuels will be big in the coming years.

"If I'm not willing to bet my firm on a trend, why should anyone listen to me?" said Roger McNamee, from Elevation Partners.

McNamee says in five years every important technological device like a GPS, camera, and computer, will fit in your hip pocket.

"More than half the time, if you'd invested just in my things, you would've been very happy," said McNamee.

That's where the audience comes in. Most are investors and trend watchers, but Wednesday night, they are more than mere spectators.

The voting isn't just taking place on stage, it's also in the audience. If they buy the idea, they hold up this green card. If they don't, they vote red.

"Now from the audience, green or red?" asks the host.

The audience acts as a marketability gauge. They're a necessary component for the next tech trend to succeed.

Top 10 Tech Trends: Click here


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