Social networking is tops among trends to watch

May 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
No investment is ever a sure thing or is it? Wednesday night some Silicon Valley heavy hitters gave their top trend predictions for the coming year and some will surprise you.

Social networking, clean tech, solar energy -- how can they be taken to the next level? That is where this panel of top trend predictors and trendsetters comes in.

"In fact, 2010 will be a fantastic time to have started a company," says Steve Jurveston from Draper Fisher Jurveston.

The investors are sharing what they think will be the next big idea in the next 12 months. Esther Dyson of EDventure Holdings would put her money in health care, specifically in new technology that takes data to measure physical activity a step farther.

"You take this data, get it uploaded, put it in the computer, then you can compare, 'Oh my gosh, the days I exercise, I sleep better. The days I drink too much, I feel worse the next day... what a surprise,'" says Dyson.

The idea is pitched to the panel which either likes it, or in this case, didn't.

"I just don't think it's going to make a dent in the need for health care," says Jurveston.

Then the audience, made up of curious trend watchers, weighs in.

Another panelist predicts 2010 to be the year for new Silicon Valley startups.

"The majority of successful companies were actually started during a recession. It's easier to hire people, you have less competitors, you tend to focus on customers more than investors, you tend to build healthier companies in times like this," says Jurvetson.

The new companies expected to get the most money and attention are clean energy. Other ideas involve real time web apps and even creating synthetic life from bacteria. Still, the most popular trend among the panelists and the audience involves social networking.

"The explosion of social networking, that's evident by all the people on Facebook and on Twitter," says Jeffrey Javier from Bridge Bank.

Now that the ideas are out there, the investors are waiting for the one who will make them a reality.


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