What Does The Year 2019 Look Like From Here?
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T he year 2019 will be a year of change but it will be more about making palpable change then bringing the change, where we don’t know where we are going. There will be new strides in industries, in the society, new capital and policies that will be geared towards fixing or growing what we have created in the past few years.
At a macro level, it is a year where technology companies will be at loggerheads with the governments like never before. Surely, the technology disruption will be bitten by regulations. To an extent, it may also slow down the breaking of things as we are experiencing now. Could it mean the disruption era could well be over? It seems unlikely. However, if the Marriott hack or the Facebook data breach is anything to go by, the governments will be under tremendous pressure to rapidly create, modify, and enforce regulations. New measures to ensure consumer safety, data privacy, competition and tax are also necessary. It will be an important year for the governments across the world to balance startup entrepreneurship, support the digitization drive and still amend the elephant in the room to protect citizens and ensure fair markets while letting innovation and businesses flourish.
On the capital front, as startups begin to mature into big enterprises, we may see more founders and entrepreneurs being ousted from their own organizations in the favor of professional teams taking over leadership roles. In one sense, there may be less hero worship of the founder but at the same time, there will also be a lot of well-monetized ex-founders becoming powerful investors and co-founders to mentor future, big startups. On the other hand, unicorn founders leading big startups too will be actively seen financing their young startup peers and with their know-how of raising several rounds of funds, they could be making of new success stories in the coming years. Series A will continue to flourish, angel investing will have new angels.
For the sector as whole, there are some industries that will definitely see more changes than others. Auto-tech and mobility is definitely on the brink of big developments in electric vehicles on the ground in 2019. Healthcare will make some big strides this year particularly in human genome and medical training. Innovation on top of innovation would be the mainstay for industries like ecommerce, and even fintech. 2019 will be a year of social robots over industrial robots and IoT hardware seeing more progressive consumer use cases.
At a human level, if there is one virtue that we could all go back to, I would say it is empathy. What started as a change to curb complacency has gone to a whole new level of intolerance. As a society, we are increasingly becoming insensitive, noisy, unforgiving and vicious. If social media is anything to go by – there is more toxicity than real genuine need to learn from each other. Opinions are biased and sometimes kill the real issue at hand. Let us not forget, some things need to be faced and fixed behind closed doors. Fake news that we are so painstakingly trying to fix will always proliferate in such environment.
Lastly, we are either in the constant fear of being left behind or in a big rush to not lose the next big opportunity, and sometimes not concentrating enough on what we are actually doing. If done well, it may all be worth its reward in gold. It is a year to find your gold by putting your mojo into what you know best.