Seven Most Important Predictions About the Startup Universe Remember that onlookers were wrong in the 1990s when they thought Silicon Valley had reached its saturation point whereas technological growth is relentless
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Predictability and startups don't exactly gel. The very idea of startup hinges on uncertainty, the kind that accompanies a foray into anything new. Still, individual trajectories aside, there are some broad trends that can be foretold gleaning from experience and observations. Here are seven predictions that business enthusiasts may find useful.
- The Next Few Years Will See A Proliferation Of Entrepreneurs Fresh Out Of College
More young entrepreneurs are entering the startup arena motivated by growing incubators at educational institutions and needless to say, the success stories of their counterparts. Business schools attract investors that see potential in ideas generated by young, incisive minds, foreshadowing the explosive seeds of growth they contain. This in no way guarantees success, but is a heartening development, as the greater the nouveau entrepreneurial force, the greater the chances of an ideological breakthrough.
- Funding Will Flow Freely As Investor Sentiment Receives A Fillip
The last few years have seen an upward trend in startup funding - and so will the next two. More venture capitalists are pouring money into new ventures, increasing the pool of resources available for new ideas. This is great news for the startup environment, as freely available funds incentivize the increased incubation of fresh solutions. Hopefully, this will impact economic growth favorably.
- Failed Entrepreneur Will Be Brandished As A Badge Of Honor
The title is a more credible indicator of wisdom and entrepreneurial grit than a fancy MBA degree because it demonstrates that the individual in question not only had the drive to start their own venture but also the resilient spirit to survive its disintegration. Fun fact: among the founders of unicorn startups, those who launched companies before received higher valuations on their companies than first-timers, an average of $5.88 billion compared to $4.29 billion.
- Technology Will Only Become More Relevant As A Solution To Problems Cross-Industry
Look at the last few years and analyze the role technology has played in spurring growth. Year after year, a new answer emerges in the form of a new solution to the same old problem. Yesterday it was the pin-lock, today it is a biometric scan. Yesterday it was an automatic transmission, today it is self-driven cars. Remember that onlookers were wrong in the 1990s when they thought Silicon Valley had reached its saturation point. Where technology is concerned, growth is truly relentless.
- Business Models Will Move From Short-Term Sales Gimmicks To Long-Term Strategies That Embrace Value Addition
It's a simple concept. As a product increases in the value it provides, it becomes less important to "entice" the consumer with short-term gimmicks like discounts or buy-one-get-one-free deals, for she has faith in the product itself - an entity which now has an intrinsic pull factor. The market will only grow more competitive, so businesses will adapt by refining their product to address long-term needs and aspirations.
- Issues Of Privacy Will Enter Mainstream Conversation More Than Ever Before
Watershed moments in digital history like the Cambridge Analytica scandal are changing the way conversations about privacy and security are shaping up. In light of this, businesses of tomorrow have to contend with these diametrically opposed forces: the growing voice of the consumer that won't settle for anything less than complete privacy, and the growing black hole of the big, bad internet where nothing is sacred. Will a counter-force emerge that challenges the gatekeepers of the internet -- Google, Facebook and Amazon?
- Financial Technology Will See Innovations That Seek To Correct Data Theft
There's one industry that faces the highest threat to security with the growing power of the internet - fin-tech - undoubtedly, the most tempting target for cybercrime, given fertile possibilities for identity and data theft. According to Thinkadvisor, these firms are prime targets for cyber-attacks with the growth of attacks outpacing transactional growth by 50%. As per another depressing study, the cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $2.1 trillion in another year - four times the cost estimated for 2015. Parallel solutions must emerge at the same pace if cybersecurity is to be strengthened - else online businesses and consumers will continue to lose out.