Every now and then stepping away from the minutia and taking a look at the so-called “big picture” is probably a healthy thing to do.
Here in Silicon Valley there’s so much day-to-day go, go, go, we occasionally forget to take the time to evaluate trends. To get outside of market — be it CRM, software as a service, biotech, fintech, marketing tech or whatever the case be for your particular space — and look across tech as a whole. And that’s what Churchill Club recently did.
Brian Ascher of Venrock, Navin Chaddha of Mayfield, Jeff Crowe of Norwest Venture Partners, Lauren Kolodny of Aspect Ventures, and Rebecca Lynn of Canvas Ventures discussed (and rated) tech trends they developed.
The panel was moderated by Mike Federle and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes.
These are the non-obvious trends that could see huge growth in the following 5 years.
Interestingly, I should note that Google Glass was not mentioned (those were the days). But, you might want to bone up on something called “VR-AI-Bioelectronic Wearables” — the future sure is going to be an interesting place.
So if you want a quick recap of those top 10 tech trends this group devised, read below for the summary.
Top 10 Tech Trends for 2019
By Churchill Club
1. Rise of Functional Medicine
Keto, paleo and gluten-free are here to stay. Look out for one-stop shop companies that facilitate functional medicine and do more than just provide diet or supplements but create packaged actionable results based on diagnostics, diet and diagnosis.
2. Flexible Fertility Management Will Become Mainstream
The U.S. is in the early stages of a seismic cultural shift around how and when people have families. As more women delay having children to stay in the workforce, as the average life expectancy increases, and as more same-sex couples start families, flexible fertility services will become commonplace.
3. Physical Space: The Final Frontier
Real estate is often listed as one of the last sectors to be impacted by technology. Get ready for some major changes: the ways that we buy, sell, lease, build, move to, live in, furnish and secure our physical spaces are becoming faster, simpler, and cheaper – for both our homes and offices. How we utilize space will continue to dramatically change in the next few years due to macroeconomic shifts, on-demand preferences, and lack of space in urban areas.
4. Biology as Technology Will Reinvent Trillion Dollar Industries
Biology as Technology uses design and programming to save planetary and human health. It’s reinventing trillion-dollar industries in food, fuels, materials, diagnostics, therapeutics, computers and more.
5. VR-AI-Bioelectronic Wearables Program Our Emotions in Healthful and Intentional Ways
Consumers wake up to our unhealthy addiction to the dopamine hits of social media. Immersive, non-invasive wearables biohack us into states of relaxation, mindfulness, and peak performance –without ads!
6. Distributed Workforces Will Become the Norm
Facilitated by collaboration software like Notion, Zoom, etc. Most dev teams will have a global presence. Eastern Europe and the Balkans will be hubs for outsourcing, which in turn will create domestic tech industries in the next 20 years.
7. A Democratized Network of Trust
Driven by technological advances (ML/zero trust/API proliferation), increasing regulation around privacy, and consumer demand for both personalization and efficiency, a massive network of verified identity will make our digital activities more seamless and secure. This network will connect new clearinghouses that verify our most important attributes without unnecessary redundancy.
8. Digital Technology Makes Positive (!) Inroads on Mental Health
Over the last 5 years, heavy use of smartphones and our frenetic “always-on” culture have been cited as causing increases in depression, anxiety, and isolation. Digital technology fights back. From texting with your remote therapist to machine learning unique combinations of therapeutic problem/response, digital technology democratizes access to effective mental health treatment.
9. The Renaissance of Silicon Will Create Industry Giants
With the end of Moore’s Law, new semiconductors are required for a Cloud-native, Data-dominated, AI-powered, IoT world. The rise of these new players will put Silicon back into Silicon Valley.
10. Federal Defense and Intelligence Budgets Will Dramatically Unlock for Startups
Cyberwarfare is at DEFCON1. Our Democracy has been breached. Traditional military industrial contractors lack the software skills and agility to counter the threat, while big tech companies are held back by picketing employees. Startups will fill the gap.
Theranos aside, I think biotech will be an important sector to watch. After all the health of both us humans and our planet remain a going concern — surely tech investment to address these massive challenges will continue in a big way.
Olan Kenneally (Accenture) also took a few minutes to take a look at 3 previous predictions made in 2014 to see how they played out.
“The Last Second Economy”
Mobile on-demand economy (well beyond taxis and food) would change how we work and play. This prediction was spot on. Tinder, for instance.
The trend here is the transformation to intelligent software with a network interacting with all the devices in the home. Blink. Ring. Nest (Google). Alexa (Amazon). Again, another on-point prediction.
And, finally: “Healthcare Transformation through Data”
Below is the full presentation as hosted by the Churchill Club here in Silicon Valley.