I made 10 Product Predictions for 2019 on Twitter this week and the thread had a massive response. If you want to dig deeper on any topic, I recommend reading the debates within each thread. In the meantime, my predictions are as follows:
- Instagram will become a full fledged e-commerce destination by launching the IG marketplace for buying clothes, furniture, consumer electronics, and cars. Payments will eventually be powered by the Facebook stablecoin amongst other options. Beneath the surface, Instagram is already disrupting P2P commerce and eBay.
- AirPods will continue their dominance as the most important AAPL product since the iPhone. We will see new use cases and social networks emerge as Apple opens up the AirPods API.
- Multiple scooter companies will run out of money as seasonality & tighter financing conditions are better understood in the spring. Uber will make an aggressive attempt to acquire the winner, which will be either Lime or Bird.
- After failed product launches, a huge number of crypto companies will shut down & investors will question what happened to the cash. The responsible projects will return as much $ to investors as possible like Basis did before the holidays. Lawsuits between investors and crypto projects will become more common.
- Technology addiction will become a social topic that finally receives the attention it deserves. Entrepreneurs will build products to solve this condition with online/offline solutions that target parents of addicted teenagers and kids. There are already 300+ technology addiction clinics in China treating over 23 million addicts who are primarily gamers addicted to League of Legend or Counter-Strike. In the United States, a massive company will be built in the space.
- We will finally reach peak direct-to-consumer as Instagram ads become too expensive and consumers are overwhelmed by the number of new products they see everyday. A D2C consolidator will emerge to become the trusted curator of the space.
- Physical security will be a growing concern for employees, students, and all citizens, as gun control makes very little progress. Security products for everyday consumers will become more necessary/popular and new products will help us feel safer at work, school, and home. Flock Safety and Citizen are two young startups in the space, with many more waiting to be built.
- In a bear market, more tech employees will leave the Bay Area for financial & social reasons. Companies will realize that supporting remote teams is a requirement to stay competitive. ‘Remote workforce’ products focused on video & voice will be built to help team productivity.
- Income Sharing Agreements will become a larger trend with the success of Lambda School. ISA platforms will emerge in fields beyond technology (sports, arts, blue collar jobs) as students realize that the financing model beats student debt & investors look for new investment instruments in a bear market. In one example that launched two weeks ago, Big League Advance will buy equity stakes in minor league baseball players in exchange for a small % of future income.
- With a huge number of IPO’s next year (Lyft, Uber, Slack, etc.), a large amount of $ will be reinvested into startups by new angels. The capital injection will help us discover a new platform and we will see transformational products built in voice, AR, and yes — even VR.
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