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Predictions for 2017: Driverless Car, Housing-as-a-service, and more

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In 1917, the Model T was doing so well that Ford decided to stop all advertising.  For the next 6 years, they didn’t do a dime of marketing and didn’t need to: over half of all cars in the world were Fords.

100 years later, the next major automotive technology seems ready for prime time: the driverless car.  As do some others innovations, like new housing models.  Those, and more predictions, below:

  1. The driverless car product of Tesla, Uber, Apple, and traditional car manufacturers will hit the roads, and not just in a test capacity.  They will start to get licensed by state and federal governments, and countries around the world will jockey to make their roads more welcoming so they can get the technology sooner.  New business models will come up around car ownership, such as time-share like models for driverless cars.  Insurance companies will fight to claim ownership of this market, as well as figure out exactly who is liable in the result of an accident (the car owner, the software, the hardware, the licensing authority, or someone else).  Even property prices will start increasing in suburbs again, as people envision a more productive commute thanks to the driverless car.
  2. As uncertainty in the stability of the west grows, Africa’s rise will accelerate.  More companies will get funded in Nigeria, Kenya, and other markets like Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa will see more startup activity and funding than ever before.  Asia will continue to be hot, as China & India continue to see tremendous funding.  The exceptions will be Indonesia (where the Christian governor of Jakarta was recently charged with blasphemy) and the Philippines (where the new President has encouraged vigilante justice), where government turmoil will take time to resolve and slow investment.
  3. The notion of housing-as-a-service will become real, thanks to companies like StayAwhile, Common, Roam, and WeWork.  As millennials strive for mobility and flexibility, having a monthly subscription with the ability to live anywhere, instead of locking into 12 month leases, will start becoming a trend.  The ultimate question will be, “where do I keep my stuff?”

 

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Written by sheeltyle

January 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm

4 Predictions for 2016: an impeachment, tech v law, and more

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2015 started as the year of the unicorn, and ended as the year of the unicorpse.   Emerging markets, the rule of law, the off-demand economy, and the education bubble finally getting popped…here’s what we can expect in 2016:

  1. Emerging Markets will be in vogue again (except India) as US interest rates rise. Brazil’s currency will stabilize, reforms will be pushed through, President Dilma Rousseff will get impeached, and investors will start flocking back to the 5th largest country in the world for more than just the Olympics. Andela will be just the first of many Nigerian startups to get major US funding as President Buhari makes Africa’s largest country, which will overtake the USA in population by 2050, a safer haven for both tourists and investors. On the other hand, India’s bloated valuations for unicorns like Ola, Flipkart, Oyo, and others will begin to abate as investors realize Indian customers are more price-sensitive and less brand-loyal than they were hoping.
  2. Court cases will wield direct impact on startups more than in any other year in recent memory. Madden v Midland may cap the interest rates that companies like Kabbage, LendingClub, SoFi, OnDeck, and others charge in certain US states thanks to usury laws. O’Conner v Uber could classify 1099 workers as full-time employees, especially for companies in which contractors are working near full-time hours. Tyler v FanDuel & Draftkings may declare fantasy sports businesses violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. And as the driverless car begins to hit the road under the guise of autopilot, there is bound to be a case on liability in the event of a crash or hack. The central question will be, who is at fault: the software provider, the car manufacturer, the owner, or some combination? Many questions remain unanswered.
  3. The On Demand Economy, particularly in food, will face headwinds, consolidations, and shutdowns. The hot-in-15-minutes, cook-at-home, heat-at-home, order-from-restaurants, pick-up-from-restaurants, and 30+ other on-demand food delivery startups will start to run out of money as investors realize their unit economics may never work. Most will get acqui-hired or shut down. But one company will likely emerge that could take on GrubHub…and it won’t be Uber’s UberEATS. All other categories will become Uber[FILLINHERE].
  4. Education startups will begin to displace struggling traditional institutions. More students will choose to take classes on Coursera or Khan Academy for free instead of amass colossal debt at for-profit educators like the University of Phoenix. Entry-level job seekers will flock to companies like LearnUp instead of attending expensive vocational schools. Primary school applications to schools like Altschool and Think Global School will skyrocket. Students, especially those in emerging markets like Kenya, will begin to receive fully accredited college degrees on their mobile phones thanks to One University Network. New funding, from both private and public sectors, will pour into education startups as people start realizing that our educational system is broken and far too expensive.

Let the games begin.

 

Bold predictions for the next 10 years

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Chris Schroeder, author of the book “Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East”, asked me the following question at the Abraaj Forum in Istanbul a few weeks ago:

“What are some bold predictions this audience needs to hear?  What will happen in the next 10 years”. 

The audience included heads of state (Mexico, Turkey, and other Presidents/Prime Ministers) and highly influential wealthy business leaders (founder of Aramex, chairman of Airtel Nigeria, etc). What could I possibly say that would cause them to look up from their cell phones?

I decided to make some provocative predictions based on many companies that I have met around the world.  Bold, and slightly crazy, so they would at least listen.  The following 5 predictions are the ones I made, and I strongly believe at least 3 will happen…although I don’t know which three!

Within 10 years…

1) Driverless cars will be on the road and owned by consumers…and within 15 years, you will be able to press a button on your mobile phone to call one to pick you up.  That app could be Uber or a whole new system.  Within 20 years, driverless cars will make up 25% of the cars on the road.

2) A 3D printed organ will be transplanted into a human being.  Likely a liver or skin.

3) Bitcoin will become the official currency of certain countries with high volatility.  Already, in Argentina, companies like Bitpagos are allowing merchants to accept pesos and cash out in bitcoin because some would rather hold BTC due to inflation.

4) A tragedy like the disappearance of MH370 will never happen—because we will have drones in the sky that will be able to take a picture of nearly any spot on earth within seconds of receiving a command, likely administered through a mobile phone, and not subject to orbital revisit time, unlike our satellites.  Regulations are already changing in this space to open up the use of drones commercially.

5) Part of our food supply will come from genetically modified micro-organisms that secrete, as a waste product, various types of amino acids and proteins.  Companies are already doing this at a lab scale and by 2025, this will be at a commercial scale.

Let’s see what happens.  Hopefully I’m not 0/5.

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Written by sheeltyle

October 7, 2014 at 11:16 am