A decade in tech is an eternity. In 2012, Uber had yet to launch in Britain, Facebook was about to float, and Netflix had just started production of its first hit, House of Cards.

Who could have predicted what came next?

  • Uber, now worth $80bn, catalysed the rise of the gig economy
  • Facebook tuned into one of the greatest money making machines in history
  • Netflix’s share price rose 50-fold to become the biggest disruptor in Hollywood

Technical change tends to be exponential. So, what will the next decade in tech look like in terms of  companies and tech innovation?

The end of the smartphone

Ever since Steve Jobs unveiled the Phone in 2007, Silicon Valley has been working on its replacement – a device that could become as ubiquitous but less intrusive, something that does not draw your gaze down to the palm of your hand.

The probable winner here is some type of augmented or ‘mixed reality’ glasses that overlay digital information  onto your field of view. Apple is most likely to win this race, given the investment required, either by developing it in-house or buying the hot start-up that cracks the problem.

However, a handful of companies are seeking to take our tech reliance to its logical conclusion – by merging us with our devices. Brain/computer interfaces seek to jack us directly into technology via, typically, a chip that is surgically implanted into the brain and connected wirelessly to your chosen device.

If the ‘brain surgery’ hurdle can be overcome, then a very broad long-term vision can be realistically imagined. Early focus, however, is on helping paralysed or brain injured people to control devices through thought alone.

Cars, the next frontier.

A green tidal wave is washing over the world’s largest manufacturing sector, as the major companies announce plans to spend 100s of billions of dollars collectively on new electric vehicles.

Tesla is leading the way, but a gaggle of start-ups are following in its wake.

Electrification will be paired with autonomy – long-haul trucking and agriculture are ripe for driver-assist software, where millions are employed. SaaS brings a whole new revenue stream to this industry.

Online enablers

The shift to online shopping was dramatically accelerated by Covid but still has some way to go. While 80% of Brits have bought something online in the past three months, only 30% of Italians have.

Two companies with the potential to become trillion-dollar businesses are Shopify and Stripe. Both are companies helping online businesses (Shopify to set up, and Stripe to process payments). Stripe is America’s most valuable start-up and is set to float this year.

Where Web3 and cryptocurrencies go (and NFTs), is a little harder to forecast.

Space grows up

The next decade will be the most consequential for space exploration – and the space business – in half a century.

A few predictions:

  • Nasa will start a colony on the moon
  • SpaceX will become the first trillion-dollar space firm, largely due to the completion of Starlink, the satellite broadband network that will connect the third of the planet that has n internet access. Starship – the fully reusable rocket – is also key to its plans.

Apple

Where does Apple go next? The iPhone giant stands alone, and briefly hit the $3 trillion market threshold last week.

The iPhone killer is one new frontier – an Apple car is another.

Infintec

Many of the greatest exponential tech changes start with small innovative start-ups building something to a point where the big boys are required to really scale it.

At Infintec we help companies like this make sure they get the optimum return on their efforts – exiting when true value has been created.

This comes from careful, strategic funding backed by a clear business growth strategy – our speciality.

If you want to make a big impact on the next decade – and be rewarded, then talk to us.

Source: Danny Fortson (Sunday Times)