02 May 17 Trends in Business to Look for in 2014
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. My kids are excited about the presents to come from Santa. The snow is falling outside my home in New York as I write this, and it’s not even dirty city snow and slush yet. Of course, what would December be without a trends article?
My top trend in business and technology is below. (Hint, it’s related to the picture above of Jack Dorsey and me). But first, I asked 16 young leaders from The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what trends they see in business and technology emerging in the year to come. Here are their responses:
1. Remote Work
Companies are beginning to realize that they don’t need to always look within their local markets to find talent. This does all kinds of cool things, such as allowing smaller companies to compete, get access to very specific talent and be headquartered anywhere they choose. The technology is available that allows your team to work remotely almost as effectively as if they were in the office.
2. Home Technology
With my current startup grounded in the home improvement space, it’s been interesting to see the ebb and flow of trends within the industry. One of the most exciting to me has been the “Internet of Things” technology integrated into the home — things like home automation, interconnected appliances, etc. There is a huge opportunity for innovators to really change the way we live in our homes. - Matt Ehrlichman, CEO, Porch
3. Privacy-Enhancing Technologies
Privacy has been an ongoing issue since the Internet has existed. With more data available then ever and cases of service providers or government agencies sharing private information, privacy-enhancing technologies are growing in importance. We are reaching a peak of privacy issues, and I believe 2014 will be a pivotal year for services to help aid in enhancing it. - Phil Chen, Co-Founder / Principle Systems Architect, Givit
4. Companies with Personality
For years, companies focused on the transactional elements of their business. But the trend is aggressively favoring companies who have personality rather than your traditional, faceless corporation. Companies that make an extra effort to grow with purpose, lead with transparency and make customer experience the central focus of their business will lead in 2014.
5. Wearable Computing
The confluence of inexpensive ARM chips + open-source hardware and Android will ignite a revolution in hardware, wearable and mobile computing innovation.
6. Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing represents a burgeoning market in 2014. 3D printing allows for rapid prototyping and small-scale manufacturing. In eliminating barriers of scale, it is empowering entrepreneurs and innovators to quickly and cost effectively transform their ideas into working prototypes and products. 3D printing will contribute to what may well be a renaissance in manufacturing
7. Responsive Design
Finally, people are starting to realize that it is important to design websites that look beautiful on tablets and mobile devices! Even though tablets and smartphones have proliferated in the past several years, it’s remarkable how few websites actually have attempted to optimize for smaller screens. I predict a big investment into responsive design in the coming year.
8. Online Education
There are some incredible educational sites that have popped up over the past few years. You can learn to do just about anything online these days from coding to cooking. Best of all, the platforms have become sophisticated and now make it easy and fun to learn. I’m excited to see the way people learn shift over the next year.
9. Marketing Autonomics
The biggest thing to happen to marketing since CRM will arrive in 2014: marketing autonomics. All of the data visualization dashboards we’re used to will go away. Imagine an SaaS that tells you exactly what content to make, gives you creative guidance (topics, colors) and then posts the content itself based on understanding consumer usage data. That technology is almost here.
10. DIY Skills
People are starting to use their hands and take ownership of the things they need in their life again. The DIY movement is growing, cooking is becoming more “hip,” and the Ron Swansons in all of us are just begging to be released.
It’s really exciting to see the growth of a currency, especially in the everyday economy and not just the shady underground. Bitcoin has the potential to reduce small business expenses and create a platform for countless new enterprises.
12. Quantified Self
The quantified self movement is really picking up steam. I’m excited to see how it can move beyond personal and vanity data (such as calculating steps walked) and actually improve our work lives and performance.
13. Social Business
I’m glad that businesses are becoming more social both within the company and outwards to their customers. When you add the social element to business, I believe it becomes much more emotionally rewarding for all participants. This will make happier customers and happier employees.
– Russ Oja, Co- Founder, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC
14. Smartphones Worldwide
Smartphones in the United States and other first-world countries are commonplace. In developing countries smartphones and tablets have the potential to transform the education, health and communication landscape. Give people access to information, and the tools and applications that come with smartphones and there will be real progress in areas tough to service otherwise. - Andrew Howlett, Chief Digital Officer, Rain
15. Augmented Reality and 4D Entertainment
As the CEO of a custom publishing company, I’m very excited by the addition of augmented reality (or 4D content) that magazine publishers are adding to their printed issues. The improvements in AR technology in the past 18 months have been incredible, and I’m looking forward to groundbreaking creativity from publishers in 2014 as more consumers adopt the behavior of using apps to amplify print.
16. Content Marketing
Google is changing the marketing landscape by improving its ability to reward unique perspectives, original topics and high-quality writing. Businesses need to publish shareable content often in order to stay competitive — no matter what industry they are in. Great writing is going to be a huge trend in 2014. - Ryan Buckley, COO & Co-founder, Scripted, Inc.
17. Twitter World
In the last three years, as far as social media is concerned, it’s been a Facebook world. Sure, many other key platforms have emerged, but topping 1.2 billion users, Facebook has been the largest internet platform since Google. I’ve watched Twitter grow enormously over the past year – and saw it go from a platform used mostly by marketers, media and celebrities to a platform used by “real people”- my mom, for instance, and my daughter, and the parents of my daughter’s classmates. With it’s recent IPO and stock performance out of the gate, look for Twitter to continue to become truly mainstream in 2014 and become the next billion-user platform.
Those of 17 trends young leaders and I see for the coming year in business and technology. Now, it’s your turn. What trends do you see for 2014? What did we miss, and what do you disagree with? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, and please do share this post with your network.