7 Predictions: Millennial Usage of Tech in 2017

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Inspired by Fred Wilson’s annual What is Going to Happen post, I wanted to share my predictions for millennial usage of tech in 2017.

#1. AI. As Benedict Evans pointed out in his Mobile is Eating the World post, AI represents the next computing platform.

Amazon Prime + echo/dot is best poised to take this market and I think millennials obsessed with the latest gadgets will be buying these devices in 2017.

I also believe 2017 is the year AI assistants go mainstream. This time next year, I fully expect an AI assistant will automate many of the menial tasks in my life (ex. scheduling haircut appointments, basic research, etc).

#2. AR/VR. In Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report, she talked about how explosive millennial spending power will be over the next 10-20 years.

We have good jobs, no major expenses like houses or kids and have a lot of free time. Therefore we are able to direct our disposable income and attention to entertainment and travel.

Which is why I think AR/VR will be a major category in 2017. Pokemon Go demonstrated just how big the market is and I think we’ll see more apps using the same playbook.

If I were running Airbnb, who already has a strong brand with millennials, I’d be investing heavily in AR/VR. Beyond using VR as a better way to evaluate and experience whether you should pull the trigger and book two nights at that London flat, Airbnb has an opportunity to be THE global travel company. Imagine if you can’t afford to go on a vacation, but can be transported via an Airbnb VR headset to your dream location. Millennials would gobble this type of offering up.

#3. Devices. I think many millennials will move away from Apple and experiment with devices from Google or Microsoft in 2017.

#4. Security. My email was hacked in 2015 and since then I’ve been using two-factor and a password manager. I think hacking of personal devices/web services will become more common in 2017 and millennials will start paying attention to steps they can take to be more secure.

#5. Social media. The majority of social media usage will move away from Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and into SnapChat and the mobile messaging services. This is driven by fatigue from the fake news/click bait epidemic.

#6. Chat bots. Millennials expect information instantaneously via the Internet. Many traditional offline services (legal, financial advisors, real estate, home improvement, etc) will launch  chat bots as a way to engage millennials who are hungry for information about a particular vertical/topic. I believe this is a mega-trend over the next 5-10 years and will be looking for ways to get involved.

#7. Bitcoin/blockchain. This is more of a moon shot in 2017 that bitcoin/blockchain awareness and usage goes mainstream with millennials.

There are many use cases and benefits of Bitcoin/blockchain for millennials, but I believe the technology is not being marketed properly. I’ll be looking for ways to get involved in this topic as well.

More to come!


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