Inspired by Fred Wilson’s annual What is Going to Happen post, I wanted to share my predictions for tech in 2018.
TL;DR: 2018 feels like it’ll be a slower year in terms of progress as society works through the tech backlash, Weinstein and tax reform. The fact that there is skepticism about a crash leads me to believe the economy will continue to expand.
Crypto prices will be volatile, but will generally keep moving up as we march towards a global payment network and blockchain rails for smart contracts. The SEC will provide more guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and we’ll see some solid blockchain use cases raise money through ICOs.
#2. Streaming services.
With Fox, Marvel, Star Wars and ESPN, Disney will come to market with strong streaming services. They will undercut Netflix on price and steal marketshare.
Likely won’t happen in 2018, but managing all these streaming services will become unwieldily and consumers won’t want to pay $10/month for each of their 5 streaming services. So the natural solution is to bundle them together. I think Amazon is best poised to do this because they have distribution and can monetize through Amazon Prime subscriptions.
#3. ISP alternatives.
With net neutrality changes, investment will flow into alternatives for Internet service providers (ISPs). We won’t see mass market adoption of an alternative, but there will be several good options that get traction with early adopters.
After a quiet 2017, VR will explode in the fall as the gaming platforms figure out how to incorporate it into the most popular games.
#5. Quiet improvements for emerging tech.
Autonomous vehicles, chat bots and security tech will quietly get better without much attention from the media.
#6. Health care.
Now for the moonshot: an early-stage startup in the genomics/life sciences space will capture the media’s attention. The media has recovered from the Theranos implosion and is looking for the next big thing in health care.
More to come!