Business Opinion

Ted Leonsis: Top 13 Trends for 2013

Ted Leonsis 1

The great Wayne Gretzky once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.” He was talking about hockey, but in reality we all want to know what happens next. 2012 was an eventful year full of ups and downs. The domestic housing market took an upward turn, but international events and budget issues in D.C. pulled us back as 2013 got under way.

Ted Leonsis 2

For the rest of the year, I predict the economy will show signs of improvement, with investors eager to deploy capital. But this may be the Year of Fallen Angels—overfunded, overvalued, overhyped companies will struggle to raise the additional capital they need. And tech itself remains amazingly healthy.  As evidence, here are the top tech trends I see for 2013. (For a more detailed PDF about them, click here.)

#1     The Third Internet Revolution is in Full Swing. Broadband is Everywhere; Mobility is Everywhere; Ad Dollars are Shifting

#2     Mobile Fuels Conversion to a Cashless Economy. Over the next two years, the mobile payment market will reach $670 billion.

#3     Consumerization of IT leads to New Security Concerns, with Resulting Business Opportunities. As people live more and more in the cloud, security will take on a more personal bent—and become more important.

#4     Driven By Social, Local Fulfills its Promise. Market Leaders will bill over $10 Billion in local deal-of-the-day businesses in 2013. (Editor’s Note: Leonsis is acting co-CEO of Groupon.)

#5     New Technologies Transform Education. Online learning, online homework and assessment programs are among the new technologies that can improve the learning process, ensuring that students are prepared for future careers.

#6     Convergence Finally Becomes a Reality. Your computer, phone and TV are now all just screens.

#7     The New Must-Have: Data Integration. Data is expected to grow by 800% in the next five years.  90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.

#8     The Most Important Trend in Big Data: Good Data. Use of infographics increased 150% in one year and it is the fastest growing format in B2B content marketing. Infographics give us a visual road map to make sense of large amounts of data, and help filter out some of the peripheral noise.

#9     Home Automation. We will be able to control energy, security, video, communications, electronics through wireless technologies.

#10 eGov Finally Arrives: Governments will turn to innovation for everything from procurement to immigration to record keeping.

#11 Personal Cloud: Whose Side Are You On? Ensuring data consistency across personal devices will become key. Major players like Microsoft, Google and Apple, will continue to make bets on cloud-based opportunities.

#12 Voice Becomes The Critical Interface: Siri is just the beginning. Artificial intelligence plus voice will power our identity on the Web.

#13 Vertical Sprouts = Consumers and Money. First came the major “horizontal” companies, like Amazon in ecommerce and Facebook in social. Next up: vertical companies in spaces like women, teens, sports, and seniors.

Ted Leonsis is a nationally renowned entrepreneur, investor, and business leader. He sits on the board of directors of several leading companies, ranging from American Express to Groupon. Ted has been involved with Revolution Growth since its founding, and is an investor in and Chairman of Revolution Money and AddThis.

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