Future Trends of 2021

Decade Defining Trends

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Future Trends of 2021

Last year we saw people rushing in the stock market on platforms like RobinHood, thousands of new podcasters, the exodus of the journalist to newsletters, healthcare, online education, bitcoin, media consumption, crazy IPOs, the rise of creators, use cases of GPT3, remote life, tools and a ton of them, videos really a lot of videos, tech billionaires, work from home, tech companies, Elon Musk and his tweets, and whatnot seems like everything happened in last year only.

These are my top 10 picks for future trends of 2021 (in alphabetical order)

AI:

GPT-3 took the tech industry by storm last year with there human-like understanding on natural language and their jaw-dropping use case like auto-completion, code generator, storytelling & more and it continues to do so in 2021 when recently they announced the 2 new addition to their API family, DALL.E and CLIP. 2021 will be the year of AI where not just enterprises, governments, and businesses are more moving in the cloud but also each day more amount of end users are getting added to the cloud by getting access to the internet for the first time through their mobiles and thus more and more amount of data is getting generated and with API economy on boom we will see more amazing examples in 2021 where businesses are leveraging the models through API’s thus cutting the time and cost factor and in a way new business models will be created. We will see the rise of AI as it will become more of a commodity. AI implementation in mid and small businesses will also increase drastically.

Audio:

The world has already moved into the audio first environment but still, the peak of the industry is yet far from achieved. Last few years we have seen the tremendous growth of podcast where Spotify and amazon getting on acquisition spears for the podcast production media houses. In 2020, we altogether saw different analytics of podcast listeners, as the world was on halt due to pandemic the listeners dropped in numbers, as the daily commute was stopped, thus it shows how much of the podcast industry is dependent on the time people commute but this also shows that there is more to come in this space. And yes how can we forget to mention the clubhouse app which has garnered a buzz for itself and social platforms are moving towards audio media as we have seen with the launch of twitter spaces and it’s the recent acquisition of startup Breaker. With more new hardware and apps for home assistant and smart speakers coming up, we would literally be talking more with them then our families.

Community:

In 2020, we saw people pursuing their hobbies in their pastime and this has led to the growth of communities in niches, you will find a community for each and everything in this world but 2020 was more than that as the world got disconnected people needed more peers like themselves with whom they can talk, learn, share, engage, grow and thus in a way a feel like home. Community as a service has started to pick up, people are paying to get into these micro niched out communities. Also, we can’t forget to mention the tremendous growth of private communities, creators of OnlyFan showed the world that people are preferring private communities not just for adult industry but also for industries like fitness trainers, celebrity engagement and more. These kinds of platforms offer creators to build communities and have full control over them, unlike the marketplaces or aggregators. This year we will see more different and unique ways of monetisation for community-based businesses.

Creator or Passion Economy:

As in the with above point world got a lot of time to experiment with their hobbies last year, but now it has gone to the next level with creators rising and pursuing their passion, they are creating content, community and commerce. Makers are creating podcasts, writing newsletters, joining slack channels, selling courses, uploading on Tik Tok, and whatnot, with these second layer of businesses, have emerged providing tools and services catering towards creator economy, Substack is having a great run, Ghost is doing amazingly well, and all other social channels are flooded with these creators trying to build an audience and sell to them. We will see this trend getting more picked up, many journalists have left their jobs and started their newsletter and some of these newsletters are earning in millions of dollars. We will also see the rise of creator tools which cater specifically to their use cases like monetization, commerce, subscription, content creation, platform & community, merchandising, and others.

Decentralised:

The world has already gotten decentralised in terms of people but this year the decentralised tech will get mainstreamed. We witnessed bitcoin hitting all-time high and recently ethereum also achieved it’s high and together cryptocurrencies have a market cap of more than 1 trillion dollars. We will see decentralised tech getting added in everything starting with the finance through Defi (Decentralised Finance). Recently when payment companies denied their support for the adult industry it made the businesses to aggressively shift towards cryptocurrencies as a payment method, also Facebook Libra is on the way and more governments are getting their policies and strategies for distributed tech-ready, we will see new use cases popping up for blockchain. Future will be decentralised + everything.

Low code/No code:

We witnessed the rise of low code/no-code tools in the previous two years, platforms such as Airtable, Notion, Bubble and many more. These tools have helped thousands of citizen developer to get their work done without needing to write a single line of code. Moving forward, this effect will be seen not just in the coding domain but rather everywhere, we will see the rise of citizen economy starting to pick up in every industry. The domain-specific skills required to complete the tasks will be taken care by such platform thus even a normal citizen would be able to leverage the power of these tools and deliver results, and as pandemic has made businesses to cut cost on their resources they are getting more work done from their existing resources thus giving a push for the low code/no-code tools.

Remote:

With years of hard work one fine day, you will get lucky, this is the case study of Zoom. With the pandemic hitting the world and everyone preferring remote first, there are thousands of tools which came in the market and underlying services have started to pick up like hire remote developer, nomadic living, zoom towns(literally), and so on. Due to this remote-first approach, people will work for a few days from coworking spaces and remaining few from home. More people will become urban nomads, they will be travelling in different parts of the world where they will work together remotely and form their tribes. This year we will see the rise of remote-first tools and movement of people in less crowded cities thus creating new underlying business models which will cater to these specific set of people.

Short video format:

With the recent addition of stories to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google web stories every social media platform now supports short video format like stories. Tik Tok would be the prime example to show how the attention span of users has decreased and more short-form of videos are consumed. New social platforms will emerge which will be leveraging short video format or even some new format altogether. There would be no better time than now to be on this format as recently LinkedIn shared an update that they will start to show adds on the LinkedIn stories thus before these channels get crowded or controlled by algorithms businesses are using it to their advantage and leverage the organic push that these social platforms are providing currently.

Social Commerce:

With the rise of creators and influencers, there is an innate need for social platforms to provide these creators with a way to leverage their audience through commerce. There are already different platforms which provide creators with a way to monetize their audience but with the native support of commerce and payments on social platforms, it will be a game-changer. With the recent updates on the support of commerce on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and WhatsApp social commerce will boom, creators would be able to directly sell to their audience right through their social media feeds and also accept payment through the same. Due to this other related businesses are also getting hyped like delivery, manufacturing, logistics, clothing, supply chain, fashion, storage, and warehouse.

XaaS:

Servitization of everything is taking place, people have started to offer XaaS, anything as a service with models like freelance, design, podcast, video editing, website maintenance, bookkeeping, coaching, mentoring, community, and many more. Instead of selling products itself, they sell the underlying service for that product, you will find all sorts of things which are been offered as a service. Due to this, the marketplace for these industries has also started to pick up. Folks running this model carve out their niche and deliver insane value and as the customer’s demands are easily managed they are also offered with additional services.

Honourable mentions:

SaaS, API economy, AR/VR, 3D printing, Vernacular, Privacy & Security, Gig economy, Socializing existing business model like Public.com, Neobanking, Bundled or aggregated services or products, and many more.

Moonshots:

This year we will see the rise of moonshot ideas in the fields like space, quantum computing, climate change, genetics, flying cars, self-driving, electric, singularity, renewables. These ideas will be disrupting the next 10-20 years of the future.

Conclusion

Whichever trend gets picked up or something altogether new comes, the future of trends will be spontaneous and dynamic with an added twist for today’s context.

Just like the objects in the mirror are closer then it appears, future is always very close then it appears.

Believe me, it’s all happening right now, don’t wait for the future to come, it’s already right here!

Let me know if I have missed something or you would like to add something in the comments down below or by replying to this email:)

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