12 Predictions for 2016: technology, start-ups and beyond

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It is always fun to review predictions from the previous year and see who who nailed it and who was smoking crack.  With that as my backdrop, I present the first annual FamilyJules predictions for 2016.  (Disclaimer–these thoughts are solely my own and do not reflect views of my employer).

  • The US economy has been ticking along at a slow and steady growth rate which will allow the Fed to make two additional 25 basis point interest rate hikes in 2016.
  • We will see significant investment in African entrepreneurs and will have a $100MM exit by at least one African company in 2016.
  • This is the year that the use of ingestible sensors and cameras will become more mainstream and insurers will start recognizing their value and paying for them in 2017.
  • The cannabis business will take off nationally and the stigma of investment will dissipate  as the opportunity to get in early with the purveyors of the ‘picks and shovels’ presents itself.
  • ID cards carrying all personal data (bank info, medical records, demographic data) will start to become standard operating procedure around the world, with the US finally joining the party in 2020.
  • A consumer drone will be the cause of a fatal small plane accident which will result in a knee-jerk regulatory reaction to this growing industry.
  • Virtual reality will finally reach a price point and use case that brings it to the masses for home entertainment.
  • Although it is a tool used by almost every white collar worker in the world, LinkedIn is still clunky when trying to use basic functions (ever try to reply with anything other than accept/reject to a stranger who has asked to connect with you?)  This year they will finally listen to user complaints and release a new and improved UI.
  • For the first time, we will see at least one incumbent taxi company in a mid-market city declare bankruptcy due to pressure from ride-sharing competition (I’m looking at you Orlando, Cincinnati, Austin, Denver and others).
  • Speaking of the ride-sharing industry, I predict that Lyft will merge with an international rival such as Didi Kuaidi in China or Ola in India to take on Uber for global dominance.
  • 2016 will be the year that e-commerce takes the next step in the maturation process with 2 or more of the independent fresh food delivery companies (Sprig, Bento, Munchery, SpoonRocket, HelloFresh, DoorDash, GrubHub, Eat Club, Plated, etc.) will merge .
  • And finally, no prediction would be complete without the mention of IPOs.  I believe there is a lot of pent-up demand among investors and unicorn Boards which will result in 2016 topping the 23 tech IPOs (per Renaissance Capital) in 2015 fairly easily .  Some likely candidates from the higher valuations club to file their S-1 are Dropbox and Airbnb while notable absences from the 2016 IPO list will be:  Uber, Snapchat, Pinterest & Palantir.

If you read this far, I appreciate it.  Please feel free to call me out on any of my predictions and I look forward to trying this again next year.

Happy new year!

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juleswalker4

I lead business development for KPMG's Emerging Technology practice in the western region. I enjoy discussing the next great thing coming out of Silicon Valley and Silicon others.

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