we decided at Bright Pixel to ask 20 people to try and guess what 2020 will be all about…
I was one of the lucky “bastards” to write about the trends that we will looking for in 2020…
My two cents below…
What is a trend? A general direction in which something is developing or changing. Or, simply defined also as… a fashion. So, a trend can be fleeting or here to stay. You will never know.
Perhaps the best way to try to predict 2020’s trends is to look back.
For example, twenty years ago, the first camera phones were launched (by Motorola) and now we know for sure that, for the better and worst, they are here to stay and take notice in any tiny detail of our increasingly less private lives, blurring today our assumptions of what is public domain and what is not. The year 2000 also gave us, unfortunately, our first successful reality show – The Big Brother – and that also redefined the boundaries of what is entertainment and of what could be shared with a vast audience. The gaming industry had also a big bump with the launch of Playstation 2 and a set of novelties from Nintendo and others.
If we pick these few examples alone of our not-that-recent past, we can spend hours discussing how they evolved and morphed into new realities now.
A wide array of filters and gimmicks are now available for our collective and instant delight. A full set of businesses were born exploiting our digital presence, from short videos to snapchats and tik toks (the most valuable startup in the world, go figure…), from social media to influencers and other annoying ways to digitally share and supposedly interact with people 24/7.
Not all is bad in having an enhanced ability to digitally interact or define our digital self. We have more immersive ways of interacting (virtual, augmented and mixed reality, to name some new realities…) and engage with other people and entities in several contexts – companies like Didimo (one of the great portuguese startup examples) will help us have a better experience in several contexts of our lives.
For example, our digital self will be able to do a lot more online in several retail environments, that for professional reasons I tend to follow closely. Who would believe in the year 2000 that buying clothes, shoes or almost anything that you can think of online… would become the norm? Or that we have today people paying absurdities for digital-only clothing? And that perhaps make-to-order retail models that promote a more personalised retail experience whilst reducing inefficiencies and, hopefully, other eco-conscious trends will start to pick up more and makes us a bit less fast consumer oriented over time.
Advances in how we manage our digital presence also will be key for several other areas of our lives – from healthcare to education, mobile and immersive gaming to other types entertainment (where the content wars will be on the rise, by the way, between the deep-pocketed streaming services, that are killing our once beloved traditional content providers and distributors (TiVo was born in the 2000’s!).
Our digital existence also brings us other tremendous challenges in 2020 and years to come… how should we manage and protect our data? To what extent should we explore the power of AI in analysing our data and what are the ethical implications around everything that we will do and have sitting around in our digital worlds? Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence are just two taglines for a full array of trends around this existential issue of having this new resource to explore, protect and manage – our digital oil, called data. All of the companies within our portfolio are exploring in some way or manner this brave new world around our digital oil. They are the oil prospectors of the 2020’s.
Then, looking back, we also had the hype of the blu-ray discs in 2000… Is 5G our 2020 blu-ray equivalent? Or perhaps blockchain will also prove to be our digital blu-ray perfect example… we will always have fleeting fashions for our collective satisfaction. Enjoy 2020 while it lasts.