Top 3 Keywords for Entrepreneurship in 2016

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Tech is still king of entrepreneurship – but not in the way you think

As the global economy enters an era of ‘new normal’ marked by stagnating growth and wages, technology has arguably emerged as one of the fastest-growing and most innovative sector of entrepreneurship.

But the landscape of tech is undergoing rapid change. The IT industry has reached or is nearing market saturation in a number of important segments including mobile, cloud computing, and e-commerce.

Investors and analysts alike have recently sounded the alarms about Apple’s bleak outlook for 2016 with many predicting that iPhone sales will fall for the first time this year due to the maturing smartphone market. Cloud computing has reached a “race to zero” price war with giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft slashing prices in the face of heavy competition. And no one needs to tell you that the app market has become flooded to near biblical proportions with over 1.5 million mobile apps competing for real estate on our smartphones.

With these traditional tech segments no longer being the engines of growth they once were, where can we expect to see the greatest entrepreneurial expansion going forward?

Here are my top 3 keywords for entrepreneurial growth in 2016:

1. Fintech


2. Robotech


3. Wearabletech

Fintech (Financial Technology):

2016 Entrepreneurship Prediction - Tharawat Magazine
Image: The Economist

The financial industry has long been dominated by decades-old institutions but 2016 may mark the start of the greatest threat to these giants that may even exceed the 2008 financial crisis. Fintech startups are now making it incredibly easy for people to borrow money, exchange currency, trade stocks, and make all sorts of e-payments on their mobile devices without the need to ever visit a bank or financial advisor.

Goldman Sachs estimates that companies like LendingClub, TransferWise, and Funding Circle could collectively steal up to $4.7 trillion in annual revenue and $470 billion in profit from established financial services companies.

Although maintaining security from data breaches and uncharted regulatory environments pose significant challenges, the digitization of finance is an irreversible trend that investors and consumers must recognize.

Robotech (Robotics Technology):

2016 Entrepreneurship Prediction - Tharawat Magazine
Image: The Wall Street Journal

Sadly, I can’t promise you that we will all have our own R2-D2’s and C-3PO’s by the end of 2016. What I can tell you however, is that last year marked the first time in which robotics and artificial intelligence entered the everyday world, meaning that Robotech is no longer a fringe science but rather a mainstream consumer industry.

At the forefront of tangible efforts to improve our lives through robotics integration are self driving cars, which has seen non-auto companies like Samsung and Google making forays into this technology.

Beyond autonomous driving, increasingly sophisticated and automated functions in drones, nanobots, and AI deep learning are expected to yield practical applications in both our physical and digital worlds.

The advances in Robotech are taking off at such a speed that Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates signed an open letter this year warning about the potential dangers of our increasing AI capabilities.

Wearabletech (Wearable Technology):

2016 Entrepreneurship Prediction - Tharawat Magazine
Image: BI Intelligence

When the smartwatch was introduced to much fanfare, the question that many consumers asked themselves was, “Why do I even need one?” So far, the industry’s answer to this question has been some bumbling about heartbeat monitoring, but that is set to change quickly in the coming year.

While the use of wearable devices for biomonitoring and fitness purposes will undoubtedly remain at the center of its development, the increasing number of consumer-friendly functions is expected to translate to real demand.

Mobile payment systems like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay have yet to truly take off, but this expected to change thanks to the convenience and security offered by smartwatches over cash or credit cards. In addition, virtual reality headsets are increasing in sophistication and Oculus Rift is scheduled to release its first consumer device this year.

Wearabletech is also expected to lead the charge in introducing the Internet of Things into our lives, as chip-embedded clothing, smart glasses, and smartwatches integrate with smart homes and communicate with each other, creating a seamless ubiquitous computing experience.

This article was originally published on Linkedin by Tharawat Magazine Senior Editor James Lee.