I am up in Manchester, VT where my family and I like to spend our free time in the winters and I have been reflecting on what’s to come this year. Innovation in payments, home security, video content, and content consumption are areas that I’ll be paying attention to in 2015.
Many of my friends are writing very insightful future pieces and I thought I’d pile on. In years past, I aggregated all of the predictions on this blog and maybe I’ll do that again this year in a latest post.
While I spend most of my time thinking about content and advertising in my day job, much of this post will be outside of that.
Payments(1). I’ve been fortunate to travel a fair bit across the world – mainly Africa and Europe. In 2015, I’ll be spending some time in Asia but I expect that market to act similar to Europe. Our consumer payments mechanisms here in the USA is much behind pretty much everywhere else. Why in the world do we give our credit cards to a restaurant waiter and have them disappear with our credit card to an unknown place and come back with it processed? I have absolutely zero trust in the waiter and I’m supposed to think that they aren’t going to steal my credit card number? This is 2015… I believe we can do much better…. especially when in most European countries, I process my bill at the table with the waiter- my credit card doesn’t disappear.
I was in New York City with my wife a week ago doing some shopping and we were at a high-end jacket store in Soho. When it came time to pay, we gave our credit card to the nice lady who was helping us and she disappeared into the back of the store for about 10 minutes. She came back with a shopping bag with our jacket nicely wrapped and our credit card sheet to sign. I joked that she could easily steal our credit card number and low-and-behold, just yesterday my wife’s credit card was compromised and the only place we can track it back to is this upscale jacket store… I’m expecting the payments space to evolve in 2015, or at least want it to.
Home Security: I’ve got multiple dropcams, nest, and a bunch of other electronic gizmo’s in my home. I’m getting a bit worried that they could get compromised. I’m unsure of the destruction that this could lead to (I guess someone can turn off my heat, take pictures with the dropcam, etc) but it’s real and a threat. I pay an “alarm company” to monitor my home thru traditional methods but this does not cover the network of electronics that pretty much anyone with an internet connection could compromise. The same way I used to install Norton Antivirus, what will I install on my system to protect me and my gizmos? Some kind of firewall? I have yet to install electronic locks on my doors as I imagine these are super easy to hack.
Video Content: The more that I watch my kids and their content consumption habits, I keep going long on video content. I short the traditional networks and long YouTube. I have to imagine however that the next “YouTube” is on it’s way. I do not seeing video content being a winner-take-all market. I have written about in the past and recently about studying content consumption. More and more content will be created for digital means first – and I’m going to be consuming a bunch of it in 2015. You should check out @GaryVee’s latest video series if you want to see low-cost video done right.
Content Consumption: I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about content consumption and it’s evolution. Instead of focusing on video content and the production capacity as above, I’m thinking more innovation around filters and curation tools. I use Nuzzle today similarly to how I used Summify (though I still miss Summify!). I want more tools to help me comb thru the vast world of content and point me in the right direction of what to consume. Why 2015? Because we’ve seen success in some of these tools over the past few years and with the prevalence of apps on everyone’s smart phones, we’ll see more tools being downloaded. There have also been a bunch of companies who have gone down the content consumption path and a lot of talent/people who have led experiments and hypothesis. The time is ripe.
I’m interested in all of these areas. If you’re an entrepreneur or investor in these areas, I’d love to hear from you.
(1) Payments: I know that payments is an insanely broad topic with multiple forks. I am specifically looking at the last mile – where the consumer interacts with a person or point-of-sale to initiate and complete a transaction.