In 2021, almost all massively big and profitable businesses/companies in the world are internet companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft & Facebook.
They are so big that the government is thinking about breaking them following antitrust laws. If we think, what causes these companies to become so massively big? One possible answer can be, the stage was set with electricity availability, wide spread cell towers, fast internet, mobile in almost hand & laptop in every desk etc. With all these major factors combined, the internet revolution was almost inevitable. The internet & mobile brought many new businesses & entrepreneurs.
So, we can say, when multiple factors combine, a big wave of growth comes and somehow, if you can catch-up(or ride) those waves by starting businesses in that area, or by being early employees in those companies, you can make big fortunes, in terms of millions & billions.
If you make a list of companies/products that didn’t exist 20 years ago, it will include:
- Netflix streaming
- Google Maps
- Amazon Prime
That’s a lot of things that came in just the last 20 years. If we think, >70-80% of our day will revolve around these things. Can you imagine what things will exist 20 years from now? Or even 10 years from now?
Now, if you think about it, if you need to make a massive impact on humanity & make tons of money by building these massive business juggernauts, you need to ride the technological waves. Meaning, you need to be at the right time. Right timing is one of the most critical factors which determines how a business will do.
If the iPhone or Android would have come in the 1990s, possibly it would not have become this much big, because of less awareness about the internet, technology and less penetration of the internet. Same thing for social media like Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram. They were at the right time when the stage was set for them to build massive buildings.
Now, that’s not to say, they just got lucky. Absolutely not. They have poured their blood, sweat & tears into their companies and products to make them successful. But if they were in the wrong timing, chances were not that high to make the thing fly.
Today’s majority of the top 50 or top 100 richest people in the world are self-made by riding this new technological wave. Billionaires in the 19th century were made from oil, steel & electricity, like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan. And billionaires of the 20th century like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg have build companies riding the internet wave. It was a digital land grab.
And let’s also take a moment & realize that, obviously there are thousands of other people also who have impacted many lives and made single digit billions or hundreds or tens of millions riding the internet wave.
What can be the next big Technological wave?
According to me, three major candidates are:
- Artificial Intelligence(AI) & Machine Learning(ML)
- Decentralized Finance(DeFi) & Crypto Currencies
- Augmented Reality(AR) & Virtual Reality(VR)
You can read about AI/ML in my other blogs like this one, I will try to explore the 2nd and 3rd point in this post.
Movies like Ready Player One shows that, at what level AR/VR can impact our lives in future. And boy, that future seems very likely to me. As the government is printing trillions of dollars & very low interest rates, people’s trust in fiat currency have started to decline.
And what is money, if it’s not just a collective trust and belief of value in a piece of paper? Just like we believe gold is worth this much and we believe, this stock is worth this much. Since 1971, when Nixon removed the gold standard, nothing has backed the value of a US dollar bill.
Prices of stocks & metals like gold, represents our collective belief in it’s value.
According to me, the next decade(i.e. 2020-2030) is going to be a “crypto & smart contracts + AR/VR” wave. DeFi-Decentralized Finance, is a new wave in finance on the horizon. Today, just like we are spending more & more time on the internet & mobile, we will spend that time in the virtual world.
A future where people are living more in the virtual world(AR/VR) than the real world, where they earn & consume in crypto & people build businesses upon smart-contracts platform is truly exciting.
A virtual world where you can do anything that you can imagine, you can build anything you want. You can build your own business & houses there, and other people will use your products & you will use other people’s(read entrepreneurs’) products.
And millennials & gen-Z will find that new virtual world far more cooler & attractive than this real physical world, filled with issues like climate change & global warming. As a matter of fact, millennials & gen-Z are the future generation. And to spend in that new universe, the option of decentralized money is more convenient than traditional fiat money. So the future of decentralized finance, where literally everything is open, transparent and global, seems bright.
New generations believe more in globalization than fighting over countries’ border issues. Today, they share everything they know on the internet for free & read/watch whatever interests them. An open, transparent & global wave of sharing!
They don’t prefer centralized systems which move slow & have many limitations and especially, which controls them. They prefer an open system, where everyone can participate & gain something. And for finance, decentralized finance is just that.
Features like smart-contracts in Ethereum(specially ETH 2.0) allows us to write whole codebase inside a decentralized blockchain. Where code and data both are stored in a decentralized manner. No centralized server or database maintaining them.
And along with that, massive compute-power hardwares like GPUs and TPUs are also becoming cheaper & more efficient. Which are essential to keep the whole decentralized internet up & to verify the transactions in a decentralized manner.
To summarize the last 4-5 paragraphs, the platform is almost ready or getting ready at a very fast rate to build huge buildings for DeFi(Decentralized Finance). Mix of AR/VR and DeFi is a completely new world.
If a virtual world where we can do anything we can imagine becomes reality, then chances of DeFi to work increases drastically. Because in that virtual world, we need some fast, secure & reliable way for value transaction. And crypto on top of DeFi & smart contracts is just that. And even if that virtual world is not happening in the foreseeable future, chances of DeFi to work are still there, because of decreasing trust in fiat currency.
So, I think a combined wave of AR/VR + DeFi will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest part of our future. Only question is, how far this future is. Is it 10 years, 5 years or 30 years? I think it’ll be far sooner than we think, as we saw things that were not there 10-20 years ago. So, I think it’ll come faster than we think.
Most likely, the next big technologies will be built by startups. Here’s another similar post on the topic of “How Startup Ecosystem works?” give it a read, if you want to explore how startup works and how every stakeholder connect with each other.