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I'm no oracle. In fact, I'm quite often wrong. I read a bunch, I seek out interesting conversations, and I try to learn from the lessons of each passing year. These aren't really predictions or even opinions – just a few thoughts on 2023...
Generative tech will probably disrupt new categories.
We saw big steps forward for AI and generative tech, as it moved from research to end user access. The next year presents an opportunity for founders to create practical applications with viable business models. Examples may include AI for website iteration, new mapping tools, and 3D video in gaming or social networks. The most resilient examples may seek enterprise clients who want to be early adopters.
Scrutiny and regulation will have Big Tech playing defense.
Big Tech is getting crushed by ongoing privacy disputes in the EU, calls for regulation in the US, big layoffs, and talk of recession. The next year will prove tough for these firms, as they play defense to retain talent, avoid lawsuits, maintain revenue, and counter TikTok’s domination. We might see some newfangled tech startups attempt to sidestep these obstacles, but economic realities may lead us towards a “Web 2.5” future that isn’t all that decentralized.
The global economy will be in a swirl for another year.
Our world will continue to evolve into a globalized, multipolar system. The global economy is still processing labor shifts and emergency COVID spending. In 2023, China’s re-opening will shock the global economy in odd ways. Other nations will rise in Asia, as Vietnam becomes a manufacturing hub and India grows into the most populous nation on Earth. Let's pray that we see an end to Putin’s war and lasting peace. Back home, the US may end up going into 2024 with a mild recession, broken political parties and a spastic Twitter. Maybe leading up to the next elections the American public will see the misinformation coming.
The climate tech revolution will kick off in earnest.
While most startups sit on a hiring freeze, climate tech companies will begin to unlock the enormous amounts of capital trickling down from landmark federal legislation. These companies will become more common and recognizable as they hopefully avoid greenwashing rhetoric. As governments work to secure this new infrastructure, cybersecurity will thrive. Climate tech opportunities stretch far beyond electric cars and consumer goods, from energy storage to grid efficiency.
The metaverse will stay sort of meh.
Despite high visibility pivots and major headlines, the metaverse will struggle to find mass adoption. Niche communities and brands may gain a foothold in the metaverse among their most committed users – and probably stall from there. For all we know, these early winners could be Burger King, Nike, or Twix. There will come a day when Apple makes AR simple and cool, but I don’t think it will arrive with their product release in 2023.
Nerd culture will continue to win (more) hearts and minds.
Gone are the days when we nerds could do our thing in peace. The popularity of shows like House of Dragons and Stranger Things have made the latest scoundrels and warlocks mainstream. For starters, look out for Quantumania and Andor season 2. Cross your fingers for film adaptations of classic sagas like The Stormlight Archive and hot new books like Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.
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That's all, folks! I wish you all a happy and healthy year ahead.