Startups have a reputation for being tech-forward, but in 2020, it’s more important than ever to have a firm grasp on technology. A changing landscape and expanding markets mean more opportunities for startups that choose to get involved in tech. Some tech startups are already disrupting the tumultuous landscape, but to keep up with them, startups should take note of the following trends.
Startups Remain More Agile
The popular messaging app Slack began in 2009 as a multiplayer gaming company, and it only shifted focus in 2014 before becoming one of the most used messaging and collaboration services for office workers and software developers with more than 12 million active daily users.
The broad range of tech services out there is beginning to narrow as startups like Slack find success in the business sector.
Sure, Slack has found big wig competition with Microsoft’s Teams app, but smaller companies and startups will always remain more agile to adjust to market conditions than a large corporation like Microsoft.
And no one knows this better than Microsoft itself. This juggernaut was the small fry in the 90s when it claimed the market from IBM.
Consumers are Gaining Power
In an increasingly connected world (thanks in part to startups in the social space), consumers are changing as quickly as the business landscape.
We’ve seen this change happening over the past two decades, and we can expect it to accelerate in 2020.
Business software is becoming increasingly “consumerized” as users are able to sample products with free-trials and later subscribe to a SaaS model instead of investing hundreds or thousands for software upfront.
This is a good thing for startups as they can develop programs and get them straight into the hands of consumers without having to invest big bucks in a marketing plan. But the pay-as-you-go model does keep startups on their toes, leaving it more important than ever to stay at the cutting edge and keep consumers happy with the product.
IoT is in the Spotlight
The number of devices connected to the internet has steadily been increasing since the first IoT device was introduced. And in 2020, startups have a major opportunity to sit at the forefront of this market. It used to be that consumers looked to large tech corporations for the latest and the greatest, but now, those cutting-edge products are more often coming from startups. Nest and Canary are great examples.
To date, IoT has made major headway in the direct-to-consumer market, but in 2020 and beyond, we can expect to see tech-forward startups making waves in professional and industrial applications, like healthcare, logistics and manufacturing. And this is where job-shadowing can really change someone’s career, and possibly the world. If you’d like to start an IoT startup, you can currently get invaluable experience by shadowing other startup founders in this space.
And with all this opportunity comes great risk. A startup could easily make a name for themselves overnight—but then that name could be forever tarnished if their product (and customer base) is exposed to hacking.
It’s not only important for startups to remain at the leading edge of the IoT movement, but they also must keep an eye towards privacy protection and internet safety if they want to remain on top.
FinTech Opportunities Remain Strong
European banks have been changing ever since the financial crisis, and we’re finally seeing that debacle come to a head. But what we’re seeing unfold worldwide is unlike anything that has ever happened. Traditional banking institutions are leaving space for an entire new wave of financial startups that are going to disrupt the industry in 2020. We’ve already seen FinTech companies like Acorns and Stash reach new consumers and shake up the financial market. And this is just the beginning.
FinTech startups are expected to take over in 2020, and if you’re an investor or startup CEO, you don’t want to get left in the dust. Open issues like excessive government and corporate debt, inflation and volatile currency fluctuations leave so much room for improvement, and any technology-focused financial startup can make major strides in 2020, especially in the cryptocurrency and B2C markets.
If you run a startup or are considering it, there has never been a better time to focus on technology. Now that 2020 is underway, if you do not at least begin to visualize how you will implement modern technology, you will likely be left behind by more forward-looking competitors.