LeWeb'13: Fred Wilson [en]

Three macro-trends (from a behavioural point of view: not big data or mobile, but what are people doing?)

First, the transition from bureaucratic hierarchies to collaborative networks, what Here Comes Everybody talks about — technology lowers the transaction costs for collaborative action.

LeWeb'13, Fred Wilson

For example, a network like Twitter is starting to replace the newspaper (a bureaucratic hierarchy ;-)). YouTube is making everyone a video creator, good stuff surfaces, etc. Soundcloud is another one of these. Anybody creates audio or music, you don’t need a record label, don’t need to get signed, you get found by the crowd and become popular.

This trend was first visible in the entertainment industry, it’s now moving to the hotel industry (AirBnB), funding (Kickstarter), learning.

Second trend: unbundling. Has to do with how services are packaged and taken to market. Packaging and taking to market is much more efficient now, so you can buy bits and pieces now when before you needed to get the whole big thing. Newspaper vs getting your news/info from the internet. People focus on being the best at sports, or at classified, rather than doing everything.

Example: banking. Expensive to open a branch, fill it with people to serve customers. So banks did everything: mortgage, savings… So now we have things like Lending Club, Funding Circle — very specialised. Another industry that’s being unbundled is education. It was expensive to put a bunch of students in a room and have a professor stand before them in a building. Not necessary anymore, for example, Fred’s talk right now is being live streamed and probably watched by more people online than in this room. And research! Science Exchange uses a network-based model to allow researches all over the world to collaborate by using each other’s equipment for example. Entertainment is the obvious one. You used to pay your cable bill and get everything in there. Now: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify — we mix and match how we like, on our phone, the big screen, where we want it.

The third big trend is that we’re all nodes on the network because of our phones/computers. If you could keep either your smartphone or your computer, what would you keep? Most people would keep their phone. (I’d still keep my computer, I rely on it too much to type.)

Examples: Uber… impacting the taxi, rental car, and delivery businesses. Changing the world we live in! Square etc for payment: wallet on your phone. Dating: Tinder.

Summary: networks and hierarchies, everything is going to be unbundled, you are a node on the network.

Four sectors to look at.

1. Money.

Because of BitCoin, not because of BitCoin the hype thing, but because it’s a protocol. Money is going to flow on the internet the same way as content flows on the internet. It will not be controlled by any company, be it PayPal, Visa or Mastercard.

2. Health and wellness.

Not healthcare. What keeps you out of the healthcare system. Wearing devices that can report to us and others our vital signs. Fitbit, Jawbone UP and other Pebbles.

3. Data leakage

When the industrial revolution came along, we polluted a lot but waited a long time to start cleaning up. With the information age, our pollution is data leakage, organisations spying on us, etc.

4. Trust and identity.

We’ve allowed Google etc. to be our identity. But we’re giving them access to everything we do. At some point a protocol will emerge to allow us to do the same thing without the drawbacks.

Interesting: fertility app which will pay for IVF if you can’t get pregnant after a year using the app.