January 3, 2013
James Beshara, co-founder and CEO of Crowdtilt.com, anticipates five top trends for tech startups in 2013: 1) phones will become our remote controls for life; 2) crowdfunding behavior will expand; 3) we will experience a new era enabled by sensors; 4) large companies within the startup ecosystem will seek new business models; and 5) a consolidation of entrepreneurs will come together to build companies.
“Our phones are becoming our remote controls for life,” Beshara writes in the Wall Street Journal. “If we have a need for it in our daily lives, there should and will be an icon and app for it on our phone. It’s as simple as that.”
Second, “crowdfunding behavior will spill beyond their silos.” Beshara believes these types of group-buying experiences, like the ones available via Groupon or Kickstarter, will expand. Beshara’s own Crowdtilt fits this mold. The company just launched the world’s first international crowdfunding API, “so you can say this prediction is either completely self-promotional or that we believe in this trend so strongly we put our money where our mouth is by fostering it,” he writes.
“Sensors, your time is now,” Beshara writes of the third trend, noting that “in our pockets, we’ve got a device that can control, read and display information from the world around us — and it can do it all continuously and wirelessly.”
Fourth, he writes of “’Hollow Giants’ looking for business models (or suitors).” By these he means sites like Tumblr, Foursquare and Twitter, all of which “are perceived as massive companies within the startup ecosystem. But in terms of revenue-generating businesses, they barely register on the radar.” Each has proven it can build an audience, but in 2013, each will need to prove it can build a business from that audience.
As a fifth trend, Beshara suggests that it has been relatively easy to start a recent business, but ensuring a future will be challenging, especially since the number of startups launched in the past two years has exceeded the number of qualified people to hire. “In 2013, we’re going to see a lot of consolidation of entrepreneurs coming together to build companies,” he writes. In 2013, companies will have heavy competition for consumers, funding and talented individuals for their teams.