2016 will be another year of great progress for technology entrepreneurs and corporations, yet friction and tension will only build up further within society.
Perhaps we will resupply the International Space Station, make virtual reality a household product, develop new artificial intelligence products, and call on drones to deliver our daily needs. Many of the high flying unicorns will continue to raise large rounds. However, capital will most likely be concentrated in fewer companies, as investors follow a “flight to quality” mentality, piling capital disproportionately into the next (hopefully) Facebook, SpaceX, or Airbnb.
Starting a company will become even easier than in 2015. Not only will cost of entry come down, the proliferation of programming schools and bootcamps will allow many more to participate in our technological future. Building a company, however, will become more difficult than ever as the competition for talent and customer mindshare rages on at increased fever.
Yet, despite the continued optimism, the choice between technology and humanity will increasingly come into conflict. In 2016, we will be in a technology “anti-bubble”. More products and companies are being built in areas beyond the Internet. The innovations in the world of bits will cascade into the world of atoms…and that will be scary for the unprepared mind.
What we chose to build will increasingly take on the question of “should we” and not “can we”. Should we combine the power of chip and our brain? Should we program autonomous vehicles to kill the cars “driver”? Should we replace fast food workers with robots?
We believe in both the power of exponential technologies and persistent entrepreneurs. When combined, these two forces create transformative companies that change their industries and even the world.
We look forward to having engaging conversations about the breakthrough companies and the implications of their work at the 2016 GSV Pioneer Summit, September 13-15.
—Li Jiang @gsvpioneer
The GSV Pioneer Summit, September 13-15, 2016, is an annual gathering of the world’s most forward-thinking technology leaders, investors and rising stars who are working together to build a stronger society. Meet 100+ founders and CEOs building the next game-changing companies and the investors who have backed the most-notable startups in Silicon Valley. Register today.