What’s next? That’s what we’re all asking these days. Of course, some of us can cynically ask this question. The year 2020 has not treated us too kindly and has been one for the history books. We started the year with a potential war with Iran and the assassination of a top Iranian general. Kim Jong Un went missing for a while, and COVID-19 scaled up and out all over the world, taking many lives with it. We don’t know if it is still present at a dangerous level or if it has mostly died down.
We do know that COVID-19 has brought about many different changes, some of which are not likely to go away. For instance, e-commerce got a boost during COVID-19. Further, coordinated global stimulus means that we might experience more of the same from the past decade, and we will seem much more innovation and technological advancement over the next decade. Indeed, this next decade will bring about different problems and many challenges.
Everyone is talking about the many challenges that we face today, which can be discouraging if that is all we pay attention to right now. Imagine if you noticed the trend and shift to e-commerce and invested in Amazon earlier, of if you saw Tesla as an innovative company and allocated capital when it was $400, maybe even Shopify, or Facebook in its early days.
We can also talk about the rise of telehealth and other technologies. Several industries got a boost post-COVID-19. If you saw the trend early, you would have seen a significant increase in your portfolio. Interestingly, it is not about tomorrow; it is about habits and behaviors today that will see much more adoption in the future.
Here’s a look at some opportunities over the next decade and how you can prepare for it.
E-Commerce Is Just Starting
Many think that they missed the boat on e-commerce, but this would be far from the truth. It is an industry that is just getting started. Small businesses that started offline will also have a presence online. Those who want to start a business selling goods will quite likely start online first before adding a physical presence offline.
Retail sales are still mostly taking place offline, even though online sales offer more convenience and simplicity. While there are pros and cons to both, shopping online will continue to grow as companies such as Amazon and Shopify make it easier for businesses and consumers to transact.
Clicking and receiving goods right at your doorstep is not going to get tiresome anytime soon.
Walmart and its ten percent stake in Jingdong will also see a tremendous boost over the long term. Further, advertising companies should also see significant help from e-commerce growth as more turn to Facebook and Google for advertisement capabilities. I say that it should, for Facebook and Google, because regulatory obstacles might hamper increased revenue growth.
Summary: Ecommerce is a small portion of the retail universe and will continue to expand and lift many boats in this ecosystem. Invest, build, and get involved in some way if you’re intrigued.
Gaming and Streaming
Virtual reality, in addition to other trends like cloud computing, will help accelerate more gaming adoption. How? Virtual reality makes gaming more immersive, and cloud computing provides accessibility.
These gaming companies will continue to grow as more gravitate to the internet and the world wide web for community and entertainment.
E-sports and games provide ways to meet new people, escape reality, and compete digitally. You likely have a friend, family member, or someone who spends at least 3 hours daily on games and entertainment. SpendMeNot notes that “the video game industry generated $131 billion in 2018. Esports market on the route of surpassing the $1.5 billion by 2023. 81% of Americans probably play and pay for games. An average gamer spends at least 7 hours a week playing games.”
Disney +, Netflix, and Roku are key contenders replacing old television and cable. We’ve seen the growth of Netflix and will continue to see growth with Disney + and Roku as both find ways to provide compelling content.
Bet on gaming and streaming to continue to trend upward and capture attention in the present and the future.
The Space Economy
The new space economy is in its infancy, and we will continue to rely on it more for communications, navigation, logistics, military, and other aspects of our lives. The new age of exploration includes companies such as Maxar Technologies, Space X, Virgin Galactic, Northop Grumman and other entities that are pushing forward in this sector.
The current administration is accelerating and fostering space missions, as evidenced by the SpaceX Demo -2 launch and the Launch America initiative that happened in May 2020. The initiative seems to be just starting and will accelerate as more companies get involved in building space habitats, launch satellites for internet coverage, and other aspects. NASA aims to get to the Moon by 2024 with advanced technology, create a lunar space station and then send crewed ships to Mars.