The Future of Start Ups: Howard Tullman at Excelerate 5 Tech Trends

On Tuesday, I was fortunate to hear Howard Tullman give a keynote speech at an angel excelerator. I thought it was interesting in how it was presented, and left me with some thoughts about how to advise businesses and kids going forward.

Howard started off with five trends for start ups and the macroeconomy going forward. You may or may not have contemplated them, or their effects on your daily life. Here are his five trends:

1. Hyper Personalization
2. Know Before You Go
3. Constant Connection
4. Who Do You Trust?
5. Mocial

All these trends point to one interesting topic; the decline of randomness. Starting a business and finding customers, targeting them, and engaging them used to be very random. It was a shotgun approach to marketing. How many times have you looked at marketing strategies and just thought they are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.

The big problem. Random approaches are hard to measure, and they eat working capital. How many businesses in the past simply burned through their working capital and went out of business, even though they had a good idea?

The web 2.0 allows business to target customers with precision. They know where the fish are, and when they are biting.

Value exchange will be important to try and get serious engagement. Consumers are going to be so bombarded with targeted information, that if you don’t add value right away you will strike out.

Trust and credibility will be crucial. Who do you trust? How is the message? Currently, your family, friends, and associates are the ones you trust. Will that be the case in the future? How can a sterile flat website develop community so you see it as “associates” even though you aren’t in contact with them to build trust?

There will be new, objective measurement tools. Companies won’t waste a penny marketing until they know what the landscape looks like through data driven metrics. The tools will be able to measure the messaging. What’s a “like” worth or a “follow” worth?

No longer will you have a trial and not know the results for days. You will be able to monitor it in real time and make the adjustments you need to do to execute better. Randomness will be wrung out of the go to market strategy.

People will never forget. Smart phones and tablets will remind them. Everything will be in the cloud. You won’t be chained to one computer anymore, but will be able to log on with any device at any time and instantaneously be able to pick up where you left off. Everyone will be more productive.

Location based service will increase business efficiency, create jobs, and destroy jobs all at the same time. Things will happen faster, here and now.

New kinds of currency will stimulate different kinds of behavior. Status will be a currency. Achievements, accomplishments will become things you can trade and get things for. Gaming and badges will be earned, and you will become more wealthy because of them. Risk in interaction will be reduced.

There are three major paradigm shifts that are important to any business. They are happening right here, right now, today. Ignoring them will put you out of business in the long run.

First, infrastructure improvements don’t matter. It can all be rented cheaply in the cloud. Why use precious capital to buy it?

Second, existing pricing models are going to change. They will be demand driven. Fixed prices won’t exist. Prices will be individually determined. The world will be flatter, more horizontal. Layers of middlemen will be eliminated.

Social media will play a big part in the development. However, while broad social media will survive, like Facebook, there will be more niche players. Social media will concentrate on narrow verticals. This is much like Google+ and its circles.

This has huge ramifications for financial markets and governments. Huge.


The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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