looking forward to 2022+
I compiled a list of products and services that I am very bullish on.
Spoiler: it’s not VR or the metaverse and it’s not Crypto and blockchains. I mean, I think those are exciting and I believe they will grow a lot. But there’s already thousands of people with great visions working on those so i’m happy to tag along and just learn. The following are concepts which I think can still benefit from more passion.
- On-demand convenience. There are plenty of startups offering instant grocery delivery, and with insane growth too, like Gorillas.io. I am still bullish more new models with a better assortment and UX. To this date existing players don’t compare to the experience of buying in a Berlin späti.
- Best-of food delivery. Uber Eats et al are expensive. It’s also very hard to discover new restaurants and meals. Some player could commit to buying bulk quantities of the best dishes of a few very good restaurants, and trickle down that simplified cart and volume to a cheaper, less cluttered experience. Easier to discover, easier to order, cheaper to produce and buy.
- The next “pizza”, delivered. Someone will put a lot of research into delivering the next mouth-watering foods that are deliverable to the home. Probably the next big thing is just another incarnation of the gang Pizza Pasta Burger Sushi Salad Bowl Burrito Ice-cream, or who knows maybe the next killer food is something else? In any case, the goal is go for absolute yummyness and food quality. The ultimate umami, delivered.
- Robots for delivery. Ok, this is a bit further down the line, but i’m hoping we start seeing happy little automated fuckers rolling down the streets to deliver packages, 24/7, instead of humans in large trucks. Just make them rubbery to avoid accidents.
- Robots for cleaning. I love my 2 roombas (680, 980), but they’re dumb as a hammer! I need my robots to clean better, faster, in more places (e.g. dust lamps). Maybe they’ll have to go airborne for that, i think humanoids are overkill for this at this stage.
- Robots for the industry. Duh. Anyting from warehouse surveillance to painting walls. I’d love to see them.
- Better bicycles. It has been suggested, and I’m all for it, that the next big thing is 3-motor ebikes with complete electronic transmission and shifting. I wonder who’ll put out the first version. Maybe VanMoof or Cowboy? On traditional leg-powered bicycles, i’d love to see lighter, more robust options.
- Satellite connections. I’d love to see sats providing the next generation of connectivity for phones, watches etc. Maybe Elon will answer my prayers and offer a “subscription-free” internet for all.
- CELFs. Cloud-enabled, local-first software. Browsers are powerful, and they’re plenty to manage a cloud saas where you go hit some buttons a few times per week. But they’re not providing the experience we deserve in heavy productivity. I believe the next-generation of apps will do lots of heavy lifting locally, with instant document operations, offline modes, and all the goodies of online: collaboration, sharing, APIs, automations. I shouldn’t have to suffer at the hands of half-second spinning wheels. Also: I want a local-first Notion.
- Files. I think we can go even further than local-first and, for end-users, reinstate Files. Files are simpler than APIs. Not only are they more portable, as interfacing with an application through APIs means problems with latency, pagination, credentials, rate-limiting and outages. APIs should work in the background as means to sync, backup and collaborate, but Files should be a core piece of our work experience. I think it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: images and videos and PDFs and docs work together with links and APIs. Apple Notes would be a nice candidate, though that’ll probably never happen.
- Data. Without asking good questions, there’s no smart decisions. Without data, you can’t answer questions. So we need better ways of exposing data to everyone, not just engineers. I now see a couple of different products that make this a reality: a) faucets to the world’s public oceans of company/places/products data; b) tools to merge structured data from different private sources into a single normalized repository, say from a CRM and an analytics tool; c) algorithms that extract data from unstructured sources, such as email and chat; and d) an editor where it’s easy to answer questions through data. Ahem, rows.com is working on all of this!
- Privacy and encryption. GDPR and Privacy Shield aren’t going anywhere. The divide between the West and the new economic giant (China) will expose fundamentally different options for the internet. That will probably catalize more needs and solutions around data access and consent. Super-agent.com, where I invested, is a small player in this arena, and I think many more will rise.
- Software for remote teams. We need a new kind of Facebook for teams. Something async enough to not be a distraction, and real enough to be useful. And fun; after all, we’re living in the world where TikTok is becoming a great business channel. If it were easy to take team pictures of remote teams, i’d already be quite happy.
- Hyperlink productivity. We shouldn’t have to load links into a wiki or CRM database to use them. We need productivity that’s as fast as browsing the web. Productivity for the link. I want an app for this.
- Open No Code. The No-code philosophy of offering superpowers to end-users is just getting started. I know we will see more tools pop-up here, and I’m especially keen to see those that are standards based. (Like rows.com, as we use the spreadsheet standard of functions, same inputs and same outputs). Standards means that knowledge and solutions can be ported, manipulated and used elsewhere. Revolutions aren’t closed.
I’m looking forward to all of this.
If you’re working on any of these ideas, I’d love to learn about it.