You may call them future trends, you could call them now trends, but in my opinion they are trends that will still offer an opportunity for investment while it’s still early in their life cycle. There are plenty of ways to invest including owning domains, building out domains, or investing in companies in these areas. Again, my opinion and only time will tell how these pan out. So far I’ve been pretty good at predicting but lousy at putting my money where my mouth and brain is. Here are my top 10
1. Higher Quality MP3s. With the onset of higher quality headsets people are going to start noticing the quality loss of mp3s. I don’t see a replacement at this time but I’m watching to see if anything takes hold
2. The triathlon trend. 2,295,000 million people completed a triathlon in 2010, versus 1,481,000 in 2009. 55% growth in one year. Incredible growth that is being driven and young people are driving the movement. I’m not just saying it because I do them. I’m saying it because the people doing them tend to have more money and willing to spend it in an effort to become better. Source
3. OLED Not exactly new news but after seeing the new 55″ at CES, there is no doubt the borderless crystal clear picture is the future.
4. NFC enabled mobile payments. It’s still not here quite yet but getting closer every day. Just a matter of time before VISA and Mastercard data is loaded on your phone and payment is a tap.
5. Flexible Screens Again, a product that is a few years away. I picked up flexscreens.net while writing this. Schilling owns flexscreen.com. I applications for this are endless.
6. “Pop up” Products aka 2nd screen entertainment. Ever since pop up video, content creators have realized that users are always looking to add data or entertainment to their basic entertainment experience. With the advent of the ipad and other mobile devices I think you will start to see companion entertainment that will coincide with the main feature. Lots of different ways to activate it. And to think it all started with turning on Pink Floyd “Dark side of the Moon” while watching Wizard of Oz.
7. Pet Products Its a trend that isn’t going to end anytime soon. Most people I know like their pets more than most of the people they know. They will continue to spend on them like they are their children. Domains that have to do with pets will continue to have increasing value.
8. History Erasers. People are letting it all hang out and many will regret it down the road. The market to help people erase their online mistakes will IMO continue to be a big growth market.
9. Protectionism aka Tough Stuff. Waterproofing, space age phone protection, all will be in demand. People want to personalize them but they also want them indestructible. People that can make our clothes, electronics, and homes, impermeable to weather and damage all will make huge financial gains in the next few years. People are willing to pay more for things that will last longer. They don’t want to buy an extended warranty at Best Buy, they want it to last on its own.
10. Data management and organization. We produce more data in a few days then we did in all of 2003 (may have to double check my numbers, I read that somewhere but have no link). Regardless, the huge amount of data needs to be stored and untilized and the companies that do this are where you want to be. Cloud domains are hot but soon there will be other hot keywords that need to be jumped on. The continued movement of organizing and utilizing data into a manageable interface is still in its infancy with years and years of growth ahead. It’s a problem and an opportunity that will continue to grow.
Bonus 11: Future Cars: I know the car business is changing and moving towards plugin electric. Just moving much much slower than anticipated. I also have realized the market may move more towards 100mpg hybrids before all electric. In the meantime I’ve put my car money into Ford (F). And the 20% return to this point (and now dividends) is paying off.