As a seed/early stage VC we spend the majority our time and effort focusing on a very small piece of the world. While we believe early stage venture capital is certainly a critical piece to the economy, which takes on the necessary investment risk to help spur technological innovation and future economic growth, we realize our world can occasionally exist in a bubble of early adopters and small problems. It is easy to get caught up in the herd mentality or Silicon Valley “next big thing” hype.
Without developing macro theses, how can we evaluate startups that will mature and compete in markets 3-5 years from now? As a point of comparison, Apple’s App Store and the first Android phone were released less than 5 years ago. This self-reflection last year led to the creation of LaunchCapital’s “research team”, which creates an internal presentation of our “Megatrends” to help guide investment decisions for the coming year. Many hours of work and research go into creating this presentation and we summarized our findings in LaunchCapital’s first annual Megatrends infographic.
After formalizing this process last year, we’re excited to announce the release of our second annual infographic. Tom, Ed, and I analyzed raw unemployment data, GDP growth, consumer spending, debt and a whole host of other economic indicators to develop this year’s macro trends. During last year’s presentation we identified three Megatrends, 1) increased personal efficiency, 2) the physical and tech world colliding, and 3) how speed is changing everything. These trends have certainly continued into 2013, if not accelerated and are described in more detail in a supplementary blog post from last year.
Our research team believes we’ve identified four new trends to follow for 2013 and beyond. They include: 1) The Experience Economy, 2) The Customization Boom, 3) Crowdfunding, A New Way To Raise Money, and 4) The 3D Printer Revolution. The following infographic dives into each trend and supporting data. We have already written in some detail about a few of the topics but will dive deeper into all of them over the next few weeks. Please take a quick look and feel free to give feedback and follow up in the comments below.
We hope that our infographic can not only be informative but also give you a sense of how LaunchCapital views the world in the next few years.