As we moved into the new year, motivated from last year’s successes and full of anticipation for exciting projects that lie ahead of us, we have been scouring the web for a variety of predictions for 2014. Read on to check out some of our favorite finds and our own personal résumé of what will be buzzing in terms of technology, startups, social media, and consumer trends.
First off, electronics: an article on Mashable.com introduced 12 Everyday Items Getting the High-Tech Treatment. Why our world keeps moving faster and people keep getting busier, cooking and home decoration blogs as well as online communities for stay-at-home parents have been fueling business for innovative housekeeping tools. A smart kitchen countertop-and-stove-in-one, a voice-activated smart grill, and a smart toothbrush with an app that makes sure you brush efficiently – these are just some of many items that will make life at home easier for us in the future.
Speaking of making things easier, this also seems to be the common denominator among the 10 Startups to Watch in 2014. From news curators and e-book subscription services (such as Circa, Fliboard, and Oyster) to companies easing travels and commute (e.g. Routehappy and Uber) and controlling your household (i.e. through SmartThings), services that provide convenience and save time will be in high demand this year and beyond. By no means are fun, games, and socializing themes of the past when it comes to apps and other startups. However, right now is the heyday of smart tools and apps with additional benefits.
The times of social media being perceived as something new (and, perhaps, somewhat intimidating) are coming to an end. Today, we are taking it for granted, and everyone from the baby boomers to big businesses have gotten the hang of how the youngest of all communication mediums works. Or have they? According to another article on Mashable.com (“3 Social Media Trends You Should Know About”), this year, the best ways to take advantage of the social revolution are to:
1.) Keep an eye on the job scene. You are online every day. Why not make it a career? As the social web constantly evolves and expands, so do the related job opportunities.
2.) Yesterday’s underdogs are tomorrow’s success stories. Don’t underestimate the potential of MySpace’s return and the slow but steady growth of Google+. If the entertainment and SEO are important components for your company’s online portfolio you may want to consider jumping on the bandwagon. Also, still not over: the growing popularity of short video services as offered by Vine and Instagram.
3.) History in the making: the biggest advantage of social media over all other communication mediums is its ability to instantly break news and to share, and document historic moments as they happen. A carefully planned content strategy is good. Picking up on instant viral buzzes and causing reactions instantly is better.
Last but not least, one of our favorite topics: consumer trends. According to our friends over at Trendwatching.com their “7 Consumer Trends To Run With in 2014” revolve around a growing global consciousness which results in a holistic approach to how we live our lives. Guilt-free purchases, a cleaner, greener industry landscape in China, the understanding of “mind over matter” in health, and the continued use and growth of the Internet for mutual support of individuals and charitable causes are only some of the trends that are expected to be hot topics this year.
What are your personal predictions for 2014 and the near future? Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you! 🙂