My crystal ball is as fuzzy as anyone else’s, but I did want to share some trends that I believe are worth paying attention to in 2019.
- Adoption of EV (electric vehicles) will start to be driven by features and not just by philosophy. Early adopters of EV have either been motivated by the desire to be “green” or lured by the very generous rebates. Now adoption will be driven by some of the incredible benefits of electric motors over internal combustion motors. Who wouldn’t want a full-size truck that goes zero to sixty in less than 3 seconds AND can go through three feet of standing water?
- Automation will usher in new investment options for rentiers. To date people have rented out fixed assets they are not using (like houses on Airbnb). Autonomous vehicles would allow a person (or company) to rent out a fleet of cars or scooters they never see, but that people are utilizing anywhere and anytime.
- Puritanical Thought will continue to drive thinking. Puritanical thoughts are those where efforts are judged by their purity and not their over-all impact. Puritanical thinkers think if things are not perfect, then something nefarious must be going on. Likely effects will be more issue-sensitivity of the talent base as well as consumer base to things like investment in Israel, energy sources, food sourcing, and sexual harassment.
- The tenets of capitalism in the US will come under more pressure as free enterprise is characterized as an oppressive system. There are already many proposals for additional regulation (or re-regulation) at the federal level and the shift in thinking will have impact on how industries manage, develop, and retain their talent pools.
- International trade and relations will continue to be choppy, making havens of security and rule of law (like the US) even more attractive for capital and talent.
- Augmented Intelligence (the practical cousin of the loftier notion of Artificial Intelligence) will continue to make in-roads in enterprises. Augmented Intelligence assists people in making decisions, but does not replace judgement.
- The success of the continuing technology revolution in sensing, connectivity, communication, automation, digitization, data storage, SaaS, and imaging has given leaders unprecedented opportunities to grow productivity. Winners will be the most adept at applying these new “hows” to their game-changing “whats.”
- …And I also think A Star is Born will win the Oscar for Best Picture (along with Lady Gaga for Best Actress) and Alabama will pummel Clemson.