1. Consumers will increasingly demand more privacy
"In terms of the issue of consumer privacy, two things are going to affect businesses greatly: the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) becoming effective in January 2020 and Internet users continuing to be increasingly sensitive to how their data is collected, used, and managed. It is likely that we will see more cloud-based solutions offering privacy-related features in order to help businesses optimize the performance of their processes, in full compliance with the law and -- most importantly -- with fair practices."
--Thibaud Clement, cofounder and CEO of Loomly, a marketing platform that achieved 600% growth in 2018, serving 4,000 marketing teams around the world
2. Biometric data will power more wearables
"With the rise of spatial computing environments like virtual, mixed, and augmented realities and the rise of 5G enabling more real-time capture of biometric data from your wearables, we're about to see a shift in how people use their biometric data. No longer are people just tracking their data on a flat dashboard sequestered to their wrists, they're interacting with it... by using their heart rate and brainwaves as inputs to control spatial computing environments and other content. Users aren't just watching stories. They're feeling them. For decades, people thought of meditation as a closed-eyed experience that you practiced with an earbud with your eyes closed. But with virtual and augmented reality, meditation is now an eyes-open experience that you don't just passively watch, you can actually feel these spatial environments with the data collected from your smartwatch or brain-sensing headband. Your brainwaves and your heart rate are a remote control that's powering these experiences. Lower your heart rate and watch the scenes change color, sound, texture, and sharpness. Think positive thoughts and watch how your brain patterns change the scene in a virtual or augmented reality experience. In 2020, I think you'll see new players emerge that answer the important question of... am I doing it right? These new kinds of meditation are harnessing the power of your body's own electricity via your wearables to allow the user to feel content in ways that have never been done before."
--Sarah Hill, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Healium, an AR/VR platform powered by consumer wearables with 40,0000 downloads since its beta
3. There will be more investing in quantum tech
"This technology has the potential to be a major driver of future breakthrough advances in areas such as artificial intelligence and healthcare. Many of the opportunities for investments in hardware are now in the later stage, but the broader investment community should look out for the enabling technologies and software that will start to emerge for the hardware platforms. We believe the technology is at an inflection point and has enough momentum for more investors to now engage in various ventures. The United States and China are the two heavyweights competing for leadership in quantum computing. While the United States has a first-mover advantage and maintains a lead, China is making heavy investments in pursuit of a variety of breakthroughs. This technology may not reach mainstream consumer applications for a little while, but there will definitely be a variety of companies across a range of industries that look to integrate this technology over the next three to five years. For example, companies such as QC Ware are already working on a variety of real-world use cases such as optimization problems, chemistry simulations, Monte Carlo Methods, differential equations, and machine learning."
--Anis Uzzaman, CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based VC managing more than 20 multi-million dollar funds, with total assets under management of $1.5 billion
4. People will begin recession-proofing their credit
"Recessions have historically had a snowball effect on families. In an economy with fewer jobs, less income, and more layoffs, families are forced to use credit to cover everyday expenses, on top of the $1 trillion in credit card debt they already have. If circumstances don't improve rapidly enough, even one or two months of missed payments can send credit scores tumbling into subprime territory, significantly limiting credit options and increasing borrowing costs. To prevent this downward spiral, consumers worried about a 2020 recession are taking preventative measures now by using credit-building fintech tools to bolster their credit scores in advance."
--James Garvey, CEO of Self Financial, Inc., a fintech startup that has helped more than 400,000 people build credit
5. Publishers will leverage AI more
"Publishers have been struggling with how best to monetize content since the early days of the internet. In 2020 we'll see some major overhauls in the way publishers leverage technology to rebuild their relationships with readers. Metered paywalls will be a thing of the past as publishers use machine learning and AI to get better at predicting readers' interest in different content, and their likelihood to subscribe."
--Trevor Kaufman, CEO of Piano, a subscription commerce and customer experience technology and services provider for more than 1,000 sites including Business Insider, The Economist, CNBC, Hearst and the Associated Press
6. Businesses will maximize opportunities with RevOps
"Over the last few years, businesses started moving towards a unifying team -- Revenue Operations (RevOps) -- to align GTM teams (Sales, Marketing and Customer Success) and help de-silo customer data. [Next year] will see the evolution of Revenue Operations to be the coming together of all revenue-driving teams. Businesses will leverage solutions that enable them streamline revenue operations from sales to finance to maximize revenue opportunities and plug revenue leaks."
--Krish Subramanian, cofounder and CEO of Chargebee, a subscription management platform which raised a $14 million Series D funding round in 2019
7. Neural interfaces will change the way we think
"We will see early commercial applications of neural interfaces allowing people to think to computers. Today the I/O to our brain is speech and text. It's like using a dial-up modem as the I/O to the AWS cloud. We need a higher bandwidth machine-human interface. No, this isn't science fiction. Facebook bought CTRL-Labs and a team at UCSF has successfully created computer-generated speech for the disabled by processing brain and nervous system activity and converting it into instructions to a computer.
--Chip Meakem, cofounder and managing partner of Tribeca Venture Partners, a multi-stage venture capital firm that partners almost exclusively with New York City entrepreneurs to help create and disrupt massive market opportunities
8. 5G technologies will advance the enterprise
"5G will evolve rapidly throughout 2020 and beyond, with use cases skewing somewhat more towards enterprise applications vs. historical cycles. With the growing benefits of increased bandwidth and lower latency accelerating enterprise applications, investments in 5G technologies will rise and corporate venture capital firms will be an important mechanism to provide opportunities -- beyond capital -- for entrepreneurs to test, learn and succeed in the 5G ecosystem."
--Chris Bartlett, SVP of corporate development and head of Verizon Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Verizon
9. Deepfakes will take aim at the 2020 elections
"The technology able to produce synthetic media and Deepfakes (altered video that presents something factually or visually inaccurate, such as editing one person's face onto video of another) has advanced rapidly and become much more widely available. As many have feared, in 2020 we'll see the first large-scale, malicious use of Deepfakes aimed to influence the presidential election. Through an attack on truth and rapid momentum through social media networks, at least one Deepfake attack will cause a good deal of outrage. The rest will fall flat due to a combination of greater awareness by the general public to be more skeptical of video evidence circulating online, and publishers and social platforms employing detection tools to help them identify Deepfakes and blunt their impact."
--Peter Rojas, partner at Betaworks Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund investing in technologies that influence cultural transformation and consumer behavior including Deeptrace, a company building the anti-virus software for Deepfakes
10. The cord-cutting trend will reach its apex
"With the increasing number of streaming services being rolled out, it's important to look at the market saturation from the standpoint of the consumer. The quality and price point of the offers out there are compelling, but households don't have unlimited funds in their monthly budgets to spend on entertainment. As it stands, a lot of the content that comes from traditional cable can now be viewed on a streaming service or free through various apps. Taking these two factors into consideration, it appears the tipping point for a mass migration away from traditional cable has been reached. It's no longer a question of how many consumers are cutting the cord. It's a question of how many households only subscribe to app-based, OTT entertainment services and how many they'll be willing to pay for at once."
--Robert Delf, CEO of Rightsline, a multi-tenant SaaS rights and contract management platform working with Disney, Hulu, Amazon, and other entertainment and tech companies
11. The voice assistant revolution will move into the car
"It is estimated that there will be eight billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023. As voice assistants continue to dominate the home, the in-vehicle usage has remained relatively limited to navigation, despite being one of the only environments that truly requires a hands-free experience. In 2020, the in-vehicle experience will undergo a major overhaul with the incorporation of voice-assistant technology, and drivers will begin to see new features including entertainment options emerge, which have hardly changed since the introduction of the radio."
--Niko Vuori, cofounder and CEO of Drivetime, an interactive audio entertainment company which has received more than $15 million in funding led by a syndicate of technology and media investors including Makers Fund, Amazon's Alexa Fund and Google
12. More apps will foster human connection and experiences
"Despite the emergence of social media platforms and tools designed to connect, the rapid adoption of technology is creating an environment prime for isolation. After years of being bystanders in social media algorithms, people are beginning to crave human connections and experiences beyond the digital world. In 2020, we will see more apps and technologies used to bridge the virtual and physical world to build human connections, relationships and communities through shared interests."
--Haleh Emrani, CEO of SageDom and founder of TennisPAL, a tennis community with an average of 500 daily users
13. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and big data will become even more pervasive in retail
"Retail is consistently one of the most dynamic industries in the world, constantly changing to better serve the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse consumer base. As we head into a new decade and shoppers continue to move deeper into a digital-first lifestyle, 'Personalized, Connected, Now' will be non-negotiables for retailers of every size. To deliver on this and ensure consistent, convenient and engaging brand experiences at every touch point, next-gen technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and big data will become even more pervasive throughout the on- and offline shopping journey."
--Jan-Christopher Nugent, cofounder and CEO of Branded Online, one of Inc. magazine's 2019 fastest-growing companies and an e-commerce technology provider to brands including Bebe, Blank NYC and Honeywell
14. Consumers will become more demanding
"The consumer revolution will continue to rage on in 2020 with the spotlight shifting to c-commerce. All different types of industries -- be it retail, real estate, e-commerce and more -- will be making drastic changes to the way they do business in order to attract consumer attention and purchasing power. More than ever, consumers in 2020 will demand the ability to get their goods where and when they want them. To survive and thrive in 2020, we'll see more companies rolling out flexible solutions to meet the minute-by-minute needs and lifestyles of the ever-evolving consumer. Technology is transforming the way we use goods and services and, in the end, are significantly impacting and elevating our expectations as consumers. More convenience. More speed. More access. More security. More personalization. That is the name of the c-commerce game in 2020."
--Colleen Lambros, CMO of Parcel Pending, a secure parcel locker provider which delivers 1.6 million packages monthly
15. Local, nonprofit news outlets will fight against misinformation on tech platforms
"Tech platforms still have a long way to go to solve the problem of mis- and dis-information going into the 2020 election cycle. While the public conversation focuses on what Twitter and Facebook will do next, there is a quiet movement taking shape in the background: the growth of nonprofit, public-serving news. These outlets -- from City Bureau in Chicago to MLK50 in Memphis -- have a public mission and a civic calling. Their journalists are neighbors, not TV entertainers. In 2020, it will be these nonprofit outlets who step in to make a difference by providing their communities with the independent, nonpartisan, and trusted news that they need to participate in the most important election of our lifetimes."
--Jason Alcorn, project director of NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign that grows fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promotes giving to journalism which has helped to raise more than
16. Cashierless and autonomous retail technology will gain faster adoption
"While countries like China have embraced a truly cashless society, the U.S. is inching closer to this business model as retailers experiment with autonomous retail. Amazon Go is the dominant player and we will continue to see more competitors enter the space with new ways of incorporating cashier-less technology. In the 2020 decade, the winners will promote widespread adoption through user-friendly integrations, as a stepping stone to fully autonomous technology. These solutions will bring curated goods where the users live, work, and play. Additionally, the data captured by these new solutions will change traditional models of marketing and supply chain. Traditional retailers (who do not have the means to incorporate this technology) can stay afloat by introducing form factors -- mini smart stores --such as Stockwell, and improve commerce at the 'last hundred feet' for customers.
--David Cheng, VP at early-stage capital firm DCM, the youngest VP in the firm's history and a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Venture Capital 2019 list
17. Climate change will drastically transform tech and business
"More businesses will be negatively impacted by climate change and the resulting extreme weather, as is happening right now in the insurance business. More technology businesses will be funded to help adapt to the new environment."
--Sean Harper, cofounder and CEO of insuretech startup Kin, which has raised $64 million in funding since its inception in 2016
18. Profitable growth will require loyalty
"Next year, we'll see brands reprioritize what matters most: profitable growth, not just growth for the sake of growth. Historically, growth has meant spending more to build market share on the hope that market dominance will eventually translate into pricing power and eventual profits. But that model will shift. As the cost of user acquisition continues to grow, 2020 will see marketers place a greater emphasis on loyalty. Mary Meeker cited this in her last Internet Trends Report, noting customer acquisition costs might be 'rising to unsustainable levels.' Building long term relationships with consumers, learning how their affinities for things ebb and flow, and delivering constant improvement in marketing messages will be key to 2020 business success."
--Adam Singolda, CEO at Taboola, a technology company that helps people discover what's interesting and new, and works with more than 20,000 companies to reach over 1.4 billion people each month
19. It will become clear that execution is about team
"Businesses, whether startups, tech unicorns, or established corporations, will focus on the intersection between success, execution and the people. If there's anything we should garner from the recent stories about WeWork and Uber, it's this: people matter more than anything else, including the boss or the business plan. With the right people, you can turn an idea into a thriving organization that's not only profitable but also impactful. Without the right people, all you have is a failed idea. This will be the year tech companies place an emphasis on operating to a higher ethical standard (call it ethic-lash) - focusing on honest execution in large part by treasuring their people who create value for each other, the company, its customers, and society at large. Getting this right has always been paramount, but 2020 will be the year it comes to the fore."
--Will Glaser, CEO and founder of checkout-free technology startup Grabango, a CNBC 100 world's most promising startup of 2019, and the former CTO and original co-founder of Pandora Media, which was purchased by SiriusXM for $3.5 billion in 2018
20. Crowdsourced delivery will increase
"More and more, the travel industry is looking for innovative solutions to logistical problems that have plagued modern travelers forever -- like crowdsourced delivery, which is helping airlines return late baggage and hoteliers get left-behind items back to guests. The gig economy has opened up a lot of out-of-the-box solutions to old, persistent problems. I think we'll see that trend increase through 2020 and beyond."
--Marc Gorlin, founder and CEO of Roadie, a crowdsourced delivery service with over 150,000 drivers nationwide
21. OEM builders will build more intelligence into their machines
"[This is] in recognition of the shortage of well-qualified technical staff in the field. They are adding predictive maintenance capabilities, they want fault-tolerance, and increased autonomy. There is no longer a defined line between the machine and the data. They are now intertwined. Machines can communicate and share data, without requiring staff with technical training."
--Jason Andersen, VP of business line management at Stratus Technologies, a provider of edge computing solutions for global Fortune 500 companies and small-to-medium sized businesses
22. Seamless global connectivity will become more complex and expensive
"The launch of 5G will expose a more uneven landscape of mobile data accessibility around the world, where networks in developing countries are still mostly in 2G/3G, catching up to 4G, and other parts of the world will be already at 5G. This will bring significant challenges for manufacturers, businesses and consumers as seamless global connectivity grows more complex and expensive, while also evolving from an option to an absolute expectation."
--Jing Liu, CEO of Skyroam Inc, a global mobile data company that has connected over 15 million users worldwide through its network of over 200 carrier partners in over 130 countries
23. Companies will let more people work remotely
"Collaboration and productivity tools such as Asana, Google Drive, Slack, and Zoom are making it easier than ever to collaborate with entire teams, without having to be in the same geographical location. As workers aspire to have more freedom and flexibility in their roles, companies will be more open to letting them work remotely. Remote work allows workers to achieve their lifestyle goals, but also allows a company access to entirely new talent pools that span much farther than their local footprint."
--Brett Helling, founder of GigWorker, an online platform for helping people find work and succeed in the gig economy which has grown by an average of 160 percent a month since launching in November 2018
24. More small and medium-sized businesses will get hit with cyber crime
"Along with the increase in hacker and cyber crime activity, now these criminals are moving from the enterprise and focusing on attacking small to midsize businesses as their new, soft targets. It's clear that traditional anti-virus software isn't good enough. Small to midsize businesses need to go above and beyond with new technologies to address this growing problem."
--Jeff Loeb, CMO of Logically, a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) to small and midsize organizations with more than 500 customers across the United States
25. Technology will attract younger customers and employees
"In 2020, the next wave of tech startups will begin to overhaul lagging traditional industries to make meaningful impacts on the ways people view, purchase and connect with legacy services such as life insurance, education and even government. Both the customers and the workforce within the industry will undoubtedly get younger, as the technology adoption allows for a more millennial-friendly experience, which drives more focus on recruiting tech-savvy talent. This, in turn, means that market shares will begin to rapidly skew toward the industries [which] choose to adopt and ride along with the technology revolution, while traditional industries who are big, old and resistant to new disruptive technologies will begin to see their once stable market shares decline quickly in the next three to five years."
--Nelson Lee, founder of iLife Technologies, an insurtech startup with major enterprise clients and carriers using its technology