After all, it's the job of the country's top investors to be one step ahead of the rest of us in seeing where technology and business are headed. Their payouts depend on it. Plus, they're usually some pretty smart folks.
Which is what makes a little teaser video put together by Upfront Ventures for last week's Upfront Summit--an invite-only gathering of the country's top investors--so fascinating. Just a few minutes long, it packs in a lot of insight as some of the country's most respected VCs offer their predictions for the biggest change coming to the tech industry in the next five years. Here's a preview:
1. Global talent explodes
"The explosion of global talent. The number of people around the world who are able to start companies and contribute to startup is just exploding. And I think that's going to have a dramatic impact on technology," said Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz.
2. Sensors, sensors everywhere
"The proliferation of sensors that are throwing off huge amounts of data that we'll now build applications and services off of," is the next big thing, according to Ted Schlein of Kleiner Perkins.
3. Here come the bots
Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital predicts that "messaging apps and bots represent a really powerful opportunity for communication and potentially a new platform for consumer interaction."
4. Virtual reality ... finally
"I know that it's becoming cliché," concedes Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures (which organizes the Summit), "but I actually think virtual reality is going to have an even more profound impact on society, how we organize ourselves, how we communicate, even modes of transportation. I think virtual reality is going to impact things more than any of us can predict."
5. A.I. that actually works
What was the answer of Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures? Artificial intelligence. "Because we've finally reached the point where it's working and working really well. It's going to really touch every aspect of technology in the way that mobile did over the past five, ten years," Wilson said.
Of course, not everyone was willing to play along. "I have no idea, and I think people who think they do are wrong," responded Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures.
Intrigued? Here's the complete video (via Fred Wilson's AVC blog) for your viewing pleasure.