Let’s be honest: We’re ready for 2016 to end. After a year of polarizing politics, devastating natural disasters and a growing number of global refugees as wars wage on, we want to hope that bigger—and possibly better—things lay ahead in the new year.
To get a sense of what’s next, LinkedIn editors reached out to some of our most prescient writers—our Top Voices, Influencers and members of our Next Wave list—as well as other people who inspire us to find out what they’re predicting in the coming year.
Their responses are encouraging, humorous and sobering. Some are ambitious, possibly overly so: We’ll finally fix the internet, ridding it of trolls and anonymity. Others are specific and practical: Instagram will debut clickable links. Surely, not all of these ideas will materialize, but the vision and sentiment behind them is worth reading—and working towards. If it takes five years instead of one, for example, to transplant the first pig kidney into a human, we’ll take it.
So, without further ado, here are the 50 big ideas for 2017:
1. The IPO market snaps back.
This year saw the fewest number of companies make their debut on stock exchanges since 2009, according to Jay R. Ritter, a professor at University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. The broad post-election rally — the S&P 500 is up 5 percent — should make companies a lot more willing to sell their shares. The big test: Snap Inc., the parent of Snapchat, said to have confidentially filed its papers for a $25 billion IPO as early as March. If it’s successful, it could clear the way for other high-profile unicorns, like Airbnb, to follow. Ritter’s also watching the energy industry, rebounding from the glut in oil prices. Where he’s less optimistic: biotech. While those companies drove IPOs in the past couple of years, the Valeant-induced scrutiny on drug prices “kind of choked off the enthusiasm,” he says.
2. Social media gets held accountable…
“It’s unclear just how much the outcome of this presidential election was impacted by the fake news controversy surrounding Facebook and Twitter. What is clear, however, is that social media companies will be held more accountable for the content posted to their sites, and in 2017 they will have to find the sweet spot between free speech and censorship,” predicts Mahesh Vellanki, an investor at Redpoint Ventures. Read his full prediction here.
3. …And media isn’t let off the hook, either.
2016 featured the rise and ravages of fake news, and the coming new year will bring a radical rethinking of where we get our information and how, predicts Top Voice and best-selling author Ryan Holiday. “The sudden awareness of fake news, the endless political scandals and conflict, fatigue with polarization will mean that people are going to ask themselves: Why am I consuming all this?” says Holiday.
4. The middle of the U.S. will become the “Saudi Arabia of wind.”
“States like Iowa have embraced wind energy and off-shore wind turbines are fast becoming commercially viable,” says T. Boone Pickens, chairman and CEO of BP Capital. Wind and solar prices are going to continue to drop in 2017, making it even easier to switch to these more renewable sources of power, he predicts. That’s already under way: Iowa approved the largest wind farm in U.S. history in September. It will include 1,000 turbines and be able to produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 800,000 homes in the state. Read his full 2017 energy predictions here.
5. Get ready to see Trump in lots of fine print.
In M&A paperwork, lawyers are slipping a new word into those pages and pages of documents surrounding deals: Trump. The president elect is seen as unpredictable in corporate America, so legal teams are already adding him as a “risk factor” in documents outlining potential acquisitions, a new twist in corporate boilerplate.
6. Watch out, music labels: streaming services will become star-makers.
“We’d like to be a home where artists can do their thing,” Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine told Rolling Stone in June. And with Chance the Rapper’s streaming-only album Coloring Book up for several Grammys, Iovine’s comment isn’t just a warm-and-fuzzy sentiment—it’s a roadmap. 2017 will be the year streaming services start to seriously embrace the other half of the music equation: not just distribution, but cultivation of talent. They may not replace labels anytime soon (especially as labels are finally “getting it” with streaming), but Chance’s success, and the numerous exclusives we’ve seen in 2016, are just the first, tiniest steps into this world. Tech giants with deep pockets like Apple obviously have the power to support artist development, but Spotify (even without buying SoundCloud) has also expressed interest in owning more of the artist-fan connection and amping up its own discovery engines. This time next year, expect to see Spotify and Apple Music do to the Grammys what Amazon and Netflix have done to the Emmys.
7. The year of the VR platform wars.
“2016 was the year VR reached the ‘rest of us.’ 2017 will be the year of the platform wars in VR, when we’ll begin to see a winner emerge,” predicts Lightspeed Venture partner Alex Taussig. “Today it’s not clear who that will be, but Sony is ahead by some measures.” Read his full predictions here.
8. “Worry-itis” will become a medical condition.
“Worry-itis, like its close cousin anxiety, is what you “catch” when you feel out of control about your future and there are no answers in sight,” says Top Voice Julie Kliger. That feeling has been heightened since the U.S. election. (The American Psychological Association says more than half of all Americans are under significant stress since then.) That is likely going to continue into the new year, predicts Kliger as “uncertainty about people’s health care coverage, costs of care and access to health care, will lead to an epidemic of stress and anxiety. Also on the rise will be innovative ways to get health coverage outside traditional means, providing a ray of hope as we move into and through 2017.” Read her full prediction here.
9. The return of the experts: Economists strike back.
“Economists have found themselves out of favor with populist politicians over the last year, classed as out of touch with reality and having their forecasts constantly criticized. However, 2017 promises to be a year of disruption with the world in the midst of an economic transformation and the need for high quality economic advice is greater than ever,” predicts Mark Gregory, a UK Top Voice and chief economist for the UK and Ireland at EY. Read his full prediction here.
10. Drones get jobs for real this time.
“Commercial drones will show explosive growth as an emerging sector as insurers, farmers, construction companies, resorts, energy and telco providers embrace the use of autonomous flying vehicles and replace human inspection,” predicts Lightspeed Venture partner John Vrionis.
11. Construction workers gain the upper hand.
For all the talk about America’s need to roll up its sleeves and start building again, far less is said about this: We’re running out of people to do the building. Take residential real estate. New home construction is now at a nine-year high, yet 76 percent of builders reported concerns about finding help, according to a survey released earlier this year. “Construction costs have skyrocketed due to lack of labor,” says John Burns, the CEO at John Burns Real Estate Consulting and a LinkedIn Influencer. “Surging retirement by those born in the 1950s will make this worse, and any tightening of immigration policy or spending on infrastructure will make the shortage even more acute.” What it means: It’ll cost more to build a home. It may take longer. But for in-demand contractors benefitting from higher wages and more work? Next year looks pretty sweet.
12. A Fortune 100 company decides to become a do-gooder.
“Large companies are increasingly under pressure from employees, customers, and society to create value for more than just their shareholders. For decades, business was allowed to tax environmental, social, and societal resources in pursuit of profit. A new generation of consumers and employees are demanding that business ladder to more than simple profit, but rather, have a core purpose—one that makes the world a little (or a lot) better place,” says Top Voice and Influencer John Battelle. “It’s this pressure that led Unilever to redefine its brand as ‘the trustmark of sustainability,’ and it’s this pressure that led Aetna to commit to a $16 minimum wage. Turns out, there’s already a corporate governance structure that encourages this approach to running a company—the Public Benefit Corporation, or B Corp. Still a relatively new construct, the B Corp. movement will gain a significant boost in 2017 when a Fortune 100 company announces it is formally exploring a move to B Corp. status.”
13. Small finance will give big banks a run for their money.
“Financial institutions will increasingly lose market share to online lenders and non-banks (i.e. non-banks already do over 50% of all home loans in the US). As a result, the large incumbent financial institutions will get more aggressive with their expansion into online lending,” predicts Louis Beryl, the founder and CEO at Earnest, an online lender itself. Watch for this to play out in three ways: Banks could launch their own services, like Goldman Sachs did with its Marcus online bank, aimed at consumers. They could strike partnerships, as JPMorgan Chase did with lender OnDeck. Or they could simply pull out their wallets, buying some of the up-and-coming names in finance. Read his full prediction here.
14. 80 percent of singles won’t go on one date.
Paul Carrick Brunson, one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices who also works as a matchmaker, says the sheer number of dating apps is creating chaos. “Users have what they believe are so many options that they rarely connect with the options they do have.” His prediction: The majority of singles will spend 2017 swiping — and hooking up. But dates? “As so many people have told me: ‘Why date when I can remain single and get sex whenever I want it?’” Read his full prediction here.
15. The odds are high that a recession is on its way.
“The current economic expansion will start 2017 at the ripe old age of 90 months old, longer than the post World War II average of nearly 60 months, but still not in the top three longest on record – that honor goes to 1991-2001 (120 months), 1961-1969 (103 months) and 1982-1990 (92 months),” says Top Voice and Influencer Jill Schlesinger. “The sheer length of the period may be why before the election, a Wall Street Journal survey of economists found that the odds of a recession occurring within the next four years at nearly 60 percent.” Read her prediction here.
16. Social change through bits and bytes.
”In an effort to make true, measurable impact let’s strive to make change, not chatter.”
Social justice initiatives will turn to technology to accelerate change—but this year won’t be just about Twitter campaigns and hashtags, predicts Top Voice Dennis Williams. It will be about leveraging tech advancements in areas like big data, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
“Imagine the use of virtual reality to allow users to get a POV experience of life in another skin color or gender. Imagine AI paired with live video used to spread awareness of police interactions and potential misconduct. We should also consider EdTech programs that empower minority youth to build skill sets in-line with the many jobs of tomorrow’s technology field. Moving forward, there is no box to think within,” says Williams. Read his full prediction here.
17. Do you hear the people Snap? If you haven’t, you will.
“Facebook and Google curate much of the information we receive throughout the day. Snapchat has kicked the middleman to the curb and favors the personal touch over algorithms. If we want to figure out how to pop the bubbles that have plagued our conversations in 2016, Snapchat might show us the way,” predicts Marianne Griebler. Snap Inc. has already kicked off the coming revolution with its Spectacles launch this past Fall. The hardware device allows users to record 10-second clips sans a hand-held mobile device—opening up a new way of seeing, and recording, the world. Read her full prediction here.
18. The anti-establishment takes the reins—and the outcome is anyone’s guess.
“If they succeed, 2017 may finally see the type of pick-up in inclusive growth that has been frustratingly elusive for much of the advanced world, together with genuine financial instability. If, however, they fall short, low growth would become recession and artificially-repressed financial volatility would give way to unsettling financial instability,” says Top Voice and Influencer Mohamed El-Erian. Read his full prediction here.
19. The race for cloud computing gets fierce (and goes public).
Worldwide spending on public cloud computing services is expected to grow to over $141 billion by 2019, from only $70 billion in 2015. That huge growth is going to generate some big winners…and some losers. Lightspeed Venture partner John Vrionis predicts Microsoft [Note: LinkedIn’s parent company] will come out ahead in 2017. “Microsoft Azure will surpass Amazon AWS as the optimal cloud service provider for enterprises. Conversely Google compute will lose ground to both,” he says.
But, don’t ignore the small players in the enterprise cloud game. They won’t be giving up anytime soon. Get ready for some of the stand-out players to woo investors, predicts Lightspeed Venture founder and managing directer Ravi Mhatre. Companies like Nutanix and Twilio will hit their stride in 2017 after debuting this year, as others like Mulesoft and Appdynamics get ready for IPOs. Read his full prediction here.
20. You thought China’s food scandals were bad? Wait until the pharma crisis.
China’s drug-safety issues get scant attention compared to the country’s well publicized former troubles with melamine-laced milk or exploding watermelons, a surprise to Jeffrey Towson, a professor at Peking University in Beijing. “I still think this is a far bigger story,” he says. “But it’s still mostly off the radar.” Pharmaceutical problems — fake pills, expired vaccines — are harder to catch than tainted food, but potentially more dangerous, since 80 percent of the world’s active pharmaceutical ingredients are made in China or India. “I’m waiting for this story to break.”
21. We don’t need to live in cyber hell. 2017’s the year we finally fix the Internet.
”We have to fix the internet. After forty years, it has begun to corrode, both itself and us. It is still a marvelous and miraculous invention, but now there are bugs in the foundation, bats in the belfry, and trolls in the basement.”
But, it doesn’t have to stay that way, predicts best-selling author Walter Isaacson. There’s steps we can take to change the course of the modern internet—starting today. “The benefits would be many: Easy and secure ways to deal with your finances and medical records. Small payment systems that could reward valued content rather than the current incentive to concentrate on clickbait for advertising. Less hacking, spamming, cyberbullying, trolling, and the spewing of anonymous hate. And the possibility of a more civil discourse,” says Isaacson. Read his full analysis here.
22. Clickable links will finally come to Instagram.
“For years, the only place you’ve been able to click on a link in Instagram is through the link in your bio. Brands, influencers, and small businesses have had to get creative when it comes to making sales and driving traffic through Instagram, which is why Instagram is now flooded with the phrase “Link in bio!” says Top Voice Taylor Loren. “Shoppable Instagram feeds that leverage the link in your bio are exploding in popularity, and with new features like Instagram shopping and “see more” URLs for verified Instagram users in Instagram Stories, I am predicting that 2017 will be the year Instagram grows up as a marketing platform and finally brings clickable links to Instagram posts.”
23. Get ready to chat even more with the bots.
“When it comes to tech innovation, I think 2017 will be the year “Conversational UI” goes mainstream,” predicts Top Voice Nir Eyal. “We’re going to see all sorts of products and services redesigned to work as effortlessly as a chat with a friend.” Read his full prediction here.
24. Your phone will become your doctor.
“2017 is likely to be the year in which virtual health finally crosses the tipping point and achieves scale,” predicts Top Voice Uschi Schreiber. “Instead of being delivered only in hospitals and clinics, health care will become available wherever patients happen to be. In mature economies, systems will need to contain costs as health care spending continues to rise. In emerging markets, where access remains an issue, mobile service delivery such as SMS campaigns and data collection will become more prevalent and is already taking off, for example across countries in Africa. No matter where, wide scale adoption of virtual health will enable approaches that are dramatically more cost-effective and efficient both for the consumer and provider.” Read her full prediction here.
25. Refugees enter the workforce en masse.
“The past two years have been a time of unprecedented crisis for refugees. As we look ahead, 2017 will be make-or-break for developing a model of getting refugees into jobs: the best foundation for addressing their humanitarian needs,” predicts David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee. “It is clear that with 25 million refugees and asylum-seekers around the world—and less than one percent going home as wars in Syria, Somalia and South Sudan burn on—there needs to be an economic livelihoods solution as well as a social service element to support refugees.” Read his full prediction here.
26. A human will finally break the 2-hour marathon barrier.
Nike is teaming up with three of the world’s fastest men to help train them to finally accomplish what no human has done before: run 26.2 miles in under two hours. That’s a pace of 4:34 per mile. So far no one has gotten close to breaking that touted barrier. The current marathon world record, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya in 2014, is 2:02:57, meaning he was still nearly a half-mile from the finish line when the clock ticked past two hours. Nike is putting some major resources towards the effort, which it dubbed Breaking2, including designers, engineers, coaches and physiologists.
“The sub-two-hour marathon is one of those epic barriers that people bust through,” Nike’s VP of Footwear Innovation, Tony Bignell, told Runner’s World. “It’s like breaking 10 seconds for the 100 meters or 4 minutes for the mile. At the end of the day, we just want to show it can be done. We want to show that it’s within the capability of human physiology.”
27. Netflix will bring back Cocoon — or something like it.
“I predict that Netflix might continue to embrace sci-fi/ fantasy,” says Casey Cipriani, a film features writer at Bustle. “With the success that HBO has had with ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Westworld,’ Netflix definitely needs to compete, particularly for awards, and it hasn’t had much luck with that with dramas like ‘House of Cards’ or ‘Orange is the New Black.’ With how well “Stranger Things” did, expect Netflix to keep going down this route. We’ve already got ‘The OA’ coming this week, more ‘Sense 8,’ and a ‘Lost in Space’ remake in the works. So think back to older sci-fi or fantasy properties that Netflix might be able to tackle. Perhaps something like a TV remake of an 80’s sci-fi movie like ‘The Last Starfighter,’ ‘The Abyss’ or ‘Cocoon,’ or maybe even a revisit/revamp of something as hokey as a gritty, live-action He-Man and She-Ra.”
28. Apple v. FBI was only the beginning. The tech privacy war will continue.
“We live in a Post-Snowden/Future Trump (who wants to return to a Pre-Snowden) world now, which all but guarantees raging wildfires on the privacy front between Washington, Silicon Valley, and the Private Industry,” says Top Voice Sarah Mancinho. “It will get ugly; but the tech industry is smart and moves swiftly.” See: Apple’s encryption patent awarded filed not long after its battle with the FBI, making it even harder to crack into its devices. Read her full prediction here.
29. Universities, once again, become sources of change-making protests.
“Higher education campuses across the nation will be the loci of protests, marches and “ruckus,” with students (including student athletes) leading the charge in support of a nation that treats all people—regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, country of origin and social standing—with respect and dignity,” predicts Top Voice Karen Gross. “And the result of these efforts will be felt by educational institutions, businesses, law enforcement and governments near and far, many of which will be forced to at least hear the student voices.” Read her full prediction here.
30. Your office will become your refuge.
“As the country becomes meaner, office will get nicer,” predicts author Janice Kaplan. “A lot of people will feel miserable after the inauguration of 2017. That’s not a prediction—it’s obvious. An erratic, hate-spewing, fear-mongering administration doesn’t make anybody feel good. Anger is exhausting, even if you’re on the same side. And that’s where offices are going to come to the rescue. Social historian Christopher Lasch famously described family as a haven in a heartless world. But as families become more scattered and people remain (or become) single longer, the workplace starts to take that role.” Read her full prediction here.
31. VCs start to obsess about Omaha and Minneapolis.
“In the U.S., venture capital dollars have long been geographically concentrated. Last year, more than three-quarters of venture capital dollars went to just three states: California, New York and Massachusetts.
“Our most entrepreneurial graduates followed that money, creating a financial ecosystem in which the best innovators and investors congregated in just a few places. But that cycle is starting to change. Elected officials, investors like myself, and entrepreneurs are mobilizing in places like Detroit, Omaha, and Minneapolis to create opportunity and promote entrepreneurship. It’s what I call the Rise of the Rest, and it’s a trend I fully expect to accelerate in 2017.
“Here’s why: First, in this next wave of innovation, the Third Wave, entrepreneurs will use technology to revolutionize sectors like healthcare, education and agriculture. To do that, founders will want to be in places where the relevant expertise is located—likely not Silicon Valley. Second, many Third Wave companies will benefit from partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, most of which have headquarters away from the aforementioned coastal tech hubs.
“Third, the election was a wake-up call. It brought to light the lack of opportunity in places often disregarded by the tech and business communities. We are already witnessing the growth of access to capital from crowdfunding, local angel networks and regional microfunds. I expect more investors and tech leaders to start paying attention to what is happening in other parts of the country in the coming year. And in doing so, the barriers to entry will be lowered for all entrepreneurs, regardless of background or geography.” —Steve Case, the chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, and the co-founder of AOL.
32. Medical research will be inspired by the patients.
“Patients are the most important stakeholder in the healthcare landscape. However, they have been excluded from an active contribution to the medical research and clinical development of new medications for too long,” says Dr. Luca Dezzani, a Top Voice and global medical director at Novartis. “In 2017, I believe that the patients will start making active contributions in clinical trials. This will start from the study concept formulation to trial design, data collection and reporting of results at the end.” Read his full prediction here.
33. Your seat at the airport gate will disappear.
Ready to slide into a chair and wait for your flight to depart? How quaint. Whether it’s new boarding procedures — lining up passengers, Southwest style — or new airport designs, finding a seat near a gate will only get tougher. At airports like Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson, Delta Air Lines is testing organizing passengers in long rows before flights, using floor space that could otherwise be used for seats. And at Calgary’s new international terminal, which opened in October, designers essentially did away with gate seating; airlines call passengers from what is essentially a central food court. The aim is to allow travelers “to rest comfortably,” but on Twitter, passengers don’t seem amused. “Nice try,” one tweeted Monday, “but obviously (by the full seats/people sitting on floor) people want to wait at their gate,” adding, “buy some seats.”
34. Hotels admit: It’s time to start working with Airbnb.
Big hotel operators have spent years fighting the sharing economy. But a new model is emerging, one that may be telling for 2017, says Vikram Pradhan, a longtime Starwood executive and the co-founder of startup SuiteStory. In April, French hotel giant Accor acquired Onefinestay, which rents high-end homes to consumers, in a $168 million deal that could easily spread to the U.S. “You’ll probably start to see hotel companies experiment with this,” Pradhan says, either by buying startups that assist Airbnb hosts — helping them maximize their profits through “revenue management” techniques, for example, or by providing housekeeping services — or by snapping up companies that provide peer-to-peer accommodations directly to consumers. The thinking, Pradhan says: “If we can’t beat them, why not embrace them?”
35. More Americans will eat alone in public, forcing restaurants to respond.
“A growing percentage of households – 29 percent — is single, a segment that spends significantly more per capita than married couples. Because no one wants to eat in a crowded dining room alone, we’ll begin to see reconfigured restaurant designs: ones with smaller dining rooms, more bar space, and more high top seating,” predicts Aaron D. Allen, a restaurant guru and the head of consultancy Aaron Allen & Associates. Read more of his restaurant predictions for the year ahead.
36. Big data isn’t everything — in 2017, we’ll need the humans again.
“With big data implosions abounding, people will now look for human insight, beyond the bits and bytes, that is based on real human understanding, empathy and analysis.”
“People, in fact, are truly in vogue again — there will be a shift from all the “firsters” like digital, mobile, wearable — back to people first as the driver of thinking,” predicts David Sable, CEO of Y&R and a 2016 Top Voice. “Not unrelated, we will pay more attention to Generation World, people connected by shared values more than geography or demography. (Again, see recent elections.)”
37. Pokémon Go was just the beginning.
“2017 will be the year of consumer focused Augmented Reality to prosper,” predicts Top Voice QuHarrison Terry. “We saw some early recognition of the technology with the widespread adoption of Pokémon Go and Snapchat’s face swapping technology. However, 2017 will be the year when things get really interesting.” Read his full prediction here.
38. P. Diddy becomes hip-hop’s first billionaire.
Sean “Diddy” Combs should join the elusive ranks thanks to increased valuations of his various businesses — from his TV network to his wine brand — and a lucrative 2016 tour. His entry “legitimizes the power of hip-hop, still considered a new (and, for some experts, a weakening) genre of music,” proving there are many paths to billionaire status, says Paul Carrick Brunson, a top writer in management. Read his full prediction here.
39. The first pig kidney will be transplanted into a human.
Dr. Joseph Tector, a top transplant surgeons, is working to modify kidneys from pigs — using CRISPR gene-editing technology — to then transplant into humans. About 100,000 patients wait for a kidney each year in the U.S., and 5,000 die before ever receiving one. If successful, this “will change the path of kidney disease and dialysis as we know it and will become one of the most significant advancements in medicine ever,” says Dr. Louis Profeta, an emergency physician in Indianapolis and LinkedIn’s top writer in healthcare for 2016. Read his full prediction here.
40. Global brands will look more out of touch than ever.
“As national borders tighten up and local populations retreat to their roots, we can expect societies to increasingly celebrate their local heritage, nationalities, pride, and sense of belonging. Global brands — even the Coca-Colas and Apples of the world — will find it increasingly difficult to retain traction in local markets, as they’ll have to compete with local voices, regional consumer preferences, and nationalism to a degree never seen before,” predicts Martin Lindstrom, the best-selling author and one of LinkedIn’s top writers in marketing. Read his full prediction here.
41. Customer Experience Officer is the hot new job.
“While UX (user experience) was certainly one of the bigger buzzwords in 2016, it’s going to be all about CX (customer experience) in 2017. CX being the umbrella term which encompasses every aspect of the customer’s experience, from the interface to the advertising, the sales process, product delivery, customer service and more, with UX just one part of this,” says Top Voice Anna O’Dea. “We expect to see more and more dedicated CX agencies emerge in 2017 and ‘CX specialists’ to become the hottest property in the recruiting circle.” Read her full prediction here.
42. No diploma necessary: Credentialed skills gain value.
“2017 will usher in a new era in higher education credentialing,” predicts Top Voice and Influencer Jeffrey Selingo. “The big three—the associate’s degree, the bachelor’s degree, and the master’s degree—will no longer be the only college credentials considered in the war for talent, as some industry certifications, badges and new kinds of transcripts will offer assurances to employers that an applicant is job ready. Read his full prediction here.
43. China will surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market for entertainment. Hollywood should pay attention.
It looked like it would happen in 2016 when box-office receipts in China grew by 50% year-over-year in the first quarter, but sales slowed down as the year wore on. However, the trend is still growing, and 2017 looks like it may finally be the tipping point, predicts Top Voice Jeffrey Towson. That should be a warning sign for Hollywood, which Towson warns could face the same type of competition that popped up for U.S. smartphone makers:
How fast can things change? Consider that in 2008 over 80% of all smartphones sold in China were made by international companies such as Nokia, Motorola and Apple. Today, Apple and Samsung, the only two foreign smartphone companies still kicking in China, have only about 15% of the market between them. The remaining 85% belongs to local competitors such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei.
Hollywood will face the same type of ruthless competition in the next five years. Its golden age in China, defined by wealthy moviegoers but still weak competitors, is coming to an end. It’s all going to get much more difficult.
Read his full analysis of China’s entertainment industry here.
44. An insurance company launches its own wearable.
“2017 will be the year when the behemoth system of health insurance will start to change with data provided by patients,” predicts Dr. Bertalan Mesko, a 2016 Top Voice. “As more and more accurate data sets about our lifestyle through trackers and wearables become available, it is inevitable insurance companies will try to utilize them. I believe that in 2017, a large insurance company (not a start-up!) will launch a package containing wearable sensors and guidance about living a healthy life by measuring data.” Read his full prediction here.
45. You’ll sleep in a Restoration Hardware overnight.
Retailers, desperate to find additional ways to sell their wares, have seized on a new idea: hotels. West Elm is working on a chain of its own, to be decked out with its couches, lamps and furniture. Shinola, the watch company, is doing the same. But one of the first retailer-as-hotel efforts will come in 2017 from Restoration Hardware, set to open a 14-room abode in New York’s meatpacking district. Guests who like the beds and decide to purchase them won’t have to go far; a store will be located just steps away. Read more on retailers-as-hotels from Vikram Pradhan here.
46. In schools, coding becomes the new typing class.
“Leaders and trendsetters all agree on one thing: coding is the new literacy,” says Top Voice Kandi Brown. This has been touted by such names as President Bill Clinton, media mogul Arianna Huffington and rapper Snoop Dogg. ”Teaching our children how to code needs to be implemented in their education process much like typing was for most of us,” she says. Read her full prediction here.
47. This is the beginning of the end for cable television.
Over-the-top (OTT) programming, meaning TV shows and movies that are streamed over the internet sans any need for a cable subscription, is upending the entertainment industry. It’s sparking new distribution channels and new media brands, and old media won’t be able to keep up, predicts Lightspeed Venture partner Alex Taussig:
“The distribution rights [television] networks so fastly protect are no longer valuable when social channels over the internet are a more efficient way to reach customers. At best, these networks will package their own content for distribution via apps and bundles, but that won’t stand out in the sea of other apps competing for a consumer’s brain space in a free and open market. Old media is already losing this fight, and its competitive position will only worsen in 2017.” Read his full predictions here.
48. Humans and AI will converge to create super thinkers.
Humans will start to use Artificial Intelligence—by inserting microelectronics directly in their bodies—to be improve physical health or cognitive capabilities, predicts Top Voice Seyi Fabode. It’s not as outrageous as it sounds: companies like Neuropace and Kernel are already doing it for things like machine-learning prosthetics and Alzheimer’s treatment. “These technologies will start to get into our lives in 2017 as it has started to make the natural progression from critical medical needs,” says Fabode. Read his full prediction here.
49. The 2016 election will leave lasting ripple effects.
“We are in the era of the individual, not the institution,” says two-time Top Voice Dustin Mckissen. “Even if you are thoroughly sick of the term “personal brand,” the way Donald Trump defied political parties, traditional media, and corporate opposition to become the most unlikely president-elect in American history reinforced the power of personality.” And this will have enduring effects (and lessons) for us all. Read his full prediction here.
50. Precision medicine hits its stride.
“2017 promises to be the year where we can begin to redefine how we categorize chronic diseases and cancer using precision medicine,” predicts Top Voice Jacques Kpodonu. From big data to artificial intelligence and dedicated funding from the U.S. government to private philanthropy, the pieces are in place to further unlock the secrets of our genome, which will allow more efficient drug discovery, better diagnoses and targeted treatments that are more effective. This is the year it becomes more accessible.