“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” Seth Godin
Entrepreneurs love what they do with passion. Mark Cuban said “Find something you love to do. If you don’t make money at it, at least you love going to work.” Creativity and entrepreneurship have no borders. A lot entrepreneurs found what they love doing in 2011 and they are building businesses they love, making meaning, solving somebody’s problem, making our world better and more productive and entertaining. 2012 will be even better and bigger. These trends and predictions will stand out in 2012.
2012 will be the year of the tablet. I am sure you know that by now. Amazon sold millions of the Kindle fire in the last quarter of 2011. Samsung was also on fire selling Galaxies in 2011. There will be too many tablets and new innovations around the tablet in 2012. Google is planning its own tablet in 2012. Apple is preparing to release its newly designed iPads in 2012. Developers will continue to do what they love to do best-building apps for the different tablets out there.
Don’t rule out disruptions in social networks yet. I am loving the competition between Facebook and Google+ already. Did you realize in 2011 that Facebook and Google+ were competing on features. There was the Facebook ticker and games in the same week when Google+ launched games for Google+. It turns out Google is serious about the Google+. People thought it was going to be another Wave or Orkut-well not yet. Google+ has been gathering numbers slowly and they are even advertising Google+ hangout on TV. Google’s focus on Google+ is massive and Facebook is scared-should Zuckerberg be afraid? Paul Allen has predicted Google+ will record 400 million users by close of 2012. Microsoft launched its social network in the last quarter of 2011 and said it was meant for student collaboration, not what we expected. Facebook is believed to be saturated in the US. Should Twitter be worried too? We are watching closely and competition is good for the consumer.
Mobile Payment will be HUGE.Without a doubt, mobile payment is the market that has the money. Square is holding on strongly to their share of the market. Valued at $1.6 billion, the company has 750,000 merchant users and handles $2 billion in transactions annually. Every tech giant wants to a piece of the mobile payment market. Its huge in every continent. Africa is untapped and its mostly the telecommunication companies that are introducing mobile money transfers in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Google is again serious about the Google wallet. Expect a lot of other innovations around mobile payment. Smartphones will be the new wallet in 2012.
For some reason online education is sexy again. Code Academy and Khan Academy recorded recorded 4 million user sin a single month-Up 4X From Last Year. Khan Academy is an educational non-profit focused on providing high-quality education for everyone. They produce a collection of free online micro lectures on a variety of different subjects. Code Academy offers a 3-month course in Web development Online tutoring doesn’t sound like a new thing but its the new way of learning and people love it. Entrepreneurs are always looking out for the next big thing and a few of them will create new products and services in this market to compete KhanAcademy.
Group Messaging is the new sms. 2011 was the year of the emergence of group messaging. Google acquired Disco, Skype acquired GroupMe and Facebook acquired Beluga. These apps were all integrated into bigger platforms. Apple even announced the integration of group messaging feature in iOS 5. In 2012 entrepreneurs interested in this market will still consider building group messaging apps.
Near field communication(NFC) will still be in research phase. NFC is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimetres. Mobile network operators, phone and device manufacturers, payments networks and service providers around the world are committed to bringing NFC to market in 2012. But I believe the technology will still be in research phase in 2012. PayPal is already testing NFC app on the Android. Merchants, banks, transportation operators, advertisers, marketers and other key potential service providers need to enable them to move ahead with NFC. And the big is, will they be ready in 2012. Google is also researching this market.