Predicting the next decade of self driving cars, SaaS and China

I’ve been thinking about what the next 10 years of the technology industry will look like and have come up with a few things I think we’ll see develop.

  • Self-driving, electric cars will become mainstream and they will be linked to ride sharing services in particular. We’re already seeing countries ban the sale of new non-electric cars. Logistics will be the first to take advantage of self-driving, followed by consumer vehicles. The self-driving transition will be led by ride sharing services, with Tesla entering the market with their own offering. Uber is best placed right now but their success depends on their ability to navigate their major cultural issues.
  • Voice driven personal assistants will become significantly better, driven by direct access to your personal data. This will be easiest for Siri and Google Home because they have their own platform where the data resides (assuming Apple develops Siri into more of an open platform). Alexa will have direct access through integrations.
  • SaaS as a software delivery model will mature and we’ll see more SaaS companies IPO. There will be no growth and revenues in non-SaaS software will contract – renewals of these non-SaaS licenses will drive most of the revenue, with minimal new business primarily from legacy businesses and/or with FUD reasons. The 2.0 era of SaaS is already over and we’re beginning to transition into SaaS 3.0 which will be about “real” AI driven insights on the data.
  • Every consumer device will be connected and considered part of the “Internet of Things” but the largest scale users will be industry. There will be more and more major security incidents involving poorly architected IoT products until government regulation steps in.
  • The cyber security industry will transition from 1.0 to 2.0 which will involve consolidation, the emergence of a few big vendors (likely AWS, Google and Microsoft) and a clearer approach to sales and marketing.
  • China will become dominant as a world power (militarily and economically). Silicon Valley in the US will no longer be the number one place to be for technology, innovation and startups which will instead be in China. But this will only happen if China breaks down the wall that exists with Chinese companies only really operating in China, unless China is considered a big enough market by itself (it already is, but most technology companies want to go global which is challenging from within China).
  • Clean energy will become ubiquitous but we’ll get there indirectly via fracking and natural gas and continue to be supported by nuclear for a very long time.
  • We will return to human exploration of space through private enterprise. This will be led by SpaceX but China will become a major player here too, probably suddenly.

I look forward to coming back to grade my predictions in 2028.