Every entrepreneur wants to know what the next big thing is going to be.
Demand for future innovation is the fuel that drives free market enterprise. Much of it requires a knack for knowing what the public wants, or at least knowing how to make the public want something. But an easier route requires nothing more than taking a step back and looking at the big picture.
The demands of the future are easier to predict than you think. Hints are everywhere, from basic demographics to rising acclamation for top online colleges. You just have to know where to look.
Here are five industries where putting your money and your imagination into action wouldn’t be a waste of time:
Higher and higher percentages of the populations of industrialized nations are getting older. The number of citizens over the age of 65 in the United States is expected to double by the year 2030, making up 20 percent of the country’s total population.
Industries geared toward accommodating senior living are sure to boom as this population swells. Whether it’s research in old age healthcare or developing 21st century ways for disabled individuals to have more independence, there are an assortment of investment opportunities in this industry.
This might seem like an arena already packed with enough competitors. Currently, the mobile app market is particular limited and turning a profit is near to impossible. But with mobile devices becoming increasingly sophisticated and web-based mobile applications on the verge of becoming practical, new opportunities are being created. The primitive nature of mobile and web-based applications today make their profitability low, but once cutting edge programs can be accessed on what amount to mini-computers in our pockets, there’s going to be a new market for better mobile software.
Yeah, of course this was going to make the list. But no, I’m not going to tell you to start getting to work in your garage on a new type of water-reliant engine. The core innovations in the field of alternative energies are well underway. Oil companies are funding alternative energies research at American universities with the intention of being the entities who deliver the discoveries to the public. But this is going to be an enormous industrial revolution. Peripheral markets are sure to prop up during the age of alternative energy. It’s in these places where you’re sure to find financial success if you act now.
The rising global population is putting unsustainable strain on our water supplies. Some of the brightest brains in innovation have already gotten to work trying to figure out a way to literally not let a drop go to waste. And if you think this won’t be America’s problem too, you’re wrong. We currently spoil ourselves with a stigma against recycled waste water for human consumption. But that’s going to eventually give way to hard realities when tap water starts to cost as much as when it’s bottled. Water recycling will happen, and you could be the one behind it.
The ability to teach anybody from anywhere is going to change everything. Online education has been a relatively benign part of the overall academic realm, but whether universities and education systems realize it or not the web is going to dominate global learning in coming decades. Take a hint from the Khan Academy, which is a non-profit video lecture series Bill Gates has said he uses for his children. It’s the ease of access, the near-permanency of the online educational content, and the array of online educational content that exists and could exist, that’s going to make online education a game-changing industry.
Don’t miss out on obvious industries of the future. Good entrepreneurship requires more than just natural marketing prowess and a taste for trends – it’s nothing without carefully calculated forethought. But it isn’t hard to know the big things that are around the corner. They often have a habit of revealing their shadows first.