10 disruptions that will create opportunities and threats in 2020 – Soren Kaplan, startups adviser


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Disruption is creeping over every industry. From how we watch movies, to how our doorbells ring, the form of energy used on the road and at home; what we wear, and even what we eat. Thanks to the late Harvard revered professor, Clayton Christensen, small businesses can now leverage trend-spotting to compete against larger firms while the latter leverage scenario planning to minimize the impact of disruption on their markets.

Cross-cultural elements and globalization have knitted almost economies. Except in ultra dictatorship North Korea, disruption in any economy affects every market.

Hence, to help businesses prepare for what is on the offing in 2020, Soren Kaplan, an American startup adviser, with around 20 years experience of working with small and big businesses, describes 10 disruption that will transform business and society in 2020:

  1. Embedded Intelligence – The convergence of the internet of things, data analytics, and artificial intelligence creates new opportunities for “embedded intelligence,” making products, robots, business applications and healthcare diagnostics, “smarter” than ever before.
  2. Energy Everywhere – High-capacity batteries deliver greater amounts of power at dramatically lower costs. This will drive innovation across sectors, but will be especially useful for green energy applications like solar power 
  3. Circular Economy – From recycling, to alternative bio-based replacements for plastic, the “circular economy” will gain steam, creating new opportunities for companies to help accelerate environmentally sustainable products and packaging.
  4. Transportation Revolution – Battery-powered cars, trucks, and motorcycles will continue to increase in popularity, and mainstream manufacturers, will begin an accelerated march toward a future where self-driving vehicles rule the road.
  5. Entertainment Fragmentation – The proliferation of competing content providers and apps, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu, will continue to contribute to the rapid growth of niche viewing audiences and the accelerated demise of cable television.
  6. Data Cocooning – Growing concerns of Alexa, Siri, and other voice-based services “listening in” on our lives combined with high-profile data breaches and election year ballot-tampering fears will continue to drive greater privacy laws and controls over personal data.
  7. Digital Money – The rise of digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, peer-to-peer payment platforms like Venmo, and Facebook’s 2020 launch of its digital currency, Libra, will dramatically accelerate the use of digital commerce between individuals and across business.
  8. Web Marketing Backlash – From Google’s misleading results format–which obscures the distinction between paid and organic content–to misleading social media advertising, society will grow increasingly weary of big tech’s role in shaping our worldview.
  9. Digital Organizations – More and more companies recognize that moving fast, being agile, and collaborating across internal boundaries and with outside partners is the only way to compete. Collaboration tools for remote working, turn-key “no code” software for building instantly customizable business processes, and digital infrastructure for all business functions transform organizations.
  10. Predictable Wildcards – Unforeseen disruptions are now an inherent part of life, instilling the need for “responsive strategy” – the continuous process of trend scanning, scenario planning, and trial-and-error testing of business models based on the disruptive trends occurring in the external world.

Regardless of your industry or target markets, watch these disruptors closely. They’ll create new opportunities for entrepreneurs. And they’ll pose big threats for anyone with a business-as-usual approach–because 2020 will be anything but usual..

Note: The latter part of this article was taken from Kaplan’s contribution on Inc,

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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