Predictions for 2016

Here are some predictions for the new year.

The startup community will be different in 2016 because it will come back to earth. Stratospheric valuations have been fun, but thankfully it’s time to take the helium out of the balance sheet and talk about the real value a startup offers. As part of this, locavesting will become more powerful, driven by equity crowdfunding. Communities will step up to support their local startups.

Several sectors will expand in 2016, but not in the explosive way that makes for good blog copy. Customization, driven by accessibility to 3D printing, will make steady progress into every corner of the things we use, and not always in a high-tech way. Sure, you can order your Adidas in retro-1970 style, with the colors you remember from the early 90s, but look for car parts, bike parts, wearables and beauty items to become personalized as they never have been before.

Everyone wants VR to work, but it is at least another year away.

Anyone who believes Paul Krugman of the New York Times (I do) believes that climate change is the biggest problem facing us. The Paris climate accord points the way to the future. There are not enough LA startups working in green tech and clean tech.

There will be a weird trend, driven by Apple becoming a luxury goods company, away from elegant simplicity and light, small devices, and toward heavy, large, clunky devices that speak of luxury, not design efficiency. This is the only explanation I can think of to explain phablets.