A new decade is almost upon us. As we look back at the last decade, one advancement seems to stand head and shoulders above all the rest in the way it has changed people lives for the better.
We're talking, of course, about the advances in smartphone technology. What started out as merely a cool but, entirely unnecessary tool, has rapidly become a necessity in today's world. Smartphones have become as ubiquitous as a wallet or purse as a vital need in today's society.
You can pay your bills, shop online, send messages around the world, and engage with social media. The need to stay aware of what is happening in the world of today can make a difference in getting a good job, making a political choice that will affect your future, and finding investments that will provide your security.
The smartphone has proven to be the lifeline to help you with all these aspects of life, as well as many others.
Two of the coming trends will have a direct bearing on how you use your smartphone in the future. They will give the technology even more power and influence in our daily lives.
The third trend deals with the future of Thailand’s economy. As Thailand’s startup community begins to mature and become savvier in the business world, it will create a growth spurt in Thailand's economy. This is good news for the future of Thailand, if the trend holds.
Mobile commerce has been with us for a few years, with Amazon blazing the trail in the US. But as more and more startups solve the transactional process convincingly, you’ll see mobile commerce grow exponentially.
This won't necessarily mean the death of brick and mortar establishments. Instead, it will make shoppers more knowledgeable, and this will improve the marketplace. With transactions taking place in seconds and being delivered to your door, there will be much more competition for customers.
As the market grows, no longer will vendors get away with substandard products and shoddy service. Today, simply by looking them up online from a device that fits in your pocket, you can look up their product and company history. This will assume greater importance as more companies begin to conduct their business online.
The analytics, available to anyone who wants them, provide the bare facts of the performance of an online vendor for everyone to see. It will become more important to online vendors to maintain standards of performance as their competition increases.
The increase in the security and number of transactional platforms will also help the increase in mobile commerce. These days, more and more people are using their phone to pay for face-to-face purchases. The online vendors will also benefit from the public’s growing acceptance of this new age, electronic wallet.
Although these two fields have significant differences, as they come to play more a part in our day-to-day lives, people could be forgiven for confusing the two. This is because, in real-world applications, they would appear to be very similar.
AI involves an algorithm analysing past data and developing the ability to make real-time decisions based on the data. Prescriptive analytics involves algorithms analysing a set of data and making qualified predictions based on the data.
AI will impact physical hardware, such as self-driving cars. Prescriptive analytics will be used in more of a theoretical approach to marketing, funding and risk management.
Both of these emerging fields of technology will come to play a major part in our daily lives. Both as self-driving cars come to be commonplace on the world's roads, and highways and precise economic tools play more of an important role in the emerging technology-based economy.
Every business and startup goes through a period of struggle as they find their way in the marketplace. For some in the startup community in Thailand, the struggle is internal. It’s in the lack of knowledge in how to effectively manage a suddenly successful company.
For others, it's external. It's not understanding the marketplace once a startup has jumped into it. It’s learning real-world lessons while you try to keep the company’s head above water.
Bust as investors continue to analyse the risks in investing in these new startups and entrepreneurs, they are beginning to see a trend. Sudden-growth companies that become massive hits are starting to be given less importance by savvy investors. They're starting to focus on the boutique companies and mid-market startups as investment vehicles.
The reasons for this shift are not hard to grasp. Smaller companies represent less of a risk and are more amenable to outside guidance and direction. They also have more to prove and thus, have to work harder to prove their worth to investors.
This trend represents a ray of hope on the horizon for many mid-market Thai startups. The question that was asked in the past was, “Why are there no Thai unicorns”?
But these days, you hear less about unicorns and more about mid-market startups that are contributing to the Thai economy by keeping their growth manageable and focusing on what they do best.
If this trend is maintained, it could be excellent news for the Thailand startup community, Thailand’s economy and the technology sector as a whole as we enter a new decade.