7 startup trends for 2013 (Part 1)
A few weeks ago, as Tripl was closing down, I started thinking about what I would like to do next. While I did not think about starting a company immediately, I brainstormed about recent hot trends that would become pre-dominent next year, in 2013.
What has been discussed on the web lately, declared by Fred Wilson and then others like Chris Dixon, what will get bigger are entreprise startups and what has slowed down a few months ago are consumer apps, especially the advertising-based ones. This list is made of companies I have noticed in recent classes of DreamIt, YC and Techstars, or products that I have tried in the past 6 months and products that were not available while opportunities for them just appeared.
Not all of these trends are equally large or easy to break in, some have already been fairly popular in 2012, but if you are thinking about looking for a new job, or starting a new company, any of these seem like a safe bet.
1- Cloud infrastructure SaaS & Security
This trend is not new, but I think it is cyclical, and the first wave has faded out in 2011. Cloud services is the fastest growing web hosting product at the moment, cloud services is said to reach a market value of $48bn, some say 10% of all IT spendings will be made in cloud services; the trend is clearly going up and not planning on decelerating in the next 5-10 years.
Why a trend in 2013?, well with Github still growing (millions of people and companies hosting their source code in the), Google Cloud introduced earlier this year to compete with Amazon Web Services where Rackspace obviously could not, more companies have a foot in the cloud and services are getting cheaper and easier to scale than dedicated or VPS hosting. And with a new generation of companies in this sector, 2013 will make it hot again.
But as more companies switch to cloud hosting/computing services, there seem to be a severe lack of reliable modern tools to help them do so. Services like monitoring, smart DNS handling, security, deployment, continuous integration, optimization, migration, backup, etc. I have personally used NewRelic which is a great example of cloud monitoring service even startups will pay for ($149 per server per month). But I do not think any easy to setup “Security Monitoring” tool has established itself, same regarding tools analyzing cloud usage to help optimizing (save money with) your deployment.
2- Webservices, APIs and the Internet of things
Last year, I overheard this quote on Twitter from different conferences: "Do you have a website?" is so old school today’s question is "Do you have an API?". But already two years ago I started wishing I had the time to create a proper online documentation of all web services.
In the past 10 years, developers started to widely adopt REST APIs instead of SOAP or other less convenient options. Facebook platform opened up, OAuth appeared on every other page we all visit and then mobile apps came around and APIs made the web a richer place. Rare are the sites or solutions today which are not interconnected in any way to any other website. All companies with a web presence either have APIs or are considering them, so this is a huge opportunity.
Now with the Internet of things (any object having a unique virtual representation online, code or URI) being just a step towards software agents embedded in most objects and interconnected, 2013 is about to see a whole lot more devices and services interacting with each other. No one company will be able to establish their protocol as a unique standard and the number of APIs to deal with will reach 100,000s.
And because interconnection brings so much value, there are more and more possibilities in the vertical to position new services:
- Kinvey offers a Facebook/Google enabled backend for mobile apps,
- Gigya, LoginRadius and Janrain offer user management and social platform
- Mashape offers an API marketplace for free and paid web services
- APIgee offers a delivery and security platform
But these are just the beginning of a much needed market that will grow enormously.
3- 3D Printing
I must admit I know very little about 3D printing, but it is evidently about to become huge. While still in its infancy, new printers like Makerbot’s Replicator 2 today remind me of the Apple II while their first printer was very much like the Apple I. We do not know yet how much 3D printing will change small businesses and our lives, but we know the impact will be huge. 2012 has been an important year with a lot of new cheaper products, and being part of this revolution in 2013 must be fantastically fun!