“The clamor for decentralized solutions will only increase this year because more people want payment solutions that are more secure and also clamor for social platforms with less censorship and more privacy.”
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that uncertainties remain a significant part of the world. Regardless of our work before making predictions, things may not always go the way we predict. However, predictions are still important when navigating this ever-dynamic world, especially when they are more based on consistent trends and patterns.
This article provides an outlook for startups in the year 2022. The predictions in this article are based on sufficient pointers to how the year would most likely shape out. Of course, it is not a perfect picture of what the year would look like for startups, but taking cognizance of the predictions in this article can help startup enthusiasts or founders position themselves better.
Technological Advancement: Blockchain and Web 3 Will Gain More Relevance
Advancement in technology is arguably the surest bet anyone can make in our time. The money invested by the big tech companies and other investment platforms ensures that each year brings a remarkable increase in the technological sophistication at our disposal. The consequence is that startups that spring up have to adopt these technologies, so they are relevant when entering the market or otherwise fight for market leadership by being the significant pioneers of these technologies.
Blockchain technology is gradually influencing how startups position themselves, and it will be even more influential this year. The clamor for decentralized and secure solutions will only increase this year because more people want trustless payment solutions and cry for social platforms with less censorship and more privacy. As a result, the year 2022, with the rise of more Decentralized Applications (DApps) across all sectors, as seen in the increasing number of those purchasing Ethereum domain names because they expect a complete transition to Web3.
2022 will therefore be filled with more startups raising funds for decentralized solutions. This increase in funding for blockchain-enabled technology solutions is almost inevitable because competition for industry leadership in Web 3 will only increase. As a result, we will keep seeing more platforms and applications developed in sectors not previously associated with blockchain technology. Present examples of decentralized platforms positioning themselves in industries other than finance are brain trust, the decentralized talent marketplace, and Mastodon touted as a decentralized version of Twitter. In addition, a platform like Everipedia is also building the decentralized version of Wikipedia.
Expect an evolution of workplace dynamics as the world heals from covid.
The most significant event affecting all industries and sectors is the coronavirus pandemic. However, 2022 seems like the year where we begin to determine what the world might look like after the pandemic, especially considering the increase in vaccination and reduction in the spread of the virus. It is highly expected that as the world heals from the coronavirus, almost every startup will experience a form of change in the dynamics of their workplaces.
The pandemic made more startup team members work remotely and virtually made almost all operations happen. This trend is not likely to stop in 2022 but rather increase. Shopify and Facebook’s decision to adopt a hybrid working model was a significant sign of how working remotely will become more predominant. The hybrid model involves a flexible blend of working remotely and on-site based on the nature of the job. This hybrid model is proven effective, and many startups have begun to adopt the model because of how cost-effective and productive it has proven to be. As a result, it is expected that more startups in 2022 will seek to adopt and normalize the hybrid working model.
The increase in adoption of the hybrid model will also cause an increase in the number of startups who outsource jobs to freelancers because of its cost savings and its compatibility with remote working. However, these freelancers are usually willing to receive less pay because they eventually benefit after converting the more valuable currencies like the US dollars to their predominantly weaker currencies.
Infrastructure technology will also significantly affect the startup space, and the 5G network is being predicted to increase in usage this year. Although the universal availability of 5G will happen remains unpredictable, the increasing developments around the project point to more significant achievements being made this year.
Despite coverage being limited to the US, UK and Australia, 5G is available in many countries worldwide. The range is gradually increasing every month, and each carrier is working hard to build a competitive advantage. For example, Verizon, a prominent pioneer of 5G development, has already gone live in 31 cities in the USA.
The consequence of this massive investment in 5G developments is that more startups will strive to position themselves for a world powered by 5G. 5G is expected to usher in fast connection as never seen before and finally enable the complete maximization of VR and AR-enabled solutions. Moreover, the emergence of 5G will likely bring about the realization of smart cities with devices and applications that should be components of these smart cities. That is why it is hard to believe that there will be a reduction in the number of startups that will have access to funding from investors to build solutions around VR, AI and the metaverse. On the contrary, with 5G around the corner, everyone will maximize the opportunity therein.
There are so many things that can determine how the startup space will be this year, and it is hard to predict all of them. However, the more likely factors or events that would define the startup space this year are: how our workplace dynamics will evolve as we heal from COVID-19, the increase in funding for blockchain technology (Web 3) and the continued developments that will leverage 5G.