The Ultimate Guide to Trends in 2019 (and Beyond)



Disrupt more, get surprised less by knowing key trends.

What you don’t know can hurt you.

My goal with this article is to give you an incredible advantage in terms of knowledge and insight about the future of your world.

I will arm you with a wide-angle lens view of what’s trending.   By casting a wide net and exposing you to a vast variety of key terms and ideas, you will be able to “see” what’s coming and anticipate changes with skill. 

And, best of all, you will be better equipped to create your future.

The Big Picture for 2019

Here are a few meta-themes to paint the big picture:

According to Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019, “Blockchain, quantum computing, augmented analytics and artificial intelligence will drive disruption and new business models.”

This year continues the evolution of what Gartner calls, the “Intelligent Digital Mesh”.  Intelligent is where AI is getting baked into everything, changing jobs, and changing experiences. Digital is where digital and physical combine to create immersive worlds. Mesh is the ever-expanding network of people, businesses, devices, content, and services.

According to PWC, there are really 5 themes at play that combine technologies and drive the next wave of innovation.  They are:

  1. Embodied AI (3-D printing, AI, Drones, IoT, Robotics)
  2. Intelligent Automation (Ai, RPA)
  3. Automating Trust (AI, Blockchain, IoT)
  4. Conversational Interfaces (AI, IoT, RPA, Robotics)
  5. Extended Reality (AI, AR, IoT, VR)

3 Key Trends for 2019

Before we dive into the A-Z list of trends for 2019, I want to first highlight a few broad, but pervasive trends reshaping the world

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Everything.

Artificial Intelligence is augmenting abilities to help make us better at what we do.  It’s breaking down barriers like language and translation barriers.  It’s improving performance of existing technologies, like computer vision. 

According to HBR in Artificial Intelligence for the Real World, AI, broadly speaking, supports three important business needs: “automating business processes, gaining insight through data analysis, and engaging with customers and employees “

Here is a handful of provocative things that AI can do:

  1. Fly a drone
  2. Drive an autonomous car
  3. Recognize emotions in speech
  4. Spot cancer in tissue slides better than humans
  5. Transcribe better than professionals
  6. Power Chatbots that improve customer satisfaction and relevancy
  7. Search a gazillion records in a single bound across audio, video, and text (and translate as needed)

For a list of more things Artificial Intelligence can do today, check out 59 impressive things artificial intelligence can do today, by Business Insider.

2.  Conversational Platforms.

Imagine you can talk to anything, anywhere.

Steve Rabuchin, VP of Amazon Alexa says, “Our vision is that customers will be able to access Alexa whenever and wherever they want. That means customers may be able to talk to their cars, refrigerators, thermostats, lamps and all kinds of devices in and outside their homes.”

Conversations are changing the game, whether it’s the advancement of chatbots, digital assistants, conversational apps, conversational commerce and more.

Voice-enabled apps built on Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI are evolving how we interact with computers.

As Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik puts it: “Chat is going to be the next great operating system. Apps will come to be thought of as the new browsers; bots will be the new websites. This is the beginning of a new internet.”

Conversational platforms are evolving the way we work.

Via Conversation-as-a-Service, by Freddie McMahon (Chatbot Thought Leader):

“As conversation-as-a-service gains momentum, it is providing a two-way marketing, sales and services interaction between customers and organizations from both the public and private sector.

Being able to undertake chatbot dialogue at scale, consistently across all digital touch points, is setting a new benchmark for customer and indeed employee experience.

An even bigger value can be found within the new form of Big Data known as dialogue data, which provides deeper and richer insights of user choices, pathways and outcomes, known as user decision journeys.

Even more profound, conversation-as-a-service is an accelerator towards the co-existence of a hybrid workforce of humans and chatbots working together, whilst marginalizing the constraints of organizational siloism, supervision and compliance.”

3.  Behavioral Analytics.

Behavior analytics provides insight into the actions of people.  The world is overflowing with tools and telemetry to analyze user behavior. Machine learning can help understand, predict and change behavior, or adapt in response.

User data from apps, devices, sites, social media, purchasing decisions, marketing responsiveness and more is providing deep insight into behavior around the world, in every market, in increasing scenarios.

Via Digital workplace trends in 2019:

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a significant role in this new way of engaging and empowering people. 

By gaining insights, IT can point out to an employee that the tools and applications available deliver everything they require to carry out their job function.

By understanding how people use applications on specific devices, machine learning can drive learning pathways to the individual to improve their adoption of the service, therefore improving efficiencies and productivity.”

Trends for 2019 A-Z

Rather than dive deep into each trend, I took a fast tour approach and give you a spring-board for your own research with links to more.

(Quick tip – a great way to take each trend deeper is to find and share stories with your family, friends, and colleagues about how these trends are changing the world around you.)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Everywhere

Artificial Intelligence is showing up in more products and services we buy and use. 

AI is moving up, down, and out.

According to S. Somasegar in Four Opportunities We See in AI and Machine Learning this Year,  AI is moving up, out, and down in the following ways:

  1. Moving Up – Vertical AI applications
  2. Moving Down – Core Specialized, Purpose-Built AI Hardware
  3. Moving Out – Intelligence on the Edge

AI-Driven Development

Artificial Intelligence is redefining development as AI gets baked into tools, the processes, and the apps. Tools are shifting from targeting data scientists to targeting developers. AI capabilities are getting baked into development processes. AI-enabled tools are evolving from assisting app dev to including business-domain expertise.

Via Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019:

“AI-driven development looks at tools, technologies and best practices for embedding AI into applications and using AI to create AI-powered tools for the development process.”

Artificial Intelligence for Good

People are teaming up around the universe to build a better world with AI.

Here are a few examples …

AI for Good Foundation is doing “AI for Good.”

Via the What We Do (AI for Good Foundation):

“The Artificial Intelligence for Good Foundation applies Artificial Intelligence research for global sustainable development. Our current projects are helping to advance the global sustainable development agenda — a set of goals adopted by 150 countries to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.”

Google is doing “AI for Good” and advancing “AI for everyone.”

Via Applying AI to some of the world’s biggest challenges (Google):

“Through research, engineering, and initiatives to build the AI ecosystem, we’re working to use AI to address societal challenges.”

Microsoft is doing “AI for Good”.

Via AI for good with Microsoft Artificial Intelligence  (

“The potential uses for Artificial Intelligence are boundless, from using AI in farming to helpful adaptive technology that improves accessibility. Use AI for good.”

AI-Oriented Architecture

The future of software is reshaped with AI.

Via Microsoft Touts AI-Oriented Architecture for the Enterprise:

“Today, there’s a new revolution, and it’s an AI-oriented architecture where a lot of functions instead of being programmed, are being learned using AI,” Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president and chief technology officer of artificial intelligence at Microsoft, told the audience. “In developing capabilities in applications some of which are programmed as in the traditional sense and some of which are learned from data – and, we’re making these things work together – there’s a unique architecture that comes into play when you build such capabilities.”

Augmented Analytics

Machines help people deal with data better, faster, easier.

Via Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2019:

“Augmented analytics is a next-generation data and analytics paradigm that uses machine learning to automate data preparation, insight discovery and insight sharing for a broad range of business users, operational workers and citizen data scientists.”

Augmented Reality Everywhere

Augmented Reality is creating new ways to shop, learn, create and experience the world with your phone.

Google is creating instant, interactive Augmented Reality shopping by combining ARCore with InstantApps. ARCore is Google’s platform for building augmented reality experiences. InstantApps was originally a Google Play feature that let gamers try an app without downloading.

Amazon is creating shopping experiences with Augmented Reality by leveraging Apple’s ARKit for the iOS (see Amazon’s AR View)

Augmented Humanity

Machines will help us get better, faster, in more surprising ways.

According to Cognizant in 5 Technology Trends that are Changing Business as We Know It, “wearable and implanted devices will unlock human potential by tapping into our mood, heart rate, thoughts and more.”

Via 5 Technology Trends that are Changing Business as We Know It:

“Coined in 2011 by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, augmented humanity refers to the use of technology to deliberately augment the human body for either medical gains or to extend human performance. Augmented technology includes items that can be worn near the body (smartphones, sensors), worn on the body (smart lenses, watches), or implanted within the body (digital tattoos, smart pills, neural lace).”


The trend continues to free people up from the mundane to do higher-level work.

Via A 2019 Forecast for Data-Driven Business: From AI to Ethics, by Tom Davenport:

“One trend we noticed in 2018 is that there are a variety of automation technologies for organizations wishing to employ “digital labor” to perform structured work tasks.

Robotic process automation, workflow, business rules, process mining, and some forms of AI all have the goal of automating human labor, or at least freeing up humans to do higher-level work.

We see increasing numbers of companies embracing these technologies and determining how best to design work to maximize the respective capabilities of humans and machines.”

Autonomous Things

According to Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019, “autonomous things use AI to perform tasks traditionally done by humans.”

Gartner identifies 5 types of Autonomous things and 4 environments:

5 types of autonomous things:

  1. Robotics
  2. Vehicles
  3. Drones
  4. Appliances
  5. Agents

4 environments for autonomous things:

  1. Air
  2. Land
  3. Sea
  4. Digital

“As-a-Service” Consumption Models

Business leaders are leveraging “as-a-Service” to innovate faster, drive revenue and reduce costs.

Via Accenture in As-a-Service Operations Model:

“The as-a-Service model provides companies with plug-in, scalable, consumption-based services supported by analytics, cloud and automation and to deliver business outcomes…As-a-Service can transform business services, enabling more intelligent, agile and robust operations, as well as innovation that disrupts existing business processes and supports entirely new business models.”

Via in What is XaaS: A way to inject agility into your digital business:

“Everything as a service (XaaS) is emerging as a go-to operating model for delivering IT services. Co-opting the cloud’s rapid deployment model, XaaS may also serve as a revenue engine for innovative enterprises.”

Blockchain Gets Real

Business leaders look to blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies to find not just where blockchain can fit, but where it can fit best in real-world use cases.

According to Gartner, “Blockchain is a shared, distributed, decentralized and tokenized ledger that removes business friction by being independent of individual applications or participants. It allows untrusted parties to exchange commercial transactions.”

Via Blockchain in 2019: 4 trends to watch, by Kevin Casey:

“Ajit Prabhu, innovation leader at Deloitte Consulting, expects that one of the near-term trends is not necessarily a huge uptick in adoption but rather a groundswell of enterprise interest in identifying tangible, productive use cases for blockchain.”

In Blockchain in Action: 5 Interesting Examples, Casey shares 5 real-world use cases where blockchain is showing progress:

  1. Supply chain management
  2. Food distribution and safety
  3. Contracts and law
  4. Real estate and property law
  5. Healthcare

Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation is hot.

Whether business leaders are disrupting, being disrupted, or simply trying to evolve from investing in science projects to “business because of technology.”

According to the authors of The Business Model Navigator, the big deal is that most innovations fail because a company fails to innovate in their business model. They just figure out a technology innovation, but fail to figure out the market play.

They go on to say that true business model innovation involves changing at least two out of the four components of a business model:

  1. the Who: Who is your target customer (segment)?
  2. the What: What do you offer to the customer?
  3. the How: How is the value proposition created?
  4. the Value: How is revenue created?

Four week MBA has a nice infographic of 60 Business Model Patterns from The Business Model Navigator:

60 Business Model Patterns

In Business model hacks, Board of shares some examples of business model ideas for 2019:

  • AmazonSmile: Do good on behalf of your customers.
  • KaiOS: Capture value in emerging markets.
  • Meural: Give access to vast catalogs through a single subscription.
  • Netflix: Reward loyal customers with a fixed monthly fee for life.
  • Opendoor: Turn long, beurocratic journeys into a short, hassle-free experience (As a seller, you can get an instant offer on your house.)
  • Tinder: Premium version? A shortcut to dates.
  • Whim:  Consider vertical integration in your industry. (Whim is creating a single monthy subscription that integrates public transport, bike sharing, car sharing, and a package of TAXI rides.)
  • Quora: High-quality content platform as a sales channel.

Brands that Take Stands (Brands for Social Good)

Consumers look to brands that take stands.

Via 5 Trends for 2019 by Trendwatching:

“A painful dichotomy is opening up. On one hand, every startup or product that delivers a positive impact drives customers’ aspirations for sustainable and ethical consumerism ever higher.

At the same time, traditional governmental and bureaucratic institutions are increasingly either unwilling or unable to meet many of people’s basic expectations. This has left people clamoring for strong institutions to resolve this tension and deliver positive outcomes.”

Mary Meehan shares a few examples in 2019’s Top Trends To Watch: The Most Important Trends For Businesses And Consumers For 2019:

  • 250 companies -from PepsiCo to Unilever to H&M -have joined in the effort to end the flow of plastic in to the ocean.
  • BeautyCounter rallied 30,000 people to support legislation to fight for better product ingredient regulation.
  • Starbuck’s pledged $10million to support the development of a compostable coffee cup.
  • Patagonia announced that it was donating its $10 Million Tax Break to green groups, to help save the planet (an act they think the government should be undertaking).

Change happens at the speed of culture.

The market will outpace the progress of many businesses.

Businesses will adapt or die.

Each business will either be limited or enabled by the maturity of their Digital Culture.

Via The Culture Paradox by CIO Online Resources:

“Change happens at the speed of culture. There are many real obstacles that stand in the way of achieving the culture of innovation that will transform your organization.”

Chat Bots (there’s a bot for that)

Less clicking and typing, more asking and interacting in a conversational way.

Chatbots are getting better.

Better bots are powered by AI that allows for better personalization and contextualization, as well as deep learning from the network effect.

Via The Chatbot Trend and the Future of Customer Service by Upwork:

“80% of business in any and every industry aim to offer chatbots by 2020. Whether you want to book an exotic vacation, order a pizza, or find the perfect outfit for your college reunion, there will soon be ‘a bot for that.’”

Upwork shares an example where chatbots are disrupting the insurance industry:

“They can sift through millions of medical papers in an instant, and slash prices, wait times, and hassle within the insurance industry. Just look at Lemonade, the renters and homeowners insurance company powered by artificial intelligence, whose customer base grew by 60x of what it was half a year ago.”

Citizen AI

Citizen data scientists will help scale AI beyond the professional data scientists.

Kind of like a neighborhood watch where neighbors help with safety, in this case, neighbors will help analyze data and draw new insights.

According to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019, “By ‘raising’ AI responsibly, businesses will create a collaborative, powerful new member of the workforce.”

Via Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019:

“Through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than professional data scientists. Citizen data scientists use AI powered augmented analytics tools that automate the data science function automatically identifying data sets, developing hypothesis and identifying patterns in the data. Businesses will look to citizen data scientists as a way to enable and scale data science capabilities.”

Computers Adapt to Us

According to Joseph Sirosh, the game flips from we learn about computers to computers learn us. 

Via Microsoft Touts AI-Oriented Architecture for the Enterprise:

“The biggest revolution in human computing that’s happening today, as we speak and in the next few years, is being driven by AI,” said Sirosh. “With natural learning interfaces, computing devices will adapt to our needs and preferences for the very first time. Up until now, we had to learn computers — how to type and how to track using a mouse, [and so on]. Now they’ll start adapting to us.”


Producers join forces with consumers to co-create future content, products, services, and experiences.

In MIA Wombat, Age of Conducer, Mia says, “Virtual worlds such as Second Life introduces a new genre of experience where consumption and production are synonymous, where we as consumers buy into a piece of entertainment to produce our own entertainment . This hybrid role of a consumer/producer has been described as that of a ‘conducer.’”

Via Yale Journal of Law and Technology:

“This hybrid role of a consumer/ producer has been described as that of a ‘conducer’. The conducer phenomenon is not just limited to online gaming but is reflective of the greater interactivity which digital technologies introduce for people, traditionally referred to as consumers, to experience information and entertainment.”

Consumer Behavior

This is a hot spot for all businesses.

Because of digitization, businesses of all kinds can better monitor and measure consumer behavior, and make meaning.

Combining AI and location-based services, businesses can really contextualize and personalize insights and recommendations, and test the impact on behavior change.

This means businesses can also learn at a faster rate what their customers are really doing (versus what they say they do.)

Conversational Platforms (Conversation-as-a-Service)

Conversational commerce is hot.

As is just asking for stuff versus navigating your way through a mire Web or complex screens.

As AI gets better, conversational frameworks can get smarter, and the interaction experience will improve through usage and learning.

According to Gartner, “Conversational platforms will change the way people interact with technology. The burden of translating intent shifts from user to computer. The platform takes a question or command from the user and then responds by executing some function, presenting some content or asking for additional input.”

Customer Experience is the New Value Chain

Too many value chains fall short of the actual customer.

More businesses are getting back to business and wrapping their business around their customer.  (Remember, Peter Drucker said, “the purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

This sets the stage for more disruption, evaluating “what value does this step add,”
and business process reengineering, along with innovation in supply chains, distribution channels, and more.


If you want to survive and thrive, Gartner says you need to take a ContinousNext approach.

Via Gartner Says ContinuousNEXT is the Formula for Success Through Digital Transformation and Beyond:

“The formula to achieve success in a world that is constantly changing is to implement a ContinuousNEXT approach, according to Gartner, Inc. ContinuousNEXT is the future evolution of concepts Gartner has introduced in recent years that will build momentum through digital transformation and beyond.”

Gartner shares 5 key imperatives for driving a ContinuousNEXT strategy:

  1. Privacy
  2. Augmented Intelligence
  3. Culture
  4. Product Management
  5. Digital Twin

Data-Driven Business

More businesses are looking to establish a “Data Culture” to better leverage data and AI, and help with issues around biases.

Via A 2019 Forecast for Data-Driven Business: From AI to Ethics, by Tom Davenport:

“It should come as no surprise that 2018 continued to mark another year in the progression of data adoption in business.  Companies are pushing forward with efforts to become increasingly data-driven.  Firms are investing in transformation initiatives to establish a “data culture” within their organizations.  Early adopters are focused on data-driven business innovation.”


More companies are looking to bring useful insights to business leaders through DataOps.

Via A 2019 Forecast for Data-Driven Business: From AI to Ethics, by Tom Davenport:

” Data Operations (DataOps) is rapidly emerging as a discipline for organizations that continue to struggle with the management of data as a shared business asset.  DataOps brings a set of data engineering principles which borrow from the DevOps software development movement.  The intent is to deliver “rapid, comprehensive, and curated data” to business analysts and decision-makers.”

Digital Assistants

Digital assistants get more personal and contextual as they learn and adapt to you.

Imagine being able to seamlessly touch-activate or voice-activate your Digital Assistant in places beyond your phone.

Imagine more contextual Digital Assistants to handle your voice searches or respond to your questions in a more personalized way.

It’s happening.

Digital Minimalism

As a backlash to too much, anytime, anywhere, always on, some will choose to be digital minimalists and practice the art of “digital minimalism.”

According to David McCourt of AndroidPIT, Digital Minimalism will be all the rage:

“Dumb phones, less screen time, and purging social media, those are the tech trends I’m predicting for 2019. The general practice is known as Digital Minimalism, and it is going to be all the rage this year. Here’s why. Digital Minimalism is built on the same principle as analog minimalism, or simply ‘minimalism’, as its more commonly known. The idea is that by getting rid of what we don’t actually need, we can create zen habits that improve our mental state and wellbeing. In some ways, it is an anti-capitalist philosophy, yet products with minimalist aesthetics appeal to fans of the lifestyle.”

Note, if you choose this path, Cal Newport wrote a book to guide you on your way:

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Digital Twins

Digital Twins, or virtual models, help improve and plan the future in safe and simulating ways (note that no Digital Twins were harmed in the making of this article.)

According to Gartner, a Digital Twin is “a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The digital twin offers information on the status of the real-world counterpart and can respond to changes or improve operations.”

Gartner shares some examples:

  • Digital twins for humans would be able to offer biometrics and medical data that doctors could use for diagnostics.
  • A digital twin for an entire city could offer information about operations and maintenance for city planners.

Via What Is Digital Twin Technology – And Why Is It So Important? by Bernard Marr:

“There will be billions of things represented by digital twins within the next five years. These proxies of the physical world will lead to new collaboration opportunities among physical world product experts and data scientists whose jobs are to understand what data tells us about operations.”

Emotion AI (Artificial Emotional Intelligence)

How will your world change when machines know how you feel?

Via 3 Ways AI is Getting More Emotional by HBR, by Sophie Kleber:

“AI systems and devices will soon recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human emotions. A combination of facial analysis, voice pattern analysis, and deep learning can already decode human emotions for market research and political polling purposes.

With companies like Affectiva, BeyondVerbal and Sensay providing plug-and-play sentiment analysis software, the affective computing market is estimated to grow to $41 billion by 2022, as firms like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple race to decode their users’ emotions.”

Kleber suggests 5 questions for leaders to consider:

  1. What are you offering? Does your value proposition naturally lend itself to the involvement of emotions? And can you credibly justify the inclusion of emotional clues for the betterment of the user experience?
  2. What are your customers’ emotional intentions when interacting with your brand? What is the nature of the interaction?
  3. Has the user given you explicit permission to analyze their emotions? Does the user stay in control of their data, and can they revoke their permission at any given time?
  4. Is your system smart enough to accurately read and react to a user’s emotions?
  5. What is the danger in any given situation if the system should fail — danger for the user, and/or danger for the brand?

Deep Empathy is a collaboration led by Scalable Coorperation at MIT Media Lab exploring how to use AI to scale empathy.

In 13 Surprising Uses for Emotion AI Technology, Gartner shares some examples use cases:

  1. Adapt a game based on emotions
  2. Diagnose diseases like depression and dementia via voice analysis
  3. Adapt learning software to kids’ emotions
  4. Analyze stress and anxity levels of first responders
  5. A “nurse bot” can monitor the overall wellbeing of a patient
  6. Automotive vendors can monitor driver’s emotional state and trigger alerts
  7. Autonmous cars can understand how users view the driving experience
  8. Insurance companies can use voice analysis to detect when users are telling the truth when submitting a cliam
  9. Recruiters can evaluate credibility during job interviews
  10. Call centers can reroute angry customers (intelligent routing)
  11. Virtual-Personal Assistant (VPA)-enabled speakers recognize your mood and respond
  12. Surveillance cameras understand the general mood of the population
  13. Retailers captures visitor’s mood and reactions

Empowered Edge

According to Gartner, “Edge computing speaks to a computing topology that places content, computing and processing closer to the user/things or ‘edge’ of the network.”

IBM posits that an empowered edge (or decentralization) can help address the challenges of cost, privacy and longevity in scaling the IoT to hundreds of billions of devices.

In Empowering the edge: Practical insights on a decentralized Internet of Things”, IBM shares some examples of an empowered edge:

  • Use case 1. Consumables marketplace: A washer orders its own detergent
  • Use case 2. Service marketplace: A washer requests and pays for its own maintenance call
  • Use case 3. Energy marketplace: Home appliances negotiate power usage to reduce costs
  • Use case 4. Advertising marketplace: Devices control content and scheduling

In Gartner Says Worldwide Spending on VPA-Enabled Wireless Speakers Will Top $3.5 Billion by 2021, Gartner expects VPA (Virtual-Personal Assistant) speaker products to use AI at the edge:

“Beginning in 2019, third-generation VPA speaker products will start shipping with some artificial intelligence (AI) functions running on the device rather than in the cloud. Gartner expects these AI-enabled VPA speakers to use edge-device, machine-learning capabilities to enhance latency, alleviate privacy/security issues and utilize bandwidth more efficiently.”

Extended Reality

Extended Reality is everywhere.

Popular examples include Snapchat filters and Pokemon Go.

Gatwick airport won multiple awards for its passenger app that guides passengers through its large airport using augmented reality.

Wikipedia defines Extended Reality as follows:

“Extended reality. Extended reality (XR) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. It includes representative forms such as augmented reality (AR), augmented virtuality (AV) and virtual reality (VR).”

According to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2019, “Immersive experiences are changing how we connect with people, information, and experiences.”

Gig Work

The world of gigs expands to new arenas (and bots.)

A gig is a temporary job. You might get paid hourly or a lump sum when the task is complete.  Gig work offers you flexible work without being employed by a traditional company.  Uber and Lyft are simple examples where gig workers do driving “gigs.”

You might have heard of Fiverr or TaskRabbit or Upwork.  But did you know LinkedIn has joined the Gig Economy?

LinkedIn piloted LinkedIn Gigs in Phoenix, Arizona.

Via LinkedIn Gigs — Apply once for multiple gigs:

“No resume is required. They’ll follow up soon. Start work quickly. After you’re approved, start one or more gigs as soon as next week.”

Via Piloting LinkedIn Gigs, an easy way to connect to gig work:

“At LinkedIn, our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce — not just those in traditional 9-to-5 jobs. With that in mind, we began a project last year to learn how we can play a role in the on-demand gig economy, one of the fastest growing segments of the labor market.

Over several months, we spent time with workers from Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash to understand why they chose to participate in gig work. We consistently heard from drivers, shoppers, and dashers that they enjoyed the flexibility of their work, and that it helped them earn the cash they needed to pay bills, save for education, and support their families. In fact, many of them worked multiple gigs to further boost their incomes.

… Now people can apply to as many as four gigs — driving with Lyft, shopping for groceries with Instacart, delivering food with DoorDash, and pet sitting with Rover — in a couple clicks.”

For a deep dive on gig work, check out The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want, by Diane Mulcahy

Human-Robot Collaboration

Evolve and build a world that’s better together with robots helping people (and vice-versa…after all, somebody has to show the robot what to do.)

In Robotics in 2019, Thomas Visti, CEO of Mobile Industrial Robots, says:

“The future is collaborative and mobile. We will see human-robot collaboration continue to develop. Cobots will be used efficiently in an even higher degree in repetitive, dangerous, and precise tasks, while their human colleagues are responsible for things such as quality checks and programming.”

Immersive Experience

Step into new worlds and experience old worlds in new ways.

Via Gartner:

“Mixed reality which merges and extends both AR and VR, is emerging as the immersive experience of choice, delivering an interface to better match how people view and interact with their world. Combined with conversational platforms, a fundamental shift in the user experience to an invisible and immersive environment will emerge.”

Here are a few examples of immersive experiences from 9 Examples of Immersive Experience, by John Spacey:

  1. Exploring the surface of Mars as part of a science lesson
  2. Physical activity in a virtual environment that may resemble a game
  3. Sending your digital twin to a sales meeting in Berlin.
  4. A video editor that steps into a film to edit it.
  5. Highlighting or labeling diseased tissue during surgery that Increase accuracy and reduces the chance of a mistake.

Innovation Labs

Expect more companies to find more ways to creatively carve out spaces for innovation.

Via The Next Analytics Age: Artificial Intelligence by HBR:

“Many retailers are getting ahead of this shift by creating innovation labs — teams and spaces dedicated to incubating new ideas and testing digital experiences that connect the online and instore worlds. Sephora’s Innovation Lab is a great example. The brand introduced a ‘store mode’ for its mobile app, which integrates a user’s online shopping cart and Beauty Insider loyalty card to remind them of the products they’ve saved, the points they’ve earned, and the benefits available to them, such as a free makeover.”

Via Innovation labs for experimenting new opportunities by Deloitte:

“Innovation labs devise products and solutions to societal and public problems while providing a ‘safe’ space for innovation, collaboration, learning, and incremental experiments to take place. These ‘city-labs’ rely on open data to create service and applications relevant for citizens – bringing the ecosystem element to the siloed government.”


According to Tommy Leung, founder of Captivate Games, “Live-ops is anything that changes the game after it goes live without having to release a new version of the game.”

Via Introduction to LiveOps:

“At PlayFab, we believe that LiveOps techniques are the single most important reason why great games connect with players over the long haul, and an effective LiveOps strategy can make the difference between success and failure for a modern game. LiveOps – the practice of making smart, data-driven and frequent changes to a game after its launch to keep players engaged – has transformed the way that games are developed and managed.”

Location-Based Services

Does your bot know where you are? (Do you know where your bot is? )

Knowing where you are is key part personalizing and contextualizing experiences, services and insight.

It’s not just knowing where you are, it’s knowing where things are, too.

As people, things, and machines become more “location aware”, it sets the stage for deeper personalization, better contextualization, and new mash ups of ideas we haven’t thought of yet (aside from greater challenges for privacy, security, and risk.)

Via 10 Great Examples of Location-Based Apps:

“Location based services applications are not just for those of us trying to find places and people. Retailers use app technology, generally known as geofencing, to send texts to folks when they are near a business they frequent – Starbucks, Subway, etc. – to offer special pricing or sales notifications. In fact, there are many who contend that this will be the future of shopping.” shares some examples of location-based services in action:

  • Dark Sky – a weather app that can give you very specific alerts based on what’s happening where you are.
  • City Hour – a business-social app that helps you connect with other business professionals based on where you are and shared interests.
  • Glympse – share your where you are with friends, family or business associates.
  • Waze – real-time updates on traffic conditions informed by other users, too.
  • Curbside – the store gets an alert when you are pulling up and an employee brings out the order.
  • Hello – share your life virtually as it happens (without texting or calling).
  • Air Tasker – an app for bidding on and getting tasks done by people who are close by (in Austrailia).

Maker Economy

Make your way to the top, or fake it till you “make” it.

Wikipedia defines the Maker Economy as follows:

“The maker movement is a social movement with an artisan spirit. Maker culture emphasizes learning-through-doing (active learning) in a social environment. Maker culture emphasizes informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment…The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture that intersects with hacker culture and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing one.”

Via Maker Economy by Deloitte:

“‘Making’—the next generation of inventing and do-it-yourself—is creeping into everyday discourse, with the emerging maker movement referenced in connection with topics ranging from the rebirth of manufacturing to job skills development to smart cities.”

Open Innovation

Are the windows to your workshop open for the world?

Via Everything You Need to Know About Open Innovation by Henry Chesbrough:

“Open innovation is a concept I originated that falls directly in that gap between business and academe. Conceptually, it is a more distributed, more participatory, more decentralized approach to innovation, based on the observed fact that useful knowledge today is widely distributed, and no company, no matter how capable or how big, could innovate effectively on its own.”

Wikipedia defines Open Innovations as follows:

“Open innovation is a term used to promote an information age mindset toward innovation that runs counter to the secrecy and silo mentality of traditional corporate research labs.”

Here are a couple of great books to deep dive on innovating in an open way:

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, by Henry Chesbrough

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott and Anython Williams.


As more things and systems learn about you, recommendations and offers get more personal.

Combined with location-based services, you might say that personalization gets contextual and empowers hyper-personalization.

In 6 Personalization Trends to Watch For, Chad Flinker identifies key trends shaping the future of personalization:

1. Dynamic Optimization
2. Focus on Mobile
3. Off-Site Content Optimization
4. Mainstream Adoption of Hyper-Personalization
5. Tying Online and Offline Data Together
6. Technology Consolidation

One of the three bold ambitions at Microsoft, according to Satya Nadella, is to make “computing more personal, more natural.”

Responsible AI

As Gartner puts it, “The conversation should move from “Are we compliant?” toward “Are we doing the right thing?”

Via Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019:

“Consumers have an growing awareness of the value of their personal information, and they are increasingly concerned with how it’s being used by public and private entities. Enterprises that don’t pay attention are at risk of consumer backlash.”

Robotic Process Automation

Intelligent process automation reshapes the digital workforce.

Via Wikipedia:

“Robotic process automation (or RPA) is an emerging form of business process automation technology based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence (AI) workers.”

Via Will a new Robotics Process Automaton standard be an RPA trend in 2019?, Michael Baxter:

“RPA – is a software category that is driving seismic change across the international workplace. RPA was originally designed to provide an easy-to-control ‘Digital Workforce’ (software robots) that informs, augments, supports, and assists people in the automated fulfillment of service based tasks. With both routine and non routine based-tasks being transformed, RPA is topping the corporate agenda”

A well-planned digital workforce outperforms an organically developed one.

Via Robotic process automation (RPA) trends and to-do list for scaling across the enterprise, by Deloitte

“The highest-performing digital workforce benefits from a well-planned ‘robot architecture’: the way it is designed, coded, deployed, and integrated into your human workforce determines the future performance of a digital workforce. In our experience, a well-planned and designed digital workforce is around twice as productive as more organically developed robots.”

Smart Spaces

Teams are finding new places and ways to connect and collaborate more dynamically (and workforce and workplace analytics are helping.)

And companies are seeking to use their space better and use more of their capacity (some companies have offices occupied only 50 percent of the time).

Smart Space features tend to revolve around:

  • Searching for available workspace
  • Personalizing the equipment and settings for the workspace
  • Finding and interacting with coworkers
  • Checking in
  • Seeing current locations on a map

Via Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends:

“A smart space is a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. As technology becomes a more integrated part of daily life, smart spaces will enter a period of accelerated delivery. Further, other trends such as AI-driven technology, edge computing, blockchain and digital twins are driving toward this trend as individual solutions become smart spaces.”

According to Gartner, Smart Spaces are evolving along five key dimensions:

  1. Openness
  2. Connectedness
  3. Coordination
  4. Intelligence
  5. Scope

Via Digital Workplace Trends in 2019, by Alex Bennett:

“Machine learning and analytics can play an important role in optimizing space utilization. Due to changes in accounting regulations, the cost of the space that an organization rents now reflects on their balance sheets. As a result, businesses are looking to minimize their office space footprint, while still maintaining a high level of employee satisfaction.

Progressive companies are using data from collaboration and room-booking apps, combined with Wi-Fi and sensor data, to understand where people are and how they’re working together. Some are creating physical collaboration hubs as an alternative to underutilized videoconferencing and seeing increased engagement and reduced costs as a result.

One of our clients, a large petrochemical organisation, had over 450 video rooms. By collecting and analysing utilisation data we were able to recommend they remove some of the video units and convert those rooms into ‘huddle spaces’. This has improved employee collaboration and creative thinking and allowed tasks to be completed more rapidly.”


What happens when “things” start to work together?  You get a swarm of things.

And these swarms can work together to do achieve great things.  For example, imagine a forest filled with sensors to help early detection of forest fires.

Via Explore the Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018

“The next level of intelligent things will be when swarms of intelligent things work in sync and collaboratively to achieve a goal. The Department of Defense is experimenting with its Perdix micro-drones for aerial surveillance, while Honda is developing a cooperative merge capability to allow autonomous vehicles to coordinate their activity.”

Text Commerce

As JWT Intelligence puts it, “text commerce appeals to the consumer’s comfort and shortens  the path to purchase.”

Via The Future 100: 2019, by JWT Intelligence:

“Retailers are paring down shopping to the basics, harnessing the ease and familiarity of SMS to deliver simple, personalized purchasing experiences to consumers on the move.

There is now an app for just about everything, but a number of disruptors  in retail are favoring the intimacy of a text message to make a sale. Many brands are already using text chatbots for mobile marketing or customer service, but now stores are taking the communication tool to new levels of engagement, using a more “human” connection and the lure of convenience  to fuel transactions.”

Urban Mobility

Urban mobility is a growing challenge, but showing some signs of progress.

You can think of urban mobility in three categories: collective, individual, and freight.

Via Urban Mobility, by Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue:

“Urban areas are the most complex settings in which the mobility of passengers and freight is taking place. In several instances, passengers and freight movements are complementary to one another, but sometimes they may be competing for markets, the usage of available land and transport infrastructures.”

Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue provides examples for each type:

  • Collective Transportation (public transit) – tramways, buses, trains, subways and ferryboats.
  • Individual Transportation – the automobile, walking, cycling and the motorcycle.
  • Freight Transportation – delivery trucks moving between industries, distribution centers, warehouses and retail activities as well as from major terminals such as ports, railyards, distribution centers and airports

In Urban mobility at a tipping point, the authors say, “As more of the world’s cities become congested and polluted, new business models and technologies are emerging to solve the mobility challenge.”

The authors also say, “Already, there is discernible movement toward new ‘multimodal’ services—those that facilitate journeys combining walking, cars, buses, bikes, and trains—as well as shared transportation services.”

In Urban Mobility at a Tipping Point, McKinsey shares some examples of mobility services:

Individual mobility services:

  • Car sharing: peer to peer:  A peer-to-peer platform where individuals can rent out their private vehicles when they are not in use.
  • E-hailing: Process of ordering a car or taxi via on-demand app.  App matches rider with driver and handles payment.
  • Car sharing: fleet operator: On-demand short-term car rentals with vehcile owned and managed by a fleet operator.

Group mobility services:

  • Shared e-hailing: Allows riders going in the same direction to share the car, thereby splitting the fare and lowering the cost.
  • On-demand private shuttles: App and technology enabled shuttle service.  Cheaper than a taxi but more convenient than public transit.
  • Private buses: Shared and Wi-Fi-enabled commuter buses available to the public or to employees of select companies. Use to free riders from driving to work.

Voice Search

Thanks to digital assistants, conversational platforms, chatbots, and more, users expect they can “just ask for it.”

Via 7 Key Predictions For The Future Of Voice Assistants And AI:

“Whether that’s finding out information, making a purchase, or achieving a task, voice is the new mobile experience. It’s clear that brands are racing to figure out their voice strategy. With over 10 million voice-activated digital assistants that have been sold already, there’s a reason why this is.”

Customer touchpoints are transitioning to listening points and Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) continue to advance.

Via 7 Key Predictions For The Future Of Voice Assistants And AI:

“Brands are now experiencing a shift in which touchpoints are transforming to listening points, and organic search will be the main way in which brands have visibility. comScore data even reveals that 50% of all search will be via voice tech by 2020.

As voice search grows in popularity, advertising agencies and marketers expect Google and Amazon will open their platforms to additional forms of paid messages.”

At the end of the day, users wants faster, simpler ways to accomplish tasks.

Via 7 Key Predictions For The Future Of Voice Assistants And AI:

“Comcast brought voice search to their remotes to allow Xfinitity customers to quickly browse and find their favorite shows or the latest movies with certain keywords, for example, an actresses name.

Brands need to focus on better mobile experiences for their consumers and voice is the way to do so. Users are searching for quicker and more efficient ways of accomplishing tasks and voice is quickly becoming the ideal channel for this.”


Categories of wearables continues to expand: bands, brainwave sensors, connected clothing, early warning systems, hearables, invisibles, sleep headphones, smart watches, swimming wearables, VR headsets, wearable payments, etc. introduces smart wearable clothing from shorts that measure your shape and track your fitness, to jeans that fit you best.

According to, ears are perfect for biometric measurements and a natural home for all those virtual assistants from the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple. 

There is more focus on personal coaching now rather than just collecting data, along with specialized devices.  For example, Xmetrics is the hottest swimming wearable.  It tracks kick-turn times, breath counts, and stroke efficiency, all fed back to you in real time audio.

Appendix 1: How To Evaluate Trends

I find it helps to evaluate trends in terms of relevancy, scenarios, and sliders scales.

I also find it helps to ask the question, “What will your future customers pay you for?”

And I like to evaluate a trend in terms of cross-pollination (how applicable is a trend in one place, an innovation in another?).

And I like STEEP analysis to evaluate the market potential of a trend and to figure out where, when, how it might show up.

Let’s take a quick tour …


Is it relevant?

It might not be relevant in your part of the world, or for your scenario, but might be relevant in another.

It helps to keep trends in perspective in terms of how relevant they are to you, their impact, and their speed (good trends travel fast.)

For example, maybe your part of the world is not ready for flying cars yet, but another part of the world is ready for flying motorcycles (like in Dubai). Maybe your part of the world is not yet ready for driverless grocery delivery, but another part is (like Kroger’s autonomous grocery delivery in Arizona)


Which scenarios make sense?

Maybe your world isn’t ready for autonomous flying vehicles, but what about a scenario like fighting California’s massive forest fires?

Context changes your frame.

Slider Scale

What’s the slider scale from the small end to the high end of the idea?

For example, your world might not be ready to solve Urban Mobility with flying cars, but it might be ready for rentable bikes or rentable Segways.

What Will Future Customers Pay You For

This is where the rubber often meets the road.

Asking the following question can often yield a lot of lightbulbs:

“What will your future customers pay you for?”


I find it also helps to evaluate trends in terms of cross-pollination.

Cross-pollinating trends and ideas is often a great source of innovation.

Ask yourself, how can industry X benefit from trend Y in industry Z?

For example, what does “consumerization” as a trend look like in health vs. in insurance, etc.

STEEP Analysis

I find it also helps to check a trend using STEEP Analysis.

STEEP is a helpful frame for evaluating whether, where, and when a trend might take off, or stall out.

You can use STEEP analysis to evaluate a trend in terms of its impact against 5 forces:

  1. Socio-cultural forces – ask yourself how this trend fits in with the culture, the values, the traditions, the diversity.
  2. Technological advances – ask yourself how the trend
  3. Economic forces – ask yourself whether the trend makes economic sense, is it affordable for it’s intended audience, or where on the globe does it make fiscal sense.
  4. Environmental forces – ask yourself how this trend impacts the environment in terms of pollution, waste, clean air, clean water, cleaner energy, etc.
  5. Political factors – ask yourself how regulations, stability, and trade impact the trend.

You don’t have to over-engineer your analysis.

Really just looking at a potentially disruptive trend

Appendix 2: Change the World or Get Deleted

Only the relevant will remain.

Digital is facing a big Spring cleaning for 2019. Brands needs to build a better world, not just make a buck, or build some buzz.

Via Fjord Trends 2019:

“Digital is now facing a big spring-cleaning: a time when we decide whether something still has value and relevance to our lives. This is a question about the long term, not just the sugar high of instant gratification.”

The authors challenge digital brands to step up and do good for the world, or get deleted:

Via Fjord Trends 2019:

“Does the brand deserve a space in my life and in the world? Is the value exchange two-way? Is it doing something more than straining the planet? If the answer is no, then unsubscribe or delete. It has never been easier to do so. In 2019, success will lie in providing value relevant not only to individuals, but also to the world…Value creation will not come from simply growing bigger, but by being better. In busy lives and on a crowded planet, only the relevant will remain.”

Appendix 3: PwC on The 8 Essential Technologies

In The Eight Essential Technologies, PwC identifies the following as key technologies for business leaders to leverage:

8 Essential Technologies

  1. Artificial Intelligence
  2. Augmented Reality
  3. Blockchain
  4. Drones
  5. Internet-of-Things
  6. Robotics
  7. Virtual Reality
  8. 3-D Printing

5 Themes for the Next Wave of Innovation

PwC also identifies 5 themes where combining individual technologies is more than the sum of its parts.

1. Embodied AI (3-D printing, AI, Drones, IoT, Robotics)

Via PwC:

“AI is everywhere. Along with IoT sensors, it’s integrated in many products, from simple cameras to sophisticated drones. Embedded sensors collect data, which is fed to algorithms that give that object the illusion of intelligence. This enables drones to follow a moving object like a truck or a person autonomously. It enables a 3-D printer to automatically modify a design as it is being printed to have a stronger structure, become lighter, or be more cost effective to print. It enables AR glasses to overlay data on an anchored endpoint or allow you to communicate via voice with a robot or conversational agent.”

2. Intelligent Automation (Ai, RPA)

Via PwC:

“Companies got started with robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline processes and reduce costs. Now, the automation toolbox continues to expand — and get smarter. This includes everything from natural language processing and machine learning to orchestration software and automation platforms that help you optimize what work is best suited for people and which is best done by machines. The shift to more intelligent automation will yield returns that go far beyond cost savings, such as better customer and employee experience, improved quality due to fewer errors, and reimagined processes that change how business is done.”

3. Automating Trust (AI, Blockchain, IoT)

Via PwC:

“One high potential area for blockchain, when used in combination with technologies like AI or IoT, is its ability to automate trust among users within a network. For example, IoT enables the tracking of a pallet of food from the farm to the warehouse to the store. The sensors can verify the entire supply chain — not only to know where a shipment is, for example, but also the recording conditions of each leg of the shipment so you know if conditions become too hot, too cold, or too humid. IoT and blockchain create an immutable supply chain, enabling buyers to trust they are getting an authentic product. They can also be used to verify if a product containing hazardous materials has been correctly and safely disposed.”

4. Conversational Interfaces (AI, IoT, RPA, Robotics)

Via PwC:

“While technology like AI or robotics has changed how work is done in the office, in the factory, and in the field, it’s not always easy to use. That’s changing with a new generation of interfaces, such as voice and conversational agents that make it seamless for business users to interact with technology systems, from finance bots and AI-based predictive analytics to smart sensors and factory robots. These interfaces are improving the employee and customer experience and enabling companies to get the full return on their tech investments.”

5. Extended Reality (AI, AR, IoT, VR)

Via PwC:

“The umbrella term encompassing augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality, extended reality (XR) represents the continuum between simple, digital overlays and fully immersive digital experiences. XR’s true power will be unlocked when it’s used with other technologies like AI and IoT. What’s needed is a seamless hardware and software ecosystem that significantly enhances human productivity and experience. Imagine technicians repairing complicated machinery with full and detailed schematics overlaying the real-world object. Or trainers using the power of XR to create realistic simulations that mimic the real world. Just as jet pilots have flight simulations, XR can make a range of hazardous or otherwise specialized industrial activities easier to train for, from wind farm repair and oil rig firefighting to shop floor process optimization.”

Appendix 4: The Future 100 (JWT Intelligence)

In The Future 100: Trends and Changes to Watch in 2019, JWT Intelligence walks through 100

They organize their trends into sets of 10:

  1. Trends 01-10: Culture
  2. Trends 11-20: Tech & Innovation
  3. Trends 21-30: Travel & Hospitality
  4. Trends 31-40: Brands & Marketing
  5. Trends 41-50: Food & Drink
  6. Trends 50-61: Beauty
  7. Trends 61-70: Retail
  8. Trends 71-80: Luxury
  9. Trends 81-90: Health
  10. Trends 91-100: Lifestyle

Here is a quick preview of the Tech & Innovation trends, trend #11 – trend #20:

Trend #11: Humanizing Tech

“Tech brands are increasingly trying to blend in, carving out space in our homes and on our bodies to integrate into everyday life. Now they are shifting the dialogue away from the idea of giving up part of ourselves to a machine—data, images and even bodily fluids— and towards services that are made to smoothly and reassuringly reconcile themselves to the user. Information is presented in playful, non-threatening ways, complete with carefully constructed imperfections and idiosyncrasies.”

Trend #12: Social Media Wellbeing

“The conversation around social media’s negative impact on mental health has been public speculation over the past few years as high-profile names including Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and, more recently, the Duchess of Sussex speak out about the growing pressures caused by using social media.”

Trend #13: Sound Empires

“A Silicon Valley exec once told me that if you can own the ear you can own the mind. Apple has taken a step towards that objective,” relates Rowland Manthorpe, Sky News’s tech correspondent, describing Apple’s increased innovation in earbuds as a core strategy. Indeed, from the explosion of audible entertainment to the rapid expansion of key brand formats, from companies including Pandora and Spotify, to a wave of new luxury earphone products and the rise of devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, the ears are becoming a key gateway to audiences. “

Trend #14: Ethical Internet

“Who Will Teach Silicon Valley to be Ethical?” asked veteran tech journalist and Recode founder Kara Swisher in an October 2018 New York Times column, calling for tech brands to take a more proactive approach to exploring ethical implications of their platforms and wares. “

Trend #15: Consumer-Champion Tech

“With consumers calling for protection and ownership of their personal data, tech brands are starting to put control into users’ hands.”

Trend #16: Real-Time Tech

“Technology is becoming more intuitive than ever, with new products and devices that can instantly adapt to their surroundings. “

Trend #17: Tech’s Hidden Figures

“Hollywood is zeroing in on a little-heard perspective when it comes to the rise of Big Tech: the perspective of women. “

Trend #18: Future Tech Cities

“Tech brands are turning their attention to every aspect of life from healthcare to education to transportation, reimagining or ‘fixing’ these areas with tech solutions. Next? Cities. Urban design is the newest subject to grab the attention of Silicon Valley and China tech, as they rethink neighborhoods and civic life for a hyperconnected future. “

Trend #19: Uber Ecosystems

“From electric scooters to food-delivery bicycles and drones (scheduled for 2021), on-demand ambulances to electric self-driving and even flying rental cars, Uber is rapidly positioning itself as the ultimate macro-to-micro transport architect. UberEats aims to be available to 70% of the US population by the end of 2018, up from 50% as of October 2018. Lime, the electric scooter company, has been backed by both Uber Technologies and Alphabet, and, in April 2018, Uber bought electric bike company Jump. “

Trend #20: Unexpected Formats

“From albums released as DNA to 3D gamescapes of 19th-century paintings to apps that make music you can ‘see,’ brands and cultural creators are playing with unexpected formats to generate buzz around their new launches.”

Appendix 5: No Ordinary Disruption on 4 Disruptive Forces Shaping the Future

In the book No Ordinary Disruption, by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, Directors of the McKinsey Global Institute, do a deep dive to figure out the key disruptive trends reshaping the world for businesses, governments, and individuals for the next 10 years.

  1. Emerging markets
  2. Technological advancement
  3. Demographic shifts
  4. Growing global interconnectivity

Appendix 6: McKinsey on The Consumer Sector in 2030

5 Questions for Business Leaders to Equip for the Future

McKinsey on 5 Questions to Consider:

  1. What makes us distinctive?
  2. How can we engage consumers in an ongoing dialogue?
  3. Are we set up to reallocate resources swiftly and at scale?
  4. What strategic relationships should we seek out and nurture?
  5. How can we use technology to differentiate, not just enable?

5 Dominant Forces

In The Consumer Sector in 2030: Trends and Questions to Consider, McKinsey identifies 5 prevailing forces shaping the future for the next 15 years.

The 5 Dominant Forces are:

  1. Changing face of the consumer
  2. Evolving geopolitical dynamics
  3. New patterns of personal consumption
  4. Technological advancements
  5. Structural industry shifts

13 Technological Advances Shaping the Future

In The Consumer Sector in 2030: Trends and Questions to Consider, McKinsey identifies 13 advances in technology that are shaping the future for the next 15 years.

  1. 3-D printing
  2. Advanced analytics for marketing
  3. Advanced robotics
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. Autonomous vehicles
  6. Big data for operations
  7. Digital profiles
  8. Internet-of-Things
  9. Mobile world
  10. Social-media-driven consumption
  11. Ubiquitous Internet
  12. Virtual reality
  13. Wearables

Appendix 7: Consumer Trends Framework uses a framework of 16 Mega-Trends to make sense of consumer behavior and to spot trends with clarity.

The 16 Mega-Trends of’s Consumer Trends Framework are:

  1. Status Seekers. The relentless, often subconscious, yet ever present force that underpins almost all consumer behavior.
  2. Betterment. The universal quest for self-improvement.
  3. Human Brands. Why personality and purpose will mean profit.
  4. Better Business. Why “good” business will be good for business.
  5. Youniverse. Make your consumers the center of their Youniverse.
  6. Local Love. Why “local” is in, and will remain, loved.
  7. Ubitech. The ever-greater pervasiveness of technology.
  8. Infolust. Why consumers voracious appetite for (even more) information will only grow.
  9. Playsumers. Who said business has to be boring?
  10. Ephemeral. Why consumers will embrace the here, the now, and the soon-to-be-gone.
  11. Fuzzynomics. The divisions between producers and consumers, brands, and customers will continue to blur.
  12. Pricing Pandemonium. Pricing more fluid and flexible than ever.
  13. Helpful. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
  14. Joyning. The eternal desire for connection, and the many (new) ways it can be satisfied.
  15. Post-Demographics. The age of disrupted demographics.
  16. Remapped. The epic power shifts in the global economy.

Appendix 8: Summary Table of Sources and Trends

Here is a simple summary table of key trends and sources.

Source Trends
Accenture Fjord Trends 2019

  1. Silence is gold
  2. The last straw?
  3. Data minimalism
  4. Ahead of the curb
  5. The inclusivity paradox
  6. Space odyssey
  7. Synthetic realities

19 Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 and Beyond

  1. Mobile-first marketing
  2. Smarter advertising
  3. Influencer marketing
  4. Micro-moments
  5. Omni-channel marketing
  6. Commitment to content
  7. Video, video, video
  8. Brand storytelling
  9. Engaging diversity
  10. Privacy protection
  11. Shifts in social media
  12. Artificial intelligence
  13. Voice Search
  14. Visual Search
  15. Chatbots
  16. Personalization and Big Data
  17. Marketing automation
  18. Virtual and Augmented Reality
  19. Growth hacking
CB Insights Top Tech Trends in 2019

  1. The hyper personalization of everything
  2. The smart home targets the senior citizen market
  3. Malls are out. Retail moments are in
  4. Maps become a layer of all kinds of real-world data
  5. Last-mile delivery gets automated
  6. Tech comes to your sleep
  7. Data becomes a hot button political issue
  8. Smart buildings maximize comfort, wellness, and efficiency
  9. Buses and logistics providers go green
  10. China sets the bar for social network innovation
  11. Electric vehicle makers expand into lifesytle products and services
  12. Tech apprenticeships grow in popularity
  13. Digital swag makes big money
  14. The new healthcare clinic in your home
Cognizant 5 Technology Trends that are Changing the World as We Know It

  1. Blurring Products
  2. “Know But Safeguard My Preferences”
  3. Edge Computing
  4. Virtual Assistants at Work
  5. Augmented Humanity
Deloitte Tech Trends 2019

  1. Macro technology forces at work
  2. AI-fueled organizations
  3. NoOps in a serverless world
  4. Connectivity of tomorrow
  5. Intelligent interfaces
  6. Beyond marketing: Experience reimagined
  7. DevSecOps and the cyber imperative
  8. Beyond the digital frontier: Mapping your future
Disruption Hub 9 Disruptive Technology Trends for 2019

  1. Web 3.0
  2. Simulation and digital twins
  3. The Market of One
  4. Edge and quantum computing
  5. The voice economy
  6. Strategic automation
  7. Ubiquitous AI
  8. Spatial computing
  9. Profit and purpose
Forbes Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019

  1. 5G Fixed to 5G Mobile
  2. Chatbots Good to Great
  3. Connected Clouds (Public, Private, Hybrid)
  4. Blockchain Finally Understood and Flops (kind of)
  5. Data to Analytics to Machine Learning to AI
  6. GDPR Forces Brand Hands
  7. AR Yes, VR (Still) No
  8. Edge to Core and IoT Much More
  9. Consumption-Based IT Services for the Win (FTW)
  10. CEOs Take the Reins

Five Big Trends Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Watch in 2019

  1. Job Changes
  2. Increased Efficiency In Logistics
  3. Client Interaction And Communication
  4. Greater Demand For Data Scientists
  5. Medical Breakthroughs
Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends

  1. Autonomous Things
  2. Augmented Analytics
  3. AI-Driven Development
  4. Digital Twins
  5. Empowered Edge
  6. Immersive Experience
  7. Blockchain
  8. Smart Spaces
  9. Digital Ethics and Privacy
  10. Quantum Computing
JWT Intelligence The Future 100: 2019


  • Museum futures
  • Xennial politicians
  • Mothers of ambition
  • Reframing masculinity
  • Instagram backlash
  • Movie-pass wars
  • Silicon Valleywood
  • Funerals on demand
  • Elevated petcare
  • 2019 zeitgeist shades

Tech & Innovation

  • Humanizing tech
  • Social media wellbeing
  • Sound empires
  • Ethical internet
  • Consumer-champion tech
  • Real-time tech
  • Tech’s hidden figures
  • Future tech cities
  • Uber ecosystems
  • Unexpected formats

Travel & Hospitality

  • Immersive public landmarks
  • Editorial travel agents
  • Gen Z travelers
  • Adventure architectural hotels
  • Renaissance neighborhoods
  • Supersonic travel revival
  • Xennial camping
  • Transportality
  • China’s globe traveler nation
  • Three ‘hot to trot’ destinations

Brands & Marketing

  • Brand therapists
  • Mediavolution
  • Future of money: visual shift
  • Biophilia futures
  • Inclusive design
  • Freelancer-first services
  • Women and money
  • Bumble empire
  • Grass root brands
  • The age of the hyper-influencer

Food & Drink

  • Clean comfort food
  • Frozen food rebranded
  • Water connoisseurship
  • Bread 2.0
  • DNA dinners
  • Three hot ingredients
  • Wine waters
  • Shape-shifter foods
  • Breakfast booze
  • Modern renaissance interiors


  • Grotesque beauty
  • Virtual influencers
  • Hair food
  • The ‘It’ lip
  • Un-tabooing the last frontiers
  • Gesture-based packaging
  • Transformer makeup
  • Proprietary packaging
  • C-Beauty
  • Waterless future


  • Outdoor immersion stores
  • Fantail
  • Shoptainment’s latest wave
  • S-commerce
  • The influencer economy evolves
  • Text commerce
  • Layaway rebranded
  • Studio theatre
  • Tech-enhanced shopping
  • Hip experiential stores


  • Next generation auctions
  • Wanderluxe
  • Woke luxury
  • Vegan luxury
  • Time-share luxury
  • New trends in first class
  • Diagnostic travel
  • Luxury loyalty
  • Elemental health experiences
  • Energy-positive hospitality


  • New Sustainability
  • Material innovation
  • Single rebranded
  • Camp’s new exhibitionism
  • Universal review culture
  • New workanomics
  • The cultural programmer
  • College-first services
  • Fitness interfaces
  • Linguistic revival
PWC 6 AI Predictions

  1. Structure: Organize for ROI and momentum
  2. Workforce: Teach AI citizens and specialists to work together
  3. Trust: Make AI responsible in all its dimensions
  4. Data: Locate and label to teach the machines
  5. Reinvention: Monetize AI through personalization and higher quality
  6. Convergence: Combine AI with analytics, the IoT, and more
Trendwatching 5 trends for 2019

  1. LEGISLATIVE BRANDS: Progressive consumers will welcome the ‘law of the brand’.
  2. LAB RATS: Why an extreme test and fix mindset is the future of wellness.
  3. OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS: A bold new frontier for sustainability.
  4. SUPERHUMAN RESOURCES: It’s time for our emerging AI overlords to play fair.
  5. FANTASY IRL: Imagined and real worlds collide in the name of play.


You Might Also Like

Consumer Trends Canvas
Consumer Trends Framework (16 Mega Trends)
Jim Carroll on 8 Big Trends
Where to Look for Trends and Insights


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