Just for fun: Some tech predictions for 2013

With 2012 wrapping up, I thought it would be fun to make some predictions for 2013. I’m normally not a huge fan of these lists since they are usually a bit dull so I’ll try and make this one a bit scandalous. So here we go, looking at startups, technology, and a bit of everything else.

Series A Crunch

It’s over hyped but still probably worth mentioning. There was a huge uptick in angel activity in the last few years and as a result there’s a glut of start-ups looking to raise a Series A round. Unfortunately, there won’t be enough Series A deals to be had and with the general cooling in the consumer web sector VCs aren’t jumping for ways to make them happen. The net result of this situation will probably be a an increased number of “zombie” start-ups, aqui-hires, and obviously deadpooled companies. Fred Destin from Atlas has a full post discussing this, Series A Crunch, Seed Blues.

Breakout Health Company

The health and wellness vertical has been heating up for a couple of years, but we still haven’t seen a company have their “mint.com” moment in the space. I think we’ll see one in 2013 because of a combination of the penetration of smartphones and tablets, growing popularity of health data interoperability, and the federal mandate that electronic medical record keeping be implemented across the board. Deep pocketed companies like athenahealth have also hinted that they’d be open to acquiring startups in this space which should up the ante.

Meta Cloud APIs

Looking back at 2012, it could be affectionately nicknamed the “year of the outage”. Several providers were hit by downtime, but the Amazon Web Services disruptions were arguably more serious and frequent than they had been in the past. For some companies, the AWS issues highlighted the fact that relying on a single cloud provider was too risky given the potential of extended downtimes, even across regions. I think because of this, in 2013 we’ll start seeing services that make it easy to provision and configure identical environments at multiple cloud providers. This would essentially allow you to have live instances running on AWS but then have an identical setup running at Rackspace. The foundations for something like this already exist in the jclouds library.

One JS MV* To Rule Them All

There’s been an explosion in the number of Javascript MV* libraries in the last couple of years. Libraries like BackboneJS, AngularJS, and KnockoutJS are all meeting similar needs for the same group of developers. I think in 2013 we’ll see at least some consolidation in the number of libraries and maybe even the emergence of a clear favorite. Hopefully this will lead to some clear patterns for Javascript MVC development just like the paradigms used by backend frameworks like Rails or Symfony.

Google Releases a Play API

Its a bit surprising that in 2012 mobile app discovery is still a disaster. Google Now can automagically tell me my flight is delayed but Google Play can’t seem to offer up even the basic recommendations. What’s even more surprising is that there isn’t an official Google Play or iTunes app store API. It’s also a bit odd that even if I “sign in” with a Google Account on a site, I can’t automatically download apps to my phone from their site. I think Google is going to change this in 2013 and open up a wave of innovation around mobile app discovery and monetization. This should shake up the app store distribution problem and also reduce the friction to convert a web user to a mobile app one.

Second Screen Showdown

With the rising popularity of tablets, the second screen TV experience will become increasingly popular in 2013. You’ll be able to download network (Showtime, HBO, NFL, etc.) branded apps which will display enhanced content as you’re watching your favorite show or team. Look for networks will use this to boost engagement and drive revenues through sales of content related items.

Anyway, these are all a bit off the cuff but I’d love to discuss in the comments.