Everything is related: how we learn, work, shop, and seek out entertainment. After a year that has shaken up every aspect of modern life, there are some trends that may turn into permanent fixtures of everyday life in the 2020s. Check out these four trends and the companies seeking to make them permanent.
Increasing Access to Credit
We’re all familiar with the catch-22 of not being able to get a home loan because you haven’t
had a home loan. A good credit history can be the gatekeeper to many of the things we want in life.
By layering traditional credit data with additional Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant
data, Experian is helping create a more complete picture of someone’s credit risk. For many, this creates meaningful change in their financial lives.
“We have introduced new and innovative ways to use consumer-permissioned and alternative
credit data in the credit profiling process to improve financial access for consumers on the road
to recovery from the pandemic,” said Alex Lintner, group president of Experian Consumer
Information Services. “We believe by using data for good, we can help people gain access to
the credit they need while also protecting lenders from fraud and helping them mitigate risk.”
More than 5 million people have already used Experian Boost to improve their credit score. Adding Experian Lift -- a new lender score that combines exclusive traditional credit, alternative credit and trended data assets to create a more complete picture of creditworthiness -- Experian has the potential to help more than 40 million credit invisible people gain access to credit while providing first and second chances to many borrowers.
For those that aren’t worried about credit, there are solutions to help navigate the stock market. WallStreetBets, Reddit and Robinhood highlighted inefficiencies in the markets. That conversation isn’t over. It also showed that there are a lot of people looking to invest but aren’t sure exactly how to do it.
Pam Krueger, creator and co-host of PBS’s MoneyTrack, created Wealthramp, an SEC-registered referral service that connects individuals with rigorously vetted fee-only financial advisors. The platform takes the stress out of finding an independent financial advisor with the expertise and pricing model that fits your needs.
And that may be a step up for some of the people who jumped in to see GameStop or AMC reach the moon but a service that vets help and advisors play in almost any industry.
Saving Live Music
Live music has been hit as hard as any industry. Not just stadium tours but at every level down to open mic nights in small bars. Live music is an experience, not a commodity, and pent-up demand for a good time means we can expect a surge once it’s safe for large gatherings.
Investors are already eyeing solutions that will help bring back the industry as a whole, rather than just a trickle. New startup, Hearby, just raised $1.5M to bring AI and machine learning to activate access to local live music around the world.
If people can’t find the music, they can’t see it and further venues will close. Services like Bandsintown and Ticketmaster only show a fraction of what’s happening at any given night tied to limited venues or ticketing companies they promote. Hearby isn't trying to sell you a Beyonce ticket, its purpose is to level the playing field for all artists by providing information access.
Hearby’s AI-driven model shows in real-time the available shows in 100 markets and growing across North America and Europe, covering thousands of venues. Hearby’s distribution model is also unique, as they are in discussion to distribute live music show data to regional news media, local tourism groups and traveling players.
“Finding all the live music options in any city is hard, even before the pandemic. Google and Facebook can’t answer the question of what’s happening tonight. We use AI and anthropology to fill in the gaps on all the music scenes and performances out there,” said Karen Elliott, CTO of Area4 Labs Inc., the creators of Hearby.
Expanding The Global Tech Ecosystem
With Silicon Valley titans like Facebook, Twitter and Stripe permanently embracing remote work policies, tech talent is free to settle in new destinations with a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life.
Jamaica and other Caribbean nations have been lauded for their handling of the pandemic, which enabled the early opening of borders to travelers. Barbados, for its part, is offering year-long remote work visas that have proven attractive to digital nomads.
Along with the migration of tech-educated workers, recent investments in digital transformation poise the region to emerge as a tech hub. The locally-founded global tech ecosystem, TechBeach Retreat, landed a $1M seed investment from IDB Lab to launch an accelerator program that’s perfectly-timed to support and further develop the influx of talent.
The two-year, USD $4M program spans four Caribbean nations: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the Bahamas. In partnership with the DMZ, the number one accelerator globally, the platform will indelibly impact the regional economy and the tech community, at large.
Growing On-demand Solutions
Content isn’t the only thing trending toward on-demand. The on-demand manufacturing market, also called cloud manufacturing, is expected to reach about $112 billion by 2024, growing at an astounding 19.8 percent annually, according to Gooten and MarketWatch.
Gooten, a leader in that space, has grown over 440% since 2018. The reason for this growth is simple. 100 billion items of clothing are created each year and 20 percent go unsold. Even if you’re not making a case on waste or sustainability that is still a business inefficiency. Add to that, more companies have bolstered their online presence to pivot during the pandemic and you can see where production is trending.
Last year, Gooten processed over 1.8 million orders, averaging 2.8 days to produce products and 3.8 days to have those items delivered to the final consumer destination. Unsold inventory can sink retailers. On-demand manufacturing is becoming the solution to both reduce inventory risk and create more flexibility.
Down the road you can see fast fashion, the current process of quickly delivering affordable trendy items, getting even faster and capitalizing on trends that last only a week or two.