We are currently at the third generation of Internet companies, and their mature phase. Before the third generation, there were Apple, Microsoft, Intel etc. as the first generation of Internet companies. They started from 70s to 90s. Later, came the second generation of Internet companies, Facebook, Youtube and Google. They prospered in the 2000s to 2010s. And in recent times, 2010s to 2017, came the third generation. Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Uber etc. And apparently we are heading towards the fourth generation and companies are in the rise, such as Oculus (VR company), Didi Chuxing (Chinese Uber-mode company), Tesla (vintage electrical cars company), Mobike (bike-sharing company) etc.
We are currently at the mature phase of the third generation, where Instagram, Snapchat alike companies are entering their plateau phase. Companies like WeWork, Airbnb are also counted as third generation, since their business models are mature enough and their operations have been well and stable for over 5 years.
I can take a big prediction that this 21st century is going to be transformed completely into digital lifestyle. The sci-fi predictions from novels and movies in which cars fly in the sky and people live in mountain-high buildings might not be plausible in these 100 years. Today’s world is taking a big shift into digital lifestyle—everything starts to go digital, there are some major things occurring right now transforming people’s lives into something, centralized, common and instant.
Internet of Things is a huge deal right now, because gradually many things in our life are going to turn smart, connecting to a common server for data storage and management. Your house, your car, your phone, anything electronic can establish links into a centralized database and be monitored and managed from afar. In the early 2000s, many people predicted the plausibility of smart house and yet today it’s becoming the reality.
In the past 10 years, Internet companies are seeing substantial growth in values, and many recent years startups are experiencing explosions. On the other hand, traditional businesses are experiencing downward development or slow growth, such as physical retailers (Walmart, Coca-Cola). For anyone that is not hitching the train of Internet progression, the end is getting thrown out of the market.
“Digitalize” is going to be the major theme of future events. I still vividly remember when I went to Guangzhou and asked for some changes, the cashier told me they couldn’t spare any, because everyone right now is using digital payments. Real cash are scarce. As WeChat and Alipay payments are so prevalent in China, everyone with a smart phone would prefer purchase through the phone, rather than real cash. Sometimes I go out without cash at all.
As Bitcoin is gradually being bought by more and more people, the connotation of the digital common currency is very popular for many. If, the plausible future is going to become a fully digitalized world, a digital world-wide currency is very possible. Embracing this future.