Serial founder and investor Frank Thelen shared his thoughts on the future of startups in 2017. Here’s what he had to say:
We live in very volatile and disruptive times. In 2017, Donald Trump will be the president of the United States; central banks are printing insane amounts of money, and we do not feel safe at Christmas markets and other public events.
However, as a matter of fact, we have never been safer, and there has never been a better time to start or grow a company. So, my personal goal for 2017 is:
“Do not worry about external factors, stay focused, keep creating and shipping.”
In the coming years, technologies such as cloud computing, AI, blockchain, 3D printing, VR/AR, and 5G will rewrite the rules for most industries and create many new ones worth $10B+. These are not buzzwords but groundbreaking technologies that will see mass adoption soon.
For the first time in history, they are available to everybody: no significant upfront investment or expensive education are required, and they are all insanely cheap.
They comprise a magic toolbox for startups; they strengthen startups and threaten the big, established corporates. As one good example, Germany led the car industry for many decades. Suddenly, the industry shifted from burning oil to electrical impulsion. Suddenly, it is producing a “smartphone with wheels” more than a “car with an entertainment system.”
Suddenly, the carmaker must provide a charging infrastructure and big data combined with proprietary AI is more important than a great and loud engine. It is the “Nokia vs. iPhone moment” for this industry.
In 2017, we will see many of these moments in small and big industries.
This is an historically unseen opportunity for every startup to be the fast, deep thinking, and fearless player powered by passion.
All necessary technologies are here for you to be the winning startup by “standing on the shoulders of giants.”
One last remark: Even if the stock market would tank in 2017, there has never been more capital committed to venture capital. Great founders and products will have more capital than ever.
This post originally appeared here.