This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
If you want to be successful, you’ve got to be thinking ahead, especially when it comes to business. From technology to finance, industries are constantly changing, so being aware and understanding what the future holds can help your business achieve success.
Here are what four successful entrepreneurs have to say about the future of business in 2018.
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Entrepreneur and author, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
Image Credit: Robert Maxwell
Not to play Dr. Doom, but I’d predict that at least one major asset class in the U.S. will drop a minimum of 30 to 50 percent in value. It could be a particular type of real estate, it could be as (relatively) contained as the NASDAQ or something else, but one domino falling will likely trigger contagion.
And how might economic panic be good news for some entrepreneurs? There are several possible upsides. For one, when there’s blood in the streets, many formerly expensive things can be bought on the cheap — such as investments, advertising, acquisitions.
Also, while raising enormous rounds of venture capital is no longer easy, only the true believers and real performers –entrepreneurs and investors alike — will remain in the game. The signal-to-noise ratio for both investing and learning new skills improves. All my best tech investments were made in the “dot-com depression” of 2008-2009.
Lastly, when most of your competitors are cutting costs, laying off employees, slashing salaries and removing niceties from the customer experience, you can do some of the opposite — assuming you’ve been smart with cash flow — and differentiate easily. Look at Steve Wynn and Southwest Airlines crisis responses for good case studies.
In summary, and as Tony Robbins said to me, “Winter is coming.” Everything is cyclical, so make sure you’re prepared to be intelligently greedy when others are fearful. When people are myopically fixated on problems, they often leave opportunities in plain sight.
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Founder and CEO, Glossier
Image Credit: Nigel Parry
I can’t stop thinking about how AI is crucial to the future of startups, and I feel like it’s all I hear about — how to invest in it, what effect it will have on our business, what new ways we can use it. Even though we’re not able to fully understand what that future will look like, I think 2018 will push entrepreneurs to balance digital developments with personal touch points. For Glossier, that might mean finding engaging ways to bring digital experiences to life offline or implementing more high-touch practices when it comes to customer experience, but in my opinion, most important will be staying personal and accessible with our community as technology evolves.
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Chairman and CEO, VaynerX and VaynerMedia
Image Credit: Pieter Henket
Voice. Everything is about voice. The same way I felt in 2008 about social media is how I feel about voice now. We’re in the predawn of a complete consumer voice revolution, and the people who know how to build the best briefings, the best skills, the best integrations, the best original content and the best infrastructure around how humans interact with voice to create new actions, new experiences and new information will win.
James “Murr” Murray
Co-star and Executive Producer, Impractical Jokers
Image Credit: Jason Davis | Stringer | Getty Images
Next year and beyond will see the rise of a brand-new industry: virtual reality tickets to your favorite events. Buy a VR ticket to the Super Bowl or the Paul McCartney concert, and you can be right in the middle of the action with the crowd from the comfort of your couch.