INTERNET OF THINGS
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PERCENTAGEOFENTREPRENEURS WHOTHINKTHEINDUSTRYIS Inventions that capture the public’s attention tend to the whiz-bang: self-driving cars, gadgets we talk to that order our groceries. But 869 tech founders surveyed by venture capital firm First Round Capital find other innovations
more compelling. They ranked 14 major tech categories as
being over- or underhyped—and were most excited about
some that don’t always win headlines. ; LAUREN BARACK
The Future and the Farm
Mark Zuckerberg had The Social Network. Joy—and Jennifer Lawrence—made Joy Mangano
famous. The next founder’s story headed for the cineplex? John DeLorean’s. His car company failed;
his attempt to save it with a massive coke deal got him arrested—but those gull-winged cars are still
super cool. Look for Alec Baldwin as DeLorean; the still-untitled film is slated for an ’18 release.
Bryant Walker Smith,
a law professor at the
University of South
Carolina, is more bullish
on autonomous cars
than founders are. “If
you’re someone who
cannot legally drive,” he
says, such vehicles “will
be a profound change
to your life.” The same is
true, he adds, for people
who charge for their
services by the hour—
they’ll be able to transform commuting hours
into billable hours.
Who besides the surveyed founders are
looking to the skies? Moon Express seeks
to mine minerals on the moon; according to
TechCrunch, it nabbed $20 million in 2017.
A moonshot—literally—but minerals worth
hundreds of billions of dollars may lurk in
Adoption of wearable devices is
slowing. Maybe the gadgets leave
the less tech-y cold: A mere 2. 2
percent rise in wearables users
in 2017 will shrink to 1. 3 percent
growth by 2019, according to
research firm eMarketer.
In 2017, the highly hyped VR industry
pocketed $2.5 billion in funding through
November, according to Digi-Capital.
But AgFunder’s stats find agtech nearly
doubled that—$4.4 billion—by June.
Adding to the excitement: moves like
DowDuPont’s reported $300 million
deal for farm software firm Granular.
Deloitte agrees with
founders about life
that DNA sequencing
will help create a
$144.8 billion biotech
drug market by 2020—
up from $72.8 billion
18 ; INC. ; MARCH/APRIL 2018 ; ; ; GRAPHIC BY KRISTIN LENZ
Smart devices that talk
to you? Overblown, say
61 percent of founders.
which crowed that its
Echo Dot outsold all
other products this past
holiday season. But it
didn’t hurt that Amazon
slashed pricing for that
smart mini speaker by a
whopping 40 percent.