2014 is off to a great start, and these four tech trends look to be a major component in the direction of startup tech companies this year.
Every year, hundreds of new tech startups form to ride trends, create new ones and ultimately captivate the public with stunning momentum in hardware and fantastic new applications. Dozens of those companies rise to the top, shaping the direction of new generations of startup tech companies to come.
This year, it seems, will be no exception to that movement. No doubt, entrepreneurs all over the country (and all over the world) are working to finalize their business plans and move into practice, while others are still shaping their initial ideas.
No matter which camp you're in, or if you're already making waves as a startup entrepreneur, be sure you're paying attention to these four rising tech trends in 2014:
1. Smart Stuff. Smart phones, smart glasses, smart watches, smart homes. Everything's getting smart, and that means entrepreneurs are moving in to make things smarter. Look for new applications for devices you haven't even heard of yet, and new forays into augmented reality.
2. Increased Attention to Privacy. Leaks and intrusions on individuals' privacy abounded in 2013, creating mini bouts of panic and causing many consumers to favor private apps like Snapchat. Look for more privacy-attentive apps and websites to pop up in 2014 to capitalize on that.
3. Drones. Yes, it still seems like something out of a science fiction novel, but they're coming. Amazon led the first massive wave of consumer-practical drone interest, and that interest hasn't subsided.
4. Unlimited Data. Big data was a major trend in 2012 and 2013, and its practicality is growing. Entrepreneurs should look for new companies and new ways to use this data for better advertising, better products and a better overall consumer experience.
Following one of these trends isn't necessarily going to be a factor in your success as an entrepreneur; in addition to a solid idea, you're going to need a reliable and smart business model. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how 2014 shapes up and how many blowout successes participate in these trends.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.