Technologies and Trends One Investor is Keeping an Eye On

If you work in technology, it’s a good habit to keep abreast of what investors are thinking about. So when Fred Wilson, managing partner of the VC firms Flatiron Partners and Union Square Ventures published a list of "themes" he’ll be watching in 2010, I read it with an eye toward the skills that will needed if the mobile and gaming worlds take develops as he thinks they might.

Wilson’s not making predictions here: He’s simply laying out what each area is so interesting, and so promising. His list:

  1.  Mobile: Wilson thinks the way Android opens up the mobile environment is "huge," especially since the mobile Internet looks like it has a lot more potential than the desktop net.
  2. Mobile What?: Things that can be done on mobile that can’t be done on the Wired Web. Things like location, proximity, touch, sound and even video, and how they play into areas like networking, gaming, shopping, and healthcare.
  3. Gaming: Keep an eye on augmented reality.
  4. New forms of commerce and currency: Today’s approach to e-commerce is "limiting," and Wilson sees a need for "new forms of currency."
  5. Cloud based platforms and APIs: "Developers are the new power users," Wilson writes. "If you cater to them, you can build a large user base with significant network effects. And that is one of the key things we look for in our investments." 
  6. Education and the Energy/Environment: These verticals "are being impacted by the global open internet." Wilson doesn’t have a lot of specifics here, but he sees a lot of promise.

Here’s his full column, from Seeking Alpha.

— Mark Feffer

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