New Business and Investment Trends Promise Healthy Disruption

by Vikas Vij
May 17, 2017 9:30 AM ET
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In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of disruptive businesses that connect supply and demand on a digital platform. Going beyond digital, another strong trend is artificial intelligence, which promises to be a major disrupter of the future.

According to Steef Bergakker, trend analyst at Robeco, new companies with innovative products are appearing and developing a global presence almost overnight. In the current environment, it is easy to forget that global behemoths such as Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, Snapchat and Alibaba were founded no more than a decade ago.

Disruption in Education, Healthcare and Financials

Industries where platform companies have already made inroads are e-commerce and marketplaces, fintech, internet software and services, and social messaging and media.

According to Bergakker, education, healthcare and financials are the next industries to be affected by platform disruption. The characteristics of these industries support platform solutions, he says. The world is currently witnessing an inexorable rise of an old business model in a new, turbo-charged guise.

Artificial Intelligence

Narrow artificial intelligence is used to optimize a single task or specializes in one specific area. This is an area that presents new opportunities, according to the trend researchers at Robeco. This is already being used today and advances in data and computing power in combination with a stronger focus on specific applications are important improvements compared to earlier AI boom periods.

The technology industry is currently putting a lot of effort into machine learning or making machines intelligent. Google, Facebook, IBM, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba have large portfolios of artificial intelligence startups.

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Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.