Macros

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There are a bunch of related advances that are happening at the same time which constitute Industry 4.0. A subset of these are what are called the API Economy. These forces I believe will lead to the expansion of computing and the Cloud. Some of the changes are:

  • API & Cloud
  • 5G
  • Gig Economy
  • Carbon Neutral Energy
  • Smart Contracts

Second, as the war on terror ends with the withdrawal from Afghanistan we are bracing for a geopolitical conflict with China and Russia. In most ways America is dependent on China and Taiwan a country that China has claimed as its own.This will result in having to pick companies that are geopolitically safe but we will have to understand that if Taiwan is attacked most companies on this list are going to be completely screwed.

Geopolitical

Further work is heavily tied with education and healthcare so these two will need to go through a revolution to make the future of work possible. However, I do see the trends changing for these arenas as the massive looming student debt crisis as well as the international money that colleges are addicted to dries up.

Lastly, healthcare will likely also need to go through a revolution. The existing model of tying healthcare to work is no longer viable in a world where we are moving back to freelancing and gig based work. Healthcare cannot be tied to place of work any longer as a lot of progress is being held back by this focus. There needs to be a private option for health that supports new innovations but there also needs to be a public option that will Allow people to innovate or take time off or do other things and not have to worry about losing health coverage. I believe we will get to this point sooner.

  • Long
    • Docusign
    • Box
    • Salesforce
    • Zendesk
  • Maybe
    • Slack
    • Zoom

Technology

We are in a transition period for Hardware, Software and Crypto powering Cloud Computing. The first phase of the Cloud migration, moving from running your own Linux or Windows machine to using a virtual machine on the Cloud is complete. We are in the middle of a transition in regards to technology.

Hardware

ARM & RISC-V

AI

Software

Kubernetes

As companies want to get more usage of their hardware they are moving to Kubernetes. Most Cloud Infrastructure companies support Kubernetes so I see a major migration to it for existing code since it makes it easier and more cost-effective to reduce costs. Further, Kubernetes prevents lockin so a lot of companies even if they are using AWS, Microsoft, or Google are all using Kubernetes to actually run their code.

Serverless

Soon we will be using Serverless technologies like AWS Lambda, Google Firebase, Azure Functions, etc. With coding schools and the proliferation of coders, a majority don’t know anything about running servers, and most companies just want their coders to stop dicking around and solve business problems. I think this will be the next major change in the Cloud. This is also a higher margin business for the infrastructure providers so I see them spending more money to promote here.

WebAssembly

This is another two years in the future but I think WebAssembly will be the primary technology for 5G/edge computing. This may be initially an extension of Serverless but I think WebAssembly is going to run code at the edge. i.e there will be data centers at cell tower sites where having a lot of servers won’t make sense so there will be a need for efficient processing. WebAssembly solves this. You can already play with this technology with Cloudflare Workers where your code runs on 150 data centers around the world.

Web3

Quantum

Gig Economy

White Collar

Software and giving people the basics of creating tooling on their own is on the rise. Tools like Airtable, Notion and even The new version of Excel are moving in this direction. Some additional tools like Bubble, Quay and Zapier give more power to end users. This will likely continue

  • Video
  • 5G
  • Collaborative Tooling with AI built in
  • No-Code Tooling
  • SaaS

Service Worker

  • Linking of Supply Chains to Cloud
  • Ecommerce

Hollywood Model

  • Gigification
  • Crowdfunding
  • API Companies
  • SaaS

Blue Collar

  • 5G
  • AR/VR
  • Self-Driving or Semi-Autonomous Driving
  • Robotics and Drones

Economic / Geo-Political

Whatever country owns 5G will own a significant portion of new innovation in the next 10 years. The reason for this is the following: 5G is 100 gigabits per second or 100 times faster than 4G with lower latency. Think streaming a 4K video while driving in your car with no buffering. This means industrial, medical, and business applications will start showing up which will create a whole new set of innovations.

This is one of the reasons that Huawei was banned in America. We don’t want China to own the hardware infrastructure! However, the biggest pitfall I see is we don’t have chip fabs in America and China is asserting its dominance in the South China Sea meaning if we do go to war with China we may be fucked in terms of us not having chips.

APIs & Cloud

The most interesting aspect of future of work, I believe, is that we are going to move from a human first interaction to a computer first interaction. Currently, a lot of what we do traditionally has a human component at the beginning, some amount of human and computer component in the middle, and a human component in the end. Most industries work this way. This can be considered as humans buying raw resource, people doing work to produce a new resource, humans selling that resource.

I don’t doubt that sales and marketing will continue being important in the future as there are important market differentiation between different parts of the market. However, I do believe that there is going to be a marked change in how inbound and outbound logistics to move away from human interaction to API-first interaction. We can see a bunch of companies that are fulfilling this niche and more companies will likely take more and more of this pie. Example, send an API call to send a blueprint design, manufacture it with humans and robots, call another API to ship the finished manufactured product by having UPS pick it up.

Hardware

  • NVDA
  • TSM
  • AMD -> GPUs

Cloud Infrastructure

These companies are the building blocks of the Cloud. They are infrastructure since their whole role is to abstract the actual hardware to be accessible easily. Amazon and Microsoft own the cloud. Everyone else is secondary and are getting left further and further behind. Everyone, else may fulfill a niche.

  • MSFT
  • AMZN
  • NET

Hybrid

  • IBM

Vertical Clouds

  • CRM

DevOps & Cloud Management

These are the companies that make it easy to manage Cloud Infrastructure. This is the layer that most companies care about since it entails the performance of their applications and developer productivity. These companies have a moat since they work among different Cloud providers. Also, these companies tend to have amazingly high margins. These have developer love at the moment and almost every company I have done for uses one of these companies.

  • DDOG
  • OKTA

Cloud Security

As more and more people move to the Cloud security is a concern. These companies work on ensuring Cloud applications are safe. They watch for hackers, create security parameters, access controls, etc. These will start taking up bigger roles especially among larger companies that are always freaked out about security.

  • CRWD
  • PD

AI & Big Data

AWS, Google, and Microsoft are all working on AI-related software but the primary company to watch for hardware is Nvidia. Nvidia basically owns the AI hardware market. Secondarily, AMD has a good chance since they also make graphics cards but Nvidia is actively producing AI chips. All the cloud providers use Nvidia chips for AI hardware except Google which has a Tensor chip.

  • AI
  • SNOW

5G Infrastructure

5G Infrastructure is still being built out. These are companies that are working on installations, hardware, and other technologies. I think the lower-level stuff is more commodity but I think there will be some value here before they get commoditized.

Edge Computing

The main value for 5G is going to be the companies providing the technology that runs on top of the Edge. These are companies that are able to run code near cell towers as opposed to distant data centers, IoT devices, CDNs.

As we move more and more to 5G the computation has to move to the edge because the speed of light becomes an issue in user interfaces. Right now if we make a request they can go to one of many data centers run by AWS, Microsoft, etc. but that is too slow as we start to use 5G. Computation has to move to the Edge. AWS is starting to push this as well with AWS Wavelength but some of the companies below already have a large infrastructure.

API Companies

  • TWLO
  • PYPL -> Paypal