If you sat a million people in a room and asked each one what superpower they would pick, you would find that the entrepreneurs, investors, and racetrack gamblers would all ask for the same thing: Knowing what is going to happen next.
Will it be flying cars or extensive underground tunnels? This article will not discuss either the wishful sci-fi version of 2030 nor the dystopian possibility of a Mad Max-esque world.
It will focus exclusively on surprising new consumer habits that show no signs of decelerating and what they will mean for businesses and society.
Company to watch: Just Water
Today’s youngest generations have the highest IQs in history, according to James Flynn, the psychologist who popularized the “Flynn Effect,” which is the theory that states that competing forces influence our intellect throughout our life.
Basically, the explanation for this phenomenon is that people have never been better fed or had easier access to high-quality education. The source of this education is often YouTube for young Americans.
The outcomes of this home-education are already expressing themselves in interesting and unexpected ways.
The following are three odd things you might notice at a college party in 2030:
1. It’s a smaller event than it would have been in 1999.
The reason is that Gen Zs (born after millennials) have a lot of alternatives to what we consider a conventional party. These include gaming, obviously, but they also include hanging out at a legal weed or kava bar.
2. Most people are drinking water.
The explanation for this is simple. There has never been a good reason not to, aside from your friends calling you names.
Teens today are acutely aware that drinking a gallon of sweet sweet H2O a day will elevate your mood, sharpen your mind, fix bad breath, cure headaches, and keep your lips from chafing when you go in for the kiss.
3. Everybody has a YouTube channel.
Having a well-known personal brand has become so valuable that we have made up a job title for this kind of casual fame. The college party of 2030 will feature A LOT of wannabe influencers.
Company to watch: Impossible Food
The kitchen of 2030 will be stocked with options that weigh nutrition over taste.
Telltale signs of this phenomenon have can be observed by the proliferation of publicly-traded nutritional supplement companies that sell no actual food such as Herbalife, Cyanotech, and Natural Alternatives International.
The overarching shift will be in the tastiness and market reach of already healthy food “genres” like tea, kombucha, yogurt, and nut butter. It’s no coincidence that Impossible Food, a company that researches and manufactures meat substitutes, came out as one of the top brands of CES 2020.
In 2030, not only will the individual be well-informed about the kinds of inputs the human body needs, but of equal importance, their peers will also be well-informed.
This will lead to consumers dedicating their basket toward whatever is perceived as optimally healthy with a few exceptions for pleasure, rather than the other way around.
Company to watch: Magic Leap
Many people will opt to work from home. In 2012, 39% of Americans worked from home. In 2019, that percentage was up to 43% with no indications of slowing.
Human resources in 2030 will be under pressure to create a business culture for their CEO in a world where more than half of the employees are names on the screen. There are many opportunities here for AR and VR companies to develop niches.
Once 5G arrives though, nothing will be the same. This amplified internet has the potential to sweep office culture out the front door. In 2030, your boss could easily be the hologram of a guy in China.
Although offices may change, they will not disappear. At least, definitely not by 2030. Co-working spaces with social agendas and open floor plans market themselves as an alternative to cubicles. WeWork itself may not be profitable, but the companies that create products for co-working spaces are to the third industrial revolution what shovel salesmen were to the 1848 California Gold Rush.
The following are products that have been positioned as staples of the co-working ecosystem:
These are also often called executive office furniture. The open floor plans in co-working spaces often involve new types of furnishings such as communal desks.
Kombucha on tap
The patrons of co-working spaces are often millennials with a concern for nutrition. In the office, this translates to the omnipresent barrel of kombucha.
Retro pinball machine
Just because the party of 2030 has fewer people than you might expect does not mean folks in the future don’t know how to have fun. Old school games will continue to live on, paying homage to simpler times.