Entrepreneurs Increasingly Rely on No-Code Platforms
No-code (and its close cousin, low-code) refers to web and mobile development using a drag-and-drop interface. Both approaches use much less technical knowledge than building via web programming languages and raw code. Low-code enables anyone to build and create blogs, online marketplaces, and even fully fledged Software as a Service (SaaS) apps. All without the need for a developer or designer. As a result, entire industries are now accessible to “non-technical” entrepreneurs. (Which is part of the reason Research and Markets estimates that the low-code industry could be worth $45.5 billion by 2025). But even seasoned web developers often use no-code solutions (like Webflow) as a fast way to build apps quickly or to prototype business ideas. As low-code entrepreneurial trend gains momentum, an entire ecosystem is springing up around it.
Email Marketing Makes a Comeback
Entrepreneurs are falling in love with email. Why? For starters you have full ownership over your mailing list subscribers. Which is not true of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…or any other social media platform. Also, social media organic reach has. declined dramatically in recent years.
Organic Reach on Social Networks Have Decline in Recent Years
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t the holy grail of long-term, sustainable traffic it once was either. The Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have become massively crowded by paid results and featured snippets. Plus, email marketing has a track record of impressive ROIs. The Data and Marketing Association reports that the ROI from email marketing can be as high as 42x the investment. Most important emails get read which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to teach, provide value and build trust. They can then move into a soft sell when a subscribers ready.
ConvertKit is Email Marketing Software Aimed at Creators
Email marketing software like ConvertKit, designed to help creators keep in touch with their audiences, has exploded in recent years. Another example of a fast-growing email marketing startup is Email Octopus. Like many growing email service provider startups, Email Octopus focuses more on simplicity vs. enterprise-level features (like marketing automation).
More Entrepreneurs Move Into loT
Fortune Business Insights estimates that the loT space will grow to a staggering $1.86 trillion by 2028. In the early days of technology, loT projects were only taken on by big companies (like Amazon) that had the time and resources to build systems from the ground up. Thanks to a new batch of loT startups, loT is now accessible to many small business owners. For example, Blank is an loT development platform that allows anyone to easily create interfaces for controlling and monitoring your projects, like a smart houseplant watering system.
Blank runs thousand of internet-connected products, from home projects to massive enterprise venture products. Pre-designed widgets get you up and running quickly with native iOS and Android apps. These apps can then control electronics, monitor sensor data, get notifications, and so on, so that you can control hardware from anywhere. From smart lamps to soil moisture monitors, the device possibilities are endless. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials and Udemy courses out there for hungry makes and thinkers.
Micro-Influencers Grow in Importance
In the last decade Micro-Influencers searches have increased 1,800%. They are the folks on Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok with a small, loyal following. The exact metrics that define “micro-influencer” or “Nano influencer” vary. But, they are usually people that have somewhere in the range of 1k-20k followers on a single platform. This type of entrepreneurship is one the rise because the practice is now mainstream. Paying influencers to promote or mention products has become a big part of most marketing department’d budgets including plenty of big brands. This trend has gotten so expensive over the last year or so some estimates state that companies are now spending upwards of $10 billion per year on the influencer marketing campaigns.
Content Becomes Omnichannel
Statista estimates that people spend over 7 hours per day interacting with media and content. The number of different ways in which people consume contents is still growing. Content-focused apps like TikTok have taken off, where creators upload short 3-60 second videos (similar to Vine). Even formats that have been around forever like podcasts are suddenly surging. The best online entrepreneurs are adapting quickly to these alternative content formats.
Recording podcast episode videos is now a common practice. Episodes can then be uploaded to YouTube along with mainstream podcasting platforms like Apple and Spotify. These same podcasters then transcribe the show into text, to instantly produce a long-form blog article too. Some even use clips from the podcast as “micro content” on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Tools even automate this process.
Capital Flows Into Climate Tech Startups
According to a report by PwC, VC investment into climate tech startups is growing 5x faster than other investment categories. Venture capital investments in the space went from $418 million in 2013 to $16.3 billion in 2019. According to the report, that’s only scratching the surface of a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity. Several large climate change investment funds have been introduced recently with the backing of major corporations. Amazon’s Climate Pledge is devoted to make Amazon net zero carbon by 2040. One to the startups they backed, CarbonCure Technologies, has created a concrete-production process that sequesters carbon dioxide.
For its part, in January 2021 Microsoft pledged $1 billion over the next four years via its Climate Innovation Fund. The company says will be carbon negative (including its supply chain) by 2030. Goggle plans to run 100% on carbon-free energy by 2020, and has launched multiple smaller funds to invest in climate tech startups. At the same time Unilever has announced a $1 billion pound Climate & Nature Fund and aims to be net zero emissions by 2039. Interesting climate tech startups include Climeworks, which uses powerful fans with special filtration system to remove carbon dioxide from the air. The CO2 is then either recycled or sequestered to combat climate change. Climeworks raised $110 million in 2020.
Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund announcement
Entrepreneurship in 2023 requires intense specialization to maintain competitive edge. Both entrepreneurs and businesses are doubling down on what they’re best at to give themselves an advantage over the competition. For example, more founders are starting to get help from virtual assistants to perform administrative and other tasks. For example, direct-to-consumer e-commerce stores can now outsource product fulfillment entirely enabling e-commerce sites to focus on that what they’re good at -product development and marketing.
Some of these trends, like email making a comeback, may surprise a lot of people. But, other trends listed her, like no-code and loT, are things that many businesses owners in the tech space are familiar with. And with the pandemic behind us, we can look forward to more interesting in the business world in the coming years.