Small business loan rates will become a national news topic
A member of the US Congress member is going to discover that a family member has a small business loan at 40% APR and they are going to flip their lid. Followed by a 60 Minutes report waking the country to the fact that there are 100s of players loaning small businesses money and not just the SBA or traditional bank.
QuickBooks Desktop implosion
I used to think that QuickBooks Desktop was going to ride off into the sunset and slowly vanish over the next dozen years, but now I believe that it is going to implode. Follow me for a moment. About ten years ago the biggest players in our space, renting the largest booths at conferences, throwing the coolest parties, and having the insane amount customer growth were the desktop hosting companies. Fast forward to today, these same companies live in the shadows of a sea of cloud-based accounting platforms and add-on apps. Based on cloud accounting growing globally at almost 40% a year I am willing to bet that the desktop hosting providers aren’t seeing any customer growth. In fact, I am confident that they have a declining market pie to fight over, hence the recent wave of mergers you saw in this space the last two years. If a business is losing market share and doesn’t have revenue coming in, eventually they won’t be able to pay their bills. What happens when one of these desktop hosting companies doesn’t pay rent or an electric bill and the doors chained shut or the power is shut off and 1000s of accountants and clients can’t reach their data without the act of a sympathetic judge? When this happens (just once to the weakest player in this space) you will see a mass exodus from every desktop hosting company to true cloud accounting software. I would even venture to take the point of view, that if you have any of your clients’ data on a desktop hosting provider in 2018 you may be putting your clients’ data at risk.
Stand-alone Chat/AI/Voice bots will die
In 2018 people more than ever will be using their Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger, Siri, and Cortara to be productive. People are going to “settle” into one or two of these platforms. Maybe at your house, you use Alexa, but on your phone and in your car you use Google Assistant, and maybe at work, it’s “Hey QB”. What people won’t be doing is having “conversations” with 10 different chat products that stand alone. Seriously who has time to memorize all the nuances those standalone products bring? The 1000s of stand-alone chat products will have to become “apps” on these other chat platforms or they will die.
The number of “gig” workers increase as well as their wages
The new tax plan pretty much sets the table for employees to request that their employers allow them to become contractors so they indirectly get what amounts to a 20% raise. The last few decades have a trend of corporations using more and more contractors versus hiring employees to avoid overtime, health insurance and other very expensive costs associated with employees. Is this going to be the tipping point in which most of us become “gig” workers? (I suspect that is what many corporations have always wanted.)
Talent and money shift from coastal cities
It is no secret that you can build a very successful company from anywhere you have internet, just look at TSheets in Boise, Idaho. The new tax plan housing deduction is going to cause a lot of folks with basic homes that cost $1 million in the coastal cities to reassess their personal finances. Many will be relocating to noncoastal cities and with that shift in talent, the money will follow and there will be more success stories similar to TSheets.
Someone you know will have lost their ass on Bitcoin
My generation (GenX) seems to be addicted to bubbles. Baseball cards in the late 80s early 90s, web 1.0 stocks, Beenie Babies, 2007 homes/mortgages, and now Bitcoin. I put all these against my “backyard BBQ test”. When I had friends and family that didn’t collect baseball cards talking about the boxes and boxes they bought as an investment, when at a backyard BBQ, not much later the baseball card bubble popped. Well, I remember the same conversations happening for all these bubbles. Recently, I was at a backyard BBQ, and the same conversations were taking place about Bitcoin. See the pattern?