Trend Spotting: The Top 9 Rise & Falls We See in the Year Ahead


[Editor’s Note: This post was co-authored with Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital]

1. The Rise of Celebrity Science

Nations, cultures, economies all get what they celebrate. Celebrate celebrities and we’ll have another generation of over-consumptive, over-indebted, overweight, underemployed citizenry. But celebrate scientists: thinkers, doers, achievers, explorers, inventors, creators and we stand a shot at restoring the very human capital that led to the rise of what made our nation great. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. So I founded the largest-ever celebration of science, the USA Science & Engineering Festival, to inspire and galvanize a force of young scientists keen to invent, explore, discover and create. 1 million participants is a good start, just 299 million to go.

2. The Rise of the IPO

Nearly a decade has passed without a blockbuster set of IPOs. Hints abound that the resurgence of an IPO market is upon us. The rise of secondary markets swapping shares of Facebook and other social-networking darlings prove there is pent-up demand and that capital is ready, willing, and able to once again fund high-flying companies that didn’t exist a few years ago and are the essential companies of tomorrow. Groupon, despite having 500 competitors and being founded only two years ago may be the fastest company in history to get to a billion dollars in revenue.

3. The Rise of the Tablet

The iPad was just the start. Samsung’s Galaxy and a slate of other touch tablets will continue seizing netbook and laptop share. When we get over the buzzword and just start calling the “cloud” the “Internet” again, people will also see that the prophecies of George Gilder and Sun’s Scott McNeely—that the network is the computer—were correct all along.

4. The Rise of Nuclear & EVs

My partners at Lux Capital always tell entrepreneurs to shave with Occam’s Razor: find the simplest solution. In energy it’s nuclear power, and the electrification of everything, including cars. Watch for just-out-of-stealth startups like Kurion that are solving … Next Page »

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Larry Bock, a biotech entrepreneur and San Diego venture investor, is the founder and organizer of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, set for Washington DC in April 2012. Follow @

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