Invention began at Deutsch with the mission to solve complex business problems through means that fall outside the comfortable mold of advertising deliverables. Our team is charged with developing disruptive offerings, relationships, and business models for our clients. With that in mind, we attended two of the leading conferences relevant to our industry – CES and SXSWi – to examine startups and products that build on or extend emerging behaviors and technologies.

Startups and burgeoning products represent emerging bets at the intersection of technology and culture. Any product that a company produces is inherently a prediction for the future. CES and SXSWi represent a rare opportunity to view hundreds of those predictions in a single location, all vying for attention and adoption. From these bets, we’ve collected an overall view of rising trends and what brands and marketers can learn from those trends.

CES, which is typically a conference for major hardware brands, was showcasing more and more startups in the hardware space this year. Conversely, SXSW Interactive, which has in the past been the launching pad for applications and software, this year showcased a number of startups (and brands) emerging in the hardware space. So why this marked attention and activity among hardware startups? We have three theories:

1. More Accessible 3D Printing: 3D printers were on everyone’s list of top disruptions this year and we’ve begun to see a plethora of consumer-grade entrants.

2. The Internet of Things: The internet is no longer contained to just a smartphone or a computer. We’re entering an era where pretty much any object can turn into a Wi-Fi- enabled, data-sharing, communicating device.

3. Crowdfunding: The cost of prototyping has decreased but the cost of mass production is still high. Thankfully, platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo allow entrepreneurs to share ideas with the world and get funding all without meeting a single VC.

Emerging Bets at the Intersection of Technology and Culture, Vol. 2 by Bud Caddell

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