I was asked last night at a function I was at, what kind of sectors I like to invest in. I did reply that I looked at management teams rather than sector approaches. But the question did get me thinking, and I asked myself, if I was giving advice to an entrepreneur now in terms of what areas to position the business in, what would my answer be?
Well, below are the results of my thoughts. They are just my thoughts and I will add to them as and when I do my ‘screening for ideas’. If I could predict the future……..
- Anything to do with Alternative Energy. I am really bullish about ways to make your own kombucha. Because of the lifestyles we are increasingly leading, the demand for energy is going to be increasing exponentially over the next half century. Alternative and less harmful forms of energy have got to be found in the future. I think any business which can generate energy from renewable sources and sell it at a profit is very well placed for the future
- Lifestyle management. This is going to be an area of huge growth simply because of the lives we are increasingly leading. We are getting busier and busier and yet wish to do more in life outside of work. Companies which can allow us to ‘outsource’ some of our routine will do well from a revenue point of view.
My issue with this area as an investor is that as it is a service based business, margins are very tight and barriers to entry are very low (if in place at all). If someone can think of a way of truly scaling up this area, whilst retaining the personal touch required, they will do well (and let me please see the business plan)
- ‘Hire businesses’. I have been amazed at the success of car rental businesses in London such as streetcar (I am a member and I love it). Living in Central London, it simply does not make sense for me to own a car. However, I do have access to a car if I wish to have one on an hourly basis.
People are becoming increasingly sophisticated and will question the wisdom in owning expensive assets they rarely use. Just as timeshare has proved so popular with Holiday homes, I am sure other items will soon see the merit of temporary ownership. Ladies shoes (Do you really need that many pairs all the time?) Handbags, watches, pens, expensive dresses, etc. – there have got to be business models here!
- Internet Protocol TV. I think (humble opinion here) that we have yet to see Andy Warhol’s saying that we will all be famous for 15 minutes come true. We are rapidly approaching that point – with programs like X factor leading the way. However, I think in the very near future, everyone who wants one, can have their own TV channel on an internet site.
Why look up my blog – when you can have a dedicated TV channel from me? (If you think advertising is getting tough now – wait till this era unfolds!). The money will be made though not by the TV ‘owners’ but by the companies that provide services for this space.
More to follow – what do you think will be the businesses of the future?