2020 was a year of unpredictability. However, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, there is clarity in what obstacles people experience, providing a foreshadowing of what solutions lie ahead. Emerging business trends predict problems and corresponding solutions, which are both telling and fiscally important.
In 2021, we can see the emergence of a new technology business category, which would empower our lonely and commoditized business models. People crave a level of authentic connection, forcing them to come together in uplifting and changing the system than ever before. The existing paradigms are at best not serving these needs, so it’s time to reinvent the business models.
A new business model with community, connection and authenticity at its core will evolve. The new technology, AuthenTech, has a few defining and unique characteristics.
Community Over Audience
Traditional social media platforms are profile-based networks-driven, encouraging users to collect followers, likes and reposts the content. The system creates a winner-take-all dynamic, where users behave less authentically to create a picture-perfect, likable image of themselves.
However, AuthenTech companies focus on building vibrant, supportive communities, leading to a content-based network. In this network, members connect through shared experiences, goals and perspectives. The model has a fluidity as everyone has multiple facets to their lives and viewpoints, creating more opportunities to organically come together. This rewards authenticity and vulnerability over perfectionism. AuthenTech’s value-driven network effect results in solidarity, confidence and compassion, rather than having shame, self-doubt and judgment.
Intention Over Attention
The viewers of The Social Dilemma might be familiar with the idea of the Attention Economy. Here, human attention is a commodity. In this business model, companies focus on keeping users on their platforms as much as possible. Companies meet this goal by making users feel left out and inadequate, coupled with occasional, random rewards of inclusion and validation. This model does not provide an authentic and meaningful human connection.
AuthenTech follows an entirely new model: the Intention Economy. Here, consumers define what they need from the company, instead of the company defining the consumers. Here, the communities are grown by their members, the consumer demand (with a healthy dose of innovation still necessary) is the basis of their products and services. In this intention economy model, the basis of success is whether or not consumers got what they need from the product, not how addicted to it they’ve become. This makes them more inspired, connected and confident in purchasing the product or service.
AuthenTech is an emerging trend not because of the need for another technical business model, but because we need inclusive, authentic connections to move forward in these changing times. This new model of business centers the human and turns customers from commodities to community members. In 2021, people become intentional with their time and money, more companies build communities to support that intentionality. AuthenTech becomes an appreciated business category.