Things are changing so rapidly – especially for online businesses – that it can seem impossible to keep up.
But knowing what’s coming is essential to your online business success.
That’s why it’s so important to ask yourself: What will the Internet look like for entrepreneurs in 2022 (and beyond)?
How are things changing?
What do you need to know to succeed — not just now, but for years to come?
And while I shared my personal answers to these questions in a blog earlier this week, I don’t pretend to have all the answers.
That’s why I asked 12 of the top internet minds for their #1 prediction for HOW the internet will shape online businesses in 2022.
Because, as Wayne Gretzky famously said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
This is as close to a crystal ball as you can get.
If you want to win the game of business, these expert predictions could hold the key to making your big move in 2022 and beyond.
Prediction #1: The Rise of the Metaverse Will Give Rise to Incredible Creativity
According to Roger Hamilton, Founder of Genius Group, GeniusU, Entrepreneurs Institute and Entrepreneur Resorts
As a futurist and a tech innovator, I believe metaverse is our future and is going to change the way we live – opening up a world of incredible creativity where we get to re-write the rules.
The word ‘Metaverse’ has become quite a sensation recently since Facebook changed its name to ‘Meta’ and announced its plans to design and build a virtual realm interconnected to the real world. Other tech giants like Microsoft, Niantic and Unity have made big announcements as they all aggressively embrace the movement and help engineer this world into a reality.
If you’re still trying to wrap your head around what Metaverse is, simply put, it’s a 3D digital world that is soon going to replace the 2D internet. Often referred to as extended reality, the core idea of metaverse is to create a 3D virtual environment which you don’t just see but be a part of when you socialize, interact, manage businesses and investments.
Although the metaverse world is still in the making, the Covid-19 impact of remote working has further accelerated the need for a layered digital world that will soon go beyond the internet.
So get ready to re-write the rules.
Prediction #2: NFTs Will Become The Building Blocks of The Upcoming Metaverse
According to Yu-kai Chou, Gamification pioneer, creator of the Octalysis Framework, and author of Actionable Gamification
When my smart friends told me in 2012 that whereas the Internet allowed the transfer of information, blockchain allowed the transfer of value, I didn’t quite understand what it truly meant. But once the NFT trend started to boom and the Metaverse started to become more and more prominent, I started to see how it all comes together. The Metaverse is about having a persistent existence where various virtual worlds and the physical world are interconnected and interoperable. Blockchain and NFTs are all about having unique digital items that are persistent through all worlds and not replicable nor interchangeable. Even though there are many “pump and dump” NFT projects out there, the fundamental technology and well-designed projects will lay the foundation of the future Metaverse. This is much like the dot-com boom where even though the financial market for the dot-coms crashed, the fundamentals of dot-com technology was still fundamental to how we live our lives and today many of the largest companies in the world are dot-coms.
2022 will be too early for the Metaverse itself to take dominant form, but the building block NFTs will become prominent with many losers and a couple hundred strong winners that will define how we live our lives ten years later.
Prediction #3: Web Apps Are Replacing Static Websites
According to Landon Ray, Founder of Ontraport
Your static website will feel like the yellow pages.
Soon, leading companies in every industry will be delivering hyper-personalized web applications for their prospects and leads. Noom crushed the weight loss industry with a simple app, and is now worth $4 billion. Betterment did the same for financial advice. You’ll find examples in every industry.
As the technology for building web applications becomes simple enough for any entrepreneur to create their own, more and more businesses will deliver sophisticated web apps instead of static sites.
The bar will be raised in EVERY industry – from Spas to Insurance to Education and everything in between – to create the kind of high-quality, context-aware, personalized web experiences that consumers demand.
Static websites used to be hard and expensive to build, but are now so drag-and-drop simple that anyone can do it. In 2022, that transformation will begin to happen quickly for full-on web applications. What used to require a team of engineers can now be built by any entrepreneur, and as that happens, the competitive landscape will change.
What’s your app idea? Now’s the time to build it!
Prediction #4: The Future of Business Is Spelled WEB3
According to Steve Olsher, Revinvention Expert, Founder & Editor In Chief of Podcast Magazine® and Creator of ClubPod™
In 2022, business and internet marketing will dramatically shift from WEB2 to WEB3. If you’re unfamiliar with what WEB3 is, familiarize yourself NOW. This shift will be swift and the opportunity of a lifetime for those who get in early.
Right now, we’re in the embryonic stages of this revolution. Business as we know it is transforming from the “push“ economy, whereby creators put forth products, programs and services for their fans and customers to consume, to an economy of inclusion whereby creators, businesses and their tribe act as one — all mutually benefitting from the co-creation, co-contribution to and co-ownership of, The Whole.
Mistakes will be made.
Millions – perhaps billions – of dollars will be wasted on both the creator and consumer sides as WEB3 becomes the new norm. Nevertheless, it’s an investment we must make as 2022 offers a renewed opportunity to express our creativity and be rewarded for our transparency and authenticity.
Prediction #5: Authentic Experiences at Scale
According to Yifat Cohen, Engagement Maven & Growth Hacker
Business survival will hinge on deepening trust and building value-based communities in 2022.
As misinformation, fake news and Deepfake technologies continue to multiply; consumers are gravitating toward authentic conversations they can trust and communities they can feel at home in.
Since the Covid pandemic has caused people to feel more isolated and lonely, they’re looking to fill the void with like-minded people, seeking emotional support as well as tangible results… beyond simply providing information.
The fact that more people than ever are shopping online, using live video tools (like Zoom and StreamYard) to communicate, and are struggling to tell the difference between truth and fiction, creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for business owners who can figure out how to build connections authentically with the least amount of friction – AT SCALE.
The new gold rush will be to use technology to deepen trust through authentic interactions, strong communities and interactive experiences (rather than one-way video broadcasts and text-based instructions).
To succeed in 2022 and beyond, you need to focus on building loyal communities on your own domain where you can create authentic and action-based experiences that truly change lives.
Prediction #6: Serving a More Sophisticated Planet
According to Sage Lavine, Founder & CEO of Women Rocking Business
In 2022, there’ll be a continued movement toward micro-niching… and a call to uplevel to reach a more sophisticated prospect.
I call it “Micro-niching for momentum” – finding a niche within a niche to get some momentum in a crowded market. So rather than just being a business coach, for instance, you could choose to support your clients to do something specific like successfully launch a product (thanks Marisa!) or support speakers to take the stage, like I do.
Micro-niching will be essential as we move into 2022 and the internet becomes even more sophisticated, as people don’t just want “A” solution; they want “THEIR” more individual solution.
That being said… the trend toward a more sophisticated prospect is actually exciting. If people are more awake and scrutinizing… it’s just another chance for us as digital marketers to get better and to be more and more transparent. So it becomes even more critical to have a truly VALUABLE product so we have conviction for what we sell.
BUILD the product YOU would be thrilled to buy.
Prediction #7: Artificial Intelligence Tools for Content Creation Will Continue to Grow in Popularity
According to Kevin J. Duncan, Chief Content Officer at Smart Blogger
AI software for content creation has grown in popularity recently, and it’s a trend I believe will continue. After all, why hire someone to craft copy for you when a piece of software can do it? This might concern you if you’re someone who creates content for a living, but it shouldn’t. Artificial intelligence may be able to replicate an average content marketer or copywriter, but it’ll be a long, long time before it can replicate the Jon Morrows of the world.
If you’re good at what you do, you’ll always be in demand. This is why it’s important to continuously add to your skill stack. Always be on the lookout for new training you can take or new skills you can acquire. Try to get 5% better each and every year. Make yourself immune to things like AI and other tech advancements.
Prediction #8: A Degree or Diploma Will Soon be Rendered Obsolete
According to Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of Mindvalley
Skills and attitudes lead to success NOT having a university degree or diploma.
Companies must evolve their hiring practices and people need to realize that they don’t need a formal education to change their lives and make an impact on the world.
I predict that no smart and intelligent young person will need a university degree or diploma in the near future to succeed in life. For example, Google has already publicly stated that 15% of their employees do not have a professional degree, and the same practice and trend is followed by Ernst & Young, one of the world’s largest international accounting firms.
The labor market is already changing – sped up by the effects of the Pandemic – and now a person’s skills and attitudes are so much more valuable than a degree. It’s no longer necessary to waste valuable years in universities to obtain a degree, especially since it’s now free to learn online.
And companies that continue to get hung up on the notion that someone needs a college degree to work for them will get left in the dust by those that realize that skills and attitudes make all the difference.
Prediction #9: The Challenge Of Virtual Productivity
According to Eben Pagan, Founder at Go Meta Media, Investor & Author of “Opportunity: How to Win in Business and Create a Life You Love”
Everyone realizes that working from home is a lot harder than it sounds. Specifically, they realize that staying productive is dramatically harder when you are at home than when you are at the office. This will lead to the growth of novel models of work, like “virtual co-working” as well as software to help us all manage our attention more effectively.
Prediction #10: Be the Creator of Your Own Economy in 2022
According to Ali Katz, Founder & CEO of New Law Business Model, Eyes Wide Open Life and Family Wealth Planning Institute
In 2022, and beyond, the wealth inequality gap will continue to grow, on the road to a likely repeat of the great depression initiated by the stock market crash of 1929. Those who invest now in their own financial liberation (rather than continuing to quest for the trap of financial freedom) by transitioning their investments into land, their own resourcefulness and creativity and community (both locally and online), will not just survive, but thrive, independent of the greater economic devastation that will impact most.
The key to thriving will be learning to collaborate, lead and recognize we each have a critical role as creators of the economy and when we step into that role by generating what we need and stewarding what we have with our eyes wide open, we’re not subject to the external economic forces that can seem to be imposed upon us.
We must not get trapped by limited mindsets of financial freedom or dependence on big corporations or even specific locations unless we’re required to be in a specific location to care for the land. Instead, we must stand and lead our own companies, create a legacy for our own families, build our own communities and be in service to what really matters now.
Prediction #11: Diversification is the Word
2022 According to Allison Maslan, Author of Scale or Fail & Founder of Pinnacle Global Network
No longer can brands count on ONE supply chain for their needs or one revenue stream for their cash flow.
They need to diversify by developing new products and services or entering new markets, beyond their existing ones.
A diversification strategy can kick-start a struggling business or even expand the success of an already highly profitable one.
For instance, AMC Theaters were hit hard during the pandemic and realized that much of their revenue comes from their popcorn and candy. They are now diversifying and opening Perfectly Popcorn stores in kiosks across the country.
There are four key reasons to adopt this strategy:
- You want more revenue
- You want less economic risk
- Your core business is declining
- You want to partner with another company that offers something your audience wants but that you don’t offer
But don’t wait!
I predict that brands that start diversifying NOW will stay in business for years to come.
Prediction #12: Impact is Just Business
According to Yanik Silver, Creator of the Cosmic Journal, Author of Evolved Enterprise and Founder of Maverick1000
Within the decade, terms like Conscious Capitalism, Triple-Bottom-Line, For-Benefit Companies and Evolved Enterprise will no longer be used to describe unusual, impactful companies – because they’ll simply be referred to as “businesses.”
The most valuable companies have progressed to create a greater impact using the leverage available via their supply chain, team, voices, distribution, product/service, talent within the organization, and/or capital contributions/donations.
It’s happening from the outside in with customer buying criteria changing and from the inside out with employees. Forbes quoted me three years ago and this window is closing fast.
“Businesses who ignore this trend will be on life support in 4-7 years.” – Forbes
This is the seismic shift that’s changing the rules of business forever. The change will either come from a higher level of love and intention or out of pragmatic survival because of marketplace dynamics.
What’s Your Prediction?
There you have it — the TOP 12 predictions from the best in the online ‘biz.
Now the question is, “What will you do with them?”
Most people stay focused on where the puck has been, but those who win have to “skate to where the puck is going.”
What are your predictions for online business in the new year? Let me know in the comments!