The next wave of innovation: 27 industry trends set to define 2024

Antler Operators share the most exciting industry trends to watch in 2024—from the next frontier in AI to the expanding field of human potential.

Ollie Forsyth

Head of Operators and Advisors Network
February 6, 2024
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This year, the opportunities to build are vast across a wide range of sectors—from the next frontier in AI to the expanding field of human potential. Here are 27 of the most exciting industry trends to watch in 2024 (bundled by theme), as predicted by Antler Operators in Australia, Germany, Nigeria, Singapore, UAE, the UK, and the US.

AI

The democratization of content creation

“AI will go from a buzz word to becoming a more practical part of our everyday lives, as it transforms core consumer use cases, from content creation and messaging to discovery and search. Online tasks will become more efficient to complete and the internet will be even more personalized and a lot more useful. I’m particularly excited to see AI democratize content creation such that anyone can become a creator and produce high quality content, without special equipment or expertise.”

Helen Ma, Senior Director of Product, Ads & Creator Monetization at Meta

The rise of non-coders

“With the release of custom GPTs late last year and the arrival of the brand new GPT store at the top of this year, people with absolutely no coding ability will enter 2024 with the means to both create and distribute software just by typing out a set of instructions in elementary school-level sentences. That means that a huge cohort of people who have historically been locked out of building in tech will be able to share their ideas and solve new problems that have never been tackled before. I anticipate that AI-powered natural language coding will only continue to improve and permeate other platforms over the course of this year, and I’m excited to see what amazing things non-coders build using it!”

Jeremy Katzenstein, Former Head of Creator Partnerships at Linktree 

The summer of generative video

“We've seen the rise of text and image generation in back to back years, but this year is when we will hit the summer of generative video.”

Mike Polner, Vice President, Global Head of Marketing at Discord 

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to shape human life

“Innovation in AI is happening at a fast pace and the technology is expected to transform every single industry in the years to come beyond our current imagination. The technology is still in its infancy but is already challenging many of the fundamental concepts (e.g., knowledge, intelligence, education, work, etc.) humans took for granted and the lifestyles we grew accustomed to for generations. Many human activities will be marginalized and cease to exist while new ones will emerge and thrive. AI will risk creating an economic divide between those who embrace it and understand how to use it, and those who do not. For AI practitioners, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the change and make a positive, sustainable difference on human life and its environment.”

Maher Lahmar, Head of Data Science at Google 

A transformation in how we work together

“Looking back at 2023, AI has truly taken the world by storm and started to disrupt countless industries. Yet this is just the beginning. I'm particularly interested to see how AI changes our productivity and the way we work, both as an individual and team. The way we work has changed since COVID, with many more people now operating in hybrid or remote environments, so it'll be interesting to see how the changing trends in AI and productivity/collaboration collide and impact how we work and engage with one another.”

Alina Kim, Senior Marketing Manager at Instacart 

The unlocking of intelligent creativity

“Last year was an amazing year for AI as it dominated conversations and attention. This was just the beginning, with AI expected to impact all sectors in 2024. I’m particularly excited about the impact generative AI will have for marketers and creators as they start to embrace and adopt its use for regular and intensive tasks like customer data analysis and content optimization; freeing them to up level their creative strategy ideation. I’m hopeful 2024 is the year that the promise of intelligent creativity is unlocked.”

Sarah Bennison, Regional Head of Product Marketing at Snapchat 

The ease of AI

“In 2024, predictive AI will reshape business and consumer interactions, with a notable surge in its use for product descriptions, translations, ad copies, and personalized product/item recommendations. Companies leading in AI integration will boost customer retention and expedite new customer acquisition. The mantra will be ‘Ease,’ as businesses streamline processes and reduce costs.”

Samuel Ukah, Head of Performance Marketing & Growth at Jumia

Unprecedented efficiencies

“Among others, I am particularly excited about AI this year as I think it will stand, more than ever, at the forefront of innovation. Amidst mediocre tools, new ones will emerge while valuable ones consolidate, bringing collectively new capabilities to the table and redefining the way we work. With no industry left untouched, organizations will be forced to reconsider established processes and structures leading to unprecedented efficiencies and advancements.”

Lorenzo Mengolini, Lead Product Designer at Revolut

A surge in Gen AI music production

"Generative AI heralds a transformative era, empowering every individual as a creator. I envision a surge in music production, propelled by generative AI, surpassing current SoundCloud and YouTube uploads by 100-fold. The imminent task for the music industry lies in embracing this wave and strategizing how to efficiently license and monetize this burgeoning pool of derivative content."

Ashok Bania, Senior Vice President, Product & Growth at SoundCloud

Co-piloting increasing the quality of innovation

“Opportunity: Co-pilot usage will boost creativity and innovation. Adoption of co-pilots for labour intensive portions of tasks will free up bandwidth to focus on the creative elements of a task, leading to an increase in the quality of innovation.

Challenge: If not properly regulated, AI may create a societal echo chamber.

Conscious selection of diverse data sources and human input is necessary for effective bias managed AI learning. Especially, important as AI generated content proliferates and, inadvertently, becomes part of training data.”

Kayee Cheung, Founder at Edenreach

The best of the human brain meets the best of the computer brain

“Modern work needs an upgrade. As people spend more time on their screens and are overwhelmed with content, it will only become more difficult to find focus. With Dropbox’s Virtual First model, we’re building tools that take the best of the human brain and combining that with the best of the computer brain to solve for people’s focus deficit problem. 

At the same time, generative AI is opening up a world of possibilities to build products that enhance modern work and help people find focus—something that will continue to grow in the coming year. With products like Dropbox Dash, AI-powered universal search that connects to people’s apps, tools, content in a single search bar, we’re experiencing first-hand how AI can synthesize content and take away the friction of day-to-day tasks, empowering knowledge workers to spend more time on innovation, collaboration, and creativity.”

Alastair Simpson, VP of Product Design at Dropbox 

The return of language, storytelling, and explaining

“After building software ‘the traditional’ way for the last 20 years, it's incredible to see a new kind of computer emerging. LLMs are gray boxes that changed the way we think about constraints and competition. We used to think of constraints as a function of the number of talented engineers we can hire; now, we think more about the volume and variety of data and the cost of computing (in fine-tuning models) as the main constraint. We used to think of competition as other companies that can hire great engineers; now, we think of competition as anyone who can articulate the problem, and share relevant context (in the form of data) with an appropriate model. The competition space has expanded exponentially. Ironically, the skill of language, of storytelling, of explaining, is coming back in the age of AI. This will make our STEM (or my preferred alternative STEAM) curriculum more well-rounded, a welcoming change.”

Peter Wang, Founder at First Principles Studio, former CTO at BuzzFeed

Reducing "distance to customer" to near-zero

“Why am I excited: The greatest paradigm shift in computing since mobile in reducing human effort and driving creativity and invention. Pervasive across all industries and domains.

Challenges: (1) Determining where and how to invest in AI as almost every field has an application (2) Developing internal AI/ML skill sets for effective experimentation without expensive hiring (3) Disrupting existing business (and revenue) with new AI-based products (4) Monitoring AI output to achieve high quality and maintain user trust.

Opportunities: (1) Significantly reducing the effort users spend inside our products to get value through them (2) Layering models and outputs to build hard-to-copy competitive advantage (3) Using internal and proprietary data to generate user value in new ways (4) Using AI to distill structured and unstructured data to better understand users and reduce 'Distance to customer' to near-zero.”

Karan Peri, VP of Product at Nansen.ai and former Head of Product EMEA at Coinbase

Removing the mundane to make room for work

‘’Throughout 2023, AI was the buzzword and it will continue throughout 2024. I’m excited about the future of AI productivity tools. People are becoming more efficient than ever with tools removing the mundane and time consuming administration tasks. New organizing platforms and technologies are automating things like calendars and note taking—leaving more time for people to focus on actually getting the work done.‘’

Jessica Lauria, former Head of Brand Marketing at GoPuff 

Climate

Leaping forward with climatetech innovation

“While climate performance to date is rather depressing, I'm optimistic about innovation in the climate sector in 2024. Advances in satellite imagery mean we can track and monitor carbon stocks almost anywhere in the world, meaning there is no hiding leaky pipelines or deforestation anymore. Furthermore, we are making headway with some of the technologies crucial to achieving net zero such as direct air capture, which will see further growth this year. After a challenging 2023, I see carbon markets springing back in 2024 to help fund some of key activities and innovations and look forward to our ratings playing a meaningful role in achieving this.”

Sebastien Cross, BeZero Carbon, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer

AI optimizing climate solutions

“I'm thrilled about AI's transformative impact on climate solutions, optimizing everything from renewable energy to efficient carbon capture. With a surge in startups, it's crucial to recognize that initial hype may fade quickly. To ensure long-term success, focus on sustainable growth beyond the novelty phase. Prioritize validating your product-market fit before investing in a full MVP.”

Shawn Gong, Former Head of Product Growth at Grindr 

Consumertech 

The intersection between music and gaming and fandom

“In 2024, the music industry will become more focused on the intersection between music and gaming, and music and fandom, and how to better monetize both. There is a substantial increase in live artist performances and recorded music in games. With respect to fandom, fans always want a deeper connection with the artists they love, and are willing to show their appreciation. We are keeping a close eye on both opportunities.”

Cindy Charles, Head of Music at Twitch 

Improving the quality of life and connections

“Consumertech has reached a point of reckoning. Gone are the days of growth above all and the next generations of startups are going to have to figure out how to grow sustainably and profitably all while in a very crowded market with strong incumbents. But I do believe that focus on true user needs and problems is going to win. I think we're going to see a move towards smaller (they'll still be big!) consumer / social companies that focus on delivering real value to their users that improve quality of life and quality of connections, not just focus on the dopamine hits that are associated with today's breed of apps. I am excited about what vertical social networks (like the recent news out of Strava) can do for human connection, human inspiration, and the entire social consumer space.”

Michelle Parsons, Chief Product Officer at Lex, former Chief Product Officer at Hinge 

Edtech

Super tutors fueled by AI

“The state of global education is worrying: The recently released OECD Pisa report highlights that average student performance in reading, mathematics, and science is decreasing globally. In 2024, I am excited about AI use cases in education landing. I do not believe that educators will be replaced by AI. Instead I believe that AI will help educators to become super tutors by allowing them to focus on and support their core pedagogical work”.

–Alexander Nick, GoStudent, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Future Labs

FinTech / Crypto

More merging of fintech with "traditional" fintech

“It will be interesting to see how the balance of forces will continue playing out between the ongoing development and adoption of the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies against the growing regulatory scrutiny. The former are finally becoming ready to enable real use cases and benefits, beyond mere speculation, and at scale—in areas like payments, tokenization of real world assets, and financial inclusion. I expect to see further merging of crypto with 'traditional' fintech to make those benefits available to the wider audience, both on the retail and institutional sides. The latter is important and necessary to protect consumers and increase trust in the space. But it can also stifle innovation and leave the countries that apply too much regulatory pressure without much consideration or can't provide clear rules behind the curve. Let's hope we manage to find the right balance.’’

Georgy Sokolov, Wirex, Co-Founder and VP Partnerships

Accomplishment mechanisms for consumers

“I’m hopeful (and would love to see) players in the space become more holistic ‘accomplishment’ mechanisms for their consumers (as those consumers move through everyday life). Not just finance and payments brands as places/tools functionally to ‘transact’ across asset classes.”

Evan Minskoff, Former CMO at Tumblr 

Life-changing financial inclusion

“I see tremendous opportunity for broader financial inclusion through the use of blockchain technology and specifically digital assets. For better or for worse, cryptocurrencies have predominantly been used as a speculative asset class; however, two trends are reversing this. First, regulation: clear regulatory regimes are allowing for platforms to set up that provide genuine use cases using digital assets such as remittances, payments, and investments. Second, the push for the tokenization of traditional asset classes will enable those who are financially excluded from accessing global investable asset classes. This is the preeminent opportunity in fintech—to bring life-changing financial services to those who need it the most.”

Daniel Ahmed, Co-founder of Fasset 

Gaming 

A new era of indie development and small creators

“As we embark on 2024 we are beginning to see a world where the established gaming brands and companies are beginning to consolidate into single entities not unlike the big film studios in the mid-1970s. This combined with the intersection of new technologies and an increased need for creative freedom by smaller studios will hopefully lead to a new era of indie development and small creators bringing new and exciting games and IP to market in the same way that consolidation in the 70s in the film industry led to the New Hollywood movement. In particular I believe that increasingly we will see the intersection of gaming and traditional content consumption as we head into 2024.”

Omar Khan, Head of Design, New Products & Gaming at Comcast/Sky

Healthtech

Elevating the use of wearables and delivered data

“Over the years, brands like Swoosh, Aura Ring, Eight Sleep, and Garmin have empowered people worldwide to track and comprehend their health data. Now in 2024, there's a paradigm shift from mere tracking to active improvement and personalized suggestions. This transition signifies a move towards elevating the utilization of wearables and the delivered data, through hyper-personalization driven by AI. In the upcoming year, health tech brands are poised to leverage AI to intelligently utilize this data, actively suggesting ways to manage and enhance your health and well-being. 2024 will see health tech brands moving from tracking, to curating personalized plans, and preventative care solutions based on wearable data.”

Freddie Fitz-Gibbon, Brand Advisor–ClassPass, Soho House, KOMI

Human Potential

A revolution of personal development

“The field of human potential in 2024 is particularly exciting due to several key developments: 1) Technological Advancement: Advances in AI are revolutionizing personalized development, helping us understand ourselves better, so that we can move beyond limiting beliefs and tap into our highest potential. 2) Neuroscience and Well-Being: Breakthroughs in neuroscience are enhancing our understanding of the brain and leading to health, fitness, and diet breakthroughs. It's complemented by a focus on holistic practices like mindfulness for overall well-being. There is also an interesting new intersection of the mind-gut connection. 3) Customized Learning: AI-driven personalized learning paths are fostering tailored education for all areas of development and growth, especially exciting in the leadership development space and interesting for people who are interested in upskilling.”

Chloe Gottlieb, Founder at DesignMeCo, former Director of Product Design at Google Shopping

Productivity 

Major shifts in remote productivity

“Remote productivity is underpinning innovation. I think we will see major shifts that will significantly elevate the voice of the user again, improve distributed decision-making, and reimagine what good collaboration looks like. This will unlock the creativity we need to see the next wave of innovation.”

Lauren Polkow, VP of Product at Glassdoor

Software

Heightening demand for collaboration tools and platforms

“Challenges: 

Integration Complexity: The landscape for software in 2024 will be marked by the intricate challenge of integration complexities. Navigating the diverse technological ecosystems of client organizations will demand a level of finesse, and providers will be pressed to deliver solutions that seamlessly blend into customers' tech stacks.

Rapid Technological Advances: Adapting to the fast pace of technological evolution could provide a challenge. Companies must embody agility, embracing and integrating emerging technologies like AI and machine learning. This proactive approach not only ensures competitiveness but will also position these companies as leaders.

Opportunities:

Collaboration: As remote and hybrid work gains prevalence, the demand for collaboration tools and platforms is becoming a must. Not only are many companies left with a displaced workforce having virtual options and collaborations tools will save companies millions of dollars with less T&E expense. Companies who can figure out how to do this effectively and keep employees engaged will be leaders in 2024 and beyond.”

Jeff Ruby, Director of Sales at Hopin (RingCentral)

If you are interested in joining the Antler Operator Network and helping founders go further faster from day zero across product, GTM, growth, marketing, and technology, we’d love to hear from you. Please message Ollie.Forsyth@antler.co.

Ollie Forsyth

Head of Operators and Advisors Network

Ollie leads our advisors and operators network with a focus on making Antler the best ecosystem for founders building from day zero. He was previously at Molten Ventures (formerly known as Draper Esprit). In his spare time, he loves traveling and meeting new people. Contact him at ollie.forsyth@antler.co.

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