From Slow EV adoption to sluggish graphene, successful Lux predictions from the past
Advising innovators on emerging technology trends is a tough business. It involves identifying what’s coming next, what will never make it off the starting blocks, and if it grows, how fast and how big. To prove our methodology, we went back and analyzed the calls we made that have stood the test of time. Some favorites include:
Contrary to the hype around electric vehicles (EVs) in 2009, we preached caution on adoption in part due to the high costs of Li-ion batteries. Most projections in the marketplace assumed huge plug-in sales as high as 6% of the total car market by 2015, while Lux was the voice of reason, projecting plug-in sales well under 1%, right in line with reality.
Early in the hype around industrial IoT, we identified GE’s Predix platform as an overmarketed and underperforming option in the market. Since then, the failure of GE Digital has been well-represented by the story of Predix.
We forecasted the rise of alternative proteins before Impossible and Beyond became a thing. Back then, plant-based burgers tasted like… plants, and targeted vegetarians rather than the mainstream.
We rated solid-state battery startup Sakti3 as “Caution” due to concerns over the scalability of its deposition method just as Dyson bought the company for $90 million in 2015. It later wrote off the investment in 2018.
Amid the breathless hype over graphene in 2014, we saw limited application-readiness in the near term, in line with the relatively paltry adoption we’ve seen to date.
As emerging technologies often garner tremendous amounts of excitement and hype, it pays to take a realistic look at the technical obstacles and market readiness for potentially disruptive technologies. We continue to take a hard look at everything that comes our way to make sure we consider all the forces that will or will not drive adoption.
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- Executive Summary: 20 for 20 Annual Report (Free Download)