The Most Overhyped Sectors in Tech, According to Entrepreneurs
Most Overhyped Sectors in Tech
What founders think about emerging technologies
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
Founders are at the very ground level, and their pursuits have a ripple effect on the entire startup ecosystem.
As a result, how entrepreneurs think about different subsectors within tech is of utmost importance. Not only do their perceptions influence what projects they themselves choose to build, but how founders allocate their time and energy may also be a useful gauge of where future economic potential lies.
Today’s chart focuses on what entrepreneurs think of specific technologies, using data from a survey of 869 entrepreneurs that was done by First Round Capital.
Seeing Through the Hype
In the survey, entrepreneurs were asked to give their opinions on 14 different technologies, on whether they were overhyped or underhyped. Entrepreneurs could also answer “neutral” to any of the questions.
Here are the three technologies that were considered the most overhyped:
1. VR/AR: 65% Overhyped
VR has been the “next big thing” for many years, with still a minimal consumer footprint. It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs see this sector as overhyped. For companies like Facebook and Magic Leap to reverse the perception of VR/AR, they’ll need to get consumers adopting these technologies at a faster rate.
2. Wearables: 64% Overhyped
When Google Glass first came out in 2013, hype about a future filled with wearables seemed inevitable. Now it’s almost five years later, and wearables haven’t delivered on the scale that many entrepreneurs thought was possible.
3. Chatbots: 61% Overhyped
Will chatbots really change customer service, health, and other industries? Most entrepreneurs seem to be a little skeptical about their potential impact.
Diamonds in the Rough?
Entrepreneurs also thought some sectors deserve more attention – and this is where there may be some potential opportunities for investors or new founders.
1. Agtech: 57% Underhyped
Farming is not flashy, but entrepreneurs recognize agtech as something that city slickers should pay more attention to. New tech is making agriculture more sustainable and urban, while increasing crop yields.
We covered some of these interesting next generation food systems in a previous infographic post.
2. Life Sciences: 55% Underhyped
Advances in areas such as longevity, genomics, and biotechnology are unnerving to some people, but life sciences seems to be at a tipping point. Founders see this as an area that deserves more attention from the media and investors.
3. Security: 51% Underhyped
Last year, $450 billion was spent on cybersecurity – and this number is growing fast as the IoT becomes even more prevalent. Stopping hackers is not flashy, but it is vital to the global economy and many dollars will be spent on it in the coming years.
The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start
This series of maps shows a regional breakdown of the most popular types of businesses people want to start, based on online search results.
The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start
View a higher resolution version of this map.
Every year, millions of new businesses are started across the world—in 2021, nearly 5.4 million new business applications were filed in the U.S. alone.
And since startups and new businesses play a significant role in shaping a country’s economic growth, encouraging entrepreneurship is vital. But what types of businesses around the world are people most interested in starting?
These maps by ZenBusiness show the most popular types of businesses that entrepreneurs in nearly every country want to start, based on analyzing relevant internet search results.
Most Searched Businesses Around the World
To source the data, ZenBusiness analyzed searches from Ahrefs, specifically looking for the term “start a business” and its equivalents in local languages as of February 2022.
They then found the relevant topic or keyword with the highest search volume, and organized the results into 11 different industries:
- Beauty & Cosmetics
- Food & Drink
- Logistics & Infrastructure
- Personal Services
- Software Development
- Business & Financial
- Leisure & Tourism
- Real Estate
- Retail & E-Commerce
The data showed that the industries entrepreneurs are most attracted to vary greatly from country to country, depending on a variety of factors such as infrastructure, business climate, and culture.
Here’s a breakdown of the most searched businesses around the world, broken down by region.
From cooking gas refills in South Africa to supplements in the Gambia, entrepreneurs across Africa seem to be interested in starting a wide range of businesses (at least according to their searches).
But while the results varied across the region, the most-searched industry was personal services such as cleaning, interior design, and contracting. Cleaning was especially popular, ranking first in six different African countries.
One African country worth highlighting is Morocco, where freight is the most-searched startup term across the country. This makes sense considering Morocco is home to several major ports, including the Port of Tanger Med, which is Africa’s largest port by cargo capacity.
In Europe, real estate is the most-searched industry, ranking number one in seven different countries across the continent. Over the last decade, the European Union’s real estate market has boomed—between 2010 and 2021, home prices in the EU increased by 42%.
Retail is also a popular industry across Europe, with clothing-related searching taking the top spot in five different European countries.
Middle East & Central Asia
From soap production in Uzbekistan to dropshipping in Azerbaijan, the Middle East & Central Asia have the most diverse searches compared to any other region.
One particularly interesting top search was in the United Arab Emirates, where imports and exports ranked first. The UAE’s economy is heavily reliant on trade, especially oil, which makes up 30% of the region’s GDP and 41% of public revenues.
Rest of Asia & Oceania
Asia and Oceania had an interesting mix of unique business searches. For instance, pig farming ranked number one in the Solomon Islands, and lawn moving took the top spot in New Zealand.
But generally speaking, retail was one of the most-searched-for business types across this region, with clothing taking the top spot in countries like Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Across North America, retail takes the top spot for most searched business type. In fact, the top searches in nearly half of the region’s countries are related to the retail or e-commerce industry.
The U.S. currently has the largest retail market in the world, although China is close on its heels. In 2021, America’s retail market was valued at over $6.5 trillion U.S. dollars.
Food was the top searched industry across South America, ranking number one in half the countries across the region. In Brazil, sweets took the top spot, which might not be surprising considering the country is the top sugar cane producer worldwide.
Clothing was also a popular business idea, taking the top spot in five South American countries.
Which countries surprised you the most with their new business interest?
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