Consumer Technology in 2024
At Patron, we strive to back founders revolutionizing the games and consumer sectors. Our background spans across Riot Games and Discord, two companies that started out building for gamers, but expanded into broad consumer success stories. They now impact hundreds of millions of people around the world on a daily basis.
Three key trends are now emerging, and they foreshadow the huge opportunity of building in consumer technology today:
- A new generation of consumers. An entire generation of internet users are growing up on Roblox, Minecraft, and Discord. To them, these products don’t represent games, rather they represent how they connect and interact with friends online. These consumers expect their internet to be more immersive, interactive, and community-driven. Building for this audience will result in the creation of massive businesses going forward.
- A more personalized internet. For the last few decades, the primary innovation online centered on an ad-driven business model. As major platform players amassed massive audiences, they strove to monetize this attention through ads. The focus on this model has arguably made the internet less useful and less fun. We’re confident that emerging technologies will create a future where each person can have a more personalized internet experience, which will factor in their prior activities and actions online.
- A more connected global community. League of Legends, Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox reached over 1 BILLION combined players worldwide last year. Games have proven that people want to connect around shared experiences. The world is increasingly connected and it is possible to reach a global scale with the right go-to-market and local adaptation strategies.
We believe that the largest venture-scale outcomes of the next decade will come from companies building for this new generation of users. Delivering a more personalized and interconnected experience online is now more important than ever.
As a result, some areas that I am most excited to dig into this coming year include:
- The future of entertainment and fandom. I had the unique opportunity to help build one of the largest gaming communities in the world around League of Legends. We expanded that community to encompass sports, music and, entertainment as League fandom took over all facets of our players’ identities and interests. I also had the opportunity as an angel to help build community fandoms around music with 88 Rising and fashion/culture with Highsnobiety. I am excited for founders to use technology to better connect creative talent and their audiences, to build and evolve culture and identity, to form strong global communities of users bound by shared passions.
- The future of education. As a father to two young daughters, I am experiencing in real-time what it means for kids to grow up as gaming and interactive media native consumers. The way my girls see and experience the world has been eye-opening. I’m most excited about companies looking to create more fun and accessible ways for people to learn the skills and information, leading to healthy, happy, and productive lives.
- The future of shopping. Technology is finally here which makes it easier for people to discover, find, and buy the best products. Shopping online will be more based on curation and personalization, centering on communities of like-minded people. This was an area of focus for me as an angel. I backed companies innovating around how we discover and buy food with Deliveroo, fashion with Highsnobiety, art with Avant Arte, and general consumer goods with Italic. This new way to shop online will be more clearly tied to real attribution. Helping people to buy what they want, and sharing value with the people who help others discover what they buy.
- The future of self-improvement. For too long, doing things good for you has equated to doing things not fun. This made it difficult to help people build good habits around areas like mental/physical health, financial health, and relationships. Designing and delivering a stronger game loop around these products, and connecting users to a more meaningful multiplayer experience are keys to building sustainable engaging products.
If you are a founder building in any of the areas outlined above, or innovating around how consumers can better use the internet generally to accomplish their goals, I’d love to connect and chat. Patron strives to back founders building category creating and defining consumer businesses that will reshape how we use the internet.