Searching for The Sizzle: A Look at the Hottest Sectors in Business

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On May 19, 2014

Sometimes businesses get so focused on trying to come up with the next big idea that they get a little bit myopic. It’s easy to focus on the next new product and miss the big picture. But sometimes what’s happening across whole sectors of business that provides us with the clues about what we should pursue in order to achieve success.

Here’s a look at a few of the hottest business sectors—as seen by Fast Company.

  • Consumer Electronics: There seems to be a move away from producing things we simply consume to producing things that change the way we live. Instead of just creating new smart phones, companies are building phones that change the way we do things. Companies leading the charge here include Google, Apple, and GoPro.
  • Productivity: This kind of busts up our concept of what a product is. It’s not just software or equipment or knowledge. It’s a combination of those things that helps individuals and companies become better at what they do. Leaders in this space include: Dropbox, Google, and Evernote.
  • Energy: As more global economies ramp up the challenge of providing energy for all of them is growing. And that challenge is made tougher by the impact increased energy use is having on the environment. The same old solutions just won’t work anymore. Front-runners in this space include: Tesla, GE, and Philips.
  • Big Data: There are reports that products and services in the big-data sector increased to more that $18 billion in 2013. Everywhere you turn–from retail to education to healthcare—companies are using data to better serve businesses and consumers. But there’s a significant challenge when it comes to respecting privacy. Leaders in this sector include GE, IBM, and AYASDI.

What does this mean for your business? What does your business do that could tap into the growth in these sectors? What sector are you involved in now? Is it an area that’s continuing to evolve and grow? Or are you trying to build a better mousetrap in an industry that is fading? How are you keeping track of what businesses are “moving up and to the right?”