From Old To New Again: How Past Tech Trends Have Become Today's Hottest And Biggest Investment Categ

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A new article on Forbes reports that high-growth companies and startups in the cleantech, climate tech, social media, and fintech categories have now completed a transition from being considered unpopular and radioactive to becoming some of the most sought-after areas of technology investments.

The author here starts by quoting Mark Twain, who famously once said that "History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes."

Tech patterns and themes that were once in vogue go from being prominent to fading in relevance, only to return as the next cool trend. Now, a growing collective awareness about the impact and importance of tackling issues around energy consumption, climate change, and sustainability has graduated from a niche issue to the forefront of founders' and investors' minds alike. The staggering rate at which consumers are adopting electric vehicles like Tesla over the last several years surely helped in shifting perceptions about whether it's cost-efficient and whether it's cool to do what's best for the environment.

Back in the 2000s, when notable venture firms were publicly criticized for their large cleantech bets that didn't ultimately pay off, a level of fear and skepticism entered into the sector that undoubtedly resulted in less investment for some time. Now, it seems the tables have turned in favor of more innovation - and Mark Twain was right.

Social Media Growth

The author goes on to say that, in many tech circles, there was a point many years ago where it felt as if people discounted how much more social networks and platforms could innovate to become something new and exciting. Late last year, the Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz emerged as a vocal proponent of this theme when it proclaimed that growth in the social tech space returned in roaring fashion. Since then, we've gone on to see hundreds of millions of dollars in capital get deployed to startups that are tackling social in new and creative ways.

Fintech Growth

It's a similar story with financial technology, or fintech, companies. Engagement from consumers and investors on all things fintech seems to be at recent highs, getting a boost from all corners of the industry from companies like Stripe, Robinhood, Coinbase, SoFi, Plaid, and others. The mainstream growth of cryptocurrency and potential innovations related to decentralized finance, often called De-Fi, have opened the doors to a wave of new ideas that could lead to significantly more startups in the space, with capital investment likely to follow.

The author thinks that the success of climate and cleantech companies in this category could benefit the greater society as efficiencies are gained, waste is reduced, and energy is conserved. What do you think?
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