What's In Store

Look ahead to 2021's tech trends with Deloitte's experts

Nothing like a global pandemic to make everyone refocus. Photo by Colin Anderson Productions/Getty

As poet Robert Burns mused, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In January 2020, most of us had plans —thoughtful road maps to guide our organizations, our technology, and our lives through the months to follow.

And then COVID-19 punched the entire world in the mouth, rendering useless many of these best-laid plans.

Seemingly overnight, a strange, historic event disrupted our assumptions and forced us, with a shocking degree of urgency, to become more adaptable and responsive than we had thought possible.

Mindful that the pandemic's impact continues to ripple across societies, markets, and lives, we present Tech Trends 2021. The theme of this year's report is resilience. To Deloitte, this means a stubborn determination to adapt and thrive in the face of change.

We have seen countless, inspiring examples of resilience this past year as organizations and entire sectors assessed their circumstances, revised their strategic plans, and marched toward the future. We anticipate that for most, the future they find will differ markedly from the realities of January 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis has driven change in an important and unexpected way. A growing number of organizations across sectors are accelerating their digital transformation efforts not only to make their operations nimbler and more efficient, but to respond to dramatic fluctuations in demand and customer expectation.

For example, while many supply chain leaders were confident of their ability to function during disruptions, we found out, as Warren Buffett once quipped, who was swimming naked when the tide went out.

Likewise, executive-level planning discussions about the future of work had been just that: about the future. The pandemic crashed comfortable schedules from years into weeks.

Continue reading this year's Tech Trends report on Deloitte's website to explore the opportunities, strategies, and technologies that will drive new plans during the next 18 to 24 months and beyond.

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Building Houston

 
 

Percy Miller, aka Master P, took the virtual stage at the Houston Tech Rodeo kick-off event. Photo courtesy of HTR

Percy Miller developed his music career as Master P, but it's far from his only entrepreneurial endeavor. At Houston Exponential's kick-off event for the 2021 Houston Tech Rodeo, Miller took the virtual stage with Zack O'Malley Greenburg, a journalist and author.

In the discussion, Miller shared his experience in his many fields of entrepreneurship, including music, fashion, consumer packaged goods, and more. He focused on trusting your own hard work, surrounding yourself with a good support system, and embracing failure — something he's done throughout his career.

"I don't look at it as a loss. I look at it as a lesson. Every 'L' is a lesson," he says. "Every time I had a business fail, I learned something from it and it opened up a door into a future."

To hit the highlights from the fireside chat with Master P, check out some overheard moments below. To stream the full broadcast, click here.

“A music career only lasts 3 to 5 years at the most. … I started diversifying my portfolio and I looked at the tech side and said, ’This is where you got to be at.’”

Miller says he was out in the Bay Area in the '90s and early '00s, and he saw first hand the tech scene developing in Silicon Valley. He even released an album in 2005 called Ghetto Bill, a reference to Bill Gates.

“I have failed a lot — don’t be afraid to fail. Get out and take that chance on yourself.”

Miller's music career mirrors, in some ways, the dynamic path of a startup. He received a $10,000 investment from his grandparents and used it to launch his career.

"I created an empire with $10,000," he says.

But It wasn't always easy, and Miller remembers the hustle, selling his music from the trunk of his car, and his many failures.

“You have to be committed to what you do — and you have to love it. It never was about money. When you’re passionate about something, you have a purpose. You’ll get there. If you do it for money, you’ll probably never be successful.”

Passion is a key ingredient in the recipe for success, Miller explains. It drives accomplishment and, "if you get it that easy, you'll probably lose it even quicker," he continues.

“I have an entrepreneurial spirit — I have to learn everything about what I’m doing.”

When it came to developing his music career, Miller says he wore every different hat in the process because he knew he would work the hardest.

"For me, if I can be the talent and the person who runs the company, I feel like there's no limit," Miller says. "I knew I could depend on myself."

“Show me your friends, and I can show you your future.”

Miller started his own record label, No Limit Records, and it was here he cultivated an environment of artists who didn't just want to perform, get pampered, and hang out at the club.

"People at No Limit — it was like a university," he says. "Everybody was coming to study to not only learn how to be an artist but also learn entrepreneurship and financial literacy."

“Most people wanted that advanced check, that money upfront. But my thing was I wanted the control in the end. When you come from a poor culture, you look at things differently. At least I did.”

Miller says he learned this at a young age, that if you hold the power, you make the decisions. "I want better for my kids and the only way I am going to do that is by creating longevity where I own the largest percent of the company," he says.

“It’s all about economic empowerment — we’re stronger together.”

Miller says he's focused on product and taking over the grocery stores, as well as driving economic empowerment for other BIPOC-founded companies and putting money back into the community.

"I want to focus on other minority-owned companies and brands get their products on the shelves,' he says.

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