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One of tech and medias biggest investment bankers expects 2019 to be a year of innovation in audio, 5G, and space tech — heres the full memo he sent to staff

Aryeh B. Bourkoff told colleagues that “unpredictability” would be the only constant in 2019. LionTree

  • Aryeh B. Bourkoff, a tech, media, and telecom banker who
    founded LionTree Advisors, warned employees to “brace themselves”
    for a year of uncertainty in 2019.
  • In his annual letter to LionTree staff, Bourkoff identified
    market turmoil and global politics as factors that would require
    industry leaders to be agile, curious, and able to “self-correct”
    over the next year.
  • But there are also plenty of positive industry trends to look
    forward to, he said.
  • He said he expects to see new products and experiments in the
    video space from industry leaders like Disney and Warner Media, a
    ripple effect from developments in 5G mobile technology, and the
    emergence of new space technologies.

Aryeh B. Bourkoff, the LionTree founder and renowned tech, media,
and telecom banker, is urging his colleagues to “brace
themselves” against impending instability.

“The New Year promises unpredictability as the only constant,” he
wrote in a letter to LionTree staff on Monday, adding, “The
future does not make promises to the present and demands only
that we prepare for it diligently and imagine it boldly.”

The markets, Bourkoff wrote, have proved to be both strong and
turbulent. While this is challenging for many of LionTree’s
clients, Bourkoff said he saw the market volatility as “a healthy

“The top priority for leaders across industries will be to
address this paradox of strong fundamentals and ambient unease —
and to do so with kindness, humility, curiosity, and the ability
to self-correct that comes from teaching and learning
simultaneously,” he wrote.

Though there is much uncertainty on the international political
stage, Bourkoff said he thought political turmoil in the US that
has marked the past two years would have less of an effect on the
economy in 2019 and 2020 as a new mix in Congress enhances the
likelihood of legislative gridlock.

Read more:

Here’s what Bourkoff predicted in 2017

Things to watch: 5G, esports, and space travel

Macroeconomics aside, Bourkoff also shared his predictions for
which TMT trends will take off in 2019.

The hottest issues next year will be the battle in
direct-to-consumer video, major developments in mobile thanks to
5G, new innovations in voice and audio technologies, and swift
developments in emerging industries like esports and space
technology, he said.

It will be a “pivotal” year for companies like Disney and Warner
Media in direct-to-consumer video, Bourkoff said, adding that he
expects to see new products and experimentation from big players
as they gear up to compete against the Netflixes of the world.

Bourkoff also said he expected to see new opportunities in audio,
particularly around voice-based commerce and advertising.

Outside of devices, a whole new market is developing around space
tech, where he expects to see many long-term projects start
coming to fruition.

“The possibilities are dizzying: passenger space travel,
instantaneous delivery and universal connectivity via satellite
and the prospect of point-to-point networks,” he said.

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