In the last years, the world has seen an unprecedented concentration of tremendous wealth. The reasons for this are complex. On the one hand, the globalization of the world trade and the price reduction of telecommunication and transport services have facilitated the accumulation of wealth. On the other hand, the development of information technology offers an extremely high level of business scalability and wealth accumulation.
If for a physical product, for example, it is necessary for each piece
to be manufactured, stored and transported, a software program can be copied
and sold thousands of times in a matter of seconds. Bill Gates, for instance,
owes his position of the world's richest man mainly to software products like
Windows and MS Office. The situation with the digitalization of sales is
similar. If for Sam Walton's trade empire Walmart was necessary to invest in
the physical building of each shop, the site Amazon.com was able to sell all
over the world right after its creation.
So, it's no surprise that today the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos is the
richest man with a wealth of over USD 105 billion. Moreover, he owns only 17%
of Amazon, a company worth more than USD 623 billion. Both of them have built
their empires in the retail sector, but Bezos does it in the virtual space,
where there are almost
for expanding your business. Still, Bezos is far from reaching the title
of trillionaire. By crossing the psychological threshold of USD 100 billion,
however, such questions become more and more relevant: is it possible for
someone to earn 1 trillion dollars, and if so, when and which business segment
could generate such a 13-digit wealth?
Many believe that even if this happens, it will be in hundreds of years.
According to some experts, however, the appearance of the first trillionaire will
happen much sooner than we expect. The Oxfam organization, for example,
recently announced that it expects this to happen within the next 25
years. Supporters of this theory point
out that the exponential development of a number of new technologies could make
it possible to generate such wealth. Even if the first trillionaire appears in
100 years, this does not exclude today's richest people on the planet, because
advances in medicine and biotechnology in the next decades are expected to lead
to a significant extension of lifespan. A luxury that probably rich people will
be able to afford first.
Who will be the lucky person and in which industry will they develop
their business? The history of extreme wealth has been closely linked to
segments such as oil, steel, trade, and in recent years - above all, information
technology. The first billionaire - John
Rockefeller - owes his wealth to his oil empire. Today, however, despite its importance, this
segment can hardly generate a personal wealth of USD 1 trillion. The question
is which sector has the potential to do it.
may have put wealth in Bezos’ hands, but even if his Amazon could manage
to fight Alibaba for the Chinese and other major developing markets, which is
unlikely, it will barely reach an amount where its share is valued to half a
trillion. Technological giants may be able to change entire traditional
sectors, but even for their growth, there are limitations such as the number of
the population on the planet or the average revenue per subscriber. That means
that even if a digital service such as Amazon or Facebook could reach all
people, it would be difficult for its creator to become a trillionaire.
This is a relatively new IT sector that connects to the Internet
different things around us - cars, household appliances, clothes, various
machines and entire buildings. The subjects are incomparably more than the
people in the world, and their transformation into telecom subscribers has the
potential to generate tremendous wealth. Despite the prospects of this sector,
however, the fact that it is not purely software, but is related to the
availability of hardware products reduces its scalability. Moreover, there are
a lot of small players in the sector, and it is still unclear whether a company
will manage to establish itself and have the influence of Google, Amazon or
Facebook; and accordingly - concentrate most of the revenue in the segment.
In the last decades, Bill Gates has remained at the top the longest because he had managed to provide
humanity with an accessible interface for working with personal computers and
the Internet. Logically, if someone succeeds in imposing to the public a new
type of interface for controlling computers and other devices with our minds
through the Brain-Computer Interface technology, there is a great chance for
them to accumulate such a wealth. For now, however, players in this new segment
are too small, and the large IT corporations have no clear interest in it.
is another promising sector in which private companies are yet to enter,
and the growth potential is huge. Possibilties to take people and cargo to
orbit for less money, undertake deep space missions (to the Moon or Mars), as
well as asteroid mining, position entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk (Space X) and
again Jeff Bezos (with another company of his - Blue Origin) very well. Even a
small number of asteroids in the Solar System possess deposits of precious
metals, such as gold and platinum, that exceed those on the Earth. These are undoubtedly
assets for trillions of dollars, but it is still difficult to assess to what
extent one or more companies can get them. The strong positions of Bezos in
this sector, as well as in e-commerce, and also in other prospective sectors
such as cloud services and home assistants, however, increase his chances of
becoming a trillionaire in the foreseeable future, and his wealth of being
generated not from one, but from several market segments simultaneously.
The development of this sector so far has no potential for 1 trillion
dollars. However, it could come from a specific breakthrough - the creation of
the nanoassembler. This is the concept of a miniature robot with the size of a
molecule that could change matter around itself at the atomic level. In theory,
sufficient numbers of such robots could create a subject out of
"nothing," which would fundamentally change the production of many
goods. However, it is still too early to
predict when such technology will be created, and even less - when it will
reach the market.
and sectors such as bionics and synthetic biology
in particular are another non-digital segment that can be scalable enough to
accumulate tremendous wealth. The creation of artificial organisms promises
huge new opportunities in areas such as medicine, agriculture, energy,
construction and even the improvement of the human body. In theory, a new
product that can feed millions of people around the world or add an unknown
property to the human body could generate significant wealth to its creator.
But we are still far from such a breakthrough.