Do you ever have a strange dream and wake up to read about it the next morning in the newspaper. The following visions of the future aren’t as rigorously derived. For the third year here are my predictions and trends:
1) It’s increasingly possible to become happier and richer through your investments. Now, you can be a capitalist with a conscious by trusting your intuition and following your values. Being green or socially responsible is gaining momentum and as more people shop, fund and support, what they believe in – valuations increase too. The book Conscious Money shows you how to become a self- reliant benevolent investor so you could become richer in spirit and balance sheet.
2) When natural disasters inevitably strike we will see faster and more direct response to those in need. The web provides democratization of charity as giving shifts to small and local organizations. Lost with the tide are economics of scale and the experience of seasoned relief workers from large central organizations.
3) It’s been said that “on the internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog” but it may increasingly be known what neighborhood you log in from, your income, the type of car your drive, what schools you attended, or your shopping habits, allowing the sellers to adjust their prices and offerings accordingly. Whether you’re a social media butterfly or not, your degree of influence may begin to affect the way you are treated by customer service representatives when you try to return your defective dog dish.
4) The concept of retail is forever changing. For deciding what TV to buy, or if you needed a gasket yesterday to repair a leak – retail is the way to shop – but increasing what you find at the corner stores are limited selections and last year’s models. If you know the model number of the chef’s pan you must have, or the brand and quantity of vitamin C, or the size, color, and degree of insulation for a new hot tub cover, then you will increasingly find availability and the best prices online. Even for small items like halogen light bulbs, lasagna pans, or shampoo. In the near term, we can expect to see more hybrids. Apple provides advice and demos in their stores and encourages you to place your orders online. No checkout lines at Toys “R” Us the Saturday before Christmas, for their sake, I hope the customers are all on line online.
5) Unfortunately, you will be spending more time proving who you are, not at the security line at the airport, but at home. Even our own computer, printer, or toaster doesn’t seem to believe it’s us without our secret password. Proving you are the “genuine you” will drag on your productivity but at least with plenty of practice entering your keystrokes, you can memorize ItsMe123 and our ink jet printers will be safe.
6) Walk down the street and everyone is looking down at a screen. Same in the office, the gym, or even at home. Soon we won’t have to be only looking down as screens will encroach washing machines, breakfast tables, and replace bulletin boards everywhere.
7) Not just calorie count but more info on your food will be available such as which farm your potatoes are grown and pasture where your steak once roamed will be recorded and tracked to control disease and authenticate attributes like organic or Angus.
8) Watch the skies for robots with wings as drones will be used for more than military purposes. Unmanned flight will seek new applications in gathering information and delivering goods and services.
9) Less DVDs, less physical data, less printouts, less 4×6 photos, More storing and exchanging data through cloud computing.
10) A sense of design will be increasingly valuable. Everyone with a smartphone is a digital photography, every computer serves as darkroom and over the internet, our amateur photos can be seen by more people than ever. At times when it’s necessary to stand out like the launch of a new product or to promote a brand, it’s more important than ever to get help from a pro. Expect a re-emergence of the great photographers who hone their craft. Professional website developers too.
11) Entrepreneurs will find opportunities for Innovation where they look to improve inefficiencies, especially related to underutilized resources, boats, exercise equipment, cars, land, or wedding dresses – people will find ways to utilize and monetize all the stuff we have sitting around our closets and garage. Ebay helped us sell our stuff we no longer wanted; Now entrepreneurs will help us rent our stuff we rarely use.
12) The best meals will be prepared at home. We once went to restaurants for celebrating special occasions – now we often go for convenience. However, with cost control and increased everyday demand the quality of the experiences is washing down the drain. Learn to cook your favorite foods, make friends with cooks, shop at farmers markets, buy fresh ingredients and you will surpass the quality and healthiness of all but the finest restaurants.
13) Never easier to go with the flow as social media allows for ideas to gather supporters to correct errors and promote justice. However, never has it been more important to make up your own mind, check the facts, and guard against mob rule and global lynch mobs.
14) Your phones, computers and even cars will be rendered useless not by a coffee spill or a collision but from those seemingly helpful automatically installed software updates. New codes may require newer hardware… so Beware of the update!
What do you think about these and what trends have you spotted and do you predict?