Every year I have a little punt at predicting the future, just for fun.
As such, it’s rare that I actually publish them, I usually forget. That is, until I’m made aware by an elegantly written article by some New York hotshot that happens to be thrust under my nose, by a colleague, friend or more often than not, a complete stranger, on a random news aggregation website.
Each year, I’ll pick at most 10 things that I think have trended, and watch them unfold into a reality over the following 12 months. It’s fun, for me.
Recently I’ve found that more often than not I’ve been bang on, on more than one prediction, while others, I’ve been way out. Its rare that I see a sort of mediocrity with my predictions, though they are usually the ones I remember either way.
In 2015, especially those of you in the automotive industry, the year marks the end of an era, for some of you, including this author, it is marking the beginning.
I’ve found that when asking people about the future, they tend to look into the past and talk about where they’ve come from and what they’ve done, leaving you to draw the conclude that their strategy is to continue to do what they have always done.
This lack of vision for the future leaves me somewhat underwhelmed.
It’s been over 30 years since the release of the “Back to the Future” movie which starred the iconic DeLorean DMC-12, immortalising itself in the hearts and minds of kids and big kids everywhere.
The car, produced by the since bankrupt company, chosen for it’s stainless steel body goes on to be equipped with a flux capacitor allowing time travel, a “Mr. Fusion” turning household waste into power using nuclear fusion and finally, the ability to fly.
This work of fiction neatly wrapped up into 116 minutes of film helped to inspire a generation and pave the way for a whole host of ideas that sit outside of possibility, yet just on the horizon of the reality.
In the movie franchise, the year 2015 was portrayed with a sprinkling of exciting new products that were not yet available in 1985, such as hoverboards, self-lacing trainers, dehydrated foods and flying cars.
In actuality, very few of these predictions came to fruition, in particular the use of fax, which has largely been replaced by other technologies such as email.
To be fair to the writers, they were attempting to predict 30 years into the future.
I wasn’t aiming so far ahead here.
As the end of 2016 rolled around, it was good to look back and see what I got right.
Arguably, you could say I’d picked trends that were obvious or already showing in 2015. And I would agree, but that’s all part of the fun.
It’s less about making outrageous claims, and more about looking at what the market and culture is doing right now, taking a stab in the dark about which of those trends may be interesting to point out, then recording them at that point in time, not to be touched or altered with throughout the year, right or wrong.
So, without exception, towards the end of 2016, again I started to look at what I expect to trend in 2017.
This year, I’ve decided to publish a concise list of my predictions, if a little later than I had hoped.
- You will use Uber in 2017
- The colours cyan, teal and turquoise
- Bio batteries will hit the market
- Yahoo will focus on discussion
- In the UK, the censorship firewall will be used to make arrests
- Chat bots will become more popular, again
- Offline first for web apps and websites
- You will buy your next car online
- Amazon will bring self-driving trucks onto UK roads
- Virtual reality headsets will be this year’s Christmas most wanted
Already one month in and I feel like my predictions are already starting to show some interesting results.
This will now act as a post in time to mark the start of the next chapter.
You can expect more to come. More than just 12 months ahead. More than broad sweeping statements. More “paving the way” than predicting…