Seth posts on his assumptions of things that will happen five years from now. Here's the complete list:
- Hard drive space is free
- Wifi like connections are everywhere
- Connections speeds are 10 to 100 times faster
- Everyone has a digital camera
- Everyone carries a device that is sort of like a laptop, but cheap and tiny
- The number of new products introduced every day is five times greater than now
- Wal-Mart's sales are three times as big
- Any manufactured product that's more than five years old in design sells at commodity pricing
- The retirement age will be five years higher than it is now
- Your current profession will either be gone or totally different
Let me make a few comments:
- Hard drive space almost is free. Google calculates its per user cost for 1 gig of storage at around $10 (in the volume that they are buying, of course). I purchased a 120 gig drive to hold all my CD's about 4 months ago; for the same price I paid then, I can get a 240 gig now. This is not going to take 5 years, give it more like 2.
- WiFi is growing much faster than anyone can imagine. I sit out on my porch at home and see the SSIDs of about a dozen access points that exist just in my general meighborhood. Maybe 5 years is relaisitic, but I think it's going to be faster.
- Almost everyone I know already has a digital camera; some of them have it and don't know it because it's built into their phone. More to the point, in 5 years, everyone will have a camera built into their cellphone that is of the same quality that high-end cameras have right now. In 5 years there will be a whole new picture sharing and printing ecosystem for doing everything wirelessly with your pictures.
- Connection speeds are already getting faster. Cable Internet and DSL are constantly upgrading their speeds. In 5 years, 3G and 4G wireless networks will be fully built out. Already new computers are shipping with Gigabit ethernet cards and Gigiabit hubs and switches are dropping down to consumer price levels.
- I hope that in 5 years I am carrying something that looks nothing like a laptop. Hopefully this device will be directed strictly by my voice and performs different functions based on where I am -- assistant everywhere, cellphone addressbook in my car, GPS in my car, addressbook at home and in the office, dictation device, etc. I hope to be carrying a screen in my wallet that I can fold out into a 15 inch screen that wireless gets data from this device and allows me to use Tablet PC functions for taking notes.
- I think that anything older in design than 2-3 years will be a commodity and that may be conservative considering the introduction rate of new products.
My big last comment: If the last bullet worries you (and it should), go buy yourself a copy of Tom Peters' Re-Imagine! And your job being totally different or gone in 5 years? 5 years is very conservative. Know anybody who's job has been off-shored? What jobs do you honestly think are next for off-shoring. Re-Invent yourself starting today!