Friday, May 21, 2004

Seth Godin's Future Assumptions

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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your time frame. Seth is way too conservative.

David St Lawrence