I’ve tried, mostly successfully, to stay current on developments in information technology, partly because it’s a business necessity these days, but also because I just plain find it interesting. Inevitably, I find myself making predictions about how new developments in the tech space will play out, popularity-wise. I’m not very good at it.
My most spectacular missed call (so far) was Twitter. When I heard the central idea behind it, I thought it was probably the dumbest thing I’d ever heard of, not only as a business model, but as something the social computing crowd would embrace. I’m still not sure how this thing makes any money, but it’s impact on the social space is undeniable. Who cares that most of what is conveyed is unmitigated bilge; the web is a-twitter.
A while back (when F-Book had ‘only’ about 250 million users) I had a premonition that the bloom was off the rose. I saw it as a fading phenomenon, largely because of a demographic shift away from youngsters to oldsters, thereby reducing the ‘hip’ factor dispropoportionately. (Well, you know how that’s turning out….)
Then there was the iPad. I saw it as a glorified Etch-a-sketch for attention-disordered yuppies. How many people would want to lug around another electronic gizmo? Well, uh, millions, actually.
In my estimation, the tablet computer was just a bigger (i.e. more cumbersome) version of what was on your smartphone, so why bother? Well, smartphone limitations being what they are, I suspect that tablet users are really thinking of making their laptop (or even desktop) ‘luggable’ and don’t mind (or even see) the inconvenience.
So, if you have an idea for the ‘next big thing’ in the computing space, run it by me. If I hate the idea, there’s a better than even chance you’re onto a good thing.