It’s always fun to navigate around checking what the pundits decide to predict in the coming year. This requires being up on trends and having a bit of imagination of how the factors will collide to develop into the momentum needed for new technologies or trends to emerge. So taking a survey of my own favorites: ReadWriteWeb, IDC, Jeremiah Owyang, Mashable and Wired, here’s a summary of my picks for top 10 trends/predictions for 2010.
1. The Mobile Year: many agree the numbers are there. Smartphones have reached market share that justify more investment. Everything from GPS based services and new social networks (that capitalize on Facebook backlash on privacy and the advantages of Yelp). Google phone will become number 2 in the market, but new (and cheaper) smart phones will flood the market.
2. The end of FREE: Brier Dudley from The Seattle Times wrote a very persuasive piece on this, he was referring to media and online TV, but in general I think this trend applies to other web services. People will still give away ‘free’ tastes, but full services and a come-back to business models will be an imperative to surviving the new decade.
3. Open, the new Black: We’re already seeing open social graphs like MySpace, but this is a space that not only will heat up, but it will become an imperative to integrate and survive. The player here will be Facebook who will open up thei graph with much more public resistance. This will also play into whats some are calling the death of the login, so your social graph follows you everywhere in the web
4. Backlash year: The darlings of the tech world: Apple, Twitter and Facebook will face increased criticism as they move into more aggressive monetization models, continue to test the limits of non-privacy tolerance and improve over-crowded digital spaces like the app store. These companies have grown so fast they are now big enough that they will face some of the challenges of big-fat companies. Scale is a bitch.
5. Living in the Cloud: Both on the enterprise and the personal side, browsers will become the true new OS having your data accessible backed up in the cloud will become mainstream. enterprises will be more comfortable with moving their data to the cloud, but security will be the big issue of this year.
6. Real-Time Service: the unstoppable train of flash-fast, relevant, personalized and timely services will result from the ability to process real-time data. That world already exists, we can produce content almost as-it-happens thanks to Twitter and others, but the responses are still slow. Mostly because we lack the software to process and interpret this data. But there’s lots of start-ups that are tackling this problem which will get embedded in organizations and enterprises, beyond their marketing/PR departments into their servicing capabilities.
7. Social Media Guru= Photocopier Guru. I love reading this analogy at PC Mag – do you have a photocopier ‘guru’ in your office? Social media has been one hot business card title in the last year. But as the technology matures an integrates in the existing systems, people will move beyond the gargle talk of blogs, tweets, FB pages etc and tackle the deeper challenges of information flow, organizational structures, business models and acquisition and retention of customers in the era of real-time web and digitally networked society.
8. The year of the e-book: remember when we laughed at Bezos on The Daily Show when he came out to showcase his new kindle? Well, 2.5 million sold Kindles after, many analysts are predicting a boom in e-books sales. The market will see many competing devices, but none will offset the Kindle. I still don’t have one, though I’m increasingly curious! Of course the FAA maybe the biggest disruptor for this trend.
9. Netbooks vs. Tablets: Analysts disagree on what’s going to happen on this one. Apple’s highly rumored tablet promises to rock the market, and lots of companies are launching new netbooks, in particular rumors about a dirt-cheap Google netbook could keep the netbook market hot. I think we may see a bit of segmentation happen and netbooks will be popular with biz travelers and teens (people on the move that still need more than a cell phone to work on)
10. The come-backs, kind of…: This year, more than any other big companies saw little guys (or big guys that act little, like Google) kick their butts. Innovation translated into customer acquisition in pretty much all spaces, but big companies may be a it slow but are definitely not dumb. The enormous amount of resources they have can be focused and make miracles, and while we may have ruled them out as too slow and un-hip, ‘older’ tech companies can make a come back with new products, new services and making pushing to the mainstream the innovations small companies developed. People are keeping on eye on some giants like IBM, Nokia and Microsoft all poised to make big and bold moves in several aspects this year.
Also posted at digitalecologist.com