Welcome to 2015

 

It’s the time of the year to contemplate what happened last year,  predict what will happen this year, make your resolutions and plans. Here’s my take on the retrospectives, predictions and resolutions I’ve found around the web.

Restrospectives

If we are what we search, then Google has the answer.

The lead stories include some interesting conclusions; apparently we’re optimistic, searching for “MH370 found” 14 times more often than “MH370 lost”.

Other sites focused on images of the year, Time produced their top 10 images, while CNN could only limit itself to 147 – it’s a sobering look back at the year with shocking photos of thousand of Syrian refugees, Gaza, riots, ebola victims, Boko Haram and ISIS. It’s been a tough year. There were some positives; Malala Yousafzai, a child rescue, Rosetta the comet.

Predictions

There’s always a danger in making predictions, particularly as this is the year we were supposed to be getting hoverboards according to the movie “Back to the Future”.

For some digitally relevant predictions

  • Econsultancy sees advances in online sales, increase in apps and mobile, and the rise of analytics.
  • V8 predicts the rise of analytics and the downfall of smart watches.
  • Social Media Examiner thinks that video will be the content format of choice (I’ve heard this before, many times, maybe this time it will be right), growth in slideshare for business and there’s a rise in niche social networks.

Resolutions

The other tradition at New Year is the “New Year’s Resolution”, that promise you make to yourself to improve your life. Apparently the most common relate to weight loss, saving money, quit smoking, and falling in love. Apparently only 8% of people keep their resolutions.

You can increase the chances of keeping any resolutions you do make by picking realistic goals, and by taking small steps that keep you motivated. The Greatist has some great ideas for inspiring wording of a resolution you can stick to.

Personally I don’t wait until New Year to make resolutions, if I want to change something I start working on it right away, and I aim for incremental, sustainable change. But this year I’ve taken the chance to affirm two professional resolutions I’m working on, and one personal one. I’m not going to list them here – it turns out disclosing your goals tricks your mind into thinking you’re going to succeed and you don’t try so hard as Derek Sivers explains in this TED talk.

So here’s to a fun year, welcome to 2015!

 

image fireworks

Predictions 2009

It’s with some trepidation that I throw a few predictions into the ring for 2009; who could have predicted 2008’s global economic meltdown? Few did although in hindsight the signs were there. Without doubt 2009 is going to be full of challenges for businesses, perhaps especially those in the technology and communications areas.

Web 2.0

There has been a tidal wave of start-ups and social media tools. Without a doubt there will now be a shake out, those with a strong business – producing revenue and growth – will survive. Some will be bought by bigger fish, or merge with others who are providing the same service, others will die. We’ve seen this before.

Start-up money will be harder to come by, particularly in the US and Europe, so new companies are going to have to be cheaper and smarter in how they develop. VCs are likely to want a faster payback and ask more penetrating questions on the business model – not just the technology. We could see start-up money coming out of Asia and NEMA rather than the US.

Big Players

For big companies in the tech space like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo expectations will increase. Microsoft and Google provide a huge range of services to large corporates who are going to want more for the money they have available.

In terms of the services provided directly to customers Google needs to start providing service to the local user or disillusionment will grow – they’re no longer the cool start up and it’s going to get tougher for them.

Mobile

The technology has advanced, the content had advanced, but so far it’s been early adopters who’ve really benefitted. This is changing,  it’s going mainstream which means that it is generating an advertising opportunity. If this can be linked to location then we can get to micro targeting – and micro searching. Finally I can search for the product I want and get local results.

Cybercrime

The web is no longer anonymous. Open standards, services like Sxipper, will develop further to improve authentication on the web. Companies, registration authorities and governments will pressure IP suppliers and other web site suppliers to crack down on cybercrime – forward fee fraud alone made more profit than Disney in 2007. In the past financial services companies have paid up in some cases of cybercrime even when not at fault, but this year they haven’t got any money so I predict a greater fightback from them.

So overall, a shakeout of the proliferation of social media sites and apps – those with a real audience and a revenue stream have the best chance of survival (however good the concept is). Opportunities for real innovation, both from startups and established companies, and bigger demands for companies and customers who are also trying to do more with less in their own fields.  2009 is here;  ready, steady, GO!

 

image: android girl via pixabay