Who doesn’t like to dream?
It’s remarkable when you think about what the world was like 50, 20, even 5 years ago. What were people dreaming about then? Who would’ve thought that electronic mail would have become the key to the Internet. It’s even more absurd to imagine (or dream) that email will not exist in a decade’s time. It isn’t a coincidence that with ubiquitous access to keyboards we choose to communicate thru 140 characters and clip-art emoticons. Johannes Gutenberg would cry.
As we pass the half-way mark of the teen-driven “Social Decade”. What are some of the macro trends that will shape the next decade?
We are simply using less to make more. It’s no wonder that commodities and miners are struggling. With a booming population we’re forced to be on one side more resourceful and the other accommodating to more diverse and immediate needs. We see examples of this across the spectrum.
Our phones have replaced dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, business cards, and cameras and so on. Yet content creation is more in demand than ever before.
The Cloud has replaced filing cabinets and changed the way we do business forever. Yet we’re working harder and longer than before.
We need less furniture, our media becomes digital and virtual. Yet the living space per person has doubled?
This trend is not about to slow down. It seems that through miniaturization our tools will become stronger, faster, and cheaper on less. But we’ll continue to push them until they’re last decade’s relics.
With demand comes scale. With data comes efficiency. With a little bit of luck and predictive analytics, our efforts will appear effortless.
Nonetheless our time to achieve them will remain fleeting.
Think about it – what hasn’t become “disposable” in the past decade? Some would argue that it started with Warhol, but Fashion, Art, Music, Food, Design, Literature, and more has become consumable.
Any visit to your local Goodwill is a tour through a period when people purchased goods with longevity in mind. If it lasted 10 years brilliant, less than 2 and consumer reports would be notified. Today people are unlikely to keep a job for more than two years, let alone an item of clothing or a physical good.
We’re witnessing the Uberization of the world. Anything and everything can be rented. If you do buy it because of critical mass, it can be replaced or trashed. Helicopters, food, nurses, and luxury items can all be borrowed for the night and returned from a complete stranger. This was unheard-of ten years ago.
3D printing is going to change everything. Imagine 3D printing a car. What used to take 90 days to build can now be complete in 48 hours for half the cost. On demand ambulances for hospitals, just in time tanks for the army. Forget surge charges – Uber could just build against demand and recycle what they don’t use. Imagine fighting a forest fire with 3D printed drones?
Not only will this drive costs significantly down, but the idea of owning a car will be filed in the same category as riding a horse.
We understand even less of what we don’t know. The philosophical arguments aside, we are going to learn so much about ourselves as we move forward.
Modern psychology and medicine is leaning heavily on the human senses. After all, these evolutionary traits are deeply rooted in our innate abilities to survive and thrive. Science can learn a thing or two.
Also as the world evolves and develops new ways to stimulate our senses through sight, sound, touch and smell, we risk desensitization. Machines are already playing their part. As we bond closer with our devices and further away from one another, our bodies will react and evolve.
Our better understanding of our senses and how to share them and talk about them will drive closer unions, stronger communication, and bolder innovation.
Freud was considered a freak over 100 years ago. Email was laughed at in the 90s. Scalable 3D printing was deemed impossible in the 2000s.
So what do you dream about when you dream about the future?
From One Ear To Another,