Good Enough Predictions
I don’t have a crystal ball but I am well connected and talk to many consumers and other groups on a regular basis. My team and I have developed a pretty sophisticated methodology to forecast and predict consumer needs and preferences.
Below are my predictions for 2012, in random order. Like most of us I always hate to be wrong, though, sometimes I hate to be right too.
I have a good feeling about 2012 in general. Although the last couple of years were rather tough for most of us, things are slowly falling into place. We all had to reset our expectations, define a “New Good Enough”, discover the “New Humility” for ourselves.
Here we go …
- Governments will become more people focused. Politicians realize that the previous approach wasn’t good enough. The “Boycott Wall Street” and other protests force politicians to slowly change their perspective, in particular in light of the Presidential elections in the States.
- Obama will be re-elected. Although Obama didn’t perform as expected the Republicans will not be able to come up with a candidate the majority of Americans would trust enough to address the mounting problems.
- Job creation is the leading topic in 2012, whether in the States or other parts of the world. The public will challenge large, mid-sized and small companies if outsourcing jobs to “low labor cost countries” is the right thing to do and will adjust their buying decisions accordingly.
- Consumers will focus more on value than on hype. The “New Humility” movement will gain momentum. Consumers have already started to realize that many products of recognized brands are overpriced and don’t fit into their budget anymore.
- Green technologies and environmentally friendly projects will attract more public attention again, in particular in light of job creation efforts as well as global warming/climate change discussions.
- Think global, act local. Previously outsourced jobs to Asia will slowly return back home. “Made in America” (or, homemade tastes better) will gain momentum.
- Facebook will have a less than smooth IPO. In the spirit of true cloud computing the consumer demand for “every relationship between two or more parties is defined by an application” will dominate the evolution of the virtual merger between Social Networking and traditional application software development. Facebook is already too big and too slow to keep up with the dramatic changes that will happen in 2012. Users and investors have already started to realize that long-term Facebook is fading to grey.
- The education industry will adopt tablet computer faster than any other industry in the market. Educational content providers are looking at a bright future.
- The “smart phone” and the “mobile tablet computer (tablet with 3G/4G)” will grow together and become a new very popular product category. We will see many pre-packaged “combo offerings” in 2012, like a mobile tablet computers with integrated full phone features, bundled with Bluetooth earbuds and a keyboard integrated in a matching case, and other user friendly accessories .
- Inexpensive “smart dumb phones” will grow super fast, in particular in developing countries . Intel based laptops will do well as well, whereas the good old desktop will become even more irrelevant and ultimately face the destiny of the fax machine.
- The Apple hyper-euphoria will slowly cool off in 2012. Consumers are complaining about overpriced products and services. Other vendors will embrace the “good enough” market requirements more aggressively and offer products that are “faster, cheaper and better”.
- RIM (Research in Motion), the manufacturer of BlackBerry devices, will continue to lose market share.