My 2016 Tech Predictions

0/6 Replay Gallery More Galleries

My 2016 Tech Predictions

I’ve been thinking about some of the cool things happening in the world and I wanted to note a few important trends I’m seeing. From Money to Hoverboards, things are changing quickly.


Bitcoin Will Be Boring

As a bitcoin booster I will like nothing better than to watch bitcoin get boring. Bitcoin, like the Internet, is part of our worldwide infrastructure. It isn’t supposed to be a “bet” nor should its value be subject to speculation. We don’t bid for access to the Internet backbone – we just pay for it – just as we shouldn’t bid to access our money anywhere in the world. Bitcoin will, in short, become boring and that’s great.


Bookstores Will Change Completely

Bookstores are dead, long live bookstores. The publishing industry will learn that bookstores need to be curated, special experiences for customers who want to meet, drink coffee, and maybe buy a book or two. This means two things: used bookstores will thrive while Barnes & Noble will finally fall. I’d honestly wages that the final B&N will close in the next two years. I also think running a used book store will be the next form of “artisanal” commerce.


AI Will Whisper To You

Forget watches that blink your steps. I expect we’ll soon see intelligent agents that will talk to you actively, reminding you of things that are happening and giving you a unique form of “augmented reality” that requires no reading, only passive attention.


The Era Of Hardware Memes Approaches

Just as the “hoverboard” became an overnight sensation I expect that speedy manufacturing, low quality control, and cultish fascination will bring us many more hardware memes – devices that appear and disappear like electronic Pet Rocks. The sad thing is you can’t predict what the world will want next.


We'll All Be Hacked

We will all be hacked. Every bit of info about us will be released by Internet jerks and it’s going to get worse and worse. Hacking is now an international sport and the people protecting our data are idiots. I’d like to see security experts address these issues without casting a cloud of derision and snake oil.


We're All Probably Wrong

Seed slump! Unicorns dying! War over water! The end of the world! The ice caps melting! Look: we’re smart animals even though we seem mostly dumb. I am a techno-optimist: I believe technology is the engine of positive change. We are coming upon a number of “horse manure moments.” What does that mean? Back when horses wandered city streets, major cities were about to be engulfed.

In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. One New York prognosticator of the 1890s concluded that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows.

What happened? The car appeared and made the horse manure problem go away overnight. We will hurt ourselves until we fix ourselves. It has always been thus. Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2016.