Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Predictions and Trends for 2011

My annual predictions, with implications for career, business, and investments have been reasonably accurate. They are among my most widely read and republished work. Here are my predictions and trends for 2011.


ST said...

I think the smart phone idea will take a little longer, but it may happen eventually. There are too many people with laptops and pads out there for the smart phone to be their replacement right away.

I would also say screen size may have something to do with it. Maybe someday smart phones will project some sort of holographic screen just above the device. Same goes for bigger keys. It seems the only people OK with the tiny keys on most phones are women with slim fingers.

As far as the demise of brick and mortar, it is harder and harder to try out or see an actual product any more. My most recent search was for a good set of headphones. I researched online and never would I have found the brands and models in any physical store in the north of Chicago area. I did find some models that I wasn't considering, of one or two brands that I was considering.

Besides manufacturers showrooms, the online experience will have to get better and better. Some online sites are very good at visually depicting the products, with zoom capabilities that show the wrinkles and textures of fabrics, etc.

Otherwise, it's a matter of ordering several options and returning the ones that don't work out. Instead of brick and mortar, it's exchange by mail.

MPN said...

There's a career opportunity in the first trend that you didn't mention and it's getting more and more attention and funding. (See my off-blog comment for more detail.) It's bridging the digital divide. Techies with a social services heart will be in demand to bring the have-nots online and onboard with broadband. Especially those who don't mind teaching a little.

Marty Nemko said...

MPN, As has been written here, because of offshoring and decreased demand because more software is off-the-shelf, competition for these jobs is fierce and getting fiercer. They're going mainly to strong computer science graduates from selective universities. Won't these "digital inclusion" programs for children and teens from very challenging backgrounds be making them undergo very difficult training for jobs they're unlikely to get, especially as, as time goes on, the offshoring/automation trend accelerates further?

Marcus said...

These are very good forecasts. I would ad that as corollary to the leftward trend, vulgarity and a general debasement will not only continue but accelerate. Androgyny is become more obvious by the hour (at least in NYC), and men and women seem unable to communicate but as atoms occasionally bumping into each other.

America today is less a Western or European nation than an oligarchic Third World one. This, too, will accelerate. The business consequences is that the market for very high-end products is increasing as the middle-market shrinks. For example, there are more speakers, amps and CD players for over $10,000 today than five years ago, yet fewer in the $2000-3000 range (I'm a bit of an audiophile). In a nation with a shrinking middle class, services and products for the plutocracy is a burgeoning industry.

Jacked Up said...

Sadly I think you might be correct about the government staying bloated. Not sure how sustainable a perpetually growing government is but printing money is a hot trend in DC and not one to disappear.

Anonymous said...


I always read your new posts, and I think you are one of the most sensible and articulate folks out there.

That said, why do you refer to Democratic policies or politicians as "Democrat" policies or politicians? The word is Democratic, right?

"While the Dems are down, consider volunteering for your favorite Democrat politician."

Marty Nemko said...

I do so to clarify the distinction between the evaluative term "democratic" and the political-party descriptor. But I must admit that there also is a subtext operative. I see the media, leftist-biased, adopting whatever pro-liberal language the Democrat/Republican party's focus groups have identified as benefiting them, for example, changing "swamp" to "wetland," and, of course "liberal" to "progressive." And the media uses the Democrats' marketing think tank's (e.g., the old Rockridge Institute's and OBama's dream team of 29 "Influencing experts") framings: describing leftist policies as reflecting the constitutional framers' intent, because that sort of framing appeals to conservatives. Key to understanding me is a commitment to true fairness and justice, and I am deeply saddened by the media's migration from even-handed reporter to liberal advocate. So, unconsciously, and sometimes consciously, I do a little bit to restore a measure of justice/fairness.

That's perhaps a too-full explanation of why I wrote "Democrat" versus "Republican". I hope you can allow me that--it is far, far more justifiable than what the liberal mainstream media does to manipulate the public into its point of view.

Anonymous said...

(I asked the question about Democrat/Democratic semantics)
Thanks for your reply -- I do agree with you regarding the media's rather sneaky and biased semantic shifts. Please keep writing; you really are one of the best voices out there.

Kem said...

I don't think the smartphone revolution will occur overnight; There are still a lot of people (especially all those who are unemployed!) who can't afford such expensive service or a nice phone. Check out this article in the SF Chronicle about a company that is distributes job postings via text message. Smartphone or not, you can receive job alerts.

Serge said...

I still wait for the hyperinflation. Not sure if it is next year or not, but with the Congress asking to cut hundred of billion in taxes while spending billions on war and billions more on keeping the plug on in the last few days of the "grandmas" life (I.e. Medicare) I think hyperinflation is inevitable.

In this aspect a house should serve as a hedge against hyperinflation. And while I lost half of value of what my home was worth in its pick, I think it will recover its price when the inflation hits double digits. Also government I Bonds can be a great hedge and much safer than stock.


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