Thursday, March 29, 2012

NY Times' David Pogue Validates Our Ultrabook Predictions

One of our predictions this year was that "the most overused phrase in 2012 could be: lean-back/lean-forward user experiences."

So far, we've jumped the gun on that one. (As background, lean-back activities are those in which users passively access content, like watching TV. Lean-forward activities are those in which the user is actively engaged in consuming content, as when they’re searching for content on the Internet or via an app.)

But we also said, "Also expect to hear a lot of about ultrabooks – PCs as sleek and thin as Macbooks."

And in today's New York Times, consumer product reviewer David Pogue, reviewed several new ultrabooks. "So what's an ultrabook?" Pogue asks. "It's a MacBook Air that runs Windows," he answered.  He's bullish about ultrabooks: "If you wait, more goodness is coming."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Validates Post-PC Prediction

For the second consecutive week, Bloomberg BusinessWeek validates one of our predictions for 2012. Last week's cover story validated our prediction of Chinese corporate espionage as an important story the media would cover in 2012.

This week's "Opening Remarks" column, entitled "Why the iPad's success may spell the end of the computer industry as we know it" (the online version is called, "IPad: The PC Killer") validates the Post-PC prediction, in which we said:

We expect that Post-PC will be a term we’ll hear a lot in 2012, given the exploding popularity of tablets, especially iPads. 
Bloomberg BusinessWeek joins the New York Times (see yesterday's post).

Monday, March 26, 2012

NY Times Validates Our Post-PC Prediction

As part of the coverage around the latest version of the iPad, there have a number of articles looking at the decline of the desktop.  One such article was in the New York Times, As New iPad Debut Nears, Some See Decline of PCs.

In our predictions this year, issued Jan. 31, 2012, we wrote:
Also expect to hear a lot of about ultrabooks – PCs as sleek and thin as Macbooks. We expect that Post-PC will be a term we’ll hear a lot in 2012, given the exploding popularity of tablets, especially iPads. 
 By the way, we don't expect to see laptops or desktops to disappear anytime soon. (Well, not laptops.) There's still a need for PCs and iMacs, for that matter.

But we do expect to hear, read and see Post-PC used more often this year and in the future.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bloomberg Business Cover Story on Chinese Espionage Validates Our Predictions

In our prediction about ongoing story angles that we expect to generate coverage this year (available here), we said one to watch is:
    The rising threat of Chinese businesses, the Chinese economy and the Chinese military.
In the current cover story of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Michael Riley and Ashlee Vance write, "Inside the Chinese Boom in Corporate Espionage," a detailed analysis of what they call "The Great Brain Robbery." There are at least 20 examples of corporate espionage conducted by the Chinese -- with support from China's intelligence agencies. In fact, the article quotes the director of the NSA as saying, "It's the greatest transfer of wealth in history."

It's a fascinating, frustrating look at the costs and risks of doing business in China. What's amazing is that the US firms cited are major corporations like Apple, Boeing, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ford, GM, Goodyear, Motorola, Northrup -- companies that you would have expected to be able to through resources enough to prevent themselves from being victimized.

We think this will continue to be a story covered by the media -- but, strangely enough since it's an economic issue, not a campaign issue during the remainder of the GOP primary season.  (We say that because the cover story did not generate the buzz we would have expected.)  How the country deals with China on economic, political and military issues will become even more important through the rest of the decade, and having a thought-out well-crafted policy will be important. So I wonder why that's not a campaign issue yet.

Actually, after posting this, I found an article from today's Times, "The Electoral Math of Romney's Stance on Trade with China," which provides context to how trade issues with China are being discussed. Worth reading.

Of course, that may change in the fall.

What do you think? Let us know.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

WSJ Validates our Cashless Payments Prediction

One of our predictions this year is that mobile payments will increase, and that "spearheaded by Google Wallet, Visa's, and Verizon, 2012 looks to be a big year for mobile commerce."

Perhaps Wal-Mart and Target read our predictions published in Feb., but a Wall St. Journal article reported, "Retailers Join Payment Chase; Two Words: Digital Wallet—Wal-Mart and Target Join Project Aiming to Make Plastic," The big issues for adoption by retailers are potential security and privacy issues.

So looks like another point on the Trend-Validation Board for us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bank of America Validates our Prediction about Using Fees to Offset Declining Revenue

Usually we tout when a media outlet validates our predictions, like the one we made that Companieswill use fees to offset declining revenue in 2012.

But BofA is validating that prediction on its own (via a WSJ article: "Big Bank Weighs Fee Revamp; Bank of America Considers a Revamp That Would Affect Millions of Customers."

Here's another case where we'd like to be wrong since we'd prefer not paying fees for services we've been getting for free. Can we get the same people behind the no net revenue increase pledge on taxes make a similar pledge about no-net-fee increase?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Validation of our Cutting the Cord Prediction

Lots of stories appearing in print and online are validating our "Cutting the Cable" prediction that people are moving away from cable.

Here are some recent validation:
In going through some clips, we realized there's one story prediction we did not make -- but should have. We think that the car of the future will continue to be a big ongoing story trend. The car of the future includes all sorts of built-in technology like web access, iPod/iPhone/iPad interfaces, etc. as well as the big concept: the driverless car. Google and others have already demonstrated driverless cars. But there are legal and security issues involved before driverless cars go mainstream.  (Based on the people I see driving around me, personally, I can't wait for driverless cars -- they've got to be safer!)

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    NY Times Continues to Validate Our Cutting the Cord Prediction

    Last month, the Wall St. Journal validated our our Cutting the Cable prediction. This week, the New York Times climbed on board. Nick Bilton's Disruptions: TV Makers Ignore Apps at Their Own Peril makes the point that he prefers watching programs on his iPhone or iPad because:
    "The idea of turning it on, powering up the external speakers, starting the Apple TV or Xbox, telling the TV which input does what, or flicking through some traditional TV channels, makes me anxious. It’s the same feeling I get when I think about sifting through a pile of bills."
    So what does Bilton see as the problem?
    What is broken is the entire television experience. I have two remote controls for the TV and speakers with more than 40 buttons each. (I don’t have cable or TiVo; if I did, I’d have even more buttons to worry about.)
    Instead, Bilton prefers his iPhone over his TV because of the way it allows him to consume content -- and because he can also create content, post information and comments and share content all on the same device. 

    He's really talking about cutting the cable. We think people will want to access movies at home on big screens -- so that the whole family can watch. But we also continue to believe that people will want to watch wherever they are and on whatever device they have. That means watching video on a smartphone while standing in the security line at the airport; watching on a tablet when they get a seat at the gate or when they're actually on the plane; and watching when they get home or to the hotel room -- each time, picking up where they left off. The device doesn't matter, really. We just want optimized access wherever, whenever.

    Cable, as it currently operates, doesn't make sense in that context.  They need to find a way to stream the content we each want to all our devices -- and I know there are technical, licensing and security issues to be solved. But that is the future, and by 2022, the concept of cable will seem as remote as dial-up does to my kids.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    More Validation from WSJ about Our Cybersecurity

    In our prediction about ongoing story angles that we expect to generate coverage this year (available here), we said two to watch are:
    • Net-specific issues such as net neutrality (the need to prevent broadband providers from blocking access to competitors), the e-tax loophole (in which e-retailers don’t require customers to pay sales tax, which gives Amazon and others an advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers that do charge customers sales tax), and anti-piracy legislation (Stop Online Piracy Act aka SOPA and Protect Intellectual Property Act aka PIPA).
    • The rising threat of Chinese businesses, the Chinese economy and the Chinese military. 
    Recently, the New York Times validated the net-specific issues by continuing to report on security/privacy bills validating our prediction about ongoing stories -- you can check out the links here

    Today, the Wall St. Journal reported on two of those trends:
    The latter story focuses on the threat to US businesses from Chinese businesses.

    Here's another WSJ article I momentarily overlooked: Cybersecurity 2.0: Encouraging companies and intelligence agencies to share information freely is a good first step -- which touches on several of the points we made in our predictions about security.

    Let us know if there are trends you think we missed.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Bloomberg BusinessWeek Article Validates Another Prediction

    In reporting on Feb. 16th about Easier E-Books with Inkling, Bloomberg BusinessWeek validated a prediction we made Feb 1st: "E-books will improve their experience by providing new interactive and multimedia content." Check out our prediction here.