January 08, 2019
Last year, I did a post outlining my predictions for the next few years. It’s time to see how I did with my predictions.
The reason I’m doing this is to improve my ability to predict the world around me. We all base our day to day actions on our mental models and predictions of the world around us. By making and evaluating those predictions, I hope to improve them.
I prefixed the predictions with year I made them. I didn’t include all my 2018 predictions here, just the ones I have an update on. I’ve also added a few new predictions.
This one has panned out as expected. Currently, React is the 800 pound gorilla of the space and I predict that will continue. Vue and Angular will represent viable, though distant, alternative front end frameworks.
I’m mostly wrong on this one. While the Angular team has introduced Angular Elements, I don’t feel like Web Components have really picked up momentum.
Frameworks like Bootstrap and Angular Material are going to be supplanted by Web Component based frameworks like the new version of Ionic. While most web developers won’t be making their own web components, they will consume them through these libraries.
This one panned out as I expected. The real mover is going to be when we finally have an inexpensive AR headset with great apps.
Microsoft Mixed Reality got the cheap VR part down. But there’s no killer app yet, even though Beat Saber is fantastic. XR is going to become an important platform, but it still needs a few years. Microsoft is planning on releasing another Hololens this year. I’m looking forward to that.
My vinyl collection continues to grow :-)
We’re going to get better at integrating the digital and analog worlds until we have the best of both. The reality of a lot of the analog trends, like vinyl records, is that they are enabled by digital technologies. We’re going to get better at this integration over time.
I’m wrong on this one. I haven’t seen any consolidation.
Bitcoin is currently around 4k, which is about where it was in 2017. Pretty much nailed it on the head here. I predict further bitcoin volatility.
Patreon has been accused of deplatforming people based on partisan bias. While there are some people who believe that this is a good thing, there are others who value free expression on the web. These people will eventually create an alternative to the platform.
One of the major barriers to creating such an alternative is the credit card companies themselves, who have been quick to pull payment processing based on mob requests from both the right and the left. More people are going learn about financial censorship and call for solutions to it.
One of the big narratives of 2018 is how the major tech companies are abusing their power and harming society. There’s been no shortage of digital ink spent criticizing Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Many people have called for regulation. While I don’t think we’re actually going to get anything done in that regard (thanks to congressional gridlock), the news media will continue to run stories that frame big tech as the bad guy.
As technologists, it’s important to think about the technology we create and take ethical concerns into account. We’re responsible for the things we build. Expect more people to talk about this as a counter to the “tech is evil” narrative.
The debate over net neutrality has devolved into partisan squabbling and fizzled. I expect zero progress on this front, other than a few states enacting mandates within their borders.
There has been a significant amount of criticism of social networks and payment processors about inconsistent enforcement of their Terms of Service. Various groups have accused those platforms of biased treatment and censorship. The focus on net neutrality is going to move towards platform neutrality.
The same arguments for net neutrality also apply to social and payment platforms, so it’ll be interesting to see who picks this up.
There might be a situation where net neutrality becomes a concern of the left while platform neutrality becomes a concern of the right. This would be stupid, but I expect nothing less of our main political tribes.
We’re going to see more applications and treatments based on personalized health data. Health tracking devices are commonly available. Companies like 23 and me are harvesting data. We’re going to get better at using these data streams.
Social media has been around for over a decade, but we’ve only recently begun to learn how damaging it can be. We’re going to see more norms developed to curb the negative effects of social media. Apple and Google have already begun to build tools to monitor phone usage and curb technology overuse.
As 5G begins to roll out this year, more people are going to ditch their cable internet for a single internet plan. This is especially true in cities where the coverage will roll out to first.
I thought it would be later, but several companies briefly hit the 1 trillion mark this year. We’re going to see companies consistently hit over a trillion in market capitalization over the next five years.
Facebook is down 35% from it’s 52 week high and 24% down from a year ago. Twitter is up for the year, but down from it’s previous high. Let’s see how this one pans out.
If we’re serious about addressing climate change, we need to be serious about nuclear power. Renewables are nice, but are not enough to address our power needs. More environmentalists are realizing this and advocating for nuclear power generation. Technologies like thorium molten salt reactors mitigate many of the disadvantages of older nuclear tech.
This was an interesting exercise. It was cool to see how things panned out over the past year. I’ll learn from my failures and see how it goes next year. What are your predictions?