small is finally becoming the new
like everything else, it started in asia, got westernized in
europe in the 80s/90s, and has caught hold in the the
northeast and bay area. the indicator that we realize we are
reaching the tipping point is that America realized the
introduction of the audi a3 in 2005, the hottest car going
in Europe for the past decade. 2006 will mark the year that
smaller is better will “start” to happen in the mainstream
US – there will be more h3s sold than h2s. don’t hold your
breath, though - it will take 5 years for this to really
take hold all over the country, so expect your boring
“mansionization” to continue in the Midwest for a while.
First it was code (aesoteric, chosen few, untouchable)
editing operating system software, then wikis for global
documents (encyclopedias), now project management
(localized, private documents) – we have only begun to
scratch the surface of open source. If you think about it,
open sourcing is not a new idea, it’s a DESIGN FEATURE of
the internet – something that the internet is inherently
good at. In 2006, we’ll see this idea start to transcend
technology, and move more into other categories - fund
raising for politics, idea building, petitioning, open
source democracy for decision making among small factions,
disaster relief, research, and so on…
Baby boomers turn 60:
Things have already started to change; the obvious issues
are debt and healthcare. This will be felt most acutely in
france in 2006, where the state-pension age is 60. younger
generation will de facto need to become aware of the issues,
though it will cut into our upwardly , consultants will
increase as more baby boomers will want to work part time in
their waning years with their employers. Some niche
publication will launch in ’06, targeting sons and daughters
of the boomers.
NBA – san antonio
NCAA hoops - uconn
NFL - colts
FIFA - italy
Tour de france – ivan basso
NCLB ensures that the US will keep their eye off the ball.
The most interesting attempts at ed reform will be generated
from the bill and Melinda gates foundation – though sadly,
high schools will still struggle and % of students that
graduate will decrease.
Leapfrog’s fly pentop computers will become kids’ choice as
the most sought after educational toy.
Crisis of boys in American schools will gain prominence, as
its becoming clear that male identity for today’s generation
is in crisis – males are in more danger than ever of
negatively impacting society, so this will gain some
attention at the department of ed.
podcasting becomes an important trend in delivery of
information in higher ed. Ipods become a viable med for
improving teaching and learning in schools.
first major crime will be reported using google maps as a
key tool to carry out the crime
Security at airports will continue to underwhelm; though one
will now be able to carry a scissors onto a plane,
unfortunately we’ll witness another major disaster involving
a new idea that does not happen to be on the short list of
With San Francisco move towards a true cost model in 2005
(the first city in the US to enact legislation requiring the
use full-cost accounting principles to guide city
purchasing, considering environmental and health costs in
addition to material costs - 2 other major US cities will
follow suit, kicking off a national dialogue about the
effectiveness of gross domestic product as an effective
measure of productivity. This will tee up a platform issue
for the democratic part in 2008.
A bill will be introduced, suggesting that the age to be
eligible for social security is teathered to life expectancy
No decline in oil prices from 2005. oil companies will hang
soviet union will continue to tailspin, with another major
governmental scandal not quite the scale of the scale of
A major private Chinese university will be unveiled.
US will remain in iraq, though there will be a modest
reduction in the number of troops, on the scale of 10%.
according to the millennium ecosystem assessment (a deep
analysis by 1,360 of the worlds top scientists), 2/3 of the
ecosystem services on which human society depends are being
degraded or used unsustainably, a trend that continues to
worsen. Consumption-driven economics essentially drive this
trend. In 2005, storms and floods claimed more than 300,000
lives and cost at least 100 billion dollars in damage,
including the tsunami
in Asia, the earthquake in Kashmir, the hurricane in New
Orleans. In 2006, george bush will sadly decline to address
these issues as he rides out his term, though scrutiny by
Americans will increase as a result of international
pressure (throwing oil on the fire of bush’s declining
I am re-upping my prognostication from last year - Savvy
Japanese manufacturers will spend record dollars investing
in Chinese manufacturing in 2006. it will take years for
American ego to get there.
In an attempt to improve a tarnished image,Walmart will make
a feeble gesture to improve their heath care benefits for
employees – the effect will be nominal.
merck will spring back from the vioxx scandel with their new
company structure, regaining profitability – shares will
gain 20% in 2006
new york times recently reported that “despite a widespread
sense that real estate has never been more expensive,
families in the vast majority of the country can still buy a
house for a smaller share of their income than they could
have a generation ago – attributable to drop in mortgage
rates since the early 1980's, a decline in mortgage fees and
a rise in incomes have more than made up for rising house
prices in almost every place outside of New York,
Washington, Miami and along the coast in California” – given
this, real estate growth may end up slowing in 2006
nationally, but the prime real estate locations will hardly
notice a difference.
One major indicator that consumer and national debt is too
high in America (likely a public lack of confidence from a
major international power) will trigger a minor panic in
starbucks will continue its slide into a “service”
organization – seeking to drive revenue by increasing
average order value among its existing customers. Attempts
at cross selling other products, however, will be hit and
miss – there is a limit to what people will buy in a
starbucks. “next guest, please.”
Social entrepreneurship will hit its stride in 2006 – with
jeff skoll, co-founder of ebay leading the charge. Young,
single, billionare under the age of 40. among a host of
important social ventures, his org, Participant productions,
is one of the most meaningful organizations to emerge in
2005. responsible for “good night and good luck” “syriana”,
they are using “Hollywood style” firepower to influence the
world to think about issues HE thinks are important– his
success will encourage other weathy young folks to throw
their hat in the ring with their own ideas for mixing
hard-lined business principals balanced with measure for
A national study will be released that will catch the
American public by surprise – that despite our 25 year
health kick and more recent growth in “organic” and
“natural” food consumption, obesity among young people is
even worse than a generation ago.
June 17, 2006 will be a sunny day (the day I get married!)
Ipod will loose market share this year to iriver or creative
Yahoo will buy a gaming company.
product placement will become more prevalent in video games.
tagging – totally overhyped. The 2 problems with tagging –
1/ the majority of people do not CARE that much to
contribute to the content categorization, 2/ inherently
flawed as those that do the majority of the tagging live
within a 50 mile square radius of san Francisco or new york.
The world view of these active tagging participants hardly
represents that of the majority of country, and thus this
phenom will loose some steam in 2006.
now with over 7 BILLION pageviews per month and growing,
Facebook.com will partner with google to introduce text ads
on their pages and become one of google’s largest clients.
Cell phone carriers will finally begin to relinquish control
in the US, allowing 3rd parties to – provision
content and services on their networks, taking their pound
of flesh. Companies like thumplay.com will proliferate, and
carriers and these independents will drive far more revenue.
Video ipod – yeah, yeah. I guess its cool, just nothing
earth shattering – so, I can now get a bunch of reruns or tv
shows downloaded to my ipod. Prediction for 2006? People
will use thir ipods for audio more than they will for video
Gaming – 1 breakout product will hit the mainstream, whereby
video game technology will be used for something other than
games – hopefully, education related.
Spore will be published by Electronic Arts, and kick off a
hugely influential trend in gaming. Spore is an evolution
game: the player molds and guides a single-celled species
across many generations, until it becomes intelligent, at
which point the player begins molding and guiding a society,
civilization, and so on. The reason why spore is so
important is that it uses the concept of procedural
giving players the ability to create content on the fly
within the game rather than it having to be baked in before
the game is shipped
2006 is the year that blogs begin to be used by mainstream
corporate America to sell more products – podcasting is 1
a national story will break when the catholic church hires a
strategic marketing firm to teach them how to target tweens
and 25-40 year olds.
I will extend my prediction from 2005 that Unitarian will
“gain market share” in 2006 in the US. the product will be
positioned as the “non-religious relegion” and will catch
fire with 25-40 year olds.
The price of eggs will decrease.
Red bull will remain a high margin product.