Mary Meeker, one of Fortune Magazine's 10 smartest people in tech, released her latest set of internet trends data in May. The report, which has been trending ever since, provides an eye-popping picture of future Internet trends.
At Wolff Olins we're big fans.
It was Mary's 'Reimagination of Everything' that really captured our attention. In this section of her presentation she takes 40 categories and shows how they have been.
Inspired by her ideas, a group of us got together to imagine the future of these 40 categories, providing the 'Next' to Mary's 'Then and Now'.
Here are some of our predictions:
Reimagination of life stories
Then: life stories were historical and curated accounts of event in the past - in museums or photo albums. Now: our experiences are downloaded and shared in real time e.g. Facebook timeline. Next: we'll be able to record our experiences as we are seeing and hearing them and download the recordings direct from our minds. We are getting closer to recording what happens in our bodies and turning it into media: scientists can already take activity in our brain & turn it into pictures and speech.
Reimagination of news and information
Then: newsgathering delayed by how long it took a team to get to a location. Now: citizen reporting via mobile devices means we get our news in real time with a global reach. Next: we think the news will continue to become increasingly democratised but rather than aggregating disparate posts from individuals, we will move to holistic streams of content that combine to create a whole picture. The viewer will be able to choose which kind of editorial lens they'd like to view their news through. Microsoft Photosynth is an example of this.
Reimagintation of books
The life story of books is about to go full circle, from the then of paper to the now of electronic and right back to the next: unique paper formats. You'll also see disposable digital versions - challenging the idea that you'll have books forever - a disposable book, a single use e-book, the size of a credit card, or a solar powered book that prints itself. This technology is already being prototyped, not long before it's ubiquitous.
Reimagination of music
Then: music relied on hardware. Now: it's digital and democratised. Next: we'll see a more connected eco system of music - it will become less about a one-time play and more a shared, physical experience. Artists need to find different ways to connect with fans and engage with them directly wherever they are. They will become much more value creative and start to use listening data to connect to people with the same likes, who want to go to the same concerts, and with bespoke radio. As artists understand how to use current innovations in the manipulation of sound they'll be able to recreate a live event experience.
Reimagination of business collaboration
Then: business conducted in face-to-face meetings or teleconferences using whiteboards. Now: online working groups such as Yammer and Salesforce.com are available and working through channels such as instant messenger is common.
Next: we think that all meetings will be recorded and advanced search techniques will allow you to search for the reference in the meeting that you need. Further, if you can't make the meeting, your 3D avatar will give you a physical presence. You can already buy an Anybot Robot that can attend meetings for you.
Reimagination of recruiting / hiring
Then: job fairs, campus-recruiting events, hard copy CVs were the norm to land a job.
Now: LinkedIn, online CVs, endorsements and recommendations are a critical part of the job seeking process. Next we think that rather than a CV of what you have done, a CV of what you can do and how those skills are valued in the marketplace right now will be required. Careers will be managed on your potential worth.
What is clear is that although technological advances are key to the realisation of the 'Nexts', the way we live our lives and how brands anticipate our needs, will accelerate the change. Successful brands today recognise that they must respond to rapid changes in consumer demand and technology-driven services, at Wolff Olins we call these companies Game Changers.
Businesses that stay ahead of the trends and embrace totally new ways of thinking and doing business, will find that they not only survive these challenging times but find growth. We hope our imagination of the future provides some inspiration. You can read all our reimaginings here.
Follow Ije Nwokorie on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@onyeije