January 13, 2006

Predictions for the future

I thought it might be fun to say where I think the web, technology, and music are going in the next few years. I really feel 2006 is going to be some kind of renaissance for technology as a whole. As this whole ‘Web 2.0′ craze dies down, the ideas inherit in the movement will spread elsewhere. 2006 is going to be big.

Web standards what?

People will finally stop caring about web standards. It’s just how you make websites, plain as that. I think this actually happened last year in the professional world–but the amateurs are close to follow. People will finally stop becoming standards evangelists and realize they’re designing web sites. Not just building them. And that, the surface is in fact more important than the foundation.

Automattic will change the shape of blogging

I see an extremely bright future for Automattic. With a guy like Matt at the reigns great things are bound to come out. Change the face of blogging? Hell yea. How? I don’t know — and that’s why it’s going to be so big. I’m sure these guys have at least one more killer idea in the oven just waiting to come out.

Many people may balk at that statement and wonder what reasoning I have for it.

  1. Matt is, in my opinion, the largest contributor to what blogging is today. He’s done more towards creating a community than anyone else out there. He’s got the idea. He’s got the people. He’s got the means.

  2. Akismet works. Akismet is pure genius. Well, maybe not pure genius (as the idea is nothing but new). However, it works. It works damn well. Those using the heaven known as Akismet don’t know what comment spam is anymore. That’s how good it is. (Remember, Akismet = Automattic)

  3. Wordpress.com works. Wordpress.com is a great service, like blogger but infinitely better. This thing is taking off like no one could imagine. It’s going to continue to take off and gain influence. Automattic are the people behind wordpress.com.

Automattic and Wordpress will drive the internet in 2006. What this also means is that Symphony and its army of clones will not be the biggest thing to hit web publishing since the keyboard.

Hosted applications will rise

I don’t think that 2006 will see the decline of hosted applications. Perhaps ‘07, ‘08 we’ll see them crash back down. This year, we’re going to see more dynamic web sites out there than you ever thought possible. Social this, tagging that. But I don’t think this trend will last long. Soon people will realize that they really don’t care about tagging and discussing their sex life and will stop using these services. Shortly after, the services will fail and start to thin out to a few select sites that are actually useful–like Basecamp.

Vista won’t matter

Windows Vista won’t launch in 2006. The whole world won’t care. Slowly the average computer users are leaning towards OSX. As the iMacs and Mac Minis start invading retails stores across the country, people will inevitably be bought by Apple’s magnificent design. After using OSX for a week they’ll wonder why they didn’t buy a Mac earlier. Ultimately, people will see Vista as a piss-poor attempt at copying OSX and fixing holes and leaks in Windows that should have been resolved ten years ago.

I suspect that Microsoft has simply dropped the ball in this court. Apple keeps slamming out home runs while Microsoft is in the pit planning next season. Too little, too late. Microsoft is going to feel the big knife of Apple cutting into XP sales just as Sony saw the iPod dominate their market. 2006 won’t be the year everyone switches, but it will be the year everyone wants to switch. Within a decade, OSX will topple Windows installations.

Macs will be huge

I think Apple has something revolutionary up their sleeves this year. Perhaps a 3, or 6 month time frame I think we’ll be seeing something that’s the new iMac (the last real revolution in Mac). I think this next set of hardware devices is what’s going to be pushing Apple into the mainstream. Remember, we’re talking Macs here –not iPods or TVs or any of that other jazz. I really think now with the big switch to Intel, Apple can unleash some ideas they’ve been working on for a long time.

The funk will overpower the electronica-4-beat-shuffle

As far as music, I think a lot of crappy bands will suffer the same fate boy bands suffered a few years back. Soon people will realize they don’t want to hear about rainy Sundays in Seattle to a boring 4/4 rhythm on every single track.

But the funk will rise. Hear me now, disco and funk is going to be huge in 2006. I can see it coming already. C’mon, we all know you want to dance. Don’t hide it. Just do it.

DRM will be a black spot on the music industry I don’t think Sony’s DRM issues will ever be let down. Sony got hurt big time, a lot bigger than they think. Right now they’re realizing not only have they been beat by Apple, but they’ve been beat by their customers. Shivering in a corner, Sony will be forced to do something new.

Luckily, the rest of the industry will be just as stupid. DRM is far from over. CEO’s will hear presentations from salespeople of development firms who can offer a “final solution” to music piracy. This will inevitably lead to more rootkit concerns, and ultimately more people stealing music than ever before.

Meanwhile, independent labels will prosper.

So there you go…

Well, that about sums up my thoughts. I think right now is the best time ever to be a techno-geek, awesome things are going to happen. The web is exploding in popularity and technology is racing ahead faster than we can come up with ideas. I’m stoked to be a part of it, and can’t wait to see what everyone else has cooked up.

If you'd like to keep in touch, I tweet @kneath on Twitter. You're also welcome to send a polite email to kyle@warpspire.com. I don't always get the chance to respond, but email is always the best way to get in touch.