The office comes home, and other predictions for ‘22

Its been a few years since we joined in with the “predictions” silly season, but here goes.

Previous efforts, such as 2011, saw us predict the rise (but not fall) tablet computing, the wildly desperate end of Google’s search dominance. Cloud computing and subscription models fared better. 2014 went slightly better with the rise of Crypto, privacy being a thing, explosion in smartwatches and other personal devices – we’ve swung and hit some and also missed a fair few others. But, we have always believed it was not the prediction, but the act of making the prediction that mattered – at it’s heart, making predictions is a thought exercise with confirmation bias.

So, what’s gonna be big in’22

In absolutely no order what so ever.

  1. The office comes home. COVID has changed many things, killing off retail is probably the most visible, but the greatest long-term impact is a shift of skill-based work away from the office and into the home. This will drive up the need for greater home space and depress the cost and use of office space. The reduction in the size of the workforce commuting every day will have profoundly positive effects on society, community, family-life, finances, and mental health for decades to come.
  2. Everything as a service. It will get increasingly hard to actually own anything as most things today need to be interconnected and that means license fees, updates, cloud-services and, of course, built-in obsolescence. This covers cars to computers, and software to second-homes. The convenience of renting, the discharging of all responsibility except paying, is the nirvana for everything we need in life – assuming it depreciates in value. Conversely, stuff that appreciates will be in greater demand as a store of value to offset inflationary costs, though.
  3. The blockchain. More than just Bitcoin, the wide-scale adoption of de-centralised trust mechanisms and the ability to attach value in a digital world where duplication comes at zero incremental cost. We have some thorny issues around the efficiency and sustainability of proof-of-work, but alternate models are evolving and has standards evolving as well as adoption by the mainstream.
  4. The break-up of big tech. Not. It might be the wish of governments and society’s critical thinkers but big tech is, quite simply, too big. Apple is valued at just over £2 trillion. This compares with the £10 trillion that the UK is “worth” (and no, we don’t use balance sheet vs GDP as that is not actually a reasonable comparison, despite it being over-used in the MSM). Nevertheless, the world now relies as much on big tech as they do governments, health infrastructure, social services, etc. Too big to fail? Yup, and more likely that they will simply evolve quicker than the world can keep up with.
  5. The FB metaverse will fail. We’ve been waiting two decades or more for VR to come alive, to have it’s eureka moment, to discover the killer app. However, living your whole world in one interconnected space funded, controlled, and data-mining by the somewhat questionable Zuck. Would you? Really? It just a step too far, never mind motion sickness and extreme disassociation. Of course, FB won’t fail, they will carry on corrupting the young, alienating their parents, and destroying the old using extreme behavioural psychology. Cynical? Me?

Roll on ‘23