With 2015 almost behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the amazing things that we will likely be hit upside the head with in 2016. You see, here in the tech space, we aren’t satisfied with just screwing up your work week. We want you to know that, during a time when you’d otherwise be recovering from a New Year’s hangover, there’ll be plenty of reasons to want to get drunk next year as well. So let’s look ahead to the technology wonders of 2016.
Everything You Have Is Obsolete
This, of course, is a given. Whatever the technology you were told was wonderful in 2015 will largely be obsolete and will generally suck in 2016. This is the industry’s way of letting you know that you’ll have a long and storied career defending what you bought last year against the amazing things you should have waited for this year. Aren’t you glad you are in the technology world? Don’t you envy the folks who have service jobs who typically don’t have to worry about this?
The Money You Spend Is Funding Your AI Replacement
I’ll bet you’re excited that Elon Musk, the guy who likely sold you that wonderful new Tesla, is taking his profits and funding an AI company, which will probably create a product that makes you redundant. I’ll bet you were longing for a permanent unpaid vacation, right? In any case, 2016 is likely to be the year of AI. (I’ll bet a whole bunch of us will be wishing the executives we report to are replaced by robots.)
We will again watch people line up to buy an iconic product that is only marginally better than the paid-for product they already have. Once again, we will hear the words “brilliant,” “innovative” and “beautiful,” and wonder if folks are talking about the same phone we are seeing on stage. We’ll smile, nod our heads, and ask Siri to remind us to check to see if our medical plan covers mental health. And, once again, we’ll likely buy phones that are great at everything but voice communications.
As we exit 2015, Google has announced it has patented a needleless blood-draw tech because, you know, this has so much to do with any of the businesses it is currently in. Yes, in 2016, the company that is run like a four-year-old on a sugar high is likely, once again, to make breakthroughs in areas that have nothing to do with anything Google does. Why? Because it has no real attention span and is terribly embarrassed that, with all of its massive funding of new projects, it still makes its money off of evil ads. Then again, I kind of hate needles myself, so I’m actually OK with this last one.
Yahoo Will Fire Marissa Mayer and…
Replace her with someone less qualified because that is what Yahoo does. Only Yahoo in 2015 could come up with an alternative plan to selling its Alibaba stake for needed cash to fund a turnaround with one that didn’t actually generate the needed cash. This is kind of like going to your boss and saying you’re willing to work an extra 10 hours a week for a big raise and having him come back and tell you he got half of what you wanted – you’re now working the extra 10 hours but with no raise. Many of us will wonder if the Yahoo board could become a new hot reality TV show called “I Lost My Brain at Yahoo, Yahooooooooo!” On a positive note, I’m pretty certain I know where Dilbert actually works.
Wrapping Up: Oh Boy, 2016
I expect many of us will have wished by the end of 2016 that we had built a vacation bunker in the hills, moved in, and waited until global warming turned Nevada into a coastal state. Here is hoping you have a wonderful New Year and that I survive next week at CES, where I’ll undoubtedly be introduced to robotic vacuum cleaners that are possessed by people who hate cleaning and love to scare pets, and technology I can’t afford but will still lust after and buy because, well, just because. Happy New Year everyone!
Rob Enderle is President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, a forward-looking emerging technology advisory firm. With over 30 years’ experience in emerging technologies, he has provided regional and global companies with guidance in how to better target customer needs; create new business opportunities; anticipate technology changes; select vendors and products; and present their products in the best possible light. Rob covers the technology industry broadly. Before founding the Enderle Group, Rob was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group, and held senior positions at IBM and ROLM. Follow Rob on Twitter @enderle, on Facebook and on Google+