Investing is simple: Know the trend, know where to invest. As a fun brainstorming activity, we at iBC like to predict important events and trends in the coming year. So, while I won’t be predicting the best stocks or worst stocks for 2010 in this post, I thought I’d give a brief outline and list of what to expect in 2010 for consumers.
1. Super cell phones: Cell phones with projectors; paying for goods using your phone as a credit card swipe; using your cell phone as an airline ticket, movie ticket, opera house ticket.
Winners: Google Maps, Google, security programmers,
Losers: Consumers… because it will cost an extra $200 for this technology and it will make everything else more expensive (i.e., service charge); mobile carriers
2. Real Estate Bargains- we will see the banks go nuts with a backlog of bad assets. Never heard of that before. Anyway, home prices will slide another 10-15% due to oversupply. Oddly enough, while everyone is in panic, it will be the time to buy.
3. iPod app mayhem– programmers will develop a number of highly illegal apps that will infringe on privacy and be a threat to competition. For example, the FaceFinder app will allow a user to take a picture of someone, and it will then search a large database that will return a list of information such as the name of the person, their email, phone number, marital status, and social security number. Nerds will then hack this and put false data into the database which will return data like “registered sex offender”, “racist”, “reader of theStreet.com” and “likes fat men.”
4. Audio/Visual Ebay– First let me mention, Craigslist will be entirely reprogrammed and reformatted to get rid of spammers and scammers. Ebay will finally use Skype to allow sellers to have audio or visual auctions. Of course, the sellers will allow only certain people to join their auction so probably only the higher end sellers will benefit most. Only those with 90% feedback will have buying and selling powers. Another application is to have a pre-bidding video conference where the seller advertises a day and time of which they will showcase the product and take any questions. Then the bidding will commence as usual. The showcase can be recorded and embedded as a video on the product page.
5. Electric-Mode– Towards the end of 2010, car manufacturers will have an “electric-mode” where the cars will switch from gas to electric when travelling at <10 mph. Of course, the cars will be a little smarter to detect that the driver is in stop-and-go traffic versus a car that is at a stop light. It will use a simple algorithm to predict that the driver is in traffic, and therefore will switch the motor to electric power.
6. Digital Media Advertising- We’re already seeing LCD monitors pop up everywhere with ads like in supermarkets, gyms, and office. I won’t be surprised if I see an ad about Prostate Cancer or Viagra on a urinal LCD.
7. Star Bucks Catering and Twitter Menus– why not? They already have those on-the-go coffee packs (which taste nasty), so why not cater? I could see a large conference with SBUX served in the morning. As for Twitter, I could see larger establishments to start tweeting their flavor of the day, special of the day, and discount code. It’s about mixing technology with society and profiting off it.
8. Outsourced drive-thru. Yep, we will see more and more of this. The people taking your order at the drive-thru window will be someone in the Philippines.
9. $9.50 combo meals at Jack-in-the-Box– okay, so while I’m at it, let’s just admit that we will soon see meal combos at fast food restaurants equal to that of a real restaurant. Egregious!
10. Shutterfly will merge with Facebook – or some kind of clever combination like that. Another possibility is that we will have a new TV-Show: “America’s Top Facebook Model”
Got any other ideas? Let us know!Comments »