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Totally reasonable predictions for 2030

Apr 26, 2020

Let’s predict (extrapolate?) what will happen by 2030! Hopefully writing this a few months into 2020 gives me extra prophetic abilities. Sorted from high to lower confidence. Don’t take any of this too seriously.

  • Hard seltzer (e.g. Whiteclaw and friends) will increase market share in the beer, alcoholic ciders, and flavored malt beverages category every year through the decade. I’m clearly convinced this is not a fad. Or I’m just incredibly biased from the one I am drinking right now.

  • Contactless payment (e.g. tapping a credit card) or a similar alternative will make up the majority of in person transactions in the United States. I would not be surprised to see NFC enabled watches take off here.

  • Speaking of NFC enabled watches, the smartwatch / health tracker market will increase in size every year through the decade, and the data from these devices will play an increasingly larger role in our interactions with doctors. For example, your yearly checkup will start by reviewing your recorded data history.

  • An all-remote company will make the S&P 500. Perhaps a bit aggressive given an all-remote company is yet to even IPO, but I see no stopping the surge in all-remote companies capitalizing on reduced expenses and access to a wider talent pool.

  • Starlink will be a big deal with tens of millions of subscribers.

  • Internet addiction and overexposure will widely be considered a public health crisis akin to cigarettes or opioids today.

  • A physical board game with a significant digital component, such as augmented reality enhanced pieces, will win the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award.

  • Identity fraud and deep fakes will force the market to provide a solution for verifying you are who you say you are and you actually published what the Internet thinks you published. This might mean going to a physical location to verify your identity and obtain a YubiKey like device to cryptographically sign your online actions.

  • A large metropolitan in the United States, say over 100,000 population, will openly use drones for surveillance. This will be taken to the Supreme Court and result in a landmark decision.

  • Culdesac and similar initiatives to build car-free and walkable neighborhoods will be wildly successful and start to redefine the United States suburbs.

  • 7-11 will declare bankruptcy as they will fail to fend off the influx of cashierless stores despite their best (misguided) in-house efforts.

  • Blockchain technology will remain in the “so much potential” phase and fail to produce a $100 billion company.

  • The company to “win” the self-driving vehicle market will not be Waymo or Cruise or Argo. When the technology is just ripe enough, a new contender which lives or dies by its commercial focus will take advantage of all the lessons learned, swallow up all the battle-hardened talent looking for a fresh start, and quickly emerge as the front-runner by 2030.

  • As software engineering continues to mature and become more accessible as a job to more people, salaries will fall and demand for organized labor will continue to rise. One of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, or Google will unionize.

  • The United States military will be forced to take action against its own citizens due to a sustained armed rebellion. This is a bit dark, but there are clearly so many justifiably upset or misled people on all sides right now. I fear the alignment and progress necessary to keep the country functioning cannot be made without triggering a violent reaction.

  • On a lighter note, a memestream is coming and will dwarf the ratings of any other streaming show. Oh, and Quibi will be long out of business or meekly “acquired”.

  • We will feel better about our prospects against climate change than we do today.

  • Something totally radical will happen completely outside the scope of this list and immediately make most of my predictions irrelevant in comparison!

That was fun. Can’t wait to see how I did!

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