Predictions for 2007

Dynamic.Net... Link aggregators... DRM... myspace... a review of last year's guesses

Dynamic.Net

Microsoft will leak news of a new, truly dynamic, general-purpose 'ruby-killer' language, built on a forthcoming .net framework. John Lam will be part of it. F# will have helped paved the way (through the CLR) for it.

It's gonna be really nice. And by the time you can play with it, ruby will already have been "killed" by something else altogether, and Microsoft will be scrabbling to work out how to kill that.

Which isn't to say that it's a futile race. All of this effort is not for nothing. The languages and tools will continue to improve, as a side-effect of this otherwise insane competitiveness.

A true category killer to supplant Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us

Remember what searching was like, in the days before google? No search engine was quite good enough, so we jumped around: trying one, then another. There was even, for a short while, a thriving niche of meta-search-engines (dogpile i remember best) -- sites that brought back results from multiple search engines.

Google perfected their ranking algorithm, and shot to such a clear lead that for years now you've only needed that one general search engine.

I think the market for these link-aggregator-sites (digg, reddit, del.icio.us and friends) is in a similar position to search engines in the pre-google days. They're great... but not great enough. As a result you get sites like reddiggulo.us that aggregate amongst all of them.

The killer in this category will:

  1. do a perfect job of ranking and presenting the information it is given
  2. make a lot more money than google

The inner workings of such a site will require people with real smarts, not just typical startup hacks or VC savvy.

DRM to get worse before it gets better

Because content producers don't need big media companies as they once did, the big media companies are screwed and they know it: but it could take decades for them to lose all their momentum.

In the meantime, it's a fight to the death. (Death and killing are getting lots of inkage in this column -- it's just metaphoric). As well funded as they are, and with the law cautiously leaning in their favour, they'll cause a lot of collateral damage to the ability of everyone else to share content. It will keep getting worse for years: it will be a topic we're so damn sick of. I'm sick of it already, but that's nothing to how boring it's gonna get.

Safe, Cheap Nuclear Fusion On Every Street Corner

Not likely, but it's an interesting thought game.

War in the middle east, and some peace too

Why not place at least one safe bet?

Death To My Space!

Like some ugly girl you snogged in a drunken teenage riot, the kids will wake up, shake their heads in embarrassment and move on.

Probably to something uglier.

How did last year's prediction work out?

I struck out, big time. The only real prediction I remember making was this one:

"steve ballmer to go insane and crush bill gates to death in his giant grip, then eat him"

If it did happen then they've been keeping it pretty quiet.

 

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