If there is anything that we have learned in 2009, it is the final end of the SOLL. The present is already difficult enough to denote, let alone what might happen afterwards. Predictions for the coming year? Useless. If only we had tea leaves. At least we would have something to hold on to.
Economic models: nothing more than a thin illusion of being in control. The moment you set one step outside your ivory tower, you will probably be hit by low flying Black Swans. Currently, discussions focus on what shape the economic growth will have. Is it the ‘V’ or the ‘W’? Have we passed the lowest point – recovering slowly but surely – or are we in for yet another dive down? Or – alternatively – are we in for a steady, on-going flow of little ‘W’s? Who knows, perhaps, maybe.
Personally, for 2010 I propose the letter ‘Q’: that recalcitrant character that nobody can get a grip on. Perfectly pigheaded, turning left or right, from the top to the bottom, vice versa and then – suddenly – lunging into the open space. Typical behaviour for 2010, the year that cannot be prognosticated.
Right. So that’s agreed.
Bu then again, we are only human. So let’s try to have quick peek into next year, against all odds. Nothing fancy with tapping the power of the crowd, as we have seen to what accuracy that lead, last year December.
One thing is for sure. In the year of the Q we will end the 2.0 terror. To all IT people trying to impose their version number thinking on everything and everybody around them: enough is enough. Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Identity 2.0, Government 2.0, Health 2.0, Family 2.0: we got the point by now. Honestly. Stop it. Thanks.

IT personalities of the year? For the US: Vivek Kundra and Aneesh Chopra. For Europe? Two words: Neelie Kroes.
For 2010 I predict the first seminar without speakers. They distract the participants too much from tweeting and blogging. Very annoying.
Then – of course – there is the category no-brainers. eBooks will quickly become more popular and the discussion around open publishing standards will sharpen, a sign of a maturing industry. We should finally see the introduction of a groundbreaking tablet device and it will shake the media industry (anybody wants to coin Magazine 2.0? Don’t even think about it). Then again, Apple might be hiding a big, nasty black swan and simply wouldn’t introduce anything like this in 2010. Google’s Chrome OS will be published and sooner then we think, we may boot it from the network.
Nicholas Carr’s new book The Shallows will cause a stir. But only within a small circle. The rest will be too busy to read it.
We have finally reached the inflection point where the sheer weight of the existing, aged applications landscape becomes a true inhibitor to innovation and new value through technology. It may be wishful thinking, but 2010 could be the year in which software engineers finally focus their creative skills on software demolition, rather than on construction. Building new applications is easy. Dealing with the old ones is the much bigger challenge.
The cloud? Already a de facto standard now for start-ups. Governments may prove to be in the next wave of early adaptors. Expect some scandals, disillusion and the first, ostentatiously published de-clouding initiatives. It’s all part of the game. But the trend is irreversible.
That’s it for now. Please share your ideas about 2010 with us in the comments. We would like to know and learn about what may come in the year of the Q. Although tea leaves are probably still better.
Oh, I have one suggestion, already for three years from now. Don’t do your Christmas shopping too early. Might be a waste.