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What Will Soar, Fail in Tech, Business in 2015
World Economy

What Will Soar, Fail in Tech, Business in 2015

The tech guru whose predictions are closely followed by Silicon Valley luminaries has some thoughts about what to expect in 2015.
No one does predictions like Mark Anderson, whose forecasts about the intersection of the economy and technology are closely followed in Silicon Valley. He has a global view of what’s the next big thing and place along an eye for hot products and countries that about to take a dive, Fortune reported.
Recently, Mark Anderson listed his predictions for 2015 during a gathering in San Francisco. Here are his key points:

  Tech Predictions:
Digital currencies like bitcoin will multiply and go nowhere. Currencies require the economic strength and military power of a nation to garner people’s trust.
Net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data equally, will survive.
Pattern recognition will become the real goal of big data. A host of new tools and chips will be developed, to let people gather data and pick out trends that they would otherwise be unable to see, setting off a revolution in computing.
Following the recent series of corporate hackings, security will become a priority on CEO agendas. Companies will reverse the downward spending trend on security as the cost of poorly protected computer systems outweigh the cost of building secure ones.
Virtual reality will remain the domain of entertainment. Headsets that immerse people in a 3D world will not become a feature of everyday life.
Expect Amazon to stumble. Between the brawl with publisher Hachette over e-book prices, drones, and the Amazon Fire phone’s flop, losses are heading Amazon’s way.
Networks for devices connected to the internet (think refrigerators that let you tweet) will get off of their launchpads but remain niche.
Digital payment service Apple Pay will succeed, establishing its leadership in the market.
Computer encryption will continue to expand as a major trend.
Personal health and fitness and lifestyle devices will merge, and there will be a plethora of watches and fitness bands on the market.

  Economic Predictions:
Oil prices will stay low. An increased supply of alternative energy and additional oil supplies from fracking mean oil prices will stay at $50-$60 a barrel, down by more than half from earlier this year. Trillions of dollars that were tied up in energy spending are now available for bridges, schools, and infrastructure. It’s a gift to the world.
China has a lot to worry about. China’s economy is driven by politics rather than money. Between fudged numbers in government economic reports, pollution, and the population’s distrust of food quality, China’s population is unhappy.
Japan is in a sweet spot. For all the talk about how Japan is in trouble — natural disasters, aging workforce — it is, in fact, doing well. Its business model of high quality exports, a strong global presence with companies like Toyota, and relatively few imports compared to other countries mean Japan’s economy is going strong.
Samsung is in trouble. Samsung’s business model is based on selling modified versions of existing inventions like the iPhone rather than inventing. With the rise of Chinese competitors like smartphone maker Xiaomi gaining market share, Samsung is in a tight spot.
India looks pretty good. The recent visits between US and India mean tighter military relations. US is about to give it’s blessing on India’s nuclear weapons program, which has already produced nuclear weapons. This will be the basis for a tighter alliance in South Asia between India and the US that will make China nervous.
The European Union is going through a cultural clash. Germany makes most of the decisions, and the question is how will the rest of northern Europe especially Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark stand for it?
Australia’s not doing great. China owns a large chunk of Australia’s businesses. When Australia had the money to spare, it didn’t invest in its own industries and universities. Now, Australia is a natural resource based economy with a sliding dollar at a time when natural resource prices are plunging. Its biggest customer is China, and China is interested in owning Australian businesses.
* Anderson is head of Strategic News Service, a newsletter publisher for industry leaders and venture capitalists.

 

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