The Guide To Predicting The Future

“Two decades is a sweet spot for prognosticators of radical change: near enough to be attention-grabbing and relevant, yet far enough to make it possible to suppose that a string breakthroughs, currently only vaguely imaginable, might be then have occurred. ..
Twenty years may also be close to typical duration remaining of a forecaster´s career, bounding the reputational risk of a bold prediction”
-Nick Bostrom (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers and Strategies)
 
Not unlike other fields, advertising industry is full of bold predictions. Majority of them are completely off-the-mark. Predictions seldom come with accountability. The temptation to come with sexy soundbite lures you more than truly thinking about potential outcomes (or actually predicting the future). It is better to have a bold opinion than to be right:
 
“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. ”
Evan Esar

I have read in multiple sources that this year will be the year of VR. This is a great example of Amara´s law, overestimating nascent but highly visible technology on short run:

“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

VR is currently at the sweet spot of being obscure enough that making predictions about it can raise eyebrows (no one should not be shocked anymore that future is mobile for example). On the other hand, there are enough tangible examples of it so people can understand it. The innovations that will truly revolutionize advertising are harder to grasp at this moment or have not even been developed yet. When they will truly happen, they are too obvious then to catch the headlines.

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