“Every year I challenge myself to synthesize the themes in technology and culture for which I have most conviction, and attempt to project where they will take us next. I am sharing them as a way to connect more dots, meet more founders, and solicit input that will further develop these ideas. No surprise, some of the companies I mention within these trends as examples are in my own portfolio or part of my work building creative products. But I have challenged myself to share ideas still-on-the-cusp of breakout rather than the obvious trends and winners:
1. The next generation of top talent will have “polygamous careers,” transforming the corporate world as we know it
Our brains, interests, and potential have never been single-threaded nor confined to a singular interest or skill. And yet, the traditional labor market since the industrial revolution has placed us in one job at a time — for years at a time. The entire system, from college recruiting and healthcare to LinkedIn profiles and annual tax forms, is geared for monogamous careers. I have come to believe two things, after a circuitous career as a founder, author, traditional VC, active angel, and product leader at a large company: I am most happy when my many interests and skills feel fully utilized — both professionally and personally, and in the modern hyper-networked world that gives us all broad exposure to fuel our many interests, fewer of us can be singularly defined. I firmly believe that professional fulfillment will increasingly be the result of feeling fully utilized.”
Source: Business Insider
AT A GLANCE:
Prediction articles like these are always fun to read, if not for the simple pleasure of nit-picking them to death. They can be even more fun read 10 years later, mocking the complete whiffs on some predictions.
Rarely does any predictions come through unbruised. At their best, there can be a ballpark guess but events, technology or cultural changes put a different stamp on things, and the prediction is sort-of-right but sort-of-not.
Even a smart guy like Adobe’s Scott Belsky might look at this article in 10 years and roll his eyes.
So what does Belsky see for 2022?
Technology, by and large marches forward triumphantly, making life better for all. No Skynet, no technology burnout or sense of dehumanization or increasing lack of interpersonal connection with our fellow humans.
He sees the pandemic-charged increase in remote work being a good thing, with people using technology to be able to work multiple gig-style jobs, which will be more fulfilling. No more watching the clock in a dull job. Perhaps those will be for robots, though he doesn’t say. He labels this phenomenon “polygamous careers.”
In another forecast, finally!, 3D technology will be here for full media immersion. He’s confident though most of us might wait until we are actually experiencing it before we approach that Charlie Brown football.
He also envisions a “stakeholder economy” wherein entrepreneurs can tap the web, especially local prospective clients, for funding via cryptocurrency-style tokens. Belsky is also a Silicon Valley “angel” investor, so he can’t be dismissed, yet this prediction has the feel of a 1950’s jetpack/flying cars-based transportation system prognostication. Plus, it’s unlikely to happen quickly, since most people haven’t the faintest exposure to cryptocurrencies or related items such as NFTs, i.e. nonfungible tokens.
What might be his best prediction is on artificial intelligence making “personalization,” notably for web experiences, better and more tempting — even for paranoid privacy nuts. Seemingly tied to buying things, this divination describes the AI-fueled internet providing clairvoyant irresistible shopping and entertainment choices. Again, not necessarily specific to 2022, but as an overall trend for the future.
Last but not least, in an another long-range prophecy, Belsky sees the “next generation” adopting a “nomadic decade of life and work” in an expansion of the “year abroad” practice that has filtered out of the Ivy League and into state schools. In his view, the kids will become world citizens as they travel the world and temporarily stay in Airbnb-style lodgings and apartment swap co-ops. His earlier prediction of the polygamous career might dovetail nicely with this.
See what you think by reading the whole thing, “Adobe’s chief product officer predicts the 5 biggest tech trends of 2022,” on Business Insider.