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Archive: 2011

December 20th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Asides | Comments Off

No more blogging for you

With this blog we’ll be taking a short hiatus here at Futurist.com, until early in the new year of 2012. We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.

Glen Hiemstra

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December 20th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy | Comments Off

15 Minutes on Future Consumer Trends

Among my favorite companies is REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). I’ve been invited to work with them now and then, and this video is a 15 minute excerpt of a keynote that I provided to one of their annual leadership conferences. In this video I discuss demographics and future consumer trends, especially as they relate to outdoor recreation and outdoor equipment. The lessons from the future about consumer trends are pretty universal for any enterprise.



Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, and Founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact Futurist.com.

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December 20th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Science & Tech | Comments Off

Memristors and how they may change computing

I recently read a novelette by Bruce Sterling called Black Swan (A Cyberpunk Story). I was intrigued by what Sterling referred to as a “Memrister”. Within the context of the story, it was only clear that memristors were theoretical electronic devices with a lot of potential applications. After doing some research, I found out that Memristors are, in fact, real, and that they may profoundly impact the future of computing.

According to Wikipedia, “Memristor theory was formulated and named by Leon Chua in a 1971 paper.[4] In 2008, a team at HP Labs announced the development of a switching memristor based on a thin film of titanium dioxide.[5] These devices are being developed for application in nanoelectronic memories, computer logic, and neuromorphic computer architectures. In October 2011, the same team announced the commercial availability of memristor technology within 18 months, as a replacement for Flash, SSD, DRAM and SRAM. [7]”

Apparently memristors have the capacity to start up and shut down computers as if you were flicking a light switch on and off. And one unique characteristic of this technology is that, “Memristance of a material become more and more strong as its size reduces,” which means it may be most valuable in nanotechnology.

Once HP finishes its work on the commercial availability of memristor technology, it will be exciting to learn more about the useful applications that memristors can provide all of us.

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December 20th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy | 1 Comment

10 Top Technology Trends for 2012

My friend and colleague Mark Anderson publishes the Strategic News Service, for many years the most accurate newsletter on technology trends. Each December he makes his top ten predictions for technology in the coming year. Among his ten predictions below (read them in full here at SNS) the two most interesting are number 1 about TV and number 3 about the cloud. Virtually every tech expert is saying that in the contest between computers and televisions the phone will be the winner. Not so fast, says Mark, next year the TV will emerge as the center. And cloud computing will dissipate somewhat as enterprises are unable to trust it for mission critical activity. Check out all the forecasts…

I. TV Becomes the New Center of Gravity in the tech universe, as all other devices find their niches in the TV galaxy.

II. 2012 Will See Tectonic Shifts in Phone Markets.

    The Wireless Revolution Is Real: Asia Is In, Scandinavia Is Second. Nokia, the historic market leader, fails to regain global dominance…
    Google Loses Technology Control of Android…
    Smartphones Grow Share Dramatically to dominate the total cellphone market.

III. Clouds Are for Consumers (and Startups). Even as a large number of enterprises move pilots onto external clouds, it will become clear that the real trend is for enterprise to stay away from clouds in all key areas, for reasons both of security and reliability.

IV. Security Splits the Tech World in Two, finally getting Front of Mind (and wallet) attention from CEOs: companies with real IP, and the others (Meat vs. Mashed Potatoes).

V. SIRI Stuns the World.

VI. We Enter the Amazing World of Dave and HAL, as Voice Recognition comes of age.

VII. E-Readers Prosper, but Pads Continue to Dominate the CarryAlong Market.

VIII. The Consumption World Explodes. Get ready for new devices, new content, new bundles, new connection techniques, new distribution channels, new aggregators, new pads, new phones, new players, new self-published authors, new garage bands, new consumption models riding on social networks: there is nothing but high energy in the content consumer market. People are now ready to spend subscription money for this sector, and the publisher response will be huge.

IX. Governments and Corporations Focus on IP as though it were their most prized asset. It is.

X. Amazon Gets It All.

You have to read the whole thing at SNS.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, and Founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact Futurist.com.

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December 16th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society, Business & Economy | 1 Comment

The Future of Marketing 2012 and Beyond

Recently some clients have asked me to think about marketing, brands, consumers, the new media, technology, and how the new relationships among these elements are changing old enterprise/customer relationships. Fundamentally I think the deepest shift that is going to happen can be captured by asking one important question. Traditionally, one might ask which brands you like, and why? But a more powerful question for the future is, I think, which brands like you and how do you know?

I don’t think there is any question that future buying activity will be driven heavily by economics, that is, who can offer the most affordable quality. But when there is a decision point between brand options, and price is not the key driver, then consumers will increasingly ask whether the brand demonstrates that it cares about its customers. A couple of examples. Starbucks versus local and smaller coffee houses is a choice that many consumers make. Starbucks attempts, mostly with good success, to overcome its gigantic size with a genuine emphasis on being a local third place. Their reputation for good treatment of employees, for providing health insurance for part-time workers, for frequent promotions and giveaways, like their provision of a free drink for every 15 purchases, the free music download cards on the checkout counter, the constant stream of responses to customer concerns on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, all say that, as a brand, we care about you.

For a subset of coffee customers this is not enough. They will choose a local brand, because the very fact of being local and small says to them, this is a brand that can know us and that cares about us (and, they will usually say, tastes better). It is a built-in feature, really, of the whole localization movement applying to local foods, local book stores, and so on. Local should equal caring and if it does not, something is wrong.

Facilitating such shifts in attitudes about brands are all the tools and new assumptions about marketing. Chief among these is the shift of power to consumers – the Net means that customers own the brand and are the primary marketers. The Net is a megaphone for individual customers and their connected devices are all publishing tools now. Probably the most interesting, and even amazing thing about the Web in the past five years has been its metamorphosis from an information-consuming medium to an information-publishing medium for the average user. I think we are just now beginning to grasp what this means, from consumer interactions to revolutions in the public square.

Of course everyone concerned with marketing and brands is wondering where this is all going. Recently Business 2 Community published The Future of Marketing: 46 Experts Share their Predictions for 2012. Here are a few highlights.

“Cross-department and channel collaboration will become more prevalent as marketing coordinates its research, analysis, activities and reporting with other parts of the business.” -Alexis Kingsbury, Global Marketing Director at Spidergap

“Referrals will also be a much higher percentage of successful business marketing because it’s much easier to either recommend or knock companies online using social media and have your message shared.” -Andrew Baird, Chief Freedom Officer at Amazing Business

“Customer data will become more important than ever. Tapping into Facebook’s social graph will allow businesses to access an incredible amount of information…This will be used to take marketing personalization to a whole new level.” -Chris Wise, Director of Marketing at Guideline Central

“Webinars as an educational and marketing platform saw a huge rise in popularity in 2011, and will continue to grow in popularity in 2012.” -Jeremy Gregg, Executive Director at The PLAN Fund

“The importance of viral and shareable content will drive companies and brands to become more creative with their content, replacing the predictable sales pitch with more informative or entertaining material, making the 2012 browsing experience less like opening pages, and more like changing channels.”- Stephen Powers, President and Founder of Rightlook Creative

In Marketing 2020: Shifting the balance between consumers and brands, the blog Nice to be Seen muses about the new skill sets that the future marketing world demands. Based on a gathering of the AMA Atlanta, the author suggests that technology skills, whether in social media or in newer and proprietary means for reaching individual customers will become a basic requirement.

Finally, Laughlin Constable has created a wonderful video that sums up most of the contemporary assumptions about where marketing is going.


The Future of Marketing from Laughlin Constable on Vimeo.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, and Founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact Futurist.com.

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