Wednesday, September 06, 2006

6 Trends Driving the Global Economy

A recent WIRED article inventoried 6 major trends that are currently driving the global economy:

1: The rise in peer-production, a shared, democratized web-society that includes everything from blogging and reviewing to photo and video sharing. All of us have knowledge or experience that’s valuable to someone, somewhere and is willing to share it. And web companies are constantly developing new tools to fuel this user-generated content trend. (We’re being very trendy here with our ART 820 blog.)

2: The rise in demand for multi-screen video content. People want to access videos on their computers, iPods, and smartphones and other devices, not just on their TV screens. Music labels and TV networks are changing their marketing strategies to include downloadable video content. (New work for designers!)

3: New technologies using DNA testing to personalize medicinal treatments for individual patients. The emphasis on products and services catering to personal tastes has spread to include “designer drugs” based on genetic profiles.

4: A focus on carbon reduction by companies looking to exploit a global market hungry for green technologies. As Europe and Asia begin to enforce limits on greenhouse gases that were imposed by the Kyoto Protocol, US companies want to compete abroad and get a head start on any restrictions that might be imposed here. (Are they in it just for the money?)

5: The increase in acquisition of small tech firms by large tech firms. Instead of investing time and energy in research and development, many companies are paying someone else to do this work by purchasing ideas from start-ups. And many of these small entrepreneurial companies are starting up strictly with the intention of selling out to a larger firm. Recent examples include the purchase of Skype by eBay, and the acquisition of Flickr by Yahoo.

6: An open access web environment, encouraging cheaper and better software. Many companies have discovered that browser windows have become perfect interfaces for commerce, network administration, e-mail and other business, making separate applications unnecessary.

As designers, not all of these trends might affect us, except maybe with their marketing potential, but as consumers, they probably will or already do.

WIRED, July 2006, reported by Chris Anderson, Eryn Brown, Kevin Kelleher, and Josh McHugh.

1 Comments:

Blogger Professor Melis said...

Mary, thank you for pointing out how trendy we all are. I am especially interested in the notion that we'll all be watching videos on just about any carrier one can think of (will my water bottle come with a video screen on it someday?!?). I wonder who has time for so many videos, or is it that we don't have time that makes us watch videos any chance we get and any size screen. Most of all, as your posting states, I wonder what this will mean for art and design.

2:53 PM  

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