There was a LinkedIn article that caught my eye earlier today called “41 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2023.” While perusing it, I found parts of the points made to be relevant and wanted to comment on those pieces here. What I found interesting was that some of those points in the article were things I mentioned a while back in other blog posts I may have done (although some might be lost since my original blog is long gone). I will address these in the order of the written article along with their corresponding numbering. Some I may skip though, which is why I will refer to the numbering.
1) Hybrid work will be here to stay
I think this was going to be inevitable. Even before the pandemic, companies started to move towards more remote work especially because the tooling has allowed people to be geographically disparate. Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, Discord, etc. all rose up as technologies that really brought the future to now. With features like screen sharing, real time video chat, advanced text chat, etc. along with excellent WiFi, powerful portable computing and cloud based management tools such as Jira, etc., it really makes little to no sense for offices to exist outside of the occasional group physical meet up. People simply are far more productive and satiated being remote.
2) Companies will say farewell to expansive, sprawling headquarters
This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. But for companies that depend more on technology rather than physical production, the need for an office pretty much is moot. I believe a lot of companies will end up saving a great deal of money in the long term by avoiding a physical location. On top of that, they won’t have to worry about other associated expenses such as their own WiFi, desks, furniture, etc. Many modern companies simply provide a budget for employees to furnish their own office.
Some major side benefits of the death of the old corporate office is hopefully the reclamation of land. We’ve seen the rising cost of real estate for a while now with cities like Los Angeles spiraling out of control and inventory becoming limited. So the elimination of traditional offices will hopefully put an end to costly real estate that can be devoted to actual living accommodations.
The other major benefit that I think should be encouraged is the decrease in traffic over time. Places like Los Angeles still suffer from horrible traffic. However, with the increase in demand for remote work, we can see some alleviation down the line. Over time, I think people will slowly leave dense, costly cities like Los Angeles and make their way towards the country side (especially those with families, those retiring soon and people who just want their own home) which should cause the fall of gas prices, demand for cars and most importantly improve air quality. These things are only positives in reducing corporate office spaces.
3) AI will gain multiple “senses”
Right now, I think AI is in a strange place because most AI has been geared towards pattern recognition. While AI has managed to come a long way, actual practical uses for what people need, in my estimate, is still at least a good decade away. Besides sight and hearing, smell, taste and sensation I think are going to be a long way off. So I wouldn’t put any bets on this one.
4) The age of the tech CEO hero will come to an end
I think there’s a bigger story on the horizon which is the cult of personality figures that are dominating the world. The tech CEO hero came about just because these people were making ridiculous money and gained notoriety as a result of having good marketing and press behind them. But I think people are slowly being drawn away from the cult of personality as people in general are becoming more wary. This is becoming a global phenomenon that probably has exponentially increased as a major issue due to the rise of social media. However, social media is showing a major decline with brands like Twitter, Facebook and TikTok having a great deal of doubt from their user base due to terrible leadership and the ever present threat of privacy violations. Personally, I think all they really need to do to put a stop to this issue is to TAX THESE MOTHERFUCKERS WHAT THEY’RE WORTH. That will make these figures come screeching to a sudden halt and hopefully instill more humility and create real leadership.
5) A global recession is likely — but it won’t last long
Yes and no. Right now, it’s hard to gauge how long the recession is and there is no doubt that we will see one. Tech is getting hit big time and many are comparing the economy to 2001. There’s a huge difference though: all sectors are getting hit hard. We still have other issues such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, the slowing but still threatening COVID pandemic, the massive domino effect that the fragile system in place has been wrecked by these forces, oil spiking out of fears, etc. By comparison, 2001 had two problems: 1) an audience that was not ready for technology and the fact that most technology at that time as a form of business was focused on ecommerce; 2) 9-11. The current issues we’re facing almost feel like a backlog that has existed doubling down since 2001 and/or because of the first dot com explosion.
But let me say this: the real core problem in my estimate is the fact that our financial system runs on emotion (i.e. Wallstreet) rather than rationality. Economists can say what they want but the reality is that their system is fucked because they use shitty models. The way things really work is that you have criminals like Trump, etc. who control these systems and are protected by laws and their systems for which the justice department is finally addressing (took them decades). And that’s just one major syndicate. So if you want to correct this recession, you need to reset everything to zero and/or change the behavior of Wallstreet such that the market isn’t so volatile. What the world needs at this moment is stability and running things based on fears, deceptive practices and organized crime only bends things in favor of the crooked so that they can find the next pyramid scheme to erect.
6) In-person and online retail will tie the knot
Here’s what I feel: we’ll have both. That’s pretty much what the article states. But the idea is that we need both. The pandemic made me appreciate getting out of my home and going to a store to shop. There’s a certain amount of need to be in a physical space. However, that need will never override the sheer convenience of shopping online and not having to waste gas nor time. I feel that getting out of my apartment is great maybe once or twice a month in terms of hitting the mall. Other than that, the only place I’ll go directly is to my neighborhood super market and that’s on foot.
Obviously, a lot of that is dictated by the fact that my apartment is located in an inconvenient spot that makes leaving and getting anywhere a real pain in the rear. If I were still living at my old home, I would definitely have been going out a lot more during the pandemic. That might change if I were to move to a different state in a more rural region. In short, it really depends. But I know for myself I need both.
7) Cities will feed themselves
This is an interesting concept in that cities will eventually become so big that importing crops will become problematic. While this is definitely an idea for the future, I don’t think it will be a game changing idea in 2023. I feel for something like this to reach critical mass, then the globe would have to be a giant city in itself where free land really doesn’t exist for farms.
8) Crypto, facing a trust crisis, will confront its biggest hurdle: widespread adoption
I think Crypto is exactly in the same place as ecommerce in 2001 as we see various fintech companies take the plunge. The real issue is, as the article points out, the trust factor. I view this scenario as similar to how Japan has been exceptionally slow to adopt credit cards over cash. But here’s the main problem: there’s no real need for crypto at the moment. Despite all the promises of what crypto should entail, it’s still the wild wild west. To the average person, there is absolutely no incentive to put their money into a medium that serves no overt benefit. For that to happen, you would need to demonstrate how traditional banking and other older financial institutions are unsafe for the average consumer whether it’s a major breach or a situation like 2007 where we see even more consolidation of banks in addition to the cost of just having an account.
9) The healthcare worker shortage will grow, and we’ll turn to tech for help
Yes, this might be true to a limited degree. Part of the problem here really is in the ancient methods that are in place for the medical industry. The various institutions in place need to be re-structured so that this shortage can be eliminated. Unlike the tech industry, there is nothing like a doctor bootcamp or online pharmaceutical school that you can get a piece of paper with a few thousand dollars. There are no tools that expedite the supposed foundation of knowledge required for these fields. And they have things like the MCATs and other matriculation methods before people can even be considered a doctor. Perhaps, the industry should take an outsider’s perspective in terms of correcting it rather than leveraging tech by itself.
10) We’ll focus on when — just as much as where — we work
This should be a critical one. When you work for a truly global company, time becomes a strange factor. I know for financial institutions like a Citigroup, the company is constantly running. There are hand offs between timezones like NYC to London to Singapore or Tokyo etc. But the idea of a timezone is going to eventually go away as long as companies are experienced and disciplined enough to understand how to take advantage of such a system.
I’ve been at idealistic companies that wanted a 24 hour work schedule by splitting tasks up between regions. While this sounds ideal, in practice it’s only good on paper. Real progress depends on the discipline and standards of the organization. For instance, being able to clearly define requirements and have key points of knowledge transfers when one group goes down for the night as the other wakes up and takes over. In many cases, I don’t think this works well because of differences in core competencies, problems in people managing the projects, language and cultural barriers, sometimes rivalries between zones.
But the issue they wanted to discuss was the move to a 4 day work week. This idea has been one that has been thrown around in other cultures. France, for instance, I’ve heard implements this while London/UK would have strict hours that end on the dot. In engineering culture, many engineers find themselves unproductive during the actual day (especially because many of us end up becoming indoctrinated by unending meetings). In turn, engineers prefer working late at night when it’s quiet.
Overall, what companies need to understand is what it means to be productive. There’s no easy way to measure true productivity especially for product development and engineering. The reason that occurs is because the problems are constantly changing. Sometimes, one problem that might appear trivial is impossible while the converse can hold true. What is important though is how a person can be made productive and allowing one to choose their own schedule will become more important. Tooling too will aid in this along with better discipline.
11) The school-to-work path will be turned on its head
What this article means is that the old route of getting a degree from a major institution no longer will be as important in the future. Part of the issue, in my professional opinion, is that the cost of a degree these days is outrageous compared to when I was going back to school. More importantly, what people are learning in school can be taught on the job. Most degrees don’t really prepare you for a real career. You end up just spending a fortune buying books you don’t want to read for some guy working on his tenure. More importantly, you end up feeling you’ve just lost 4-5 years of your life all the while getting yourself into terrible debt.
I still think having a degree is important not simply for getting a job, but by demonstrating the discipline one has to get through a program. There are always going to be exceptions to this rule, of course, but I don’t think you just want some guy who flunked himself out of junior high school walking up to your platform and having your keys to AWS handed over. So just saying that a college degree is no longer necessary sounds like a pernicious statement.
12) We’ll turn to the sea to power our electronics
I’ve heard of this one where Google was supposedly running data centers in the ocean to take advantage of the power of the current as well as using the area to cool its systems. But most of us won’t ever deal with this.
13) Lab-based meat will hit more plates
Yes, but this is still science fiction and I think people will notice the difference. It’ll be like that scene from The Fly when Jeff Goldblum teleported two steaks in his telepods, with one tasting “synthetic.”
14) The U.S. will become a nation of renters and landlords
You mean it already isn’t? I think this is one of those clickbait statements nonetheless. But at least in major cities like Los Angeles or NYC, this will be true. If you really want to own, you have to get out of the major cities.
15) Philanthropists will demand less – and trust more
16) The side hustle will reign supreme
This probably will become true. It won’t be say me doing an Uber driver gig at night but I can definitely see myself trying to find side work if the cost of living continues to rise and I can’t move out easily.
17) VCs will stop hunting unicorns and start searching for work horses
This is bullshit. VCs will always hunt unicorns. The whole purpose of a VC is to dump their money into a huge pile in the hopes that one idea will strike gold. This is just another form of portfolio management, which to me means legalized gambling. And you know what they say about American capitalist and gambling.
18) Our old clothes will become big business
How do you exactly define big business? Stuff like the Goodwill have been around forever. Now, if you want to monetize ideas like recycling, then you need a door-to-door service that picks up old, ratty clothes in exchange for money, coupons or other services. Then we’re talking big business.
19) Cities will turn themselves into “urban reserves” to limit mass tourism
20) …and we’ll think twice about traveling anyway.
Meh, I think people who want to go out and party will go out and party regardless. You can’t stop foolishness. But people like myself who TRUST NOTHING, will just stay home, be bored but save money, gas and hopefully their health.
21) Social media users will turn their back on the algorithm
AKA most social media will die. This is something I look forward to. I think all but the foolish are going to halt or limit their social media usage. I feel Twitter will die a horrible, painful death next year. Hopefully, Mark Zuckerberg will go to prison and or into space without a space suit and that TikTok is uncovered to be a spying system for the Chinese government thereby ending all the foolishness where so-called influencers think they’re the shits rather than smelling like shit.
Social media should be around but not in its current form, not controlled by these goofballs, not by the government. It should be a public utility with serving a few key purposes in being able to link up with people you care about and continue to maintain contact and mass share certain thoughts or events. It should not be a system used to exploit people’s privacy and shove more nefarious advertisement crap down our overladen throats.
22) The metaverse revolution will go professional
This is wishful thinking paid for by Zuck and co. The metaverse is going to go up in flames because it’s a crap idea with zero incentive for people to use it because there’s no practical application.
23) Luxury firms will court the VIC (very important customer)
This doesn’t seem like a 2023 thing. This seems to be a very normal thing. Who wrote this shit?
24) Money will rush into women’s sports
This has been going on for a while. Why is this a 2023 thing?
25) We will extract carbon dioxide from the air by just doing what we’re doing
So you mean more hot aired filled loud mouths?
26) Neanderthals and other ancient human relatives will change how we think about medicine
Not if the CDC, WHO, FDA and other institutions governing medicine have anything to say about this.
27) We’ll witness the first ransomware war
Another clickbait title. This sounds like some person just digging at this point.
28) Taxis will take to the skies, for the wealthy
If they’re talking about a flying car, I still think this will perpetually be 5 years out. But I do think the rich already have their own taxis that in the skies. That’s called a private jet. Stop writing nonsense.
29) Schools will go big on tutoring to make up for pandemic losses
Again who cares
30) Companies will hold onto workers, downturn or no
No they won’t. Top management will do whatever to make sure their coffers are filled first along with their shareholders, workers be damned. The only time a company will hold onto workers is if the individual possesses key knowledge that cannot be replaced by cheaper means. You have to think social Darwinism here, not idealism. And social Darwinism never will change unless the fundamental instinct of human survival changes, which obviously it won’t.
31) Cities will turn to new – and very old – tech to beat the heat
This is called go to the beach in the summer or open your windows to get fresh air. Heck, just dunk your head in the toilet if you’re desperate.
32) The working class will head for higher ground
No they won’t. Even after Katrina and the other hurricanes, humans have proven their infallibility for stupidity. These people won’t leave. It doesn’t have to be coastal regions affected by hurricanes, etc. Look at California with their brush fires. People still live in those regions and/or rebuild. The reality is that people are going to live where they feel comfortable and where it’s cheap and reasonably safe. They’ll take their chances with the occasional natural disaster because those aren’t as frequent nor as hard hitting as being constantly pummeled by the economic climate.
33) We’ll be wearing mushrooms and seaweed
“Drugs are bad because if you do drugs, you’re a hippie, and hippies suck.” – words of wisdom from Cartman. That’s what I think of this statement.
34) Nations will sidestep U.S.-China tensions and go their own way
I think more places will try to avoid China in the coming years. China is proving to be unreliable as a manufacturing company and if people detect that places support China, they will eventually be rooted out. As for US – China, I think the big thing in 2023 will be even more pulling out of China with more domestic manufacturing. However, I think eventually America is going to run into a land issue. Now, if America is smart, they’d get rid of all those ugly corporate offices and convert them into production factories among other things. But if they don’t do that, then America as well as other major nations will continue to outsource to cheaper places and create more banana republic type of situations. If you really want to get rid of the problem, stop trying to be so cheap at the top!
35) Our finances will become boring (and that’s a good thing)
No, that idiot called Biden hired a ton of people in the IRS whereas he should’ve fired most of their staff because of the fiasco we’re seeing just with Trump.org alone. If you want a simplified financial situation, stop creating loopholes that only the rich can sneak around by bribing the people in charge to create loopholes for them.
36) We’ll learn to hang out at work, without the office
How about this. How about give us back our time and if we want to annoy each other we can. But I think hanging out should be an individual decision not a corporate one. Let’s pray for the next death in corporate culture: office gatherings. It’s just a waste of time for people who are lonely. Yes, I am a lonely person but I do not need to waste time with wasteful office gatherings if I don’t want to go. I’m not being a prick, I just value my personal time since I’m a lot older.
37) The labor movement will surge, and employers will fight back
Oh, this is an ongoing thing. I don’t know what the US will do about it though. I know more companies are trying to unionize but the reality is that the government needs to stop giving rights to companies as a living entity. That’s how you’re going to improve morale and working conditions. Just the fact that America allows corporate entities to have first dibs on property before a family clearly demonstrates the favoritism given to companies over the individual.
38) Menopause will become big business
39) Mental health check ups will become the new annual physical
Honestly, this wouldn’t be an issue if companies simply were given less (or no) rights. The reality about employment is that it’s just an advanced form of indentured servitude. So as long as that relationship exist between the powerful and the powerless then you’re always going to encounter problems like mental wellness. Again, if you want to fix this issue, you need to bridge that gap between the powerful and powerless.
40) More nations will give animals, trees and rivers the rights of people
I hate to be crass but this is more hippy shit. I get what they’re saying but I’m just waiting to start seeing people fuck logs. I already saw a video of a Taiwanese guy crying when he (drunkenly) inserted his erection into a park bench and jammed himself. What’s next? My Giraffe gets to call the police on me because I Danny Torrance’d him?
If you really want to fix things, just put a limit on the amount of people that should be allowed to exist on this planet. There, a billion problems solved in an instant. Thanos WAS right.
41) We’ll see the formation of the next wave of game-changing startups
Or as they say in the online gaming meme community, OBVIOUS TROLL IS OBVIOUS. Of course, we’re going to see this. You have a ton of top talent from Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. all getting laid off simultaneously. Most of these people probably had some nice stock invested on top of huge salaries and generous severance packages. A percentage of those people probably will maintain contact with each other. Like the people over at Amazon’s Alexa department that got slashed. I’m sure those people were waaaaaaay overpaid and overrated. But a few of those people who are actually talented and motivated will probably have their pink slip party and take their unimplemented ideas then go make a delta that will get bought back up by Amazon.
Bottom line: I’m not afraid of this recession. I’ve survived the two big ones before and this one just has more obstacles that I’m acutely aware of than before.
Well, there you have it. A lot of clickbait nonsense but a few interesting points here and there worth commenting. I do think one thing I believe in for 2023 is that people will become a little more wary of the online world and want to get back into the real one to make up for lost time and appreciate what we have. So more traditional businesses may actually flourish again. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.