We Were Wrong Before, We’ll Be Wrong Again

Predicting Which Businesses Will Survive Is A Losing Proposition

Humans are notoriously bad at predicting the future, partially because of natural biases and partially because of our poor ability to process lots of data. 

One particular area where it’s challenging to forecast the future is in business. Which industries and companies will be thriving in the future and which will be struggling?

I recently came across a post on social media that summarizes how the collective business world miscalculated what technology would do to some old categories, time and time again.

What Uber did to the taxi market and what Amazon did to the retail world would have sounded so foreign to the general public in the early days of each company.

I vividly remember being in Silicon Valley in late 2012 when Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar were gaining traction and the idea of getting in a strangers car was taboo but also compelling.  When it caught on, it really caught on.

Fast forward to today, I think we are having fair debates about the value of corporate offices, the value of college degrees and whether consumer habits are disrupting areas like fitness, travel, and restaurants. 

Anyone who thinks these industries are firmly secure and void of change is definitely mistaken.

Incumbents will be challenged and some startups will prevail. As I’ve previously written about, I’ve been keeping my eye on the health and wellness space more closely than most. This is one market that is ripe for change.

What other categories would you guess are on the verge of drastic change? Your prediction is just as valid as mine, but it’s likely that we’ll both be wrong.