It's predictions time of year again. And like most things there's already the good and the not so good. I was rather taken with this comment from Seth Godin on a post by Fred Wilson about a talk by Forrester CEO, George Colony at last week's Le Web conference. Colony talked about the 'death of the web' and how 'social' is reaching saturation meaning the emergence of 'post-social' (le sigh).
 
Whilst there's some interesting points, I'm personally not keen on regarding the emergence of one thing meaning the imminent death of that which went before, and even less keen on viewing social as a 'thing'.

As Jeff Jarvis commented social is not an application, it's a layer, and as another comment put it "humanity is social...social peaks when humanity does". But it was Seth's comment that made me really sit up. He said:

"The problem with just about every prediction made by industry firms like Forrester (all the way back to 1985 when these firms said that the Commodore 64 was going to change the world--until the VCR interrupted to become the next big thing) is that they are based on sophisticated analysis of what's in the rear-view mirror. A tough way to drive. The trends are legit, but we have no idea what unexpected breakthrough in human interaction is going to change everything."

It's a rather good metaphor. And it reminded me of that design-thinking thing about how undervalued the abductive thinking (imagining what could be possible) that is typically taught in design, is in comparison to the inductive (based on directly observable facts) and deductive (logic and analysis, often based on past evidence) approaches that often characterises business school teaching. Nothing wring with the latter, but an over-reliance on framing the future through the lens of the past has missed opportunity written all over it.

Image courtesy

Original Post: http://neilperkin.typepad.com/only_dead_fish/2011/12/driving-by-looking-in-the-rear-view-mirror.html