What’s in Store for Us in 2017?

In a recent blog post, Roger James Hamilton wrote that we have seen some of the biggest social upheavals in business happen in the years 1987, 1997, 2007. He views each of these events as the crumbling of the old and the rebirth of the new. As Hamilton writes:

  • 1987 saw Black Monday and the global stock market crash. It was also the year Forbes published their first Global Rich List and shone a light on the world’s leading entrepreneurs for the first time.
  • 1997 was the Asian Crisis and the collapse of all Asian markets. It was also the year the Internet took off and began connecting us all.
  • 2007 was the Global Financial Crisis. It was also the year the first smart phone (iPhone) was launched, and transformed our online habits.

If the trend continues, perhaps 2017 will bring another series of events that will both shakes our assumptions to their core, and take the way we do business to the next level. What do you think?

For our economy, the next few years may be tricky indeed. Britain will likely begin negotiations in 2017 for its impending exit from the EU after the Brexit vote a few months ago. The results of the U.S. Presidential election could also have resounding economic ramifications.

With all of the economic examples Hamilton mentioned in his post, it’s easy now to look back with our 20/20 hindsight to see the rumblings that led up to them. What’s much tougher is to predict future economic crashes based on what we see today. The world is ever more connected — a fact which makes our global economy both more resilient, yet more easily influenced by factors we can’t foresee.

When it comes to technology, I agree that we’re on the cusp of changing how we do business — yet again. Various technological advances are gaining in popularity, such as virtual reality and the Internet of Things. Ten years ago, before the iPhone was first introduced, most of us would have laughed if somebody told us we would be able to run our thermostat, refrigerator, and home security system from our phone.

Today, interlaced webs of networks connect everything from our toaster ovens to our traffic control towers. It’s making business infinitely more flexible and adaptable, yet just as we could not perceive the ramifications of the iPhone, it will be difficult to know exactly where technological advances like the Internet of Things will shape business over the next decade.

What are your predictions for 2017?

Do you believe we will be seeing the end of one era? If so, what will it be? And what do you think will be to come?

As always, I love to see your insights in the comments.

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