Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mark Anderson speaks at Nokia

One of the fun aspects of my job is to organize informal "speaker series" sessions. These are opportunities for thought leaders, techno visionaries, business people and other really interesting people to come to Nokia House (just outside Helsinki) and present their ideas and have Q&A with Nokia folks. This has been running for a couple of years now, and we've had some interesting people - Joi Ito, Larry Lessig, Henry Jenkins, Chris Anderson (Wired, not TED). These people come to join us as friends of Nokia (a nice way of saying we don't pay them speaker fees), but generally seem to enjoy the experience, and often get into good discussions with some of our world class geeks.

Earlier this months we hosted Mark Anderson, who's the editor of the Strategic News Service and a widely followed strategy pundit. He gaves us his trends for 2007.

I attach below the vid the rough notes I took at the time.


Mark's 2007 Predictions
1. ePhones: Phones will be used to pay for things
Japan already does this. Nokia has been testing this for years.
"Carriers have been the bottleneck" - but why wouldn't carriers do this. Qualcomm are investing in startup payments. Carriers are changing their mind about this.
Many technologies, but security clearly the main issue. Authentication is required.

2. Authentication everywhere.
ID theft is so important, that authentication will be required everywhere. Biometric will be big. Voice is one idea, would be great if it does work. Phones could have a bio swipe, and reduce theft - it costs about $9 to install. Could do this in conjunction with insurance companies - never worry about phones being stolen. This then would allow the phone to be used in conjunction with keys for phones. "Phone" is not the right term for what this is - it communicates more with systems than people. 50% increase in data.

3. Tesla-led - electric car will go mainstream year
Environmental factors going well. Elon Lesk (sp?) founded paypal, now started a startup called Tesla. It’s a plug-in car that charges overnight - 250m per set of batteries. 2-seat roadster. 0-60 in 4 secs. Sold out first 2 years of orders. Plan to move to 4 seater. Could basically replace today's US car and truck population overnight. Could use hydro and coal power.

4. Oil price rises further
Oil is a game, and does not obey standard rules of economics.

5. Mobile advertising takes off up 20-30% next year
Big concern about managing the experience - needs high resolution. Words alone will be ineffective. Needs a creative approach to this.

6. Dollar falls further against the dollar and the yen.
Dollar will weaken - Japan will spend 500bn - 1trillion in interventions. Japan is intervening and raising interest rates and will be dangerous. Carry trade is very dangerous - it's like having 'free money'.

7. New Russia emerges, and brings with it a new cold war.
88 journalists have been killed. Russia's policies wrt missile crises, energy policies.

8. XY (parallel) computing takes over
Easy to make parallel computers, but few people know how to program for these types of computers. Microsoft is unprepared for this. Grid computing - what roles could phones play as grids become more common. Something that Europe has an advantage in - e.g. CERN. Nokia should be looking at mesh networking.
Visual computing will be part of the programming process as input as well as output. E.g. training a computer to look for oil deposits based on visual learning.

9. Year of NAND wars
DRAM wars - 17 different production facilitites (FABs), big declines in flash memory prices. More than enough supply of memory, will accelerate new types of devices, and hasten move from fixed to mobile.

10. iTunes will begin to lose share to competitors with more general DRM approaches, unless iPhone materializes.
(note - he first made this prediction in Dec 06). iPod will maintain, Zune will be a failure. Since this was made in December, the iPhone has been launched and DRM has been attacked in Europe.

Key drivers
- oil - 87% negative correlation between price of oil and stockmarkets. Energy tax likely.
- cheap labour
- liquidity (cash from Japan)

Bad news in general
- Fed has lost control of the US economy in the past 12 months. Fed can't lower rates since they're concerned about inflation. They have to defer to the oil industry. Commercial banks have not been following the lead from fed rate, which means the Fed doesn't have a tool to control the economy.
- Schism between corporations and people. Less of a problem in Europe because of socialistic governments.
- GDP growth (US?) is declining. Europe going up.
- Latin America is a mess.
- Mid east - greatest allies are greatest enemies.
- Healthcare costs are bankrupting our economies.
- Pensions are going bankrupt.

Good news in general
- Medicine is changing - "evidence based medicine"
- High oil prices act as incentives for people to invest in energy efficient solutions.
- Today there are more naturally occurring forests than there were 10years ago.
- Higher broadband availability.
- Education - cause for hope (Mark's new company is called Project Inkwell has 40 members (Msoft, Intel, AMD, Gateway…) and is creating education focused solutions for schools. Wants Nokia to join.

Other trends
- Moving from residential to commercial real estate
- Moving in US from 1party to mixed party government
- River of money will fund online ad sales and drive economic activity. 200bn annually is slowly moving.
- IT spending will be up 12% as long as no major issues
- Moving from refinancing homes as a source of cash
- Few IPOs - Clearwire one of the few.
- Year of Microsoft - shipping of vista etc. will be be v. important

Phone specific issues
- Location based services - voice driven directions. Mark is not a believer in location based advertising ("hey, your favourite shoes 20% off in the next mall"). But would prefer to know where his kids or wife is.
- Recreating the nuclear family in a new way using technologies to replicate intimacy.Technology does not stop intimacy - it provides more opportunities to meet people. Phone creates more opportunities for social interaction.
- Mesh networks need to happen - e.g. to help in Katrina-like emergencies. E.g. emergency only activation.
- Changing business models - e.g. Somebody coming to Helsinki and putting wimax and Intel together.
- iPhone - iRiver Clix device. That and iPhone indication of a move towards all -programmable device.


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