I wrote a thread today about how hard it is to predict the future. Turning it into a blogpost
In 2010, I had just passed 1st year of college. My parents had gifted me a Dell Studio 15 laptop, and I was on a mission to download everything there was on our campus DC++ network.
Soon I got 3 hard disks: 1 250GB, 1 TB and then a 2TB one.
If someone had asked me the future of the file storage industry my best guess would have been:
- Size of hard disks would become smaller
- Price would go lower
- We would have a hybrid model: physical storage with some of it backed up on the cloud. I remember Seagate giving the option of cloud storage even then
10 years later I wonder how many of us even have external hard disks.
Everything moved to the cloud.
And it happened faster than I could imagine.
With storage going away, suddenly we were not tied to a laptop anymore.
Instead of a mapping of Me <-> Laptop, it became Me <-> iCloud account/ google account.
You fucked up your laptop? No worries, take this backup one and be up in an hour.
You can work out of anywhere today. With any machine. With your work backed up on the cloud.
You are not tied to your hardware.
Some other things went away but came back in a different form.
Remember Adobe Dreamweaver? It was the OG no code tool. I had downloaded it to create websites in college.
Then it went away. I don’t remember anyone talking about it for years.
Now there is a No code revolution with Webflow and so many other cloud tools.
Sometimes I wonder what if Adobe had adopted the saas model earlier. And let people create webapps without having to download their shit expensive Dreamweaver software.
Maybe we would have had a no code revolution far earlier.
Lets move to payments now.
(I am just rambling here. There is no structure to this thread)
My sidey Amrit Pal went cashless in Africa during his internship there. I remember reading about his experiences, and thinking no way is this true.
10 years later, I barely withdraw money from the ATM. People use Paytm and Google Pay everywhere. It looks us less than a generation.
If you had told me in college that I will be able to send money to someone’s phone number in <10 years, I would have laughed at your face.
If you had asked me to optimise payments in 2010, I would have talked cheaper transaction charges. More merchants accepting cards. Optimising ATM workflow.
I would not have mentioned having phone number as an identifier and sending money instantly to anyone you want!
When I was in college, almost everyone used to have different Dell Laptops: Inspiron, Studio 15, Vostro, Alienware etc. And there were multiple versions of it.
Macbooks were aspirational. It was either an Air or Pro. No one had it. But everyone dreamed of owning it one day.
Thanks to the cloud revolution, and our identity being tied to our google emailIDs, Chromebooks have become a thing now.
And with Chrome OS becoming more and more powerful, I can definitely see it become more popular with students, both in High school and colleges.
Every one used to pirate movies and songs earlier.
Now people are paying for content.
This is again because of 3 trends:
- Things moving to cloud, people using multiple devices, and wanting sync
- Importance of recommendation algos
- Affordable student subscription plans
Earlier monthly allowance from our parents would hit our bank account in the beginning of the month. If we were not careful, you would be broke by middle of the month.
Now there are so many apps to help you with liquidity.
How would the world change by 2030?
Will classes on zoom become a thing?
Will there be easier ways to transfer money? Get credit?
What comes after the cloud? After the smart phone?
I have no clue. But I do surely spend a lot of time thinking about it.