Intern-For-A-Day Series: Predictions for 2011 (Yikes!)

March 1, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the final entry in our latest series of Fast Horse Intern-For-A-Day posts. We recently asked wannabe interns to offer up their predictions for 2011. We picked four winning posts and shared them here on Tuesdays. In a couple weeks, we’ll have the writers in for a one-day paid internship at Fast Horse. Stay tuned to see how they spent their day.

This week’s post is from Grant Spanier. Here’s a little about him:

Hometown: St. Cloud, Minn.
Education: He’s currently a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, majoring in communications/journalism and minoring in Spanish and business administration.
Interests: Soccer, snowboarding, hockey and writing. He’s currently participating in a Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club author) short story intensive.
Other: He hosts a weekly radio show, and says that in a former life, he was a Canadian and that in his next life he hopes to return as a beekeeper. Find Grant on Twitter, Linked In and writing for Think Cloud.

Predictions for 2011

By Grant Spanier

The two-thousand and eleventh year in the Common Era, Anno Domini. Also the year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese Zodiac – or did that zodiac change too? Whatever. How do we make a prediction? Why, by looking back of course. So let’s review 2010: A lot happened last year. A LOT. The question is inevitably – what next? Here are my predictions (some are plausible, others might be a bit of a stretch):

Apple prevails in War of the Pads: Some may prefer to call them “tablets” but I prefer to call them “pads” due to my affinity for the iPad, plus it just seems fluffier than Tablet Warsthat sounds dangerous. Let’s look at history for an indication to who will win this fight of the “flat-computer-things-that-are-just-big-phones-I-think”– as my mother refers to them. Let’s consider three markets that should aid our decision: Cell phones, laptops and Mp3 players.

In each of these three categories there is intense competition among the leading corporations. In cell phones we have Google’s “Droid” emerging as a challenger of Samsung, Apple, T-Mobile, LG, etc. In the laptop category we have a wide array of options and a fierce battle being fought: PC vs. Mac. Even in the Mp3 player division where Apple’s iPod has somewhere around 80% of the market share, there is still battle being waged for the consumer’s dollar. Where does this leave us? In the midst of another blossoming industry poised to take off. The question is, who will win?

My guess: Apple’s iPad (not just because I’m an Apple lover). The truth is Apple has always been a game-changer when it comes to consumer experience and product innovation. They have a clear home-field advantage with the iPad, which will undoubtedly rise to the top in this king-of-the-hill market climb. That being said, no one is going to just lie down and take a spanking from Steve Jobs.

Amazon’s Kindle has a 90% market share of all e-readers, an important distinction between it and the iPad–which has yet to gain a significant e-readership. The HP Slate is also a major contender; powered by Windows-7 it looks to be the PC alternative of the tablet. Despite my prediction of Apple’s victory, these tablets are all supermodels; it’s simply a matter of who’s the sexiest in the 2011.

Google merges with Facebook: Goobook is born: Subsequently, Mark Zuckerberg will consume his first drink of alcohol and in his inebriated elation legally change his name to Marky Suckerberg–the following morning he will be quoted as saying, “Holy sh*t, I’m never drinking again.”

Newly formed Goobook purchases estranged oil company BP (British Petroleum): Goobook will move one step closer towards world domination as it integrates new markets into its business strategy. The rest of the world will get to watch their dominance of the fuel industry and play along with the release of the highly addictive game Oilville –complete with lifelike oil spills and painstaking cleanup efforts!

Kanye West announces presidential bid for 2012

Not content with his current level of fame, and hoping to conquer what he calls the “the last frontier in showbiz” Kanye will prepare for the presidential race in 2012. Running on a platform he calls, “The dopest plan eva,” complete with “tons of bass and intense lyrics,” the superstar turned politician will look to extend his power even further–likely teaming up with former Minnesota governor (and wrestler) Jesse Ventura, the ideal Vice Presidential candidate. (Potentially even Beyonce–she did have one of the best videos of all time).

Twitter bursts into the phone market – unsuccessfully: After gaining hundreds of millions of users since its creation, Twitter will decide to release a cellular device: Tweetfone. It will have the best mobile Twitter interface, which will attract a strong following. Seeking to be the world leader in quick, efficient communication, Twitter will place a limit on the calling capabilities. The operating system of the Tweetfone will use voice recognition software to determine when a user has spoken 140 characters. Once the speaker reaches the 140 character limit the phone ends the call, much to the chagrin of Tweetfone users.

Sadly, but unavoidably it seems, there will also be some natural disaster(s): Instead of actually predicting it, I’ll let you fill in the blanks to what will be the worst catastrophe in 2011:

On ____ , ____(insert Month, Day), 2011 one of the worst natural disasters of all time occurred in ______ (insert country). The enormous ______ (choose disaster: flood, earthquake, tsunami, etc.) struck early this morning. President Barack Obama has already pledged his support to ______ (insert country), in an address this afternoon he said, “To the people of _____ (insert country) I pledge the full support of the United States. The ______ (choose disaster) is one of the worst we’ve ever seen, and it has devastated _____ (choose number) of lives. If we are all able to cooperate and lend a hand, we will find our way through these dark times.” The _____ (choose disaster) has left over _____ (choose number) people homeless and the number of confirmed deaths has now climbed to over _____ (choose number). President ______ (leader of affected country) of _____ (choose country) has urged survivors of the cataclysmic event to “band together for the common good.” That was depressing.

There will be a massive panic on New Year’s Eve 2011: The misinformed public will believe the alleged “2012 Apocalypse” is set to occur at midnight on January 1st, 2012 (the actual time and date of the predicted “end of the world” is actually December 21st, 2012). A massive “panic” due to the impending doom will cause millions to engage in behavior they might otherwise consider “immoral” or “risky”– such as partaking in enormous amounts of unprotected sex and consuming dangerously high levels of illegal substances. Riots will ensue in the major cities and leave hundreds of thousands dead. Luckily the population numbers will recover due to a record boom in the number of pregnancies (a direct result of the aforementioned unprotected sexual activities).

(Is it just me, or is that rioter dancing?)

I’ve only just scratched the surface of the potential that 2011 holds. While nothing is guaranteed, there are TWO certainties for 2011:

1. It will be different than any other year in time (for better or for worse)

2. I will misplace the television remote.