4/22/09

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be


Sam McMillan Profiles Futurist Paul Saffo in Communication Arts

Ten years ago, to commemorate their 40th anniversary, Communication Arts sat down with Paul Saffo, a noted forecaster based in Silicon Valley. We asked Saffo to look ahead at what the coming years would bring. At the time, the Web was booming, you couldn’t find a parking space in San Francisco and, if you could write HTML and sign your name without drooling, you could command a six-figure salary. At a dot-com startup like...Pets.com. Kozmo. Or Dr. Koop.

A decade ago Saffo looked out and saw: ubiquitous sensors, inexpensive flat screens and a rise among person-to-person interaction over the Internet. He even said, “The Internet is going to spawn other forms. We’ll have some things that look like TV, but are interactive.

At the end of that interview, almost as an afterthought, Saffo pulled out a black and chrome gadget about the size of a matchbook. “Oh, this might be interesting,” he said. “It’s an MP3 player. Holds about 40 songs. You can download them from your computer and play them back.”

To see if Saffo got it right, and learn what he predicts might be coming over the horizon in the next ten years, read the entire article online at Communication Arts....

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